A couple of months ago I bought my father a Makita jigsaw. He won’t use it frequently, and didn’t want me to spend much, which is why I bought the inexpensive Makita over Bosch. I should have bought him some at the time, but he asked for a couple of woodworking blades.
Obviously, my attention turned to Bosch. I don’t use anything but Bosch jigsaw blades if I can help it.
There are blades for thin wood, thick wood, hardwood, softwood, plywood, and engineered wood materials. So which would be a great general purpose blade that can handle all these material types with relative ease?
Bosch offers a couple of wood-cutting blade sets and assortments, and I started off with one of those – a 10pc T10RC set ($15 via Amazon).
The 10pc assortment comes with narrow basic and clean cutting blades for cutting curves, blades for fast cutting, blades for clean cutting, blades with reverse tooth for when you want a cleaner top surface, and a blade for “Xtra-clean” cutting.
But would that be enough? I’m sure that these blades are well suited for what they’re designed for, but which would be best for general purpose cutting?
The set comes with (1) T308B Xtra-clean blade, and after looking into it, it seems that this would a great all-around blade for when one doesn’t want to bother sorting through a bunch of different blade styles.
Bosch says this about the 12 TPI T308B:
Designed for extra-fine straight cuts in hard and soft woods, plywood, laminated particle board and MDF.
Bosch “Extra Clean for Wood” blades produce a superior finish on both sides of the workpiece. High Carbon Steel body for long life in wood. Ideal for clean, straight cuts in wood and wood products.
So I ordered a 5-pack of the T308B’s ($10-11 via Amazon). This seems like a good all-around blade for cutting wood and wood-like materials that likely trades a bit of speed for cleaner cutting
I don’t think I have used this blade before, so I’ll probably spit the 5-pack between myself and my father.
I have used Bosch’s Progressor blades before, and previously considered those to be good general-purpose wood-cutting blades. Bosch says this about the varying 8-12 TPI T234X Progressor blade:
Progressor tooth design provides superior performance in speed and cleanliness of cut. Ideal for fast and clean cuts through thick and thin wood.
Bosch Progressor for Wood blades offer fast, clean cuts through wood and wood products. Patented progressive tooth design produces fast cuts and long life in thick and thin materials.
Okay, so the Progressor seems like a good general purpose wood-cutting blade as well. I also ordered a 5-pack of these for my father ($10-11 via Amazon).
After spending some time online, and based on my experience with the Bosch Progressor blade, I think that their Xtra-clean and Progressor blades might be good all-around choices. I’m sure that their performance will back up my presumptions.
What I’m thinking is that the Xtra-clean blade will cut slower and a little finer than the Progressor blade, but they’re both said to deliver clean results.
Which jigsaw blade(s) do/would you use for general-purpose cutting tasks? Are there any other blades that I should have considered?
I have built up a nice assortment of Bosch jigsaw blades and ordered both of the blade types mentioned here, and so a comparison should be forthcoming. But in real-world applications, I don’t burn through jigsaw blades all that quickly. I figured that some of you guys that use a couple of blades a week, or month might have already done a this.
Stuart, I use Festool and Bosch blades. I like both brands much and have found no reason to stray. Merry Christmas everybody!
I purchased a variety pack of Bosch blades last year, and have really liked them. I don’t have much experience with other brands, however. I’ve used both the wood, as well as metal blades, across a variety of materials, and, so long as I select the proper blade for the job, I’ve seen great results.
The one issue that I’ve had with them though, is that the descriptors on the blade rub off, leaving only the blade model, since it’s protected, on the shank. I know I can tell what the blade is used for, based on the teeth, but I just keep the case the blades came in handy, so I can match models with uses.
mike aka Fazzman
I typically like Bosch blades as well. Ive been wanting to try out Lenox ones since ive had good success with their other types of blades. Merry Christmas.
I have been wondering this same question but about reciprocating saw blades….
mike aka Fazzman
Diablo ,lenox and bosch would be my choices there 😉
I got a verity pack of diablo blades for Christmas. I’m looking forward to seeing how they work out.
mike aka Fazzman
They are pretty darn good in my opinion,cut through just about anything.
+1 on the above
I have been happy with useing Lenox blades in everything. Their bi-metal blades seem to last a long time.
Which blades, i.e. which style/models?
I kid you not, I was searching online for an answer to this exact question last night – I’m looking forward to the comments. My experience is mainly with cheaper blades (Menard’s Tool Shop), which I thought would be absolute junk but they’ve worked ok for cutting various softwoods. Not sure that the durability or the smooth finish is there, but then again, you get what you pay for. For rough wood cuts, they’ve worked fine. I would definitely not use them on anything hard or expensive though. And I wasn’t able to get the “metal cutting blade” to even so much as make a start on metal Wiremold conduit. My hacksaw took care of that pretty easily.
I just recently received my Bosch JS470EB after spotting the deal here, and I picked up an assortment of general Bosch blades (both wood and metal) to go with it, but I haven’t had a chance to try them yet. Hopefully this afternoon or over the Christmas holiday.
If you want to help keep your cut perpendicular – try the Bosch DP blades – they are thicker = helps.
My Jigsaw and Reciprocating Saw are both DeWalt, and so far I only use DeWalt or Mastercraft blades for them. I haven’t needed anything more, but I am planning on going with some Bosch blades as well for them. This will also extend to using those blades for my Dremel MultiSaw Attachment for my Rotary Tools.
Generally, I trust the brand of blades that is the same as the tool. That isn’t 100% true when I know how high quality Bosch is. Anything style/use-wise I find I absolutely can’t do without from the Mastercraft blades I have, I put it on a list to get something similar in Bosch to replace it when it does finally die on me.
At my lowes they have the bosch 18 pack variety pack on sale for $17.97 and the 14 pack for $13.47. Both come with a sweet case
I know Lowes has a variety pack on sale for the holidays, but I couldn’t find any at my local store. Gave up, waited 2 weeks, and remembered to order them thru Amazon.
In the past, I had considered Bosch to be th ‘best’ blade I could find. I had a few other brands that didn’t seem to cut as fast or clean, and over time tended to use these ‘cheaper’ blades for sacrificial projects, like cutting through plaster, dirty wood, etc. that said, a while back Sears had their professional grade jig saw blades on sale, and they looked identical to Bosch blades, and perform the same, as well. Look closely, though, because the regular Craftsman blades are not the same, you can tell if you look closely at the tooth grind. It is only the Craftsman Professional series, and even then, may be only in the Bosch shank style.
I’m about to have to buy some jig saw and recip saw blades for a new project.
in the past I’ve used mostly lenox blades – which is what I keep in my hack saw. I’ve had excellent luck and great use out of them.
however my last demo project I got a hold of a irwin demo labeled recip blade. 6in and 9 in. both have also been excellent and they were cheap compared to others on the shelf – labeled for the same purpose. So I’ve been leaning toward either Lenox or Irwin blades for my saws. I’m not cutting MDF with my next project so I’m not looking for a blade for that. mostly dimensional lumber and pipe (plastic and metal)
been using bosch and had great luck, thinking of trying lenox to see how they perform
Stuart – Any follow up on your feelings on the three sets you mentioned?
Unfortunately, I still have had the time. It’s near the top of my to-do list for the Spring, but it’s unclear as to when I could get to it.
No worries. After I replied I checked Lowe’s site and they show the 18-Pack in the case listed at just under $15 locally. For as often as I use my jigsaw, I think this will last me awhile. Then I can figure out which blades I like out of the assortment, though I do wish they included a fewer metal blades and replaced them with wood blades. I like the case that goes with it, so I’ll look past that!
They do make woodworking blade assortments, but you might not find them in brick and mortar stores.
Thanks for the tip! I’ll check out this set to see if I really want or like that case or not. If not I’ll look more into the woodworking sets.
by far the best sawzall blade i have used is the Axe by millwaukie . i have used different bosch jigsaw blades but havent found one that will keep my curved cuts pependicular but it may be my Dewalt jigsaw.
Dear, i need to cut wood size 4×4 inch block … my questions is which size blade i need to use …
Bosch has a few long blades.
T344D has a working length of 5″ and up to 4″ cutting capacity.
T744D has a working length of 6″ and 5-5/16″ cutting capacity.
There might be other sizes in between that are suitable, and other brands should offer long blade tools. In a nut shell, I think you should be fine with a 6″ wood-cutting blade.
Not one person was able to give a blade recommendation? I got a whole handful of Bosch blades and while they give General guidelines that’s about all they are. I was hoping somebody would chime in with “I have tried a few different blades and the one that really works best in plywood it is a………” still lots of good info and input just really hoping for somebody with some particular blade #…
experience, thank you
These days, I’d probably go with the Bosch T101B (via Amazon) as it *seems* to be recommended more for plywood than the 12T T308’s.
The problem is, there are so many types of plywood – thin, thick, thick-layered, thin-layered, and with special faces.
Bosch now describes the T308B as suited for Wood, laminated particle board and MDF while the T101B is for Hard/soft woods, plastics, OSB, plywood, laminated particle board 3/16″-1-1/4″.
Unfortunately, it’s still a pain to sort through Bosch and other brands’ jig saw blades. The T301DL might also be suited for plywood, as it’s designed for Hard/soft woods, OSB, plywood, plastics 1/4″-3-3/8″ and clean cuts on both faces of the workpiece. But that’s for straight cuts. For curved, there’s something like the T301CD.
6 years later, and Bosch’s general guidelines are still clunky but also still relatively helpful.
The decision is also different for surfaces that will be finished vs. surfaces that might be final. For surfaces that will be finished, one-style-fits-most blade can sometimes suffice instead of hassling over more specialty blade styles.
Thanks Stuart for the blade recommendations! I, like Donovan, am looking for specific blade recommendations for my project. I have glued up a butcher block type vanity top made with 2″ walnut, purpleheart and hard maple (looks like a huge cutting board). I need to cut an oval out of it to drop in a sink and am trying to decide which blade to use. I bought the Bosch 30-pack at my local Lowes thinking the more I had to choose from, the better. The pack has the T308B and the T101B blades in it that you mentioned previously. The T101B has fewer teeth, so I’m thinking that might be the blade I need to use. What I’m not sure about is whether it is a good choice for an oval cut or if it is just for straight cuts. Also, would it be better to cut it from the underside to give a cleaner cut on the topside. I would also be interested in knowing which blade would be best to cut 3/4″ Baltic Birch Plywood. I appreciate any recommendations you might have.
My understanding is that the T101B (10 TPI Clean-Cutting) will cut a little faster, and then T308B (12 TPI Extra-Clean-Cutting) will provide a slightly smoother cut, but will work a little slower. Cutting 2 inches of hardwood is going progress a bit slowly regardless.
The Bosch T308B is said to “produce a superior finish on both sides of the workpiece.” If the cutout is for a sink, I wouldn’t think flipping the workpiece would make a big difference, but I would likely make a glue-up using scrap material to test this out for sure. If the surface is already installed, even if cutting from below produced a slightly better cut, you’d be fighting gravity and that could potentially impact the control and precision of your cut.
Both should be suitable for use in plywood. I’d go with the slightly higher TPI.
It might be worth seeing what your supplier has. The T101BR blade, for example, is designed for minimal top surface splintering in sheet goods up to 1-1/4″ thick.
I searched through Bosch’s selection, but cannot see any blades for fine curved cuts. All (most?) jig saw blades can cut an arc, circle, or oval, but a smaller radius is far easier and cleaner with a thinner blade. You do lose some compromise in the ability to cut in a straight line free-hand. Availability is also a concern. However, one blade with suitable tooth geometry is too short, and there’s another that’s long enough but too aggressive if you’re looking for a cleaner cut.
I’d try the T308B first and see if it could cut a curve of similar radius in scrap material. Worst case scenario, if you’re not happy with the test results, this is still a good blade for making clean straight cuts in wood materials.
If in your shoes and I didn’t have scrap material, I would make a test cut or two at the center of the material that’s to be cut out and discarded.
Thank you, that’s an excellent idea! The part I’m cutting out is the only scrap I will have, so that should work well. The Baltic Birch is for the cabinet which I haven’t even started on yet (and won’t if I can’t make the top look like I want it to). My table saw may be all I need for it, but thought I’d ask just in case. I appreciate your help and quick response!
With Baltic Birch and long straight cuts as in cabinet construction, the extra-clean cutting blade might suffice, but if you have a table saw that would work better. I can test this out, but I cannot promise it’ll be in a timely manner.
I hope I expressed what I meant about scrap material clearly enough. If you’re cutting out say a 16” square, you can test the blade within the soon-to-be scrap cutout material, unless you had plans for it to be one piece. Just make sure not to compromise where you jig saw shoe plate is going to ride over.
There’s also the potential to use a router, but I couldn’t advise on how to do that given your 2” thick hardwood material.
I also emailed our Bosch contact for their official recommendations, but it will be at least next week before I hear back.
Yes! You were clear. I cut the oval out with the T308B without a problem. It cut the walnut with ease. The hard maple and purpleheart was slower, but gave me a nice clean cut. It was so much easier than I anticipated! Thank you for your help. I will check back later in the week to see if you heard back from Bosch. I’m interested in learning all I can since this is a new hobby. In the meantime, I will be learning how to use an electric planer! Yikes!
I’m glad to hear it worked out well for you!! Good luck with the rest of your project!