Craftsman recently announced a new Nextec 12V compact palm-grip jig saw, which boasts an ergonomic shape and low center of gravity for superior control. The design is strikingly different from the new Milwaukee M12 jig saw and Ridgid JobMax jig saw introduced late last year.
The Craftsman Nextec jig saw features a variable speed motor that delivers 1400-2500 strokes per minute, and stroke length is 5/8″. It also features a smooth steel shoe, integrated LED worklight, and LED battery power gauge. There appears to be a tool-free blade change, but the product details we dug up doesn’t mention it.
One downside to this design is the power switch position, which looks to be too far down on the side of the tool for comfortable one-hand thumb access. Typical full-size top-grip and barrel-grip jig saws usually have easier to reach controls. And although the shoe is described as “smooth steel,” we’d like to see a non-mar shoe or attachable accessory.
MSRP is $40 for the add-on tool, and ETA is Q2 2012.