My dad’s jigsaw is a bulky, heavy, and short-corded antique tool that vibrates like crazy. He’s been needing a new jigsaw for a while, but didn’t want to spend a lot, nor did he want me to spend a lot. He doesn’t use his jigsaw often, which further argues against the case for a top-dollar model.
There are plenty of consumer models in the $30 to $75 price range, and a couple of pro-grade models in the $75-$100 range. I was interested in the Bosch JS470E, but it wasn’t eligible for Bosch’s holiday $20 off $100+ promo and is a bit too pricey at $144 via Amazon.
I couldn’t give my older jigsaw, a Bosch 1587, because it has a somewhat complex tool-free blade change mechanism.
I ended up getting my dad a Makita 4329K jigsaw. It’s priced at $69, and for Father’s Day there was an added $10 discount. I would have spent more, but figured $59 plus tax was low enough to comply with my father’s don’t spend a lot request.
This isn’t a very fancy or well-featured jigsaw, but what stood out to me – besides the low price – was its compact size. I tested it very briefly before giving it to my father, and it’s clear that this isn’t a powerful saw. It’s ideal for light work, which is what my father would use it for anyways.
The Makita 4329K jigsaw is built with a 3.9A motor, which isn’t very powerful, but is well matched for the saw’s size. It also has a variable speed dial, 3 orbital settings, an aluminum shoe that can be adjusted up to 45° in either direction, and a clear debris guard.
This saw weighs in at 4.2 pounds and measures just 8-7/8″ long.
Makita markets this as a compact saw for professional users, and while it might suit that purpose well, I also think it deserves distinction for being a decent saw for DIYers looking for pro-grade quality at the under-$75 price point.
There are a few downsides to the saw. It’s small, which means you can really only comfortably guide it with one hand and not two. Its small size also means a small motor. Although the saw can in theory cut through wood up to 2-9/16″ thick, its 3.9A motor means it won’t cut through thick workpieces in record speed. It might not be able to handle cutting thick pieces of denser woods at all, but I didn’t spend enough time with the saw to find out. Lastly, blade changes require a turn of a hex key, which is a minor annoyance to those of us accustomed to modern tool-free blade change mechanisms.
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I like to think that I made the right choice, and that there’s no better jigsaw under $75. While I could have instead opted to get my father a consumer branded saw, I thought sacrificing extra power in favor of pro-grade build quality was the way to go.