A jigsaw’s blade won’t stay sharp forever, which is why you need to learn how to change out a blade once you notice a change in performance. Of course, you’ll also need to learn how to change a jigsaw blade when you’re working with different types of materials since some types of blades will work better for softer or harder materials. In terms of sharpness, it won’t matter how durable or expensive the saw blade is, the more the jigsaw is used the faster the blade will wear down. At times, it can even bend or break off if the saw is used incorrectly. However, the good thing about jigsaws is that most feature intuitive designs that allow you to quickly swap out one blade for another.
Learning how to change a jigsaw blade is pretty simple, whether your saw requires the manual method or it comes with a popular tool-less blade change design. With the tool-less blade change models, it will be a matter of releasing a lever that holds the blade in the clamp, swapping out the old blade for the new and putting the lever back in place. For the manual method, you’ll need to use an Allen tool to unscrew the clamp that holds the blade in place, swap out the old blade with the new and retighten the screw.
As you can see, both blade change methods are fast and simple. If you’re not sure whether or not your jigsaw’s blade needs to be replaced, read on to learn about the signs to look for and the tools you need to use to get the job done.
When a Blade Needs to be Replaced
With proper care and use, you can use the same jigsaw blade for several months. However, over time, you will begin to notice subtle signs that will indicate that it’s time to swap the blade out. Below you’ll find a list of signs to look for:
- The teeth of the blade are starting to round out
- You have to use too much force to push the saw through the workpiece.
- The blend constantly wanders off course
- You have difficulty guiding the saw
- Achieving a clean cut is more difficult than usual
Once you’ve noticed any of these signs, you may need to change out the blade. If you fail to replace the blade you can run into the following issues:
- Once the blade is blunt it’s more prone to breaking. If the blade breaks off during use it can severely damage the workpiece.
- Since using a blunt saw blade will require more effort from you in terms of pushing the saw through the workpiece you’ll find that you get tired much faster.
- When you use a worn blade, you can forget about making a clean cut.
- If the blade is dull enough you will be unable to cut through thicker materials.
Many newer models of jigsaw blades can be ejected without the use of tools. If your model has a tool-less blade change design then all you’ll need is a T shank blade.
The T shank blade allows for a faster change time without using any tools.
If you have a jigsaw that doesn’t have the tool-less blade change feature then you’ll need to use a U shank blade or a T shank blade. The U shank blades are fastened to the saw manually. However, you can also use a T shank blade if you can’t purchase a U shank blade. Keep in mind that some models of saws will use a unique type of blade that’s specific to the brand. If that’s the case then you’ll need to read the user manual before you purchase a replacement blade.
Manually Attaching the Jigsaw Blade
If you have to manually attach a new blade you’ll need to use an Allen key. This tool can be used to drive the screws from the jigsaw’s base. An Allen key is available in different sizes, so if you’re not certain about the size of the screw in your jigsaw then you should purchase an Allen key set. If you don’t have an Allen key you can make do with a screwdriver.
Once you’ve gathered a new blade and the tools you need, you can change out the blade.
Tool-less Blade Change
If you have a model with this feature, then you’ll be able to release the blade from the clamp automatically. To do, make sure you have the T shank blade on hand and ready to use. Next, you’ll loosen the release lever. This lever is usually located on the side of the saw. Once you’ve located it, disengage it. If you can’t figure out how to release the blade then consult the user’s manual. When you’re ready to insert the new blade make sure you have it placed so that the teeth of the blade are facing away from the saw. Hold the release lever as you insert the new blade. Once it’s placed in the correct position you can release the lever to lock the blade in place.
What’s the Best Affordable Cordless Jigsaw with a Tool-less Blade Change Design?
If you’re looking for the best jigsaw that comes with the tool-less blade change feature we recommend the Makita XVJ02Z 18-Volt LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Jigsaw. This compact model is packing some serious power and features an intuitive design that makes blade changes easy.
How Do I Know What Type of Blade to Use for My Jigsaw?
If you’re not sure what type of blade your model takes, consult the user’s manual. If you need a special type of blade to work with softer or harder materials, visit your local home improvement or hardware store and speak with an experienced staff member who can recommend blade types that can easily slice through your workpiece. To learn more about jigsaws and how they work, click here to read our article on how to use a jig saw.
How to change a jigsaw blade will depend on the type of saw you have and whether it comes with the tool-less blade change design or the blade must be changed manually. Once you’ve practiced a few times, you should be able to change the blade in as little as five minutes with the right tools.