The Winner: Bosch JS572EL
We looked at blade changes, bevel adjustments, and cord length to determine our ease of use category winner. These are all the features that make it easier to get the job done when making those critical cuts with a jigsaw.
A good blade change includes an easy to actuate blade release that helpfully springs the blade free to prevent burns when removing smoking hot blades from the tool. But it also has to have a firm grip on the blade to prevent accidental release.
Bevel adjustments are one of the most common adjustments made on a jigsaw. Being able to set a slight back bevel for a tight scribe quickly and easily is a key factor in any jigsaw.
Cord length may seem like a minor feature, but one that can really make or break the utility of a tool. The team talked about it and reason that the 13 foot cord is the way to go because it allows you to work on 8 ft. stock on a bench that’s setup with power without needing an extension cord.
The Bosch JS572EL jigsaw had easy to set adjustments for speed, bevel, orbital action, dust blower and LED light switch. The Bosch JS572EL is a very straightforward tool to use. The bevel adjustment is tool-less with detents at 0, 22.5, and 45 degrees.
The 13’ long cord has a swivel connector at the rear of the tool. This is a nice touch that allows the user to get into tighter spaces like cutting counter tops in place. The longer cord will allow set up at an onsite work bench without needing to get out an extension cord just to make a long cut.
The DEWALT is easy to use with tool-less blade changes with a large paddle, bevel settings and the most detents in the test at 0, 15, 30, and 45 degrees.
DEWALT did come up shortest on cord length at 7-1/2 feet.
We found the dial on the trigger for blade speed adjustments awkward and not as easy to use as electronically controlled dials found on the Bosch, Festool and Makita.
Festool Carvex PSB 420
The one negative issue with the Festool is that the stock baseplate has no bevel adjustment; so you need to buy the $105 angle base or the $200 accessory kit to do any angle cuts with this saw. This is where things get weird. The adjustable baseplate is a butterfly affair where both halves of the base plate articulate with a dial. The angle base does some things that a normal jigsaw can’t do, however it hinders some basic cutting operations as well.
The Carvex has a removable 13’ long cord that is compatible with other corded Festool tools. This makes for easy replacement in case of damage.
The blade release is quick, but it involves some plastic parts that may be prone to breakage, time will tell on this one. Bevel adjustment has no detents. Makita is also the only saw without tool-less bevel adjustments, which is disappointing. However the Allen key is the most secure we’ve seen. Makita tucked the Allen key unobtrusively into the baseplate of the saw.
At eight feet, the Makita has the second shortest cord in the test.
Blade changes are quick release and very secure on the Milwaukee. The bevel adjustment lever is large and tucked unobtrusively under the barrel of the saw. There are bevel stops at 0 and 45 degrees.
The cord is a generous 12’ 6” cord placing is just 6 inches behind the Bosch and Festool.
The only down side is the trigger dial for speed adjustment similar to DEWALT.
With these features the Milwaukee is a solid contender for ease of use and adjustments.
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