Cutting a Straight line with a Jig Saw


Old 04-11-16, 12:32 PM
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Cutting a Straight line with a Jig Saw

I have a PC model PCE345 VS Orbital Jig Saw. I put in a new 10 tpi blade, set the orbital selector to 0, and tried to cut a straight line in 1/2" plywood using a straight edge clap as a guide. The blade walks to the left. It looks like the blade is parallel to the face plate, so why is the blade walking to the left?
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Old 04-11-16, 12:38 PM
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Rather than directly answer your question, I have one for you - do you have any other saws? Jig saw is not at the top of my list when I need to cut a straight line. Depending on the project, I'd be thinking table saw, miter saw or circular saw.
Old 04-11-16, 12:52 PM
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The shaft the blade is attached to could have a small amount of play, the blade might not be new and some teeth on one side of the blade could be worn and the blade is steering itself in one direction or you are applying too much pressure on the saw causing the bade to drift.
I agree that a jig saw would be my last choice for a long straight cut.

Might be a good excuse for another tool ......even an inexpensive import circular saw would be better than what you are trying to use.
Old 04-11-16, 01:16 PM
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I agree there are better options, but when I purchased my current Dewalt jigsaw I was impressed. I don't really know what the difference is that allows this saw to cut straight lines. My old S&R wandered all over. Now I can freehand down a line or use a guide and get good results.

The previous comments are pointing in the right direction.

Try cutting in the direction that causes the drift to push against the guide board instead of away from it.

Old 04-11-16, 02:28 PM
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I agree it's not the best choice for cutting a straight line, especially if any length is involved. I have had to use a saber saw a time or two for cutting a long straight line and a fence/guide is a must. It is imperative you keep the saw tight against the fence. As Bud suggested that might entail cutting from the opposite direction or placing the fence on the other side of the cut.
Old 04-11-16, 02:53 PM
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Jig Saw

Do not crowd the jig saw. Give the blade time to do its work. Crowding will distort the blade. Use a wide blade. A narrow blade for cutting curves is more difficult for straight line cuts.
Old 04-11-16, 04:10 PM
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The zero setting is for metal. You want maximum orbital for wood. Don't push the saw forward too hard. There are likely better choices in blades too.
Old 04-11-16, 05:17 PM
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As others have should have the orbit on max and not push the saw hard, and you want a coarser blade....5 TPI would be about right for 1/2 inch material. You want 2-3 teeth in the material. When the teeth are too fine the gullets clog with sawdust which builds up in the cut and deflects the blade. The orbital action helps clear the sawdust too.
Old 04-12-16, 09:58 AM
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Thanks for everyone's input. I will get some test wood and try out your suggestions
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