Use a jigsaw when you need to cut out intricate and complex patterns. Most saws are best at cutting straight lines, but a jigsaw will cut any pattern that you can draw. You can cut most materials with a jigsaw – including wood, metal, plaster and drywall as long as you have the right blade. Most jigsaws come with blades when you purchase them, but you can buy other blades to make your saw more versatile.
Purchase a jigsaw blade that is appropriate to the material you are cutting. Different blades are available for everything from wood to metal. Don’t be afraid to spend a little money; as with everything, you are likely to get better quality if you pay more.
Install the blade into your jigsaw according to the instructions. Often, installation is done by a twisting or locking mechanism directly above the blade housing.
Place the material to be cut across two saw horses. Be sure that the area you are cutting is not sitting directly on top of a saw horse, to prevent your blade from hitting it. You may have to rotate your material on the saw horses while you are cutting if your pattern is large.
Outline your cutting template on the material with a pencil.
Begin cutting. Be sure the surface plate is flat to your material and begin on the outer edge. Move the blade slowly along your outline. If you are cutting into a fixed flat surface such as a wall, you will first need to drill a pilot hole large enough to accommodate the jigsaw blade. Never start the jigsaw unless the surface plate is flat on your cutting surface.
Use a rasp or other finishing tool (depending on your material) to smooth the edges of your cut.