In the UK, the jigsaw tool is a popular choice for many UK buyers, especially for those who do DIY, and certainly for many of the trades. When it comes to the tougher tasks, such as, cutting kitchen worktops, or metal roofing, most likely you will be better off with a corded jigsaw, rather than a cordless option.

There is definitely a trend in the UK right now to go cordless with most tools. Their portability and lead free benefits are obvious, but for those really big tough jobs, I don't believe they are always the best option.

The main reason people buy a jigsaw initially, is because they are a great choice for cutting curves. Their thin blade allows you to make intricate cuts in wood, metal, plastic, and more. The range of uses is wide from working on furniture details to tackling plumbing repairs and kitchen fitting.

While cordless models have a place, in this article delves I will explain why, for specific tasks and budgets, corded jigsaws remain a force to be reckoned with. So, let's take a close look at the benefits of using a corded jigsaw.

Bosch Home and Garden Jigsaw PST 800 PEL (530 W, in case)

The popular Bosch PST 800 PEL corded jigsaw

Advantages of Corded Jigsaws

Power and Performance

While cordless jigsaws offer the freedom of movement, corded models are much better when it comes to raw power and sustained performance. Here's why:

Direct Main Power = Uncompromising Strength

Unlike their battery-powered counterparts, corded jigsaws tap directly into the mains electricity, resulting in consistent power delivery. This eliminates the dreaded power fade often experienced with cordless models, especially during prolonged use or challenging cuts. Imagine tackling a thick oak worktop or intricate metal sheet without any drop in cutting speed or efficiency – that's the unwavering advantage of corded power.

Dealing with Tough Materials

For thick materials like hardwoods, plywood, or even metal sheets, a corded jigsaw's raw power is unmatched. With the consistent energy flow, they effortlessly slice through these materials with ease, leaving clean, precise cuts in their wake. This makes them ideal for tasks like:

  • Cutting the thicker kitchen worktops
  • Cutting or creating curves in thick plywood
  • Ripping timber for heavy-duty projects
  • Cutting metal roofing sheets or pipes

Battery Issues

Cordless jigsaws are fantastic for quick cuts and portability, but they face limitations when dealing with demanding tasks. Battery life depletes rapidly under strain, forcing you to stop for recharges just when you are trying to finish a job quickly. Even high-end batteries might struggle to deliver the consistent power needed for thick materials, resulting in slower cuts and potential overheating.

For those tackling heavy-duty projects or working with thick materials, the unwavering power and performance of a corded jigsaw is simply unbeatable. So, if you want clean, efficient cuts and tackling tough jobs without interruption, a corded model is the clear choice for your toughest tasks.

My Recommendations for Wattage

  • Softwoods and thinner plywood - 500-650 watts
  • Hardwoods and thick plywood - 700-850 watts
  • Metal Sheets and Pipes - 800 - 1,000 watts

A Few Examples

  • If you're planning to revamp your kitchen with thick oak worktops, a jigsaw with at least 700W like the Makita 4350FCT Jigsaw will provide the muscle you need for effortless cuts.
  • For regular DIY projects around the house, a reliable 520W option like the Black & Decker Jig Saw KS701EK-GB will handle most softwood and plywood tasks with ease.
  • For occasional metal cutting like roofing sheets, consider a more powerful model like the Bosch Professional Corded Jigsaw GST 160 BCE with its 800W motor for smooth and efficient results.

Endurance and Longevity

When it comes to extended use and overall lifespan, corded jigsaws are in my opinion, the best option. Here's why:

Unlimited Runtime

Unlike their cordless counterparts, which are limited by battery life, corded jigsaws have unlimited runtime. As long as you're plugged in, you can keep cutting, uninterrupted by the need for battery changes or recharging breaks. This is especially crucial for long projects or heavy-duty tasks where stopping and starting can disrupt your workflow and momentum. Imagine powering through a kitchen renovation or intricate woodworking project without worrying about battery life – that's the peace of mind you get with a corded jigsaw.

Built to Outlast the Competition

Corded jigsaws generally have a longer lifespan compared to cordless models. Their simpler designs, with fewer moving parts and no battery components prone to wear and tear, contribute to their enduring reliability. This translates to fewer repairs, replacements, and ultimately, more value for your money in the long run.

Think of it this way: a corded jigsaw is like a trusty workhorse, built to handle demanding tasks year after year, while a cordless model might be more like a sprinter, excelling in short bursts but requiring more maintenance and potential part replacements over time.

Cost Effectiveness

When it comes to value for money, corded jigsaws often hold the upper hand, especially for frequent use or demanding tasks. Here's why:

Lower Initial Investment

Let's face it, corded jigsaws generally sport a more attractive price tag compared to their cordless counterparts. This can be a significant advantage, especially for occasional DIYers or those on a budget. You can buy a capable corded jigsaw for under £50, while similar-spec cordless models might easily push past the £100 mark.

No Battery Blues

Cordless jigsaws free you from the cord, but they introduce another cost factor: batteries. High-quality batteries, especially those needed for demanding tasks, can be expensive, adding to the initial outlay. But that's not all. Batteries have a lifespan, and depending on usage frequency, you might need to factor in replacement costs down the line. You also have the cost of buying a charger for the batteries. This adds to the long-term expense of cordless ownership.

Potential Energy Savings

While electricity costs exist, they are generally lower than the combined cost of purchasing and replacing batteries over time, especially for frequent use. With a corded jigsaw, you simply plug it in and get going, without worrying about battery life or additional expenses.

The cost-effectiveness equation can vary depending on individual usage patterns and priorities. If portability is paramount and you only tackle occasional light tasks, a cordless jigsaw might still be a good fit. However, for frequent use, demanding projects, or budget-conscious users, the lower initial cost and elimination of battery expenses make corded jigsaws a compelling choice for long-term cost savings.

In addition to the above, there is an  environmental impact of battery production and disposal, an important consideration if you are eco-conscious.

Reliability and Convenience

When the pressure's on and you simply want to get things done, the last thing you need is your power tool letting you down. That's where corded jigsaws come into their own with their unmatched reliability and convenience.

Battery Anxiety

Imagine this; you're halfway through a crucial cut, and then... the dreaded battery indicator flashes red. With cordless jigsaws, such moments can be annoying, forcing you to scramble for a charger or swap batteries just when you're in the middle of a job. But with a corded jigsaw, battery anxiety simply vanishes. Plug it in, switch it on, and enjoy uninterrupted cutting power as long as you need it. No more worrying about forgotten charges or dwindling power levels disrupting your workflow.

Power at Your Fingertips, Always

In most UK homes, sheds, garages and workshops, a power outlet is just a few steps away. This readily available source of energy makes using a corded jigsaw incredibly convenient. No need to search for extension leads or worry about generator setups. Simply plug it in, and you're ready to go. This instant accessibility is especially valuable for quick tasks or impromptu DIY projects where setting up a complex cordless tool would be cumbersome.

For professional tradespeople, or serious DIYers in the UK who rely on their tools daily, the consistent performance and reliability of corded jigsaws are invaluable. You can confidently take on any job, from furniture builds to extensive metalwork, knowing your tool won't falter due to battery limitations.

Considerations - When to Go for Cordless?

Makita DJV180Z 18 V Cordless jigsaw

Makita DJV180Z 18 V Cordless jigsaw

While corded jigsaws excel in power and performance, cordless models offer undeniable benefits.

Untethered Freedom

Cordless jigsaws provide the best for portability and maneuverability. Cut wherever you need to be, from rooftop repairs to in the garden or on site, without being tethered to an outlet. This makes them ideal for:

  • Quick, on-the-go tasks
  • Working in tight spaces or awkward angles
  • Climbing ladders or maneuvering around obstacles

Smaller Projects

For smaller projects like trimming laminate flooring or cutting curves in thin plywood, the portability of a cordless jigsaw outweighs the need for raw power. You get the job done quickly and efficiently without managing a cord.

Remember: Cordless models might not be ideal for continuous heavy-duty cutting due to potential battery limitations.

Extending the Reach

Don't let the cord hold you back entirely! Long extension cords or even portable generators can significantly extend the reach of a corded jigsaw, offering a flexible solution for larger projects away from outlets.

Cordless jigsaws excel in portability and maneuverability, making them perfect for quick tasks, tight spaces, and smaller projects. If your priority is freedom of movement and convenience, and your projects primarily involve thinner materials, then a cordless jigsaw might be your best bet. However, for heavy-duty tasks or thicker materials, the unwavering power and performance of a corded model remain essential.

With the evolving battery technology in the UK market, high-capacity batteries can bridge the gap for some demanding tasks with cordless models.

My Final Thoughts

It's pretty clear that power tools have gone cordless. In reality, the cordless option works for the vast majority of jobs. If you are someone who uses a jigsaw regularly, you will understand the benefits of a corded option. The power is always there and it is consistent, making it the best candidate for the bigger and tougher jobs. By using an extension lead it can still remain a portable enough option.

For general DIY and occasional use, the cordless jigsaw is probably  the better choice. In my opinion, the choice really comes down to what you plan on using it for. I have written a full jigsaw buyers guide, which you can read  by clicking here. That explains what types are available, features and comparisons.

For me when it comes to cutting hardwoods or items like kitchen worktops, I will be using my corded jigsaw, as it just makes my life easier.

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