Jigsaw Innovation: Design at its Best - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Jigsaw Innovation: Design at its Best

 In Feature Articles

I had the chance to read about Milwaukee’s new jigsaw a week or so back. In doing so, what caught my attention is how the base or shoe is adjusted. This new feature is, on its own, the reason I asked the company to ship us a sample for review.

Here’s the deal: How many times have you adjusted a jigsaw by first finding the appropriate hex key wrench , or ill-fitting screwdriver if the wrench has been long gone , and digging into the bottom of the tool to loosen a bolt? That is a pain; not to mention how difficult it is to dial in your exact angle setting with the tool flipped upside down so you can tighten the bolt when you do get the angle right.

That challenge disappears with Milwaukee’s 2645-20 jigsaw. Now you simply flip a lever to loosen the shoe, position the angle wherever you need, then slide the lever back as everything tightens up for work. The company has included four detents set to the most-used angles and the tilt is in either direction. And if none of those settings is right for your job, slide the shoe forward, angle the shoe to your liking then flip the lever back. Bingo. Your angle is set. That’s sweet.

This tool is not for the weak armed. It weighs in at 6 pounds 3.8 ounces. And that’s without the 18-volt battery. Add the battery to the mix and the scale’s digital readout is bouncing just south of 7-1/2 pounds. It’s a big-boy toy and I, for one, will be happy to not have my jigsaw bouncing all over the workpiece as the cut is made. (We’ll see what happens when I get this jigsaw into the shop.)

There are a number of other features that I notice and I am intrigued by. Those I’ll get into more after I spend a little one-on-one time with my new friend. While the kit is not yet widely available, it’s currently available at toolbarn.com for $359.

– Glen D. Huey

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Showing 7 comments
  • Jozef

    Contemporary Bosch jigsaws provides this neat feature not only for professional devices, but also for best ones hobby pieces.

  • Mike

    Both my Bosch are tool-less, in my case the 1590 models. One is several years old. Great saws.

    I believe the jobsite jigsaw I had, the DeWalt, also was tool-less bevel angle change.

    What will be more interesting to me about this jiggy will be whether the blade guide system is as good as the Bosch or Festool. That is, after all, a major item that sets both those maker’s jigsaws apart.

    Take care, Mike

  • Chuck Bender


    From what I saw in their shop, they only have LOTS of cordless drills…not too many jigsaws.

    And the Bosch 1591 that I have has a tool less blade holder but I don’t think the baseplate is. I also have a much older model (pre-tool less anything) and they’re booth kick butt jigsaws. They’re so great that I didn’t own a circular saw until a couple of years ago. I still reach for my Bosch jigsaw 9 out of 10 times. But I’m anxiously awaiting Glen’s review of the performance of this Milwaukee. It would be great to have a cordless alternative to my Bosch for going out on the jobsite.

  • Chris Friesen

    Don’t the Bosch 1591 and 1590 jigsaws also have toolless baseplates? I don’t have one myself, but these seem to be the standard by which other jigsaws are judged–I’m surprised PopWood doesn’t have any.

  • glen

    You got me and I appreciate you being first to point this out. I didn’t know Ridgid had this design. I guess I could dig my heels in and say Milwaukee’s jigsaw is cordless, but I think I’ll just go and rustle up some crow. It’s not that good to eat, but it stays with you a long time.


  • Steve

    Here we go again. In my opinion putting batteries into a saw does a couple of things. It under-powers it. It essentially makes the tool disposable because replacement batteries will be difficult/expensive to get and most consumers will opt for the landfill instead. And I’ll bet ten bucks that consumers will not dispose of the batteries properly…toxic!!

  • ben

    Ridgid’s jigsaws have had this feature for at a couple years now.

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