Tool Test: Clever Spyder Jigsaw Blades Make Super-tight Turns
Spyder, a Kansas City, Mo.-based company, has introduced a jigsaw blade with teeth on the front and back edges. At first glance, these blades look odd at best and gimmicky at worst. But after taking these blades for a test-drive, I began to understand the versatility offered by this innovation. Of course it’s possible to cut moving backward, but the bigger surprise is how tight of a radius cut you can make – less than 3⁄4″ in diameter.
The back teeth, as well as the narrow 3⁄16″ blade width, make those tight cuts possible by slightly opening the kerf without chewing up the surface.
If you’re wondering if the teeth positioned on the back edge of the blade gnaw on the jigsaw’s blade guide, they don’t – the teeth don’t reach the guide even with the blade fully retracted.
Cutting in reverse is a handy feature when you want to saw normally then change direction at an acute angle; obvious applications are operations you would otherwise do using a scrollsaw. But simple direction changes also make sawing away most of the waste in a dovetail much easier than when using typical jigsaw blades.
These durable, hardened steel blades are made in Germany specifically for Spyder. Two tooth designs are available: the 41⁄2″-long blades are designed for hardwoods, softwoods and other wood-based products such as plywood. The 4″-long blades are best for fiberboard and plastics (but also work in softwood). Both have T-shanks, and are sold in packages of two.
Spyder double-sided jigsaw blades may not replace your everyday jigsaw blades, but they are worth keeping on hand for many special applications.
Video: See the Spyder double-sided jigsaw blade in action – Coming Soon.