Jigsaw Guide - HSS Hire

How To Guides

How to Choose Jigsaw Blades For Straight Cuts

April 28th 2023

Hiring a professional to complete renovation work in the home is often extremely time-consuming and expensive, but – not to worry! The solution to these renovation woes lies in worktop jigsaw blades. DIY-savvy homeowners can rely on this tool for efficient, sharp and straightforward cutting. 

It's reasonable then, that if you love to DIY projects around the home as much as we do, it’s time to acquaint yourself with professional-quality jigsaw blades

Jigsaw blades exist to cut through materials of all kinds, with stunning accuracy. Plastics, sheet metal, wood or tiles and there are various types of jigsaw blade that chop through thicker materials with ease, speeding up your DIY project and ensuring that you don’t fall behind on all of your at-home to-do’s. 

At HSS Hire, we know all there is to know about sawing, cutting and everything in between. We’ve assembled this handy article to share with you our knowledge on how to choose jigsaw blades for straight cuts, making sure any project you complete turns out to be a solid, professional standard.

With tool hire being our expert trade of choice, you can get your jobs done right by hiring from HSS Hire. Reach out to a member of our team, and hire one of our professional-quality jigsaw blades today. 

If you’re ready to learn about worktop jigsaw blades, do read on!

Jigsaw Cutting Guide - HSS Hire

The importance of selecting the right worktop jigsaw blade for the job

It’s so important to select the right worktop jigsaw blade for the job for various reasons, namely that each individual blade is geared toward a different task or material. Some special blades are even designed specifically for one singular material or task. Regardless, the blade you choose, whether a diamond jigsaw blade or a bayonet jigsaw blade, easily shapes the outcome of your DIY project. 

Bearing these factors in mind, here are some more reasons why choosing the right jigsaw blade is important:

  • Jigsaw blades can have different fittings – Jigsaw blades from certain brands, like the popular Makita, have special fittings that enable their use. Make sure you have the right fitting to hand before you start your project, otherwise, the job will be done before you’ve even started. 
  • Jigsaw blade teeth determine the material you can cut – The tooth design of a jigsaw blade is significant when it comes to cutting different materials. If you want to cut a sheet of ply, make sure you choose a worktop jigsaw blade that’s wide-toothed, used for smart, straight cuts.  Similarly, if you’re looking to cut sheet metal, ceramics or laminated materials, a fine-toothed jigsaw and even toothless blades are better suited. 
  • Think about the final result that you want – Depending on the number of teeth or material the jigsaw blade is made of, worktop jigsaw blades can produce various finishes when used to cut. For example, not only can different jigsaw blades generate curved or straight lines, they can leave a coarse, rough cut behind or a clean, smooth finish. 

Understanding the types of jigsaw blades and their uses 

Firstly, all of the many types of jigsaw blades are distinguished by their shank. The shank is the part of the blade that fits into the blade clamp of a jigsaw and therefore determines compatibility between a blade and a jigsaw. 

There are two set types of jigsaw blade that work with different jigsaw models, the T-Shank and the U-Shank.

The T-Shank

The T-Shank jigsaw blade is the most commonly used type, and is compatible with most modern jigsaws, as we at HSS Hire well know. The blades for worktops that we provide are often T-Shanks. 

T-Shank jigsaw blades have a tang, placed at the top of their shank. T-shaped blade tangs slide into the clamp of a jigsaw and lock in place without the need for further tools. This makes them exceptionally easy to utilise, switch out or swap between different jigsaws. 

The U-Shank

The U-Shank jigsaw blade is characterised by a U-shaped cut-out at the very top of its shank, sometimes with a hole and sometimes without, depending on the task you’d like to complete and how old your jigsaw machine is. 

In certain tools, and older jigsaw models in general, a setscrew will secure the U-shaped blade tang of a U-Shank jigsaw blade into place. Your machine will proceed to work as normal, cutting sharply through any material you’d like. 

Their Uses

Whatever the type of jigsaw blade that you utilise in your DIY project, all jigsaw blades have a multitude of impressive uses that change depending on the teeth direction, whether they have double teeth, the teeth per inch, blade material and more. Nevertheless, here are some general, valuable uses of different jigsaw blade types:

  • Worktop Cutting – Although quite specific, we frequently refer to worktop jigsaw blades. This is because jigsaw blades are perfect blades for worktops – especially when it comes to cutting through a worktop surface, say, to install a sink or other vital component. 
  • Fragile Cutting – Reverse tooth jigsaw blades, generally with a T-shank, are perfect for cutting through laminated materials that splinter or crack easily. They cut on the downstroke, allowing a thorough, sharp cut without surrounding damage. 
  • Curved Cutting – Although jigsaw blades tend to be best for long, straight cuts, they can also adapt to curved cutting! Narrow jigsaw blade types are best for this endeavour and make the cutting of curved lines exceptionally easy. But, a slight forewarning: even if your jigsaw blade is designed for curved cuts, don’t place too much pressure on it. Bendy jigsaw blades occur when the blade is placed under too much pressure and overtaxed, which reduces the integrity of the tool. 
  • Hard Cutting – Certain jigsaw blades can cut through exceptionally hard materials if needs be. For example, a Tungsten Carbide blade brings great heat resistance and durability to any user. Diamond cutting blades also exist, with synthetic diamonds placed at their outer edge to chop through stone, concrete, bricks and non-ferrous metal. 
Jigsaw User Guide - HSS Hire

Which jigsaw blade will achieve the perfect straight cut?

Wide jigsaw blades are used for straight cuts, especially if you want to cut through a worktop surface with ease. More specifically, for heavy-duty cutting that must be done with a straight edge, you’ll need a jigsaw blade with a TPI (teeth per inch) between 14-36. This is the perfect amount of TPI for thicker materials that might take more effort to produce a straight cut. 

The material of the blade required to produce a straight cut really depends on the parameters of your project, and the type of material that needs cutting. Bi-metal blades tend to be the best of both worlds; made up of carbon steel with super-fast steel teeth, they’re both flexible and wear-resistant, able to cut straight through hardwood and metal. 

Understanding how each blade works with different materials 

To break down in clearer terms how each jigsaw blade works with different materials, we’ve outlined them here. We go into detail about the different materials of the blades themselves, and how that corresponds to what material they can cut!

  • High Carbon Steel – HCS blades are designed for soft materials like softwood and ply. Made of steel alloy, vanadium, chromium and carbon, they can withstand some heat and wear and tear, but not too much!
  • High-Speed Steel – HSS blades are made up of high-quality, high-speed steel, perfect for fast cutting and also for hard materials! Hardwood, metal, and even reinforced plastic can be cut with this jigsaw blade.
  • Bi-Metal – Bi-metal blades are unique, in the sense that they are made of carbon steel with high-speed steel teeth. Many people use these blades for laminate cutting, hardwoods and metal. This is certainly a diverse blade!
  • Tungsten Carbide – Tungsten Carbide is the pinnacle of hard-wearing, durable jigsaw blades. Its cutting edge is coated in a tungsten carbide grit, which allows it to withstand enough heat to neatly cut through ceramics, steel or fibreglass.

Find the cutting equipment you’re looking for at HSS 

For DIY projects on the go, purchasing an entire jigsaw machine outright isn’t always the best solution, particularly if this is a one-off renovation. Instead, hiring a jigsaw machine and blade temporarily from HSS Hire is a more reasonable, affordable solution.

Our jigsaw machines are extremely easy to use, with simple manuals that can guide you every step of the way. We don’t overcharge our customers, and strive to deliver better prices than our most fierce competitors. Even better, we ensure there’s always an attentive member of staff on hand to answer any further enquiries you might have about jigsaw blades. But, if you’re not ready to wrestle with your mobile phone, look at our FAQs for informative answers to our most common questions:


  • Can I use the same blade for straight cuts and curves? No, we wouldn’t recommend it! It’s best to use a scrolling blade for curved cuts, and a wider-toothed blade for straight cuts. 
  • What’s the difference between a corded and a cordless jigsaw? Corded jigsaws draw their power from a main electric source via a cord that’s plugged into the outlet! A cordless jigsaw has no wires and is powered by a rechargeable battery. They tend to be more lightweight, but less powerful. 
  • How do I stay safe when using my jigsaw? Always use appropriate PPE before using a jigsaw! This includes a face mask, goggles and even hardy gloves, depending on the material you’re cutting. 
  • How long will a jigsaw blade last? All jigsaw blades will wear down over repeated use, but the length of time this takes is wholly dependent on the material of the blade, what it’s cutting, and how often you use it. These blades can be sharpened, which will extend their lifespan. 
  • How do I change my jigsaw blade? Remove the baseplate, blade guard and (potentially!) the dust cover of your jigsaw. Press on the blade release lever on the side of your jigsaw, near the blade clamp, to release your old blade. Then, line up your blade with the slot in the blade clamp, insert and press the blade release button again to secure it in place!

About the Author

Irfan Rehman

Irfan is a member of our E-commerce team. He loves everything DIY and writes and posts about home and garden projects.

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