Many people think the jigsaw is only good for making curved cuts. We show you how to use a fence and choose the right blade to make straight cuts with your jigsaw.

Skill Builder Video

Video: How To Make Straight Rip Cuts With Your Jigsaw - Video Transcript

Speaker 1: Most people correctly think that handheld jigsaw does its best work when it's cutting curve, but it'll make a serviceable rip cut in a pinch. To make a rip cut with your jigsaw, you should choose an appropriate blade, you should avoid one that's narrow and made for scrolling. The body should be a bit heavier and it should have medium sized teeth and it should obviously be sharp.

Now, to make your rip cut, you're going to need to secure your wood while you're cutting and you're also going to need your fence to guide the jigsaw. I'm going to clamp them both to this work surface to make the cut. Before I can clamp the fence in place I need to know where to locate it. I figure that out by measuring the distance between the edge of the blade and the edge of the base. I take that measurement and use that to properly place the fence.

Now, we're ready to cut the wood, but first, a couple of tips. First, you can see that the fence is longer than the piece of wood I'm ripping. That extra length allows me to easily align the saw before I start cutting. Second, look at my offhand, I'm using it to pull against the saw to keep a steady pressure against the fence, that keeps the saw from wandering. That's it. It's a nice straight rip cut and the saw marks really aren't too bad. Even so, you might want to use a block plane or even sandpaper on a block of wood to remove those marks.

That was a square rip cut, what if you want a slice a beveled rip cut? That's not a problem. Most of these saws bases are easily adjustable and once you set the angle, you go back and rip it exactly as you did before. That's it. I hope this simple tip is useful to you and that it proved that ripping with a handheld jigsaw is a useful technique.