There are tons of different jigsaws lining the shelf at your local big-box, and every one of them is at least twice as expensive as the Task Force Orbital Action Jigsaw. When we saw the Task Force at the local big box proudly wearing its “under $20” tag, we decided to find out whether or not it could get through some hardwood on a typical project, and we shelled out a few bucks to find out.
The result: surprising. Read on past the jump for our experiences with the Task Force Orbital Action Jigsaw — and lots of pictures.
This a serious no frills unit. Most power tools these days arrive with at least an attempt at a hard case or soft carrying bag. The Task Force comes in a cardboard box. The box you see sitting on the shelf? That’s the one. It’s not a big deal but case or bag would be nice.
Note: Click on smaller pictures for larger ones.
Once we removed it from its
cardboard packaging storage case, we came to immediately realize that all the weight from the box came from the unit itself. At 5.3 pounds, it isn’t that heavy, but the balance of the tool makes it feel a bit unwieldy and heavier than it really is. The shape also inspired one of our friends who stopped by during the unboxing to say, “It looks more like an orbital egg beater than a jigsaw.”
Did we mention it costs less than $20?
It does offer a few standard features such as a trigger lock and a variable speed dial that are both located near the trigger on the handle. There’s a dust collection port at the bottom rear of the unit and a large, red, three-position orbital action knob that controls the amount of, well, orbital action in the blade.
You can also adjust the plate on the bottom by loosening two screws and rotating the plate up to 45 degrees for bevel cuts. The plate also has a slot for a rip fence to slide into the base. The fence is secured by a tightening screw.
After a quick glance at the instructions to see if there were any hidden features we missed — there weren’t — we decided to load up bit and see what happened.
First of all, the blade locking mechanism is a royal pain in the ass to operate. After several attempts to get at it from the front or sides, we finally reached in from the bottom with a finger on each side and pushed down unbelievably hard on the two buttons to open the lock and slide a blade down in the slot. When releasing the lock we got a painful pinch from the buttons locking back in place and squeezing the finger between the lock and the casing. You can see where it pinched in the red cricle below.
Normally we’d write something like this off to our own mistake, but it happened to two people more than once the same way during our testing. On the other hand, we should also mention that you’re in absolutely no danger of the blade coming out on accident. Once it’s in there, it’s seriously in there.
With the blade finally loaded, we went about setting up a cut or two. We chose 1″ thick red oak for this test because it’s a hardwood and should prove more of a challenge than something like pine.
The first straight cut went fairly well. It came out more or less straight, and we had little issue with it. However, we found the unit makes a great deal of vibration even for a jigsaw, which is known for that sort of thing. The cut was a bit wavy, but considering that we didn’t use a guide or rip guard, we sorta expected that.
Next we tried cutting a curve. We lined it up and began to cut. About half way through, the saw kicked and caused a large disfigurement in the cut line. After close inspection the blade was found to be faulty, and we switched it out for another one (finger pinching included). After that we had no further trouble with it for the rest of the test.
We tried a few more straight cuts as well as a few small and a few long curved cuts at different angles and found the Task Force more than capable of plowing though the hardwood without much difficulty.
Read on to page two for our conculstions.
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