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There wasn’t much doubt after the test that the Task Force Jigsaw could make it through just about any type of wood.  We even doubled up a piece up scrap or two and plowed through 2” oak. It’s a real tool capable of doing real work.  In the hands of an experienced user it’ll get the job done. 

The Task Force is a bit of a brute, though, and not in a good way.  The vibration we felt during the cutting process is harsh on the fingers, wrist, and arm and the tool’s bottom-heavy construction makes controlling it more difficult than some of the higher end models from other manufactures.

Is it world class?  Hell, no.  That said, if you were strapped for dough and wanted to make a go of it with a jigsaw, the Task Force works.  It’s a real, no-kidding, functional jig saw for under $20.  Go slow and perhaps don a pair of padded gloves and you’re set.

Task Force Orbital Action Jigsaw [Lowe’s]

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19 Responses to Hands-On: The Task Force Orbital Action Jigsaw

  1. TourPro says:

    That was an excellent review. $20 bucks for any kind of power tool is simply amazing. Personally, I always shop for value and price point is certainly one of the important variables. Considering you are testing with oak, I’m pretty impressed. Question: Where’s the break-even-point for this unit? At this price, it almost seems disposable. At the very least abusable.

    The other side of the coin. Once I asked my Dad why he never cleaned the chain on his bike. He told me the average lifespan of bicycle drivetrains where he rides is about two years, then he just gets a new bike. Will we be facing mountainous landfills of cheap tools in the future? I can very realistically imagine “Joe Homeowner” disposing of this unit once the blade got dull and simply buying a new one. Like one of those plastic razors.

  2. nrChris says:

    I mentioned being skeptical when you first featured this saw. While I am still a little reserved, I would buy one now. Thanks for the high class review.

    I don’t know about high end places, but my local barber told me something interesting. He gets more mileage with a series of $80 razors than he did with a $400 razor. As they say, your mileage may vary, but if you abuse your tools you may be better off going with a string of the $20 models…

  3. HunterB says:

    “Orbital Egg Beater” That’s awesome!

    I’ll admit that I am always skeptical about reviews you see people do but this was handled nicely. You did what I’d do. Stick it in front of some wood and see if it blows up. Kudos. I have always avoided cheap power tools like the plague but you have me thinking it might not be so bad an idea. Something is better than nothing right?

  4. Bobby Heil says:

    As a collage student I don’t have much cash so this looks sweet for ramp building. Good review too!

  5. Cybergibbons says:

    I’ve had two cheap jigsaws in the past – not this cheap, but as cheap as you can buy them here in the UK.

    The first one was truly awful – it had no features such as orbital motion, except for a unusable quick release blade lock. Problem was it quick released while you were using it, and was almost impossible to release when you wanted to change the blade. It didn’t have nearly enough power to cut through what it said it would, but made 10 times more noise than it should have done. And it broke.

    The second one was much better, orbital motion, variable speed, much better balanced. It uses two screws to hold the blade. It’s a bit slow to change, but at the end of the day I spend more time cutting than changing blades, so I don’t mind. It’s still going after a couple of years of abuse.

    Experience with cheap tools is so varied. I’ve yet to use a cheap hand drill that is ok. And my cheap angle grinder sucked as well. But I have a £10 150W bench grinder, which despite the crap duty cycle (10 on, 50 off), is excellent, a £25 pillar drill which is fine for light metalwork, a £30 air compressor which is fine for cleaning and impact wrenches, and a £30 Dremel-clone with flexible shaft, which has probably been my best buy.

  6. TimG says:

    I’m a newb here, but what is the point of ‘orbital’ action on a jigsaw? Doesn’t the blade just go up and down (not in an orbit?)

    Also, I’m in the market for a real cheap jig saw.. anybody know if this is available in Canada?


  7. Rick says:

    I just wanted to make a comment about the quality of tools in general. I think it’s true when they say that “they don’t make them like the used to” But at the same time, stuff like this is evidence that the most mediocre today is usually a much better performer than the best power tools 15 years ago.

    I don’t know how old you guys are, but I remember seeing my dad buy power tools – his would last him on the order of 15-20 years.. And today he’s seeing tools that I’m getting, and coming away really impressed with a.) the performance, and b.) the price point. In some cases durability is also impressive, but like TourPro said – it seems we’re heading in the direction of a disposable society where things aren’t made to last.. they’re made to perform. So yeah, maybe a 25 year old BMW will last you forever if you take care of it – a modern Hyundai will school it in performance and fuel economy. (except maybe in the twisties).. Though the modern Hyundai will be lucky if it lasts you 10-15 years.

  8. Fernando Vigil says:

    Orbital action increases cutting speed in softer materials by moving the blade forward and backward as it moves up and down. You might imagin it sort of as a moving in a circle (or orbit).

    For harder materials, or when you need a more precise cut, or if splintering is an issue, you can turn the orbital action off or down.

  9. Jeff T says:

    I had a $180 Bosch Jigsaw (the regular one, not barrel grip) for about 1 year, and it was the very best $180 I had ever spent on a tool. The only reason I don’t have it now is that I had to get rid of it to make ends meet late last year. I know that sounds like a fortune, but let me tell you why it was worth it.

    It would cut anything like butter. It didn’t matter what. The tool-free blade holder worked so well, that once I broke a blade in half, right in the middle of the blade, but that blade clamp still kept the other half just sitting there.

    Among other things, one day I decided that my deck was just turning into an old rotten disaster, so I borrowed a sawsall from work to cut the deck down quicky. 10% through the (expensive) blade was all chewed up. I went in my shed and got out the Bosch just to try the new jigsaw out on the deck. I thought it wouldn’t hold a candle to the recip saw. But, even on non-orbital it sawed the deck right in half with a Bosch Progressor blade. So, to finish it all off I set it on orbital setting 4 and that *ONE* single blade cut all the rest down of this deck in record time! I was just beside myself. And the jigsaw was not overheating, stinking, or anything out of the ordinary. It just kept on cutting!

    An expensive jigsaw can really do more than just a normal jigsaw can do, in my opinion. Problem is, I don’t have $180 to blow on another one. So, I thought this review was pretty sweet. Keep up the good work.

    What ever happened to the review of the Irwin mini tools you were gonna do?

  10. robert verdi says:

    Thank you. I bought this because it was a bargain, you helped me get the blade out when it broke in their. It was a pain to get out, but 2 people and a pair of needel nose pliers finnaly got it.

  11. Curtis Peagler, Jr.. says:

    I have all types of tools by some of the best manufacturers, bt it amazes me that when lowe’s started with the task force brand, they would be so dependable and cost efficient (purchasing price). one thing that surprised me was the salesperson told me there was a lifetime warranty on all their handtools (I don’t believe this includes electrical tools, e.g.: bandsaws, drills, and etc.). I have had no trouble with any of my Task Force electrical types, but I have had several problems with the switches on my Milwaukee tools. The best part of these handtools (non-electrical) is I don’t need the receipt to carry back a defective tool, just like at Sears with the Craftsman tools I have, I also have noted on some of my non-electrical tool, they were actually made in the good old U.S.A., unlike some of the ultra expensive tools from high end companies, that have “made in ….” stamped or decaled all over them. I like my Task Force tools. thanks for a great product.

  12. Henry says:

    Where do I finds parts for the Task Force 4 X 6 Disc/Belt Sander, I purchased it at Lowe’s

  13. Sean O'Hara says:

    I found luck calling this number with my sander 1.800.243.5114

  14. Bill Phipps says:

    Well, it worked okay until the blade broke. Thanks for the advice and yes…while trying to get the blade out, I broke the whole thing. So, it was cheap and worked while it lasted, until the blade broke…the great finale…I give up!

  15. Brian Hodgson says:

    Does anyone know what type of replacement blade this Task Force jigsaw requires? I am currently serving in the military in Iraq, and I found this jigsaw in an abandoned closet. I build stuff for stress relief and wanted to round some corners on some countertops I made for my office. The tool did not have a blade, and my wife stated that the Lowe’s employees have never heard of this brand and don’t know what blade to recommend to her to ship over here? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  16. Jeff says:

    I just picked this saw up at the pawnshop today ($10) for some baseboard coping. I had to choose between a dozen or so saws, and between this and the various old Skil and B&D models, this one had the most substantial feel to it. The 4 amp motor also seemed to lend it a margin of credibility. Although I had never heard of the Task Force brand, I was convinced by my eyes and hands that it was a decent quality tool, and figured it would be worth the $10 to take it home and give it a shot.

    It helped when the pawnshop also threw in a 30 pack of blades, which is probably worth twice as much as the saw.

  17. Ann says:

    Thanks for your information! I haven’t used mine in a long time and could not remember how to load the blade. Your article was a great help!

  18. ken martin says:

    I bought this jig saw a while back,used it for the first time and the port where you change the blade broke in pieces,this saw is a piece of junk, and it seems the manufacturer is nowhere to be notified,if there is any info concerning this matter please feel free to contact me
    Thank You.

  19. tonya miller says:

    my husband bought me a task force today, i tried it out and it’s awesome. but i love any kind of tools. i am going to mount it to a table i made and use it as a table saw.

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