This summer I tried out a barrel-grip jigsaw, and I liked it. Some TM readers like ’em, too. But I’m always surprised at how many non-pros have never heard of ’em. Here’s the one I tried, which is on the market now: Bosch’s 7-amp model JS470EB.
The Bosch model feels quite powerful — at least as powerful as you want a jigsaw to feel. And it includes all the modern features you’d expect: a toolless blade-change system (which really does work one-handed), dial-set variable speed, and circuitry that adjusts power to keep the blade moving the same speed under load. Add to that a really comfy shape and rubber padding in all the right spots, and you end up with a surprisingly vibration-free jigsaw that just feels very precise.
The barrel grip offers some advantages as well. The way you hold it makes accurate cutting easier, so they’re great for detail work. And I experienced far less fatigue when cutting with the barrel than I have with standard top-grip models. Of course, readers have pointed out to me that top grip models work well in some circumstances, like when you need to cut in tight corners.
Anyway, I spent some quality time with the JS470EB, and I’m a fan. It’s not fancy. It just works. Well. Street pricing starts around $160.