After not having bought a new jigsaw in maybe twenty years, I was a little surprised to learn that the blade design had changed. The ones that fit my ancient B&D just didn’t work in the new Bosch, which required something called a “T-Shank.” No problem – like most tool guys, I have no problems with making an unscheduled trip to a hardware store
Jigsaw loaded with a metal-cutting blade, a wood-cutting blade next to it
Maybe if I’d read a little closer I would have picked a different package, but I grabbed a Bosch T500 5-Piece T-Shank Jigsaw Blade Assortment
off the wall and handed over my cash. Here’s are the blades I found in my packet when I got home:
I’ll admit it – I didn’t read the package when I chose it, or I’d’ve probably picked another packet. But it was the T500 that went home with me, and those are the blades I’ve been using ever since. This five-piece assortment includes the following blades:
- T101B: 4-inch length, 10 TPI, makes smooth cuts in hardwood or softwood, plastic and composites up to 1-1/4”. The teeth have a variable gullet to cut more smoothly
- T144: 4-inch length, 5 to 6 TPI. It’s a high-speed blade for use in wood and engineered wood like plywood or OSB
- T119: 4-inch length, 12 TPI. For basic use in wood
- T101BR: 4-inch length, 10 TPI. Designed for clean cuts in hardwood and softwood, plastics, laminates, and engineered composite woods
- T118A: 3-5/8-inch length, 17 to 24 TPI (progressive). For making straight cuts in metals.
I don’t often cut metal – pretty much never – but other four blades have seen some use. The package has a guide printed the back to help choose the right blade. That T101B has been put to good use cutting plastic pipe (PVC and ABS), but most of time finds me cutting plywood or OSB with the T144 or T101 blades. I later picked up some T111s, which at 8 TPI are a sort of workhorse for rough-cutting wood. So I’d probably have rather had a T111 or two in the assortment instead of the T119 and the T118A – but maybe that’s just me.
None of the blades has ever broken, and over the years (with moderate use) none has has dulled to uselessness. They’re clearly wear items, but mine have help up well and cover most tasks when I dig out the jig saw. If the workpiece is too big, there’s always the band saw.
U-shank blade on left, T-shank blade on right. Compare the tops to tell the difference.
T-shank blades don’t just work in Bosch saws, they also fit saws from Makita, Porter-Cable, Dewalt, and others that require T-shank blades. Bosch also sells a packet of assorted U¬-shank blades if that’s what your saw uses.