Solidity with Comfort archive

Thursday 1 July 2010

Bespoke flooring specialist, furniture maker and joiner James McGowan takes a shine to this cordless jigsaw from Makita

Gallery

The BJV180Z jigsaw comes with 2 lithium-ion 18V batteries, a charger and blade selection

Jigsaws are a useful piece of workshop equipment for furniture makers and their versatility makes them something of a necessity on site. Over the years I have got into the habit of using a jigsaw rather than a skill saw to rip my timber flooring, and, laying something in the region of 1500sq m a year I have gone through quite a few, so I jumped at the chance to review this cordless to see how it compared with my more familiar corded ones.

In use

I found the BJV180Z to be a very robust machine with a solid feel to it that could easily handle inch-thick oak flooring. I was a little worried that the life of the battery would let it down, but not so because a tired battery can be recharged in only 15 minutes.

The small LED light that illuminates the blade is an inspired idea. I have been using the T308B Clean Cut blades from Bosch for a while and fitted to this machine they make it a really useful tool. The jigsaw also features a blade lock, and support and alignment are much the same as with any other jigsaw on the market.

Bevel cuts and baseplate adjustment work only on one side because the extraction mechanism fouls against the machine but the trigger switch lock and speed controls work for both left and right hand.

As you would expect, there are three blade pendulum settings.

The jigsaw is well balanced, even with the battery at the back, but you cannot sit the machine upright because of the angle of the battery. Consequently it has to be laid on its side, which can make handling somewhat awkward.

The machine comes with an anti-splitting device and stops immediately you let go of the trigger. A dust extraction outlet is built into the baseplate but this can hinder bevel cuts. If you do not have an extraction system with you, then the spoil from the blade clogs up in the throat of the baseplate.


Woodworkers Institute

Tagged In:

cordless , Makita , Jigsaw , James McGowan

F&c Verdict

I liked the machine as it was fairly light weight, well balanced, and comfortable to work with all day, the only downside being the inability of the saw to be stood up on end.
Pros:
Robust
Comfortable
Well balanced
Good capacity
Cons:
Cannot be stood on end

The Numbers

Model: BJV180Z
Max cut in wood: 135mm
Max cut in steel: 10mm
Stroke length: 26mm
Strokes per minute: 0-2600
Net weight: 2.8kg
Typical selling price: £209.95
From: Makita
Tel: 01908 211 678