Mafell P1 cc Jigsaw
Wednesday 11 November 2009
Derek Jones tests this ground-breaking new jigsaw
Mafell did away with conventional thinking when developing the new P1 cc jigsaw. Five years in the making and eight worldwide patents pending suggest something of a radical approach to solving the age-old problem of blade distortion inherent with all conventional models.
A unique blade clamping system, the CUmax, has been designed to negate the need for blade guides, something that if poorly aligned can too easily be the cause of unsatisfactory results. The CUmax system relies on a wedge pushing against the blade to fasten it into position. A quick-release mechanism discretely built into the head of the unit allows quick and easy changes to be made.
The power on-off switch is located conveniently on the right-hand side - conveniently that is if you are not left-handed. The variable-speed controller is mounted in the tail.
Instantly the body-grip design suggests this machine is not only different but something quite special. Ergonomically designed they said, and I would agree. It is comfortable to use and easy to control. The high-performance compact CUprex 900W motor, the most powerful on the market, is extremely capable without being aggressive.
The statistics are impressive, as you would expect from Mafell, with 114mm depth of cut quoted. This is achieved by bringing the motor and baseplate closer together with the added bonus being a reduction in blade wander. A unique pendulum system has been developed to adjust automatically the cutting angle in response to resistance at the cutting point.
In addition to this a clever dust extraction system has been incorporated to the baseplate. A constant flow of air generated by the motor is passed across the cutting area, blowing from one side while sucking from the other. Any debris is ejected via an exhaust at the back of the baseplate.
How effective this will be long term will ultimately depend on a number of factors, not least being regular checkups to avoid clogging of the airway. With a hose connector included as standard for hook up to an external extractor this is a minor detail.
This increased level of accuracy comes at a price, nearly 80 pounds inc VAT to be exact, for the new baseplate. The standard one has no facility to cut on a bevel. All the components usually associated with this function have been removed. An additional tilting plate has been developed for the sole purpose of cutting bevels.
A much larger surface area results in far greater stability while completing this task. Incremental stops are in place at 22.5 degrees and 45 degrees.
Like other premium makes, Mafell allows you to buy into a system of woodworking machinery. The P1 cc has been developed to run on the existing track guide straight from the standard baseplate or via a link-up with a rip fence also available as an accessory.
The range of cutting options does not stop there. Housed in this rip fence is a series of guide pins to enable accurate cutting of curves of a constant radius, the most useful of these being a centring pin that effectively converts the rip fence to a trammel bar.