Best Barrel Grip Jigsaws – 2021 Round-Up Report

Cody
| Last Updated: January 26, 2021

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Barrel grip jigsaws are particularly popular because they offer the most natural grip and the best control.

Although opting for a barrel grip jigsaw does narrow down the choices, there are still many models to choose from.

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With that, we hope that we’ll be able to help you find the perfect grip barrel jigsaw for your needs.

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Here are the best barrel grip jigsaws:

  1. Bosch JS470EB
  2. Tacklife TJS01A
  3. Makita VJ05R1J

Comparison Chart of the Best Barrel Grip Jigsaws

Product

Specs

Price

Bosch JS470EB

  • Option to purchase jigsaw only or w/10 blade set
  • 7-amp motor, 3100 strokes per minute (SPM)
  • Tool-less blade ejection, cuts up to 5-7/8 in. on wood and up to 7/8 in. on aluminum

Tacklife TJS01A

  • Comes with 3 T-shank blades for various jobs
  • 6-position variable speed, 3000 SPM
  • Right and left adjustable angle and designed with dust extraction port

Makita VJ05R1J

  • Kit includes 2 batteries, charger, 1 blade, and carrying case
  • 5-position variable speed, 3000 SPM
  • Tilting base for bevel cuts from 0° - 45°

Bosch JS572EBK

  • Best Bosch Barrel Grip Jigsaw
  • 7.2-amp motor, 3000 strokes per minute (SPM), comes with 3 T-shank blades
  • Built-in LEDs and blower for visibility of cut-line

Makita XVJ01Z

  • Best Makita Barrel Grip Jigsaw
  • 6-speed variable speed, 3500 SPM
  • 0°- 45° left or right bevel capacity

Milwaukee 2737B-20

  • Best Milwaukee Barrel Grip Jigsaw
  • Cordless model, operates up to 3500 SPM
  • 0°- 45° bevel, and equipped with LED light and blower

Dewalt DCS335B

  • Best Dewalt Barrel Grip Jigsaw
  • 20V, 3200 SPM operation
  • Designed with lever-action keyless blade change

How to Choose a Barrel Grip Jigsaw

Most of the features that make a great barrel grip jigsaw great are aligned with the features of a regular jigsaw. Here are some things to pay attention to.

Corded vs Cordless Jigsaw

Cordless jigsaws bring more convenience to the table, allowing you to move freely while working on your project. You can even find several convenient battery charging options. However, corded jigsaws simply are more powerful in general.

Strokes Per Minute (SPM)

Like with any other jigsaw, the SPM, or strokes per minute, is one of the capital features to pay attention to when choosing your ideal barrel grip jigsaw. This depends on what you need out of a jigsaw.

Not every cutting endeavor warrants 4,000 SPM just because “you can.” So, think about the power you really need out of a jigsaw – you may be able to save a lot.

Comfort and Handling

A barrel grip jigsaw needs to be comfortable first, or else there is little point in getting one.

When browsing for one, you should give it a trial run first. Or order from an online store that offers easy returns. If it feels good and handles well, you’ll notice it.

Handling depends on how comfortable a barrel grip jigsaw feels in your hand. It’s also vital that you don’t give up on a whole jigsaw type without trying a few models. They aren’t all built the same.

Review of the Best Barrel Grip Jigsaws

With so many barrel grip jigsaw models, no one can blame you for not knowing which way to turn. Fear not, as we’ve rounded up the most awesome barrel grip jigsaws. At the very least, this list will inspire you to find your ideal model. Ideally, though, you’ll find the perfect match right here.

Best Overall:
Bosch JS470EB

PROS

  • Low vibration mechanism
  • A precision control system
  • This tool can rev up to 3,100 SPM, which is a lot
  • Consistency is the name of the game with this model
  • Tool-less blade change system makes things much easier

CONS

  • Could’ve been a bigger improvement over the previous model

Our Review

If you don’t mind a corded barrel grip jigsaw, the Bosch JS470EB may be right up your alley. It is very powerful – its 7A motor can manage as many as 3,100 SPM, which is quite a number. Then, there’s the internal precision control feature that makes this jigsaw very comfortable to use. Even more importantly, it makes it more precise. Add in the ergonomic body and you get one very comfortable barrel grip jigsaw.

You won’t need any Allen wrenches or other tools to switch the blades with this one. Not even a screwdriver. Toolless blade change is a trend that’s growing in popularity.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Consistency is the main thing that makes this product different than its competition. It features an excellent soft-start feature, for one. But even when operating continually, the tool maintains a consistent speed regardless of the load. This allows you to make clean, precise cuts and turns. Add this to the barrel grip ergonomics and you have one precise and comfortable corded barrel grip jigsaw.

Runner-up:
Tacklife TJS01A

PROS

  • Very humbly-priced for a jigsaw of this level
  • Comes with an assortment of various blades
  • 6 positions of variable speed up to 3,000 SPM
  • Weighs less than 5lbs and very ergonomic and comfortable

CONS

  •  The included blades aren’t the best on the market

Our Review

For an affordable barrel grip jigsaw, 3,000 SPM and 5lbs of weight are amazing feats. Additionally, the Tacklife TJS01A is just as comfy and easy to use as the next barrel grip jigsaw out there. Do not expect the best jigsaw on the market, because this one isn’t trying to be it. Its aspirations are to be the best possible affordable barrel grip jigsaw. And it does a great job at it.

The supplied assortment of blades may not take your breath away, but they’re free so don’t think about it too much.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Definitely its price point. If you are seasoned in jigsaws and know a lot of models and price points, you will be amazed at how low-cost this one is. The best thing about this saw is that it costs like an entry-level tool but it’s perfectly capable of serving the professionals. So, you’re looking at a long time of using this one.

Best for the Money:
Makita VJ05R1J

PROS

  • Proprietary brushless Makita motor
  • The soft start feature brings better accuracy
  • 5 speed settings that go from 800 to 3,000 SPM
  • Thanks to the brushless motor, battery use is optimized

CONS

  • The slow start feature might take some time to get used to

Our Review

The Makita VJ05R1J is one of the best cordless barrel grip jigsaws you’ll ever come across. Its SPM goes as far up as 3,000 and as low as 800, which is quite a wide range. There’s a control dial with 5 speed presets, which is more than enough for most applications.

This model boasts a brushless motor, meaning longevity, battery saving, and better performance. It also makes it quieter.

The slow start feature is more controversial. It definitely enables better accuracy, preventing you from messing things up by jumping into cutting too quickly. However, some seasoned jigsaw users might find this feature unnecessary.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Whether you like it or not, it’s the slow start feature that sets this product apart from its competition. You might not care for it, but if used correctly, the slow start feature does a fantastic job of taking care of your work. Granted, an on/off button for this feature would be more than welcome. Maybe we can expect such a switch from the Makita VJ05R1J’s further iterations.

Best Bosch Barrel Grip Jigsaw:
Bosch JS572EBK

PROS

  • Aluminum footplate
  • One-touch blade swap system
  • LED light for enhanced visibility
  • This jigsaw features a soft-grip area for comfort
  • Excellent precision thanks to Precision Control II

CONS

  • No longer made in Switzerland
  • Could come with more accessories, given the price tag

Our Review

Unfortunately, the Bosch JS572EBK is no longer made in Switzerland but in Hungary. This doesn’t mean that the product isn’t great, but it might be a step down. Still, there aren’t many barrel grip jigsaws that offer a better, surer grip than the JS572EBK. Thanks to the Precision Control II system, blade deflection is kept to a minimum, which emphasizes accuracy.

Not only does this Bosch model offer tool-free blade replacement, it features one of the best systems for blade swaps out there – Bosch’s One-Touch system.

With an SPM range of 800-3,000, this model truly is one of the best jigsaws around.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Unfortunately, not many barrel grip jigsaws come with a LED light. Well, the Bosch JS572EBK does and it’s a huge relief in ill-lit workspaces. In fact, even with enough light inside, an LED light shining where you’re cutting will provide better visibility.

Then, you’ve got Bosch's proprietary Precision Control II system, which definitely sets this model apart.

Best Makita Barrel Grip Jigsaw:
Makita XVJ01Z

PROS

  • Ergonomic grip design
  • A tool-less system for blade changing
  • Brushless motor with 3 orbital settings
  • 6-speed control ranging from 800 to 3,500 SPM
  • Dual LED light system provides excellent illumination

CONS

  • No trigger on the tool
  • The clear plastic guide may cause issues

Our Review

The grip on this jigsaw is simply amazing. It’s clear that it has been designed ergonomically and that a lot of designing work went into it. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the clear plastic guide, as it does cause issues on certain models.

With this jigsaw, you get 3 orbital settings, as well as a straight cutting option. That’s versatility right there.

Unfortunately, the Makita XVJ01Z doesn’t have trigger control, which is rather disappointing. It doesn’t mean that it won’t do an awesome job of cutting the vast majority of materials, but it can still be wanting at times.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Unlike many other cordless barrel grip jigsaws, this tool packs the power of a corded one. With an SPM range that goes from 800 to 3,500, the Makita XVJ01Z is truly amazing at what it does. It also offers a dual-LED lighting system that provides perfect illumination for those dimly-lit workstations.

Best Milwaukee Barrel Grip Jigsaw:
Milwaukee 2737B-20

PROS

  • 6 speeds
  • Switches are ambidextrous
  • Automatic speed-up system
  • Fairly quiet for a jigsaw (99db)
  • Brushless motor that kicks up to 3,500 SPM

CONS

  • The battery may get spent quickly
  • It heats up after an extended period of use

Our Review

For a cordless jigsaw, barrel grip or not, 3,500 SPM is a lot. The Milwaukee 2737B-20 is such a jigsaw and will work wonders on a wide variety of materials, provided that you’ve got the right blade attached. The switches are also ambidextrous, so you won’t have to think too much about this brand of comfort.

The Milwaukee 2737B-20 is also pretty quiet for a jigsaw. It doesn’t go louder than 99db, which is pretty amazing.

It’s true, after an extended period of use, that this jigsaw does have a tendency to heat up a bit, but it’s nothing unbearable. As long as you have a spare, you won’t mind the short battery life either.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The most awesome thing about the Milwaukee 2737B-20 is the Auto-Controlled Start feature. To activate this, just switch the speed dial to A. Now, the tool will automatically turn the SPM up as you push it into the material. This feature is potentially a game-changer.

Best Dewalt Barrel Grip Jigsaw:
Dewalt DCS335B

PROS

  • Four orbital positions
  • The bright LED light is very convenient
  • The shoe bevel on this model detents at 0, 15, 30, and 45 degrees
  • Keyless, tool-less blade change that works on lever-action principle

CONS

  • The price is somewhat steep

Our Review

This is the most straightforward barrel grip jigsaw that you’ll find. It doesn’t have too many fancy features (other than the quality LED light). The tool itself is very pragmatic. It makes blade changes very simple and the shoe bevel goes from 0 to 45 degrees. Thanks to the 4-position orbital action, you get a lot of control over the cut quality and the speed.

Expect a pricey tool, though – the Dewalt DCS335B isn’t an amateur barrel grip jigsaw. It is sturdy, it will treat you right, and it will do a brilliant job. If you’re willing to swing for it.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

You’ll find many other barrel grip jigsaws that will boast fancy functions, but not this Dewalt. This Dewalt knows exactly what it is – a no-nonsense professional barrel grip jigsaw.

In summary, here are the best barrel grip jigsaws:

  1. Best Overall: Makita VJ05R1J
  2. Runner-up: Bosch JS470EB
  3. Best for the Money: Tacklife TJS01A

What is a Barrel Grip Jigsaw?

The barrel grip jigsaw is a relatively new type of jigsaw. Compared to the D handle jigsaw, barrel grip jigsaws offer better visibility, control, comfort, and a better grip.

In combination, all of these benefits allow you to make more intricate cuts, which is an essential part of using a jigsaw.

Some users, however, still prefer using D handle jigsaws. In the end, it all boils down to your personal preference and habits. With that said, barrel grip jigsaws definitely offer better control and handling.

D Handle vs. Barrel Grip Jigsaw - Comparison Overview

Seeing as how using a barrel grip versus a D handle (top handle) jigsaw comes down to preference, there aren’t too many pros or cons for either.

Still, there is a difference in the feel of using the two.

Wrist Action vs. Upper Body Movement

Top grip jigsaws are more about wrist action. You rely on your wrist for making precise cuts. With barrel grip tools, it’s more about the movement of your entire upper body. With the former, you get seemingly easier control, while the latter requires you to use your entire body to navigate the cuts.

Viewpoint

With barrel grip jigsaws, you are looking from the side. This is why many seasoned woodworkers prefer their top grip saws, which offer a view from above. Still, once you get used to it, having to look from the side or above won’t matter much. It’s more of a matter of preference and habit.

Control

Barrel grip jigsaws are said to offer more control than their top grip counterparts. Again, this is sometimes a matter of practice.

When Would a Barrel Grip Jigsaw Come in Handy?

People often confuse barrel grip jigsaws with a type of jigsaw that is intended for specific projects. In fact, the barrel grip system is an innovation that is supposed to make the jigsaw cutting experience very comfortable and ergonomic.

In theory, most barrel grip jigsaws are supposed to be comfortable compared to regular jigsaws. However, many experienced jigsaw users decide to stick with the old ways. Then again, some happily switch to barrel grips.

In any case, there isn’t a particular situation where a barrel grip jigsaw comes in handy. If you find this type of a jigsaw comfortable, it will come in handy every time you need some jigsaw work done.

If you do find this jigsaw type comfortable, you’ll notice that making precise cuts becomes much easier.

Pros and Cons of Barrel Grip Jigsaws

Barrel grip jigsaws are considered comfortable by many, yet others avoid them like the plague. Ultimately, your jigsaw experience is best served by finding the type that handles best for you, so we assembled a few pros and cons of barrel grip jigsaws.

Pros

Much More Control
Thanks to its grip design and the way they are used, a barrel grip jigsaw offers excellent handling and allows you to control it using your entire body. This means precise, smooth cuts.

More Power
As a rule of thumb, whether corded or cordless, barrel grip jigsaws tend to be more powerful than the D handle ones. This offers greater versatility.

Cons

Weight
Barrel grip jigsaws are heavier than D handle jigsaws. This, however, doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. The weight does give them more stability and control, and it’s why you need to use your upper body to navigate barrel grip jigsaws, rather than just your wrist.

Conclusion

If you’ve tried and tested a couple of barrel grip jigsaws and you find them comfortable and a great match with your needs, check out the ones on this list. Without a doubt, you’ll find the perfect barrel grip jigsaw to match your needs.

Cody

My name is Cody and I've been a writer for Tool Tango for quite some time now. I've always had a knack for building things with my hands and creative writing, so being able to combine the two has been great. I love being able to give back to the DIY-community, while also learning a thing or two along the way. When I'm not writing, I enjoy watching Netflix with my girlfriend, fishing, and working in the shop.