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Barrel Grip vs Top Handle Jigsaw


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I am considering owning a Jigsaw for around the house, weekend warrior type work (no woodworking, yet) and want a good Jigsaw that will not only last but be smooth to operate (easy to handle after practice).



Looking at either the Bosch JS470EB (7amp) or the Bosch JS365 (6amp). The JS470EB is a barrel grip while the JS365 is a top handle model.



I believe I would enjoy using the barrel grip better (no stores near by to tell) due to handling thanks to lower center of gravity and natural placement of hand. Regardless, the only thing stopping me is a $50 price difference between the two.


Is it justifiable as my first Jigsaw for the difference in price?



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hey analog_gamer,

i owned the JS365 for about 1 month and ended up sending it back. i really dont like top handle jigsaws.

my wrist is really sensitive when it comes to vibration or a comfortable grip.

after using the JS365 for couple projects i had to wear a wrist-band for a long time.


you have way more control of a barrel grip when you do curved cuts.

i bought the JS572EB (or better to say JS572EBL with the L-Boxx) and i love it.

I went with the higher class jigsaw because of the precision control, that i dont have to sand so much.


--> Is it justifiable as my first Jigsaw for the difference in price? <--

 you pay what you get for - dont go cheap.


i think you cant go wrong with the JS470EB - its a great jigsaw 

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Barrel grips do have advantages but can be a little tricky to get used to if you have always used top handles. If you have no prior use then you may want to start out with the barrel.

top handles offer better trigger control because they have an actual variable speed trigger.. barrel grips are either on or off with a switch. With the top handle it's much easier to adjust your speed during a cut or even stop mid cut because you simply release the trigger and don't have to search for a switch.

a big benifit of barrel grips is cutting upside down which is where you hold the saw under the workpiece and that let's you only see the blade coming through the workpiece.. this cuts down on dust on you cut line and increases visibility. I know it seems backwards but it's actually usually the best way to cut and very difficult or impossible with a top handle. Also coping crown with a Collins coping foot is best done with a barrel but I wouldnt worry about that if I were you. Maybe look for upside down cutting on youtube..

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I won't be doing anything upside down and rarely intricate cuts. Mostly straight lines, possibly curves.

Tight spaced repair work I'll leave to my Fein oscillating.

I just feel I would get a better handle and have more control with a barrel grip... But at $50 more I think I could learn how to use a proper top handle unit.

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