The grip type you prefer for your jig saw is a personal choice. But if you already know you want a barrel grip saw, you have lots of models to compare. And when the choice comes down to two tool giants like Bosch and Makita, it’s even harder to decide. Let’s take a look at these top popular barrel grip jig saws to see which one will be the best for you.
Bosch JS470EB 7-Amp Barrel-Grip Jigsaw
Bosch’s JS470EB jig saw is a handy tool for both left-handed and right-handed users. It has an ambidextrous lock-on button to keep your hand from getting tired on those long cuts. And when you need to see where you’re working, it helps out with an integrated, adjustable dust blower.
You may also appreciate the saw’s design that reduces vibration and gives you two rubbery ergonomic grips to hold it steady. With four orbital action settings and variable speed action, you can do rips or smooth cuts in a variety of materials. And the wrench stored on-board lets you quickly bevel the die-cast foot for angled cuts up to 45-degrees.
Another great feature of the Bosch JS470EB is the innovative blade ejection lever. You won’t need a tool to change the blade, and you don’t even need to touch it at all. This means you don’t need to wait for the blade to cool before swapping it.
The 7Amp motor and 1-inch stroke length can power through steel up to 3/8-inch thick, aluminum up to 7/8-inch, and wood up to a whopping 5-7/8-inches thick. You can take it slow at 500spm, or crank it up to 3100 strokes per minute to blast through a job. The Constant Response Circuitry keeps the speed steady under load.
More features of the Bosch JS470EB Barrel-Grip Jig Saw:
- Uses T-shank blades
- Comes with anti-splinter insert, plastic overshoe to protect delicate surfaces, bevel wrench, and a carrying case
Makita 4351FCT Barrel Grip Jig Saw with L.E.D. Light
How does the Makita 4351CFT jig saw compare to the Bosch JS470EB? Both are considered to have low vibration for better control and less fatigue. Both have variable speed dials, multiple orbital settings, and electronic speed control under load. Both have a 1-inch stroke length and a tool-less blade change system as well.
But instead of an integrated dust blower, the Makita 4351FCT has an LED light to help you see where you’re working. The motor is slightly less powerful at 6.3Amps with stroke speeds between 800 to 2800spm. But this jig saw has an electronic soft start so you always begin a cut with maximum control.
The cutting capacity of the Makita is similar to the Bosch, at 3/8-inch for steel and 5-5/16-inches in wood. You can use the included hex wrench to bevel the base up to 45 degrees either right or left for angled cuts. But you can’t lock on the trigger to rest your hand during long cuts.
More features of theMakita 4351FCT Barrel Grip Jig Saw:
- Comes with 6 blades, anti-splintering device, cover plate for the base, beveling wrench, and tool case
- Uses T-shank (Tang shank) blades
- Weighs 5.5 pounds
Your choice between these barrel grip jig saws may be influenced by your prior experience with Bosch or Makita power tools. It’s also a smart idea if you can get your hands on demo models of the saws themselves so you can see if they fit your hand properly.
But if you want to choose between them based on the specifications we’ve reviewed here, let’s look at the differences. Makita is known for creating slightly less powerful tools that have finesse. For example, while the top stroke speed on the 4351FCT is lower than that on the Bosch, you’ll have the benefit of electronic soft start. You may also enjoy the addition of an LED light although there is no dust blower.
On the other hand, the Bosch JS470EB is more powerful. It has a lock-on trigger and a dust blower. It also has a slightly larger cut capacity in wood. And the blade ejection system is sure to save you time if you need to switch blades in a hurry.