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I'm looking at getting a hand held Jig Saw like the Bosch 150 CE because it has the longest cutting depth 15cm(6"). I'm wanting to do some end notching on 150mm x 150mm lumber.

For example: 150mm notch

What I'd like to know though is what happens when you attempt to cut through a larger piece then the blade is specified for, e.g. 200mm? Must the blade be able to extend past the other side of the material, or can you do a cut only part way into it? So if I wanted to notch a 200mm piece, could I do a 150mm cut, then flip the wood over and cut the remaining 50mm?

For example: 200mm notch with 2 cuts?

I asked several sellers at stores why all the Jig Saws they have only have it specified that they can cut to 150mm max, yet they sell blades for 200mm. Nobody could tell me why.

If this isn't how you would tackle a notch on pieces bigger than 150mm, could you point me in the direction of how you would do it? At the moment I'm using a hack saw and chisels and it takes too long considering how many I have to do.

  • I think what you propose will work, however, you will need to endure that your cut face is zeroed, so that the multiple passes on the jigsaw is accurate. the only concern is that you will be putting a lot of strain on that motor. dont expect it to last long at all! – Hightower Feb 10 '15 at 11:01
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I am sure you can do a partial depth cut with a jigsaw. I have done the same in a 4" thick wood piece, when the cutting depth of the blade was only 3-4/9". There was no problem of the saw "jumping up", as opposed to what the other responders have mentioned. The quality of cut was also O.K. (it depends upon the blade you use). I recommend Bosch T744D blade for a 6"-7" depth of cut.

  • Thanks, yeah I found with my blades I was also able to do a partial cut. I went nice and slow and didn't have issues with jumping back. – Bob Jul 19 '15 at 7:05
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Hand-held jigsaws are not the right tool for cutting large notches in a 6x6 post. Yes, the blade must extend past the wood - they only cut on the front of the blade, not the bottom. And the blade will drift quite a bit going through 6 inches of lumber. Jigsaws are meant for fine detail work, not large straight cuts.

However, a close cousin is the reciprocating saw like the Bosch RS35. Larger motor, much heavier blades. You still have the problem of squaring off the bottom of the notch, but if you use a large auger bit to make a series of holes you will be able to remove the bulk with one good hammer hit and then use a thinner blade or a chisel to flatten out the bottom.

If you have a large number and want to mass-produce the notches I would rent a 12 to 16 inch circular saw, line up all the posts, bind them together, and make a jig to hold the saw in position on the ends. Cut, move blade down a bit, repeat.

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    If the tip of your jigsaw blade bottoms out while cutting, it'll push the whole saw back into your hand. Feels kinda like the whole tool is doing pushups at 1740rpm. – Wayfaring Stranger Feb 10 '15 at 13:47
  • I do have a reciprocating saw and with some long blades that can do the job but the problem was accuracy. Sometimes getting curved cuts. Lining a bunch up might do the trick although I'd have to lay them horizontally which could be problematic with my circular. Thanks for the tips – Bob Feb 10 '15 at 18:50
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I would do this with multiple passes with a table saw, using a jig and standing the piece on its end to get the proper orientation. Carefully cutting it with a band saw would do pretty good to, but not everybody has a table or band saw. Compared to a jig saw, for this type of cut, you may do as good with a circular saw. It would not be the safe way to do it without making safeguards for your cutting.

  • Thanks for this. I have a circular which I have used a bit for this but it doesn't feel the safest or the ideal method. With a bandsaw, or jigsaw, I would do 2 cuts into the end, but then it seems like a bit of a hack job to do the perpendicular cut. Would you need a jig saw to clean it all up in the end, whether you did it with a band or table saw? These logs I'm working with are up to 6m (20') in length making it really hard to manoeuvre. – Bob Feb 10 '15 at 9:07
  • It could all be done with a bandsaw, you would make a one cut straight into the bottom, start the other cut in, but you make a tight radius cut to steer it into the bottom, then remove the cut piece, then finish squaring in the bottom by coming back across the bottom, to finish the corner. I will make a few sketches to illustrate how to do this and use the circular safely. You will need a few clamps with the circular saw. – Jack Feb 11 '15 at 7:11
  • I just realized after I read your comment the second time on the lengths of your material, yes, that would be more than difficult on a table saw, or a band saw to for that matter – Jack Feb 11 '15 at 7:21
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How many? A regular hand saw will do the job nicely if you don't need 30 of the things. Do two straight cuts, a couple diagonals, and a little work with a wood chisel to finish off the bottom.

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