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Blade stability features actually work...
on August 8, 2011
Bosch 1590EVSL 120-Volt Top Handle Jigsaw Kit
The recently introduced Bosch1590EVSLsupersedes the similar Bosch1590EVSK, which came out in 2004.
All professional grade jigsaws have a slotted roller guide (above the footplate) that the blade rides in, to stabilize the blade. This Bosch saw also has user-activated blade rubbing blocks below the roller guide, even closer to the workpiece. The blocks are featured on Bosch 1590 & 1591 jigsaws, and perform the same function as bandsaw blocks -- keeping the blade straight while cutting. See the Customer Image of the roller & blocks, then look closely at the best Milwaukee, Makita, or DeWalt jigsaws - and observe that they only have a blade roller guide.
At a recent Woodworking show, I asked the Bosch representative why their JS series jigsaws lacked the rubbing blocks. He said they wanted to keep the cost down on the JS models, so the blocks are only included on their two best saws (the 1590 & 1591).
This blade stability system makes for squarer cuts than my 8-year-old Bosch model 1587 jigsaw, which has the blade roller guide only. No jigsaw has zero blade deflection since the blade isn't supported from the "bottom" (as on a scroll saw). In fact, even on a saw this good, the blade can be made to slant to one side, IF the saw is pushed to one side while cutting.
If you've never used a jigsaw with a quick-change blade system, you'll absolutely love it. A "T" blade can be popped out in a second or two without touching it, and it only takes a few seconds to install a new one. This saw only weighs 6 lbs, has minimal vibration, a dust-blower with an off/on switch, and a clever new tool box. The non-marring plastic footplate works fine. I really like that the footplate is the tool-less type, rather than needing an allen wrench to adjust it, as some saws require. The handle is comfortable, the switch has no places that pinch your fingers, and it feels like a professional tool in your hands. The speed control knob at the back of the motor sets the maximum speed; the trigger varies the speed from 0 to that maximum setting. The electronic feedback circuitry maintains full power even at the lower speeds. It's made in Switzerland.
If you've only used Harry Homeowner model jigsaws such as Ryobi, Skil, Black & Decker, or even the cheaper models of the professional brands, this saw will be a revelation.
At 6.4 amps, there is no more powerful jigsaw on the market and none that has the blade stability features of this one. Other than Festool models, this might be the most costly jigsaw; but of course, top-of-the-line tools are expensive. If you prefer the barrel-gripped style, check out the Bosch 1591EVSL.