Brushless Vs Orbital Jigsaw [Everything’s Explained]

People have been using the orbital jigsaw for many years in woodworking. Given the small size and portability, it quickly became the go-to cutting tool for both the enthusiast and professionals. Not only do we use the orbital jigsaw in cutting wood panels, but there are also numerous usages of it in cutting metal.

As the popularity of orbital jigsaw grew stronger, manufacturers started to adopt the latest tech for the tool. The goal was to make the orbital jigsaw more powerful and convenient to use. Thus the brushless orbital jigsaw was born after the overwhelming success of standard orbital jigsaw.

So the question remains, is the old orbital jigsaw still relevant to this date? What exactly are the differences between Brushless and Orbital Jigsaw? Well, that’s what we are going to cover in this article for your proper understanding.

What Is A Standard Orbital Jigsaw?

The old orbital jigsaw consists of a few important parts. Such as a brushed motor, vertical blade/saw holder, regulator, trigger, and a plastic enclosure to hold everything in. Last but not least, a battery module to run the tool on the go if it isn’t the corded one.

The old jigsaw functions just like a reciprocating saw along with a much smaller ergonomic design. Initially, there was no orbital action in the standard variation. But later added to the tool, which gives a more smooth finish after each cut. And the orbital motion allows users to make intricate cuts and curves with ease.

orbital jigsaw

What Is A Brushless Orbital Jigsaw?

Like the standard orbital jigsaw, the brushless jigsaw looks and performs almost the same. The major change in the brushless jigsaw is the motor. Instead of the old brushed motor, the tool has the latest brushless motor inside. In order to rotate, the motor does not need the help of mechanical brushes or the commutator.

Apart from that, the brushless orbital jigsaw has more options in the orbit angle selection. As the brushless motor works more efficiently, it’s normal to see a couple more speed options. And each setting works proficiently regardless of the work specification.

Brushless jigsaw

How Does An Orbital Jigsaw Work?

Jigsaw with the orbital operation works very differently compared to perpendicular blade action jigsaw. What happens in orbital motion is every time the blade goes up; the internal mechanism tilts the blade forward. Next, the blade tilts backward while going down. With each stroke and pull, the tip of the blade looks almost moving on an elliptical path. And that’s the reason we call it orbital jigsaw.

There are some distinct advantages to using an orbital jigsaw. While the saw moves in an orbital motion, it tends to cut hardwood more rapidly. You don’t have to worry about the blade being stuck on the wood panel as it will always cut from the edges. Plus, the crisscross move will always let loose any debris that may catch between the blade’s teeth.

There are disadvantages as well. Orbital jigsaw tends to vibrate more due to moving in the extra axis. If you can’t hold the tool and the workpiece firmly, you might end up with a bad cut.

Brushless Vs Orbital Jigsaw: Key Differences

So you are trying to decide between brushless and standard orbital jigsaw. Here are a few main differences you may see in these multipurpose cutting tools.

Size Of Enclosure

Enclosure size or the overall design plays a big role in any tool. As long as it is manageable in size, any user can have a good time using it. Fortunately, both the brushless and the standard orbital jigsaws are convenient in size. But the brushless jigsaw is much smaller due to the adaptation of the latest tech and the minification of internal components.

Weight Of The Tool

The standard orbital saw uses the traditional brushed motor and components that are in a way outdated. Hence the overall weight sits around 4-5 pounds. On the other hand, brushless orbital jigsaws are far more compact and can weigh 0.5-1 pound less than the traditional ones.

Working Scope

Even though both the brushless and the brushed jigsaw work in a similar way, the output isn’t as similar. Thanks to the high-efficiency brushless motor in the modern jigsaw. It is more aggressive and capable of cutting thick wood pieces quicker than the old orbital jigsaw.


This is where brushless jigsaw shines the most. With a rated battery, a brushless orbital jigsaw can last up to 40% longer than the generic brushed jigsaw. So you can work longer between battery swap and charging session.

Life Span

Wear and tear on the brushed orbital jigsaw is a more prevalent experience. Due to friction and heating, components naturally degrade more rapidly. Alternatively, brushless jigsaws don’t deal with the heating issue often and the tool lasts longer.


The brushless jigsaw is a new breed of the orbital saw with top-notch components in it. Obviously, the manufacturer will charge a premium for all the features they offer. There might be an affordable option for the corded selection. But the cordless variant will have a steep price tag than the brushed jigsaw.

Recommendations For Purchasing A Brushless Orbital Jigsaw

Brushless jigsaws are the latest iteration of jigsaw designed to provide a cleaner cut and reduce the amount of resin dust that it produces. If you want to enjoy all the features it offers, here are some key points to keep in mind when purchasing a brushless jigsaw.

  • If you have a good budget, you should buy the most reviewed brushless jigsaw as it will last for a long time without any need for maintenance.
  • When choosing between corded and cordless, you should consider your workspace as well as your budget. Cordless saws are more expensive but they can be used anywhere you want. Corded saws are cheaper but the battery has to be plugged into an outlet more often.
  • When looking at blade size, you should always look at the width of the blade, not length. And make sure you have the proper blade for the specific operation.

Recommendations For Purchasing Brushed Orbital Jigsaw

Brushed orbital jigsaws are pretty old by now. They are relatively slow and less efficient. But that doesn’t mean it is a bad purchase. From the price point, it is a good affordable option and a viable one if you are not into the heavy cutting task. So here are some recommendations if you decide to go the standard orbital jigsaw route.

  • The first thing you should do is evaluate your needs. What are you going to do with the tool? How big and complex will the project be? How often will you use the jigsaw? These questions can help you determine if a standard orbital jigsaw is right for your needs.
  • When purchasing this type of power saw, check how much thickness and materials it can handle. Sometimes people only need the orbital jigsaw for small jobs around the house, but other times they may need something more heavy-duty saw.
  • Check if it has a good warranty option as it has a habit of breaking down after a year or so. And remember, you need to follow instructions and maintain regularly to get the most out of standard orbital jigsaw.

Ryobi Brushless Jigsaw Vs Old Jigsaw [Video]

FAQs On Brushless Vs Orbital Jigsaw

What is the difference between an orbital jigsaw and a jigsaw?

The primary distinction between an orbital jigsaw and a standard jigsaw lies in their cutting action. While a jigsaw moves the blade solely in an up-and-down motion, an orbital jigsaw features an additional orbital or elliptical motion. This orbital action causes the blade to move forward slightly during the upstroke and backward during the downstroke, resulting in a more aggressive and efficient cutting action. Consequently, an orbital jigsaw is ideal for tasks that require faster cuts and efficient removal of material, while a standard jigsaw is better suited for precise and intricate cuts.

What do you use an orbital jigsaw for?

An orbital jigsaw is a versatile handheld power tool used primarily for making intricate and curved cuts in various materials such as wood, plastic, and metal. Equipped with a small, reciprocating saw blade that moves in an orbital motion, this tool allows for more aggressive and efficient cutting action, minimizing splintering and providing smoother cuts.

Its ability to pivot and maneuver easily makes it an ideal choice for tasks such as cutting intricate designs, making plunge cuts, and creating curved or irregular shapes with precision.

How much should I spend on a jigsaw?

When deciding on a budget for a jigsaw, it is essential to consider your specific needs and the level of usage required. Generally, it is advisable to invest in a quality jigsaw that offers durability and reliability, even if it means spending a bit more upfront.

While prices can vary significantly, a reasonable range for a professional-grade jigsaw would be between $100 to $300, ensuring a balance between performance and affordability.

Ultimately, prioritizing longevity and precision in your purchase will result in a worthwhile investment for both professional craftsmen and DIY enthusiasts.

What to look for when buying a jigsaw?

When purchasing a jigsaw, it is crucial to consider several key factors to ensure a worthwhile investment.

Firstly, evaluate the cutting capacity of the tool, as this will determine its versatility for various materials and thicknesses. A higher stroke length will enable the jigsaw to cut through thicker materials effortlessly.

Secondly, pay close attention to the power rating and motor speed, as these factors directly impact the cutting efficiency and precision. Opting for a jigsaw with adjustable speed settings allows for better control and accuracy.

Additionally, a tool with a dust extraction system will help maintain a clean and safe working environment.

Lastly, consider the ergonomics and weight of the jigsaw, as a comfortable grip and lightweight design will enhance user experience and reduce fatigue during prolonged use.

By carefully assessing these features, one can make an informed decision and select a jigsaw that aligns with their specific needs and requirements.

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Kristina Raymer

Kristina is a vivacious individual who embraces life with a spirit of joy and vibrancy. With extensive experience in wood construction, including house framing and remodeling, her love for music, nature, and exploration shines through. A creative soul who expresses herself through the written word, Kristina's touch is unmistakable in the captivating content found on

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