Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bosch Jigsaw 1590EVSK Review

From the small corner of a garage or basement to a full-size production facility, no workshop is complete without a handheld jigsaw. Most of us have used a jigsaw or two before as they are so common, and it is safe to say that most of us have had mixed experiences with this tool depending upon the model that was used. Some jigsaws vibrate violently, cut poorly, and even blow dust in your face. In the past I had a real beauty that did all three of these simultaneously and to top it off it frequently dropped the blade from its holder too. This jigsaw and other like it are almost completely useless. On the other end of the scale you have jigsaws like the Bosch Jigsaw 1590EVSK.

The Bosch 1590EVSK Jig Saw lists for $312 but you can pick it up for around $160 at most retailers. The box contains the jigsaw, carry case, no-mar base plate, anti-splinter inset, three blades, and manual. Upon opening the carry case I found a large and hefty jigsaw (about 6lbs.). The saw body is a combination of metal and plastic and it features a rubber to grip, which is comfortable and does not attract too much sawdust. The various buttons, levers, and switches are located logically, operate smoothly, and are sized equally well for big or small hands.

Making the first cut revealed and extremely smooth cutting and easy handling tool. Perhaps the extra size and weight dampens the vibration inherent in all jigsaws. Both straight and curved cuts had relatively smooth edges and the variable speed feature made it easy to dial in the correct setting. Splintering was kept to a minimum, which means less sanding time. The 6.4 amp motor has plenty of power and never seemed to bog down when hitting knots or cutting through thick material. The only real disappointment was the integrated dust blower. While it did blow some of the sawdust off of my pencil line, there was still enough dust to necessitate the old-fashioned bend down and blow.

Bosch included several features on this saw that add to its versatility and ease of use. While many of these features are common on other jigsaws, rarely are they executed so well. The foremost example is the toolless blade change. Pulling a large lever on the front of the saw ejects the blade from its holder. Gently press a new blade into the holder and after a positive click you are ready to go. I would liken the Bosch’s toolless blade change to the best keyless drill chucks; it is simple, easy, and fast. Bosch also included a precision control feature that is engaged by pressing a button on the side of the saw. Two metal guides press against the blade to help keep it straight when cutting through thick or extra hard material. In addition you can select from three orbital cutting strokes as well as the standard vertical cutting motion. The bevel angle is adjusted with the flick of a lever and at 90° the base plate can be shifted back to allow for flush cuts in tight spaces.

When the sawdust has settled, the Bosch Jigsaw 1590EVSK is a clear winner when compared to the majority of its competitors. While it is a large and hefty saw it cuts smoothly and handles extremely well. It has comfortable ergonomics and a well-rounded feature set. The Bosch Jigsaw 1590EVSK receives an very strong 4 hammer rating.

Powerful motor
Smooth cutting on
straight and curved cuts
Less vibration t
han most jigsaws
Good ergonomic
Toolless blade chan
ge is quick and easy

Dust blower is not adequate
Dust collection with a shop-vac requires the purchase of optional parts


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