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Sawing without fraying: Using jigsaws correctly

A jigsaw and two sawn-off wooden boards on a worktop.
There are a few tricks to avoid fraying when sawing with a jigsaw.


Wood is no problem for a jigsaw. However, the cutting line can quickly fray during sawing, particularly in soft material. There are a few tips and tricks to avoid this. We will show you different ways to work with the jigsaw to prevent or reduce fraying of the fibres.

You need
  • work gloves
  • adhesive tape
  • pencil
  • No materials needed
L: Length, W: Width, H: Height, D: Diameter

Let's go - step by step

Sawing without fraying – how it's done

Wood is a material that occasionally frays when sawn – something we naturally want to avoid. Our video shows you how to saw without fraying. Using a few simple tips, you can prevent the wood from fraying during your next DIY project.

Step 1 5

Deactivating pendulum action

The pendulum action is switched off on a Bosch jigsaw.
The higher the pendulum level, the greater the tear-out on the material.

You need: Jigsaw

Some jigsaws have a pendulum adjustment with several steps. Sawing with a pendulum action results in faster progress, and the saw blade is protected. However, the higher the pendulum action, the greater the material tear-out. The pendulum action should therefore only be used for thicker and harder materials. For example, the pendulum action is not required for ordinary shelves with a thickness of 20-30 mm.
Our first tip for avoiding fraying when sawing: Turn the pendulum switch on your Bosch jigsaw to 0. This deactivates the pendulum action on the jigsaw.

Step 2 5

Using the splinter guard

A splinter guard is installed at the bottom of the jigsaw blade.
An extra splinter guard can be used with all Bosch jigsaws.

You need: Jigsaw including splinter guard, Jigsaw blade set, work gloves

All Bosch jigsaws can be fitted with a so-called splinter guard. This small device also prevents tearing at the top of the material. Simply position the guard on the underside of the jigsaw directly on the saw blade. As soon as it is correctly seated, it locks into place.

However, it is important to take care when inserting it: Remove the battery beforehand and wear protective gloves while handling the saw blade below. This protects you against cuts.

Step 3 5

Applying adhesive tape to the material

A strip of adhesive tape is attached to a wooden panel.
A strip of adhesive tape on the cut line also helps prevent fraying.

You need: Jigsaw, Jigsaw blade set, adhesive tape, pencil

Ordinary adhesive tape can be used as an alternative, or in addition to chip protection. (However, it must have exactly the right level of adhesion, therefore it is best to do a quick test beforehand.) Stick a  strip in the location on the wood where you want to make the cut later. If you know which side of the panel will later be the visible side, leave it facing downwards when sawing and glue the non-visible side. This is because, usually, only the surface of the material tears out when sawn.
Draw your final cutting line on the adhesive tape and saw along it. When you peel off the strip, you will find that this tip also helps to ensure tear-free sawing.

Step 4 5

Using the right saw blade

A saw blade is inserted into a Bosch jigsaw.
Special saw blades should be used for tear-free cuts.

You need: Jigsaw, Jigsaw blade set, work gloves

If you want to minimise tearing, it is important to choose the right saw blade. For woodworking, for example, the Bosch Clean for Wood or Extra Clean for Wood saw blades are ideal for sawing without fraying. The distance between the teeth is smaller on these blades. This will mean your progress is a little slower than with blades with larger tooth spacing, but you will achieve a cleaner cut.

In our guides you will learn how to change the saw blade, and which saw blade is best suited for which material.

Step 5 5

Sawing along the fibre

The grain is visible on a wooden panel.
Saw along the grain of the wood if possible.

If your project or your saw cut allows it, it is best to saw the wooden panel along the grain. This also means that fewer fibres will tear out and you will achieve a very clean, unfrayed cut. However, if this is not possible, you should use at least one of the other four tips.

Would you like to know more about using Bosch jigsaws? No problem! In our guides, we explain the most important basics , such as how best to make a straight cut  or perform round sawing. 

And why not use your new sawing knowledge to create your own rabbit hutch out of an old barrel?