What is variable speed, and is it important?
Variable speed is a feature of a lot of modern jigsaws and it can be incredibly useful when cutting a material that changes thickness and abrasiveness throughout your cut. For example, using a mixed blade when cutting through wood with nails is a lot easier if you have a variable speed saw. Variable speed allows the user to change the speed of their cut by applying, or removing pressure from the trigger on their jigsaw.
Older jigsaws often have a switch system where you flick it to change the speed. The advantages of this are that you won’t suddenly change the speed of your cut. It will stay the same speed until you flick the switch. A major setback with this system is that if the abrasiveness of thickness of the cut suddenly changed then you’d have to flick the switch, which takes time and can make you lose concentration. If you don’t realise quickly, then the material or blade could be damaged throughout the process.
On the other hand, newer model jigsaws that have the variable speed feature eliminate the risks of the switch system. If you meet a thicker material during your cut, you can instantly react by simply applying or removing pressure from the trigger. Another advantage is that you can remove all pressure if the jigsaw needs turning off in a dangerous situation. Variable speed triggers are also more health and safety friendly. You can’t leave the jigsaw turned on when you remove the plug because no pressure will be applied to the trigger, whereas on a switch system you could unplug it while leaving it on. This means you could plug it in and the saw will already be running.