Bosch - JS470EB 7.0-Amp Barrel Grip Jigsaw (Rating: 5)

For reference, this is my third Bosch saber saw. I bought my first one over twenty years ago. Before it, I bought "high end" B &D's and others touted as professional quality. They all died within six months of heavy use. In contrast, I sold my first Bosch to my brother seven years after I bought it, when I upgraded [to the first model not requiring a screw driver for blade changes].

My first Bosch was a barrel and was bought by mistake. I had never used one before. A friend picked it up for me, since I was hours from civilization. However, I came to like the barrel design so much, my second Bosch purchase was what might be called a ironic mistake. The same friend picked it up all those years later, but bought the D handle type that time. I tried it, but had to have a barrel again. I gifted the D handled saw to a friend headed north, to Alaska, where it yet resides, and bought this barrel version and really like its features.

Blades just press in, but hold well. Equally impressive is, they eject at the flip of a lever. Switching the angle of cut is also a breeze. Before, I had to locate and use an Allen wrench. With this version, you merely flip a lever, making for quick, almost effortless cut angle changes.

Additional to the foregoing and as others mentioned, the saw is variable speed (the barrel speed is controlled by a dial), has a chip blower, has a bearing back up for the blade for more accurate cuts, and has three orbit settings that allow you to choose smooth or fast cutting (extreme orbit allows quicker chip removal and quick cuts).

Since going to the Bosch and its bayonet blade system, which all other quality saws have copied, I have only broken about ten blades in over twenty years. Most of those were metal blades, so were being worked very hard. The quality of blades for the bayonet type saws is far and above the old jig saws blades many of us grew up with.

At the least, I use my saw once or twice a week. Sometimes I use it daily. From my experience I am wholly comfortable recommending this saw to others.

The only caveat I would offer is, as others noted: Test both the barrel and the D handle units before you buy a saw. If you have small hands or often work on vertical surfaces, a D handle unit might be better suited for your needs. If, however, you like being close to your work, the feel of precision control and are comfortable with the size of the barrel in your hands, consider this unit.