WorkZONE - 91117 7-amp variable speed orbital jigsaw (Rating: 4)

OK, fellow jocks, I know you're snickering: "this newbie bought a power tool at Aldi."

And yes, I probably would have laughed at it too but damn if it isn't a decent saw.

The background: Needed to cut some circles out of plywood. Was going to use points at Sears, but missed the sale on the C3 by a day. Figured I'd just grab something cheap at HFT until I could get what I really wanted. The woman made me stop at Aldi on the way to grab some dinner stuff and while she was taking her sweet ass time looking through "healthy" food she'd never eat, I searched in vain for spatzle and stumbled upon their middle, household isles. OK, new broom, a water bottle, drying rack, jigsaw …. JIGSAW? Jigsaw. Clearance. $10. Surely, it HAD to be a piece of crap.

But, I needed to cut out four circles. If it worked to do that, cool. Skipped HFT, went home and opened the box. Was shocked when I saw "Made in Austria" on the actual saw despite the box saying "Made in China." Plugged it in, connected the shop vac and started cutting. Smooth, clean, easy cuts. I was shocked. Found a scrap piece of walnut from another project and that, too, cut like a hot knife in butter.

I was impressed.

I ended up breaking a blade-not because it was cheap, but because I was an idiot and didn't put it in properly. Grabbed some Bosch blades from the Ace down the block (which I always flipping forget about), popped those in and blazed my way through some pallets I was ripping apart. Again, simple.

The laser is really good, even in bright light situations. The guide is sturdy and quite long. And, best of all, the shop vac/dust port is really, really good. Hardly anything ended up on the deck.

Now, all this said, no way this is my go-to saw for fine cutting and high end projects. But for a beginner and simple cuts, damn, I'm pretty happy with this saw. I've seen it on occasion since, going for about $20-$30. If you need a beat-around saw for piddly, odds-and-ends crap … grab one.