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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I bought a piece of this to make a cutout for my window air conditioner.

Goodfellow 3/4 Inch White Melamine Particleboard Handy Panel

https://www.homedepot.ca/product/go...melamine-particleboard-handy-panel/1000175277

I used a brand new Dewalt DCB331 cordless jig saw with fully-charged batteries. I did everything by the book. I quickly noticed a really bad burning smell. Smoke came off the blade and the kerf turned brown. The blade was very hot after 30 seconds of cutting. I checked the blade insertion and all settings...fine.














It took me about 1.5 hours to do a cutout large enough for a tiny air conditioner. By the time I was done, a good portion of the blade was black and blue.

I called the mfgr. and a rep. told me that many people couldn't get through this with a jig saw. He said, many routers can't get through this product either. He didn't say if it would damage your router bit. He said a table saw or Skilsaw are the only cutting tools you want to use on this. He said it was because it was about 70% hardwood.

Was I expecting too much for this saw to go though particle board? How difficult will it be for me to use this saw on, say, 3/4" or 1" solid hardwood? Will I just burn blades? I thought modern cordless tools such as a jig saw were supposed to be powerful enough to go through this kind of wood, just with more effort.

Please, set me straight. I just bought this cordless jig saw. I don't have any hardwood yet on which to test it, but if it won't cut that stuff, would a corded saw work better (with typical hardwoods, not this material).
 

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It is not the fact that there is anything wrong with the blade. The blade gets hot faster because of all the glue in the particle board. The glue will get hot really fast, and cause the blade more friction, thus causing the saw to work harder. I always use a circular saw when I have to cut that junk. That blade has now lost its temper. Throw it away and get another.


I never rely on battery tools. They are nice for certain things and in certain situations. But power comes from the larger corded electric tools where there is more current. Anytime I want to be quick about working, I always use true 120/240 volt tool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Yes, I'm not dumb enough to make that mistake.

Something I should've mentioned earlier...Prior to cutting this 3/4" particle board, I had no trouble getting through a different piece/brand of 1" particle board with the same saw, same blade, no change in blade mounting. There was glue in that first piece too.

If a cordless jig saw is useless for certain kinds of particle board and hardwood, then I guess its use is really limited, then? How much easier will it be with an AC-powered jig saw to cut the challenging wood I have? Does anyone have any idea?


This forum seems to insist on insert two or three carriage returns between paragraphs when I didn't type them. Is that how it's supposed to work here?
 

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I've not cut a lot of particle board but don't really remember any issues when I have. Mostly with a skilsaw but I've also used a jig saw - always electric, never battery. Cutting seems to take up too much battery although the newer cordless saws seem to do better than the older ones.


Personally I couldn't spend 1.5 hrs making a cut. I'd have went with a different tool, blade or something long before spending that kind of time - I don't have that much patience!
 

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I'll apologize up front for the inability to be more specific, and I'm not jumping to the defense of your cordless jig saw, but before you write it off I would be more inclined to suspect the blade than the saw. I have cut all types of wood, hard, soft, straight, twisted, treated, untreated, etc. with any number of types of saws, jig, band, table, circular, hand, etc., and yes, on occasion I have burned the wood, but I never remember blaming it on the saw. Sometimes it was due to other factors, but more often than not it was because I was using a wrong or worn blade. Again, I can't be more specific because blade selection has never been one of my strong suits, so if in doubt I make a test cut or two on the material I am working with, and it only take a few seconds to say "yes, this is it" or "nope, it's fighting me". In my simple mind, it's sort of like cutting a steak with a butter knife. Granted, done properly, sometimes the butter knife works, and sometimes you go get a steak knife, but you don't run to the doctor and say that your arm, which is the machine in this case, is bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks. I thought of that too. I used the blade marked "wood" on it. As I said, it worked perfectly for the first, thicker piece of particle board. I could try another blade, but that would mean going to HD and shelling out more money for something that may not even work.



I'm still considering doing that, however. I will also try the burned blade on a third piece of wood to see what happens. Anyone else ever get tired of being lied to/manipulated and just want to hear the truth? Oh well, at least you guys are being honest.
 

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Not all blades are the same, sometimes cheap blades will go dull in short order. It could be the blade wasn't much good to start with. I generally steer away from the real cheap priced blades.
 

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Something I should've mentioned earlier...Prior to cutting this 3/4" particle board, I had no trouble getting through a different piece/brand of 1" particle board with the same saw, same blade, no change in blade mounting. There was glue in that first piece too.
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I'm thinking the Particle Board board at fault. Who knows what some idiot manufacturer inserted in his P B to make an extra dime. Hell, he may have put sand in it.
















If you can determine the brand please let us know so we can avoid your problem.




Edit: Edit:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
SeniorSitizen:

I considered that possibility too. Brand? The brand of wood is mentioned in my very first post, if you click on the link. Good Fellow, made in Quebec.


I'm going to buy another (corded) saw at Lowes and try it, and then try the Dewalt again in several pieces of wood.

I'll post back with my results.
 

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A jig saw can cut in an up/down stroke or in an orbital mode where the blade backs off as it drops for the next up stroke. Jigsaw blades only cut on the up stroke so the down just dulls the blade.

Check your saw for that option, usually something you can change. Up and down does give a smoother cut but takes longer.

Bud
 

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Not all blades cut on the upstroke.

When cutting laminate or melamine with a jigsaw, you generally want to use a downward cutting blade so that you don't get tearout on the top surface. Like the Bosch T101BR.
 

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A jigsaw is not a tool I go to a lot (although I have two - go figure) but unless worksite or task specifically favours cordless, I would go corded simply because they are generally cheaper, often lighter and provide consistent continuous power. My experience says blade quality is a huge range, and both tool and feed speed are important. As well, some blade have set teeth (angled off to left/right) and some do not. I don't know which would be better for PB.



In my opinion, quality aside, that blade was too course for particle board (and is now toast).


Some decent thoughts here:


https://www.woodmagazine.com/woodworking-tips/techniques/sawing-solutions/jigsaw
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
lenaitch: Maybe, but if it was so wrong, why did it cut the first, thicker piece easily and perfectly. Because it might have been softwood? Don't know. I'm looking at one of the Craftsman jigsaw models, but it use an Allen key to tighten the blade. I'm not fond of that. Still considering it, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Does the t-shank have any advantages other than quick change of blades? Since I rarely use the saw, quick change blades won't be much of an advantage for me. I thought I read somewhere that T-shank blades are less likely to come loose or fall out, yes?
 

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I use bosch blades on bosch jigsaw, corded though. I don't know that brand but good blades can make a difference. Read your manual again. Dewalt should have at least 2 settings. Speed and type of cutting motions. Particle board is also tough because lot of it is glue. Blades bind in the kerf. What kind of blade stabilizer on dewalt? I thought t shank blades were universal by now. Only time I lost a blade is when I didn't complete clamping process.
 
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