What is an orbital jigsaw And Advantages Of Orbital Setting

what is an orbital jigsaw?An orbital jigsaw is a cutting machine that follows an orbital swinging action while cutting through the material rather than following a straight cutting pattern. It is usually called pendulum action in which we tilt the blade forward along the cutting edge. An orbital jigsaw is also called an orbital sabre saw having a motor, handle, straight and narrow blades mounted perpendicular on the tool. Same as reciprocating saw the blades also move up and down in this saw.

What is the difference between an orbital saw and a jigsaw?

normal jigsaw vs orbital jigsaw basics difference

  • In a standard jigsaw, the blades move straight up and down but in an orbital jigsaw, the blades are slightly angled forward.
  • You can make more aggressive cuts with the help of an orbital jigsaw as compared to a standard jigsaw.
  • An orbital jigsaw is also more efficient in cutting thick wood pieces and laminate sheets.
  • Orbital jigsaw produces more vibrations due to its aggressive nature.

When to use this saw

The orbital jigsaws are normally used for fast and aggressive cutting. With an adjustable orbital action setting, you can make the most out of an orbital jigsaw. The aggressive mode of the orbital jigsaw is highly useful for quick and rough cutting through a range of thicker wooden materials. Moreover, you can also make fast cuts through the laminate, plastics, plasterboards, etc. At a lower orbital action setting, you can also apply it to the thick metal and aluminum sheets. Furthermore, straight, scroll, and curved cuts are also manageable at a lower setting. However, if you have to make plunge cuts, then you need to turn off the orbital action.

Advantages of using an orbital saw

  • It has more speed as well as efficiency as compared to the normal jigsaw.
  • It can fast cut through thicker and hard materials.
  • The swinging motion prevents it from pinching by the material.
  • The pendulum action keeps the dust and debris away from the path of the blade.
  • By keeping dust and debris away from the machine, you can increase the sharpness and cutting life of the blade.
  • Less friction produces while cutting which keeps the blade cooler.

What is an orbital action setting on a jigsaw?

Nowadays, most of the jigsaws in the market are coming with variable speed control dial as well as orbital action setting. This is good for straight up and down cutting, fast, efficient, and rough cutting. A dial will also be available with the jigsaw. You can operate it at four or more levels. It is normally located on the left side of the machine.

orbital action settings on a jigsawThe higher the orbital level will allow the jigsaw to operate faster and aggressively. You can cut hard materials. On the other hand, at no orbital setting, you can control the tool easily and make some delicate and precise cuts. Thus, you can set the orbital action according to your requirement.

The orbital setting is highly useful for making some straight cuts. Here the orbital action follows the cut line correctly. But for curved cuts, you need to operate it at a lower orbital action setting. Plunge cuts are also not manageable with this setting.

For plastic or fiberglass cutting, you must set it on no orbital action setting for making some clean cuts. However, if you operate the jigsaw on a low to medium orbital setting it will be good for the life of the blades of the jigsaw.


In a nutshell, you must have an orbital action setting for making some aggressive and efficient cuts. The right orbital setting will improve the speed of your tool and extend the life of the blades. Thus, it is a high time to select the jigsaw with an orbital action setting.

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