If you need to take care of some woodworking, a jigsaw is a very handy tool to have at your disposal, but can it cut through a 2×4 or a 4×4?
Whether you are cutting wood, metal, or alternative materials, a jigsaw is a universal tool for so many workers out there.
Although a jigsaw can handle a variety of different types of lumber, you may want to approach the thickness that you try to cut with careful consideration.
You can use a jigsaw to cut through a 2×4, but you should not try to cut a 4×4 with this kind of tool. The standard blade equipped with a jigsaw is generally able to cut to a depth of ⅜ to 1 ½ inches, which will not be enough to reach the thickness of a standard 4×4.
Whether you are woodworking as a hobbyist or an industry professional in construction, power tools have made life a lot more practical and efficient.
A vital tool in this regard is the jigsaw. This is a highly versatile saw that can be used for a variety of different kinds of cuts, but you want to understand the full capabilities and limitations of the jigsaw before you put it to the test.
This is particularly the case when dealing with 2x4s and 4x4s, as these are very common types of lumber that are used in woodworking and construction.
To help you understand this further, we are going to take a closer look at whether a jigsaw can cut a 2×4 or a 4×4.
Using a jigsaw to cut a piece of lumber that is too thick can result in issues with the saw blade.
Can a Jigsaw Cut a 2×4?
If you need to cut through a 2×4 and have a jigsaw for the job, you are in luck!
A jigsaw is capable of cutting through a 2×4, as the thickness range of most saw blades will go to a maximum depth of around 1 ½ inches.
A lot of people often speculate whether a jigsaw can cut through a 2×4 given that they assume a 2×4 is 2 inches thick.
However, this is not the case – with most 2x4s averaging around 1 ½ inches of thickness, which is just enough for a jigsaw to get the job done.
With that being said, you can only use a jigsaw to cut through a 2×4 when doing so with the lumber positioned horizontally.
The edge of a 2×4 is longer than 3 ½ inches, which a jigsaw will not be able to cut through.
Before you begin cutting your 2×4, you want to approach the process carefully to ensure that you are not going to cause any damage to your saw or its blade.
How to Cut a 2×4 with a Jigsaw
Power tools like jigsaws are durable and designed for longevity, but misuse can result in unnecessary damage such as mechanical issues or bent saw blades.
To be on the safe side, always confirm the thickness of the lumber that you want to cut before you start sawing through it.
If you see that the 2×4 has industry-standard dimensions, then you can begin cutting it with your jigsaw.
Here’s how it’s done!
Select a Jigsaw Blade
A jigsaw is a very dynamic tool that can be used to cut a variety of materials.
Manufacturers designed this saw for cutting irregular curves and for stenciling designs, which is why you will find blades at different lengths.
Since you are cutting a 2×4, you need to pick a jigsaw blade that is going to cut through the thickness of the lumber.
Usually, this means picking a blade that is at least 1 inch longer than the thickness that you want to cut through. For a 2×4, this would be a blade that is at least 2 ½ to 3 inches thick.
We would recommend using a quality blade that has mid-sized teeth and an adequate amount of width.
Setting your jigsaw’s oscillator to the right amount can make a big difference in how well it cuts through the 2×4.
You should see a switch on the side of your jigsaw that enables you to change it to a stronger setting.
This affects the angled position at which the blade will cut. Changing the oscillator setting will make the blade come out as it cuts, whereas keeping it neutral will make the jigsaw blade cut in an up/down motion.
Measure the Cut
The golden rule of woodworking is to measure twice and cut once. The same applies to cutting a 2×4.
Take out a ruler and a pencil to create a straight line on the 2×4.
This will give you an accurate line to follow as you cut the lumber with your jigsaw.
If you made a nice straight line on your 2×4, cutting the lumber should be very intuitive.
Take it slow and do not rush, as this can easily lead to mistakes and it also increases your chances of getting saw marks.
Follow the line and let your jigsaw cut through the 2×4 smoothly, as this will give you the most precise end result.
If you find that there are some saw marks after your cut, simply use some sandpaper to smoothen out the rigidness.
Can a Jigsaw Cut a 4×4?
Although a jigsaw is fully capable of cutting through a 2×4, a 4×4 piece of lumber is going to be more than what the saw can handle.
Most jigsaws can cut to a maximum length of 1 ½ inches, which is just enough for a jigsaw to cut through using most standard blades.
With that being said, you can use a jigsaw to cut into a 4×4.
The blade may not be long enough to cut through the lumber, but you can still cut into it and make indentations and designs.
Some manufacturers have started producing longer blades that are as long as 10 inches, which could technically cut through a 4×4.
However, you will find that this is not going to be ideal for a jigsaw and you are likely to get a poor cut or damage your blade.
Risks of Cutting a 4×4 with a Jigsaw
The bottom line is that most standard jigsaw blades are not long enough to cut through a 4×4.
However, if you were to get an extra-long blade that is 10 inches, you should technically be able to get the job done.
The problem with this is that a jigsaw is not intended for cutting lumber that is this thick, which can lead to damage to your blade.
It is quite common for jigsaw blades to bend when being tasked with cutting lumber that is too thick – with a 4×4 pushing the tool to its limits.
If you value your tools and want to keep them in working order, it would be wise to upgrade to a more powerful saw to cut through a 4×4.
Summing Up If a Jigsaw Can Cut 2×4 and 4×4
Jigsaws are a great tool if you’re looking to cut some wood for a DIY project. They can cut through 2x4s, but 4x4s prove to be a little bit too thick. If you attempt to do so without an extra long blade, you can damage your tool beyond repair in some cases.
If you need to get something thicker than a 2×4 cut, make sure you contact a professional or look into other tools that can handle the job.