Black & Decker SmartSelect Linefinder Jigsaw

SmartSelect design makes this jigsaw ideal for DIYers

bd_JS680V

Black & Decker SmartSelect Linefinder Jigsaw



The Black and Decker Linefinder Jigsaw (JS680V) is part of the B&D SmartSelect family of power tools designed for home hobbyists and DIYers. SmartSelect tools employ an icon-based system that enables users to visually select the right setting to use for the specific application at hand. On the JS680V the SmartSelect feature consists of a dial on the side of the jigsaw that identifies six different cutting options, based on type of material and orientation of cut. Essentially, the dial selects, for the user, the right cutting speed for the application at hand. There are icons for pretty well all the basic kinds of cuts you'd likely make with the jigsaw. For a cut that isn't specified on one of the icons, simply select an icon that best represents the kind of cut you want to make (and try a few cuts on scrap material before committing to your stock).

The SmartSelect feature selects the appropriate cutting speed for you, from 1,700 RPM up to 3,200 RPM. You can also switch the jigsaw to the lowest speed setting of 800 RPM. When you select the icon for the low speed setting, or the 800 RPM setting, the orbital action is turned off (conversely it's left on for all other speed settings). The orbital action moves the blade forward and backward as it moves the blade up and down. This helps improve blade cut, and reduces tool vibration and sawdust accumulation around the blade.
 
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SmartSelect Dial
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Padded handle with lock-on button and large trigger
The body of the JS680V is made primarily of high impact ABS plastic with a black rubber overmold grip on the handle. The padded handle fits the hand very comfortably, and I like the large trigger and the convenient placement of the lock-on button, easily accessibly with thumb or forefinger. I also like the on-board storage for up to 3 blades, which I find very convenient. The blades are held in place with magnets. The front housing and base are made of cast aluminum, which is durable enough for home and hobbyist use.

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On-board blade storage is convenient
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Shoe plate cover is thin and the mouth is very wide
The shoe plate cover is made of thin smooth plastic, which should reduce friction when cutting, but doesn't look very robust. As well, the throat is quite wide (a narrow throat helps prevent stock from splitting). Under the shoe plate cover is a channel through which dust can travel to the back of the tool. However, without adequate suction at the dust extraction port, it's of dubious usefulness. The dust port, is, to put it mildly, of strange design, looking as it does like a fish mouth. This means you won't be able to attach a shop vac hose to it (and it doesn't appear that B&D have a suitable adapter). There is no dust blower on the JS680V.
 
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Channels direct dust to rear dust port
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"Fish mouth" dust port is of unique design
The shoe plate can be tilted left or right, and has detents at 15°, 30° and 45°. While it isn't a feature I use frequently, it is nice to have it when the need arises. The shoe plate locking arm secures the shoe firmly in place, but I did find it all to easy to inadvertently lock the plate at an in-between angle (even though there is a small window through which you can read the bevel angle, and an audible click when the detent engages). I attribute this to the plastic gears (which is likely why the user manual cautions you to check the bevel angle with a protractor).
 
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Bevelling plate with 3 detents
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It's easy to lock the bevel slightly off the mark
The JS680V features LINEFINDER technology - essentially an ultraviolet (UV) laser light that illuminates a line drawn on your work surface with a fine tipped highlighter. This is pretty cool, and I found it worked very well; less so in bright light or outdoors, and extremely well in muted lighting. The pen mounts in a plastic holder that you can clip on the power cord so it won't get misplaced. You can purchase a replacement highlighter at any office supply store. The light is located at the front of the motor housing, and is turned on and off by a switch located at the top of the front housing. You access the battery compartment here as well (the light takes three AAA batteries, supplied with the jigsaw). Unfortunately the light doesn't automatically switch off - you have to remember to turn it off after each use, or the batteries will quickly drain).
 
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Linefinder works well in all but the brightest light
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Sample cut
I used the JS680V to cut a variety of material, including 3/4" MDF and plywood, and 3/4" and 1 1/2" softwood and hardwood. Overall, I was satisfied with its performance in both straight and curved line cutting. As expected, the tool vibrated under load more than a professional quality tool, though at 97.7 dB it was no louder. The JS680V doesn't come with a circle cutting or edge guide, nor a storage bag, and none are listed on the B&D web site.
 
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Fine tipped highlighter marks the line
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JS680V cuts the line
Still, for a consumer grade tool the JS680V offers good value, particularly with a 2 year warranty and an under $70 price tag.

KEY FEATURES:


  • 6 amps
  • 800 - 3,200 SPM
  • 13/16" stroke
  • Laser Linefinder system
  • Keyless blade change
  • Accepts T and U shank blades
  • On-board storage for 3 blades
  • Lock-on button
  • 45-degree bevel angle adjustment
  • 6' power cord
  • 2 year warranty
  • Includes: jigsaw blade, pen, pen holder, 3 AAA batteries

MANUFACTURERBlack and Decker
AVAILABLE FROMTool and equipment suppliers nationwide
RETAIL PRICE$69.99
MODEL #JS680V
MADE INChina
Carl Duguay, September 2010
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