Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tool Review: Makita 4351FCT Jigsaw

Earlier this year I purchased a Makita 4351FCT Jigsaw from Sydney Tools. Official Stats: Length of Stroke 26mm, Max. Cutting Capacity 135mm (wood) & 10mm (steel), Angle cutting -45-45. Continuous Rating Input 720W, Strokes per Minute 800-2,800, and Weight 2.4kg.

I needed a tool to make some curved cuts and rough cuts in a safer manner than using a circular saw on a non-flat slabs. A bow-saw is romantic but I'd have to build it, and I was in a hurry. A bandsaw would be great, but they're a bigger investment than what I was after.

Makita is my preferred brand for power tools. I find them simple, rugged, powerful, and well built. I chose the 4251FCT as it had variable speed, a high wattage of power, and the pistol (cf: D shape) handle.

So how does it perform. 

Pros.  It fulfilled the job it was bought to do and was very handy in rough cutting from slabs and refining the curve in milled pieces. It is indeed a powerful unit, well capable of making the 50mm deep cuts into hardwood. The handle design is very comfortable and makes the tool easy to control. Vibration is well controlled. It comes with a sturdy case. Sydney Tools were easy to deal with and provided prompt delivery.

Cons: I had some initial trouble with blades. I found they weren't cutting at 90 degrees but rather bending and cutting angles. This resulted in a ruined piece of wood and a several snapped blades. Eventually I bought some Bosch hardwood blades which worked well. It lacked several important accessories. A circle cutter, parallel guide, and dust extraction hood are listed as options, but are not included and not easily available. In tougher timbers the vibration although still tolerable was significant. Although a 135mm cutting depth is advertised I doubt it could be done safely with any precision.

So am I happy with it and would I buy it again?

Yes, and yes. It's simple and works. It does what it was made for and nothing more. I was disappointed most by the lack of accessories.


  1. I agree that Makita accessories are often not locally in stock. However I have found that they ship them out very quickly if you call. They have everything on hand and ready to ship.

  2. They are in demand, we know that it works every time and rise up to the results. They ship very quickly, they have good customer support and I loved it.


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