5 DIY Jigsaw Guides For Your Workshop

Whether making straight or circular cuts, these 5 DIY Jigsaw guides are easy to make and will help you so much in the workshop.

There 2 main types of jigsaw guides. Cutting guides for straight cuts and crosscuts and circle cutting guides.

A jigsaw is one of the most versatile tools in the workshop and probably one of the first tools to get for a workshop. There are plenty of cuts you can make with a jigsaw, ranging from straight cuts, crosscuts, circular cuts, and bevel cuts to plunge cuts.

The type of blade used determines for what purpose and what type of cut the jigsaw should be used. Using the right blade is one of the most important things when cutting with a jigsaw. Different types of materials require different blades. Using the right blade will not only make cutting easier but also the resulting cut will be cleaner and more accurate. This is especially the case when cutting a circle with a jigsaw.

Making clean curved cuts with a jigsaw is quite easy. That is actually one of the main advantages of a jigsaw. But what if you needed to make a precise long straight cut? Making accurate straight or circular cuts with a jigsaw might not be entirely straightforward, especially, if you are operating a jigsaw freehand. In such a situation, it is better to use a guide that will make the cuts cleaner and more accurate.

An adjustable DIY jigsaw guide for straight cuts and crosscuts with a fine 90 degree adjustment.

Read below how to build these 5 different types of DIY jigsaw guides, what material you will need, and how to use them. I have built them all and have tried them all. Read through the article to find out what are their benefits, how much money and time it takes to build them, and what would be the best choice for you.

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Table of Contents

  1. Jigsaw Guide Basics
  2. DIY Jigsaw Guides for Straight Cuts and Crosscuts
    1. Simple Jigsaw Guide for Short Cuts
    2. DIY Jigsaw Guide Rail
    3. DIY Jigsaw Guide and Crosscut Jig
    4. Adjustable Jigsaw Guide for Straight Cuts and Crosscuts
  3. DIY Jigsaw Guides for Circles
    1. DIY Jigsaw Circle Jig and Rip Fence Guide
  4. Jigsaw Guides Evaluation

*Safety is your responsibility. Make sure you know what you’re doing and take all necessary safety precautions while working with power tools. Safety comes first!

Always be cautious and careful when using any power tool.

Jigsaw Guide Basics

In most cases, cutting with a jigsaw is done freehand. It is not that common to use a guide with a jigsaw since they are very often used to make irregular cuts, curved cuts, inner cuts, and all sorts of different intricate cuts. But what if you need to make an accurate straight cut or a perfectly circular cut? If you have experience with woodworking, you might even be able to do so without using a guide, otherwise, it is very useful to have one at hand.

There are many shop-made guides available on the market that could be used, but the question is whether you need to buy one. I am sure they would do the job, but these guides are usually quite expensive. With a little effort, you can make a similar guide yourself and save some money for other workshop equipment.

Below I have included a summary of how to make several different types of jigsaw guides for straight cuts and circular cuts. They are ranked from the simplest to the most difficult in terms of production complexity. In most cases, the only power tool you will need is a jigsaw, which you probably already have.

For more details on each type of jigsaw guide, be sure to check out the relevant article.

Make Clean Cuts with a Jigsaw

As mentioned above, one of the most important things when cutting with a jigsaw is using the right jigsaw blade. The use of inappropriate and incorrect blades often leads to unclean and skewed cuts. A jigsaw guide will help you make straight and accurate cuts but a jigsaw blade will ensure the cut is clean and not bent. It is the combination of these two factors that ensure a precise cut.

If you want to avoid your jigsaw blade from making skewed cuts take a look at these 5 tips to stop your jigsaw blade from bending.

Types of Jigsaw Guides

DIY Jigsaw Guides for Straight Cuts and Crosscuts

This is a very simple and an easy to make jigsaw guide. You can make one yourself in no time, at no cost using only the material you already have in the workshop. The guide is great for short straight cuts and crosscuts.

Material and tools needed Time to build Cost of build Difficulty
Spruce wood (planed)
M5 Bolt, M5 Washer, M5 Wing Nut
Wood screws, Wood Glue
1 hour Few dollars Beginner

Woodworking jigs used to make this jigsaw guide (not a necessity though):

Conclusion: An easy jigsaw guide anyone can build no matter the skill level. It is easy to use, and easy to set up, although from experience it is quite difficult to handle, quite cumbersome to use, and it can be used to only make very short cuts.

If you are building a workshop on a budget or you just want to make an addon for your jigsaw you should consider making this jigsaw guide track. You will be able to build one quickly, almost at no cost. The guide is great for long straight cuts and could be used for crosscuts as well.

The jigsaw moves in the track and gets support from both sides which makes it much easier to keep the jigsaw straight during the cut. The guide rails are made of wood, but aluminum guide rails could be used as well.

Material and tools needed Time to build Cost of build Difficulty
Birch Plywood - 4x Planed Spruce Wood Stripes
- 2 for rails; 2 for stoppers
Wood Glue, Wood Screws, Sandpaper
1-2 hours Few dollars Beginner

Woodworking jigs used to make this jigsaw guide (not a necessity though):

Conclusion: I love this guide – this is definitely one of the best and easiest jigsaw guides you can build. I have been using this guide for a lot of projects, especially because of its usability.

The setup and use are very easy:

  • Place the guide track over the line where you want to make the cut
  • Adjust as needed using the sight holes
  • Clamp it down to the workpiece
  • Make the cut

This jigsaw guide can be used for both straight cuts and crosscuts. The build is solid, the straight edge guide and the crosscut fence are made of aluminum and the guide can be easily set up and used right away. The crosscut fence on the bottom of the guide makes sure you will be able to cut at 90 degrees, though precision is required when building the guide.

Material and tools needed Time to build Cost of build Difficulty
Birch Plywood
2x Aluminum L Angle
M4 Bolts, M4 Nuts, M4 Washers
Double-Sided Tape, Handle, Sandpaper
2-3 hours Tens of dollars Beginner

Conclusion: This is a great guide for short cuts and crosscuts and that is how I have been using it. Making quick short cuts and crosscuts is really easy. You simply place the guide on the workpiece and make the cut.

The guide is not meant to be used for longer straight cuts. The jigsaw is supported only from one side which can cause the jigsaw to tilt resulting in a skewed cut. 

The adjustable jigsaw guide is an all-in-one solution that can be used to make both longer straight cuts and crosscuts. This is the most advanced jigsaw guide combining several different guides into one – the jigsaw guide track and the jigsaw crosscut jig.

One of the main advantages is the adjustable crosscut fence which makes sure the cuts are always at 90 degrees.

The larger size of the guide allows for accommodating longer pieces of wood. The guide can be used freely or clamped down to a workbench for better stability and accuracy. 

Material and tools needed Time to build Cost of build Difficulty
Plywood
Aluminum Rails
Forstner bit, Handle, Epoxy resin
M6 Bolts, M6 Wing Nut, Wood screws
4-6 hours Tens of dollars Advance

Woodworking jigs used to make this jigsaw guide (not a necessity though):

Conclusion: A great guide for both straight cut and cross cuts. The adjustable crosscut fence makes it easy to fine-adjust the guide and cut at 90 degrees. The larger size of the guide allows for cutting bigger pieces of wood.

On the other hand, the higher price of the material, the longer time spent on the build, and the difficulty of building the guide does not aim at woodworking beginners. Great results can be also achieved with the previously discussed guides.

DIY Jigsaw Guides for Circles

The jigsaw circle jig allows both circular cuts and straight cuts and can serve as a jigsaw fence as well. It is easy to mount on a jigsaw and can be mounted on both the left and right sides. The arm is extendable and allows cutting circles of up to 46cm in diameter. A great jig to keep with your jigsaw, that can be quickly used outside or at remote locations.

To cut a perfect circle in wood it is essential to use the right jigsaw blade.

Material and tools needed Time to build Cost of build Difficulty
Plywood
Brass flat bar, Brass rod
Drill bit (for metal), Epoxy resin
Hold down knob / bolt
Hand Drill
3 hours Few dollars Beginner

Woodworking jigs used to make this jigsaw guide (not a necessity though):

Conclusion: An easy-to-build jigsaw guide that can be quickly set up and used. A great jig to keep with your jigsaw that can be used anytime needed.

Cutting a perfect circle with a jigsaw is not an easy task, and there are better tools for the job, like a trimming router. But it is achievable. The most common problem is a skewed cut that can be avoided with these 5 tips.

Which jigsaw guide should I build first?

All these DIY jigsaw guides are very useful for woodworking beginners and for someone who is building a new workshop from scratch. There is no need to spend the extra money on buying jigsaw guides. You can easily build them yourself and use the extra money elsewhere.

1. Best DIY Jigsaw Guide for Straight cuts

When it comes to making long straight cuts with a jigsaw a DIY jigsaw guide rail would be my #1 choice. It is extremely easy to set up the guide, adjust it as necessary and make the cut. The jigsaw base is supported from both sides and the jigsaw itself slides between two guide rails which makes it much easier to keep the jigsaw straight during the cut. The guide can be also used for crosscutting, even though it doesn’t have a 90-degree crosscut fence.

The length of the guide is 75 cm long which is sufficient for the majority of cuts.

The price of the required material is really low which together with the jigsaw’s usability makes it one of the best DIY jigsaw guides.

2. Best DIY Jigsaw Guide for Crosscuts

In my experience, the DIY Jigsaw Guide and Crosscut Jig is the best choice for making crosscuts with a jigsaw. The guide is small in size and really easy to use and the crosscut fence makes sure the cuts will be right at 90 degrees.

Although the guide can be used to cut shorter straight cuts, I have found the greatest benefit in cross-cutting wood prisms. It is so easy and the result is great.

The price of the material needed for this guide is a little higher in comparison with the previous guide but definitely worth having it in your workshop.

3. Jigsaw Circle Jig

This Jigsaw Circle Jig will help you cut circles, though cutting a perfect circle might be a bit of a challenge, especially for a woodworking beginner. It is really easy to end up with a skewed or a beveled cut and there are many factors that affect the accuracy of a cut with a jigsaw. Keep in mind that using the right blade is one of the most important factors that determine the precision of the cut.

Making perfect circle cuts with this guide is achievable but also experience is needed. If you have the opportunity, you should also consider cutting a circle with a trim router. That would be my option #1.

5 DIY Guides for a Jigsaw

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Best DIY guides for a jigsaw for a workshop you can make yourself
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