Hitachi CJ 18DSL Jigsaw

Monday 9 July 2018

Hitachi products once looked staid in appearance; but like the jungle beasts they seem to emulate, the current Hitachi machines look impressive and generally are in use, too. The CJ 18DSL is an 18V cordless Li-ion jigsaw that is similar in capability to a mains version. Hitachi also have a 14V version and two mains powered models in their UK range.

In use

First, plug a battery into the charger. The fan is very noisy during charging, although on a busy building site it matters less. The jigsaw body has plenty of rubber overmould for comfort, and a smoothly sculpted profile. The trigger switch is locked by a very positive side push button and released by pressing it the other way. A button and lights above the battery fitting show the charge. The motor and gearbox are quite noisy, in a reassuring way. Blades are fitted with the now ubiquitous pull out lever which opens the blade clamp that springs shut when the lever is released. The standard blade is a viciously sharp 90mm up-cut blade. The baseplate appears to be a machined aluminium casting with nickel plating to give a smooth sliding action and prevent surface marking for which bare aluminium is notorious. An Allen key, stowed on the base by a rubber bush, is used for adjusting the baseplate for bevel cutting. The plastic guard must be removed to swivel the base, leaving the waggly wire guard for safety. An anti-spelch insert is supplied and there are three cut-orbit settings for varying thickness and for curved or straight cuts.


The charger is noisy but quick. It is not the slickest jigsaw I’ve tested, but it cuts well in softwood and manufactured board which most jigsaw work consists of. Hitachi supply various high quality blades for different uses. It lacks extraction or a blower, but they rarely work so I didn’t miss that. A good site tool, helped by a lack of mains lead which is a particular pain with a jigsaw, especially when you need portability and unfettered curve cutting.