Black & Decker Smart Select 5.0A (JS660) Review
The Black & Decker Smart Select 5.0A is a popular and yet quite old power tool, released in 2008. This model is also known as the Black & Decker JS660. If you have been looking for an orbital jigsaw for your workshop, you have surely come across this model. But exactly how well does this Black & Decker jigsaw perform and is it a good buy? Let’s find out!
Table of Contents
Black & Decker JS660 Smart Select 5.0A Review
At the heart of the Black & Decker JS660 lies a powerful 5-Amp inductive motor. Now, this is not the most powerful motor we have seen in a jigsaw. However, it will still deliver adequate and sufficient performance when cutting most materials, including hardwood and thin sheets of metal. 5-Amp is also sufficient to prevent the blades from stalling, in case you reach a dense knot or node in your material.
Moreover, the motor drives the blades in an orbital pattern, which is a small forward and backward motion. This is proven to be the most effective way of cutting through tough material in an efficient manner. The depth of cut in the Black & Decker JS660 is sufficient for most commercially available material which is anywhere from 1/2 – 1-3/4 inches in thickness. There is plenty of room for the blade to work.
Speed in another big highlight in this Black & Decker jigsaw. The blades can be adjusted anywhere from 800 SPM to 3000 SPM. There are clear picture markings on the side of the unit, where the speed adjustment knob is located. Black & Decker calls this the Seven Smart Select Speed feature. It is intuitive to use and very beginner-friendly.
Basically, the speed adapts automatically to the type of material you are cutting and provides an optimal cutting speed for the material based on your selected setting. The only caveat is the lack of a soft start technology. However, we can’t expect too much since the Black & Decker JS660 is a budget to midrange orbital jigsaw.
There is no inbuilt dust collection system in this model. However, the line of cut stays clean since the JS660 is equipped with a dust blower rather than a dust collector. What this does is blow a constant stream of air on the blades, ensuring that you have a clean-cut line.
This model can accommodate industry standard jigsaw blades that come in both a U-shank and T-shank. You can use any type of blade, including those meant for metal cutting. Additionally, changing blades in this model is effortless due to the tool-less blade changing mechanism. You can perform a blade change in a matter of seconds with this model.
The Black & Decker JS660 weighs only 5.8 lbs. This is lightweight for a jigsaw and due to its low weight, it is very maneuverable, especially when used in awkward positions. It will do a good job to limit hand fatigue, mostly because of its excellent ergonomic and form factor. The handle has points of contact coated with a soft rubberized finish that makes it very comfortable to hold, even for an extended period.
Additionally, due to the orbital motion of the blades, cutting is very efficient and therefore, less vibrations are transferred from the blades to the body of this unit. The result is a very comfortable cutting experience that further help limits hand fatigue.
Further, this Black & Decker jigsaw is compact and has a low-profile, bringing your hands closer to the material, hence providing you with even more maneuverability and control over your work. It is the little things that count for an overall pleasurable experience working when with a jigsaw. And we’re glad to see this model making use of every inch to make sure the user gets the most comfortable handling of the device.
- Accu-Bevel: This feature allows you to perform angular cuts very easily thanks to the Accu-Bevel lever. What it does is raise or lower the body from the shoe creating an angle. This allows you to make bevel cuts from 0-degrees anywhere to 45-degrees.
Out of the box, you get a very basic set of accessories, which includes only 1 standard blade. That’s it! However, bear in mind that most jigsaw manufacturers do not tend to over-deliver in this department, even for more premium models. Additionally, jigsaw blades are not very expensive and readily available in most hardware stores.
The Black & Decker JS660 is a mid-range orbital jigsaw. Meaning to say, it is not the cheapest model, but it is also not the most expensive. In fact, we think that it is very competitively priced, especially when compared to other models like the Bosch JS470E. Which is more expensive but offers almost the same performance. All in all, we think that it is reasonably priced and offers great bang for the buck.
- 7 variable speed control. Speed automatically adapts to the material for optimal cutting efficiency
- Orbital blade moves slightly forward and backward, providing a very smooth cut even on hard material like metal
- Very beginner-friendly. You do not need prior experience operating a jigsaw to use this model
- Blades can be changed in a matter of seconds and does not require additional tools
- The Accu-Bevel feature allows you to make accurate angular cuts from 0 – 45 degrees quickly and easily
- No LED light
- Motor could have been a little bit more powerful
#5. Who Should Buy?
We cannot in good conscience recommend this jigsaw to power users or woodworking professionals. The small motor in this device is simply not powerful enough for heavy-duty cutting. However, for those who casually use a jigsaw simply to cut wood planks, metal sheets or even plastic, we think that it is a good purchase.
This Black & Decker jigsaw offers an excellent price to performance ratio. It is competitively priced and an orbital jigsaw of this caliber is hard to find at this price point. You will have to spend more to get a jigsaw that performs only slightly better than this model.
Bottom line, we recommend it for general purpose cutting and casual use by homeowners, DIY enthusiasts or weekend warriors. This model is definitely not for heavy-duty cutting applications in a professional setting.
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