D-Handle vs. Barrel Grip Jigsaw: Which One to Choose?

When you think of working with woods, more specifically, to cut irregular curves and absurd shapes, the most important tool is the jigsaw. You can use it for any type of woodworking. The blade of a jigsaw moves in a reciprocating way up and down to make many strokes every minute.

However, this tool is not available in a single type. Actually, the jigsaws come with different types of handles for convenience. In this article, we will compare D-handle and barrel grip jigsaw side by side and find out what will work best for your job.

So, let’s dive into the discussion of “D Handle vs Barrel Grip Jigsaw” and find out which is the best jigsaw for woodwork.

Types of Jigsaw Handles

Before we get into the D-Handle vs. Barrel Grip Jigsaw comparison aspect, it is better to know what these two jigsaws are actually.

D-Handle Jigsaw

D-handle jigsaws are the most common jigsaws which appear like the letter D. Since this type of jigsaw has a top handle, they are also known as Top-handle jigsaws. Though they may be heavier to look at, it is easy to hold them than their barrel grip counterparts.

D-handles are really comfortable to use as they come with an ergonomic design and slip grip that appeals to most DIYers. So, if you want a jigsaw to cut thicker materials, choose the D-handle jigsaw. When you use the top handle jigsaw, you will need to place your hand above and not behind the tool.

Generally, the norm of these jigsaws is to operate with one hand. Nonetheless, some top handle jigsaws come with an additional knob design positioned at the front to facilitate the use of both hands. As a result, you get more control while cutting thicker woods.

But one thing that is not great about this top handle jigsaw is the lack of visibility. As the handle remains far away from the working area, it is difficult to see the cutting line clearly. Therefore, this sometimes becomes more difficult to cut the tight curves. All in all, the D-handle jigsaw is the most standard one.

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Barrel Grip Jigsaw

Not many people are accustomed to barrel grip jigsaws as they are comparatively new in the market. This modern design does not extend above the jigsaw housing. For using a barrel grip jigsaw, you will have to position your hand behind the tool as it is exactly on the motor housing. Consequently, you need to hold the jigsaw right onto the motor housing.

Indeed, the materials of this jigsaw handle also come in some cover so that you can get a good grip on it. However, the material on this jigsaw is a lot less than the top handle jigsaw. You will find no additional handle that otherwise extends from the housing towards the upper side.

Also, many people like to use a barrel grip jigsaw for its ergonomic design and compact size. In addition, they allow your hand to remain near the workpiece. Hence, the visibility is clear and offers good control.

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Similarities of Top Grip Handle and Barrel Grip Handle Jigsaws

Now that you know what these jigsaws are let’s find out the similarities between the two. Remember, they are almost the same type of jigsaws with two different handles.

1. Comfortable and Easy to Hold

Convenience is perhaps the most subjective factor. Therefore, it varies from person to person which one you will find more comfortable to use. Having said that, both types of handles have an ergonomic design.

2. Used for Similar Tasks

Although the barrel grip jigsaw comes in a more compact size, it is still quite similar to the D-handle jigsaw, and their functions are also the same. Both these jigsaws are ideal for cutting irregular shapes and curves into very thin pieces of timber and other materials.

Besides, these saws use the same types of blades, which also move in the same manner. Along with this, their horsepower is also more or less similar.

Overall, D-handle and Barrel Grip Jigsaws are the same saws, having different types of handles. So, let’s now move on to the differences between these two handles of saws.

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Difference between D-Handle and the Barrel Grip Jigsaw

D Handle vs Barrel Grip Jigsaw

Here is the list of main differences you will face between these two different types of handles.

1. Control

One of the most important differences between these jigsaws is that a barrel grip jigsaw provides better control of the tool. This is because when you hold a barrel grip jigsaw, your hand remains much nearer to the workpiece. In jigsaws, the closer your hand remains to the workpiece, the better control you have over the tool.

Accordingly, if you want to make precise cuts, the better choice is possibly a barrel grip jigsaw.

2. Clear Visibility of Lines

Another major benefit of using a barrel grip jigsaw is when you are about to make cuts. While preparing to cut straight, you can actually get a good view of the jigsaw blade as well as the cut line.

When you use a D-handle jigsaw, most often, your hand and the handle come in the way of the cut line. As a result, things become a bit tougher to proceed with the work.

3. Higher/Lower Profile

Another great difference between D-handle and barrel grip jigsaws is the profiles. Between these two jigsaws, the barrel grip jigsaw has a more compact design with a considerably lower profile.

In essence, the barrel grip jigsaws are a better option to use when working in any tight spaces. D-handle jigsaws might not be a great idea to work as their fitting in the tightest areas are hard.

4. Heat Buildup

Since you literally hold the motor housing, there is no chance to heat dispersion in a barrel grip jigsaw. Unlike in D-handle jigsaws, this can cause serious issues with the jigsaw motor.

For instance, the longevity of a barrel grip jigsaw can decrease. Moreover, your hands can even get hot with prolonged use.

D-Handle Vs. Barrel Grip Jigsaw: Which One to Use?

Now that we have come to the end of the article, we are sure you have a good idea about the difference between these two useful types of jigsaws. Coming to the right use, if you want a super compact jigsaw that will offer a precise cut along with good control, go for a barrel grip jigsaw.

However, if you need a jigsaw for basic use, the D-handle jigsaw is the best option. Also, this jigsaw offers comfort and convenience for longer use.


Final Thought

D-handle jigsaws may look heavier, but they are convenient and easy to use. All you need to do is hold it at a distance from the workpiece. However, it creates a blockage in seeing the line of sight and hampers the task of precise cutting.

Barrel grip jigsaws, however, are a compact tool that you can use to cut precisely, even in a tighter space. Regardless, it is pretty tough to use for a longer time due to the dispersion of heat from the motor housing.

Overall, both these two jigsaws are quite similar in nature with different kinds of handles. So, it is now up to you which one you prefer. Make a conscious decision to get going with your task!

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