Review Argos Challenge Xtreme Pendulum Jigsaw 800 Watt

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Review Argos Challenge Xtreme Pendulum Jigsaw 800 Watt

Post by DIY_Johnny »

This review is aimed at the DIY novices who have never bought or used a jigsaw

A year ago I bought a cheapo Jigsaw from Argos, I didn’t know if I needed it so just got it anyway. Price £25. The picture shown is in blue but the one I got is grey, Apart from colour there is no fundamental difference.

For someone who is new to DIY you would be forgiven for buying such an item. It boast an 800W power, (jigsaws seem to typically start with 500W upwards), has strong pendulum action, on board laser, guide rail facility for extracting a dust extractor and left and right tilting base plate. All looks like value for money. The kit comes in a hard case and a selection of long blades (>100mm).

Intial appearance
On first appearance it looks like a strong capable machine but this is more due to ignorance of other known and quality brands. On closer look the body is 2 halves just snapped together and looked like it was about to come apart like a Kinder Egg exposing all the bits inside.

Use in practice
When you start using it some things become apparent very quickly. The base place has no indentations and just a set of markings so any angled cuts are guesswork. Moreso, the markings are totally incorrect and really serves no purpose. Also setting the nut to tighten the base plate is fiddly so as you tighten you rotate it further. Soft start is also missing

After a few cuts the problems really start to show. The laser is off line and has no means of adjustment. The most serious problem is the guide wheel. Far too much play, the cut line of the jig saw starts to deviate away. Cutting curves is no where near possible as the blade goes one way and the machine another. Any turning of the jigsaw causes the blade to pop out of the guide wheel. After very little use the guide wheel is so loose it simply rattles about.

Vibration is very noticeable too, at full pendulum action and speed it’s quite bad for a power tool.

Supplying very long jigsaw blades is pointless, it seems to suggest that you could cut out a hole for a kitchen sink or attack 3” thick timber with ease. No chance what so ever, 18mm ply is a struggle to get a smooth line. The machine has been given an apparently a large motor and poor housing to simply can’t take the pressure. Any sort of forward pressure will soon push back the guide wheel into the housing and has to be prised back out again

Also it’s a dangerous machine, the lock on switch is easily activated and quite fiddely to turn off so stopping the machine quickly is not a smooth operation

This is a pointless machine and should be avoided at all costs. You will waste more material and do more damage than good using it. I tried it cutting sections for pipe access and some cut out sections in vanity units. You end up making sh#t out of your furniture. The only possible use for this that I can see is to cut a section of loose timber if you have no saw or surface to lean on. Buying cheapo tools can often suffice for a few simple household tasks and will do the job before it breaks, .... but this can’t even attempt one task

I tried to think of one positive point about it and apart from a long lead, there is none!

Avoid, waste of money (1/10)
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Post by ultimatehandyman »

Good review.

Thanks John :thumbright:
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Post by Gadget »

At least it got a point for the lead!.... :wink:
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Post by fin »

i used to work with a lad who was actually fairly clumsy. but he managed to break his wrist when a challenge cordless drill chuck jammed up as he was putting a bit into it. the whole machine snapped in half.

recomend avoiding the entire range.
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