Bosch 18V Reciprocating Saw GSA18V-125 Cordless Saw Reviews

Bosch 18V Reciprocating Saw Makeover: GSA18V-125


Pro Review

Build Quality
Feature Set
Cutting Speed
Ergonomics
Value
Final Thoughts

Put simply, the Bosch GSA18V-125 Reciprocating Saw has better performance, ergonomics, and features by leaps and bounds over the previous model and is a legitimate contender in its class.

Overall Score 4.4 Cordless Recip Saws
Readers Rating
4 votes
4.8

Admittedly, the last Bosch 18V reciprocating saw didn’t perform all that well against the competition in our cordless reciprocating saw shootout. At the time, Bosch told they had a replacement in the works and it was going to be something special. We saw the Bosch GSA18V-125 at World of Concrete in February and it is indeed a whole new approach.

Our initial impressions were very positive. But now that we’ve had several weeks to really put it to the test, does it still retain that initial glow?

Top Features

Design

There’s no doubt the new “hawkbill” design is very different from anything else on the market the major players have out there. And this design – particularly in the handle and trigger – is a major advantage. The trigger swings all the way through the 90-degree turn in the handle and gives you a ton of grip options. Whether you’re cutting overhead, on the floor, or moving down a wall, it’s easy to adjust your grip to maintain better ergonomics and reduce fatigue.

This also makes the saw more compact from front to back, so you can reach in a few more areas than you could before.

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Brushless Motor

Bosch uses one of their EC Brushless motors in the latest rendition of the Bosch 18V reciprocating saw. We all know the advantages – longer runtime, better power, and longer life. With the disappointing performance of the previous model, this represents a large step forward in performance for Bosch. We’ll get to more details on that in a moment.

Bosch 18V Reciprocating Saw GSA18V-125

Orbital Action

In our shootout, Ridgid dominated the wood cutting test. Why? They had the only model with orbital action. Bosch does more than just jump on board – they give you three settings to work with. There’s “off” of course, and then two orbital settings, one more aggressive than the other. We’ll take a look at the effects on performance in a minute.

Bosch 18V Reciprocating Saw GSA18V-125

Rafter Hook

I love rafter hooks on reciprocating saws and the Bosch GSA18V-125 has an effective one.

Bosch 18V Reciprocating Saw GSA18V-125

Core18V Battery

We’re going to go into most of the detail about the performance gains of the Core18V battery on our YouTube channel and the article we’re constantly updating. However, simply installing this battery gives the saw a clear performance boost. Keep your eyes open for the specific details on that. The only downside is you’ll have to buy it separately.

Bosch 18V Reciprocating Saw GSA18V-125

Bosch 18V Reciprocating Saw Manufacturer’s Key Features

  • Bosch GSA18V-125 delivers 0-2,500 strokes per minute with a 1-1/4″ stroke length
  • Versatile soft-grip handle and easy toolless blade change system highlight enhanced comfort and ease of use
  • Compact 19-inch length for easy maneuverability
  • Compact design is aided by an angled-motor placement, which allows greater access to hard-to-reach areas
  • Bosch GSA18V-125 reciprocating saw offers greater utility so users can saw overhead and in awkward positions for longer periods of time
  • The first cordless reciprocating saw to feature three orbital settings (0-1-2), which are optimized to maximize cutting
  • Delivers a long and labor-saving 1-1/4″ stroke that allows more material to be removed
  • The handy variable speed controls include a dial to set the desired maximum speed and an accelerator trigger for adjusting the operating speed, such as starting a cut

Performance

Wood Cutting

We put the GSA18V-125 Bosch 18V Reciprocating Saw through some initial testing on site. It’s clearly got an improvement in performance, ergonomics, and feature set. But to see how much of an improvement is there, we turned back to the same kind of testing we did in our shootout with the main focus on wood cutting.

Bosch 18V Reciprocating Saw GSA18V-125

For nail embedded wood, the Bosch CRS180 cut at a painful average of 53.21 seconds – second to last in the group. In the most aggressive orbital action, the cut time plummeted to 10.13 seconds with the 6.0 amp hour battery and 9.67 seconds with the Core18V. Either time is good enough for second place in the shootout with a wide margin to the followers and awfully close to the top. Needless to say, that’s a massive improvement!

Additional Performance Considerations

Stroke Length and Speed

Bosch dials in the stroke length at a longer 1-1/4 inches and combines it with a 2500 RPM maximum speed. Even with the longer stroke, the speed needs to come up a bit to move it into first place. As a comparison, first place Ridgid pushes 3000 RPM with a 1-1/8-inch stroke – or 3375 inches per minute of cutting. Makita jumps up to 3750 inches per minute with 3000 RPM and 1-1/4-inch length. Bosch lags behind a little with a little more than 2800 inches per minute of cutting.

Bosch 18V Reciprocating Saw GSA18V-125

Variable Speed Dial

Every reciprocating saw needs variable speeds on more than just the trigger. You can go all out with speed and orbital action in wood, but metal cutting requires a bit more speed control than you can manage with the trigger alone. The new Bosch 18V reciprocating saw includes a variable speed dial with 6 markings, but infinite settings between them.

Bosch 18V Reciprocating Saw GSA18V-125

Vibration Control

Bosch tends to be very good in the vibration control department and it shows with the Bosch GSA18V-125. With the shoe engaged against your cutting surface, it’s possible to cut with very little vibration compared to other cordless models.

Blade Changes

This Bosch 18V reciprocating saw still uses a rotating shaft blade lock but adds a metal release that pushes it. It’s a little less cumbersome than the previous model, but it’s still short of a self-locking and ejecting style.

Bosch 18V Reciprocating Saw GSA18V-125

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The Bottom Line

Bosch 18V Reciprocating Saw GSA18V-125

The new Bosch 18V reciprocating saw is a huge leap forward for Bosch’s cordless lineup. The Bosch GSA18V-125 takes the CRS180’s last place finish and makes a serious run for the top spot in this class.

Put simply, the Bosch GSA18V-125 Reciprocating Saw has better performance, ergonomics, and features by leaps and bounds over the previous model and is a legitimate contender in its class.

As good as it is, there’s still room for improvement. Bosch could stand to bump up the RPMs to get even faster cutting. You can buy some improvement by adding the Core18V battery to your Bosch arsenal. Aside from that, the saw is nearly flawless in its design.

Where Pros will take a second look is the price. It’s $299 as a bare tool – up from the $119 of the last edition, but with huge upgrades. That makes it the most expensive on our list by a pretty large margin. While I highly recommend the saw for its performance and design, you may want to wait and see if a kit option comes out to make it a better value.

Bosch 18V Reciprocating Saw Specifications

  • Model: Bosch GSA18V-125
  • Voltage: 18V
  • Stroke: 1-1/4″
  • Stroke Speed: 0-2,500 SPM
  • Tool Length: 19″
  • Weight: 7.7 lbs (bare tool)
  • Warranty: 1 year limited
  • Price: $299

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2 Comments on "Bosch 18V Reciprocating Saw Makeover: GSA18V-125"

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Patrick
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WHERE CAN I BUY THIS?

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