REVIEW: Bosch GST 18V-LI Cordless Jigsaw - Lovely pro tool
I'm very pleased with this purchase. Feels like it's worth every penny.
I've used it on almost every project I've done since I bought this tool. I can't believe I've waited so many years to invest in a quality jigsaw.
The speed control on it is lovely. It can go SUPER slow, and very gradually increase speed as you press the trigger harder. Superb for getting really good control when cutting some materials.
It chomps through wood fairly fast, even when used at slower speeds, although most other jigsaws do too.
No uncomfortable vibrations coming from the tool in my opinion. In comparison, I really don't like using most sanders and multi-cutters due to the vibrations. Once again, not a big issue with most jigsaws as far as I know.
The blower seems to work well. The harder you press the trigger, the more air it blows.
There is a place to connect a dust extractor, but the tube attachment is not included.
I've had no issues getting smooth cuts when needed. Obviously when you go really fast then you get a rougher cut with more splinters. A clear splinter guard is included too, but I've never used it. It's not the easiest thing to clip in place.
I find the grip very comfortable. Actually I love holding and using this. Feels superb in the hand.
The build quality feels very good overall.
It's very smooth and quiet, although obviously when used at higher speeds it does make a bit more noise. Really not bad though. This was an upgrade to a nasty quality cheapo jigsaw that was uncomfortably loud and overall pretty terrible.
I was amazed that I can cut soft woods so quietly that I can do it at night without bothering my neighbors, especially with a rough cut blade. - As long as I keep the speed not too fast and use a sharp blade. Using the pendulum/osculation setting helps too. For most harder materials the blade friction would make a bit more noise though.
Battery life on it is exactly what I would expect, very good. I'm using 2Ah batteries for this and my GSB 18V-Li drill-driver. I might get some 4Ah at some point, but for now I really don't feel the need.
Swapping blades is effortless and takes about two seconds.
It came with three blades. I ordered extra blades of course. There's a very nice selection of blades made by Bosch, and they are very reasonably priced for the quality you get. Apparently Bosch also manufacture the blades for many of the "competitors".
I also got some blades from Dekton and Eclipse, which are both brands that make decent lower budget tools, but I've not had time to fully test them. I'm enjoying the Bosch blades too much, especially the big rough-cut silver one that was included with the jigsaw.
COULD BE IMPROVED:
The trigger can be locked in the OFF position for safety, but there is no trigger lock to allow you to cut without holding the trigger down, which I guess is another "safety" feature, but really it feels like Bosch are trying to force you to also buy their other 18v Jigsaw that just has a simple ON/OFF switch instead of a variable speed trigger.
It's fairly easy to move the safety switch, which is a similar design to a forward/reverse switch on a drill. In my opinion that's not a good place, as it could get pushed fairly easily by accident. I definitely take my blades out after every use, which is a piece of cake with the quick blade release.
No laser cutting guide. Missing from many other professional jigsaws too, but I'd love to have that option.
A hex key must be used to change the angle of the cut. The tool is attached to the jigsaw, but is a bit hard to remove. Not ideal.
I can't find a dust collection shield for it. It doesn't seem necessary, as there isn't a huge amount of dust thrown around by a jigsaw, but many other brands have a detachable clear dust guard/shield and it would be a nice addition when using a dust extractor.
There is no switch to disable the blower or LED light, they always turn on when you cut. Not a big problem.
No blade compartment built into the tool. I've not seen this on any other jigsaws, just seems like a good idea. Maybe a detachable one would be good. Obviously not a problem though.
Not a big selection of accessories and cutting guides available for this. There are a few, but I'd love to see an awesome set of guides like Festool have. To be fair the Festool is around £400 with the accessories kit, not including a battery and charger.
I love it. I have no regrets about spending extra to get such a high quality tool. I think it's actually fairly priced for what you get.
Remember to register it with Bosch within 30 days. As far as I know you can't get the extended warranty after that.