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Bosch 18V Cordless Jig Saw (JSH180BL) Review

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  • #82177
    mattryyc
    Pro
    Calgary, Alberta

    I do have a Jigsaw on my want list – I’m really flipping between the 18v vs the 572. I’ve watched so many videos and read so many great reviews of the 572 and the dual rollers, etc. that I have been brainwashed to think anything else is inferior. At the same time, It would be so nice to be cordless….

    #82219
    svensshutters
    Pro
    Colorado Springs, CO

    I am antsy to hear what you think Sven – any idea on the ETA of your new tool and when we should expect an “initial thoughts” review?

    I’m thinking that it will be here no later than next week.

    As far as options go, I agree with Boyd that the 572 has more options. I like that the 572 has the dual rollers and the anti chip guard. They are both very nice features. I can’t say, but I bet if the 18V had those features, it would give the others a run.

    #82333
    mattryyc
    Pro
    Calgary, Alberta

    As far as options go, I agree with Boyd that the 572 has more options. I like that the 572 has the dual rollers and the anti chip guard. They are both very nice features. I can’t say, but I bet if the 18V had those features, it would give the others a run.

    Do you happen to know how the splinter guard works on the 18v? I think this is one of the big advantages with the 572 in terms of getting nice clean cuts, I wonder if they are similar.

    #82415
    svensshutters
    Pro
    Colorado Springs, CO

    As far as options go, I agree with Boyd that the 572 has more options. I like that the 572 has the dual rollers and the anti chip guard. They are both very nice features. I can’t say, but I bet if the 18V had those features, it would give the others a run.

    Do you happen to know how the splinter guard works on the 18v? I think this is one of the big advantages with the 572 in terms of getting nice clean cuts, I wonder if they are similar.

    I’m sorry if my post was confusing, but I don’t believe that the 180 has that option. It is probably because the lack of dual rollers. Without those, I think there is too much deflection in the blade to use one. It would probably result in the blade chewing up the guards like they were nothing, defeating their purpose. The only thing listed on Bosch’s site for the 180 is the steel overshoe and a parallel/circular guide.

    #82516
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I didn’t mean to sound discouraging about that cordless, I’m sure it’s going to be a great saw even without the few things that the 572 has, It is cordless, Woohoo!! That makes up for a lot in my book and I’m sure it’ll cut just fine and you’re going to love it.

    #82543
    svensshutters
    Pro
    Colorado Springs, CO

    I didn’t mean to sound discouraging about that cordless, I’m sure it’s going to be a great saw even without the few things that the 572 has, It is cordless, Woohoo!! That makes up for a lot in my book and I’m sure it’ll cut just fine and you’re going to love it.

    Not discouraging to me buddy. I know there are trade offs with everything, splinter guards, roller bearings, batteries, it is all relative. If there was a perfect saw, there would be only one option. The key is if the saw is perfect for me, you, or who ever. Everyone has different things they are trying to get out of tools.

    #82603
    mattryyc
    Pro
    Calgary, Alberta

    I’d love to see what the edge looks like on the cuts when it comes out – I’m sure they are pretty clean. One downside of the 572 and Carvex I’ve heard is that without the spliter guard you end up with a pretty rough edge – not a big deal because it does come with them and I think you don’t need to replace them that often. I still haven’t ruled out the 18v, to be honest I bet I would get use out of both if I had them – probably the 18v even more being cordless.

    #82871
    svensshutters
    Pro
    Colorado Springs, CO

    I’ll get some good pictures of the cuts when I get it. I have some projects to work on so it shouldn’t be a problem.

    #84085
    svensshutters
    Pro
    Colorado Springs, CO

    So everyone has been waiting for, the review huh? I received the saw a couple of days ago and finally today (and for 30 seconds yesterday on the job), I had some time to play with it a little bit to get some initial thoughts. I had some when I pulled it out of the box, and well, here we go.

    Box, paperwork, L-Boxx, and everything else got here in true Bosch fashion. I pulled out the manual, registration paperwork, and the bags of goodies that arrived with the JSH180BL. Since I received the bare tool, I wasn’t expecting much, but it was really nice to see a splinter guard and some saw blades in the box. The saw blades that came with it were the T144DP (precision wood), T244D (speed wood), and the T123X (metal).

    Was this the first stuff I grabbed from the box? Of course not. I grabbed the saw. I was pleasantly surprised of the heft this thing had. It’s a solid tool. There is nothing cheap or flimsy about it. It’s heavy, solid, and fits nicely in the hand. The locking function for the trigger can be locked super simple with a slip of the thumb (right handed people), but unlocking takes more thought. You can’t simply hit the switch. That doesn’t mean it isn’t easy, but you actually have to move your index finger to it. Not stretched out uncomfortable, but a reach that tells the tool you are ready for business. The trigger on the saw is like that of the drills, and I suspect other tools. It’s almost warm and makes positive contact with your finger. It doesn’t feel like your finger is going to slide off of it. Just rough enough to give you grip, but not so smooth that you are trying to hold onto an ice cube. Oh, and the trigger response is phenomenal.

    For my first cut, I used the metal blade to cut through a plastic slat. It did a great job, nice and clean. Sorry, no pictures of that, it was dark at the time. Then today, I decided to put some shape to a shield that my daughter wanted. I know it isn’t anything professional, but it gave me a chance to tear up some wood and not care about the outcome, well maybe a little bit. The first cut I made was with the 144 blade. I set the orbital action on zero, and it made a nice smooth cut (right side of below picture). When I changed to full out orbital action though, it tore through the pine like it had somewhere to go and it was in a hurry to get there (knot in center of picture to left).

    Found these results interesting, and hit the other side of the board with the 244 blade. The cut was rough, but it didn’t tear out like the first side above and again this was with full orbital action.

    Now this is where it gets pretty. I put the anti-splinter guide on the saw, and cut some pretty tight corners, about the circumference of a roll of painters tape, turning down the orbital action using the 244 blade. The splinter guard wont’ take the 144 as it is too fat. Anyways, the cuts both came out smooth.

    Now this was where it got interesting. The last cuts I did was with the 244 blade, splinter guard, and full out orbital action. The problem I had with this was that the always on dust blower didn’t. There was a pile of sawdust in front of the saw. This was kind of aggravating. For the rest of the cuts, it blew just fine, but for the last two cut, I had to blow away the dust so that I could see the line that I was cutting. I’m going to test some more this weekend and we’ll see some more situations. I’ll try to do some video of the saw cutting this time so that everyone can see what I was talking about.

    The tray insert is like others that have been seen on the forum. I find it odd to pick up the saw the way it is laying in the insert, and wish Bosch would have thought about the layout a bit more. If it would have had the handle to the front, it would have made the saw so much easier to pick up. The tray doesn’t hold the saw solid anyways. You can hear it wiggling around inside the l-boxx when you pick it up by the side handle. So why not make it easier to pull out of the case. At least if the handle was towards the front of the case, the weight of the saw would be on the shoe. Isn’t that where the weight of the saw is anyways when using it? I also find it a waste to have a spot for two batteries, plus room for a battery to be mounted on the saw during storage. The large compartment to the upper right of the picture, I would assume is for the charger, and another long slot for the dust collection, and overshoe. It is my opinion that since the saw only comes as a bare tool, It should be sent in a half tray. This way it could be pared with other tools you are adding to your collection. I doubt that someone is going to buy a bare tool saw unless they are already committed to the Bosch 18V line. Of course I could be wrong.

    Ok, so what do I think? How does the saw work for me? Will it last? I like the saw a lot; it works great, and is far better than I imagined it would be. I’m not saying that I felt it would be subpar for what I needed; it is just so much more than I expected. The light on the saw works great and lets you clearly see your line, with the exception mentioned above, which goes to the always on dust blower being 90% +/- useful. I need to play with it more to get a better feel for the dust blowing and provide more feedback here. The 244 blade however, isn’t designed for the anti-splinter guard. With this said, I’m sure I’m going to need to pick some more up soon. Holding the saw, it feels nice and smooth, comfortable and I could see it being like an extension of myself. My wrist wasn’t kinked in any awkward position, and I didn’t have to reposition during cuts. I know that I haven’t done any circles yet, but I’ll get to that soon.

    What I don’t like, but I’ll get use to is that the saw cannot stand up on the battery. It will fall forward. Not a big deal, I just don’t want to lay it on its side, which is what you have to do if the blade is in it. I guess this is the same for any jig saw though. I also found it awkward that the battery slides from the bottom and locks in place. I know why this is, it’s so you can check the fuel gauge on the battery. The problem lies in the fact that if you don’t lock the battery into position right, it could fall out while making a cut. I don’t know about you, but if I am making a cut, I want to stop the saw when I’m done, not when the battery falls out. The instruction manual shows all the nice things you can get for it. Many different accessories and how to use them. It also shows things that come with the saw like the overshoe. I couldn’t find it though. It says that the shoe hooks over the front of the metal footplate, and snaps into the rear of the saw. My problem with this is that there isn’t one as described. The foot of the saw is plastic, but it is screwed down. There is no steel overshoe to be found. The book refers to one like the one the 572’s use. I will have to find a minute I guess I’ll have to call Bosch, unless someone here has something of use.

    I think that in the near future, I will get an overshoe (since it wasn’t in the box), and also have to pick up the dust extraction (also an option). Until then, I’m going to use the heck out of the saw, and write more here when I have more to write.

    #84086
    svensshutters
    Pro
    Colorado Springs, CO

    P.S. As always, if you right click on a pic, and open it in a new tab, it will be full sized.

    #84109
    MKE_Voltage
    Moderator
    Saint Francis, WI

    Thanks for cranking out this review so quick and complete Sven, I think it sounds like the cordless jigsaw is a reality.

    Its weird that the manual states things that don’t actually exist? Puzzling. Will this saw completely replace your corded jigsaw?

    #84112
    svensshutters
    Pro
    Colorado Springs, CO

    I unfortunately don’t have a corded jigsaw, but am now glad I don’t. This saw works great, and I don’t think I will need another. One thing that I didn’t mention is that it does have a blade support, although it isn’t the same as the 572’s roller bearings. The blade support that it has compliments the orbital settings. If you need the kind of accuracy that the dual bearings provide, then those would be the one’s you have to get. The 18V is a great saw and I believe that it will serve the vast majority of people. If you are not using one for hours at a time, this is the one you want.

    #84120
    mattryyc
    Pro
    Calgary, Alberta

    Hey Sven,
    Thanks for putting this review together. I’m really on the fence between corded and cordless and it seems like this is really a quality tool. I”d really like to hear what you think of the battery life once you have some more time with it – the cut quality looks really nice from the photos you posted.

    #84166
    redwood
    Pro

    Great review Sven. You guy’s should be contacting the tool mags and doing reveiws for them. Love it.

    I’ve never used dust extraction on a jig saw. There isn’t that much sawdust created and I like the freedom without the hose. Isn’t that part of the reason to get cordless in the first place.

    Mark E.

    Pioneer, CA

    Working Pro 1972 - 2015
    Member since Jan 22, 2013
    www.creative-redwood-designs.com

    #84184
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Great review Sven, I’ve been anxiously waiting to hear what ya think. The T144DP doesn’t fit in the splinter guard on the 572 either so that’s the same. The metal overshoe on mine grabs the plastic shoe from the sides and slides on from the front, I’m surprised they have to different ones for these 2 saws. I like the layout of the inlay on yours, And i wouldn’t think the battery sliding in that direction would be a big deal. It’s not going to fall out, And if you can see the gauge then that’s even better. You can’t see the gauge on the circular saw without removing the battery. I think you did great and Thanks for the pics

    #84379

    You gave some great first impressions Sven!!! Very well done!

    The last cuts I did was with the 244 blade, splinter guard, and full out orbital action. The problem I had with this was that the always on dust blower didn’t. There was a pile of sawdust in front of the saw. This was kind of aggravating. For the rest of the cuts, it blew just fine, but for the last two cut, I had to blow away the dust so that I could see the line that I was cutting. I’m going to test some more this weekend and we’ll see some more situations. I’ll try to do some video of the saw cutting this time so that everyone can see what I was talking about.

    I am definitely curious to see what you are talking about. That is a little surprising to me that you would have that problem – and I bet it would be even more annoying if there wasn’t a light…

    John S

    #104401
    svensshutters
    Pro
    Colorado Springs, CO

    So, today I used my jigsaw again for a feat that may have been a little bit too much. First off I want to say that I suspected it may be, but wanted to give it a shot none the less. I forgot my angle grinder at the house and had to cut through a 60mm steel axle (see pic). I had a metal blade for my jigsaw, and thought, what the hey, I’ll give it a whirl.

    So, grabbing the metal blade and a 2.0 Ah battery, I went to work. It was rough working without a vice and my minion holding the axle on an l-boxx, and there was a lot of deflection with the blade that I was using, but it did cut though. My biggest problem was that the axles was just small enough to be a pain in the rear. If I positioned the blade wrong, it would hit the inside of the axle that wasn’t cut. So, to make a long story short, it was like a long plunge cut to get it. Surprisingly, the jig saw did great. It cut through nicely with a little bit of patience. In the end, my cut was off, but that was my fault for trying to go faster than my tool, and not having a proper work surface.

    One thing that I want to note is that the Bosch Jigsaw will suck a 2.0 Ah battery dry faster than my wife though a pay check. I wasn’t able to cut much more than half way though the axle and the battery was done. This surprised me as I can use a drill, sometimes all day, and not worry about a charge with a 2.0 Ah battery. I was too lazy to walk back to my truck to get a 4.0 Ah battery and just slapped another 2.0 Ah battery in, but will be trying one of these in the future. I think that one of the factors for this was that I was cutting through galvanized steel. If I was cutting wood, it likely would have lasted longer. We will have to see what the future brings.

    #104408
    mattryyc
    Pro
    Calgary, Alberta

    Thanks for the update Sven, I’ve been on the fence between the 18v and the 572. It sounds like they both have their place. I’ll admit I rarely use my jigsaw on metal, so the 18v would probably still do what I need most of the time.

    #104410
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Ohhhhh ok cool, I had a whole other vision when you said axle. And not knowing what 60mm really is I was thinking that a boy on a load test with it. And then when you said galvanized I was really confused LOL. I don’t know how thick of material those are but galvanized is hard stuff to cut. I’m surprised a 2.0 didn’t do better though..Thanks for the report. Very interesting

    #104417
    svensshutters
    Pro
    Colorado Springs, CO

    The “tube” is between 1/16″ and 1/8″ I can give the exact stuff if people here demand it. I really don’t want to confuse all of our Canadian friends too much. 😉

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