In Tool Reviews

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Tool: 18V Brushless Connected Barrel-Grip Jig Saw GST18V-60BC Shop Now

Manufacturer: Bosch

MSRP: $209 (bare tool + 2 blades & anti-splinter insert)

Smart tools: Love them or hate them, you’re going to keep seeing more and more of them going forward. The new GST18V-60BCN from Bosch is a good tool with a good app, which is hopefully the template we’ll see going forward for this category. There are a lot of thoughtful details packed into the design; switches on both sides for ambidextrous use, adjustable blade guide/channel to minimize blade deflection, and adaptive speed-control, which dials down the strokes per minute (SPM) to provide control at the entry point of the blade and the workpiece. 

One thing I noticed right away setting up the saw — there’s no bevel adjustment for the blade, the saw is fixed at a 90° angle. This definitely limits the types of cuts you can make, though I almost never change the angle when using a jig saw. With that being said, this saw cuts very well. The cuts were smoother and faster than the non-smart barrel grip saw I was testing at the same time. How much that has to do with the smart sensors versus fewer adjustable parts I can’t say, but it’s probably a combination of the two. 

The app itself works well without any bugs that I found. There’s data like battery life, and the ability to change the number of speeds available as well as the SPM for each speed. You can also fine-tune the aforementioned adaptive speed control exactly to your liking. These features are targeted more towards the trades, where you could be cutting OSB one minute and PVC the next, though the hobbyist certainly can find some value in them.

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