The Fastest Way to Cut in Hand-Tool Size? Bosch GSA 10.8v-Li

Bosch GTA10.8v li recip saw

We all know that power tool manufacturers like to make big, bold, impressive, audacious and immodest claims about their products. Toolstop recently spent 2 days with DeWalt and then a day with Bosch, examining the latest tools they've brought to the market place.

And if we had 1 for every time we heard the words "it's the ________ in class", or, "it's the _________ on the market", well, we'd be able to enjoy a rather luxurious holiday in the Caribbean, all expenses paid.

Yes, they love to tell you about how their tools are the shortest in class, the fastest in class, the most powerful in class, the quickest on the market, the smallest in the market, and so on.

For example, I just opened the Bosch Q2 brochure. It's full of blue power tools. And it's equally full of big, bold claims about the tools. On page 10, above a photo of the Bosch GSA 10.8v-Li professional mini recip saw, I see:

The fastest way to cut in hand-tool size.

Like I said, big, bold, audacious claims.

bosch 10.8v lithium ion batterySo, have Bosch packed the goods into the GSA 10.8 V-Li mini recip saw to support their contention?

Well, we should start with the battery. After all, any speed or power that you can expect from the GSA 10.8v-Li is going to be provided by it.

The GSA 10.8v-Li is, as the name suggests, part of Bosch's 10.8v lithium-ion range. Bosch have worked hard to perfect their lithium-ion technology (read about lithium-ion batteries here), and we've always been impressed with the ECP (Electronic Cell Protection) technology.

The big idea behind ECP is that you're only going to draw the most amount of power, for the longest times, if the cells in the battery are managed properly. So, ECP micro-manages each cell so that the tool is able to draw what it needs from the battery, and you'll be able to run the tool for longer between charges, charge times being around 30 minutes.

So, we've no issues or doubts so far with Bosch's claim about the GSA 10.8v-Li, if their lithium-ion track record is anything to go by.

The other obvious factor about Bosch's claim ("The fastest way to cut in hand-tool size") is the size of the GSA10.8 v-Li.

How does it measure up?

Bosch are claiming a 285mm length, with the battery fitted.

Now, we can agree with them that that's a fairly small recip saw...

In practical, on-the-job-site terms, you're going to be able to cut pipes, plasterboard, struts, etc, in very confined spaces. As Bosch seem to be putting the GSA10.8 v-Li forward as a hand saw replacement, we can definitely feel you're going to find having it in your kit a huge benefit.

So far we've got Bosch's proven lithium-ion battery technology fitted on a cutting tool that's only 285mm long. What about the "fastest" part of Bosch's claim?

Bosch GSA10.8vliThey're reporting cutting speeds of up to 3000 strokes per minute over 14.5mm, with speed regulation and a fast motor brake. The latter is a bit of tech Bosch have built into the saw that will, basically, stop the motor immediately.

They've also incorporated their Electronic Motor Protection system (EMP) so that, while you're cutting a piece of thick pipe, for example, and the motor stalls, you won't be able to blunder through the cut, thereby damaging the motor.

EMP also monitors the temperature of the motor and will let you know, via some LED lights on the side of the saw, whenever you're putting to much strain on it.

Talking of LED lights, as you can see above, there's one fitting below the front rubber wrap. This'll be of benefit when you're cutting in small, dark, confined spaces. Which is sort of the purpose of the saw...!

So far, then, we've got 10.8v lithium-ion, ECP-protected battery power, an EMP-protected motor providing up to 3000 strokes per minute, all packed into a 285mm long body.

But how, in reality, does it perform?

Whenever we visit the tool manufacturers, we deliberately make them abuse the tools they're demonstrating. And we did the same with the Bosch GSA 10.8v-Li recip saw. Check out the video below, and look out for the thick steel we insisted our demonstrator cut through.

So, the fastest way to cut in hand-tool size?

It's a big claim to make, but that's what power tool manufacturers do. They make big, bold, audacious claims about their products.

Now it's up to you to decide; does the Bosch GSA 10.8v-Li professional mini recip sawmeasure up?

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