Greetings everyone! Let me just say thank you to Mechanical Hub for reaching out to me for another tool review and inviting me to be on their new Pro Staff team! Since my early start in the Trades as a “Seasonal Helper” in residential plumbing and a Commercial HVAC installer to my now current full-time career as a Licensed Fire Sprinkler Fitter Foreman, I never thought I would be a part or involved with such a great opportunity and team. I’m grateful for all of it. Now let’s get down to this Bosch GSA18V-083B Reciprocating Saw review.
I was on a recent Retro fitting job for a major Grocery Chain moving into an existing shopping center. Part of my Job scope was the demo of now dead existing main and branch lines. The mains consisted of Schedule 10 and the branch line were threaded schedule 40. Normally we would go into the air with a 100’ cord hanging off the side of the lift (because the outlet was abused and dead in the lift) attached to a porta-band. This would be heavy and clumsy overhead use, as most time two hands are needed to hold the porta-band and try to balance the pipe being cut. So this time around I was excited and yet tempered my expectations to be able to use the Bosch GSA18V-083B Reciprocating Saw.
Some first impressions was that it was beefy yet manageable (4.4lbs) to hold and manipulate with one hand. The handle is large enough for different grips and rubber grips on both the back and front to avoid slipping, which is important when dealing with oil and water. The overall length without blade is 15-3/4” long. The trigger itself is large enough to be activated in most grips and angles. To be honest the look is uncanny identical to the Milwaukee M18 Cordless Hackzall Reciprocating Saw. Some nice features I noticed were the LED Light for the cutting zone and a lock out switch to prevent inadvertent startup.
Working with the Bosch GSA18V-083B I was provided with generic Bi-metal blades. So I already knew any cutting shortfalls could not all be shouldered by Bosch. The tool accepted the generic blades in its easy-to-operate blade-change system without problem. I decided to use the wireless charging batteries from the Bosch EC Brushless Socket-ready Impact Drill/Wrench (IDH182) that I previously reviewed. Maybe the staff will link that review here for you too. So when I previously stated that my expectations were tempered, it was because I expected the saw to fight or stall when cutting into steel. Whereas with a porta-band blade it has the finer teeth with a constant rpm and motion. To my surprise when cutting the 3” main it breezed right through. The schedule 10 steel was an easy cut for the generic blade and the Bosch. It was a nice little warm-up. Now with a little duller blade and a much thicker schedule of pipe, 40, I assumed when cutting I would get the snag and fight. In my head I would probably blame most of it on the cheapness of the bi-metal blade. Again Bosch impressed not only myself but my fellow Journeyman. A fast 3,050 strokes per minute was enough to handle said generic blade and about 12 cuts of 2” to 1-1/2” sched 40 pipe. On a side note; the battery lasted in power on one charge.
Overall in practicality and performance the Bosch GSA18V-083B Reciprocating Saw did the job. It was nice to be able to get into bar joists due to the compact design and make strategic cuts. The beefy weight was not too overwhelming for one handed grip cutting. The rpm was fantastic as it maximized material removal per stroke. The blade guard was not too bulky to get around the pipe and joist spaces. I can definitely see the potential for everyday general uses, and as far as job site use this tool is a must!