Bosch has come out with a new 18V compact cordless band saw, model GCB18V-2N, and it has recently started to ship.
The new Bosch cordless band saw is said to be up to 60% lighter and 40% more compact than standard deep-cutting band saws, making it a more comfortable choice for clean and precise cuts overhead, in corners, or in tight workspaces.
It can cut materials up to 2-1/2″ in a single pass. Bosch emphasizes the benefits of cordless band saws – fewer sparks and minimal rework required for deburring or tempering colors. This band saw is well-sized for cutting conduit, uni-strut, threaded rod, copper tubing, black pipe, and other such materials.
The Bosch GCB18V-2N 18V cordless band saw features a tool-free blade guard and tool-free blade change.
Features & Specs
- Cuts up to 2-1/2″
- 28.875″ blade length
- 530 SFM cutting speed
- Center-placed auxiliary handle
- Tool-free blade guard
- Tool-free blade change
- LED worklight
- 13.5″ length x 8.0″ height x 5.5″ width
- Weighs 7.3 lbs
The band saw is sold as a bare tool and ships with (3) 18 TPI band saw blades.
The new Bosch cordless band saw looks to be an update of their previous model, BSH180B, which was released 9 years ago.
Compared to the BSH180, the new GCB18V cordless band saw has a built-in auxiliary handle, rather than a removable threaded-stem handle.
Bosch product imagery also shows the new band saw equipped with a CORE 18V Li-ion battery. I haven’t heard of any incompatibility issues with the older model, but would assume that the new centered aux handle should allow for better user comfort.
As you might know, Bosch’s CORE 18V batteries are larger and heavier than their FatPack batteries, and it’s possible the new built-in secondary handle was designed to help provide for improved tool balance. Or it could have something to do with safety regulations, which tend to change from time to time.
This new model also has a tool-free guard tool-free blade changes.
Although the new model largely resembles Bosch’s nearly decade-old 18V compact cordless band saw, the new secondary handle design and upgraded tool-free features are enough to make it a significant update.
It is unclear how else the new Bosch 18V cordless band saw improves upon the older model.
Press materials don’t reference it, talking about the new model as if it didn’t have a predecessor:
The new band saw adds to Bosch’s successful 18V cordless portfolio, which is building a strong ecosystem based around its industry-leading 18V battery packs and technology.
We are continuing to expand our 18V cordless portfolio and we’re confident this compact band saw will be an asset to professionals seeking a lightweight option that does not compromise precise cutting capabilities even in tight, constrictive areas.
With a new lightweight design, this cutting-edge power tool is only 7.3 pounds, yet built to deliver an impressive cut rate of 530 surface feet per minute.
The older model weighed 7.7 lbs with a FatPack battery, and the new bare-tool saw is said to weigh 7.3 lbs. A 7.3 lbs bare tool weight compared to a 7.7 lbs with-battery weight suggests that Bosch didn’t actually make the tool appreciably lighter than their older model.
However, looking at bare tool specs for the Bosch BSH180B model, that model has a published weight of 7.1 lbs, meaning the new model is actually 0.2 lbs heavier.
But, 0.2 lbs for a centered auxiliary handle and tool-free guard and blade changes seems like a worthy tradeoff.
On Bosch’s website, a couple of users complained about blade failure in their BSH180 band saws, to which Bosch customer support replied:
Thank you for your review and we apologize for the inconvenience that this may have caused you. Your issue with the blade will be forwarded to our product managers for future enhancement purposes as your satisfaction is important to us.
That was 2 years ago, and more recent reviews were replied to with advice on how to break in band saw blades to help prevent early failure.
It’s possible that improvements were made to the blade tracking or tensioning mechanisms to help prolong blade life, but nothing of the sort were mentioned in press materials or on Bosch’s website.
If you’ve used either of Bosch’s compact cordless band saws, what have your experiences been like? If not, how likely are you to buy this new model?
If you want a compact band saw with a brushless motor or higher cutting capacity, Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel model is only a little heavier but quite a bit more expensive.