Listings for a new Bosch 12V Max brushless drill/driver kit (GSR12V-300) popped up in mid-2019, and the emergence of a new drill and impact driver combo kit instilled me with fresh interest.
Like the new Bosch brushless Flexiclick drill/driver, this upgrade brushless drill snuck onto the market with little fanfare – it simply appeared on Amazon one day.
There weren’t any press releases, announcements, media kits, or really any excitement at all surrounding the new Bosch cordless drill, but we’re able to get a good picture of what it offers.
Spec-wise, you get:
- 3/8″ chuck
- 300 in-lbs max torque
- 0-460/0-1750 RPM
- 6.0″ length
- Weighs 1.6 lbs (without battery)
- 20 + 1 clutch settings
The kit comes with Bosch’s new compact charger and 2.0Ah batteries.
Compared to my much-loved Bosch PS32 brushless drill, this new model, GSR12V-300, delivers more torque (300 vs. 265 in-lbs), faster speeds (0-460/0-1750 vs. 0-400/0-1300 RPM) and is ~1/2″ shorter from front to back.
Correction: The PS31 is rated to 265 in-lbs max torque, and the PS32 at 180 in-lbs.
The previous model, PS32, often goes on sale seasonally, sometimes even dipping below $100.
At the time of this posting, the GSR12V-300B22 kit is $159, but if you “clip the coupon” the price drops by $23.85 to $135.15 at checkout. The PS32 kit is currently $139.
Is the newer Bosch GSR12V-300 brushless drill worth the upgrade over the PS32, a drill I very strongly recommended in the past? Honestly, I simply don’t know.
Speaking frankly, a bump-up in specs always sounds good. The new drill is faster, more powerful, and more compact where it matters.
But psychologically, $135.15 seems a bit high for a 12V Max cordless drill, even a brushless one, doesn’t it?
I’ve been spoiled by Dewalt’s Xtreme Subcompact drill/driver, which is currently priced at $99 via some retailers. It’s compact where it matters, I like that it stands upright on its battery, and its brushless motor provides all the power I’m looking for in a 12V-class drill.
So when I look at Bosch’s silently-launched 2nd generation brushless drill/driver, I don’t see it in the same way as when it launched, when my stance was “ooh, an upgrade to the PS32 I love so much.” Now, I see it and think “is it worth 35% more money than the Dewalt Xtreme brushless drill sample I’ve been testing and enjoying the use of?”
Dewalt’s Xtreme 12V Max drill and screwdriver offer every bit of the finesse that Bosch’s PS32 brushless drill wooed me with. I need to vary their use a little more, but so far I’ve been impressed.
Not including shipping or tax, Bosch’s new GSR12V-300 drill is $36 more than Dewalt’s Xtreme brushless drill.
Which would I buy right now? The Dewalt. Bosch’s 2nd generation brushless drill has slightly faster speeds, and I can’t comment on the torque due to Dewalt’s UWO power rating instead of in-lbs. But looking at specs, I don’t think slightly faster speeds are worth the $36 and change extra.
What about if the PS32 goes on sale again? That’s a different story – I have very strong fondness towards that drill, and if it’s Bosch PS32 for $99 or Dewalt Xtreme for $99, I’d go for the Bosch.
If Bosch’s GSR12V-300 drill kit dropped in price further, perhaps to $119, I’d consider snatching one up, or least if I imagined myself in a “I need a 12V-class brushless cordless drill scenario.” $109 would of course be even better.
But even at the $135.15 (after coupon) sale price, I can’t help but feel that the GSR12V-300 is a tad high-priced compared to the competition.
Makita’s compact 12V-class brushless drill kit is priced higher, and while Milwaukee’s M12 Fuel is also pricier, it’s in a different league with respect to power and features.
You might have seen how much I love Bosch’s PS32 drill/driver. I was very eager about what the new model could offer, but what happened to that excitement? Has Dewalt’s $99 brushless drill kit pricing really skewed my perspective so much that I can’t be excited about a ~$24 discount on Bosch’s latest and greatest 12V brushless drill?
Buy Now via Amazon
Compare: PS32 via Amazon
Compare: Dewalt Xtreme Drill via Acme Tools
Update: I was wrong in my comparison; the PS31 is rated to 265 in-lbs max torque, and the PS32 is rated at 180 in-lbs. Meaning, the on-paper torque spec difference is more significant than I realized.
I have the PS32 and I love it. I don’t have many Bosch tools, more Milwaukee and Dewalt, but the couple Bosch tools I have are phenomenal. The quality of their drivers seem to be on par with Milwaukee’s 12 volt line, just overall less tools to choose from.
I paid full price for the GSR 12V-300 (two, in fact) when it came out and have absolutely zero regrets. It’s faster, more compact, and most definitely more powerful than the PS32. Plus it has the nice rubber grip. Definitely pricey, but you get a really nice drill in this instance.
I had the original dewalt 12v max drill, and while it was a solid performer for me for a few years, dewalt’s refusal to update their 12v line until recently left a sour taste in my mouth, so I sold them, tried the makita FD07R1 and the Bosch PS32. I liked the grip on the makita more, but for everything else I preferred the bosch. So when they released the 12V-300, I jumped on it.
Also, fun fact, the chuck/gearbox from the bosch PS22 (my favorite hex driver) fits the 12V-300 perfectly. So I ended up with a 12V-300 with the hex chuck, and put the drill chuck on my PS22 body, essentially turning it into a PS32. Pic here: https://i.imgur.com/lEISVp9.jpg
The 12V-300 with the hex chuck is now my favorite driver. Incredibly small and powerful. With a 3.0Ah battery it weighs 1lb 10.5 oz. Incredible.
Do have a video replacing chuck to hex
I used this video as a reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHmVvTvctZU
Mostly just to see how the disassembly and switching of the gearheads goes. It’s very straightforward.
The 1/4″ driver version has been released (GSR12V-300HX), along with hammer drill version (GSB12V-300)
If I were looking for a 12v drill right now, I’d go with the Skil over this one. Half the price, comparable power, and a 1/2″ chuck.
Plus the quick charge feature is really handy, since I tend to set down a tool when I’m done and forget to put the battery on the charger afterwards
Our installers loved the Milwaukee M12 driver and drills. Some switched over to the Bosch Flexclick – (before the M12 multi-head was available in the US) – and I heard good things from them about the added versatility – and some thinking that the Bosch handle felt a bit better in their hands. My wife gripes about M12 not fitting her hands too well – liking the Makita 12V – with slide in batteries better. For me who finds XL gloves to be too snug – most tool handles seem OK.
One minor gripe about the charger – is that we never liked those with wall-warts (can take up more receptacle space) and low-voltage (skinny and more fragile) connector cords.
Fred, I use these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CEJW0WQ to take care of the wall warts. I don’t mind the thin charger wire; it lest the charger be smaller. Even though there’s no wall mounting holes, I just use some 3M VHB to wall mount mine. Dual-Lock would work too.
Thanks – those pigtails look handy. Although they would add something else to stick in the bag – they would help on many jobsites.
They would also work for the guys who charged up their tools overnight at home.
We’d line up rows of chargers in our workout locations plugged into outlet strips. Wall warts were a particular nuisance. The guys who worked out of these spots – would often come in and grab tools, chargers, materials and work plans. It seems trivial – but yanking a 110V plug is a bit easier than pulling a wall wart. Not a deal breaker – but just a preference.
I have different branded / no branded singles and doubles all over the place. Any room where there’s a bunch of wall warts for electronics, chargers, … I plug in the pigtail and chargers go belly up, with the pigtail wire just arcing up.
A batch of the flush plug ones is also handy for behind desks, cabinets, furniture
I need to grab some of the flush ones.
Re the charger. If you have any Bosch 12v tools at all, you should pick up a few of the GAL12V-40 chargers.
Are those GAL12V-40 chargers that much better?
The boschtools.com site says the stock GAL12V-20 charges a spent 2.0 ah in an hour and the GAL12V-40 charges a 3.0 ah in 50 minutes. In my experience the GAL12V-40 is even better.
They finally made a wall mount charger?!
I sure hope they do an 18/12 combo charger with wall mounts next.
Off topic tool info. Home Depot has the Dewalt 60v reciprocating saw & 6.0 Flex battery($179.00). Free Shipping. The 6.0 Flex battery has been selling $75-$90 each in two packs. That probably takes the reciprocating saw under $100.00.
Koko the Talking Ape
The Milwauke M12 Fuel drill/driver goes on sale for $99 too. So yeah, kinda high.
Not to my knowledge, at least not current models – I’ve only seen heavy discounts on special bundles including older models.
Koko the Talking Ape
Ah, I think you’re right.
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I debated between the new Bosch and the Dewalt, but ended up choosing the Bosch. I was able to by the bare tool in January from Amazon for $104.00 after using Bosch discount. I had 2 batteries from the Flexiclick and when I compared both together I kept the Bosch and returned the DeWalt, They Bosch just felt more comfortable for me, even though I really liked the Dewalt. I could not be happier with my choice
That what it comes down to for me as well; how the tool feels. Most of the 12V drills from the different manufacturers will perform similarily, so I go for the tool I’d feel most comfortable having in my hands and using all day. I’m very happy with the bosch 12v tools. I do have some milwaukee 12V tools as well, but they’re specialty tools, like the stapler, some lights and the surge impact driver. Milwaukee’s M12 drill is over 3lbs. If I’m going to be using a drill over 3lbs, I’d prefer a compact 18V model instead.
With the predicament re: lack of torque on the Bosch12V drill, it’s been related to pilot holes drilling, I’ll have to take your recommendation and go with the Milwaukee M12.
The only thing left is to make sure I buy the right model/generation as I understand they don’t go on sale often.
I’m not going to run right out and buy one, but it looks like they have addressed all the weak points of the PS32. I own two PS32’s, and like then but: A. they spin too slow for small drill bits, B. the handle is far too slippery. I wrapped my handles with self-fusing silicone tape to get a better grip. I don’t care about the torque, because I have never max’d out the PS32. I don’t pick up a little drill when I need torque. I pick up a big drill with a side handle. BTW, the torque-adjusting clutch is really good on the PS32.
I have both, enjoy them both. think the ps32 is perfectly balanced and weighted for its power, and gets slightly better battery life. The gsr 12v300 is almost too zippy for its size and weight, tho it is amazing for precisely those same reasons.
When I want more speed and power, my favorite drill is the 18v Bosch hds183, also perfectly balanced and weighted.
I noticed the same thing with the GSR 12V-300; quite zippy indeed! I love it.
With the gsr 12v300, i find i use my arm strength a little more. It’s subtle, but sometimes you just want the weight of the tool to do the work.
I just purchased the Bosch 12v brushless combo kit of Amazon which includes the older model PS42 impact and this new drill you mention. I’ve been a fan of Bosch 12v for a while and have picked up a handful of their other 12v tools, recip saw, router, planer, circ saw, cut off tool and several lights. I’m also invested in Makita, M12 and Hilti’s 12v(impact and hammer drill). So all bases are covered. I tried the Dewalts out. The brushless impact, drill and screwdriver and found myself unimpressed. They are very lacklustre tools at the begining of another 12v mediocre platform. The first speed on the impact is irrelevant, the screwdriver is underpowered for anything more than wall plate screws and made primarily made of plastic(where metal should be) and the drill has enough wobble and runout to drive a man crazy. So, I went all in on these Bosch 12 for a few simple reasons. A platform that although slowly, eventually evolves. Just pay attention to their website. It’ll show you what’s coming out. They may not have the deepest platform but they have the tools i use and enjoy. DeWalt lacks that. And while we sit around and wait, other tools hit the market. Then there is battery life. I believe Bosch 12v Batts have the best battery efficiency on the market. Power to size ratio. This new Bosch is tiny. But spinning at 1750rpms. And at 300 in lbs, it’s enough to handle most no tasks. It’s definitely smaller than the DeWalt and more powerful and with the battery life you get with the platform that’s already inplace, I’d pay full price for the Bosch any day. There is a reason the DeWalt is $99…..
Agree about your Bosch assessment. And Hilti and M12/18 brand use as well.
Haven’t had any Dewalts since I gave them to Jimmy Carter/Habitat for Humanity years ago.
I agree with your assessment of bosch as well. Amazing power to weight and size ratio. If I need more power in a particular tool, I reach for corded or 18v.
The old Bosch PS32 brushless drill is only 180 in. lb
Sorry, you’re right!
I was mistakenly comparing to the PS31 specs.
I had the PS31, have the PS32, and bought the new GSR12V-300 (bare) so I could use my existing 2-, 3-, 4-, and 6-ah Bosch 12V batteries and chargers (I have two of the original faster chargers that came with the PS31, which are better than the slow charger that shipped with the PS31). The new charger seems to be a good deal (faster and cheaper), but I’ll wait until it’s gotten some reviews showing better performance than the original charger before thinking about getting one.
The GSR12V-300 is significantly better-feeling in hand, smaller, faster, and stronger. What’s not to like? I keep that in my general-use toolbag and the PS31 separately, in two different locations. The Bosch drills (12v and 18v) have always fit in my hand better than the competition (the Milwaukee 12v trigger tends to pinch my hand) and their warranty service has been excellent.
FYI: the 4ah (old) and 6ah (new) Bosch 12v batteries are excellent, and it’s worth getting one for the extended runtime and the ability to have the drill stand upright.
I love the 6.0 Ah batteries for the high drain tools (jigsaw, router, multitool, but I’m not a fan of them for the drills. I use the 3.0 Ah batteries for general use in my bosch drills. More runtime than the 2.0 batts, and they maintain the compact size that I love about bosch’s 12v line. The 2.0Ah batteries I have are used with the led lights.
The image doesn’t show in my previous post. Here’s the link to the 6ah battery on Bosch’s website: https://www.boschtools.com/us/en/boschtools-ocs/batteries-chargers-starter-kits-gba12v60-189962-p/
My take on this. My goal with 12V tools is to fit as many into as small of a space as possible to get basic light duty work done. I have my one bag or bucket of essential 12V tools that I carry with me when I start working on anything that might require a power tool. If I come across something that requires more power, I go for a dedicated 18V or corded tool.
For me, brushless makes more sense in the 18V environment as that’s what I would use for heavy duty work or if I were doing something really repetitive and where the additional power might make a difference in total completion time.
I realize brushless is a marketing buzzword and will therefore filter into every aspect of the power tool market. But I don’t really have a use for a 12V brushless tool. My 12V brushed drill can do most of the work that I’d ask of an 18V tool.
I’m not really sure, but lets say my 12V brushed tool can do 90% of the work that I’d ask of an 18V brushless tool.
To me, a brushless 12V tool maybe bumps that number up to 95% or so. I spend twice as much on the tool, and I still need to have the full size 18V available, so it’s really not worth it to me.
“Brushless” is most definitely not a marketing buzzword. There’s real-world advantages. Smaller, more powerful tools, longer battery runtime, longer motor life (though I haven’t really had a big issue with this with any brushed tools I use).
If your brushed tools are serving you well, that’s great, but going forward, I won’t buy a brushed tool unless I have no choice.
Oh, I agree and understand the benefits.
I rambled a bit, but my point was, when I reach for a 12V tool, my priorities are, in order 1) Compact 2) Affordable ….49) Power, efficiency, and runtime.
I just see power and efficiency as much more important in 18V tools, which are what I would choose for an all day project or a heavy duty use.
Calling it a marketing buzzword was probably too pejorative. I’m sure they’re useful for some in the 12V space. I do feel that there’s a movement in the industry to move brushless tech into every possible corner of the market, even if there are marginal benefits.
Similar to you, I would be hesitant to buy a brushed 18V tool. But the way I use 12V tools, there is minimal benefit for me to spend the extra on brushless. YMMV.
Stuart, Amazon currently has a 12v Skil brushless combo kit (drill, impact, light, Bluetooth speaker, oscillating tool, 2 2.0 batteries, and quick-jump charger) for $149.22.
A vastly superior deal in every way and one I’d recoomend to anyone even remotely interested in a 12v platform!
While the skil is great it’s the biggest 12 volt drill on the market while this new bosch is the most compact 12 volt drill. I picked up the bosch because I wanted something compact, strong, and efficient for around the house. I would buy a subcompact 18 volt instead of the skil as they are almost the same size only the 18 volt is more powerful.