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?
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.