It only took 6-1/2 years, but Bosch is finally bringing a 12V Max cordless angle grinder to the USA, model GWS12V-30N.
Dewalt, Milwaukee, and other pro cordless power tool brands have been steady in their tool launches and innovations, but it’s been a while since I’ve heard anything from Bosch Tools. So, I poked around their website to see what I could find.
Honestly, this is a product I never thought we’d see in the USA. Bosch never launched their 12V Max cordless rotary tool here, or there mini circular saw, or a couple of other products that are only available in Europe. After a couple of years had passed, I figured there was no hope we’d see the 12V grinder launch here.
Milwaukee has an M12 cut-off tool, and Dewalt recently launched a 20V Max multi-material cut-off tool. Maybe Bosch realized it’s time to bring their 12V-class grinder here.
Bosch’s website says that this 3″ angle grinder is:
ideal for the pro who needs a compact powerhouse to get to those quick, difficult cuts in tight spaces other tools can’t.
It features a brushless motor, “optimized gear structure” (what does this mean?), 19,500 no-load RPM, and “outstanding ergonomics and control.”
Bosch describes wheel changes as being fast, thanks to an “innovative gear-mount design” where you “just pull the locking clip and unscrew the spindle screw.”
Innovative spindle-lock design – provides fast wheel change, with a spindle-clip release
It is unclear what this refers to. From the images, the cutting wheel is held in place by a large washer and threaded bolt, and so their “fast wheel change” looks to involve a hex key.
Checking Bosch’s online user manual, there’s a spindle lock, and yes, cutting wheel changes do require a hex key. So how’s that fast when Bosch itself offers angle grinder with tool-free accessory clamps these days?
This isn’t a big deal, but I don’t see what’s innovative about having to unscrew the clamping bolt with a hex key. Maybe there’s something to it that I’m not seeing.
The grinder features restart protection, which means that the tool won’t automatically start up again when switching batteries. This seems like a good safety feature.
It also has an electronic brake, with Bosch saying it can stop the cutting disc in “less than a second after the grinder is turned off.”
Bosch says that their 12V Max cordless angle grinder is powerful enough to cut materials such as threaded rod, strut, conduit, tile, and more. Notice the one-handed use and vertical cutting orientation in the product image.
Bosch also shows the angle grinder being used to cut plastic pipe. Notice how it’s now being held with two hands in a horizontal cutting orientation.
If the tool is indeed capable of cutting through multiple types of materials beyond what you would typically use a larger angle grinder for, then would it be more appropriate to consider this a multi-cutter that’s akin to Dewalt and Milwaukee’s versions?
The grinder comes with cutting and grinding discs (one of each), and so it’s not just a cutting tool. However, it looks like it’s only capable of metal cutting and grinding when used with the included accessories.
- 3″ disc size
- 3/8″ arbor size
- 3/8″ (or M5??) spindle thread*
- 7.1″ length x 3.5″ height x 3.3″ width
- Weighs 1.5 lbs (presumably without battery)
- 19,500 RPM (no-load)
- Electric brake
- 0.25″ max Type 27 grinding wheel thickness
*Bosch’s website says the tool has a 3/8″ spindle thread, but their user manual says it’s M5-0.8. It has to be one or the other.
The user manual says that the grinder is NOT capable of metal grinding with Type 11 discs, concrete surfacing, sanding, or wire brushing with a wheel or cup.
They list metal cutting with Type 41/1A discs, and grinding with Type 27 discs, both 3″ in diameter, as being possible with the included guard.
Concrete and masonry cutting is also possible with optional attachments. But, it isn’t clear whether additional attachments will be needed and available for masonry cutting, or if they simply mean that appropriate 3″ discs are required.
Bosch shows the grinder cutting plastic PVC pipe (and the ASTM markings support this), but it’s unclear if that’s with the included cutting disc (no description or replacement model numbers are provided), or with a separate 3″ wheel.
The new grinder very closely resembles Bosch’s GWS 12V-76 and GWS 10,8-76 model tools, with minor differences aside from the USA/North American version having a different guard.
(The grinder was released in Europe prior to Bosch switching from 10.8V to 12V Max branding, and so 12V-76 and 10,8-76 refer to the same tool.)
Not that I’m complaining, but I wish I knew why Bosch USA took nearly 7 years to bring this compact grinder to the USA.
I have all-but abandoned Bosch’s 12V Max platform, except for the cordless rotary tool and circular saw I ordered from Europe, but I must say – I’m surprised and excited by this launch.
The Bosch GWS12V-30N cordless angle grinder looks nicely featured, and just as compact and light in weight as the European model that launched overseas in 2015.
Surprisingly, the saw is already available to purchase.
Price: $139 (tool-only)
ETA: Available Now
If ordering from Acme Tools, which seems to be the only stocking retailer right now, don’t forget to use one-time-per-customer coupon code TOOLGUYD for $10 off $79.
Note: Bosch has not sent us any press release or media information about this tool (or about anything in quite a while), and unfortunately I don’t even know who I can talk to there anymore for timely and accurate answers to technical questions, context, or deeper insights. In other words, if you’ve got questions, I probably won’t be able to get them answered.
3/8 (approx 10mm) spindle diameter with m5 (5mm) securing screw makes sense.
That’s what I would think, but the website and manual could both be wrong.
It looks handy. One-handed cutting and grinding seems useful.
Not capable of using even a sized-down wire wheel? Too bad. I’d like that too.
I have had this grinder for 5 years now, and it is a great addition to your tool box for small and delicate work.
-Compact and light weight
-Great for one handed operation
-Pretty powerfull, but occasionally overload protection stops the blade if you go in too heavily. Weak battery makes this noticable.
-Discs can be changed without key (just rotate the disk and screw will losen along with the disk)
-Run time very good with 4AH batteries.
-Great for grinding or cutting tiles when precision is needed.
-The availability of replacement disks is very limited
-Battery indicator collects dust inside and becomes unreadable
-Battery connectors are the achilles’ heel of this tool. The tool randomly shuts down and you often need to reseat the battery.
This is an incredibly useful tool. I have become accustom to Bosch not moving products to the US market, never really understood why, other than as a consumer USA can be a bit fickle. I usually purchase these products through EBAY.co.uk.
Best cutoff tool in miles for small jobs, ideal for cutting in electric strikes in metal door frames. Nice small wheel and easy to control. Have you tested one? I can be a bit sarcastic about Bosch’s marketing but I have already purchase all of the 12v products several times over and cant afford to abandon the investment, plus they make exceptionally reliable and quality tools. We are small low-volt company and are very happy with Bosch, just wish they had more products.
Your comment has provided me some small form of vindication regarding an opinion I had years ago lol I used to do security and alarms in industrial areas, and I spent a decent amount of money experimenting with DeWalts (then) new xr multi tool and every style blade I could find between home Depot and the Internet. The old school brushed 20v grinder didn’t fare any better, and I ultimately left that trade before I could find my perfect solution for cutting in electronic door strikes, but I always knew it was some kind of compact, metal capable, flush cut tool.
I gave up on the Bosch 12v platform after buying the near useless 12v jigsaw. Only bought it to cope crown molding and it could barely cut through pine moldings. Absolutely ridiculously underpowered.
Damn shame too as Bosch once made among the best jig saws out there.
I agree, it’s way underpowered. My Bosch 12V planer also crapped out after warranty. Their LED lights are excellent and the multi head drills do a great job for small projects.
I do not use it for coping but for all tasks I am using it for, remodeler here, it works great.
Very solid little machine similar to their 12v router.
I don’t know about the Dewalt version, but the m12 seems to have several features than this one lacks (reversible, baseplate / dust collection attachment). Like you said, it’s a little late to the party in the US. I guess better late than never for Bosch users.
Dewalt has those features too.
It’s also more powerful, and the spindle is offset from the motor so it has a greater depth of cut as well.
Can you grind with the m12?
I suspect that that all of these tools, the Bosch in this article and the Dewalt, Milwaukee, etc, are all cut-off tools only and are not meant for “grinding” the way we would use an angle grinder. I’ve never seen a cup wheel or other sort of surface grinding wheel with a 3/8″ arbor, it’s only cutoff wheels with that arbor size. IMHO it’s a bit misleading to call this a “grinder”.
Bosch explicitly describes this tool as an angle grinder, and it comes with a grinding disc.
The Dewalt and Milwaukee tools are strictly cut-off tools. That the Bosch comes with a grinding wheel and is called an angle grinder is the biggest way it stands out.
I don’t believe there is any mechanical difference between these tools which would make one capable as a “grinder” and the others not. In my opinion Bosch calling this a “grinder” was a deliberate, and misleading, marketing decision, especially since they feel the need to emphasize in the manual not to use type 11 wheels with it. What kind of grinder can’t take type 11 wheels?
Do you see any mechanical differences between this tool and the other cutoff tools which would make you think it has increased “grinding” capability compared to the others? I don’t think it has any. If one can call this a grinder then one can say the same about the M12, etc.
I was not even aware that you could get Type 27 depressed center grinding wheels in a 3″ size. Although looking at the specs for one of them (NORTON 66252842179) it is only rated for 18,000 RPM’s compared to the 19,500 RPM’s of this Bosch tool makes me question the safety of this.
I’m not sure how the Bosch compares to the M12 with regard to power/torque but I suspect that it may have difficulty keeping up with user expectations for anything beyond light use.
I am quite happy with my M12 cutoff tool and even more happy with the one I converted to use as a band-file (narrow belt sander). I might pick one of these up just to compare.
Wasn’t all that long ago that 3/8″ arbor grinding wheels were still pretty common, primarily with air tools. They still make them but you won’t see them on most store shelves anymore, certainly not retail/big box stores. Never seen a cup wheel with that arbor, nor would I want to….don’t recall if there were any wire brushes with it but possibly so (I know Makita at one time had a few available for their 4″ grinder).
Slight difference in gearing between tools marketed as cut-off vs. grinder…or that’s how it used to be and I might assume that Bosch still remembers this. To use air tools as a reference again, while we serviced CP tools many years ago, we wondered because the grinder and cut-off tools sure looked identical and in-hand they were pretty close actually…but different parts inside/part numbers. Now whether this tool from Bosch performs more like one or more like the other…reviews and purchases may tell.
I think this tool needs a side handle, even a simple band-clamp affair if not a threaded boss added to the housing. Looks like a pretty handy tool for plumbers.
I’m aware of air tools being geared differently but I doubt there is any difference in gearing between these tools.
The M12 3″ cut off tool is 20k rpm. So is the Dewalt 20V Max model. The Ridgid is 19k rpm. I know all these tools to be 1:1 drive. If you hold the tool in your hand and you rotate the arbor you can see the motor turning at the exact same rate. The new Bosch is spec’ed at 19.5k rpm, so pretty much exactly the same as the other cutoff tools on the market. Thus I suspect the Bosch is also a straight-up direct drive unit like the M12. The Dewalt DCS438B does have gears, but they are a 1:1 ratio and are only used to offset the arbor from the motor to give a larger depth of cut.
I purchased one about that time last year on Amazon. This tool is a great compliment to a 4-1/2” grinder for many tasks and I often find myself grabbing it over an 18v for quick tasks and tasks constrained by space.
I wrote a bit about it in this forum post where I discussed moving into 12v tools
Too late for me. I have completely abandoned the Bosch line of tools. Hard to find and not getting tools in US that are in Europe.
I will buy a battery on occasion just to use what the tools that I do have until they die. But no more tools or storage.
I am Milwaukee all the way and will supplement with Makita to fill voids.
Glad to see Bosch finally offering this in the US! I nabbed the Milwaukee M12 version for $119 with 4Ah battery on sale a while back, and it’s an incredibly useful tool. But this one doesn’t have a shoe or dust shroud/vacuum port. Not having those features is a dealbreaker in my book.
Now they do this?!
I just bought the Rigid.
Does this have 5/8 cutting depth,
The Rigid comes close but doesn’t quite …
The two examples shown just don’t justify buying the tool. A small bolt cutter will do wire shelving fast, quiet and no sparks. If cutting a PVC pipe like that, a recip saw is the first thing grabbed that anyone would have long before such a tiny cutoff tool.
Don’t find myself needing this.
Looks like Bosch doesn’t care if it sells. I need to know what it can do before I buy not after.
Kind of reminds of this ( https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/515JOkj3ITL._AC_SX522_.jpg) but without the base. Just saying!
I love mine, super compact. I was able to pick one up on eBay about 5 years ago.
I gave up on the Bosch 12V like years ago when it took forever to get the 3/8” impact.
I have switched to Milwaukee M12 and have never been happier. Milwaukee M12 selection is second to none. They have more tools available than you’ll ever need.
I used a friend’s Bosch impact driver recently and definitely did not miss mine. Much happier the M12 Surge.
I purchased this tool from Amazon Germany a couple years back. I believe it was on sale at the time and cost $77 USD and included an L-Boxx, 2 batteries, charger, and 2 cutting discs. I just checked and you can buy the same set today for $100 USD. I’m confused why Bosch is only now bringing this to market in the US, and then charging so much for it.
I don’t think it has been mentioned that the tool is made in Germany. I was a bit surprised to see that. Bosch has begun manufacturing more of their cordless tools in Germany in the last couple of years. My 1/2″ Profactor impact wrench and Profactor rotary hammer are also made in Germany, as are some of the other Profactor 18V tools.
How quick can it cut cat exhaust pipe? I’m asking..for a friend 😉
About 5 years ago and prior, I usually referred to the big 4 in cordless tools…Makita, Milwaukee, Dewalt and Bosch. I didn’t refer to the big 4 as the best, but more about having the lions share of the market and most diverse lineup. Maybe more in 18v, but also 12v.
Festool, Ridgid, Hilti, at the time Hitachi, Ryobi and all the other players had their markets, but nothing compared to what I called the big 4.
Today that seems to have changed quite a bit. probably in Germany and the rest of the world, they have more products and market share. But here in NA, they have not followed the other 3 with OPE. Also, I find that although they have both woodworking and metal tools (grinders, jigsaws, sanders…etc.), they don’t have as large an assortment or renew the models as often as the other 3. They seem to be most dominant in masonry, with their strong line of rotary hammers.
Is this an NA only situation or even world wide they have not followed the other 3 as strongly with their cordless lineup?