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.