We found excellent comparison reviews of the Bosch 52318 cordless jigsaw at Tools of the Trade magazine and the Journal of Light Construction, both of which put five cordless jigsaws through rigorous tests. A comparison review at Builder News magazine tests the Bosch in comparison with a corded jigsaw, and Woodworker's Journal compares four cordless jigsaws for balance, weight and overall ergonomics. Owners review and rate the Bosch 52318 jigsaw at Amazon.com, and woodworker Tom Hintz provides ample details and illustrations in his NewWoodworker.com review.
The 18-volt Bosch 52318 cordless jigsaw has been challenged by newer, lighter lithium-ion cordless jigsaws but remains the top-ranked Ni-Cad jigsaw, and it costs less than lithium-powered models. Reviews praise its smooth cutting power, soft-start motor and "constant response" circuitry that maintains steady speed. Reviewers especially like the easy tool-free blade changes, which pops out hot blades. Batteries carry a two-year warranty, and the jigsaw itself carries a three-year warranty. If you can put up with a cord, however, the less-expensive Bosch 1590EVSK (*est. $145) provides even better features.
1. Tools of the Trade
Comparing five cordless jigsaws at job sites and in the workshop, this review rates the Bosch 52318 best for its smooth cuts, effective blower and blade-ejection system. Tests involve various types of wood in plunge cuts and tight radius turns, as well as in beveled and perpendicular cuts.
Review: Cordless Jigsaws, Tom O'Brien
2. Journal of Light Construction
Carpentry crew leader Ross Welsh tests five 18-volt cordless jigsaws at job sites and in the workshop. The Bosch 52318 is the favorite for comfort, its superior blade-changing system and its dust blower, but the review notes that the baseplate doesn't slide back to allow for cutting close to a wall.
Review: Toolbox: Cordless Jigsaws, Ross Welsh, Oct. 2003
3. Builder News
This review compares the cordless Bosch 52318 with the corded Freud FJ85 jigsaw, finding that the Bosch cuts 30 feet of 3/4-inch plywood on one battery charge. The review finds both the Bosch dust blower and anti-splinter insert fairly ineffective, but these are the only drawbacks noted.
Review: Cord vs. Cordless, Art Waldell, Jan. 2003
4. Woodworker's Journal
Woodworker's Journal compares four cordless jigsaws by setting up a booth at the Minnesota Woodworking Show and inviting visitors to try them out. The highest rating goes to the Bosch 52318, though there's criticism of the view through the splinter guard. There are also complaints that the plastic baseplate guard has to be removed to change the base angle.
Review: Puttin' On a Show: Our Cordless Jigsaw Test, Joanna Werch Takes
A handful of owners review the Bosch 52318 cordless jigsaw here, giving a near-perfect average rating. The only negative reviewer says he'd change his to a perfect rating if he could, because Bosch resolved his quality-control issue so well.
Review: Bosch 52318 18-Volt Jigsaw, Contributors to Amazon.com
6. New Woodworker
Testing the Bosch 18-volt cordless jigsaw on "every thickness and species of wood" he could find, woodworker Tom Hintz writes that the Bosch makes smooth, accurate cuts. This enthusiastic review praises the handle, controls, tool-free blade changing and on-board storage for the bevel-adjustment wrench.
Review: Bosch #52318, 18V Cordless Jigsaw, Tom Hintz