Mine finally arrived after a three week backorder. This is a brand new
model from Bosch. I have minimal experience with a jigsaw, even though I've
owned a craftsman jigsaw for two decades. It just never did seem to be that
useful. This Bosch is a different story. Its like a refined and more
powerful version of the original Bosch barrel body saw.
Two interesting features stand out.
First is the blade change system. I have not actually used a Milwaukee saw
to see what a good blade change system looks like but I don't see how any
saw could possibly be easier or faster than the new Bosch, unless you
measure blade change times in milliseconds. Just push the blade in until it
clicks. To remove it, grab a lever and move it about a 1/2". The blade jumps
out. That's it.
Second is the blade movement stabilizer (that's what I call it). Its a
pincher-like arrangement that can be engaged to put light pressure on both
sides of the back third of the blade. It reminds me of the ceramic guides on
a Laguna band saw. I don't know how well this works or how it affects blade
life. My guess is that heat dissapation is pretty good, because there's a
lot of surface area, relative to the thickness of the guides. I imagine the
engineers spent a fair amount of design and prototyping to get it right - at
least I hope so. The guides are replaceable.
Bosch advertises a fancy speed control system in this saw. I guess that
would show itself in cutting thicker wood. I don't know.
Last noteable item is that this saw is fatter than the smaller Bosch barrel
body. It looks like it would be clumsy, but it did not feel that way in my
limited use. I think my hands are slightly larger than average size.
As I get more experience with this saw, I may mention some of the pluses or
minuses I observe. In the meantime, if you're a hardcore professional that
has hundreds of hours using a jigsaw, please tell me what kinds of
challenges you would throw at one to see how well it performs. For now I am
really tickled with it.