Well, I thought Bosch had it cracked with the GST 135 BCE jigsaw, beating its rivals for ease of use and accuracy into a cocked hat, and the company cornered the market with it that’s for sure.
But Bosch is always looking for even better ways to skin a cat and now it has come up with the GST 140 BCE OK, if you own the previous model there’s no reason to dispatch it to the jigsaw graveyard because it still remains a fabulous saw in its own right, but if you are on the lookout for a top-end model, this one should go to the top of your list when you are comparing them.
So what makes it better than its predecessor, and those around it?
Well, the basics are there of course, so pendulum action, built-in dust blower, variable speed via the dial as well as fine-tune control through the trigger, and that’s an area where I think a jigsaw needs to be good.
I rarely, if ever, alter the speed dial, but rely on the trigger to control the cut, using it in much the same way as driving a car, so slowing down going into a curve, accelerating as you come out onto a straight.
It helps the blade stay on track, minimising blade deflection, but on this saw you have the addition of a new blade support to give an even better cut, so on deeper cuts the blade remains square.
Anyone who’s cut a hole in a worktop for a .sink or hob will know the frustration of blade drift.
So on this new saw, the small pincer-iike lower guard of its predecessor has been replaced with a double roller that has a central pivot point that ‘ allows it to rock backwards and forwards — you could call it a , rock and roller I suppose!
What it does is to support the blade at alt times as the pendulum engages and the blade oscillates, so both rollers are in contact with the back of the blade at all times, keeping it more rigid that a single roller.
Having put this to the test, it works really well, but blade selection is still important, as is the control of the cut.
On an intricate curve cut with a blade not ideally suited, I found the saw can still drift if you force it, but that’s the same for any saw. Vibration levels are excellent and there’s minimal vibration as you cut, even on a coarser deep cut, so the saw sits stably.
The shoe adjustment boasts a fast-release locking lever with the shoe adjusted by pulling back against a spring to allow it to tilt. Indexing at 45° in either direction as well as a 90r’ position are built in, with other angles set against a small protractor scale.
A spring lever is also used for blade swaps. Pulling the lever rotates a lower collar to eject or fit a blade, with the collar wrapping around the shank for positive retention once it’s fitted.
On top of the handle is a small pushbutton switch for the LED, firing directly on the cutting area. I’d be inclined to leave this permanently on as this light is very useful; the button is below a rubber dust shroud which I found a little tricky to engage, so good reason to do so I supposed Clever additions.
Aside from the saw itself, a couple of clever additions make the cutting experience all the better. First off, the cable has a ball-and-socket connection that helps prevent cable frays and breakage when the cable is constantly bending during cuts. This gives it a degree of flexibility, and continuing this theme of flexibility, how clever is the extraction connector!
Putting a pivot point within it, as the jigsaw is twisted and turned, means the hose doesn’t get dragged around so much, making cutting easier to control.
Fitted in tandem with the clear cover to enclose the blade, the dust extraction is pretty efficient, although I do prefer to see the cut line more clearly without the cover in place as static can cause dust Puiid-up on it.
The extraction efficiency is compromised in doing so, but nevertheless it still does a pretty good job.
The final point on the saw, and easily overlooked, is the splinter guard. On earlier saws this was a push fit, and I’ve found they tend to jump back out during use so have usually given up on them, but now it’s a slide-in fit, locating with a couple of lugs to retain it.
Now that’s a very useful addition, one that finishes off what is a very impressive saw, having both power and performance, along with some clever refinements that should keep Bosch at the top of the pile when It comes to jigsawing. Typical price; £230.