I know I’m going to catch some hell from the nice folks at Bosch, but hey — I call it like I see it: the PS60 looks to me like their response to Milwaukee’s Hackzall. That said, I’m glad to see Bosch offering it. Some folks bought into Bosch’s sub-compact line and some bought into Milwaukee’s — probably through something like a drill/driver — so I’m glad to see that each group has access to this incredibly cool little tool type, regardless of their initial brand investment.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the tool at all, just think of it as a miniature reciprocating saw — with a twist. That twist? Instead of a D-handle attached to the back of the tool, both the Hackzall and the PS60 make a pistol-style grip, pretty much like the one you find on drivers from the same line. This renders the whole tool much more compact, stowing the motor at an angle back above your hand. It also turns out to make the thing killer comfortable to use. Most of the time you grab the grip just like a driver’s, but then you end up putting your other hand on the back of the motor, allowing you to stabilize the thing or push like hell on it.
Spec-wise, the similarities continue. Both are 11″ long and deliver 0-3,000 strokes per minute (SPM). The PS60 delivers a slightly longer stroke, though, at 4/7″ (0.57″) compared to the Hackzall’s 1/2″. This could be interesting, as the Milwaukee engineers made it clear to us back on the Hackzall launch that they specifically shortened the stroke in order to increase battery life — to give you more use from the little li-ion without really taking much away, taking into account the kind of jobs you’re likely to attack with this (instead of a standard recip). So I wonder if the longer stroke might impact battery life on the PS60. Both tools include a work light, and both weigh exactly the same.
Tool-only pricing — which we suspect will be the most popular purchase form for this tool — start around $80 for the PS60 (known as the PS60B in this form) as compared to around $90 for the M12 Hackzall. We’re seeing the -2A variant (two batteries, charger, and case) for around $190. Note: Pricing seems to swing pretty widely online for both tools, so we recommend doing your shopping carefully.
Regardless of which of these you choose, though, I can tell you this: You want to have one of these around if you can afford it. I use mine for all sorts of jobs. It’s like a Swiss Army knife. It may not be the best tool for the job, but it’ll work for all kinds of jobs.