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Bosch GAS18V-3 Review

A miniature, battery-powered version of the classic shop vacuum
Bosch GAS18V-3
Credit: Laura Casner
Top Pick Award
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Price:   $140 List | $139.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Stand-up vacuuming, ridgid hose, HEPA filter
Cons:  Struggles with heavy debris, bulky, below average battery life
Manufacturer:   Bosch
By Nick Miley and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jan 11, 2022
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53
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 9
  • Dry Work - 40% 6.0
  • Wet Work - 30% 5.0
  • Battery Life - 20% 4.0
  • Convenience - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Bosch is the black sheep of our wet/dry vacuum review. This model keeps with the old style of shop vac designs in that the hose is rigid and comes with various extension tubes. Also, the collection canister has a more classic barrel shape but with a modern twist. The twist being the clear plastic body that makes it easy to monitor when the can needs to be emptied. However, we find this design to be slightly outdated when compared to more modern vacuums, and it is only worth buying for specific situations.

Editor's Note: The Bosch review was updated on January 11th, 2022, with additional information on what we recommend buying and more help to better compare products.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Bosch GAS18V-3
This Product
Bosch GAS18V-3
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $140 List
$139.00 at Amazon
$120 List$130 List
$114.00 at Amazon
$99 List
$92.95 at Amazon
$100 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Stand-up vacuuming, ridgid hose, HEPA filterLong runtime, HEPA filter, blower optionGood hose design, powerful motor, great storageGreat for hard surfaces, great with heavy/dense debris, compactPowerful suction, relatively lightweight, HEPA filter
Cons Struggles with heavy debris, bulky, below average battery lifeAwkward hose storage, narrow end of hose diameter, no tool adapterHeavy, filter isn't washable, shorter runtime, mediocre puddle clean upLacks HEPA filter, limited runtime, whiny motorShort and narrow hose, heavy, relatively noisy
Bottom Line A miniature, battery-powered version of the classic shop vacuumThis do-it-all vacuum excels in wet work and battery lifeA well designed, toolbox-style vacuum that offers the most convenience and performanceAn economical machine that is capable of handling both wet and dry debrisThis inexpensive machine performs at the highest level in all areas excluding battery life
Rating Categories Bosch GAS18V-3 Craftsman CMCV002B Milwaukee M18 0880-20 Ryobi P3240 Kobalt KWDV 0124B-03
Dry Work (40%)
6.0
7.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
Wet Work (30%)
5.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Battery Life (20%)
4.0
8.0
4.0
4.0
4.0
Convenience (10%)
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Specs Bosch GAS18V-3 Craftsman CMCV002B Milwaukee M18 0880-20 Ryobi P3240 Kobalt KWDV 0124B-03
Measured height x width x depth (inches) 14 3/4" x 15 1/2" x 12 3/4" 13" x 18 3/4" x 10 1/2" 12" x 16 3/4" x 8 1/2" 9 1/2" x 18 1/2" x 12" 13" x 17 1/2" x 10 3/4"
Measured weight (w/o battery) 10 pounds, 3 ounces 7 pounds, 8 ounces 10 pounds, 2 ounces 8 pounds, 6 ounces 10 pounds,12 ounces
Measured runtime (minutes) 18 min 34 min 23 min 19 min 20 min
Measured hose length min/ max (inches) 72" - 72" 26" - 94" 24" - 90 1/2" 20 1/4" - 84" 24" - 96"
Attachments bend, crevice nozzle, floor nozzel, extension tubes (3) crevice nozzle, wide nozzle crevice nozzle, floor nozzle utility nozzle, crevice tool crevice nozzle, floor nozzle
End of hose diameter (inches) 1 1/8" 1" 1" 1" 1 1/16"
HEPA rated filter Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Canister volume (gallons) 2.6 gal 2 gal 2 gal 3 gal 3 gal
Washable filter Yes Yes Yes (dry only) Yes Yes
Battery (volts) 18v 20v 18v 18v 24v
Measured suction (inches of water lift) 28" 19" 25" 22" 22"
Battery life inicator on machine Yes On select batteries On select batteries On select batteries On select batteries
Blower feature No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tool connection adaptor Yes (sold seperately) No Yes (sold seperately) No No
Auxiiary power cord No No No No No
Dry sawdust clean-up (seconds) 15 sec 15 sec 13 sec 15 sec 13 sec
Wet sawdust clean-up (seconds) 31 sec 42 sec 36 sec 42 sec 51 sec

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Bosch GAS18V-3 is a unique machine in the contemporary field of toolbox-shaped wet/dry vacs. This machine sticks to the old-school look and keeps the extension tubes that allow the user to remain standing while vacuuming the floor. It also has a transparent canister that makes monitoring the filter as easy as can be. The downside is that the machine requires more space to store than its peers. The bulkiness is partly because the hose does not self-retract and the fact that it, and the extension tubes, store outside the machine.

Performance Comparison



Bosch GAS18V-3 cordless wet dry vacuum - this model didn't set any speed records in sawdust removal, but it's...
This model didn't set any speed records in sawdust removal, but it's no slouch either.
Credit: Laura Casner

Dry Work


Overall, the Bosch delivered a slightly below-average performance in the dry work evaluation. Primarily, this can be attributed to the machine's relatively long hose. All of the other models were tested with their hoses fully retracted, a capability that the Bosch lacks. As such, this model suffers from a decrease in airflow compared to its snub-nosed peers. Caveats aside, this machine did pretty well picking up heavy materials so long as they had a lot of surface area. Additionally, loose debris posed little trouble as this machine moved through 9 cups of sawdust in a middling 15 seconds, a time that is comparable to the Craftsman.


In contrast, this machine does deliver above-average performance when it comes to plunging between car seats and couch cushions or along baseboard gaps. With 8 ⅜ inches of reach, its crevice attachment is among the longest. Additionally, its suction power produces an additional ⅝ inch of reach, which is at the top of the class.

Bosch GAS18V-3 cordless wet dry vacuum - picking-up wet sawdust is one area where this machine performs above...
Picking-up wet sawdust is one area where this machine performs above average.
Credit: Laura Casner

Wet Work


Overall the Bosch didn't impress in the wet work evaluation. For starters, the machine delivered a slightly below-average water suction performance. While its motor didn't fail to pull the 2 gallons of water up to the elevated canister, the 18 seconds it took to do so was rather humdrum by comparison; the Ryobi P3240 did so in a mere 9 seconds. It did perform decently in the wet sawdust test, which consists of vacuuming 9 cups of sawdust mixed with 6 cups of water.


Unfortunately, the Bosch didn't build on its wet sawdust performance in the subsequent puddle on a hard surface and wet carpet tests. The floor attachment's lack of airflow channels made it difficult to pull water off a linoleum floor. Additionally, the airflow issue created by the model's long hose left more of the 2 cups of water saturating the carpet than its peers. The Bosch did throw the smackdown on the competition in the suction test with a measured 28 inches of water lift. However, in comparison to the other test results, this outcome illustrates that superior suction will not overcome inadequate airflow.

Bosch GAS18V-3 cordless wet dry vacuum - one of the few models that have a battery charge display on the unit.
One of the few models that have a battery charge display on the unit.
Credit: Laura Casner

Battery


All other vacuum tests aside, without an adequate battery cell, these machines are basically expensive step stools. While the Bosch didn't flunk this test, its performance was slightly below the class average. So, how do we know that? We took a fully charged battery cell, popped it into the vacuum, and turned it on, letting it run on air until it died. The time it spends sucking air is called the runtime. We divided the runtimes by the battery cell's respective amp-hour rating to directly compare the various batteries.


At 4.5 minutes of runtime per amp-hour, the Bosch's performance in this evaluation was below average. However, with a four amp-hour battery cell, the 18 minutes of vacuum time will be adequate for many non-professional projects.

Bosch GAS18V-3 cordless wet dry vacuum - you just can't beat that reach!  one of our testers putting the 103"...
You just can't beat that reach! One of our testers putting the 103" of reach to work on a pesky cobweb.
Credit: Laura Casner

Convenience


A notable bright spot for the Bosch is its above-average score in the convenience evaluation. The vac is a bit heavier (10 lbs, 3 oz), and it requires more space to store than its competitors, yet it has several redeeming features. For starters, the hose on this machine is super tough. We had a 200 lbs person stand on it with two feet to no effect.


The Bosch's hose isn't the longest in the class on its own. However, nothing else comes close to the 103 inches of reach that the Bosch offers after adding extension tubes. This model also comes standard with a HEPA-rated filter — a definite plus for respiratory health. Finally, at 77 dBa, the motor in this machine is relatively quiet.

Bosch GAS18V-3 cordless wet dry vacuum - does this hose make me look fat? the external storage of hose, tube...
Does this hose make me look fat? The external storage of hose, tube, and attachments give this model a full figure.
Credit: Laura Casner

Should You Buy the Bosch GAS18V-3?


The Bosch features a more familiar and traditional design that may draw you in at first glance. However, it does not measure up to the more innovative modern iterations of a wet/dry vac and is on the high end of the price range. If you specifically need a product with a long reach that allows you to stand upright while vacuuming the floor, the Bosch is one of the few that will accommodate. However, we recommend perusing the options before committing to this vacuum.

What Other Cordless Wet Dry Vacuums Should You Consider?


If you like the standing option offered by the Bosch because you are worried about lugging around a heavy machine, then the Porter-Cable is a good option, at only 7.2 lbs. It also has a longer hose length, although it lacks the attachments that give the Bosch extra reach. If you simply want a vacuum that works well, the Craftsman earned better scores in every metric and is one that we highly recommend.

Nick Miley and Austin Palmer

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