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 However, we find this design to be slightly outdated when compared to more modern vacuums, and it is only worth buying for specific situations.Editor's Note: The Bosch review was updated on January 11th, 2022,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.
Bosch GAS18V-3 Review
Pros: Stand-up vacuuming, ridgid hose, HEPA filter
Cons: Struggles with heavy debris, bulky, below average battery life
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$148.99 at Amazon
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|Pros||Stand-up vacuuming, ridgid hose, HEPA filter||Long runtime, HEPA filter, blower option||Good hose design, powerful motor, great storage||Great for hard surfaces, great with heavy/dense debris, compact||Powerful suction, relatively lightweight, HEPA filter|
|Cons||Struggles with heavy debris, bulky, below average battery life||Awkward hose storage, narrow end of hose diameter, no tool adapter||Heavy, filter isn't washable, shorter runtime, mediocre puddle clean up||Lacks HEPA filter, limited runtime, whiny motor||Short and narrow hose, heavy, relatively noisy|
|Bottom Line||A miniature, battery-powered version of the classic shop vacuum||This do-it-all vacuum excels in wet work and battery life||A well designed, toolbox-style vacuum that offers the most convenience and performance||An economical machine that is capable of handling both wet and dry debris||This 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%)|
|Wet Work (30%)|
|Battery Life (20%)|
|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|
|Measured suction (inches of water lift)||28"||19"||25"||22"||22"|
|Battery life indicator on machine||Yes||On select batteries||On select batteries||On select batteries||On select batteries|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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