Bosch 12V Cordless Jigsaw JS120

By Robert Robillard on Tool Reviews

Bosch 12V Cordless Jigsaw JS120Bosch 12V cordless jigsaw JS120 Review

The jigsaw design started in 1946 when a Albert Kaufman installed a blade on his wife’s sewing machine.  The very first portable jig saw was introduced the very next year under the name Lesto Jigsaw.  7-years later Bosch acquired Lesto and  since then, Bosch, has continued to lead and trail-blaze in jig saw innovation.

Bosch recently came up with the Bosch 12V cordless jigsaw JS120 barrel-grip saw that weighs only 3.3 lbs.

Don’t let this lightweight design fool you by its size, it is not lacking in engineering, handling, precision cutting or power. This saw measures 9.4 inches long and 6- 3/4 inches tall.

Compact Design

The Bosch 12V cordless jigsaw JS120 is a seriously compact jigsaw, and is perfect for carpenters, remodelers and cabinet installers who need to make quick cuts in trim, metal or plastics.

Bosch 12V Cordless Jigsaw JS120Power to Cut

The Bosch 12 V cordless jigsaw JS120 has a 3/4 inch cutting stroke and is capable of cutting 2-3/4 inch deep in wood. This jigsaw has a no-load speed of 1500 to 2800 strokes per minute and it’s orbital cutting action allows precise, aggressive cut in both straight and curved cutting applications.

Bosch designed this tool with to be powered by 12 V technology in equipped with a 2.0 AH battery. An electronic motor protection (EMP) and electronic self protection (ECP)technology both protect and prevent the motor from overloading in batteries from overheating.  Basically the ECP protects the battery against deep charging, when the battery is empty the saw will turn off.  All of these technologies are designed to keep the two operating longer without damage.

Bosch 12V Cordless Jigsaw JS120Safety

One safety feature that I really liked is the “restart protection” feature.  This feature is designed to prevent the tool  from starting after a loss of power, such as a dead battery or a removed battery.  When one of these situations occur you need to switch the tool off and turn it back on, to resume cutting, after replacing or disconnecting the battery.

Another nice safety feature is the “brake.”  A built-in brake stops the blade stroke quickly when the power is shut off. I liked this feature a lot, Ive seen many guys place their jigsaw down with the blade still moving – sometimes hitting things and bending the blade. This auto brake works immediately, and I was impressed with how fast it stopped the blade.

Bosch 12V Cordless Jigsaw JS120Ergonomics

The JS120 is a barrel grip jigsaw, is easy to grip, and super nice for upside-down cutting applications. I’ve never been a huge fan of barrel grip jigsaws and can not get excited about the ON-OFF switch location. Its located on the left side of the tool, side-motor housing, which clearly favors right-handed operators.

Jigsaw cutting speed or stroke rate required depend on the material being cut, the type of blade used and  operator feed-rate.   The best speed is usually determined through experience, but as a rule-of-thumb, slower speeds are for harder denser materials, and faster speeds for softer material.  The JS120 has a variable speed control to assist you in this speed selection.

The variable speed control is located on the bottom, rear of the tool.  It is not easily accessed why are you operating the tool, instead I found that I preferred set it before turning on the jigsaw. I guess I am a huge fan of a variable speed trigger and this is probably why I do not like the power switch and the variable speed dial location.

Two other carpenter friends of mine prefer the barrel-grip design so its really a matter of personal preference.

Bosch 12V Cordless Jigsaw JS120


An LED light clearly illuminates the blade but can only be turned on after the saw is turned on.

Adding and removing the blade is easy with a one-handed key-less blade clamp. Removing the blade was just as easy, the blade auto-ejects when the blade ejection lever is turned to the right and the blade is in a downward position.

The jigsaws base-plate bevels from 0° to 45° in on-board double wrench stores indexed into the die cast aluminum base plate for easy access.

A 3-speed blade orbit selector level allows you to maximize the best cutting efficiency for the tool by selecting the proper orbit for the material being cut.

  • 0 = Hard materials like metal and sheet metal.
  • 1 -= Soft materials and scroll cutting
  • 2 = Medium density material like hard woods, particle board and plastics

A battery charge indicator gauge shows battery life and has a temperature overload protection indicator. The fuel gauge has 5 illumination messages:

  • 3 green continuous lights =    2/3 to full
  • 2 green continuous lights =  1/3
  • 1 green continuous lights =  <1/3
  • 1 green flashing light  = reserve power
  • 3 green flashing lights = empty

Bosch 12V Cordless Jigsaw JS120Using the Bosch JS120

I definitely like the size, balance and control that comes from this little jigsaw. The folks at Bosch said that a barrel grip design makes for easier overhead cutting, and obviously makes it easy for bottom-side up cutting.

Overall I found this to be extremely well-balanced, low vibration saw and was able to make plunge cuts with ease. The blade tracks nicely and the tool has is perfect for small projects, overhead and trim work.

Video Review


How much and where to buy

The Bosch JS120 sells online for approximately $99.00 in comes as a bare tool only. Bosch-JS120BN-12-volt-Cordless-Exact-Fit

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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