Thanks for taking your time to read our UK review of the Bosch GSB 120-LI Professional Cordless Drill/Driver. This product forms part of the Bosch Professional range, which means it has been designed for professionals and tradesmen. Home owners can of course buy this, and if they choose to do that, will own a very high quality cordless drill/driver.
This GSB 120-LI model comes with 2 batteries, a charger and a carry case, and that simply means you have everything you need to get started, and a nice case to keep it altogether.
Below. we review this drill/driver from the Bosch brand in more detail. Just before that we have provided come basic background information on the Bosch brand.
Bosch - The Company and Brand
Bosch are a popular brand choice for many UK buyers and home owners. Bosch operates in the UK as Robert Bosch Limited. They employ around 5,200 people across 40 locations in the UK. In 2017, Bosch generated revenues in the UK of £3.5 billion, and the UK is the second largest European market for Bosch after Germany.
Bosch are a German based company and they own a number of brands including Rexroth, Buderus, Dremel, Dynacord and Worcester Bosch (Gas Boilers) They make very high quality tools for the home and garden as well as operating in many other sectors.
Bosch GSB 120-LI Summary Description
As mentioned, Bosch have two main ranges of tools:
- Dark Blue Colour - the dark blue colour tools are part of their "Professional range." That is they are designed for the professional or tradesman. As such they will usually have metal gears and tougher bodies, as they are designed for building site and heavy duty use. These will also be used frequently and in tougher weather conditions. It also makes them more expensive.
- Green Colour - These are designed for home use and are a more affordable option for home owners. These are still very good quality, but they are not designed for persistent use, or for working in tougher conditions.
The model we are reviewing here, the Bosch GSB 120-LI forms part of their professional range.
This drill/driver is cordless, runs off a Bosch 1.5Ah battery and comes with 2 batteries so you will always have a spare battery. It also comes with a Bosch AL 1110 CV Charger, which can charge a battery in 1.5 hours. All of the components can be easily stored in a hard plastic case.
Bosch GSB 120-LI Features
At a Glance Features:
This can be used to drive screws and also as a normal drill or with the hammer feature for drilling through all types of masonry
It comes with the drill/driver, 2 batteries, a charger and also a carry case, allowing you get started right away and also somewhere to store your new tool.
Provides flexibility in applications due to its impact mechanism and the single-sleeve keyless chuck allows for easy accessory changes.
With its short head-length and low weight of just 1.0 kg this tool allows for perfect handling and low fatigue work. Ideal for overhead work.
In Depth Feature Explanation
This drill/driver is a 12 Volt model. It is fair to say that 12 Volt models from any brand are primarily used for driving and removing screws. They will not be as powerful as the more popular 18 Volt options. That said, the benefits of a 12 Volt option is that the drill/driver is smaller and lighter.
That means you can get into tighter spaces, and you will be able to use the drill/driver for longer without your arm starting to get sore.
This drill/driver uses a 1.5 Ah Lithium-Ion battery, the smallest and lightest in the Bosch 12V range.
Understanding Ampere Hours (Ah)
Ampere hours (Ah) refer to the storage capacity of the battery.
In the 12 Volt range of batteries, Bosch have a few options which are 1.5 Ah, 2.0AH, 3.0 Ah, and 6.0 Ah. The simplest way to understand what difference this makes is that the higher the Ah rating is on a battery then the more powerful it is.
However, the bigger Ah battery you buy, usually the more expensive it will become, and it will also be heavier. (These prices change a lot based on various offers)
As an example a 1.5 Ah battery if bought as an item costs around £55, whereas a 6.0 Ah battery costs around £70.
Each battery for this drill also has electronic cell protection which means it will last for longer.
Just about every brand of cordless drill/drivers uses a keyless chuck. This simply means that you can tighten the chuck by hand, which makes for fast drill bit and screwdriving bit changes.
This Bosch GSB 120 uses a "single-sleeve" keyless chuck. That means you can change the bits using one hand. That is a much better option than a keyed chuck or a double sleeve which both need 2 hands to change the bits.
The chuck capacity on this drill/driver is 0.3 to 10 mm.
When you see "torque" mentioned on a cordless drill/driver, it refers mainly to the screwdriving features of the drill. Torque really means the force or pressure at which the drill operates. Imagine you were driving screws into a hard wood, that would require a lower speed and more torque than if you were drilling soft wood.
Having the right torque setting selected helps you to control the depth of your driving. Over driving screws will happen if the torque is too high and may cause wood to split. Not enough torque and the screw will struggle to go in.
The other issue that setting the right torque accomplishes is not stripping the head of the screws. Again if the torque is too high it will strip the head, and even if too low can also cause stripping.
Torque is measured in newton-metres. For drill/drivers the following is a very good guideline:
- 4-15 Nm - ideal for smaller driving tasks and soft wood
- 15-30 Nm for medium screw sizes
- 35Nm+ for longer or larger screws
So at a setting of 1 the torque will be very low and at 20 will be high.
Different torques are used for driving through different materials.
This Bosch GSB 120 has a maximum torque - (hard/soft): 28 / 11 Nm and also has 20 torque settings. As such it is suitable for small to medium sized screws in any type of wood.
Planetary gears are often used when space and weight are an issue, but a large amount of speed reduction and torque are needed. This is the case with a cordless drill. Planetary gear systems are able to produce a lot of torque because the load is shared among multiple smaller sized planet gears.
They are a more efficient system and will last a great deal longer.
This Bosch drill/driver has a 2 speed planetary gearbox. That gives this drill/driver a no-load speed (1st gear / 2nd gear): 0 – 400 / 0 – 1300 rpm, which is excellent
Drilling & Driving Capability
This model can be used as a screwdriver and we have shown the capability of those just below.
It can also be used as a drill for wood and plastic.
It also has a hammer feature, and that makes it suitable for drilling all types of masonry - this drill can deliver up to 18,750 bpm
Drilling & Driving Diameters
- Maximum drilling diameter in wood - 19 mm
- Maximum drilling diameter in steel - 6 mm
- Maximum drilling diameter in masonry - 8 mm
- Maximum screw diameter - 7 mm
- Measures 32.3 x 29.4 x 7.5 centimetres
- Has an LED worklight
- Has a soft start trigger important when starting to drive screws in
- It doesn't come with any accessories such as a pouch or any drill bits
How Buyers Rate the Bosch GSB 120-LI?
- 82% of all online buyers gave this Bosch drill/driver a full 5 star review
- 2% of all buyers gave this a poor review
This is based on 1,500+ online buyer reviews at the time of writing this review
What Buyers Say About the Bosch GSB 120-LI
Buyer Pros & Cons
We have summarised below what those 1,500+ online buyers had to say, after they had bought and used this cordless drill/driver,
There is no doubting the quality of this drill. This model is compact, easy to use and powerful enough for most driving and drilling jobs. Don't buy it if you plan on driving long screws into harder woods. It will really struggle to do that.
Our Verdict on the Bosch GSB 120-LI Professional Drill/Driver
We like the fact that this is a complete kit with 2 batteries, a charger and the carrying case. It lets you get started and keeps everything in one simple storage case. It also comes with a user manual.
We also like the fact that it is lightweight and compact, so ideal for working in any tight of tight space. The LED work light also makes restricted space working a lot better.
This drill/driver has been on the UK market for a long time and has maintained very high ratings, and based on that it will not let you down.
We also like the 2 speed gear box and the range of torque settings as it makes you drilling or driving much more under your control. The single sleeve chuck is always the preferred type of chuck and this model has that.
If this is not the cordless drill/driver for you, then you can check our top 10 list of Bosch cordless drill/drivers by clicking here. Alternatively, you can read our top 10 list of all brand cordless drill/drivers by clicking here.
Bosch After Sales Service
Information for Great Britain
Robert Bosch Ltd. (B.S.C.)
P.O. Box 98
North Orbital Road
UB 9 5HJ
At www.bosch-pt.co.uk you can order spare parts or arrange the collection of a product in need of servicing or repair.
Tel. Service: (0344) 7360109