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Bosch is set to roll out the new generation of their Brute Tough line this year. Bosch says the new generation is faster and more powerful than its predecessors.  Also, the new Brute Toughs will feature a couple of kickers, like a newly designed 1/2″ metal chuck on the drills — it’s designed to give you a better grip and to be easier to lock down.

We’re interested to see how the revamped line fares against its competitors in the same class, but we’re more interested in how the new and improved metal chuck works. We’re hoping it feels like our shop-favorite V28 chuck in strength and grip. If that’s the case, then the new Brute line will be a tough contender in its class, considering the already stout list of features.

The line will feature four drill/drivers — two of which are hammer drills — and will be available in both 18V and 14.4V Ni-Cad setups. The drill/drivers will run around $200 to $250 retail, and the hammer drills will go for around $230 to $275.

We’ll keep an eye out for when the new line hits shelves, and we’ll let you know when we’ve gotten our hands on ’em for some testing.

Bosch [Corporate Site]


13 Responses to Preview: Bosch’s 2nd Gen Brute Tough Line

  1. Shawn says:

    NiCad? What?

    I can’t fathom why any company would come out with new products based on an outmoded power supply. Lithium Ion is so superior (just look at the Bosch 10.8v lineup) it baffles me that they wouldn’t swap out all the NiCad stuff as soon as possible.

  2. Nick says:

    I know I won’t buy anything other than Lithium Ion powered cordless tools. It doesn’t make sense to me either why Bosch would not capitalize on their success with the 10.8 volt line and offer their “2nd Gen Brute Tough Line” in lith ion too. I demand an explanation! 🙂

  3. Jay A says:

    The only advantage NiCad has is a lower price. Bosch isn’t going to win any shoppers looking for the lowest price. They should do an 18v lithium ion like Milwaukee. Their 18v Lithium Ion system that is interchangeable with previous NiCad tools was genius.

  4. tooldork says:

    All hail LI! Bah! Sounds like the previous posters only buy tools for themselves.

    I would venture to guess that companies that provide tools to their crews are looking for a balance of price and performance. So, why would they invest so much in LI when the tools are often abused or go “missing” from the site?

    If LI is “so superior”, why don’t a lot of these tools work in the cold? Guys are leaving them in their trucks overnight and reporting that they won’t work in the morning and are have charging problems.

    Bosch is not alone in producing new NiCAD products since the second coming of battery platforms has been introduced.

  5. Two important points about NiMH and Ni-Cad batteries, they can be charged faster than Li-Ion and they have a longer shelf life. Li-ion is catching up really fast, though.

    For the hard core professional these aren’t an issue. They have spare batteries ready to go and they usually charge the battery so many times it dies before the shelf life is over. For the home-owner or weekend warrior these disadvantages might be more of an issue.

  6. Fred says:

    I’m with Benjamen Johnson – buy extra batteries – even for your Paslode Impuse nailers. Time is money.

    The other point about tools “evaporating when left too long in the sunlight” (otherwise known as being stolen) does weigh into the equation – but we still try to buy the best tool for the job.

  7. Shawn says:

    Here’s a dirty secret about NiCad (learned this the hard way)

    If you don’t use the NiCad on a regular basis (exercise) they will slowly lose their ability to hold a charge. My otherwise fantastic Milwaukee 14.4v drill succumbed to this….

    I’m not a pro that uses his tool on a daily basis. When I moved from one house to another, the tool sat in storage unused (sad, I know). Anyway, when I went to use the thing, it was dead. I wrote Milwaukee, and they gave me a guide to “jump starting” the battery…it worked, for a while. But, the thing was never the same.

    By contrast, Lithium batteries (so far) seem to hold their charge much longer and provide much more power. True, they “drop off” suddenly, but that’s fine by me.

    I’m not sure I agree that NiCad’s have a longer shelf life. This has not been my experience, though it could be specific to the Milwaukee battery or their technology. I have a Porter Cable NiCad that has outlasted the Wilwaukee by at least 3-4 years.

  8. More on my point about shelf life — let me emphasize that this has generally been the case in the past, battery chemistry keeps getting better year after year — The shelf life issue has more to do about how long the tool sits on the shelf before it’s purchased. Li-Ion have a shelf life of 2-3 years, while the nickel batteries usually will give you 3-5 years.

    Lets say the end user expects about 2-3 years of life from a battery. This means that Li-Ion batteries have to go from being manufactured to the end user pretty quickly. It costs money to speed up the supply chain. Also if they do sit on the shelf to long somebody has to eat the costs of the out-of-date batteries.

    Another point, think of the product design cycle. Sure sometimes you can go from drawing board to finished product in six months in the electronics industry, but I’m sure the tool industry is slower. I bet you’re still seeing the results of decisions being made two years ago when Li-Ion batteries were an unknown risk.

  9. bc says:

    back to the drill… it’s too heavy and the grip is too bulky. the fwd.rev switch is too thin. bosch needs a nail gun and a vacuum. then i may be convinced…

  10. Clinton says:

    It’s hard to tell from the picture but it looks like the chuck axis isn’t aligned perpendicular to the body molding which I always found annoying with the current version. They better have improved the chuck, my cheap Ryobi hammer drill had a better chuck and hammer mode than my coworkers’ Boschs. The Boschs had more torque and better battery life but the chuck constantly loses grip on the bit and the hammer mode on the previous model is pathetic. My employer is back to buying Dewalts based on feedback from several dissatisfied technicians.
    I still think my Ryobi hammer drill is the best value in drills I’ve ever seen. It’s only major drawbacks are that it doesn’t have the torque run large spade bits and the batteries are weak (but cheap). For $60 (no batteries) if it dies it can be replaced for less than the repair cost of most “better” drills.

  11. l_bilyk says:

    It’s probably safe to say Bosch will bring out lithium ion 18 volt tools. But it’s good to see that they are not dropping support for the older nicad batteries. Dewalt and makita are doing the same

  12. Johnny says:

    Benjamin. Almost all your facts are backwards. Li Ion batteries have a longer life than NiCd or NiMH.

    Li Ion batteries can be charged just as fast and faster than Nicd or NiMh. Makitas charge in 25 minutes flat. That is fast.

    Problems with cold or hot batteries? No battery is supposed to be left in extreme hot or cold conditions. Look in the manual or the battery itself, it tells you that right on the tag.

    NiCd is harmful to the environment and is supposed to be disposed of properly.

    Most Nicd tools are getting cheaper because many companies are trying to get rid of them. It is old tech.

  13. Greg says:

    I have yet to use a Lion drill that bests my Panasonics. The new Maks are great but riddled with problems. Plus, panasonic has 3.5 amp hr batteries.

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