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The walls at the local big box will soon be a touch more crowded in the mid-range power tool area — Bosch is releasing 14.4V and 18V additions to their Litheon line, which last year only covered the 12V and 36V niches.

The lineup will include a drill and hammer drill in both the 14.4V and 18V formats, to launch in October of 2008 — pricing should be available soon.  Also keep your eyes open later in the fall for an 18V circular saw, an 18V reciprocating saw, and an 18V heavy-duty jobsite flashlight.  Bosch says all the tools in this system will be fully compatible with both FatPack and SlimPack battery designs.

Between now and Christmas we’ll probably see more action in the mid-range Li-Ion market, with this being one of the first salvos fired. We’ll keep you updated with further word on pricing and the hard release dates when we find out more.

Bosch [Corporate Site]


19 Responses to Preview: Bosch 14.4V And 18V Li-Ion

  1. Bobm says:

    I am disappointed that they have not come out with a backwardly compatible lithium ion battery for their existing 18 volt tool line-up. Major players like DeWalt, Milwaukee and Hitachi have this backward compatibility why can’t Bosch?

  2. PutnamEco says:

    Bobm Says:
    I am disappointed that they have not come out with a backwardly compatible lithium ion battery for their existing 18 volt tool line-up. Major players like DeWalt, Milwaukee and Hitachi have this backward compatibility why can’t Bosch?
    Looks like Milwaukee M series will not be backwards compatible either. Lets hope the Bosch won’t be made in China.

  3. Dennisb says:

    Cordless power tools never disapoint for Christmas. With Lithium Ion batteries these tools are sure to be a hit and yes hopefully Bosch won’t skimp on quality and have them manufactured in China.

  4. Shopmonger says:

    Yes they sure will Dennis!!!!

    As alwasy we will all be there checking them out. However i would liek to see the back-compatible problem solved………

  5. Zathrus says:

    Er, Bosch Power Tools has had manufacturing facilities in China for 12 years… and while I can’t tell for sure where any particular tool is made (at least, not without a box in front of me), their various corporate websites indicate that tools are made in “USA, Brazil, Malaysia, India and China, in addition to Germany, The Netherlands and Switzerland.”

    I’d be willing to bet that the vast majority of their stuff is made in Brazil, Malaysia, India, and China, and has been for years.

  6. Tool Nut says:

    I’ve done a lot of reading into this subject, as well as have personal contacts that are connected to everything from electronics, chemistry and engineering. The reason why you’ll see less and less “forward and backward compatibility” when it comes to batteries is because truly optimized tool and battery systems incorporate electronics into the tools – these electronics help to prevent against things like overload, overheating (caused by overload) and decreased performance of the tool. In the case of lithium ion – what happens if you don’t incorporate electronics? Well, remember the story about the exploding Li-Ion battery? That’s an extreme case, but the potential for damaging the battery increases significantly when it come to Li-Ion because of the battery cell chemistry – needs to be regulated more because it is so potentially volatile. What else happens if you don’t incorporate electronics? Well, you’re at risk for literally burning that tool up under heavy load applications. THE TAKEAWAY: It’s good to have electronics. Not every manufacturer includes them because 1) it costs more, 2) it’s hard to get paid for it – not easy to understand and 3) not having it means you’re less protected which means you could be spending more and more $$ on replacement batteries, so now the manufacturer can sell more batteries. As for “backwards compatibility”. There are 2 ways you can explain this. 1) In the case of Milwaukee – they are NOT compatible in this sense. Meaning, you can’t use a V18 battery in their new 18v compact duty drill (V18 battery and compact battery – or slim pack – are keyed out differently, so they physically won’t fit) I know because I have both. But you CAN put that same V18 battery on their V18 drill, and then reverse the position on the same drill by turning it around. For a true definition of “backward compatibility”, look at DeWalt. Their NiCd batteries are the same shape as their new Li-Ion Nano batteries, so either one will fit inside any DeWalt 18v tool. I can’t say that I blame them for designing it that way – afterall, DeWalt is one of the leaders in cordless. Keeping the battery pack the same means that all those customers of theirs wouldn’t have to buy a new kind of battery or charger. Kinda smart! BUT…wait til you try their tool, like the drill. A plumber friend of mine used it to drill a hole to make way for a new sewer stack. The tool quit working before he even finished the hole! He had to reset it some how (found it in their manual), but talk about a pain in the ass! My tech friend says that was the electronics kicking in – he said that it was funny they put it in the battery, though, because that’s where you’re going to have a lot of heat (which is bad for batteries). Electronics adds heat – kind of counterproductive, if you ask me. PLUS, my tech friend mentioned that DeWalts design won’t allow them to build a “slim” version of that same battery. Kinda stinks for those users who might actually like to have a battery that weighs a pound less! I know other manufacturers are achieving this design, but you have to have a different charger for each battery, and even then I don’t think those batteries won’t fit every one of the tools in their lineup. Knowing Bosch, and considering how they consistently come out with quality, durable tools that really last and perform, they will have taken all of this into consideration – it sounds like they have, according to the article here which says that they have a Fat and Slim battery pack design that works in all their tools. Way to go Bosch (whose drills are made in Switzerland, by the way = good stuff! Most everybody else ships from China or Mexico – just look at their packaging)!!

  7. tuckercarlson says:

    Tool Nut sounds like a Bosch salesman, but I do give the poster credit for a comprehensive response 🙂

  8. Koba says:

    Last time I picked up a Bosch drill, it was made in Malaysia, not that I have a major problem, their PS-40 from there is great.

  9. Bob The Drywall Guy says:

    Wall of text critically hits you for 999k damage… you die… paragraphs for the win…
    sorry, not a video game forum…

    I’m a big fan of the Makita cordless line. I noticed they have a new (to me) 4 piece 18v Li-on kit. Impact driver, Hammerdrill, 6″ circular saw and recip saw. For $499 CDN up here at the home depot.

    I can’t wait to see the holiday sales on cordless tools this year! I’m going to need to do some sidework!

    Just about everything is made in the third world these days. It’s all about quality control in their respective factories.. and warranties. I can break anything, so I’m a big fan of a good warranty.

  10. Eric says:

    I think Bosch offers 3 year tool and 2 year battery warranty and 30 day money back guarantee….. I think it’s a sweet deal…..

  11. Jason says:

    Surprised nobody has said anything, must be the electrician in me. That guy is holesawing a service panel that is mounted already and it has breakers on it!! No power, no reason. Just for dumb looks LOL.

    I like my bosch tools and will buy more. Better than my dewalt stuff. milwalkee is too heavy and not ergnomic, doesn’t seem to last either.

  12. donutboy says:

    1- try to get a bosch serviced. GOOD LUCK!

    2- Milwaukee is killing V18 and Bringing out M18 and M12. All new platform, and not compatable.

    3- It’s a sony battery. Nothing new there. Remember the DELL laptop issues?

    4- Why won’t Bosch just make dishwashers and wiperblades? They make those very well.

  13. tooldork says:

    Jason – Believe that is a step drill bit, not a hole saw.

    Tool Nut is correct regarding the backwards compatability – it is the electronic controls that prevent it. Bosch’s is not in the battery, but the tool to eliminate the heat issue.

  14. Shopmonger says:

    donut boy sounds like the Milwaukee rep…………..

    bosch has been making some great tools lately.

  15. Tool Nut says:

    Donut boy:
    1- you don’t need to try and get a Bosch serviced – they make it easy for you to replace your drill’s brushes ON YOUR OWN
    2- You mean they’re doing away with V18 altogether? How do you know, I see it at Lowe’s and Home Depot everywhere
    3- I wonder how many battery instances have gone unpublicized – hopefully none relating to power tools, cuz I use mine pretty hard. Don’t want to find out the hard way!!
    4- I was just looking at the Bosch website – they do WAY more than dishwashers and blades….they have a HUGE automotive division, plus they do hydraulics, security systems, all kinds of electronics and automotive components, lawn and garden stuff, and a ton more….sounds like Bosch is a force to be reckoned with!!!

  16. fred says:

    We have a lot of corded and cordless tools rolling around in our 12 rolling plumbing tool carriers (Ford E350’s) and even more in our carpentry step vans.
    We like Bosch for some things but Makita, Milwaukee and Porter Cable for others.
    Most of our cordless drills and impact guns are Makitas.
    We have a few Makita cordless saws – but reach for Skil (a Bosch subsidiary) 77’s more often than not – and wouldn’t think a cordless could handle the big-foots that we have on some of the 77’s.
    Aside from our old (won’t quit monster) Dewalt Radial Arm saw that sits in the corner of a shop – we’ve not been big fans of their line.
    Using a cordless drill with a big selffeed bid to cut in a vent stack is just nuts. It is not surprising that the tool failed. We reach for big Milwaukee Hole-Hawgs – and now a few super hole-hawg right angle drills to take on this task.
    We bought some Bosch 12524-03 – 24volt hammer drill kits that were made in Mexico (not Switzerland, Germany or China) that were not up to snuff – compared to a corded-tool — but maybe we were expecting too much – or maybe we got them at a $99 price because other knew more than we did.

  17. Zathrus says:

    3- It’s a sony battery. Nothing new there. Remember the DELL laptop issues?

    Oh, you mean the laptop batteries used by Dell, Toshiba, Sony, Apple, Gateway, and just about every other laptop manufacturer? Yeah, there was a problem and Sony eventually owned up to it and recalled every single one.

    Of course, other companies have had similar debacles. If you decided never to buy a tool from a company that recalled (or, better yet, refused to despite major issues) any tools, ever then you’d wind up with an exceptionally short list of companies to buy from. If you did the same for hard drives you’d be out of the market entirely.

    But note that there’s not all that many large volume LiIon battery makers. Sony, Samsung, Matsushita , and A123 are the big names. Virtually everyone else is much smaller scale/quantity or just rebadges the batteries from one of them.

  18. Brian says:


    According to my local Bosch rep the Drills should still be made in Switzerland, impacts and other system tools will be in Malayasia. Asia is a major market for impacts and small cordless tools, especially SE Asia. According to my rep, this plays a major factor in deciding where to manufacture goods. However, all of the cordless items are heavily American engineered. Again according to my well versed, local Bosch rep.

    I am looking forward to their li-ion tools. If it is anything like the 15618, it sounds like it will make all other 18v drills run home to their mommys! The 15618 is heavy, but it is a work horse. It is nearly indistructable and my guys can’t kill it!

    Plus their ProVantage Warranty is the best in the business. It did help sell me on Bosch; however, we have rarely needed it. I was getting my dewalt stuff fixed monthly, with Bosch I rarely have an issue and the couple issues we did have were fixed by the following day!

    I am a Bosch fan, spending boo koo $$$ on dewalt and makita just go old!!!

  19. Syd says:

    Anyone know if the hew li-ion batteries can be charged in the old boombox? I bought into the Bosch line 2 years ago. I’ve been pretty happy and I use my tools heavily (carpentry). Now, the old hammer drill has not impressed me, and after replacing the chuck, I’m thinking about upgrading to a new model. I’ve got the Bosch boombox, so I’m pretty much committed to the line. I don’t want to go back to Dewalt, because I was never really happy with them. The only problem is I can’t find out if I’ll be able to charge my new batteries if I buy the new impact driver and hammer drill. Every review I’ve read says the new drill is less heavy and more power, which were my two complaints. Any advice?

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