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Are Bosch falling behind the rest?


wayneburgess

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Bosch have always produced quality tools, trusted by vast numbers of users throughout the world especially Europe as real world tough, and developed through many years of interaction with end users and testers/reviewers to ensure the tool matches the application.

But have the blue giants of European tool manufacture got out of bed late this year?

Recent steps forward have seen the brush-less motor incorporated into the Milwaukee Fuel, the 4ah battery brought to market by Metabo and Dewalt who have been quick to follow suit and now they not only have brush-less technology but also the 4ah battery.

Does this mean Milwaukee will soon be bringing out they're own 4ah battery very soon? ( we think so ).

Meanwhile Bosch have been busy producing new tools with very interesting innovations in laser levels, multi tools, upgraded rotary hammer drills and wood working tools designed to produce stunning results.

Developments in blade and drill longevity mean they now produce a range that last significantly longer than earlier products and most can be used in other manufacturers tools.

But I ask again, have Bosch pressed the snooze button on the alarm clock and missed the bus with battery development?

It remains to be seen if the German Giants have been busy behind the scenes developing something special to improve the runtime of they're battery platforms.

but be sure Tools In Action will be watching Bosch,and our reporters will be letting our readers know the second we hear of anything. :)

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Bosch seems to me to be one of the more conservative tool manufacturers, with the few Bosch batteries that I do have, have been most dependable, so I'm not complaining if they are not the latest and greatest, I'll take dependable any day. It would seem to me that most other manufacturers are putting in "hot" cells, that is cells that have a high discharge rate, to make a good show for the press, who seem to only be interested in how NEW tools perform. These "hot" cells work good for a short while, after which the performance falls off pretty quickly, and they do not have as long a life as batteries with "cooler" cells. If you really want to stay up to date with batteries the model electric car and airplane guys are always hanging out on the bleeding edge. They are already a generation or two ahead with Li-Po batteries.

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I need to clear something up here about supposed HOT cell batteries.

This is a bit of a none starter because most of the batteries that were manufactured this way are now old tech and are two series ago.

The latest generation of lithium ion batteries do take longer for ions to return to towards the negative electrode during charging and require much more sophisticated monitoring during both discharge and recharge.

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I need to clear something up here about supposed HOT cell batteries.

This is a bit of a none starter because most of the batteries that were manufactured this way are now old tech and are two series ago.

Exactly which cells are we talking about here, and in whose batteries?

Here is a "hot" cell, Milwaukees red lithium

http://www.keeppower...=92&Language=en

Here is a "cool" cell. Panasonics

http://www.keeppower...=94&Language=en

these are available today....

The latest generation of lithium ion batteries do take longer for ions to return to towards the negative electrode during charging and require much more sophisticated monitoring during both discharge and recharge.

And the manufacturers push the limits of these cells by insisting on charging them in one hour or less, without letting us have the option for an optimized charge cycle.

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This seems to be a list of cells on a web site that are a near as damn it comparison but not the exact batteries used by a list of manufacturers.

I would be very interested to get the actual exact cell spec from several manufacturers and see how they compare.

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I looked up the cells for several manufacturers batteries and they do not seem to be as quoted in some of these pages.

I am going to e-mail Milwaukee and Dewalt and others and see if i can get the exact cells they use so we can find out what is what.

I think it would be financial suicide for a company to give long warranty cover to a battery with such short term life cells given the amps needed to drive some of the tools out there.

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There does also seem to be a lot of stuff on the internet where owners clubs dissecting and rubbishing each others tools which is not my gig at all.

With luck we will get feedback over time and find out how they have all performed.

That is why I recommend the remote control modelers, they are very brand agnostic when it comes to power tools, and are a lot more likely to sit down with a multimeter and figure things out. They do like to experiment too. The flashlight guys take batteries pretty seriously as well. Hate to say it but, they make us tool guys look lame.

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Eco, what do you consider a short time in terms of cell life?

Anything less than 1000 cycles is a short life, even then 1000 cycles is still a pretty short life. I would prefer to see 2000 cycles. Some particularly "hot" cells have as short a life as 500 cycles, luckily, it would seem the tool manufacturers have steered clear of the really "hot" cells as they are even more sensitive to improper charging.

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I looked up the cells for several manufacturers batteries and they do not seem to be as quoted in some of these pages.

I am going to e-mail Milwaukee and Dewalt and others and see if i can get the exact cells they use so we can find out what is what.

I think it would be financial suicide for a company to give long warranty cover to a battery with such short term life cells given the amps needed to drive some of the tools out there.

I have heard they deny a lot of battery warranties quoting normal wear and tear vs. the manufactures defects that the tools are warranted against. I believe most manufacturers can tell how many charge cycles their batteries have gone through.

You might find this review of batteries interesting

http://reviews.ebay....000000072044555

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I have spoken to friends in the tool sales trade and now have a better understanding of some of the issues Eco is hinting at.

As you can imagine he is avoiding names of manufacturers as this opens a whole can of worms, but my spies tell me there are two manufacturers who knew they had sailed too close to the edge of the battery envelope and so have a policy of just keep quiet and replace the batteries with no quibble.

Although this seems like great after sales service what it actually means is oh shit boys we made a boo boo. LOL

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All the manufacturers are pushing their batteries by charging them in an hour or less. I really wish we had some options on chargers to slow charge them when we have the time. Would be real nice to have this option on a multi-bay charger. I for one would happily pay (a lot) for this option even more so if it had some onboard diagnostics like a lot of the hobby chargers do. I guess the manufacturers think us power tool guys are just to dumb to appreciate any thing like this though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bosch and Milwaukee are at about a tie when it comes to larger tools. Bosch has the better 36v circular saw and Bosch has three 36v roto hammers to Milwaukees 1 28v. I'll give Milwaukee the Sawzall. None better in the 28v + class. Milwaukee also has the 28v grinder and band saw. Bosch has the option of slim pack or fat pack batteries, Milwaukee only offers the M28.

Each company seem to favor certain trades. Milwaukee seems to be catering to the plumbers while Bosch seems to be leaning more towards the masons. Plumbers like compact cordless tools, mason like big corded tools. Compare their line of demolition hammers to their lines of 12v tools.

Bosches latest radio is an improvement over their last version, Milwaukees newest radio doesn't hold a candle to their older Rockford Fosgate model.

Boschs pneumatic line leaves Milwaukee in the dust. Especially when it comes to production tools.

I am wondering why nobody has made a charging system that allows you to add on slave docking bases which could be attached to the main charger allowing you to add several batteries being charged at the same time?

Lith-Ion batteries require monitoring while they are being charged, a slave charger by nature would be the same as the main charger, otherwise there would be a lot of exploding batteries flying around.

For an education on Lith-Ion battery charging read Charging Lithium-ion @ Battery University.

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Makita isn't making many waves either. They put out a nice multi-tool about 2 years too late. I think we'll see some big releases for 2013. I kinda get the feeling Bosch has something up their sleeve. If Dewalt keeps dominating the Carpenter craft, Milwaukee locks up the Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC fields, Bosch snags a favor with concrete/masonry people, who does Makita cater to?

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Makita isn't making many waves either. They put out a nice multi-tool about 2 years too late. I think we'll see some big releases for 2013. I kinda get the feeling Bosch has something up their sleeve. If Dewalt keeps dominating the Carpenter craft, Milwaukee locks up the Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC fields, Bosch snags a favor with concrete/masonry people, who does Makita cater to?

Makita caters to the Japanese, compare their domestic tool catalog to what they offer us. They easily offer twice the tools, we don't even hear about their 14.4v Li-Ion line here. They even offer things like a cordless roto tiller and a Li-Ion bicycle.

P.S. Just found out they do offer a battery checker, I don't think we can get it here in the states but Wayne should be able to pick one up in the UK.

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It is a step in the right direction but you still need a P.C to work with it.

Also Eco you misunderstand what I mean regarding a slave charger,I mean The main charger having monitoring capability for several ports into which the other chargers/battery holders would plug in.

Also the link you included seems to be a whole generation of batteries ago when the sophisticated monitoring equipment was not fitted to the tools.

There is a problem in general trying to optimise ion transfer rates at specific rates of charge and temperature when talking about lithium ion batteries and several versions using different chemistry, and all battery platforms are to a certain extent a compromise between end user demands for quick charging and runtime, but also of longevity of the life of the cells within them.

This makes sites like this forum very important in keeping people informed by giving real users a voice to let everyone know how the batteries REALLY perform. :)

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It is a step in the right direction but you still need a P.C to work with it.

Also Eco you misunderstand what I mean regarding a slave charger,I mean The main charger having monitoring capability for several ports into which the other chargers/battery holders would plug in.

Why would you want a charger that you could plug other chargers into? The simplest thing they could do would be to sell a simple slide on diagnostic tool, or they could include one on the charger like they do for those for the electric modeling crowd.

Milwaukees older V18-V28 battery service meter and a sawzall

post-573-0-25628300-1344457485_thumb.jpg

Also the link you included seems to be a whole generation of batteries ago when the sophisticated monitoring equipment was not fitted to the tools.

My bad on the wrong generation of tools, I was annoyed that I could not find it retailed in the U.S..

Todays Makita batteries do include a battery management system (BMS) onboard the battery pack just like most of the other manufacturers, why do you think that all the battery rebuilders are not rebuilding Lith-Ion batteries? It is because they all include a proprietary BMS.

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