Bosch showed off a ton of new tools at the 2014 Bosch Tools media event at World of Concrete event in Las Vegas this week. Their two overall themes seemed to be productivity (doing the job faster and better) and help & prevention. With new dust collection systems, brushless tools, new accessories, torque control features and even a laser distance tool that ties to a smart phone app via Bluetooth—I think they pulled off both themes pretty well. And Bosch wasn’t alone. They combined forces with some of their partners, including RAM Trucks, Simpson Strong Tie, Knapheide and Sortimo.
Updated 2014 Bosch Tools—Cordless
Jason Feldner, product manager for Bosch cordless tools, took us on a journey back to Bosch’s “best built” theory of product design. That design trend currently includes brushless motors, smart electronics and advanced battery designs that provide monitoring for both the tools and batteries. A new electronic feature is being introduced this year to control the effects of dangerous torque on the user (more on that later).
Bosch 5.0 Ah Lithium-ion Battery
Possibly most exciting was the news that, in May of this year, Bosch is bringing a new 5.0 Ah lithium-ion battery pack to market. Their Provantage service gives a two year warranty on this battery and the same one year on the tool tool. It’s important to note that this is a battery with increased power density—providing more run-time in the same volume. The pack will be the same size and weight, but there will be up to a 25% increase in run-time as well as more options for greater torque output in applicable devices. Bosch is advertising these new batteries as having 2x longer life compared to their original lithium-ion packs.
IDH182 Socket-ready Impact Driver
The new chuck on the IDH182 Socket-ready Impact Driver has both a 1/2″ square drive and 1/4″ hex drive concentrically located within. It’s ready for both sockets and Tapcons, and there is now no need for a second tool for these fastening applications. The tool also has 3 levels or torque control. The first two modes (1 and 2) are really for preventing fasteners from breaking. The third is for maximum power and torque. We like the thin handle—the tool doesn’t feel like a brick in your hand. There are three LEDs on the front of the tool that can be controlled either by the trigger or a dedicated switch on the base of the tool. Finally, brushless motors give it two times the life of a brushed tool. This new 18V impact driver puts out 1650 in lbs (140 ft lbs) torque. We did a quick demo of the tool sinking 3/4″ lag anchors into pre-drilled concrete (this is, after all, a concrete show!)
DDS182 Compact Tough Drill Driver and HDS182 Hammer Drill Driver
Bosch bills its new DDS182 Drill Driver as the most powerful compact drill driver on the market. With 440 in lbs of torque (hard instantaneous torque) and improved soft torque as well, this tool seems to have the driving torque to power through just about any screw or drilling application. Using a 3/4″ auger bit in second (high) gear, Bosch showed off its high speed drilling torque by drilling through a wooden beam. Bosch seems to have tuned its drill to provide a bit more torque at high speed than much of the competition, whose electronics protection kicked in earlier in the high gear. Of note, Bosch says this new compact DDS182 drill driver has the shortest length of any compatible tool currently on the market.
DDH182 Brute Tough 1/2″ Drill Driver
The new DDH182 Brute Tough Drill Driver is Bosch’s new top of the line drill, and it now has an accelerometer sensor built right into the tool that senses when the tool over-torques. This means that the tool shuts down when it senses the tool being rapidly torqued in one rotational direction. You’d see this happen, for example, when bottoming out a lag bolt or running an anchor all the way into a concrete footer. When a protection even has occurred, the lower LED starts flashing to let you know the tool has protected you from a dangerous torquing situation. We were actually able to see this in action as well as watch the tool shut itself off when the trigger was held down with hook and loop. As soon as the fastener bottomed out, the tool jerked to the right and immediately stopped rotating. As one among many who have had their wrists twisted violently by a drill, I know that I’ll be very appreciative of this feature.
Mortar Removal Accessories
SDS Plus Mortar Knife
Moving to a different area of the Bosch booth, we were treated to a demo of a new mortar knife, an SDS Plus chisel used for tuck pointing. While a diamond wheel is great for horizontal mortar removal in brick, the verticals require more careful work to avoid damaging the brick (think about what happens when you sink a small diameter tuckpointing blade too deep and score the middle of the upper and lower bricks adjacent to the cutting area.) This new mortar knife from Bosch has a geometry that comes in 1/4″ and a more aggressive 3/8″ edge thickness. The accessory bit features a flat face to pound out the mortar and a beveled edge to draw out the mortar. We demoed the 1/4″ version, and it did a great job of quickly removing the mortar in those short vertical spaces without damaging the face of the brick. The tapered head is designed so as to not jam when pulling it back from the mortar—a design element that seemed to work exactly as expected.
Expansion Joint Multitool Scraping Blade
Jared Smith showed us an interesting concrete restoration application for their newest multi tool blade/accessory. It’s a scraper blade designed for removing old sealant from expansion joints. The blade is 3″ long and ultra thick and it features a continuous cutting edge and a plunge tip to help get into tight spaces. The scraper blade is available in the universal OIS version as well as a Fein Supercut-compatible model.
Bosch CSW41 Worm Drive Saw
Bosch finally released a successor to its popular 1677M worm drive saw. Bosch claims this is a completely new design, though it bears a striking resemblance to the Skil MAG77LT Worm Drive Saw. In either case, it’s completely new for Bosch and it will be great to see what they did differently with the design. It’s claim to fame is that it’s made with lighter weight materials—coming in at just 13.2 pounds with the blade wrench and cord included. The new saw also differentiates itself from the 1677M with contrasting bevel and depth scales. Bosch also changed the lock position and the oil change access point was migrated to a better location for the system. They also store the wrench onboard. This saw is about 2 lbs lighter than the former 1677M and it looks to be a great addition that targets serious framers as well as concrete workers who need maximum horsepower for setting up forms all day long. The new saw retails for $219 and will be available February 2014.
- Blade size: 7-1/4 in.
- Arbor: Diamond shape
- Speed: 5300 RPM
- Max bevel capacity: 53° (positive stop at 45°)
- Max cutting depth (90°): 2-3/8 in.
- Max cutting depth (45°): 1-15/16 in.
- Motor: 15-amp ball bearing
- All-magnesium construction [except for the blue and black handles
- Built-in rafter hook
- On-board multi-function wrench
- Compatible with WD7RIP adjustable fence and WD7LUB gear lubricant
- Length: 17-1/2 in.
- Weight: 13.2 pounds
- Includes: Blade wrench, 24T blade
Bosch Measuring Tools
Bosch announced three new measuring tools that should present some compelling options for estimators, builders and contractors who need good but economical tools for their crews to design and layout anything from cabinets to flooring to ceilings.
GLL2-15 Cross Line Laser
The new GLL2-15 Cross Line Laser fires a vertical and horizontal line for setting up your lines for cabinet layout or any number of interior building and construction applications. Bosch includes a nifty ceiling clamp accessory with this model that has a fine adjustment knob for tweaking the height after its positioned. They also made it very compact, claiming it to be the most compact line laser you can buy. Finally, they included a small carry case. A feature that doesn’t get much attention, but which we found noteworthy, was the way Bosch handled the pendulum lock. The pendulum lock keeps the internal self-leveling pendulum from moving during transportation (which maintains the accuracy of the tool over time). But this one engages automatically when the unit is turned off. There are no extra button or controls needed. The GLL2-15 will retail for $179.
GLL3-50 Line and Plumb Laser
Next up was the new GLL3-50 line and plumb laser which squares and levels with more than just a point thanks to three intersecting line lasers. This is very similar to the GLL-30, but at half the price. It’s half the price because it only measures half a room at a time. The good news, however, is that it ships with a cool mount that let’s you spin the laser around 180 degrees and also perform fine adjustments. The retail is expected to be about $300.
GLM100C Laser Distance Measure
The Bosch GLM100C Laser Distance Measure has a range of 330 ft and—more significantly—has Bluetooth connectivity. It will connect to either an iOS or Android device, allowing your phone or tablet to digitally create what you’re measuring so you can document and email it as needed. The way it works is really simple, too. You just snap a photo of the area you’re in, then you “draw” a dimensional line on the photo with your finger. Next, you take the measurement with the GLM100C and the measurement shows right up on the screen. This could very well revolutionize the estimating market overnight. The expected retail on the GLM100C is $299.
Bosch Announces New Concrete Drilling and Cutting Tools
Since we were at the World of Concrete show in Vegas, it was only fitting that Bosch would announce a few tools that were specifically made to drill and cut concrete. This included, among other things, some new rotary hammers, shrouds and a beveled diamond blade.
Bosch RH540M (SDS-Max) and RH540S (Spline) Rotary Hammers
The new SDS-Max RH540M and Spline RH540S Rotary Hammers claim 40% more impact energy. They also have variable speed triggers to allow for more control when drilling out holes for fasteners. These new rotary hammers are due out in February and will retail for just $419.
Bosch DH715 Rotary and Chipping Hammer
Due out in May, the Bosch DH715 picks up where the 11316 left off, offering a bit less power, but with a ton less weight. Bosch claims 40% more impact energy for this tool as well.
Bosch 9 Gallon and 14 Gallon Dust Extraction Vacuums
Also available in February are two new dust extraction vacuums that are built to industrial quality standards. That means that these vacs come with a good canister, superior seals and filters that are designed to be changed easily. In similar fashion to the Hilti dust extractor we reviewed several months ago, the system backfeeds air through the filter to blow it clean every 15 seconds. This triple “air bump” also has a semi-auto mode which lets you manually activate pulse cleaning when needed. These new 9- and 14-gallon vacs are HEPA-ready, meaning that HEPA filters are available as an option. Suffice it to say, these dust collector vacuums are properly sealed for use with hazardous materials.
Bosch SDS-Max Wall-hugging Dust Collector Accessories
When we saw the SDS-Max wall hugging dust collection units we immediately appreciated the simplicity of desig. They let you drill holes with small or large diameter bits. Connecting right up to the new dust collector vacs, these devices hug the concrete wall or floor material—letting you quickly drill while all of the dust gets collected and stays off the job site. There is a standard SDS-Max model that works with most drill bits, and there is also a model for 1-1/2″ to 2″ core drilling bits. In addition to these wall-hugging systems, Bosch showed off a new chipping shroud that looks like a great solution for managing dust collection while using chipping bits to tear out concrete pads and similar applications.
Bosch Hollow Dustless Drill Bits
If there was a show-stopper, it was Bosch’s announcement that they are throwing in with the small and exciting hollow drill-bit crowd. For drilling anchors in concrete, Bosch revealed its own hollow drill bit dustless drilling system. To be honest, they’re not yet sure what to call it since hollow drill bits has been taken. With these bits there is no hole cleaning required after drilling and before adding adhesive for anchor insertion. That makes drilling time 30-50% faster than standard drill bits—and the lifetime of the bit is expected to be the same. This is largely due to the bit construction and the fact that te central core allows air to cool the bit more than conventional (solid) bit systems. These bits will come in SDS-Plus and SDS-Max shanks in 8 different sizes.
Bosch V-Groove Diamond Blades
Bosch’s new 3/8″ Wide V-Groove Diamond Blades are perfect for opening up cracks in asphalt in preparation for filling and sealing. Cracks in concrete makes for further expansion due to water infiltration and they allow water to get access to rebar, creating a structural problem over time as the rebar oxidizes and breaks down. Bosch’s new V-Groove Diamond Blade is available in 4″, 4-1/2″, 5″ and 7″ sizes. In addition to the sizes available, this blade also comes in three varieties to deal specifically with hard concrete as well as softer asphalt. Finally, a general purpose blade rounds out most other applications (The blades look the same, but the binding materials are different for the different applications). These blades are slated to last three times as long as their competitors and they will be available around mid-February. The Turbo (smooth) model is perfect for when the finish matters while the segmented blade is better for faster material removal. We might have to give these blades a run on our own concrete cracking problems.