It has been a constant question for some time now. When is Bosch going to release 18 volt lithium ion tools? With the incredible success of the 10.8 (now 12 volt max) and 36 volt litheon tools it seems like a natural leap to add 14.4 and 18 volt lithium ion tools. Many people were surprised when the Bosch released a second generation of Blue Core (NiCd) tools were released but these tools are incredibly dependable in extreme conditions such as cold weather where the first round of lithium tools had some problems.
At this point there is really no question, professional grade lithium tools have worked out any possible problems. The Bosch 36 volt Litheon line has also become much cheaper with a 4 tool combo kit starting at $497 from Ohio Power Tool.
So when will Bosch release lithium tools in 14.4 volt & 18 volt? I have no idea but my guess is that they are coming soon to the US. The press release below has been available on www.bosch-presse.de/ since March and gives a June 2008 launch for these tools in Europe.
Since the 36 volt Litheon tools are well priced, most professionals are very happy going with these tools. The 14.4 and 18 volt tools will fill some additional needs of professionals and be a great option for serious do it yourselfers looking for the professional quality of Bosch Tools. Hopefully we will see something out for the holidays but I would love to see them out much sooner.
Long distance runner drill/drivers from Bosch – Unmatched performance New cordless drill/drivers with 14.4-volt or 18-volt battery in lithium-ion technology
· Complete range of lithium-ion cordless drill/drivers
· Premium Li-Ion technology enables a large number of screws per battery charge
· Electronic Cell Protection (ECP) for long battery lifetime
· Screwdriver motors with high degree of efficiency and high-quality bearings
Bosch is launching new drill/drivers with 14.4-volt and 18-volt battery in lithium-ion technology onto the market in June 2008. This makes Bosch the first to offer a complete range of professional drill/drivers with lithium-ion batteries in the voltage classes from 10.8 volts to 36 volts. Back in 2005, Bosch was the first to introduce lithium-ion technology in professional power tools: the cordless screwdriver GSR 10.8 V-LI defined a new class of power tools providing "full power at half the size". The next step Bosch took was to open up a new dimension for professional cordless tools with rotary hammers, impact drills and drill/drivers with 36-volt battery in lithium-ion technology. They were the first cordless tools with the same power as a corded tool.
The Cordless Drill/Drivers GSR 14.4/18 V-LI Professional work with a new "Li-Ion Premium" battery with a capacity of 2.6 Ah. They also have motors with a high degree of efficiency and high-quality bearings, as well as a particularly low-friction gearbox. Thanks to the high energy density of the Premium battery and the efficient design of the screwdriver drive train, one battery charge is sufficient to drive 210 screws, 6 x 60 millimeters in size, in softwood. The independent testing laboratory SLG Prüf- und Zertifizierungs GmbH, in Hartmannsdorf in Saxony, has found that: "this is the largest number of screwdriving applications in this cordless drill/driver class." Fast work progress is ensured by the powerful motors with speeds in first gear of up to 450 and 500 rpm respectively, in second gear of up to 1450 and 1600 rpm respectively. Together with the long lifetime of the Li-Ion Premium battery packs, this makes the tools extremely worthwhile investments for professional tradesmen.
The new Bosch Li-Ion Drill/Drivers GSR 14.4/18 V-LI Professional in the Standard-Duty class also have a 13-millimeter Auto-Lock toolholder system and an extremely resilient housing made of "Durashield" material. These cordless drill/drivers remain fully functional, even after being dropped onto concrete from a height of two meters. Further robust features are the two-speed gearbox with solid metal gear wheels and the torque setting wheel made of aluminum. The cordless drill/drivers also have a high level of ergonomics. The large softgrip coverings in the grip area ensure particularly fatigue-free working and a secure hold. An LED lights up the workspace. The recommended retail prices of the cordless drill/drivers are 299 euros and 349 euros respectively plus VAT.
Superior battery technology
The lithium-ion Premium technology from Bosch is vastly superior to other battery technologies. High-quality cells with low internal resistance ensure maximum power. Vibration-resistant connections both between the individual cells and between battery and drill/driver prevent transmission losses from occurring. The intelligent power management of the "Electronic Cell Protection" (ECP) optimizes the energy efficiency during charging and during operation. It protects the battery against overload, overheating and total discharge. As a result, the Li-Ion Premium battery from Bosch offers a lifetime up to 400 percent longer than that of other batteries. The electronically monitored charging process prevents any overloading of the cells and with the rapid charging process, the batteries are charged to 75 percent after just half of the charge time. All lithium-ion batteries weigh 40 percent less than nickel batteries, while offering the same performance. At the same time, they have a low self-discharge and can be recharged in any charging state since there is no memory effect. There is also no deterioration in battery performance during operation.