Bosch’s Upcoming Lithium Ion Tools

Posted by on December 29, 2005

I came across a press release about the upcoming Bosch Lithium Ion cordless tools and thought it was interesting. As I discussed in a previous post about the Makita LXT cordless, they’re taking the weight advantage and slightly more power approach, while others are going with the biggest numbers on the block approach. The technologies are varying from 18V to 36V, which is an “All your eggs in one basket” type of a philosophy. Bosch, being a German company, doesn’t usually gamble.

Bosch Power Tools and Accessories announced the launch of two distinct new Lithium Ion cordless power tool lines – 10.8 and 36-volts – powered by Litheon, the industry’s most advanced Lithium Ion battery technology.

How smart! If high voltage takes off, they’ve got it covered. If low weight is the way people decide to go, that’s also covered. Where it starts to get really interesting is their choices of tools for each voltage.

New 36-volt tools include a one-inch Bulldog rotary hammer in early 2006, followed by a drill/driver, hammer drill/driver, reciprocating saw, circular saw and more near the end of the year.

I can see a rotary hammer needing the power. The drill/driver probably doesn’t need as much as the 36V will afford it, the recip saw would be overkill in my opinion, but the circular saw could be great. So what does that leave for the lower voltage?


A 10.8-volt Pocket Driver and 10.8-volt I-Driver will also launch in early 2006, followed by more tools later in the year.

A pocket driver and an I-Driver. Ok, so a pocket driver should be similar to this Metabo driver (I’d include a link to the IXO series Lithium Ion tools, but they told us we can’t sell them right now), but what is an I-Driver? I-Don’t know. A google search only tells me that it is an open source project on sourceforge, so we’re left to wonder. The other thing I could find was referencing a car from the late 50′s and early 60′s. No clues there.

I guess I’ll wonder with the rest of you until our Bosch rep sheds some light. Early 2006 isn’t that far off.

10 Responses to Bosch’s Upcoming Lithium Ion Tools

  1. Catherine Jo Morgan

    I’m pretty sure an I-driver stands for “impact driver.”

  2. Brian Mark

    That could very well be. If it is, then I think they’re making a mistake calling it an I-driver and not an Impact Driver. Everyone else calls it a cordless impact. Using a different name will just create a marketing nightmare.

  3. Ken_Free_Me

    I work at a power tool retail store right now. So i get see alot of complaints and warranty issues on the major lines that we carry (bosch, makita, milwaukee, dewalt, and some hitachi).
    I know there are lots of people who would swear by their bosch, but right now it is the last tool in the professional class i would ever buy. i see far too many warranty issues with several different tools they have. And in this area it can be difficult to get parts.
    that being said, they do make some good stuff, i am lookinf forward to see there Li-Ion stuff, however, their performance in the last half year as scared me off buying on of their tools.

  4. Brian Mark

    ken_free_me,

    Funny comment. I don’t think it’s hard at all to find parts. In fact, clicking here would give you the complete list of tools I’d say it is easy to get parts for.

    Retail stores tend to have more issues since they don’t usually service what they sell. We don’t really get any complaints here on warranty issues, but we also are a warranty repair center.

    I’d make sure your rep knows of any issues that aren’t being resolved. Our reps here are great, and anything that comes up a few times gets addressed back at the manufacturing plant.

  5. Anonymous

    Bosch corporate was recently at the Osh Home & Garden Expo in Pleasanton,CA and had the new compact lithium drivers available to try out. I wanted one on the spot, but they said they weren’t available yet. Pretty slick.
    As a product designer, I’m a huge fan of Bosch tools, but crave more battery life than the 18v can dish out. They really pay attention to the details, materials, etc…

    I wish I would have snapped a picture or two with my phone!

  6. pro-woodworker

    hi all

    i just bought one “pocket driver” for my self from the local lowes.

    what a lovely little tool. it does what bosch advertises no more no less. i work in professional custom woodwork and i think this will be a handy fastener driver for when i go out of the shop and do on-site installs of built-ins and cabinets.

    so far i used it to install a set of drawer faces on a cabinet box. it did the job well and it felt better then most of the 12v drivers i’ve ever tried. i can’t wait to take it out on some installs and really put it to the test.

    i think this bosch pocket driver will be the perfect compliment to the new makita lithium 18v impact driver.

  7. Brian Mark

    pro-woodworker,

    Thanks for sharing your experience. It sounds like you got a great tool for yout needs, even if you did buy it from the wrong place. I’ll forgive you since we won’t have them until mid month. ;-)

  8. pro-woodworker

    hi there

    well, it was just sitting on the shelf and i’ve seen lowes display items before release dates so i just nab it.

    today i tried it driving some square drive screws on some pocket holes for some bathroom cabinets i built today. it drove the screws with just the right amount of force. that gave a pretty good idea of what the screwgun is capable of. i am sure it will do fine when i take it out on road.

    i did notice one drawback though. if you keep trying to force screws after the drill has come to a stop the batteries will drain quicker. this tool is surely not made for brute force screwing.

  9. Anonymous

    here is a few reviews of the cordless drill/driver – the “I-Driver” mentioned above:

    http://www.newwoodworker.com/reviews/bidrvu.html

    http://toolmonger.com/2006/06/21/hands-on-boschs-i-driver/

    and the Bosch web info:
    http://www.boschtools.com/tools/tools-detail.htm?H=189200&G;=70084&I;=69859

  10. Anonymous

    Be extremely cautious with some of Bosch Cordless Power Tools and their read between the lines warrantees.