Bosch Litheon vs The Rest

Posted by on May 11, 2006

Bosch gave us some of their marketing materials today on Litheon technology and it has a huge section on the competition. I feel some of this warrants a little sharing with my readers over the next few days, as well as some questioning.

Lithium-ion Benefit: 2X the Energy Density

This is absolutely true. The benefit of any Lithium battery technology is higher energy density. That’s how cell-phones have become so small and light when compared to those from 10 years ago. Their page on “Energy Density” shows three options.

1) Big Power. Small Package.
This is referring to their 10.8V Litheon. They state that it has the power to perform up to 80% of common drilling and driving applications. Obviously, 10.8V is going to be lighter, so that’s a pretty cool deal if it really can handle 80% of the applications.

2) 18V power at a less weight.
Ok, so if the 10.8V is “Big Power”, then why do they feel that Makita (the obvious choice to target with this particular message) doesn’t get any power benefit using Li-Ion in their 18V tools? Sort of looks like their marketing department has a double standard here to me.

3) Serious Power. No Weight Penalty.
This is about the 36V Litheon tools. They claim twice the power and run time as 18V NiCd. I haven’t personally tested them, but I could believe that they could get twice the runtime and twice the power. But that’s compared to 18V Ni-Cd, which isn’t an apples-to-apples approach. I love advertising that just might get one by you. How would this compare to 18V Lithium-Ion? That’ll be covered in a few days.

In any event, I said it before and I’ll say it again – Bosch is very smart in going for the low end and the high end both with Lithium Ion tools. They’re going to get the people that want the light weight as well as those that want the macho power. Now, if they’d just release more of them already…

5 Responses to Bosch Litheon vs The Rest

  1. Anonymous

    i think the 10.8v items are brilliant. they look pretty good and i bet they will find a nice place in the market (depending on price tag). 36 volt on the other hand, i am not sold on yet. sure they will have more power, but will definately be much bulkier (even if the weight is same 18v NiCad). And most ppl i talk to in the trades dont seem overly excited by 36volt (bosch or dewalt) because most ppl dont think they need the extra power when there current 18volts are doing pretty good.
    makita seems to be in a pretty good place because their lithium gear is 18v, which is readily accepted in the market place, lighter weight than any other professional 18v, and not that much more expensive. where 28v and 36v carry a heavier weight and price tag that lots of ppl have been shying away from.
    but i suppose time will tell and we will see how well things go.

  2. Johnny

    I am a big fan of Bosch however Makita might be leaving them in their dust. My favorite Bosch tool is the Powerbox. It is Bosches biggest competitive advantage over Makita by eliminating the clutter of chargers and power cords around the jobsite. The only way Bosch is going to get me to upgrade my tools to the Litheon battery is when they retro fit the powerbox to charge them.

    They better pay attention to the weight of their new Litheon products. Their current 18V and 24V saws are too big and heavy. Cordless is the way to go but only when it makes the job faster and easier, not heavier.

    I have tested the Makita 18V Lithium tools and they are pretty good. The skill saw is light and manuverable. The drivers are powerful and easy to control. The best thing is that all the tools have task lights which light up and stay on after you are release the trigger. Great for finishing the job at the end of the day when the sun is setting.

    Bosch better address some of the shortcomings with the new Litheon. Otherwise their PowerBox might not be enough to keep me from switching to Makita.

  3. Anonymous

    I have the bosch impactor. It is the best tool I have ever purchased. It is pricey, but I do use it every day. It has more power than you would believe and the battery will last a week, not days. It also charges in 30 minutes, so you will not be waiting around for your battery to charge. Another plus is, when the battery’s fail, they are only $40. If your going to use it every day, spend the money. If you plans on using it around the house, don’t bother. The only complaint I have, is that it starts impacting to early. I also have a dewalt 18v impact, which takes longer to start impacting. But no tool is going to be 100% perfect for every application.

  4. Tracy

    I have 9 Bosch 18 volt tools. All relatively new. I would really like the additional runtime and lighter weight of lithium batteries (and a little more power, maybe). Why can’t they make batteries that will fit my current tools, like Milwakee and Ryobi did. I think this is really screwing over their past customers.

  5. Anonymous

    Why can’t they make a Li battery pop onto a tool designed for NiCD? Imagine tearing the engine out of your car and dropping in a 500hp supercharged one…without changing anything else (motor mounts, transmission, etc.). While a Bosch 18/24v drill and a 36v drill look the same the 36v has a redesigned motor, switchs, and wiring to compensate for the power.