Bosch Shows Off Tools For 2011

Bosch Introduces Impressive 2011 Tool Line-Up

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of traveling to Chicago to visit the folks at Bosch Tools and see some exciting new products for 2011 along with some exclusive peaks into offerings that may hit the shelves next year. Bosch Tools have always a premium brand in my opinion based on their quality and durability. Personally I consider two of their tools, miter saws and job-site table saws, to be industry leaders and the only brand that my crew uses. So needless to say I was really excited to visit their facility and hear first hand what’s exciting and new for this year.

Gen 2 Brute Tough™ and Compact Tough™ Cordless Drill/Drivers and Hammer Drill/Drivers

First up at the event was the introduction of Bosch’s new Gen 2 Brute Tough™ and Compact Tough™ Cordless Drill/Drivers and Hammer Drill/Drivers. The new line-up offers to provide lighter, more compact and longer running cordless drills for all types of applications. The new line-up is quite impressive and sure to make a big splash in the market. We’ll be testing one of the new drill/drivers in the coming month or so.

The new drills also feature Bosch’s new Lithium-Ion High Capacity (HC) batteries promising up to 50 percent longer runtime, and the best cold weather performance. The Lithium-Ion HC batteries operate down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit and come with a built-in fuel gauge. At the event they actually pulled batteries out of frozen blocks of ice and started using the drills. That was pretty impressive considering the numerous complaints from tradesmen about low temperature performance of lithium-ion batteries across the industry.

Attendees at the event saw a fun stunt from Bosch where they dropped two of these new drills 532 feet from a helicopter into a field. The drills made their free fall dives nicely and then proceeded to work just like they did prior to the flight. Personally I thought it was pretty cool but I’d rather see them withstand that fall onto an asphalt parking lot instead of a field if you really wanted to impress us!

The following models will be available:

Bosch Gen 2 18V Brute Tough and Compact Tough Drills
(DDS,HDS) 180-01(2) FatPack Regular Batteries
(DDS,HDS) 180-02(2) SlimPack Regular Batteries
(DDS,HDS) 180-03(1) FatPack (1) SlimPack Regular Batteries
(DDS,HDS,DDH,HDH) 181-01(2) FatPack High Capacity Batteries
(DDS,HDS) 181-02(2) SlimPack High Capacity Batteries
(DDS,HDS) 181-03(1) FatPack and (1) SlimPack High Capacity Batteries

Anti-Vibration Technology

Over the last year or so we’ve seen quite a few tool manufactures tackling anti-vibration. This is one of the most important developments in tools for me personally. As someone who deals with Worker’s Compensation issues at work on a daily basis I am very interested in tool technology that reduces worker fatigue and possible injury. So I was very interested in two specific tools that Bosch showcased at this year’s event including the new Large Random Orbit Sander and their new Reciprocating Saw.

Bosch ROS65EVC-6

Large Random Orbit Sander, ROS65EVC-6 – If you do any lengthy sanding operations then this new random orbit sander is surely worth a look. We were able to test this new sander against comparable models from Ridgid and Festool. The results were quite dramatic with regard to vibration. The anti-vibration technology in the new Bosch sander drastically reduces vibration and arm fatigue. I was also impressed with the new dust collection system for this sander. This new sander should hit the stores in August priced about $229.

Reciprocating Saw, RS428 – Another impressive offering was the new RS428 reciprocating saw from Bosch. Jigsaws are notoriously hard on your arms with extreme vibrations. However, this new saw offers a counter balance mechanism and anti-vibration handle that drastically reduces vibrations and arm fatigue. We shot a quick video of me using the new saw with just one arm while cutting a curve in framing lumber. Older reciprocating saws would have been very difficult to handle on a cut like that. Trust me when I say this new saw is MUCH smoother. These launched back in April at a price point of $159.

Portability and Light Weight Benchtop Tools

Another focus from Bosch are lighter, more compact benchtop tools which is evident by the new 10″ MPP Table Saw, GTS1031. I’ve been a huge fan of Bosch’s jobsite table saws for years now and it’s the only jobsite saw my crew uses. However, the saw is heavy and requires two guys to safely move it in and out of the trailer and around the site. This is true even when using the gravity rise stand unless the tool and work area are all on one level. So when Bosch recently introduced the new GTS1031 I was VERY excited.

As you can see in the adjacent photo, Jason Feldner, Bosch Product Manager, is standing on top of a mock stair case where he easily carries the new table saw in one hand. The saw is easy to navigate through narrow door ways, up stairs and around difficult jobsites.

I have this new table saw here at the shop to test so look out for a review in the near future once I’ve had a chance to put it to the test.

While I can’t divulge any details I will say that it’s apparent from my visit that Bosch is evaluating other tools from the benchtop category for future advancements on compactness and lightness. This is certainly a trend that we see across the industry and it’s a welcome one from my point of view.


Another sector that I’ve seen huge advancements in across the industry are accessories. Bosch is no exception with a focus on cutting blades and drill bits. The focus is to provide more efficient cutting and drilling paired with longer lasting accessories. Several of the accessories that we tested were quite impressive.

Daredevil Framing and Construction Blades – Bosch will be launching a new line of framing and construction blades in August this year. The new Daredevil line includes several key features: Triple Sharp Tips, Micrograin Titanium Carbide, Optimized ATB Grind and Anti-Friction Coating.

Circular saw blades have come so far in the past year or so and these blades are another example of much sharper, smoother blades that improve accuracy and productivity. I tested these blades against both Irwin and Dewalt blades at the event. The new Bosch Daredevil was substantially better than the Irwin blade and comparable to the new Dewalt blades for both ease of cut and smoothness. If you use lots of circular saw blades I highly recommend you give these a try.

Daredevil Spade Bits – So I’ve never before tested a Bosch Daredevil spade bit and now I can say I’m completely hooked! WOW is probably the best way to describe these spade bits and how quickly and smoothly they cut holes. Again I taped a quick video to show you what I’m talking about.

Measuring Tools

Bosch also introduced several new options in the measuring tool category. The one that impressed me the most was the all new GLM80 Laser Distance Measurer. While laser distance measuring devices are certainly not new the GLM80 offers some amazing new features that will revolutionize how many of us contractors do our jobs.

GLM80 Laser Distance Measurer – The GLM80 offers all the great features of a laser distance measuring device along with angle calculations which drastically increase it’s capabilities. In simple terms this means that I can stand on the ground and accurately measure the size of windows, the length of trim, even areas of objects that are 265 feet away! This is extremely valuable and something that will drastically increase productivity for estimators, superintendents and folks that spend their day measuring on the jobsite.

GLM80 + R60 Rail Attachment – The GLM80 can also be combined with the R60 Rail Attachment which transforms the GLM80 into a digital level. This can make the system extremely useful for angle layout for applications like stairs, roofing, raked walls and more. Both of these will be available this July with a retail of $249 for the GLM80 alone or $329 for the combo pack.

Final Thoughts

There were even more great tools featured at the event this year so we’ll try and cover more of them in the coming months. However, what I think is important to stress from my trip is how impressive the quality of the Bosch line is. While their products are certainly not the cheapest on the market you can be rest assured that they are some of the best quality. The engineers and product managers at Bosch should be extremely proud of their great Tools.



About the author

Todd Fratzel

Todd Fratzel is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz, and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of Home Construction & Improvement.

@tfratzelTodd Fratzel

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