Over in Europe, Bosch has come out with a new multi-voltage battery charger (GAX 18V-3) that can handle 12V Max and 18V batteries. It can also handle 14.4V battery packs, although that size battery isn’t very popular in the US.
It also features a USB charging port, capable of outputting up to 2.1A, for charging smartphones, tablets, and other USB-chargeable devices.
This is a sequential charger, meaning it recharges one battery at a time.
There’s also a 80% charge indication, signalling when the fast charge mode is finished, so you can pull a battery pack off earlier and still get close to full runtime.
It can fully recharge a 2.5Ah compact battery pack in 65 minutes, and a 5.0Ah pack in 107 minutes.
Bosch is calling this a fast charger, but it seems to be a regular standard speed charger, just with 2 charging ports.
It’s wall mountable, which is always convenient, but it looks like the wall mount allows for quick removal of the charger. This way, you can mount the wall bracket to a fixed location but still grab the charger for when you need it on the go.
While keyhole slots aren’t the worst way to mount a charger to the wall, I like the idea of this wall mount bracket a lot better.
This new charger is pretty straightforward, and I really hope Bosch decides to make it their standard charger. Milwaukee and Dewalt already include multi-voltage chargers as standard in most of their M18 and 20V Max power tool kits, and I’ve found this to be a great convenience.
I’m a fan of Bosch’s 12V Max battery platform, and own a few 18V tools that I love using.
Interestingly, the 12V pack is labelled 12V, indicating that either Bosch is bringing their 12V/12V Max branding overseas to replace “10.8V,” or that a USA release is planned. I’m inclined to believe the latter, but the images are found on Bosch’s UK site.
10.8V and 12V Max is the same thing, with the only difference being marketing language.
I want one, and would absolutely buy one for the workbench.
Right now it’s only been announced in Europe, with a price tag of around 50 to 60 GBP including VAT, so I’m hopeful for a price of not more than $60 USD.