Bosch has announced that FEIN will be joining their “Professional 18V System,” a group of brands whose cordless power tools are powered by Bosch’s 18V Li-ion batteries.
We asked ourselves: How can Bosch Professional make hard work easier? The answer is simple: we opened up our battery system.
With just one battery system, you can change tools and brands – without changing batteries. This saves you time, effort and money. Less clutter, less searching. More space, more flexibility.
You have the freedom to use our batteries with tools from all these experts brands: Brennenstuhl, COX, Lena Lighting, Klauke, Sonlux, Wagner, Ledlenser – and now even Heraeus and FEIN. But that’s not all. In the future, you can expect even more expert brands for even more flexibility on the job.
Bosch’s social and marketing materials specifically show off a Fein cordless oscillating multi-tool being connected to a Bosch battery.
As you might be aware, the Starlock oscillating multi-tool blade and accessory interface reflects a Bosch and Fein collaborative effort, and so it’s unsurprising for a multi-tool to be the first Fein cordless power tool that’s compatible with Bosch batteries.
Bosch press materials specifically reference the Fein Multimaster series of OMTs, and it is not clear as to whether other Fein tools might also be powered by Bosch batteries in the future. Here is additional messaging from the announcement:
In the future, the multi-functional tools in Fein’s Multimaster Series can be operated with batteries from the Bosch Professional 18V System.
Through the joint battery platform, Bosch and Fein are continuing a partnership that has existed since 2016: The companies jointly developed the Starlock system for standard tool mounting with multi-cutters and have been successfully cooperating on this basis ever since.
Offering simple solutions and different applications to customers are precisely the main advantages of the partnership for both Bosch and Fein, according to Dr. Christoph Weiss, CEO of the Fein Group: “Flexibility is necessary, especially when it comes to batteries. Users prefer open systems, i.e. one battery for several professional power tools and ideally across different manufacturers.” This saves money and makes everyday work easier. “We are convinced that, with the Bosch Professional 18V System, we are relying on the right battery platform for the future,” said Dr. Weiss.
It is unclear as to what Fein means by “with the Bosch Professional 18V System, we are relying on the right battery platform for the future.”
Is Fein launching a limited number of Bosch 18V-compatible tools, or does this news have bigger implications regarding Fein’s future 18V cordless power tool efforts and offerings?
Neither Bosch USA nor Fein have issued any news or announcements about this development.
Heck yeah! I don’t need any Fein tools, but I just like the moves Bosch is making in this direction. If they really can recruit other companies to share their battery platform, that’s a strategy that could really push them back into relevance.
One Battery to rule them all, One Battery to find them, One Battery to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
Don’t the Europeans have some kind of mandated common battery platform? Is this the same as that?
Metabo and companies that use it’s battery began doing such under the CAS branding (cordless alliance..something). But that certainly wasn’t “mandated”.
Not as big a deal for U.S. users as I’ve never heard of any of these compatible brands outside of Fein, and even their cordless tools are generally things you can’t buy at a big box store. I remember Toolnut ran a promo about 6 years ago for a 4-speed drill at a great price, but the batteries cost so much it wasn’t worth the long-term investment.
I want to be excited for this but it’s extremely unlikely any of the more popular brands will sign up for cross-compatibility, especially since Bosch’s cordless lineup in the States is greatly overshadowed by Milwaukee, DeWalt, etc.
This Bosch-led 18V system coalition isn’t new; Fein joining the group is the development.
Metabo also has their own “alliance.”
In my opinion Metabo’s “CAS” alliance is a lot like how A-A-Ron described this one: it’s probably not of much use for the average US based user.
I recently bought a Metabo compact recip saw. I researched the other brands in their alliance to see if it was worth it for me to jump in and buy batteries & a charger (or perhaps extra tools), or whether I’d run the tool off my existing Dewalt batts with an adapter. I had never heard of most of the other brands in the alliance, but I checked them out anyway and I found their offerings to be either overshadowed by more commonly available brands or they were highly specialized tools that I had no use for and I doubt the average contractor, DIYer, mechanic, etc, would have a use for either.
Did you get an adaptor and if so which one?
Yes, I did get an adapter. Works great, at least for this tool. It says “DW18MTB” on it, it came from this Amazon listing:
Thank you for the link MM.
For some reason I could not respond to your post directly.
Hehe, I bought that one.
Can not believe that that was 6 years ago.
Drill is a joy to use and build very well.
I just checked Fein’s offering here and in Germany and for me as a wood worker/remodeler its unfortunately very slim pickings.
I do not think they offer even a cordless drill here in the US anymore.
Fein is a brand totally focused on metalworkers (workshop based) the range is excellent quality and very wide for that purpose. It is however not a brand for general purpose construction and not for timber carpentry joinery (so no skill saws, jig saws , routers etc. I owe lots of Fein gear and quality is superb and built like a tank to least many years.
So if you are a metalworker => excellent
If you work with timber => try something else like Mafell
Klauke is somewhat recognizable for its crimping tools. If you fabricate systems using Parker Zoomlock – you might purchase a Klauke kit ($10,000+ on Amazon) – but probably would opt for a cheaper option from Milwaukee, Rothenberger or Ridgid
Rothenberger are also in the Bosch 18v system, and they do very well made plumbing tools.
Yeah, might make sense in the Euro market, but pretty much irrelevant in the US. I have corded Fein and Bosch tools that I like a lot. I have cordless DeWalt and Milwaukee that I like a lot. Not going to change that based on this.
Only thing this announcement does is lead me to Google a bunch of tools brands I’ve never heard of and will never see.
The cordless Fein (original patent holder) OMT is still an appealing tool – even on this side of the Atlantic. If it used Bosch batteries – that should add a bit to its appeal.
I recently noticed that Reed Manufacturing (a competitor to Ridgid and Wheeler-Rex for plumbing tools) has introduced a 18V cordless pump stick that comes standard with a Bosch battery. The neat thing is that you can swap the battery interface plate on the pump to use Dewalt, Makita or Milwaukee batteries.
They also sell it as a bare tool – but ist still comes with the Bosch interface.
The similarities between Bosch and Metabo are saddening. They invested everything into 20700 and 21700 years prior to everyone else. Then they took all of that battery tech and did nothing with it. On Metabo’s end, they had a decent drill and rotary hammer manufactured at their HQ, a few nice rebranded third party proudcts, and a billion horrible out of the box products from their plant in China. Meanwhile, Bosch skipped the whole concept of releasing products, alltogether. The answer to all of this, “Wow, look at how many other brands run on our battery platform”. Fein alreadly has a battery platform with a full line (crap, they have more 18v cordless products available to purchase than Bosch, I reckon), so that’s no good. With Metabo, let’s just say I was never pleased Mafell didn’t stick with Bosch. The only bad thing about cordless Mafell (aside from now being strictly 18v) is that you have to deal with Metabo’s battery platform. Metabo’s locking mechanism is the worst. Imagine bing a repairperson and having to deal with a spring loaded multi component battery locking mechanism disappearing on you every time you open something that runs on Metabo? :0 I digress. I have the cordless Fein I want; it just says Festool on it. :0
wondered why that took so long. I sort of which there was more of that collaboration here.
makes alot of sense for speciality tool makers.
Dead cat bounce. Irrelevant brand trying be less irrelevant and not succeeding. It is a punishing world that requires constant innovation and new product solutions.
Are you talking about Bosch, Fein, or both? Either way, neither are irrelevant.
Bosch. Irrelevant products in the US market. They exist to fill out retailer lines but they cart an oxygen bottle with them. Fein is a high quality niche brand.
When the move to software based tools begins to accelerate, most of the non Techtronic and SBD brands won’t have a pulse.
The march of time can indeed be a difficult drumbeat to follow and remain competitive.
While we used several Fein Multimasters and Supercuts in our businesses – and more of their grinders and abrasive tools in our metal fabrication business – they were never a main stream brand for us. For me personally – the Fein tools I bought were a Multimaster OMT and a couple of vacuum dust extractors.
Looking back at my personal small power tool usage it was:
Craftsman, Black&Decker, Rockwell-Porter-Cable, and Skil corded tools in the 1960’s and ’70’s
Then Makita and Bosch corded tools seemed to be added into the mix in the 1980’s
My first cordless tools were 7.2 and 9.6V Makita then a Porter Cable 12V drill which was considered world class for its time.
A few corded Dewalt and Porter Cable tools got added in the 1990’s. Then a few Festool tools (Track saw, Domino XL and sanders) came in the decades that followed.
When the switchover from NiCad to LiIon (I personally skipped over NiMH) came – it was Makita then Milwaukee for me – but I recently added a few small Bosch 12V cordless tools for the inlay work that I like doing.
Now, Porter Cable – once the woodworker’s go to brand – is mostly irrelevant. Skil – once known for its worm-gear saws expanded to a full line manufacturer – then after the Bosch buyout and subsequent sell off to Chervon seems to be back to its niche. How long both of these brands will survive is anyone’s guess.
Craftsman – may survive like Buick does for GM – based on nostalgia and name recognition – as a way for SBD to have a bigger market presence. But I’m not looking to that brand for innovation (although I might be surprised)
When KKR bought out the Hitachi (now either Metabo HPT or Hitachi-Koki) brand of small power tools – and the older Metabo (German) brand – I was surprised that they did not just try to milk those cows dry. While neither brand may ever compete with TTI and SBD brands – maybe KKR is willing to keep them as a niche – but it may be just as likely that they get sold off again if KKR can make a better buck by doing so.
With Fein and Makita – I have a harder time figuring out where they might be 20 years from now – although for octogenarian me – its probably a moot point.
Skye A Cohen
I always enjoy reading your comments fred. What business were you in? You have a surprising depth of knowledge about so many different tool worlds. If you’re anywhere near Portland OR i would love to buy you lunch and ask a bunch of questions.
What do you mean by “software based tools” and why do TTI & SBD have a fundamental advantage at those?
Bosch is way ahead of SBD in terms of software and technology. You forgot about their automotive line and many other product lines they produce
Bosch’s industrial and and automotive parts businesses are outside the scope of their power tools and accessories businesses.
It’s all about which German tool club you belong to… Metabo/Mafell Bosh/Fein… what you see is tool manufacturing coming out party at it’s best. Can you guess who makes parts for whom? Many people don’t know that tome tool companies are more “tool designers” with little manufacturing under their belts. Sure, the write up the specks, but the stuff you gets build by somebody else. Bosh makes parts for MANY mostly German tool companies, Fein, some parts of Mafell, Festool and so on. Some tool manufactures take intelectual properties from other, and just rebrands that tool. Festool leverage Fein for their drill, the TSC is made through Makita, and so on. So, the batteries, and mostly the contract to get those supply limited products at the moments are a weak link when you are in the tool design business. Getting someone else to build you your “Own” battery platform is getting darn expensive. This move is a little simple lowering COGS to keep better profits. I would not be surprise if you saw Festool dump their proprietary (Bosh spec) battery very soon also. Time will tell… but consider they take the Fein Drill and rebrand it as their own and that has already the Bosh Battery, it should not take long for some of the moves to happen. Where will Hilti be in all this… I wonder… CAS or Bosch? ;^P
Yes, this is mostly irrelevant in the US market, but there is a European mandate to improve Carbon Footprint from these companies, with a handsome German subsidy that makes the market move otherwise.
Fein multimaster, AMM 700 with Bosch Pro battery in use today. Already available in Europe. Excellent machine, features and handling.
Hi, are you using the regular blue Bosch batteries with it?
Do you know if the battery have to be particularly new, from the ProCore range, or from some other restricted production?