If you’re not familiar with Bosch’s new 18V wireless charging system, you might want to first check out my preview. Then, take a look at my early review which looks at some of the ups and downs.
In a nutshell, Bosch came out with a new inductive charger and matching 2.0Ah battery for their 18V cordless power tool platform.
I know this is an overly-optimistic idea, but what if other brands adopted Bosch’s wireless charging standard? Think about it – one charger that can work with ANY brand’s 18V or 20V Max Li-ion battery pack!
A number of brands designed their oscillating multi-tool blade holders on Bosch’s OIS form factor. So why can’t they collaborate to build cross-platform-compatible battery packs and wireless chargers?
While the price of inductively-charged batteries won’t come down for some time, and they are bulkier than batteries that charge the normal way via conductive contacts, this seems like a feature that a lot of users would heartily appreciate.
Let’s face it, brands aren’t banding together to release a universal battery and charger standard. Even though some of them might even use the same exact battery cells in their battery packs, tools and battery packs all hand-shake differently, not to mention their physical compatibility constraints.
There would definitely be some challenges, but I think that Bosch’s wireless charging technology – and other systems that might follow – is now our best chance at anything that could resemble a universal battery and charger system.
Let me ask you this – would you spend a little extra on 18V Li-ion battery packs if it meant you could charge all of them on the same inductive/wireless charger? Not at the same time of course, but wouldn’t that be something?!
As soon as you posted this I knew where you were going… 1 charger – pretty amazing!
Yes I would. I will be even more optimistic and suggest that all cordless tools adopt the same batteries. There is no NEED to be locked into one companies tools. That is why I only have one cordless tool.
Yup. It irritates me that all the 12v ‘mini’ tools these days have packs that essentially look identical but they’re all incompatible. I’d love to have Bosch’s new FL12, Milwaukee’s drills and several other tools all using the same packs.
I love my little Bosch drill and impact driver but I’ve thought about jumping ship and switching over to M12.
It would be almost as nice as a battery standard, so I could use any tool with any battery.
Since the manufacturers would lose sales from it, I never see it happening.
That is a great idea.
But given, for instance, that Bosch and Dremel are the same company, and not even those two 12 volt platforms are compatible, I wouldn’t be too optimistic.
While the tool industry’s high level of competition encourages lot’s of innovation, it makes much more difficult to agree on standards.
Or they might sell more. I turned down a good deal on a Bosch drill because I didn’t have any other tools that used the same battery.
I think we should be thinking bigger than that. What if there were a wireless charging standard that worked with any type of device, whether it be powertools, cellphones, tablets, flashlights, kitchen gadgets, toys, etc? Yes, they would need to be “smart” charges and devices to get the voltages and currents correct, but that should be doable. There would be an adoption period for the technology, but that happens with anything new. One thing we absolutely don’t need are a mess of different standards. I’d hate to see us go from proprietary batteries and chargers to proprietary wireless charging docks.
I can’t believe companies make much on the battery chargers; however, they probably do pretty well on batteries. Fine, keep the proprietary batteries, but let us standardize on a common charger!
I’d be torn – on the surface I like the idea as I could by the one charger, and then if all the batteries took to inductive charging – then gravy. but since I also can’t put any battery with any tool – I’m still slaved to buying those specific colored batteries.
now if a 3rd part company came out with a universal battery, with adapter plates, and a universal charger. I’d be in. but I don’t see any of the big ones doing it.
without the universal battery – I think the universal charger is pointless – at least for the home owner. at the shop – maybe a bit more useful.
To answer your question yes, I love induction charging and would pay a higher premium to be able to use the same charger on multiple brands. I would also love it if I could use my batteries on multiple brands. I know ergonomics and design play into why tool manufacturers don’t have a standardized format. But life would be easier if buying batteries for tools was as easy as buying AAs or Cs etc. Then again the manufacturers wouldn’t be able to tie you into their tool lines anymore, and they would have to compete on the quality and design of each individual tool.
Better question is why limit this question to only 18v? I would love an inductive charger that did 12v and 18v. Then you’d really have something.
I’m thinking that is where Bosch is going right now. I won the Bosch IDH182 (Thanks Dan, Eric and Bosch) and bought a second charger and battery pack on eBay new for $74. I am hopeful that Bosch is working on this right now so I can use the charger with their 12v tools. The problem here will be the charger is designed to have the battery pack slid into a hold to prevent the machine from sliding out. Regardless, there are some rumors floating about this very thing and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen sooner than later.
I wouldn’t actually care how they did it, one charger for everyone, or each company releases their own. Induction Charging is a very good idea, as long as it is flat like the Bosch one depicted here. Something like this was tried with the Powermat for Electronics like Phones, PDAs, and MP3 players a while back, one pad ,for any brand as long as they use inductive batteries. I think Tool batteries could benefit from the same.
I would love to be able to charge my 8V Max DeWalt batteries next to my 12V Max Dremel batteries, and likewise for my 20 Volt Max DeWalt batteries. Instead of laying out a place for multiple chargers on the workbench, just having a charging area for all of it would be a time and space saver. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if all the companies who tried to get Inductive Charging to work happened to be cross-compatible anyways due to the form factor. They’d try very hard to get their own version, but there very well might end up having a kind of IEEE standard Induction Charging protocol happening like the USB standards in Computers.
But, that’s all probably wishful thinking. However they do it, I would like to see all tool companies release an Induction Charging system for their tools.
Yes and no. Standards of any sort always create opportunities and drawbacks. The opportunities of course are usually obvious. Interoperability, interchangeability, common basis for evaluation, etc. The downsides are not so obvious, but we’ve all likely experienced them.
Standards often get stale. Stale standards inhibit innovation. The more specific a standard is, the stronger the advantages, and the more it inhibits innovation. Backward compatibility between standards is meant to address this, but not only is backward compatibility frequently less than optimally achieved, often it is simply impossible.
The other problem comes with flexibility. The more flexible a standard, say, one that allows wireless inductive charging of everything from your smart watch to your hovercar, the more expensive meeting the standard becomes, and often the less effective the end result in real world application. The cost and effectiveness differentials can become so great that its just not worth it. Who, with only a smart watch, drill/driver, and hoverboard, really wants to spend the money on a charger that must also be able to charge up the family van in 30 minutes? Badly written standards, the world is chockful of them, some known as bad while they were being written, some revealed as dreck in use, are often worse than no standards at all.
That said, I think that a narrowly focused standard for cordless power tools may be worthwhile, but again, only if the manufacturers all got on board. Unfortunately, truly interchangeable batteries above the simple cell level, are pretty unlikely to come about, simply because of the real different approaches in tool design. A perfect example is the “stick” vs “flat pack”. Which should be standard?
None of this is new. And, given the experience in the world of mobile computing, where they deal with exactly the same issues (form factor, weight, battery performance, technology advances) it’s pretty unlikely that we’ll see standardized batteries and charging come down the pike. If it does, it’s more likely to be driven from consumer mobile electronics than it is from the power tool side.
I agree there. A complete power solution is likely not to happen for Power Tools. I would hope, though, that we might get a industry-standardized Induction Charging standard instead. Just like the IEEE standards for WiFi, 802.11, I think a variable-use standard might apply to Induction Charging. Like you say, a charger that can charge everything from your smart watch on up to your Mini-Van would likely be too expensive to bother with.
Things like your Smart Watch, and on up to, say, a Radio or Wireless Headphones, might be under IEEE (Something) A, Power Tools (From 9.6-18/20 Volt) IEEE (Something) B, Power Tools (24-36/40 Volt) IEEE (Something) C, Hoverboards and Small Recreational Vehicles and Drones IEEE (Something) D, and Electric/Hybrid Cars and Vans IEEE (Something) E.
That way, if you DO own a Smart Watch, some smaller power tools, and a Hoverboard, you might not need a charger that fits all 5 standards, you might need a cheaper, more specific one for what you need. And those who might be keeping one JUST for their tools might only need a charger that fits ONE standard, but has multiple ports to fit many, many batteries at once.
Then, like USB wireless devices that fit the IEEE 802.11 WiFi standard, multiple companies can make their own devices that can be charged by the Induction Charging standard for their category, and not worry about it having to fit other tool manufacturers’ tools, just get charged by the standard charger frequency. DeWalt can make their batteries to the shape and connector standards that their company decides is proprietary, and it includes a little bit of internal circuitry that is standardized to charge inductively according to the industry protocols. And Milwaukee can do the same for theirs, and Makita, Panasonic, Ryobi, Bosch, Dremel, etc. They can make their own charger, they can make their own batteries, they can make their own tool connections, their way, their standard, but the Induction itself gets standardized.
Still mostly a pipe dream, really. But we can hope there.
I totally agree with your assessment. A universal standard not only stiffen innovation but also inflate the cost, at least initially. It’s funny but usually the same group that cry about the lack standard is also the first one to buy a nonstandard device because it’s cheaper… That’s just a fact of life.
I think eventually we’ll get there but not until battery technology for power tool advance to the point that the need of innovation slowed down dramatically. A few post mentioned USB as a standard for charging tablet/phone. That can happen because the power demand curve/charging rate is much smaller for those device so the need to innovate has slowed down. Power tool is much more power hungry and so the need to keep the battery packer cooler is much more delicate. So a universal charger will either need to charge at a much slower rate or risking a fire. Neither is ideal.
So a universal charger will either need to charge at a much slower rate or risking a fire. Neither is ideal.
This. In all likelihood, this is going to be the biggest stumbling block. No deep pockets manufacturer of something as likely to flame out as lithium-ion batteries is going to want to sign on to a standard that “lets” any fly by night hack manufacturer in nowheresville charge their batteries, start a fire, and expose them to all the resulting liability.
The great thing about standards is there are so many to choose from.
I would love to see a battery and/or charging standard happen, but I don’t see manufacturers giving up on their current business model anytime soon. It’s a shame, because there’s lots of evidence that standards are good for an industry (USB, for example), as well as for consumers.
I’m not at all sure I care about wireless charging. It’s not taken off even with daily uses like cell charging. An assembly line use maybe. But that’s mostly because the workers have no personal thought for the value of the tools. So simply laying something down is less hassle then actually plugging something in.
I don’t see the advantage especially if it’s slower to charge and requires a massive cradle like Bosch is showing.
Ho hum. For now.
Ah, yes. I see that. But, the thing about Induction Charging is that it can also contain a kind of limiter. When a battery is fully charged, the battery and charger detect it via a certain signal, and the charger shuts off the charge, saving power. If you leave a Cell Phone plugged in, especially those chargers with the block transformer built in, it continues to draw electricity, which wastes your electricity for nothing.
Induction charging can solve this, as it is capable of being built with a device that only uses exactly the amount of electricity you need, and no more gets wasted. Might not matter to everyone, but to people who are environmentally conscious, this is a big improvement that takes some of the Human Error out of it.
You have a point though. Can seem ho hum to some people.
In a perfect world, power tool makers would adopt a standard similar t the wireless charging mats used by cell phones and other personal electronics. If I were king, these power tool charging mats would also provide a slight heating as well to keep lithium batteries warm enough for optimum use in the winter. But I’m not king, so I don’t see this happening.
What seems like a century ago, I bought a DeWalt NiCd rapid charger. Not only did it work with their own batteries (it was built around the B&D-DeWalt Univolt battery system) but it also charged most other brands’ batteries from 2.4-13.8 volts (and unofficially to 14.4 volts). It worked with my Makita 7.2 and 9.6 gear, some Milwaukee stuff, Ryobi batteries that were also used in Senco tools and a lot more. It charged these batteries in 15 minutes or quite less, and had a mode that would slow-charge weaker batteries for 16 hours to rejuvenate the. It also had a clever mode that would attempt to “zap” NiCd packs that had become too deeply discharged to take a normal charge. There was a digital display that showed the charging mode as well as the time it took to charge the batteries and the ampere-hours delivered. I still use this charger on my older stuff which also sometimes suffers from old battery syndrome. DeWalt eventually made another 15 minute charger that was compatible with the 18 volt gear, I have that one too, but it’s DeWalt-only.
I don’t see any similar charger ever being made now in the LiIon era, simply because every manufacturer had a completely different and totally incompatible charging method as well as interface. The only hope is in the inductive style, because the charger is mostly involved in delivering a set magnetic field, and the battery pack itself will determine the charging mode and when the battery is fully charged. Once charged, the pack no longer pulls energy from the charger, and the charger goes into a standby mode. Most LiIon rapid chargers deliver a significant amount of power to the cells in order to charge them in such short times, often 6-8 amps or more, and over 100 watts of power. This is a significant amount of power to be pushed through nearfield wireless charging, as you are now in the power range of radio transmitters. This is why Bosch designed this system around the 2AH battery packs, and the charging time is quite long. It’s meant mainly for a full charge between work days, and a means to make slow intermittent charges through the day to extend the runtime of the pack. If you make heavy use of the tool to the point where the battery is exhausted, setting the tool/battery on the wireless charger will keep you waiting way too long if that is your only battery. Ideally, this system is meant to ensure you have a charged tool at all times in the face of work that consists of short bursts of use with extended time doing something else, or using more than one wireless charger and tool in an alternating fashion. There could be a drill and a driver set up at a particular workstation, and the worker would first drill a series of holes, then put that tool in the charger, then grab the driver to install the screws. This would not work for someone installing decking or drywall where there is a constant use of the tool to the point where the battery dies. There could be another fully charged battery available, but setting the dead pack on the charger would more than likely take more time to charge by the time the second pack ran out. Here is where that Milwaukee “six pack” charger makes sense. It can only charge in pack at a time, and charging all six packs might take a few hours, but individually the packs charge up in short enough time to be ready during the day for one or two users. The reason why the six pack charger doesn’t charge all the packs at once is because the charging process can require 150 watt or more each, The charger alone would be in need of 1000 watts or so of power under full load, and not only would that require much more robust electronics and some significant cooling, a constant thousand watts on a remote jobsite is a big power requirement. The new three-and-three charger coming out soon (THAT I MUST HAVE!!11) is essentially a trio of the current combo 12&18V chargers in a single housing. DeWalt has something similar in their double chargers that first showed up in the 18V line, inside the housing is two independent circuit boards identical to the single chargers with only the one line cord in common. Being that this new charger is supposed to charge the high capacity packs in shorter times than the current combo chargers, each charger probably uses at least 200 watts each. That’s still a 600 watt power envelope for a single unit charger. It can only charge three packs at a time even with a full load of six packs, keeping the overall power down. However, if you are using nothing but 18V packs in that charger, you will get them charged in 1/6th of the time or considerably less than the M18 “sixpack” charger that can only charge one at a time. It’s a better value for saving time, but if you are dropping a bunch of packs into the charger at the end of the day, you will have six fresh ones by morning.
I would like to see wireless charging at a high rate become a standard all over, and the same charging pad that you could charge tool packs on can also charge cell phones and other equipment as well.
Been lurking on this site for awhile, I need your guys help in making my next purchase. My budget is $650 and I’m looking to get an Impact Driver/ A drill/ and an SDS plus rotary hammer. I’m looking for all cordless and preferably brushless. I’m down to the following unless you have a better suggestion:
Makita Xt25m combo kit for $384.97 ( The promo also includes a free dual 18vx2 36v rotary hammer )
So this would give me the ( xph07z Hammer Drill, Xtd01z Impact, & free xhrz053 Dual battery rotary hammer)
Then I could use and additional $150 to buy to 4.0 batteries for the rotary and be at a total of $534 which would give me 3 tools, 4 batteries and I would just be lacking a case for the rotary but I would still have an extra $120 to spend
– My thoughts- I wish the impact was the LXTD06 model( I would hate having the xtd01zmodel knowing a brand new a better version exists) , the rotary is not brushless & is rather large, no life indicator on the batteries, but I get 4 batteries 3 tools and money to spare, wish I hade a case for the rotary though
*** Option 2
Bosch Clpk233181L kit for $369, then also purchase the Bosch Rhh181bl rotary bare tool with box for $268.99
So this would give the ( DDS182 hammer drill, IDH182 Impact, Rhh181 rotary for $637.99, so 3 tools, 3 cases but only 2 batteries and I max my budget
-My thoughts – I love the fact that each model is the companies latest and greatest model, the impact seems really cool & Everything here is brushless, everything has a case, the downside is I would be short a battery and maxed out on the budget, the rotary also seems pretty cool for how light is is.
Milwaukee 2797-22 M18 fuel combo for $399,Milwaukee 2612-21 rotary $150(-$150 off Home Depot discount)
So this would give me the ( 2604-20 Hammer, 2653-20 impact & 26-21 rotary for $548. So I end up with 3 tools, 3 cases, 3batteries and 2 chargers and $100 to spare
-My thoughts- I wish the drill was the newer model hammer, same with the makita impact it will make me made knowing that I just bought something new when there is an updated version out, I love that the impact is the companies best model, my concern with this deal is the rotary, it’s not brushless. And more importantly it only has 2 settings! I want that 3rd hammer only chipping setting. Ideally I would get the 2712-20 model instead since it is also $299 and has the 3 settings and is brushless, the only issue is it is not available for the -$150 off Home Depot discount and it is a bare tool so no battery and no case and it would put me over budget since it’s not included on the Home Depot -$150 deal.
I am not a professional just an at home DIY. I do own a sports performance facility and bolt several peices of fitness equipment to concrete floors and walls, as well as break down and put together several peices of fitness equipment. I am that crazy picky guy that likes all the bells and whistles and the latest and greatest. I hate cheap stuff and going the affordable route to sacrife quality. I’m all about having the quality,but I still have a $650 budget for these 3 tools. Also I don’t own any platform at the moment so I will be buying into a platform, but there aren’t that many additional tools that I would need. I want to make this purchase by the end of the wk. Please offer any opinions, advice, thoughts etc. on helping me make this decision. Thanks for taking your time to read this and help me out.
While it is an interesting development, this is not something that would work for me.
Work wise, predominantly, I do split system aircon installs. In one day we may do a single install and up to as many as four, which means moving our gear around as needed. I take four fully charged batteries with me on every job, and not once have I ever needed a charger on site.
I charge all the batteries when I get home.
Personally, I would be happier to see a third party develop battery adapters. That would be a leveller. No longer being tied to one manufacturer..
I don’t believe manufacturers will agree to anything that might make them lose clients. Once someone buys into a system and batteries usually it takes a serious fu**up to make him switch brands. But…
If a third party can make compatible batteries( legally) then I definitely see “dumb” cells you stick a brand specific “brain” to. Seriously, we can take it further – just buy a small plastic box and adapter and stick your own cells in!
Or might be legally impossible. No idea ’bout that.