Bosch’s 18V wireless battery and charger are now available for preorder on Amazon, indicating that they’re just about to hit the market.
As you might recall, the inductive charging technology works when the compatible wireless battery – either by itself or attached to a drill or driver – is placed on top of the charger.
There are a couple of different components available. To get started, all you really need is the charger and a battery, but the optional accessories are what pull everything together into a more practical and versatile system.
Pricing are higher than plug-in batteries and chargers, but aren’t exorbitant:
- Charger holster that fits newer 18V drills and drivers, WC18H, $49
- Charger, WC18C, $59
- Charger frame, WC18F, $15
- Charger with frame, WC18CF, $69
- 18V 2.0Ah Li-ion battery, WCBAT612, $99
- Charger with holster, WC18CH, $109
- Starter kit with charger, frame, and battery, WC18CF, $159
- Complete starter kit with charger, frame, battery, holster, WC18CHF, $199
The wireless battery and charger both have built-in charge fuel gauges.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
ETA: October 1st, 2014
One step closer to my prediction of an “on board” charger. Just plug it in and work all day, continuous charging.
Not going to happen.
Building charging circuitry into every battery will increase the cost and complexity of every battery. Plus, cells probably won’t be able to handle being heavily taxed and recharged at the same time.
Um, they already make those. They’re called “corded tools”.
I’d love to see this too, not on every battery, but a special “battery” that is really a power inverter so that cordless tools could be turned into a corded tool for ocasions where cordless just will not cut it. I could see it for a circular saw or reciprocating saw. This could also create options for a cordless router, cordless random orbit sander, and cordless belt sander. There are a couple of videos showing mods for Dewalt and Ryobi 18 volt tools. I think such an option would sell great, though I fear the manufactures may fear that such a “battery” would kill their corded lines.
Probably not the level of quality that you are looking for, but Rigid JobMax/Ryobi JobPlus and Craftsman Bolt-on/Black and Decker Matrix have both cordless and corded handles for tool heads.
The Rigid system has 2 battery systems (3 total with Ryobi) and a pneumatic handle as well.
I have the Craftsman system and for my needs it is great. Haven’t added the corded base yet, but maybe this Christmas.
Inductive charging seems sensible to modest-draw applications like small battery charging.
Some futurists once predicted that EV’s would enter a highway, handshake with the pavement-embedded electric lines to authorize payment and then either inductively charge their batteries or draw even more current for actual propulsion.
I don’t expect Bosch’s automotive division to make any announcement about this anytime soon.
But it's me!
I’m afraid I don’t quite get the point to this whole setup. Forgive my ignorance, but how difficult is it to swap a battery from tool to charger? Plus, the few induction chargers I have dealt with are fickle about alignment.
This is more aimed at the types of users who work from fixed location stations, such as in production lines, factories, I suppose automotive shops, and other such environments.
Instead of having to buy multiple battery packs and chargers for every station, this charger always keeps the battery and tool prepped and ready for action.
It’s not going to be for everyone. I don’t envision that contractors will be bringing wireless chargers to jobsites, at least not yet. For construction work, a tool might be in constant use, necessitating multiple battery packs. In a production setting, a tool might not be in constant use, but might be in use all day with short breaks after certain operations. That’s the type of usage environment where this charger and holster system will shine.
I think this is “neat” but not real useful in real life. It seem like a $150 gimmick for the drill. I have never had a battery take longer to charge than it took to run the other one down using a drill. For high draw items like a grinder or saw I might use a battery faster than the other could charge. Just my $.02.
Is this kind of like how a transformer works, magnetic waves steping up or down to another side? Im totally new to this concept and I read the other post, and I even thought Nicola Tesla tried to power things this way, or am I just plain wrong?
Depending on how smooth the “holster” action is, I could imagine having that set up on the side of my workbench where it’s available whenever I need it. Very gimmicky but could be fun.
I can imagine it being more useful in a production environment
Ok, now let’s see one for the Bosch 12V Max line.
The only way I can see this as being advantageous is if the induction part of the charger is less expensive to produce and sell than a second battery. Otherwise, the advantage disappears, assuming it’s no real problem to swap batteries.
This technology would be better suited for built in batteries. My electric toothbrush is charged via induction…..I believe the battery part can be replaced once the battery poops.
Not willing to shell out the cash for something that can take me seconds to swap.
A solution in search of a problem. No thanks.
If the ideal is for workbench use, just give me a corded tool. For this to be worth while, wireless charging within say 50 ft. Plug the charger in on the job site and work cordless all day without having to change batteries.
Sounds about as popular as cancer, and it’s pretty obvious to see why.
It’s amazing how resistant people are to change. Someday this will be the norm. I bet the same nay-sayers here didn’t see the point of email or texting at first. “That’s dumb, if I want to talk to someone I’ll just call them.” And who needs a word processor when you’ve got a typewriter. Plus give me a fickle carb in the Colorado mountains, EFI is dumb.
I don’t think it’s resistance to change, but rather misunderstanding about the product.
Sure, everyone *could* use this wireless charger, but the system was seemingly designed with more of an industrial audience in mind. Not everyone will see the benefits right away because the system wasn’t really designed for their usage tendencies and habits.
The marketplace is a great arbiter of what’s new and worthwhile versus what’s just a flash in the pan (not everything that sparkles is gold). This sort of wireless charging may start as a niche market and become the norm as KL says – or it may stay filling a niche or even be eclipsed by something else of which we have yet to think. Some folks will inevitably be afraid of change or worse (Luddites come to mind) while others will embrace everything that’s new just to try it out. In my business lifetime – I always liked to try the new especially when it offered the promise of increased productivity, improved safety, higher quality, lower cost or some combination of these. Some of these tryouts proved successful for us – others resulted in tools that were consigned to the basement storage room. As you point out – a tool docking/inductive charging station might well be more productive for shop workstations where cordless drivers or other cordless tools get on and off use. We had some assembly stations where we had pneumatic drills, tappers, and drivers (grinders and sanders might also fit this application) at the ready to be pulled-down for use.
The biggest problem of this idea is heat build up. The batteries won’t last as long down the road. Look at Metabo, they have fans built into their chargers to reduce heat build up on the battery. What is the most detrimental thing to a battery – heat. It’s a neat idea, but having a smart charger is far better for long life of the battery. With higher Amp Hour batteries, you will have less charges, but it builds up more heat to charge.
Currently only 2A packs for stationary workshops/ factories, no price difference with 2x 4A pack, for off-grid locations. Other benefit of wireless charging are: 1 hand operation, no more wear and tear of battery contacts, less friction build up due to burned contacts as no pollution might get in between the contacts, only need 1 batterypack, less weight. Bosch fast 6Amp charger also has a build in fan and even audible warning for errors or completed charging process.
I don’t see the use of this. I do understand why cell phones and other small electronic devices can benefit, as the charging port is a troublesome failure point due to mechanical stresses. A quality cordless power tool doesn’t really have this weakness. Perhaps there is a use in industrial environments, but how tempermental are induction charging systems?
How is it wireless if the charger still has to be plugged in?