Bosch has now officially launched their new Profactor cordless power tools, and the big question on everyone’s minds is about how well they’ll perform next to the competition.
Professional power tool brands have taken different paths towards high performing cordless power tools.
Dewalt launched their FlexVolt series of higher voltage tools, as well as enhanced 20V Max (18V) tools that deliver performance boosts when paired with higher capacity batteries.
Milwaukee launched their High Output batteries that can be used across the M18 cordless power tool system, and these batteries can handle the higher power demands of their heaviest duty tools.
Bosch has announced and will soon launch Profactor, their line of heavier duty cordless power tools designed to be powered by their 8Ah and Profactor-exclusive 12Ah batteries.
It doesn’t look like any of the new Bosch Profactor 18V cordless power tools have hit the market yet, and so there aren’t any direct performance comparisons yet.
Looking at numbers, many of Bosch’s new Profactor saws seem to have lower power and performance ceilings than competing products.
Bosch Profactor Track Saw
The new Bosch Profactor cordless track saw has a smaller blade (5-1/2″) than competing track saws (6-1/2″) and 5500 RPM motor speed.
Dewalt’s FlexVolt track saw has a 6-1/2″ blade and 1750-4000 RPM max speed. This delivers a slightly lower linear cutting speed compared to the Bosch.
Festool’s TSC 55 cordless track saw has a 6-1/4″ blade size and 5200 max RPM. This would deliver a higher on-paper linear cutting speed than Bosch’s.
Makita’s 18V X2 cordless track saw, XPS01, has a 6-1/2″ blade size and 2500-6300 RPM motor speed.
Makita’s linear cutting speed spec is ~36% faster than Bosch’s.
This is all on-paper calculations, and true performance differences will almost certainly vary.
Bosch Profactor Miter Saw
Bosch has not yet published official USA motor specs for their Profactor cordless miter saw. The EU version of this saw has a no-load speed of 2550-4000 RPM.
We asked Bosch to confirm the speed specs for the USA model and have not heard back yet.
Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel 12″ cordless miter saw has a max no-load speed of 3500 RPM. It’s also worth mentioning that Milwaukee’s saw is considerably lighter than Bosch’s.
Dewalt’s FlexVolt miter saw has a 12″ blade and 3800 RPM no-load speed. It can be powered by 2x FlexVolt batteries or an AC adapter.
Makita also has a cordless 12″ miter saw, as part of their 18V X2 platform, with a 4400 RPM no-load speed.
According to this, I would expect for all 4 saws to deliver performance all in the same ballpark.
I’ve heard from readers and users about accuracy problems with Bosch’s axial glide mechanism, as well as Makita’s rail system, and would personally lean towards Milwaukee or Dewalt’s more traditional slider systems, although it’s possible issues have been worked out by now.
Bosch BiTurbo Cordless Table Saw
Bosch also has a new cordless table saw on the way, and it will presumably be a part of the Profactor 18V system. (I wonder what kind of name Bosch will give it, seeing as how the miter saw is the Surgeon and their circular saw the Strong Arm.)
We asked Bosch if this table saw will come to the USA under the Profactor lineup and when that might be, and were told there’s no firm response yet.
If the specs stay the same, the Bosch Profactor BiTurbo brushless table saw will likely have an 8-1/4″ blade and 4000 RPM motor speed. (The EU model has an 8-1/2″ blade, but 8-1/4″ is more standard in the USA.)
The Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless miter saw has an 8-1/4″ blade size and 6300 RPM motor speed.
Dewalt’s FlexVolt cordless miter saw has an 8-1/4″ blade size and 5800 RPM motor speed.
Metabo has a 10″ cordless table saw with 5000 RPM speed. Because of the larger blade size, if the motor maintains this speed, its linear cutting speed should fall between that of Dewalt and Milwaukee’s saws.
Thus, assuming all of these saws maintain their motor speed under load, Bosch’s 18V cordless table saw will have the slowest linear cutting speed.
(Linear cutting speed is based on the blade size and motor speed, measuring the speed of the circumferential cutting edge. This is similar to how a larger wheel will move a greater distance than a smaller wheel for the same rotational speed.)
Why This is Interesting
Bosch has had a very long time to watch the market and examine competitors’ tools before bringing their own tools to market.
When considering cordless table saws, for instance, Dewalt’s saw launched nearly 5 years ago, Metabo’s ~3.5 years ago, and Milwaukee’s nearly 3 years ago. Bosch’s cordless table saw is soon launching in Europe and hasn’t even been announced in the USA, although Profactor inclusion seems likely.
Does this mean that despite potentially benefiting from 3-5-years of tech advancements since competing models launched, Bosch’s BiTurbo table saw will be considerably less powerful right out of the gate? On-paper specs don’t always tell the full story, but it does set up some initial expectations.
It will be interesting to see how the new Profactor options compare once they’re finally available.
Here’s a current list of preorder pages on Amazon:
- Bosch 18V Hitman SDS-max 1-9/16″ Rotary Hammer
- Bosch 18V Hitman SDS-max 1-7/8″ Rotary Hammer
- Bosch 18V SDS-plus 1-1/4″ Rotary Hammer
- Bosch 18V Spitfire X-LOCK Angle Grinder with Slide Switch
- Bosch Spitfire Angle Grinder with Slide Switch
- Bosch 18V Strong Arm 7-1/4″ Circular Saw
- Bosch 18V Strong Arm 7-1/4″ Circular Saw
- Bosch 18V Surgeon 12″ Dual-Bevel Glide Miter Saw
- Bosch 18V 5-1/2″ Track Saw with Plunge Action
*Spelling/Grammar Goblin Here, Delete After Reading*
Bosch BiTurbo Cordless Miter Saw is your heading, but immediately below we see the chart is for Bosch BiTurbo Cordless Table Saw…
Spellcheck Goblin Out!
JoeM. Maybe let Bosch NA know that the existing word “BiTurbo” actually has a well known automobile meaning.
And that they’re appropriation of it just looks tacky.
Might be worth hearing their response?
Jim, honestly, I have no contact with Bosch USA. I have opinions and anger toward them, due to Dremel, but… This Profactor line… I’m going to refuse to use the nicknames they’re using regardless of what comes of them. I think it might be a Bosch USA quirk that they wanted to name them like they were wrestlers coming down the ramp to fanfare, to evoke the idea that Bosch was “Entering the Ring” so to speak.
But the entire naming convention is rather idiotic, and treats the users like they’re stupid. I don’t like when companies treat people in the Trades like they’re uncultured, stereotypical, or in any way less intelligent than the engineers who designed everything. I even get angry at screwdriver sets that include a “Bottle Opener” tool… Even if it’s common, even if people eat it up (no pun intended) it still is one of those decisions that insults the people buying them. It’s a bit like racial profiling, but instead it’s class profiling. You and I may be very different human beings, with entirely different habits. We may buy similar, or the same, tools, but it doesn’t mean our home lives are going to be the same. Attempting to treat us as a commercial demographic is entirely sane, but when you try to appeal to that demographic in such a wide sense, as to say we’re all beer swilling, pro-wrestling addicted, trailer trash… That’s going too far.
Very passionate about that bit, I might add. I don’t care what company does it, there’s a difference between Buying Habits, and Lifestyle. Unless you’re a Lifestyle brand, such as a Vitamin producer, or a TV Station/Streaming Service, you shouldn’t be profiling the tastes of your consumers. Whether you’re the retailer buying these tools in bulk, or the company manufacturing the tools we buy there. As Stuart says, we vote with our wallets. Yes, we do… and I choose not to purchase anything that has assumed people are stupid. I know a lot of brilliant people, many of them are here on ToolGuyd as well so I can’t have “Known Them” the same way… but being treated like they’re low-class trash is wrong.
And you’d think Bosch would know about the “BiTurbo” thing, wouldn’t you? I mean, Bosch is located practically on top of BMW/Vokswagon/Porsche headquarters in Germany. Not saying the literal buildings, just saying Germany is not all that big a country compared to the US and Canada, and Germany is chock full of Engineering headquarters for a lot of top world brands. This one I can’t explain, nor can I understand. Bosch is not the company for stupid people, they’re normally very well balanced and efficient. I may have issues with their USA division, but it is a head scratcher as it is now.
I gave you those two iPhone typos. ;-)~
A modern cordless table saw “late” to the market that DOESN’T have a rack and pinion fence? I don’t get it. Naming tools, “surgeon” “Freak” etc… seems so childish. Just my immediate take.
Honest opinion: Bosch Germany is likely considering these tools entirely different than Bosch USA.
Yes, I agree entirely that they appear under-powered compared to what we already have in North America. But, No, I don’t agree that they’re necessarily “underpowered” as it were. I think Bosch attempted to create a more Refined set of tools to start off with. And that they are deliberately designed for an EU marketplace. The NA market just has to “find a way” to market them as they’re designed.
I notice that the tracksaw may have a smaller blade, but it seems to drop that blade significantly lower than a larger tracksaw we’re used to here in North America. So, given that, the performance may have extremely different characteristics, and may well perform better on hardwoods than on ply, or MDF/LDF that may, or may not, be more available in use here than overseas.
In fact I notice most of the saws go at a much slower speed, and if we compare what woods are most commonly in use in the two regions, Germany is rather famous for the Oaks and Walnut that their craftsmen have been working with for centuries. These are not only hardwood, they’re very heavy wood. Scale that up to the Profactor line, and it makes sense that their tools are tuned to handle heavier wood, by going slower without the need for coolant. They seem tuned to be able to handle very uncommon materials for North America, but do open quite the number of possibilities for the use of more Maple, Oak, and significantly heavier stock to be used. This doesn’t make a lot of sense for construction purposes, but for home renovations, and woodworking, it may well be that the Bosch Profactor line may enable more Cabinetmakers and Furniture Builders to use exotic woods in ways they had to be more timid before.
I am not sure about it, but, just looking at the pattern of specs, and seeing how everything seems to be intentionally slowed down, it makes sense that they were never designed to be geared toward what the North American market is accustomed to, but rather to engineer a way to enable Woodworkers in North America again. Bosch really is a highly engineered company, that seems to gear itself highly toward Woodworking experts. So I can really only start there.
As to the SDS line… Don’t consult me… I have never used SDS anything in my life. I’ve never worked on that scale, nor have I ever needed them. If you want answers for them, or the grinders… Gotta look somewhere else.
I agree. Working efficiently, particularly in finish and detail work, has more to do with good sequence, layout, mise en place, and anticipation than it does raw tool speed.
Three Bosch tools that have really impressed me in this regard are the PS32 drill, the Bosch GKS 10.8 V circular saw, and the ROS20 sander. None are the speediest on paper, but they are incredibly smooth within their range which lends itself to good work.
That mini saw in particular seems relevant to the conversation. Although spec’ed at similar speeds, with a very similar design to the Makita 12v saws, it does not bog down in similar cuts and, ime, gets more distance per battery watt/hr. Looks like a toy, but really carries through with smooth, even power transfer — I’m guessing through a beefier motor with a lower gearing ratio.
Although Bosch isn’t winning me over this round, I still have high confidence for their quality control and engineering.
Curious about that Bosch GKS 10.8 V circular saw. What are the practical cutting limitations?
Interesting take, I like it.
Man, your points are all dead on except for the bottle openers. I guess I’m one of those schmucks that enjoys getting a Wera bottle opener for Christmas. I think they’re nice to have when working on my car and you’re reaching for a cold one. If you’re wrenching on your car on a Saturday without beer-in-hand, you’re doing it wrong.
That is your right… but I’m half Native American… I’m so hyper-sensitive to alcohol, it’s almost dangerous to use rubbing alcohol to treat wounds.
If they want to make Bottle Openers separate, or even to promote new handle designs… Fine… Let people Choose that. Don’t toss it in a kit, and say the kit includes that as one of the tools counted. Don’t make a special blow-moulded compartment for it. Let those that do drink, buy them individually, with intent to use them.
Otherwise… Don’t even mention you make bottle openers. Just leave it on the shelf at a retailer, hanging from a rack, or display case, hell put it in a bin with a price on it, all lined up with other companies’ Bottle Openers. But don’t assume we all drink, or we all want a Bottle Opener. It insults our intelligence. When you give people the choice of having one, then you’re acknowledging a desirability for your ergonomics. When you just drop one in a set… you’re assuming a demographic across the board. That I disagree with.
I don’t think the motor speed on paper is much of anything to go by as it’s nearly always the max speed of the tool measured with no load on it which is meaningless. What matters is the speed of the motor while the tool is cutting. As we all know a circular saw spins much faster in air than it does buried in a piece of hardwood.
A much better figure to use when comparing these tools is the wattage of the motor because that actually measures how power the motor has. Or better yet the “watts out”, which goes so far as to account for the internal inefficient of the tool and losses to to friction in gears, belts, etc.
For example, consider Dewalt DCS577 vs. a Skil 77 corded saw.
The DCS577 specs are 5800 rpm and 2400 watts out.
The Skil SPT777WML’s specs are 5300 rpm. It does not quote “watts out” but it is 120V 15amps so if the saw was 100% efficient the watts out would be 15 x 120 = 1800 watts. In reality it will be more like 1500 watts out (estimated) because nothing is 100% efficient, there are some losses to friction in the gears, heat in the motor, etc.
If we compare RPM only the Dewalt seems to have a *slight* advantage–about 10%–with 5800 vs 5300 for the Skil. Yet as many prominent Youtube tests show, the Dewalt absolutely trounces the Skil, taking only a little more than half the time to make the same cuts. The 10% difference in RPM does not explain this, but the massive difference in Watts Out–2400 vs. ~1500 does.
SO far nothing I see about the Bosch profactor lineup or prospective line up intrigues me in any way.
Naming craziness aside none of them stack up to competition items.
That table saw might well be nice but by the time it made it here it will cost more and do less than the Dewalt, Milwaukee or the Metabo.
Also isn’t their cordless miter saw a smaller blade than the milwaukee or the dewalt?
They have a new 12″ that is (also?) designated the the Surgeon. The 8-1/2″ saw doesn’t seem to be a Profactor model.
OK so they will have the same blade size. In that case it would be closer but like you said before there are a number of complaints that the axial glide system isn’t very accurate.
There are some reviews were inaccurate but I’m sure it’s engineered to be dead accurate but maybe a few were dropped on deliver or something like that. I’ve gone through a lot of reviews and it doesn’t sound like a design issue. If there was a design issue I’m sure they wouldn’t stick with the same flawed design that would be stupid.
>There are some reviews were inaccurate
I bought one of the Bosch miter saws in 2018 with this issue – the reviews are accurate.
>but I’m sure it’s engineered to be dead accurate
The designers MAY have engineered it to be dead accurate but manufacturing likely screwed something up on these.
>but maybe a few were dropped on deliver or something like that.
Dropping isn’t the cause. This saw came encased in one of the most durable cardboard boxes I’ve seen and absolutely cooconed in high density foam. A bad enough drop to damage the mechanism would have had crushed the box bad enough for any buyer to reject it – even if mgmt decided not to return it to the warehouse.
>I’ve gone through a lot of reviews and it doesn’t sound like a design issue.
Might be a design issue, might be an engineering issue, might be a manufacturing issue… doesn’t really matter as it’s 100% certainly a Bosch issue..
>If there was a design issue I’m sure they wouldn’t stick with the same flawed design that would be stupid.
Looking at what’s been passing for logic and critical thinking skills from Boschs the last few years I’d say that 1 – Yes, it IS stupid and 2 – Yes, Bosch did just that.
Fool me once shame on me but Bosch won’t fool me twice. No more blue for me.
Bosch strikes me as a niche brand with loyal customer base, however, apart from their awesome miter saw with the clever extending mechanism, they don’t really have much to offer. The majority of their cordless tools are overpriced and tired, including the rotary hammers, they don’t innovate or take enough risks, like Milwaukee does, nor do they have Hilti’s customer/repair service and customer base.
Bosch makes great lasers, good corded demo hammers, they should retain the Dremel brand, lasers, miter saw and divest all other tools… But hey, Wtf do I know? Really, not much, just my $0.02
High & Mighty
Nearly every time Bosch has released a new tool, it’s never blown away the competition. I’ve been saying for a long time that Bosch is nothing more than a high end brand of diy grade tools. They’ve yet to prove themselves to be considered as a professional brand. And just because they are expensive doesn’t mean that they are professional. They may have been the first to have a rotary hammer or whatever else, but when compared to other brands, they’re always in the middle to bottom tier of performance. There’s nothing about their tools that makes them worth paying attention to. Let us not forget that they couldn’t even finish designing and developing the megawatt line which was only 6 basic tools. That was almost 3 years ago and the only thing they had to show for it was an underperforming hybrid impact driver/wrench and a few batteries and maybe a saw but I’m not sure on that. And what made absolutely no sense at all was that Bosch has never made an impact wrench but they thought the freak was adequate enough to be used as an impact wrench. There’s a big difference between an impact driver and an impact wrench and they somehow got the idea that they were one and the same. And because Bosch fails to make improvements to any of their tools, they offer no selection of quality. And none of their tools are superior to others who offer more than what Bosch has just one version of. It’s like they release a tool and you have no choice but to settle for that one tool. I could understand this if every tool they made obliterated the competition, but that has yet to be done by Bosch. And I don’t expect this new profactor shit to be any different than how Bosch tools have been performing in the past. Mediocre with a high price tag. To this day, I have never seen a Bosch tool on a job site with the exception of a Bosch rotary hammer and my Bosch laser Speaking of the various tools that are mentioned in this post, how many of these tools does Bosch have under their belt for selective comparison purposes? How many table saws has Bosch ever made? If I’m not mistaken, only one. How many miter saws have they made? Until recently, I believe it was either one or two. Reciprocating saws? One or two. Maybe three. It’s the same with nearly all of their tools. Maybe with the exception of rotary hammers and angle grinders. And maybe drills. Which by the way Bosch drills have never been stellar or worth much consideration. So to answer your question as to how Bosch profactor will compare against brands that are already ahead of the game, I’m not expecting much more than a mid grade line of tools that will be overpriced. I’d like to be proven wrong with my assessment. So let’s just see what they got.
Pretty sure bosch has a new impact wrench in EU and it looks pretty awesome.
I’m not a professional, but I’ve been very happy with my Bosch miter saw, router, jigsaw, and 12V drill. All are well made, accurate, and do what I need them to do.
They’ve made at least three table saws that I know of if you count the REAXX, four with this new cordless model.
I have to disagree with your opinion that “Bosch drills have never been stellar or worth much consideration.” I’m pretty sure that their 12V lineup of drivers, in particular, have frequently been used by craftsmen as an alternative to, or in preference of, Festool drivers. The ergonomics and performance of the 12V drivers is second to none.
Though I haven’t used them myself, I would have to agree. Bosch is a Woodworker’s brand, not a Construction brand. And they are stellar at their work.
That said… I’ve noticed “High & Mighty” is another one of our favourite Negative Nellies that tend to troll any brand they don’t like, due to their ownership of some other “Team” of tools. Either that or they just oppose any sort of progress. You remember those kinds of Trolls? So, argue with him if you will, I’m not certain it’ll mean a lot during your day.
Toolguyd has mentioned the smaller diameter of the Bosch track saw blade a couple of times at least. I’m not sure that this is a bad thing – we’ll have to wait and see how it performs in the real world.
In advance of that, I can definitively say that in the thousands of cuts I have made with my DeWalt track saw, I have never needed the full cut depth of the 6.5″ blade. Perhaps Bosch decided on a smaller diameter blade for their cordless model in order to achieve better battery life? This would definitely be an advantage from my perspective. I have to imagine that the most track saw users would typically – or even exclusively – be using the tool to break down sheet goods which are 3/4″ or less.
There are 2 potential downsides and 1 impact consideration.
Downside 1: potentially slower application speeds
Downside 2: replacement or specialty blade availability
Impact consideration: WHY did they go with a smaller blade size? They say the saw is compact, but was this by design? Or was this done as a power/performance choice.
It took a long time for 12″ cordless miter saws to hit the market since the motor and battery tech weren’t up to the task. Is the blade size on the Bosch Profactor track saw smaller because they wanted it to be smaller, or because they couldn’t deliver the performance and speed users would want from a larger saw?
Track saws aren’t often handheld, and they are usually used with guide rails and vacuum hoses for managing dust collection. Is “compactness” a primary user demand?
Some (many/all?) of the Profactor tools have an eco mode for reduced speeds or power to extend runtime. If this was done for runtime considerations, surely they would have advertised how many cuts in plywood or similar you can make per battery charge.
The bevel cut capacity might be a potential downside as well, but for me it’s more about blade availability and performance considerations.
I think 99% of the North American market would be with you there. The pattern I notice is that these new Bosch Profactor tools are all geared to fall somewhat short of their NA counterparts in one detail or another.
Bosch Germany is certainly no slouch when it comes to engineering. They’re a very Woodworking-Centric brand, especially in the EU/UK regions. We’ve had some outspoken UK Tradespeople here on ToolGuyd that have explicitly spoken about how much more rare Wood construction is in their territory.
This leads me to follow the pattern here. I don’t think they released those specs in the NA press releases, because I am not sure they Intended them for the same demographic as Milwaukee and DeWALT. They’re closer spec’d for dealing with Hardwoods, or Stone Products. Exactly as they’d be used in the EU. Hardwood sheets don’t come all that thick in North America. But the fact that the blade on the Tracksaw is smaller, also means the same power output spins it faster, does it not? A fact we can see on the specs for the Tracksaw. Rather than asking how many sheets of Ply it can get through, often made of softwoods I might add, ask how deep a cut it can make instead. I know this is counter-intuitive to us, but when thinking in hardwoods, or even the odd marble countertop, or surfacing, cutting a channel of some sort, this Tracksaw may be designed for those jobs as the primary use, rather than the usual NA region Tracksaws that are used to Particle Board, Cork, and Plywood in the majority.
It’s all just theory here, but honestly… the way they’re “Releasing” these tools has a very UK/EU region sense to it. Perhaps to look at the answers to those concerns you raise (Which are 100% valid, not 99%) you need to think like someone from the EU market? Ask the questions They would ask? That would likely lead you directly to the answers you have for This Market.
I’ve worked in Germany (and my wife is German) and I think they just have a very different culture when it comes to tools. In the US it’s all about power, power, and more power. Germans really care more about optimizing the tool for the kinds of tasks it will be used for 90% of the time at the expense of the other 10%. Festool too is rarely competitive in terms of power, but hey make up for it in features, and it’s for the same reason brands like Milwaukee and Dewalt struggle over there. I’ve noticed too at tool expos and such lots of the project and higher up managers are Germans, and any Americans involved are just some communications major without a clue about tools. If they want to be successful in the US they need to shift their perspective to suit American tastes.
Stuart I did some research on the original megawatt release in 2019. The misfit (recipe saw) was in fact GSA18v-125N. The Surgeon (miter saw) was not an axle-guide but the biturbo 8 1/2 rail setup GCM18V-08. The bulldog was GBH18V-26D. These were all part of the magewatt release all available in to buy in 2019 stateside. The carry-overs tools from the megawatt that were never available until now are the strong arm, goon, hitman,
and spitfire. The profactor tools new to this release are the biturbo axle-guide 12″ miter, biturbo track saw, and biturbo impact wrench. As far as speeds of the profactor miter saw you can preset eco 2550, 1 3000, 2 3500, 3 4000.
I forgot to add that the choice between brands comes down to 1) the battery platform you invested in 2) the biggest discount the manufacturer can give you if you buy bulk.
If your company already has Bosch then you probably will stick with Bosch and their tired (but decent quality) lineup… After all, they’re better than Ridgid, which should be their motto. Bosch: were better than Ridgid, inost cases!