Bosch has a lot going on right now! And they laid it all out for us in a virtual media event filled with exciting new laser and Profactor tools, accessories and digital services for the professional who demands the best. The star of the show was Profactor, the highly anticipated lineup of super heavy duty 18V tools that are compatible with Bosch’s existing 18V platform, but optimized for their more sophisticated, more powerful CORE18V batteries. There’s a lot of wow to unpack here, so let’s take a closer look at what the men and women in blue have been up to!
(Even More) Complete Line Of Sight – Improvements To The Laser Measuring Tool Lineup
Before the first power tool is fired up at the job site, there are usually measurements to be taken. They may include laying out for walls, fixtures or other installations. Or even land surveying and elevation mapping. Bosch’s “Complete Line Of Sight” laser measuring tool lineup has been upgraded with high visibility green lasers and more rugged enclosures.
Blaze, Gen 2 – Bosch’s First Green Beam Laser Distance Measurers
Bosch introduced their 2nd generation Blaze laser distance measuring tools, with four models to be released in May. These units feature green lasers, a range of 165’, a more durable housing with reinforced “high impact areas”, a belt clip, full dust protection and IP65 water resistance rating.
The new models continue to use an intuitive onscreen function wheel for easy access to functions such as distance measuring, wall area calculations, indirect measuring, leveling and a new “tape measure” mode. All with built-in tutorials to walk you through use of the various functions. There’s even a new rounding feature that you can toggle to your desired accuracy, such as 1/4” for rough framing or 1/16” for more precise work.
Another Blaze upgrade is dual power source options. You can still run the tool on standard AA batteries. But now there is an available Li-Ion battery pack for longer run time and an end to expensive, disposable alkalines.
VisiMax 3-Point & 5-Point Interior Leveling Lasers – Right On Point With Bosch
Bosch VisiMax point laser levels have also been upgraded with green lasers and have the same dust and water protection as the new Blaze models. They are a lot more compact than previous models and have more durable, reinforced housings. And they now feature recessed glass, a “transport mode” and stronger integrated magnetic mounting options. The 4x brighter green lasers are perfect for long range interior spaces, elevator shafts, and so on.
Revolve – Upgraded 4000 Series Green Rotary Laser
The Bosch Revolve horizontal/vertical rotary level lineup was first introduced in early 2020. But now – in addition to all of the existing bells and whistles – the premium line is getting the green laser upgrade, which is especially well suited to long range indoor applications.
Unveiling Profactor – 18V Tools For Serious Workers Doing Serious Jobs
Cordless power tool trends have long been to make them smaller and more powerful. The Profactor lineup focuses heavily on the latter, with tools designed to replace their corded counterparts on jobs where cords used to be the only way to summon the power you needed. These aren’t weekend hobby tools. These are every day, long hour, heavy duty beasts that will live in tandem with Bosch’s current line of 18V tools.
Most of the Profactor tools are “Connected-ready”, meaning they’re compatible with the GCY42 Bluehound Connectivity Module (sold separately) to interact with the Bosch Toolbox app for trackability, detailed feedback and a whole suite of enhanced tool options. But before we dive into the launch offerings, let’s learn a little more about what makes Profactor so special. The heart of Bosch’s new high performance lineup is three-fold:
* The new BiTurbo brushless motor. This motor is engineered to deliver more power, equaling up to 1,800W corded power! Integrated active cooling manages the increased heat dissipation required for higher power applications.
* Profactor CORE18V (previously called “Pro CORE18V”) battery packs also offer greater performance and more efficient heat dissipation. There are three CORE18V battery packs to choose from: 4Ah, 8Ah and 12Ah. Profactor tools are fully compatible with all existing 18V Bosch batteries, but they are optimized for use with the two larger CORE18V batteries.
The 4Ah battery pack is great for your regular duty 18V Bosch tools, or as a “spare tire” for your new Profactors. But Bosch recommends the 8Ah battery for most of your Profactor needs. It has the power to unleash the tool’s full potential and a full charge will usually get you through most or all of the work day. The 8Ah pack is also the perfect way to imbue your standard 18V tool lineup with longer run time.
The 12Ah pack is a new addition to the CORE18V family. However, unlike the 4 & 8 Amp-Hour CORE18V batteries – which are fully compatible with all Bosch 18V tools – the 12Ah pack is set up to work only with the Profactor lineup. That decision, they say, was made largely because of the excess weight. The 12Ah weighs in at 3 pounds (half a pound heavier than the 8Ah). The extended run time just isn’t worth the trade-off for use with the comparatively smaller, more “standard duty” tools of the regular 18V lineup.
* Finally, to round out the trifecta, there’s the Hell-Ion charger. CORE18V batteries are compatible with standard 18V Bosch chargers. But the Hell-Ion is a “turbo charger” optimized for efficient rapid charging with minimal cell degradation. The charger will take an 8Ah CORE18V battery from 0-50% in 15 minutes (or 9 min. for 4Ah and 22 min. for 12Ah) and 0-80% in approx. 26 minutes. They didn’t mention full charge time.
Hitman Rotary Hammers – Thor Called… He Wants His Hammer Back
Bosch came out of the gate swinging with three impressive rotary hammers featuring kickback control, soft start, anti-vibration handles (plus some internal dampening) and user interface systems.
* The GBH18V-34CQ 1-1/4” rotary hammer is the most powerful cordless SDS-plus rotary hammer currently on the market, hitting with 4.3 FT.-LBS of impact energy!
* The GBH18V-36CN 1-9/16” SDS-max rotary hammer boasts 5.2 FT.-LBS of concrete crushing impact energy.
* Finally, there’s the GBH18V-45CK 1-7/8” SDS-max, which doles out a whipping with a whopping 9.3 monstrous FT.-LBS of Thor’s earth-shattering impact energy.
In addition to these rotary hammers, Bosch is rolling out several new SDS accessories, including a longer bushing tool and a concrete anchor installation kit. They’re also introducing an SDS-plus floor scraper (an accessory most commonly available for SDS-max platforms); it’s 5” wide and has a longer shank to make it a bit easier on your back.
Spitfire Angle Grinders – Bringing A Game Changer To The Table
The Profactor launch lineup includes two 5” – 6” angle grinders that are crammed packed with features: a braking system that quickly stops the wheel when you turn the tool off; “Anti-kickback” that shuts the tool off if the wheel binds; “restart protection” that prevents accidental startup if, say, you install a battery with the power switch already in the “on” position; and “drop control” that shuts the tool off if you drop it.
But, with what just may be the most welcome feature to ever grace the angle grinder market, Bosch introduces their revolutionary new X-Lock tool-less quick change system that allows for wheel swaps in mere seconds. Flip a lever on top of the tool to unlock the spindle and the wheel drops off. Push a new one on and it clicks right into place. Nothing to thread on and no spanner to fiddle with (or lose). It literally gets no easier.
Granted, we’ve had no hands-on time with the new X-Lock feature (yet), but if it works as well as it appears to (and there is no reason to doubt that it does), we’d be really surprised if it doesn’t become a new industry standard.
There is also a whole line of X-Lock wheels, including ones designed to cut aluminum, a carbide multi-wheel for materials such as wood, composites and plastics, a wire wheel and more. And almost all X-Lock wheels are backwards compatible with standard 7/8” angle grinder spindles!
Surgeon 12” Dual-Bevel Glide Miter Saw – Surgical Precision; Portable Profactor Power
Next up: “The Bosch GCM18V-12GDCN Surgeon”. This is everything you’d want in a miter saw. It has tall 4-3/4” fences to better support your workpiece, up to 43” wide integrated material supports, a laser to show the cut line and Bosch’s trademarked Axial-Glide articulated arm system for wider crosscuts (up to 15.7”) and smooth glide action, while requiring less rear space than traditional fixed rail systems.
This miter saw weighs just under 60 pounds, has “ECO” mode to increase run time (great for when your battery is getting low and you need to eke out a few more cuts), a variable speed motor, upfront bevel lock and left / right tilt and miter. And it only needs a single CORE18V battery pack.
7-1/4” Strong Arm Circular Saws – A Cut Above
Strong Arm circular saws are next in the Profactor launch lineup. These saws have a 2-1/2” depth of cut (at 90°) and feature an electronic brake that quickly stops the blade when you release the trigger. They have a 50° bevel range and a 360° swiveling dust port. There are currently two models; both have an auxiliary handle for better control no matter which hand you use (even during bevel cuts).
The model GKS18V-25GCN Profactor Strong Arm circular saw features ECO mode to squeeze up to 30% more cuts out of a single charge and is compatible with Bosch’s saw track. It has six speed settings and easy, one-handed “One-Touch” depth adjustment.
Bosch 18V 5-1/2” Track Saw – Staying On Track For Perfectly Straight Cuts
To round off the Profactor circular saw lineup, Bosch has a dedicated 5-1/2” plunge action track saw. If you’ve never used a track saw, you may not realize what a wonderful gift these things are. But trust us; if you routinely cut sheet goods you should consider adding one to your tool belt, so to speak. You can thank us later.
This saw requires only one battery, has an auxiliary handle for better control, and features ECO mode that reduces power for prolonged battery life. It also has a variable speed control module, overload protection and a swiveling dust port.
Profactor High Torque Impact Wrenches – Leave No Bolt Un-torqued
The last – but definitely not least – tools in the Profactor launch lineup are the Bosch Profactor impact wrenches. There are two models to choose from (1/2” and 3/4”). Both have an LED light, a protective head casing to prevent damage to the tool and workpiece and feature three speed settings to limit torque: 0-800 RPM / 0-1,200 RPM & 0-1,750 RPM.
* GDS18V-740N 18V 1/2” square drive impact wrench w/ friction ring. This model can deliver 740 FT.-LBS of fastening torque and up to 1,180 FT.-LBS of breakaway torque.
* GDS18V-770N 18V 3/4” square drive impact wrench w/ friction ring and thru-hole. This one has 770 FT.-LBS of fastening torque and up to 1,250 FT.-LBS of breakaway torque.
Bosch Accessories – Making Great Tools Even Greater
We’ve covered some of the new accessories Bosch is releasing in 2021. There’s the awesome new X-Lock grinder wheel lineup and several rotary hammer accessories. But they are also introducing their new “Driven” line of impact rated screwdriver bits.
Driven bits have been engineered to last “up to 50x times longer” than standard bits. Frankly, these kinds of claims often seem a “bit” dubious. But given Bosch’s track record of quality, they’re certain to at least be far superior to cheap, so-called “bargain” bits.
Driven bits have tougher shanks and optimized, precision ground tip geometry. The tapered “torsion zone” is said to transfer more power from the tool to the fastener. In short, they’re less likely to break and less susceptible to stripping and cam out, particularly with Philips and Torx drive screws.
To compliment the new Driven bits, Bosch is also releasing a customizable storage case with removable bit strips that are easier to get the bits in and out of.
Bosch Digital Services – Bluehound: A Digital Bloodhound For Your Physical Assets
The final topic covered at Feb 9th’s “What’s New With Blue” media event was Bosch Digital Services, namely “Bluehound” and “RefinemySite”. Both are geared towards contractors and construction companies.
Let’s start with the easier one: Bluehound. In a nutshell, Bluehound is a system for tracking the whereabouts of your company’s various hard assets, from tools to front end loaders. There are physical bluetooth tracking devices that you attach to tools and machinery. (It also works with “Connected” Bosch tools outfitted with the GCY42 Bluehound Connectivity Module.) By way of workers’ nearby smart phones, real-time physical location information is relayed to “the cloud” and can be tracked through the Bluehound app/service.
On the software end, relevant information can be linked to any of the various assets. You can keep track of things like which tool is assigned to which worker, where your trucks are, when they where last maintained, and much more. Also, your assets do not have to be Bosch branded; Bluehound trackers are their own thing and work with whatever you assign them to (so long as they can be physically attached).
Bosch Digital Services – RefinemySite: Lean, Logistics And Optimized Jobsite Communication… I Think
I’m going to be honest here; this last item made my brain glaze over a bit. But if you’re a company needing such an IT solution, you’re likely to understand it far better than I. And if you don’t, Bosch will help you get up to speed. After a lot of looking into it, I’ll convey the premise the best I can.
Basically, RefinemySite is a cloud-based platform that construction companies can use to plan and schedule the various stages and aspects of their projects. You can coordinate teams and materials flow, and share blueprints, jobsite photos, updates and other information in real time.
Rather than only a select few team leaders (who may or may not even be on site) having access to critical information, all team members can be given access. Team members can also communicate with each other and log their own progress and updates.
RefinemySite works lockstep with the “Last Planner System” to implement the lean method for a more streamlined, less wasteful construction process, leading to fewer costly mistakes, less downtime and more robust management and documentation. I may have missed some bullet points, but that seems to be the gist of it.
A New Year To Be Blue – Bosch 2021
Bosch has a lot of exciting new tools coming in the next several months (and a lot more in the pipeline). The Profactor lineup is amazing and the new X-Lock quick change angle grinder hub genuinely looks to be a game changer. Also, it’s a small thing that we didn’t even mention, but the title logos for the various new tools (Surgeon, Strong Arm, Spitfire, Revolve, Driven, etc..) are downright cool. When you see them you’ll know what we mean.
Seeing what Bosch has in store for 2021 and beyond, we can’t help but share in their excitement. Hopefully this overview has made you feel the same way!
It looks like Bosch Profactor tools will start shipping on March 1st, 2021. But there are pre-order promo deals to be had right now (through 4/30, while supplies last). Check out these links from Home Fixated sponsor, Ohio Power Tool!
• Get a free 12.0 Battery with purchase of:
BoschPROFACTOR 18V Surgeon Dual-Bevel 12″ Glide Miter Saw Brushless 8.0Ah Kit GCM18V-12GDCN14
Bosch PROFACTOR 18V Hitman SDS-Max 1-7/8″ Rotary Hammer Brushless 8.0Ah Kit GBH18V-45CK24
• Get a free 8.0Ah battery with purchase of:
Bosch PROFACTOR 18V Hitman SDS-Max 1-9/16″ Rotary Hammer Brushless 8.0Ah Kit GBH18V-36CK24
Bosch PROFACTOR 18V Spitfire 6″ Angle Grinder Brushless 8.0Ah Kit GWS18V-13CB14
Bosch PROFACTOR 18V Circular Saw 7-1/4″ Brushless 8.0Ah Kit GKS18V-25CB14
Bosch PROFACTOR 18V Strong Arm 7-1/4″ Circular Saw Track Compatible Brushless 8.0Ah Kit GKS18V-25GCB14
Bosch PROFACTOR 18V Plunge Cut 5-1/2″ Track Circular Saw Brushless (8.0Ah) Kit GKT18V-20GCL14
• Get a free 8.0Ah Battery & 25 Wheel Pack with purchase of:
Bosch PROFACTOR 18V Spitfire 5-6″ Angle Grinder X-Lock Brushless 8.0Ah Kit GWX18V-13CB14
All of the qualifying promotions products can be found HERE.