Today at the World of Concrete our friends from Bosch Tools have announced that the world’s most popular SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer will be going cordless. The first ever Cordless Bosch Bulldog GBH18V-26DK24 $449 will be very similar to the corded 11255VSR with a 1” capacity at 1.9 Ft. Lbs. but reports that it’ll outperform its corded counterpart. Additionally a new 18V HEPA dust collection unit GDE18V-26DN that’ll work with this Bulldog or really any SDS-Plus rotary hammer with similar handle setup. Will this cordless D-Handle unit find similar success to the 20+ years the Bosch Bulldog corded models have, that really depends on 2 big questions which still remain unanswered?
Why Are Cordless D-Handle Hammers Not More Popular?
Typically when a popular corded tools go cordless they’ll enjoy similar relative success. This is not true for SDS-Plus rotary hammers for some reason, in corded models of SDS-Plus the D-Handle design with outsell the vertical motor style 5 to 1, the Bosch Bulldogs have really enjoyed many many years as one of the top options here. As the SDS-Plus has become more and more popular in the cordless space other brands that have tried the D-Handle style have been way less popular than the more compact vertical motor mounts.
Bosch themselves already launched a vertical motor hammer GBH18v-26 ($349 bare) which is very similar in performance, 1” with 1.9 Ft. Lbs. but the new D-Handle will be significantly less expensive, bare tool at GBH18V-26DN at $219 which will put this as one of the least expensive professional 1” SDS-Plus Cordless options when compared to Milwaukee, Makita, Dewalt, Hilti, etc.
Will People Buy into Bosch Cordless?
In early 2000’s Dewalt ruled the roost with over 50% cordless market share, Bosch, Makita and Milwaukee all seemed to be 10-15% depending on where you lived in the country but Bosch in many circles was considered a strong option and the cordless choice for many professionals. In recent years a lack of new products and focus for their cordless tools have dropped them well behind Makita and Milwaukee, now arguably the leader over Dewalt for cordless.
Bosch is back and looking to be very aggressive in cordless for 2019 and beyond. There seems to be a new focus on markets they are strong in already and new aggressive pricing on many entry level tools and new product launches to get more people into the platform. They have a big leg up as Bosch Cordless in Europe is the leader so bringing many already successful products over to the USA is way easier than designing new from scratch. They still have a long way to go but think with the new 4.0Ah GBA18V40 and 8.0Ah GBA18V80 batteries using 21700 cells is a really solid base to start from. Hopefully we will see a 12.0Ah battery to come as well (we’ve seen some pictures on the internet of a Bosch12.0 but not sure if those are photoshoped or actually coming no official word yet).