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One of the things I’ve found pertinent to unearthing tools that might be introduced to the U.S. market, is to discover what’s available in Europe. It seems that European woodworkers get the first crack at new tooling , possibly due to Underwriters Laboratories’ incessant studies before granting approval for a tool to be released in the United States.

In doing Internet searches looking for said tools, I found a PMF 180 E, a multi-function tool made by Bosch that’s available in Germany. This tool looked very much like a Fein MultiMaster, a tool shown to the U.S. market via infomercials for many years. I contacted the Bosch team and was surprised to find out they were indeed working on a similar tool for release in the states.

Yesterday, Bosch sent a press release on the new PS50 Multi-X. The Bosch PS50 is battery powered (different from Bosch’s European tool or the Fein MultiMaster) and is built around Bosch’s ultra-compact Lithium-ion battery , the same battery that energizes the company’s PS10 (I-driver), PS20 (pocket driver), PS30 (drill/driver), PS40 (impact driver) and FL11 (flashlight). (Click here to go to Bosch’s web site to check out these tools.)

The PS50 is light at 2.2 pounds, has a soft-grip surface that extends from the nose through the handle (which has a grip girth of 6.88″) and operates at 5,000 , 20,000 rpm.

Bosch is also launching a number of accessories for the Multi-X, including blades for plunge cutting into wood and metal, flush-cut wheels and pads for sanding and polishing. And, with an included adaptor, the PS50 can use Dremel, Fein or Proxxon accessories.

Bosch feels that by changing the accessory, then adjusting the tool’s speed, the new PS50 could take the place of many sanding and cutting tools around shop or home, and do so without breaking the bank. The PS50 Multi-X tool is scheduled to hit the U.S. market in late October or early November 2008.

Bosch will offer two kits. A PS50-2A Cutting Kit with the Multi-X, two 12v Lithium-ion batteries, a 30-minute charger, an accessory adapter, a sanding plate, a sanding paper pad and a plunge-cut blade (1-5/8″ x 1-1/2″) all packed in a hard case and priced at $199. A second kit, the PS50-2B Carpenter Kit, has everything in the previous kit plus three additional plunge-cut blades (3/8″ x 1-1/4″) and a “BIM Segment Blade” (shown at right). This kit retails at $229.

We’re anxious to get a PS50 Multi-X in the Popular Woodworking shop for testing. As soon as we get some time with a Multi-X, we’ll report our findings.

-Glen D. Huey


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Showing 5 comments
  • Steve H.

    Actually, your date may be closer than mine. Amazon just sent a note saying delivery will be at the end of this month. I’ve made promises in the back of a Chevy too!

  • Glen

    Thanks for pointing out my date error, Steve. I’m going to correct that date so others don’t sit patiently for another year before making a purchase.

  • Steve H.

    Hi Glen-

    I was very pleased to see your article on the Bosch tool. My wife (that’s right!) has been "suggesting" that I get the Fein MM for a while. She’s tired of seeing me drool at the infomericials. Having it cordless is a real incentive.

    So, I looked it up on Amazon and the Carpenter setup is scheduled for release on October 1, 2008 (not 2009 as you wrote). It’ll be a great addition to my other Bosch LiIon stable.

    Did I say that I preordered it?

    Thanks again for the idea.

    –Steve.

  • Greg Jones

    I am glad to see Bosch continue to offer new products based on the 12v Max battery platform. The PS50, and the PS30, look like nice additions to the existing line of PSxx tools. However, if Bosch is listening, some of us would like to see the 12v Max tools also offered as a bare tool option. I already have 3 chargers and 6 batteries for the 12v Max line. I would like to save some money, and the planet, by not having to buy a kit that includes a charger and batteries that I do not need.

  • Charles

    Will be interesting to see your reviews of it. I’ve read some very positive stuff on the Fein, which seems to be extremely overpriced. I’d have to think that Bosch would do a much better job… seems like Bosch is trying to price Fein right out of the market!

    Also, think 2009 is a typo… releasing this fall right? Amazon is taking pre-orders now: http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-PS50-2A-12-Volt-Multi-X-Cutting/dp/B001E281DG

    -Charles

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