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Blog: Read more about this system and see it in action here

From the April 2015 issue, #217

Buy it now

Although wireless charging is nothing new (it’s been around for years for home and mobile phones), the Power Ready system from Bosch is a first in the tool sector.

As of this writing, the system includes only the WCBAT612 18-volt thin-pack 2Ah battery ($89), which is backward-compatible with all of the company’s 18V lithium-ion tools. But a press release states that this spring Bosch will introduce fat-pack 4Ah batteries to the wireless lineup. (Both will also charge on a traditional charger.)

I was skeptical at first, because you do, after all, still have to find a plug for the charger (WC18C; $59) and remember to put the tool atop it. But I used the system in the shop for a few weeks, and (after I trained myself to put it back where it belongs) it really is faster and more convenient than switching out the batteries…and hoping your backup battery is charged.

A benchtop charger frame (WC18F; $12) keeps the battery properly aligned to charge, but if you don’t use the frame (I did not) pay attention to the light display; green means it’s working – and without the frame, it’s a little fussy to align things correctly. There’s also a holster-style frame (WC18H0l; $49) available to mount the charger and a drill on the wall (or in a work truck).

It takes just under an hour to reach a full charge from empty, and about 30 minutes to reach an 80-percent charge – but if you keep the tool where it belongs when it’s not in use, that’s never an issue. And of course it stops charging when the battery is full.

The inductive charging (an alternating magnetic field) works only when a compatible battery is on the pad. And the pad won’t function if it identifies a foreign object, such as a screw or metal shavings.  PWM

— MF

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