Roger Bisby tries the 18V Bosch ProCore battery.
When Bosch first introduced its EneRacer battery to me I visibly winced, not at the technology, but the name. It might have meant something to someone in Germany, where they like to string a whole bunch of words together to make a new one, but it did nothing for me.
It seems I was not alone because it has now been renamed ProCore. Better, but I am still not entirely on board. What does it say? Core drills have a specific function, and when I see the term Bosch ProCore I am mentally putting soil pipes through walls.
OK, that is my gripe with the name dealt with up front, what about the battery itself? It was born out of a need to deliver more run-time and power without abandoning the ever popular 18V platform. The way they did this was to use larger cells. Simple enough, but it took a bit of doing. For a start there is the heat to deal with, and this is where the Coolpack technology came in useful.
If all you are doing is running a combi drill, this extra power – with a slightly larger and heavier battery – might not seem to be worth the trouble or expense, but this ProCore technology is all about powering larger tools, such as 9in. angle grinders, and beefy circular saws.
The ProCore offers up to 80 per cent more power and up to 90 per cent more run-time. This technology has a natural place in the heavier SDS hammers and Bosch already has a 36V hammer, so I used that as a benchmark to compare the Pro Core.
Bosch is not alone in increasing cell size – the move towards larger cells is gaining momentum – with Tesla already heading in that direction, whilst another power tool manufacturer has already introduced its own Heavy Duty 18V batteries.
The clue is in the odd number on the end – instead of 6AmHr you have 6.3. Not being a chemist or a mathematician I don’t quite see how the extra 0.3 equates to a 90 per cent increase in run-time, but until I have a chance to test that run-time in identical set-ups I will have to accept it as true.
So much for the batteries – the test drill I had was the GBH 26F, which is an amazing compact tool in its own right. Even if Bosch is not your preferred power tool brand you have to give the company some kudos for its hammers.
The hammer action on this drill is perfectly balanced with the revs, and it feels very controllable, due partly to the reduced hammer setting that allows you to carry out more delicate work, and start drilling in tiles without skidding around.
The EC (brushless motor) has plenty of power, and coped well with a four cutter 28mm masonry bit. There is a quick change three jaw chuck (Rohm, I think) which you should use on the non-hammer selection.