Bosch Power Tools recently added an 18-volt lithium-ion planer, model PLH181K, to its woodworking portfolio. With its compact size and light weight, the cordless tool is ideal for fine cutting and finishing work, and shaving and shaping hard and soft woods, according to the company.
The tool is a modified version of the company’s previous nickel–cadmium model. Product manager Nick Feld tells Woodshop News that converting the tool to lithium-ion battery technology allows it to deliver much better performance.
“A planer is what you would classify as a high-amp-draw type of tool. In the past, one of the complaints was lack of run-time because the old [nickel–cadmium] technology just couldn’t deliver with the higher power-to-weight density of the lithium-ion batteries. You can give lithium-ion users much more runtime, so now it becomes a much more appealing tool,” says Feld.
Weighing just over 11 lbs., the tool features a four-pole motor with rare-earth magnets that delivers a higher power-to-weight ratio. This translates to removing stock quickly and easily to create a smoother finish, according to Bosch.
The tool comes with a 3.0ah high-capacity FatPack battery for extended runtime and cold-weather performance. Its Flexible Power System feature lets users choose the compatible SlimPack battery for minimum weight. Electronic cell protection helps prevent batter overload or any deep discharge.
Feld says the company incorporated an electronically counterbalanced drum system into the motor that further optimizes the planing capability.
“The system eliminates the need to actually have two planer blades. Having two planer blades makes it very difficult for users to have those adjusted and also creates more friction, which causes more heat and puts stress on the tool which means less runtime and demands more power from the motor.”
The planer also features a directional chip ejection chute that can be moved left or right for more control over debris, as well as an edge guide that can be mounted to either side of the tool.
Other standard features include a locking on/off button, soft-grip handle, ratcheting depth knob and three integrated V-grooves for chamfering at all depths.
The planer sells for $299 with one blade, a FatPack battery and carrying case.
Contact: Bosch Power Tools and Accessories. Tel: 877-267-2499. www.boschtools.com
This article originally appeared in the December 2012 issue.