If you are about to commit to a cordless tool platform and can’t decide between DeWalt and Bosch, you’re at the right place. The two brands have different backgrounds, offer different warranties, and have different product portfolios.
As such, it is important to think about your decision thoroughly before you pick one of the two.
That’s exactly what this article will help you do.
A Brief History of DeWalt and Bosch
If you are reading this article, chances are that you know that DeWalt and Bosch are among the best power tool brands in the world. Their stories couldn’t be more different, though.
DeWalt is an American brand that was launched in 1923 in Pennsylvania. From the very beginning, it has been a company that primarily focused on making machinery and power tools. Initially for the woodworking crowd and later expanding into the general construction and other areas as well.
It’s worth noting that the company’s founder, Raymond E. DeWalt, invented the radial arm saw – a circular saw mounted on a sliding arm for precise movement. The brand was acquired by American Machine & Foundry in 1949 which in turn sold it to Black & Decker in 1960.
Today, it’s part of the Stanley Black & Decker group. Under Black & Decker, the company went through a major rebrand, positioning itself as the toolmaker for professionals.
Bosch, on the other hand, was started in 1886 in near Stuttgart, Germany, as a precision mechanics and electrical engineering company. Unlike DeWalt, more than half of Bosch’s business is in its “mobility solutions” segment – creating technologies for the transportation industry.
The company entered into the power tools business in 1932 when it invented the hammer drill. Today, the “consumer goods” segment of which power tools are a part forms about a quarter of its business. That said, besides Bosch power tools and outdoor equipment themselves, the segment also includes home appliances and other brands the company owns like Dremel.
What makes Bosch interesting as a company is a fact that more than 90% of it is owned by Robert Bosch Stiftung, a charitable organization started by its founder Robert Bosch.
DeWalt vs. Bosch: Which Offers Better Quality?
Overall, both DeWalt and Bosch power tools are of excellent quality and will generally last you a long time. That said, there are some differences in terms of where their tools are made and what their warranty is.
Manufacturing: It’s a Tie
As mentioned earlier, DeWalt is an American brand and it still continues to make a considerable portion of its power tools in the United States. Those tools, assembled at one of the companies seven US factories, DeWalt markets under a “Built in the USA with global materials” logo.
That said, DeWalt also has a significant overseas presence not only in terms of sales but also in terms of manufacturing. It has factories in Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, Italy, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.
It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that the “Built in the USA” tools are not necessarily of higher quality than those built overseas. More than that, it is a way for DeWalt to show that they care about creating jobs in the US – and to market to a US audience which has a preference towards products made in the country.
As for Bosch, most of its power tools are made in Malaysia and a considerable amount is made in Mexico, Taiwan, and China as well. That said, the company still maintains a smaller-scale manufacturing capability in Europe – namely in Germany and Switzerland – as well.
Just like with DeWalt, though, its quality control is solid throughout the world, and so a “Made in Malaysia” tag shouldn’t discourage you from choosing the product.
Warranty: DeWalt Wins
Before continuing, keep in mind that warranty terms might change at any time – and that they depend on the country. The below looks at the terms offered in the United States at the time of writing this article.
For most of its power tools, DeWalt offers a three-year limited warranty. What that means is that it will repair for free any defects that are its fault rather than the fault of the user. For some tools, that warranty is extended to seven years.
Besides that, DeWalt also offers a one-year free service contract with its power tools. That allows the buyer to get their tool serviced – and worn parts replaced – free of charge.
Finally, the company offers a 90-day, “no questions asked” money-back guarantee as well.
Bosch, on the other hand, only offers a one-year limited warranty for its power tools. While the tools will in the vast majority of cases last long in spite of the short warranty, you should certainly keep the difference in warranties in mind when making your decision.
The tools also come with a one-year service protection plan. With that, Bosch will “perform free of charge electrical, safety and performance checks, lubrication and replacement of parts worn under normal use.” Obviously, the user has to get the tool to the service center on their own cost, though.
DeWalt vs. Bosch: Which Has a Better Product Portfolio?
Both DeWalt and Bosch have a large enough portfolio of tools to satisfy even the most demanding customers.
Under its flagship 20V MAX cordless platform, DeWalt offers more than 200 different products. Bosch offers a similarly impressive selection under its flagship 18V line of cordless power tools. Besides that, each line also has a more powerful platform – FLEXVOLT (60V) for DeWalt and 36V for Bosch – for their most power-hungry tools.
With a variety of hammer drills, saws, grinders, and even an air compressor in DeWalt’s FLEXVOLT portfolio, it is a bit more impressive than its Bosch counterpart. Bosch’s 36V platform includes drill drivers, hammer drills, rotary hammers, and reciprocating saws only.
Where Bosch excels, though, is the 12V platform. Being a consumer-focused brand, its lighter-duty line includes impact drills and drivers, impact wrenches, jigsaws, multi-tools, planers, mini reciprocating saws, routers, and vacuums among other things. It even includes heated jackets.
DeWalt’s 12V MAX series, on the other hand, is fairly lean and only includes some impact drills and drivers, mini reciprocating saws, inspection cameras, jobsite radios, and thermometers.
Both brands offer a good selection of corded tools and of accessories for all their tools including drill bits, screwdriver bits, saw blades, and so on.
Impact Drivers: DeWalt Wins
DeWalt’s portfolio includes six impact drivers. Four of those – like the 20V MAX XR brushless impact driver – are a part of its 20V MAX platform. They differ in the number of impacts they can deliver per minute (up to 3,800 IPM), as well as in the maximum torque (up to 1,825 inch-pounds) and revolutions per minute (up to 3,250 RPM).
The company also makes an 18V impact driver that can deliver up to 2,700 IPM and has a no-load speed of 2,800 RPM, and a 12V impact driver.
Bosch offers a decent selection of impact drivers under its 18V flagship series as well. Especially worth mentioning is the 18V two-in-one bit and socket impact driver which has a unique chuck can accept 1/4-inch quick-change hex bits as well as 1/2-inch sockets.
Besides that, the company also has two 12V impact drivers – one with a brushless and the other one with a regular motor.
Overall, DeWalt offers a better selection of impact drivers than Bosch does. That said, Bosch’s driver with the unique two-in-one chuck – as well as its 12V drivers if that’s what you’re looking for – are well-worth considering.
Which of the Two Brands Should You Choose?
There’s no doubt that both DeWalt and Bosch are excellent tool makers and that you can’t go wrong with choosing either of them. However, if I had to nudge you towards one of them, it would have to be, in most cases, DeWalt.
While both of the makers offer a great selection of tools, DeWalt’s portfolio is considerably wider – both across different tools, as well as within a specific tool type. Whether you work with wood, metal, or other materials, you will find most of the tools you will need in DeWalt’s selection. On top of that, most of them will share the same 20V MAX batteries.
Separately, DeWalt also offers a more comprehensive warranty package which – if things go wrong – might be useful.
All that said, if you are a homeowner looking for smaller, 12V tools, then Bosch might be the better brand to go with. If you are looking for corded tools, then you should simply decide on a tool-by-tool basis as there is no need to stick with one brand in that case.
While they’re both leading global power tool makers, DeWalt’s and Bosch’s history couldn’t be more different. The former was started as a power tool maker and remains that to this day while the latter is a part of a much larger and more diversified conglomerate.
As such, it’s no surprise that DeWalt offers a better selection of tools and is more popular among professionals. That said, both of the brands produce tools of very good quality that will generally last long.