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Bosch Power Tools
Battery technology

Cordless – how it all started

Portrait of Dietrich Kuhlgatz, Head of Historical Communications at Bosch, on a white background with screwdriver and battery icons next to him.

Today, cordless tools and corded tools can no longer be distinguished in their performance in many areas. But that was not always the case. Dietrich Kuhlgatz, Director of Historical Communications at Bosch, sketches the development of cordless tools until today.

A black and white photo of the first cordless power tool, a hedge cutter.

When Bosch launched the first battery-operated power tool in 1969, a hedge trimmer, cable clutter was a thing of the past. The battery, a 12 volt lead-gel battery, nowadays reminds of a car battery and weighed a proud 5.5 kilograms in 1969 ‒ the hedge cutter was therefore ready for use for one whole hour. It was possible to cut a hedge around 20 meters long. Afterwards, the hedge cutter had to be charged for a period of between six and eight hours. Bosch thus laid the foundation for the development of numerous battery-powered power tools and consistently expanded its battery expertise in the years that followed.


The end of the 1960s marked the end of tangled cables for power tools. The hedge trimmer with battery for slinging over the shoulder was Bosch's first major milestone on the road to cordless power tools. Since then, our battery technology has made rapid leaps and bounds, making cordless tools indispensable today.