Germany Trip - Tool Shopping

Hi all,

I am going to Germany (mainly) this year and was wondering if there are any EU-only tools that would be worth picking up while over there (I opt for “useful” souvenir’s rather than tchachkes). I’m looking at mainly battery operated since the adapter for the power is easier and may be interchangeable, such as:

I picked the Bosch as it is one of the brands I already have (the green tool body on a few is unique for “the collection”. I can get most Wiha / Wera / Knipex hand tools in the US already (at least the ones I find personally useful) but not ruling that out either.

Funny thing about the 12V circular saw as I probably wouldn’t get it as I already have an 18V Dewalt version as well as a corded unit, but gives an idea what category I was thinking of (not to mention smaller to keep my luggage weight down …

You can get me an 18v Bosch cordless vacuum!

What an interesting thought. Many years ago, when England produced some of the nicest woodworking tools, I picked up a few items. But on recent trips our buying has been mostly for our kids and sometimes my wife pick up something during the early summer Paris sales. Weight is an issue even flying business - so sometimes we ship stuff home - but its been costly for the items we shipped from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria and the Czech Republic. Do you have a trick for shipping tools? How about prices? I didn’t see many bargains when I was in Germany and Austria last year - even after deducting the VAT - but I was shopping in the touristy shops in Vienna, Salzburg, Regensburg and Passau. Budapest and Prague prices seemed much better - maybe because they are not in the Eurozone. Later in the year Scotland, England and Holland - didn’t impress me as shopper’s paradises either. We’re headed back for a cruise on the Rhine and Moselle in June - so the topic is of some interest - but I’d be more inclined to look at woodworking hand tools - planes and the like if anyone knows of quality makers in Switzerland, Germany, France or the Netherlands. The Kunz and E.C. Emmerich planes that get imported into the US are just OK in my opinion.

Here’s a list of Bosch cordless tools that aren’t available in USA or Canada, plus a mini corded drill press:

Bosch 12V Max Brushless Angle Grinder
Bosch 12V Max Brushless Drywall Screwdriver
Bosch 12V Max Circular Saw and Rotary Tool
Bosch Thermal Imaging Camera and Thermo Detector
Bosch Inspection Camera with Auto-Rotating Image
Bosch 18V Compact Reciprocating Saw
Bosch 12V Max Brushless Impact Driver and Wrench
Bosch TrackTag Bluetooth Tool Tracking Device
Bosch mini Precision Portable Drill Press
Bosch 18V Sander
Bosch Flexiclick Modular Drill and Driver System

I’d probably go for the Flexiclick drill, inspection camera and/or thermal camera.

1 Like

Thanks for the reminder on the Flexiclick and the Bosch list - I was considering the Festool equivalent, but … price.

Stuart

Nice List
Some of the items look nice - the little Drill Press in particular - but shipping might be a deal breaker.

Anybody know why Bosch is green overseas? Is that every confusing with Metabo?

I think that I’ve seen folks working with Bosch Tools in Europe that have the same blue and black color scheme as in the US.
Maybe the green is for homeowner or DIY class tools?

Hi everyone,

There is a big difference between the Bosch Blue (professional) and Bosch green (diy) products. The batteries for blue won’t fit green and the other way around. for both the 10,8V and 18V line.

I own the circular saw linked below and I find it very useful for ripping sheet material.

I wonder, then, if the professional Euro models are interchangeable with the US 12V and that means the green (DIY models) do not?

http://toolguyd.com/12v-max-vs-10-8v-lithium-ion-battery-cordless-tool-platforms/

Also …

https://www.bosch-professional.com/gb/en/community/category/why-the-different-professional-range/385576-t

I’m not an expert in this but I think the European blue batteries are interchangeable with the us 12V batteries. The green version batteries will not fit.

I haven’t noticed there are lite or robust versions of the 10.8V line. for the circular saw I am pretty sure there is only one version.

I’m mixing and matching Bosch blue 10,8 and 12V tools w/o problems.
The green series seems to use a different shape of the battery. I suppose you could probably tinker with it like with the Dremel batteries, but I don’t think it’s worth it. With the strong dollar, bare blue tools are actually sometimes cheaper in the EU.

Thanks for the feedback!

What I have noticed from German websites is that German made tool accessories are cheap there, but tools in general are expensive. German made hand tools are cheaper also in Germany.

I was going to say don’t stop with cordless power tools though as stated above if oyu pick something stick with Blue Bosch stuffs.

meanwhile hand tools - check out Stahlwille and Hazet will over there. a few others come up but those are sort of the Snap-On and MAC tools of Germany. you see them at the pits of racetracks - in the hangars at the airports etc.

I don’t know if they actually are cheaper over there as I don’t think the exchange rate agrees. But worth checking. Stahlwille makes most of the specialty auto tools used by BMW techs and Hazet has an agreement with Porsche/Audi. They make some interesting things and I find the Stahlwille sockets are the best I’ve ever used. Not to say that SK, MAC or whatever aren’t great. But a Stahlwille will be thinner and lighter.

My trips to Europe these days have me visiting all the touristy spots – not tool stores so much. The last time I was in Germany – 3 years ago – my wife tolerated a search for a tool store to buy a Wera socket set as a gift for a son-inlaw. It was a bit hard to find a place that had what I wanted – and finally our tour director located a place near Essen. I’m not sure they really wanted to sell to me - not a regular customer – and just off the street looking to buy only 1 item to be shipped to the US. To be fair – the place did look more like a warehouse than a retail tool store.

On our next trip to Germany - I have no plans for tool buying – going next year so we can attend the Oberammergauer Passionsspiele.

Stahwille and Hazet tool accessories are not available easily, not on Amazon not on eBay, that is a big problem already from my point of view.

That (brand recognition via Amazon etc.) may well be why my son-in-law wanted a Wera socket set - rather than what may well have been better tools from Stahwille - or another German brand (Hazet, Gedore or Elora). Some Japanese socket wrench brands like Nepros and Koken are also not very well known in the US.