Bosch 18V EC Brushless Compact Tough ½ In. Drill/Driver
The folks at Bosch have designed a compact drill/driver. I can remember a few years ago meeting the Bosch bench top product manager at the JLC LIVE convention that was held here in Providence, RI. After talking to him, I got insight on how they develop their tools.
We were discussing one of their new tools at the time and how they come to build and design their products. I find that Bosch always adds little perks to their tools.
As you read below, I will be pointing out features like the belt clip that can be mounted to either side of the drill/driver and the bit storage attachment.
I would have to say that opening a new tool is always exciting. In this case, I opened the box to find the Drill/Driver and the kit in a soft rectangular zipper case.
I personally don’t mind the factory cases but I do know there are a lot of guys that dislike them. Seeing the soft case, my mind started thinking that this would be the perfect little kit for the truck and it’s thin enough to slide right under the seat. It’s compact enough for anywhere storage.
Next I started looking over the Drill/Driver and noticed it’s small compact size for an 18V driver. The batteries are very compact compared to the old NiCad batteries we all started out with.
The tool feels solid with the Durashield housing which is designed and has been tested to withstand multiple 10 ft drops. Where you grip the tool and the trigger is flawless. It’s comfortable and feels like it is molded to your hand.
Two features I always look for in a cordless tool is if the fuel gauge is on the batteries and if it has a belt clip. This Bosch Drill/Driver has both!
What’s in the bag:
- (1) 18V ½ Drill/Driver
- (2) Slim Pack Batteries
- (1) Battery Charger
- (1) 4X Bit Tip Set
- (1) 4 Piece Bit Tip Holder
- (1) Magnetic Tip Holder
- (1) Belt Clip
- (1) Soft Carry Case
- Batteries – 2.0 AH 18V Lithium Ion with a Cool Pack Design
- Chuck Size – 1/2”
- Clutch Settings – 18 + 1
- Height – 7.75”
- Length – 7”
- No Load RPM – 0-500/0-1,700
- Torque (in.lbs.) – 442
- Weight 3.5 lb
- Brushless motor equates to longer run-time and no maintenance
- Advanced electronics means electronic motor and cell protection help prevent overheating and overloading for extended tool life and run-time
- Cool pack technology, advanced heat conductive housing keeps battery cooler and extends life
- Compact head length, for easy control in tight spaces
- Durashield housing, designed and tested to withstand multiple 10 ft drops
- Flexible power system, compatible with every 18V lithium ion Bosch battery
The current job-site I am on requires us to build custom cellular PVC window frames on a bench with a pocket screw system. I was able to adjust the torque settings and set the screw without stripping out the cellular PVC.
Chuck: The jaws of the chuck grip the bits nicely and I had no issues with the chuck loosening up or wobbling.
Weight: I liked that this Bosch drill/driver was both light weight and compact in size. Being able to work off of a step or an extension ladder and not having your hand or arm weighed down is a benefit to being productive throughout the day. The compact size came in handy when I was screwing in blocking for the electrical boxes in the soffit area.
Belt Clip: As I stated earlier, the belt clip is a must. I kept the Drill/Driver clipped to me as I went up and down ladders, staging and working off the bench in the garage. You can mount the belt clip to either side of the Drill/Driver to your preference.
Bit Holder: The same goes for the 4 pc bit tip holder. You can mount it to each side of the Drill/Driver to hold extra or different tips. Both of these accessories can be stored by screwing them onto the base of the Drill/Driver just above the battery. While I was working they didn’t move, loosen or swivel on me.
Fuel Gauge: To check the fuel gauge simply press the “On” button at the rear of the Drill/Driver to show the fuel level. This is a convenient feature before you’re up on the extension ladder and find out your battery needs to be recharged. The red “On” button is small, like the size of a pencil tip eraser but you can check your fuel level with gloves on which is a plus in cold weather.
Lanyard Option: One thing I did notice about the Bosch DDS182-02 at the back side of the handle you have the option to attach a lanyard or tether strap. This would be a good idea for tradesmen with routine height factors.
Power: As for the brushless motor and electronics in this Drill/Driver I found using this tool to be smooth and powerful.
I had to mount a shelf and through bolt it. The material was light gauge aluminum, aluminum channel and the metal shelf brackets. Using a newer 1/4” twist drill bit, I set the Drill on drill mode/speed 2 and with little effort I had a clean hole to insert my bolt into.
The Bosch DDS182-02 ran smooth for drilling applications and I was able to depress the trigger at variable speeds and not tear the aluminum skin or create large burrs.
Bosch offers the option upon purchasing this tool to pair it with Boschs’ L-Boxx Click N Go storage solution. It has a plastic tray liner inside that is design for the Bosch DDS182-02 Drill/Driver kit. Bosch came out with this storage solution system a few years ago. For more information on this system read our review on the Bosch Click and Go System.
I would have liked to see the LED lights around the head of the tool. I am not a fan of having the lights mounted onto the base of the tool. I prefer it to be 3 LED lights around the head, similar to DEWALT, not just one above the trigger.
There was an application that the Drill/Driver did not have the power to drive in concrete screws.
I had to set 3 concrete screws into a foundation and after pre-drilling them out with a hammer drill I attempted to use the Bosch DDS182-02. I was only able to drive them 1/2 way into the concrete.
This Drill/Driver would be great as a front-line every day Drill/Driver. It performed well on almost all tasks I used it on.
I liked the grip, solid feeling and its compact size which are features that would benefit from all day use. The belt clip and fuel gauge are added bonuses I personally like.
How Much and Where to Buy?
The Bosch DDS182-02 sells for approximately $199.99 online with the soft carry case here: Bosch-DDS182-02-18-volt-Brushless-Batteries
Bosch offers a 3 year Provantage tool protection plan. You can register online, by mail or phone. With this plan you get the 1st year tool replacement guarantee, 2nd and 3rd years no charge tool repair and 2 year free battery replacements. They also have an exclusive toll-free hotline for this program. Registration is required.
About the Author:
Michael Hopp is a registered contractor in the State of Rhode Island. He has been registered for the last 10 years specializing in interior and exterior remodeling, doors and windows.
Mike began practicing his trade 19 years ago at William M. Davies Career and Technical High School in carpentry shop. This gave him the opportunity to become an apprentice at Brodeur Window Distributors. Mike continued working at the company for 10 years. During this time he was in charge of the specialty door shop and assisted on service calls.
For the last 10 years, Mike has been practicing as a general contractor in Rhode Island with his company MJH Construction. He obtained his LLC status 2 years ago. Even though his background is in doors and windows, his passion is for remodel work.
Mike is also a full time career firefighter and is a Lieutenant on Rescue. Mike resides in North Providence, Rhode Island with his wife Jennifer and children Olivia and Mason.