A review of the best Bosch cordless drills for DIY home projects.
If you have decided to buy a cordless drill for your hobby or occasional DIY projects, one of the first recommendations would be the Bosch. “Invented for life” slogan of the giant Bosch Group together with 130 years of German tradition sounds good. Bosch power tools are getting a lot of praise from professionals. After all, Bosch, and not someone else, invented electric hammer drill that could strike and rotate at the same time, long time ago, in 1932.
When searching for Bosch cordless drill, one might be confused. On some Amazon sites, for example, you will find only blue power tools. Some e-stores, mainly European and Australian, offer only green Bosch drills. Alternatively, you may find both next to each other.
Well, Bosch has divided its power tools range at some markets in two categories: Trade and Industry / Pro (blue) and DIY and Garden (green). The second ones are made to be cheaper, so the quality is lower and some features missed. Blue Bosch tools are more durable and reliable. They are the preferred choice of both pros and amateurs.
Therefore, we have compared the prices, read recommendations and user experiences, and decided to review three of the most popular blue Bosch cordless drills.
Bosch DDB181-02 is the best-loved Bosch cordless drill driver for home tasks. Tool combines 18V power with compact design and affordable price of about $100. It is, in fact, the most lightweight 18V drill on the market with only 3 lbs without battery. Bosch DDB181-02 model has two operating speeds of 400 RPM and 1,300 RPM, variable speed trigger, 1/2-inch tool-free auto-lock chuck and handy built-in LED light. It provides 350 in/lbs of torque. The 20+1 clutch settings allow an excellent adjustment to job demands. The head length on Bosch DDB181-02 is only 7.1 inches.
What are the cons? Drill is optimized and designed for use on variety of materials, but only lighter ones. It can’t be used for concrete drilling. Consider spare battery, which will increase the price. The DDB181 motor is not brushless.
Bosch HDB180-02 is a 3/8" 18-volt hammer drill driver, the more powerful tool then DDB181-02, with almost the same price. It is larger and heavier but still packed in the most compact body in its class. The key features are 360 in/lbs of torque, two-speed drill (500 and 1,450 RPM), 3/8-inch keyless chuck with auto-lock, 15+1 clutch settings, LED work light.
Here, we have a hammer, which extends tool application to harder materials, from wood to brick and mortar. DIY enthusiasts are satisfied, but experts think that just hammer function could be better. With 21,000 blows per minute, 360 in/lbs power grade, 1450 rpm speed and 1.3 amp hours of battery run time, Bosch HDB180-02 is inferior compared to other 18V heavy duty hammer tools.
Bosch PS32-02 is 12-volt 3/8-inch drill driver. It is small, compact, lightweight, and brushless. If you are ready to pay more for your DIY cordless drill to get a brushless tool, buy PS32-02 with a 4-piece bit tip set for $150. Brushless technology makes a cordless tool more efficient because the motor adjusts power to the task. The life of the battery and drill is increased as well as overall performance. If you use the drill frequently investment would be acceptable, and consumers have rated Bosch PS32-02 very high.
Similarly to Bosch DDB181-02, Bosch PS32-02 has two-speed transmission (400 RPM and 1,300 RPM) and 20+1 clutch settings, but it delivers 180 in/lbs of torque. It is equipped with universal chuck with auto-lock. You can rely on this tool for common applications, such as drilling holes in wood or drywall, screw driving, and especially for work overhead.
Note: Drills reviewed here come at the quoted prices in standard kit, with battery and charger. If you already have Bosch power tools, check compatibility. For some models, it is possible to buy a bare tool.