We recently got our hands on the Bosch ½” 18V Impact Driver (model #IWMH182) with their new brushless motor. Bosch, among many other brands, are introducing new brushless electric motors for their top end models. These motors deliver more power, less friction, and longer battery life. The package we received came with the drill, two 18v batteries, a charger, belt clip, and carrying case. An instruction manual was included for what I assume is for legal purposes, but that was immediately “lost”.
You can tell once you get the tool in your hand that Bosch Power Tools is listening to the tradesmen. It appears that Bosch has looked at the competition and put together a package that takes the best parts of all their competitors and puts them into one compact driver. The first thing you notice when you pick the drill up is that it is lighter than you would expect, yet it feels solid. The plastic housing feels durable, and gives the feeling of a high build quality. The seams are flush and smooth where the plastic housing comes together. Bosch has included rubber bumpers at all the areas of the tool that might hit the ground when dropped. The rubber guards seem to be better than just glued to the exterior of the driver. I picked at them for a couple of minutes to see if I could get one off, but I failed to make any progress. Based upon all these aspects, it's a good bet that this driver will last you for a long time. I don’t think that it will survive a two story drop, but I also don’t think that you will need to baby this drill.
Durability = 4/5
This driver has it! For a cordless drill, this one delivers a lot of power. It cranks out an effortless 2,213 in/lbs of torque and 3,500 bpm. Over tightening could become an issue and if you don’t watch out, the drill will win. The test unit that I received came with the 18v FatPack battery which lasted me two days of medium use. One of the great things about the new Li-Ion batteries is that they continue to give you the same power output until they are completely out of juice. The driver uses an 18v 4.0amp battery that delivers enough power to satisfy just about any lag bolt application. I tested the drill lag bolts into concrete and I might as well have been drilling into Styrofoam; it was that effortless. The batteries also come with heat sync housing that dissipates heat from the battery for longer run time and prolonged battery lifespan. All of Bosch’s batteries come with Electronic Cell Protection Technology to prevent overheating and overloading for extended tool and batter life.
Power = 5/5
This category is where this driver shines. You can tell that Bosch did their homework in this department. Bosch was able to cut the weight down on the driver to 3.6 lbs while, with the addition of the brushless motor, creating an excellent power-to-weight ratio. This driver is almost a pound lighter than some of its competition and yet still keeps up with torque, bpm, and rpm specs. One of the first comments that I heard people saying after they used the driver was “This drill is light like a Makita, but feels more powerful.”
The Bosch impact driver also has great balance. The grip is perfect; it doesn’t feel too heavy to the front or back. It feels natural in your hand whether you are a lefty or a righty. I also find the Bosch to be slightly more quiet than its competitors. It doesn’t have that big echoing impact noise when the hammer kicks in.
One of the subtle favorites of this drill is that it has a slow start when you pull the trigger. It is not annoying like you may think; it allows you to better control the speed of the driver when you first start up. I found that it really reduces fatigue compared to the other impacts I have used in the past. This slower more controlled start also makes the driver safer. It reduces those jamb moments that try to pull your arm out of socket.
Ergonomics – 5/5
The Bosch driver is appropriately priced at $169. This is a fair price and positioned nicely with other drivers in its category. The kit that I received with the two FatPack batteries, charger, and carrying case can run you upwards of $300. This is a quality tool placed at a competitive price, if you are in the market for an impact driver it is worth your time to check this one out. It comes with a great warranty and a durable housing that will keep it running for a long time to come.