10 Best Bosch Drills Reviewed
If you are a homeowner or a craftsman, you know that investing in a Bosch drill will serve you well for decades. Bosch has been making power drills since 1932, having been in operation as a manufacturer of auto parts since 1886, so they have the requisite experience in manufacturing power tools. As the tool industry embraced battery-powered technology, Bosch introduced its first cordless drill in 1978, with many more cordless drills to follow. The current Bosch product lineup includes no less than 15 cordless models that now use 12-volt or 18-volt Lithium-Ion batteries. Their drills expertly handle two functions of any drill: to bore holes and drive screws. Faces with so many models, what are the best Bosch cordless drill to consider when buying one?
Our Top 3 Picks
Cordless drills were first designed in 1961 by Black and Decker, but Makita put the first one on the market in 1978, followed by Bosch and others. At first, these drills were viewed as an anemic version of corded products that were only good for light duty. With improvements in battery technology, the introduction of brushless motors, increased voltage capabilities, and other developments, the tool gained popularity among professionals who need it for strenuous tasks as well as DIYers. Bosch has been a major player in cordless technology. Now, cordless drills are considered on a par with corded drills for many jobs.
While Bosch manufactures both consumer and professional tools, our buying guide concentrates on tools that a DIYer might use to do a project. Based on capabilities and customer reviews, we have gathered the best Bosch power drills to consider putting in your toolbag, including some with impact drill hammer functions.
5 Best Bosch Drills For Home Owners
Power - One of the best things about this 2-speed drill is that it delivers high torque up to 489 in. lb. when you need it for improved productivity. It is built with 20+ clutch settings that give it accuracy and reduce fastener damage.
Usability – At just over three pounds with the battery, the compact GSR18V-190B22 is compact and easy to work with. It is built with a LED light to illuminate workspaces and has an ergonomically-designed soft-grip handle that provides more comfort to the user while working. It also contains slim pack batteries, an 18v charger, and a carrying bag for more accessible storage.
Electronic cell protection - It features next-generation Lithium-ion batteries that promise 80% more power and 135% longer run time than previous versions; they also are fast-charging in 9 minutes for enhanced productivity. The batteries solve complaints of poor battery life as they are designed for longer performance on the job. They are compatible with any Bosch 18-v tool. A user might want to upgrade the 1.8Ah batteries included with the unit.
Weight: 2.75 pounds plus battery
Size: 7.8" x 2.95 x x 8.8"
489 in. lb. torque
Has ½ auto-lock chuck
2 speed for high-speed drilling (0-1700 RPM) or high power driving (0-450 RPM)
Has 20 clutch settings
Contains a motor brake
Has variable speed trigger
Flexible battery system
Includes LED light
Comes with 2 1.5 Ah SlimPack batteries, an 18V charger, and a carrying bag
Who is it for?
Currently priced at $89 on Amazon, it is an ideal tool for DIYers for tackling around-the-house projects.
Provides more power to tackle toughness of any kind
Provides two-speed transmissions thus for high-speed drilling
It is capable of reducing fastener damage
It is comfortable to hold and use
Short battery life for some users
The kit includes (1) PS21 2-Speed Pocket Driver, (1) PS41 Impact Driver, (2) 12-Volt Max Lithium-Ion Batteries, (1) Charger, (2) Bits, (1) Jobsite Bag, which will give you everything you need to drill into wood or 22-gauge metal and fasten or drive nuts, bolts, and screws. As both pieces are lightweight and compact, they are well-suited for overhead work
Battery-powered ease – Equipped with Lithium-ion batteries, the tool has enough power to do most jobs. The batteries are the older type that goes in the device and are not interchangeable. Some customers find them hard to remove and costly to replace.
Convenient styling and versatility – While both tools can insert screws with the right bit, using the pair can be handy for tasks as varied as hanging pictures to working on HVAC. They are small and light enough that both can be carried to the worksite while providing the torque and speed needed to do challenging, repetitive jobs.
PS21 Two-Speed Pocket Driver
10.4 pounds without the battery
265 in. lb. torque
2-speed 9-350, 0-1,300
20+ clutch settings
Forward and reverse switch
The PS21 2A driver kit includes 2 12V Max lithium-ion batteries, a 12V max charger, 2 1 1/2 in driver bits, and a carrying bag. It also has a built-in LED light to help illuminate dark working areas
PS41 Impact Driver
Dimensions: 5.4" : x 2.35" H
Weight: 2.03 pounds
Max torque 930 in. lbs.
No-load speed 2,600 RPMl no-load BPM of 0 3,100
Powerful hammer-and-anvil system for high-torque fasteners
Spring-loaded impact mechanism reduces user fatigue
1/4 In. hex drive with quick release for additional productivity
Three-LED light illuminates dark areas
Who is it for?
The $149 CLPK27-120 set is a great asset for DIYers around the house, but many customers have these in their work tool bags for light jobs.
Power: Small, yet Bosch PS41 driver delivers 930 in pounds of max torque, a no-load BPM of 0 3,100, and a max 2,600 RPM
Efficient: PS41 can cover 80% of standard size impact driver applications
Torque: Bosch PS21 pocket driver delivers 265-inch pounds of max torque. Two speeds 0 350 RPM and 0 1,300 RPM so user can match speed to the application
Tough: Both included tools are compact and lightweight with enough power to take on professional driver applications
Control: Both devices feature variable speed triggers for matching speed to the application
Bits can pop out
May be underpowered for some jobs
Hammer action – For occasions when a user needs maximum torque for impact, the PS130-2A has a hammer action setting that offers 265 in. lbs. of maximum torque and up to 19,500 beats per minute for drilling and 1,300 RPM for fast drilling. For drilling concrete, a rotary hammer is still a better option, but this tool will do the job when needed.
Auto-lock chuck - Like most of the drills in this list, this one also contains a 3/8 inch auto-lock chuck that simplifies its replacements. This makes it easier to acquire a variety of applications.
Ergonomically made - This Bosch 12-volt is truly lightweight, making it easier and comfortable to handle even for an extended time. The handle features a soft grip technology. Its small size lets it reach places that most drills can't.
There are LED lights on the trigger to illuminate all workspaces.
The drill comes with two12-v lithium-ion batteries made for this equipment and a BC330, 60-minute charger.
Weight: 2.3 pounds with battery
Dimensions: 7.3" x 1.5" x 7.1"
12 volts , 1.3 amps capacity
Max torque (hard/soft) 265/124 inches-pounds
No-load speed 0-380 / 1,300 RPM
Impact rate 19,500 bpm
Optional hammer action
Clutch settings 20
Chuck capacity 3/8 inch
Max drilling in wood 1/2 inch, steel 3/8 inch, masonry 3/8 inch
Head length / height 7.3 / 7.1 inches
Two LED lights
3/8 inch auto-lock chuck
Weighs 2.75 pounds
Has a soft grip
Who is it for?
The versatile tool, currently priced at $110 on Amazon, will expand the capacity of any DIYer, plus will prove useful to many pros who occasionally need hammer action.
Compact with shortest head length, smallest height, and weight of 2.3-pounds
2 Speeds - Optimized torque and screw driving and speed for drilling, 3/8 inch auto chuck - convenient clamping of drills and bits
20 clutch settings
Perfect torque adjustment for precise screw driving
LED light - illuminates dark workspaces
Fuel Gauge for easier battery management for continued working
Shortest head length in class for better balance and control of tool
Chuck is loose, especially after use in hammer mode
Power may be weak for some jobs
Compact, rugged design - This tool has a short-in-class head length for maneuverability even in small spaces, plus it is rather light at less than 4 pounds. While torque and speed are prized in hammer drills, so are compactness and weight. It even has a heavy-duty chuck with a high clamping force that helps prevent drill bits from slipping during high-torque applications.
Durable motor - The two-speed motor enables high torque for impact and high speed for drilling. The motor has overload protection for times you push the tool hard – even if you use it all day.
The drill is well-balanced and easy to grasp during use due both to its slim design and rubberized coating. Though it lacks the side handle that many impact drills have, it is still easy to handle.
Weight: 3.6 Lbs.
Dimensions: 7.6" x 3.5" x 9"
Torque (Inch lbs.): 600-Inch lbs.
No-Load speed 1,900 RPM
No Load BPM: 28,500
2-Speed Transmission with range of 0-500 / 0-1,900
18-colt Lithium-Ion Batteries with charge
Heavy-duty 1/2-Inch Keyless Chuck
20+1 Clutch Settings:
Who is it for?
The HDS181A-02 is anyone who needs its power and functions for heavy-duty projects. While it runs over $200 on Amazon, there are plenty of deals to be had.
Durable, heavy-duty chuck for better bit retention and great torque transfer
Innovative, lighter 18-volt canned motor that is more compact but has the same power as previous versions
Compact, durable design with the shortest head-length in class for maneuverability
Rugged motor for all-day productivity with 600 In.-Lbs. of torque
Full hammer mode for masonry up to 27,000 BPM
Comfortable to use as it weighs only 2.7 lbs. and is only 7-1/2" long
Ergonomic grip zone - small diameter enables better gripping and improved comfort
Outstanding control for variable drilling speeds for high-speed (0-1,700 RPM) and high torque (0-500 RPM)
Versatility for more productivity - keyless ratcheting 1/2" chuck enables one-handed bit changes
Electronic Motor Protection system ensures longer life that helps protect it from overload
Durashield housing can stand up to harsh jobsite conditions
No side handle
With two speeds and a maximum torque of 265-inches-per-pounds, this tool measures 7" in length and weighs 2.14-pounds, making it light and easy to maneuver even for overhead drilling and driving when installing ceiling fans, drywall, or drapery roads. While it is a DIY homeowner-favorite, it can do the job for electricians, plumbers, or contractors too.
Performance - Offering 265 in.lbs of torque is nothing to sneeze at. The power is great enough for hand drilling and screw insertion tasks around the home, even when the drill is held overhead to insert a ceiling electrical box or repair rafters. The drill promise two speeds of 0-350 RPM and 0-1,300 RPM and 20+1 clutch settings so users can make precise torque adjustments for accurate screw driving and drilling. The speed increases by pressing the trigger.Even customers used to bigger, more powerful drills are impressed with how this drill performs on the job. One aspect that irritates some buyers is that the bits slip out of place as the chuck lacks a ratcheting feature.
Length of Charge - The PS31-2A has Electronic Cell Protection to increase runtime and tool life. As battery-life indicator (or fuel gauge as they call it is conveniently located on the side of the tool for easy battery management and shows the battery power left. The batteries used in this drill are round disk-like batteries rather than the flatter ones used in other brands. They can be hard to get out to replace.
Handling and Ease of Use - With a plastic chuck and many internal plastic parts, the PS31-2A is light and easy to use. Its short body allows it to get close to the worksite even when the area is small. The drill shaft has a rubber grip for a comfortable feel.
A work light positioned on the shaft is handy for seeing where the hole or screw is desired. Unfortunately, the light only works when the drill is in motion, so the light is not useful in inspecting the area.
Size: 7" long
Weight: 1.8 pounds without battery, 2.14 pounds including battery
265 in. Ibs. of torque
Max speed 1,300 RPM
LED work light
Kit contains one drill/driver, two 2.0Ahbatteries, a charger, and a carrying case
Who is it for?
TheBoschPS31-2A Cordless 12-V Drill Kit is a serviceable general drill to own. For the price of $89, buyers might look at more current models such as the GSR18V-193013B22
Premium Performance-to-Size Ratio makes this tool a great solution for those who do a great deal of over the head drilling or driving, such as electricians, plumbers, or contractors
Versatile use for materials such as drywall, wood, and even metal
Two speeds (0-350 RPM and 0-1,300 RPM) and 20+1 clutch settings so users can make precise torque adjustments for accurate screw driving and drilling
Comes with two 12.0Ah Lithium-Ion batteries to provide increased runtime
Soft grip handle and Electronic Cell Protection for longer life
Integrated LED lights for improved visibility, allowing you to work anywhere, anytime, even in dark corners and low-light areas
Battery hard to remove
No locking/ratcheting chuck so bits come loose
Light only works when operating the drill
Selection Criteria for the Best Bosch Drills
Drills do a masterful job drilling holes and driving screws. Some drills have a hammer function to pound fasteners into tough materials such as masonry. Before potentially overspending on a drill with more power or functionality you need, it’s best to know what you’ll be using it for. If you think you might occasionally need an impact drill, you can find one that will meet your needs without buying a more expensive construction professional-level drill.
Torque, or rotational power, is often expressed as “inch pounds” or “in. lbs. “Higher torque means the tool has more force to turn. Adjustable clutches on a drill allow the user to regulate the rotations; higher torque is needed for drill holes, but driving screws require slower torque. Pressing the trigger and adjusting the clutch sets the torque. Better drills have more clutch settings to fine-tune the power.
Speed reflects how many rotations per minute or RPM the drill delivers. Cheaper drills have one speed, but most drills intended for later operations have two speeds of 300 RPM at 800 RPM that are accessed by pressing the trigger or sliding a switch. More powerful grills have speeds into the thousands of RPM. Those with a hammer drill function also report capabilities in BPMs or blows per minute.
Lower speeds are best for driving screws, while higher speeds drill more accurate holes. Higher speeds and lower torque work are best with softer materials and smaller bits. You set the clutch to the desired torque level, and the drill trigger controls the speed.
Quality of the Battery
Cordless batteries are handy but can run out of power before a job is done without proper planning. How long batteries last between changes is particularly important for professionals. A battery that might last for months for a casual user can run out on the job if not recharged daily. Smart buyers have backups on hand ready to go. A battery level indicator is a useful feature on any cordless drill.
When buying a cordless Bosch drill, assess what kind of battery it has and how long it takes to recharge it. The most advanced batteries for Bosch drills are lithium-Ion batteries. Before purchasing, make sure the battery can serve you through many charging cycles.
Many batteries found in newer Bosch drills can be used in other Bosch tools with the same voltage.
Handling and Ease of Use
Weight and size determine whether the drill is easy to hold and maneuver into small spaces to do the job. Many of the Bosch drills we consider in our buying guide are noted for their compactness and lightweight design. Even heavier drills can be ergonomically designed so that they do not fatigue the operator. The main shaft should be padded to reduce hand strain and arranged to reach the trigger and controls easily. Most drills can stand on their base when not in use and should be well-balanced enough not to fall over.
Also, consider how easy it is to change accessories, attachments, bits, or batteries.
No one wants to buy a tool that will die after a month. Make sure that if you are paying more for a quality tool, you will not have to replace them often. The shelf life of an instrument is the most critical link to the price. Choose an option that will serve you for a long time to save you your time and energy. It pays to read reviews before buying to see what kind of problems other users have had.
Price is always a factor when buying tools, as models that appear to do much of the same thing have wide differences in cost. Some models designed for professionals have enhanced features reflected in the price. If you do not need advanced capabilities, you can shop for another model with similar features but not all the bells and whistles to save money. You can still get an impressive Bosch tool without overpaying.
1. Should I register my Bosch tool?
The answer to this is “yes.” Bosch asks you to register your Bosch tools for two significant reasons. One is to receive updates upon your tool after buying and two, to activate the warranty. Also, in case your device is stolen, you can add a level of proof upon ownership.
2. What is the difference between a bag and a case in Bosch tools?
Many Bosch tools are available with a container for storing and carrying the tool. A tool bag does not have any casing or padding to protect the tools. However, it is still okay if you travel a lot with your device. A case is usually hard-bodied and has custom indentations inside, which hold the piece tightly. It is best to store your tool and all related parts together.
Buying a drill, even one from a reputable company such as Bosch, can be a bit complicated. While there are currently about 40 12-Volt and 18-Volt cordless drills on the Bosch website, many more models are sold on Amazon and other websites. Some models that are no longer in production are still sold, at least in limited quantities. The most current models may be updated versions of older ones with the latest features. This is true of the Boshc GSR18V-190B22 which is an upgrade of the Bosch PS32-02.
If you opt for an older model, you might be able to find information about what you are interested in reviews, while new models often reference previous versions. Doing a bit of legwork before you buy will ensure that you are aware of the best Bosch drills designed for home use which will offer you the capability you need.