Bosch 18V Brushless 1/2″ Hammer Drill Driver

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Bosch HDH183B Brute Tough 18V Brushless 1/2″ Hammer Drill/ Driver

Bosch Brute Tough 18V Brushless 1/2" Hammer Drill/ Driver

5/5
Manufacturer: Bosch
Model number: HDH183B
Power source: 18V Li- Ion
Motor size: EC Brushless
Weight: 4.1Lbs.

Let’s say you need to drill a few quick holes in some masonry. A small project that doesn’t necessarily need that big bulky corded hammer drill that’s collecting dust on your shelf. Problem is, you don’t have any other options. Well Bosch has your solution. They recently released the new Bosch 18V EC Brushless Brute Tough 1/2” Hammer Drill Driver and we took it out to the job site to see how well it performs. No surprise to us, we could tell Bosch provided yet another well designed and built tool.

 

Specifications

Battery: 18V Lithium Ion
Chuck Capacity: 1/2” Keyless Chuck
Length: 8.03”
Width: 2.5”
No Load RPM: 0-2,100
No Load BPM: 0-31,500
Torque (In.-Lbs.): 663

Features

The Bosch 18V Brute Tough 1/2” Hammer Drill/ Driver features Bosch’s EC Brushless motor which Bosch claims will deliver 663 In.-Lbs. of torque and a no- load bpm of 0-31,500. Bosch upgraded the chuck to an all metal design which in my opinion puts the “tough” in the name. Bosch integrated their Electronic Motor and Cell Protection which protects both the tool from damage and the operator from injury.

Power

All I can say about the power that the Bosch 18V Brute Tough 1/2” Hammer Drill/ Driver produces is “wow”. We drilled six 1/2” holes into solid concrete footings for deck anchors that were 5” deep. It powered through the task with no major problems. While drilling the final two holes, we did experience the drill struggling to finish the holes down around the 4” mark for depth. The Electronic Motor and Cell Protection kicked in and shut the motor down, preventing damage to the tool or possible operator injury from arm or wrist twisting. We simply pulled the bit out and restarted each hole, finishing the task without issue. Keep in mind, we drilled these holes consecutively, without giving the Bosch 18V Brute Tough 1/2” Hammer Drill/ Driver a chance to cool down.

Safety

One of the biggest dangers when using hammer drills is injuries to the arm or wrist caused by twisting from the torque of the drill when it catches a tough spot in the hole it is drilling. This often happens unexpectedly and very quickly, giving the operator little or no time to release the trigger in order to prevent injury. Bosch has integrated their Kickback Control in the Brute Tough 1/2” Hammer Drill/ Driver. The tool has an integrated sensor that shuts the tool down when it senses any dangerous rotational torque that may occur in a bind- up situation.

Ergonomics

Bosch uses their Brute Tough design for the construction of the HDH183B. It’s only 2.5” wide, 8.03” long, and weighs in at 4.1Lbs. without the battery. The grip fits very comfortably in the hand of the operator and we felt it was extremely well balanced for a cordless hammer drill. In the past we have noticed most cordless hammer drills can tend to be “top heavy”. This is not the case for the Bosch Brute Tough 18V Hammer Drill/ Driver.  Bosch provides the user with a great belt clip. In my eyes, there’s nothing more frustrating than a belt clip that doesn’t fit on your tool belt. The clip on the HDH183B is not only wide, but also longer, making it very easy to clip onto your belt. When using the Brute Tough 18V Hammer Drill/ Driver with Bosch’s Core 18V 6.3aH battery, we found it to be “bulky”, especially when hanging off a tool belt. Even with the bigger battery, it is still a well balanced and easy to control drill.

 

LED Light

Just like its baby brother, the Bosch Brute Tough 18V Drill/ Driver, it features one LED light that shines from the base of the drill. The angle of the light is perfect, eliminating any shadowing that could make your task tough in low light situations. The light remains on for 10 seconds after releasing the trigger.

Auxiliary Side Handle

Bosch also provides an accessory side handle, providing even more control when operating the drill. We found the handle to be very simple and easy to install. The handle also features a depth gauge for those drilling situations that require precision depths.

Chuck/ Clutch

Just like the new Brute Tough 1/2” Drill/ Driver, the HDH183B features an all metal chuck and a clutch with 25+1 settings. The clutch operates very smoothly. It has a knurled texture on the base of the chuck, making it easy to grip when adjusting. We did not have any issues with any unwanted loosening of bits. We tested using both straight shank bits and SDS style bits.

The clutch operates flawlessly as well. It’s very easy to adjust and the settings are easily viewable. Having 25 settings makes it a great driving tool when precision is necessary. One issue we found is when the side auxiliary handle is on the tool, the imprinted arrow that identifies which setting the clutch is set to is covered. This can make it difficult to select a setting if you are not sure where that arrow is.

Speed/ Mode Selectors

The Bosch Brute Tough 1/2” Hammer Drill/ Driver features two switches on the top of the tool. One selects between speeds one and two. The other selects between three different modes, driving, drilling, and hammer drilling. Both switches are made of plastic and operate smoothly. They are easy to change, even with a gloved hand.

The speed switch selects between speed one and speed two.
Speed 1- High Torque 0-480rpm
Speed 2- High Speed 0-2, 100rpm

The HDH183B also features a variable speed trigger which has 11 different speeds.

Hammer Mode

The Bosch HDH183B 1/2” Hammer Drill/ Driver packs a mean punch when in hammer mode. When in hammer mode, it impacts at 0-31,500bpm. We tested it using Bosch’s Core 6.3aH battery. The tool and 6.3 battery have a combined weight of 5.86Lbs, giving it a great weight- impact ratio.

Runtime

We were very impressed with Bosch’s EC Brushless Motor. After drilling those 6 holes in concrete the battery still had two out of the five bars lit on the battery charge indicator. We tested using Bosch’s Core 6.3aH battery. The Brute Tough 1/2” Hammer Drill/ Driver can also be purchased as a kit which includes 4.0aH batteries. If you think you may use the tool in hammer mode quite a bit, I would recommend looking into purchasing a 6.3aH battery. For more information on the battery, check out Todd’s review here Bosch Core 6.3aH Battery

Cost

The Bosch Brute Tough 1/2” Brushless Hammer Drill/ Driver can be purchased as a bare tool or as a kit.

Bare Tool HDH183B $189.00
With the bare tool you also receive a side auxiliary handle, magnetic bit holder, 4 bit tips, and a belt clip.

Kit HDH183B-1 $293.00
The kit includes the tool, 2- 4.0aH Batteries, BC1880 Fast Charger, auxiliary handle, magnetic bit holder, 4 bit tips, belt clip, and a carrying bag.

Final Thoughts

Overall I give the Bosch 18v Brushless Brute Tough Hammer Drill/ Driver 5/5 stars. It handled all of the tasks great and is truly designed and built to be a long lasting tool. When using the side auxiliary handle, it is well balanced and easy to operate. Comparing it’s hammer drill capabilities to other major brands, it has one of the highest ratings. (Milwaukee 2706-22 32,00bpm, Makita XPH11ZB 25,500bpm, Bosch HDH183B 31,500bpm, Dewalt does not list their bpm ratings online). I would like to see Bosch move the arrow that indicates the clutch setting so that it is visible when using the side handle. The Bosch 18V Brute Tough Hammer Drill/ Driver is definitely the solution to those small projects that don’t require that big corded hammer drill. It will be our first choice.

Bosch Brute Tough 18V Brushless 1/2" Hammer Drill/ Driver

 

About the author

Mike Valente

Mike Valente is the owner of Valente Construction, a residential construction company based in RI. He got his first taste of the trade when he was still in elementary school. Mike would tag along with his Dad fixing up their rental properties. He attended H.H. Ellis Tech as a major in carpentry. After graduation he worked for a few years as an apprentice at a small residential remodeling company, before setting out to start his own company. Mike is always looking for new advancements in the trade, including new products and tools.

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