Bosch Brute Tough 36V Hammer Drill / Driver HDH361

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Bosch Brute Tough 36V 1/2” Hammer Drill / Driver HDH361-01 Review

Bosch Brute Tough 36V Hammer Drill / Driver HDH361

Manufacturer: Bosch
Model number: HDH361
Price: 529.00
Power source: 36V
Weight: 4.25
Bosch has recently released the Bosch Brute Tough 36V Hammer Drill / Driver HDH361 to their 36v lineup. I have been using it for several months on site and have been able to take a very close look.

Bosch Brute Tough 36V Hammer Drill / Driver HDH361

Drill/drivers and impact drivers are likely the first cordless tools people in the trades buy. Their versatility and usefulness warrant their priority level. This purchase usually dictates the battery platform that the user continues with as well. For this reason, it is imperative to do the research and decide on a drill/driver that not only fits the scope of work being done, but also that helps in building a cordless tool collection for the future.

Bosch HDH361 Specifications

  • Battery Lithium: Ion
  • Battery Voltage: 36
  • Battery/Charger: 45-Minute Fast Charger
  • Case Type: Bag
  • Chuck: 1/2” Keyless Chuck
  • Height: 8.25”
  • Length: 9.75”
  • Width: 3.0”
  • No Load BPM: 0-27,000
  • No Load RPM: 0-420 / 0-1,800
  • Torque (in. lbs.): 885
  • Weight: 4.25lb
  • Includes: (1) HDH361 36V 1/2 In. Brute Tough Hammer Drill/Driver, (2) 36V 4.0 Ah FatPack Batteries, (1) 18V-36V Dual Charger, (1) Auxiliary Handle, (1) Double-Ended Bit, (1) Carrying Bag

Bosch HDH361

  • Four-Pole Brushed Motor
  • Kick Back Control Technology
  • Clutch with 25 + 1 settings
  • Electronic Motor Protection (EMP)
  • Variable Speed Trigger
  • Two-Speed Gearbox
  • LED Light
  • Battery Life Indicator
  • All-Metal Chuck

Heavy But Solid

While it’s no surprise that the Bosch Brute Tough 36V Hammer Drill / Driver HDH361 is a bit heavy, it really feels good in hand. The rubber grips and handle design are very well thought out and comfortable. The drill is also nicely balanced making it feel a bit more nimble than its’ size would suggest.

My personal opinion is that the fit and finish on Bosch tools is second to none. The Bosch HDH361-01 hammer drill / driver does not disappoint in this regard. It really is just a “sexy” tool. Couple that with the fantastic metal chuck, and this drill is really a pleasure to use.

There is a spot located on the back of the handle in which to hook on a lanyard.

How Dit It Perform?

The Bosch Brute Tough 36V Hammer Drill / Driver HDH361 is designed and geared towards tradesmen and women that demand the most power and runtime of their drills. This would include ironworkers and those that regularly drill many holes in concrete. It has a variable speed trigger and a very nice all-metal chuck. The keyless chuck holds bits extremely well and is comfortable to engage and release by hand. The four-pole brushed motor offers up to 885 ft/lbs of torque and 1800 RPM. There is a  two-speed switch located on top of the drill,  and is labeled for “High Speed” and “High Torque” settings. I found this to be a nice touch to help avoid using the wrong setting. The Bosch HDH361-01 hammer drill / driver also has up to 26 clutch settings to help dial in the correct amount of torque, essentially eliminating over-tightening and stripped screws.

Bosch claims the 36v platform outlasts similar 18v by up to 30%. While I did not test both platforms, I can confidently say the power and run-time are impressive.

Kickback Control

The most useful feature I found on the Bosch Brute Tough 36V Hammer Drill / Driver HDH361 is their kick back control technology. When the drill binds up, the motor quickly shuts down. This eliminates painful and dangerous situations and also impact the quality of the work. I tested this feature by using a 6” hold saw in 3/4” plywood which easily binds. The technology worked as it should and shut off quickly, protecting my wrists and my work. This technology should be included on every new drill.

LED Light

A trigger-activated LED light is located below the handle on the base of the drill. While this is a nice addition, I think the light could be brighter. My hand would also occasionally cover part of it which dimmed the light even more.


While the Bosch HDH361-01 hammer drill / driver offers many benefits, I do feel there a few things that could be addressed. To begin, I wish they would have included a belt hook, or at the very least, a spot to attach an aftermarket option. Being geared towards trades that often work overhead, I think a belt hook is a must and a pretty glaring oversight on this tool.

I would also like to see a brushless motor included. While the power and run-time are impressive in their own right, a brushless motor would only increase these values along with adding to the longevity of the drill.

The on-board LED would benefit from a location change, and increasing the brightness.

Lastly, I would like to see Bosch expand their offerings in the 36v lineup. There really just aren’t many tool options if you decide to invest in this platform.

Overall Impression of the Bosch Brute Tough 36V Hammer Drill / Driver HDH361

The Bosch Brute Tough 36V Hammer Drill / Driver HDH361 performs well and looks fantastic. The chuck and anti-kickback features are great and really add to the user experience. The lack of tools in the 36v platform, however, are a major drawback to investing in this drill. If you are in a trade where high-demand drilling is a necessity and you don’t plan to add many tools to your future cache, I would recommend taking a look at the Bosch HDH361-01 hammer drill / driver. You can find these at online retailers for around $529.00.


About the author

Will Endicott

William Endicott is a licensed contractor in the State of Missouri and is the principal of a custom home building and renovation company. After attending the University of Kansas, he began working full time in the trades and soon after, started his own company. As a second generation carpenter, William grew up around job sites and discovered his love of tools. He now enjoys finding tools that help give his clients the best possible quality, while also helping to keep his company productive and profitable. In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking projects, fishing and spending time with his wife and three children.

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