While the Bosch GSR18V-190B22 is an overall solid drill, it couldn't quite claim an award, finishing in the middle of the group overall. However, it is definitely quite a lot better than the lower-tier drills and actually held its own against the top models in our drilling tests. It has a list price in the middle-of-the-road for these products — usually even being sold at a discount — and is simply an all-around average drill. It doesn't have the same power as the premium models or all the convenience features but should be more than enough for light to moderate duty DIY projects or home improvement tasks.
Bosch GSR18V-190B22 Review
Pros: Great at drilling, recharges quickly
Cons: So-so runtime, struggled to drive in large fasteners
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Bosch GSR18V-190B22 scored just a few more points than the Milwaukee M12 FUEL but was right behind the Ryobi P252 in terms of overall scores. The GSR18V-190B22 did do slightly better in our drilling tests, but the Ryobi solidly outperformed the Bosch when it came to driving in fasteners. Both the Ryobi and the Bosch are about the same in terms of features and functions, with the Bosch having a slight edge when it came to battery performance. However, the Ryobi does have a lower list price, making it a much better value option. The M12 has a little more oomph than the Bosch when it came to driving in fasteners but can't match its battery performance. The M12's list price is also quite a bit higher.
We bought all the drills in this review after extensively researching the category, with each drill being selected because it showed tons of potential or was exceptionally popular. We tested each one out head-to-head in a wide array of tests, ranking and scoring their results. These tests were divided into four weighted rating metrics, with the GSR18V-190B22's results outlined below.
The GSR18V-190B22 got off to a great start in this metric, which accounts for 35% of its total score. This drill earned an 8 out of 10 for its exceptional performance in our three tests: drilling through a steel sheet, drilling through dimensional lumber with a spade bit, and drilling into a door with a 5" hole saw.
The GSR18V-190B22 did fairly well with the large hole saw, drilling it to the full depth in the solid door without too much fuss. It does occasionally stop if the resistance gets too high or it binds up, but it was fine once we restarted it. It didn't seem to overheat or warm up at all but it did take 49 seconds or so to finish the task — a bit longer than the 17 seconds or so it took the top tools.
The Bosch also did decently well with the 1" spade bit, drilling through the 2x12 without a huge struggle. It doesn't have the power to use this bit in its higher gear ratio but did well when we shifted into the lower gear ratio. The GSR18V-190B22 has plenty of power in its low gear but it does take a bit longer to drill through, dropping its score down a bit compared to the premium products.
The GSR18V-190B22 continued its solid performance into our steel drilling assessments, easily punching through the 16 gauge steel sheet with both a ¼" and a ½" twist drill. It took less than two seconds for this drill to make it through the sheet with the smaller drill in its higher gear, without any struggle at all. It took a little longer with the larger drill, taking about seven seconds to drill all the way through. It also bound up a bit right at the end of the hole, forcing us to shift to the lower gear to finish drilling.
The GSR18V-190B22, unfortunately, didn't do quite as well in our driving metric, which also accounts for 35% of its total score. This drill earned a 5 out of 10 for its so-so performance when it came to driving in both commonly encountered wood screws and a hulking ½" lag screw.
The Bosch did fine with the smaller screws — 3" long, #9 — driving them into a pair of 2x12s stacked on top of each other without any issues for the most part. It can set the countersunk head flush with its higher gear fairly easily if you do it in one motion but usually offers you a bit more control if you stop and start again to set the head just a little bit deeper if you downshift. However, this drill does occasionally stop and needs some extra persuasion if you are trying to drive through a knot or any other higher resistance areas of the board.
Unfortunately, the GSR18V-190B22 didn't do all that well with the ½" lag bolt. We drilled a pilot hole through the boards and then attempted to use the GSR18V-190B22 to drive the 5" long screw in.
The Bosch drove it to a depth of about 4" but no matter what we did, we couldn't finish driving the screw to its full depth.
After rating its driving and drilling performance, we scored and compared the effective battery life of each of these cordless tools, as well as the time it takes to recharge a dead battery and the number of batteries included with each drill. The GSR18V-190B22 overall did well, earning a 6 out of 10 in this metric, which is responsible for 20% of the total score for each cordless drill.
The 1.5 Ah batteries on the Bosch are one of the fastest to charge, going from completely empty to totally full in about 45 minutes with the included battery charger. The GSR18V-190B22 also includes a pair of these batteries.
The GSR18V-190B22 also did decently well in our effective runtime test. We used this drill to drive in 16 of the #9 wood screws, then drilled three 1" holes with the spade bit over and over until the drill died. The Bosch lasted for 5.5 sets of this before quitting, which we found to be about average for these tools. However, the best drills did make it through 10+ cycles.
For the final tenth of the total score, we compared all the different convenience features and functions each drill has, awarding points accordingly. The GSR18V-190B22 finished with a decent showing, earning a 5 out of 10.
This cordless drill is about average in weight, just a bit lighter than three and a half pounds. However, this drill does not include a belt clip and lacks the ability to add one, so you are going to need to purchase a holster if you want to carry this Bosch around hands-free.
The chuck on this drill expands to a maximum size of ½" and it has the aforementioned high and low gears, with speed ranges of 0-450 rpm and 0-1700 rpm. It also has an integrated LED light that provides ample illumination. It won't stay on when you release the trigger, but you can turn on the light without the motor engaging.
There isn't a battery level indicator, but it is relatively easy to slide the battery in and out, though the locking mechanism button can require a little force to press.
The GSR18V-190B22 is an alright value, pairing an average performance with an average price.
Overall, the Bosch GSR18V-190B22 did acceptably well. It struggled a little with the toughest tasks we set to it but it has more than enough power for most people. However, there are far better drills out there, regardless if you are looking for the best of the best or for the best bang for the buck. We wouldn't necessarily recommend going with the Bosch but we also wouldn't strongly dissuade you from getting it if you had some other motivation for picking this one over the others, like if you already had other Bosch tools that relied on the same battery system.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer