Bosch 18 V Compact 1/2 In. Drill/Driver Kit GSR18V-190B22 Review
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|Pros||Great at drilling, recharges quickly||Great for driving fasteners, heavy-duty, efficient use of battery life||Powerful, great battery life, fantastic integrated worklight||Impressive drilling power, strong steel drilling performance, good control, great price||Inexpensive, lightweight|
|Cons||So-so runtime, struggled to drive in large fasteners||Heavy, takes some force to swap batteries||Expensive, only includes a single battery||Only includes a single batter, so-so battery life in our tests||Weak, minimal features|
|Bottom Line||An average drill that did fairly well in our test but definitely isn't the best drill out there||If you are looking for a top-tier drill to go with your existing Milwaukee batteries, this is your best bet||The highest scorer in our group, this is a heavy-duty drill that can keep up with all your toughest projects||A decent drill for DIY projects that won't deplete your savings||An okay drill for basic household tasks and assembly projects at a great price|
|Rating Categories||Bosch 18 V Compact...||Milwaukee M18 Fuel...||Kobalt 24-volt Max...||Craftsman V20 1/2-I...||Black+Decker 20V Ma...|
|Battery Life (20%)|
|Specs||Bosch 18 V Compact...||Milwaukee M18 Fuel...||Kobalt 24-volt Max...||Craftsman V20 1/2-I...||Black+Decker 20V Ma...|
|Included Battery Pack(s)||1.5 Ah||Tested w/ 2 Ah||2 Ah||1.3 Ah||1.5 Ah|
|Drill Model Tested||GSR18V-190||2803-20||KDD 524B-03||CMCD700||LDX120C|
|Box Model (Kit) Tested||GSR18V-190B22||Tested tool-only, no kit||672823||CMCD700C1||LDX120C|
|RPM||Low: 0 - 450
High: 0 - 1700
|Low: 0 - 550
High: 0 - 2000
|Low: 0 - 550
High: 0 - 2000
|Low: 0 - 450
High: 0 - 1500
|0 - 650|
|Peak Torque (manu)||480 in-lbs||1,200 in-lbs||650 in-lbs||280 UWO||N/A|
|Measured Length||7 -3/4"||7"||7-3/8"||8-1/4"||7"|
|Measured Weight||3 pounds
|4 pounds 1 ounce||3 pounds
|3 pounds 7 ounces||2 pounds
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Bosch GSR18V-190B22 scored just a few more points than the Milwaukee M12 FUEL. The M12 had a little more oomph than the Bosch when driving in fasteners but can't match its battery performance. The M12's list price is also a bit higher.
The GSR18V-190B22 got off to a great start in this metric, accounting for 35% of its total score in this best drill review. This model showed 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 reasonably 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 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 gave a so-so performance when 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 occasionally stops 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. The GSR18V-190B22 overall did well in this metric.
The 1.5 Ah batteries we used to test the Bosch are some 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.
We compared all the different convenience features and functions each drill has for the final tenth of the total score, awarding points accordingly. The GSR18V-190B22 finished with a decent showing.
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 cannot add one, so you will 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.
Should You Buy the GSR18V-190B22?
Overall, the Bosch 18 V Compact 1/2 In Drill/Driver Kit GSR18V-190B22 did acceptably well compared to other tools. It struggled a little with the toughest tasks, but it has more than enough power for most. However, there are far better drills out there, regardless of whether you are looking for the best of the best or 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 it over the others, like if you already had other Bosch tools that relied on the same battery system. The GSR18V-190B22 is an alright value, pairing an average performance with an average price.
What Other Drill Should You Consider?
You can get a similarly performing drill for almost half the price given the performance. The Craftsman V20 1/2-In. Drill/Driver Kit CMCD700C1 has a similar overall score and a higher driving performance in our tests. It also has a similar drilling result to the Bosch and higher results for convenience. While the Craftsman isn't a top-ranking option, if you are considering the Bosch, the Craftsman offers about the same performance with significant savings. If you want the best and aren't tied to a budget or brand, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 1/2" Drill Driver and the Kobalt 24-volt Max 1/2-in Brushless Drill KDD 1424A-03 both offer impressive performance in our test metrics and are in a similar budget range as the Bosch (depending on sales).
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