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Bosch 18V Compact Brushless 1/2 In. Drill/Driver Kit GSR18V-400B12 Review

A great drill for medium duty projects with a great battery life
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Bosch 18V Compact Brushless 1/2 In. Drill/Driver Kit GSR18V-400B12 Review
Credit: Bosch
Price:  $99 List
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Manufacturer:   Bosch
By Austin Palmer, Benjamin Hickok  ⋅  Mar 7, 2024
68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 23
  • Drilling - 35% 7.6
  • Driving - 35% 4.9
  • Battery Life - 20% 8.8
  • Convenience - 10% 6.7

Our Verdict

The Bosch 18V Compact is a capable drill driver, best suited for lighter to medium-duty tasks. It is a little lighter and more compact than many other models, and its battery life will let you get plenty done between charging cycles. Still, it was outshined by stronger drilling and driving performances from other models that aren't much more expensive. If you are already a Bosch tool owner and have interchangeable Bosch batteries, we don't think this is a bad choice for less demanding tasks, but we think it would be worth considering a handful of other models for more demanding jobs.
REASONS TO BUY
Compact
Metal ratcheting chuck
Great battery life
Includes soft case
REASONS TO AVOID
Trouble with very high torque situations
Strange jaw design leads to uncentered bits

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Bottom Line Battery life and solid performance make this a good choice for average homeowner tasksThis model performs well across the board, and is especially worth the purchase if you already own the battery and chargerA great budget drill for a homeowners or DIYer and has more than enough power for moderate to light-duty tasksOur favorite compact 12-volt drill when considering overall performance and priceThis drill isn't great, but can speed up driving screws through prefabricated furniture at a low price
Rating Categories Bosch 18V Compact B... Ryobi ONE+ HP 18V B... Craftsman V20 1/2-I... Bosch 12V Max Drill... Black+Decker 20V Ma...
Drilling (35%)
7.6
9.3
6.6
5.8
4.1
Driving (35%)
4.9
8.8
6.2
4.5
3.2
Battery Life (20%)
8.8
6.8
4.4
3.2
2.6
Convenience (10%)
6.7
6.6
6.0
5.8
4.6
Specs Bosch 18V Compact B... Ryobi ONE+ HP 18V B... Craftsman V20 1/2-I... Bosch 12V Max Drill... Black+Decker 20V Ma...
Measured Weight 2.80 lb 3.77 lb 3.44 lb 2.17 lb 2.68 lb
Measured Charge Time 63 min 63 min 58 min 85 min 210 min
Measured Length 6-1/4" 7-3/16" 8-1/4" 6-5/8" 7"
Measured Number of Settings 20 24 23 20 10
Included Battery Pack(s) 2.0 Ah 2.0 Ah 1.3 Ah 2.0 Ah 1.5 Ah
Max Chuck 1/2" 1/2" 1/2" 3/8" 3/8"
Battery Voltage 18V 18V 20V 12V 20V
Drill Model Tested GSR18V-400 PBLDD01 CMCD700 PS31 LDX120C
Box Model (Kit) Tested GSR18V-400B12 PBLDD01K CMCD700C1 PS31-2A LDX120C
Five Inch Hole Saw Test Timing 56 seconds 20 seconds 55 seconds 70 seconds 90 seconds
Lag Screw Test (What is Left to From Driving) 1.56 in 0.25 in 0.63 in 1.13 in 1.81 in
Manufacturer Stated RPM Low: 0 - 500
High: 0 - 1900
Low: 0 - 500
High: 0 - 2100
Low: 0 - 450
High: 0 - 1500
Low: 0 - 350
High: 0 -1300
0 - 650
Manufacturer Peak Torque 400 in-lbs 750 in-lbs 280 UWO 256 in-lbs Not Listed
Battery Indicator Location Battery Battery Battery Drill N/A
LED Location Above the battery Above the battery Above the trigger Above the trigger Above the trigger
Included Belt Clip Yes No No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The Bosch 18V Compact Brushless 1-2 In. Drill-Driver Kit is a decent offering from Bosch.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Drilling


Our first and one of our most significant test metrics, which accounts for 35 percent of each model's final score, evaluates drilling performance. The Bosch 18V performed well overall. It only required 56 seconds to bore a hole through a 1 ¾ inch thick solid wooden door using a 5-inch hole saw, which it did in the low-speed high torque setting, as the high-speed setting lacks the torque required to complete the task. In our second test of the metric, this model drilled a 1" hole through a 2x12 using a spade bit without issues. Like the 5-inch hole saw, it completed the task using the low-speed high torque setting, as the torque did not suffice at high speed.

bosch 18v compact brushless 1/2 in. drill/driver kit gsr18v-400b12 - the bosch 18v compact brushless 1/2 in. drill/driver getting the...
The Bosch 18V Compact Brushless 1/2 In. Drill/Driver getting the task done.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

The Bosch 18V demonstrated decent performance drilling holes in 16 gauge sheet steel. While it managed to poke a ¼" hole in approximately 1.59 seconds, it encountered minor difficulties in our ½" drilling test. It frequently bound up and required the low-speed setting to accomplish the task in a less impressive 7.37 seconds. Overall, the Bosch proved to be a capable compact brushless drill, although its performance wasn't as good as the top-tier models tested.

Driving


Also accounting for 35 percent of the total score for each drill driver, our driving test metric encompasses two practical tests. Firstly, it involves fully driving a 5-inch lag screw into dimensional lumber via a 13/32-inch pilot hole. Secondly, it entails setting 3-inch number 9 countersunk deck screws flush with the dimensional lumber.

Unfortunately, the Bosch 18V Compact was not able to completely drive the 5-inch lag screw and tapped out with just over one and a half inches to go with the high torque setting. However, it did a solid job of setting 3-inch countersunk deck screws flush to the surface of our test lumber. The screws were mostly flush, but getting perfection was a slight struggle for the Bosch as it lacked the torque to set perfectly flush screws repeatedly.

This was not the most capable driver, we tested, but is be suitable for most jobs.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Battery Life


The battery life of the Bosch 18V Compact Brushless is quite good, and you can expect to get nearly as much done as the top models before recharging. Charging a 2 amp hour battery also only takes 63 minutes and is one of the faster charging rates for a 2 AH battery.

bosch 18v compact brushless 1/2 in. drill/driver kit gsr18v-400b12 - this model offers exceptional battery life.
This model offers exceptional battery life.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Convenience


The compact 6 ¼ inch size, combined with the comfortable ergonomics of the Bosch 18V, help make it a convenient model to use. As you might expect from a compact model, it is also on the lighter end at 2 pounds 12.8 ounces compared to many of the other models our team tested. Two speed settings, a work light, a half-inch chuck, and a belt clip are fairly standard. Batteries are relatively simple to swap. However, our testers were not fans of a strange jaw design that doesn't seem to add any holding improvements and makes it easier to inadvertently secure smaller bits at an angle or out of center.

The Bosch utilizes a ratcheting chuck that is easy to use.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Should You Buy the Bosch 18V Compact Brushless 1/2 In. Drill/Driver Kit?


While the Bosch 18V Compact 1/2 In. Drill/Driver Kit GSR18V-400B12 is a decent option for light or medium-duty tasks; there are a few drills that offer a fairly significant step up in performance without being prohibitively more expensive. Therefore, we can't recommend the Bosch over better options.

What Other Drill Driver Should You Consider?


If budget is a concern, then the Craftsman V20 1/2-In. Drill/Driver Kit CMCD700C1 is a safe bet, as it offers similar drilling performance and better driving performance at about a 20 percent discount to the Bosch. If budget is not a concern, and you are interested in a tool, battery, and charger combo, then we strongly urge you to consider the Kobalt XTR 24-volt 1/2-in Keyless Brushless Cordless Drill KXDD 1424A-03.

Austin Palmer, Benjamin Hickok