Bosch has come out with a new 18V brushless Compact Tough hammer drill/driver, GSB18V-535C, and a new Compact Tough drill/driver, GSR18V-535C.
The big thing about the new Bosch compact drills is their “Bluetooth Connectivity,” via an optional module.
Some of Bosch’s prior cordless drill releases featured kickback control, but as far as I am aware, these new Compact Tough are their first compact brushless drills to feature anti-kickback measures, and also user-adjustable kickback protection.
Update: The Bosch DDS183 and HDS183 also feature kickback control.
It is my current understanding that the kickback controls are built-into the tool, by means of an accelerometer that senses sudden rotational movements. If sudden and sharp twisting is sensed, the Kickback Control feature shuts off power to the motor.
Add the optional Bluetooth-connectivity module to the tool, and the user then gets access to Kickback Control adjustments and customizations.
We have previously written about the new Bosch GDR18V-1800C “connected-ready” impact driver.
- 535 in-lbs max torque
- 0-600/0-1900 RPM
- 28,500 BPM (hammer drill only)
- 20+1 position adjustable clutch
- Drill/driver weighs 2.5 lbs
- Hammer drill weighs 2.7 lbs
- 1/2″ keyless chuck
- Belt clip
- LED worklight
With the Bluetooth module, users can also adjust the LED “afterglow” duration, the length of time it remains on after trigger release.
Price: $129 for the drill/driver bare tool, $149 for the hammer drill
The hammer drill kit is currently $199 at Amazon, but eligible for $20 off $100+ promo, resulting in a $179 price for the drill, (1) Core18V 4.0Ah battery, charger, and carrying case.
Buy Now(Hammer drill kit via Amazon)
Buy Now(Drill and impact driver combo kit via Amazon)
Buy Now(Hammer drill and Freak dual-impact kit via Amazon)
Does a compact brushless drill/driver need kickback protection? Honestly, I don’t know. Personally, I would welcome it, but I don’t know if it’s as necessary as on higher-powered cordless drills. BUT, I think Bosch did the right thing to build it into the drill. You need the optional Bluetooth module to customize the Kickback Control settings, but it is my understanding that you don’t need that optional accessory for the built-in protections.
We’re still waiting on some details and pricing for the optional module.
My personal opinion is that smartphone connectivity can be useful for some tools. But for others, it’s not as critical. IF Bosch puts a lot of options into their app, tools like their new brushless impact driver can be enhanced by offering user customizations.
But for something like a compact drill? It’s not something that most users will need or want.
However, I think that Bosch’s approach is a good one. In contrast to what Milwaukee has done with One-Key, and Dewalt with Tool Connect, Bosch created their connected tool technology around a “buy the module if you need it, or not if you don’t” philosophy. And, it looks like the module might be switchable between tools, if your needs change.
The current trend is for tools to become “smarter.” The new Ridgid Octane impact driver features 6 modes, with two of those modes actually providing different behaviors for forward and reverse directions.
These new Bosch compact drills have built-in accelerometers, which seems like a nice touch.
One thing I wanted to mention is that Bosch’s announcement and press materials describe the new drills as having Bluetooth Connectivity, but they also do mention it’s accomplished via an optional module. Some reviewers, influencers, or news sources might mistakenly believe and relay that this functionality is built-in, but it’s not. That’s why in most instances Bosch describes the tools as being Connected-Ready. I have seen a couple of instances of inaccurate reporting thus far.
As mentioned, I think Bosch’s approach at providing Bluetooth connectivity via a module is a good one. It means that you can change your mind should your needs change, and the modularity should simplify production, supply, and retail inventory logistics. But it also means that Bosch will have to very tightly control how they and retailers describe and discuss the new tools.
What kind of connected tools should Bosch come out with next?
Is the Beats per minute on the hammer drill a typo.
seems rather fast and significantly more than the RPM’s.
That’s about where it’s expected to be for an 18V-class hammer drill.
The Hitachi/Metabo HPT model, for example, hits at 31,500 BPM. https://toolguyd.com/hitachi-18v-brushless-hammer-drill-dv18dbl2/
It’s more of a vibratory action than chiseling one.
I love Bosch. There tools make me feel all warm and cuddly inside.
I prefer to have anti-kickback protection. Even my puny brushed Bosch drill can give my wrist a bit of shock when it stops suddenly if I’m wielding it one-handed and not being careful. I don’t mean it’s capable of injuring me, but if that action could be prevented, why not?
Hey! The post above mine is not me. Just in case it looks like I’m double posting. Well, now I am I suppose…
I’m definitely in favor of the anti kickback and more so in having it configurable after continually having a drill cut out on me when I wanted full power to complete a task. But configuration via Bluetooth and an app isn’t something I’m willing to do. Give me a button on the tool. It’s more convenient and doesn’t drain my battery! Sure,I understand with an app I can control more parameters and truly customize it where a button means someone chose a multitude of parameters for any given setting, I’m fine with that.
A few months ago I acquired my first Bluetooth cordless power tool. An LED light. I didn’t need the BT feature, I just needed a light. A week later I came back to the light and it wouldn’t turn on. I checked the battery and found it stone cold dead. I left it with more than 75% charge! I don’t know how the rest of these tools are going to implement BT, but if a tool is constantly draining a battery when at rest, I don’t want it no matter what features you pack in it.
The day I need ( or want) an app for my drill please, just shoot me.
I’ve got the Bosch DDS183 which is basically the same compact brushless drill as this one without the BT connectivity. The DDS183 does have anti-kickback control.
I’ve triggered anti-kickback a couple of times while using a large spade bit boring through framing lumber so it’s a welcome feature for me.
I have the DDS183 too. I bought it in…2015? I think that’s when it first came to the USA.
Funny, the one single time my anti-kickback did NOT work was when using a spade bit in wood. I have had issues with the trigger flaking out, for some unknown reason, on both the first drill and subsequent Bosch replacement drill.
Otherwise it’s a nice compact drill with a full metal chuck and great ergonomics.
The trigger issue you’ve had, does the drill simply fail to power on?
I pull the trigger and get nothing at all. No light, no motion. No matter how I pull the trigger.
It happened soon after I got the drill when it was brand new. Bosch replaced it with a new drill and since then, the replacement has done it a couple times over 4 years. It is so infrequent and random I cannot figure out what causes it or what fixes it. Changing batteries has no effect.
My best guess: i think it has something to do with a combination of over tightening the chuck and it’s effects on the anti kickback feature.
Thanks! I either didn’t know or forgot that the DDS183 has anti-kickback measures.
Bosch and Makita have had Bluetooth drivers for over a decade in their industrial lines. I wonder if you can set a torque order in the app for these new tools? Like first trigger pull to 15in/lbs, second to 30in/lbs ,etc.
It’s useful for production and assembly jobs that are repetitive.
Anti-kickback would be awesome, I have never used a drill with that feature. I have wrenched my hand/wrist or whacked the battery of a drill into my leg or arm when drilling though steel plate and the bit jammed. I hope that I can try it on a high UWO drill.
Even my HDS183 has kickback control. Just lacks the connectivity option.
Now that’s a perfect sized drill well done Bosch every tool company is making these drills that can snap your wrist in a blink of the eye this is all you need
I love the Bosch Anti Kickback feature. I’ve only “experienced” it when I was distracted (okay not paying enough attention…) and really appreciate its ability to save my wrist from my attention span.
Koko The Talking Ape
I’m sorry, I don’t want my drill tweeting to all its followers about how lame my playlist is.
That would be an awesome DIY project!
They have them for pets, why not tools? Lol “Corey’s DCF 877 is feeling abused today, at Newmont South area!” “You’re friend DCD 996 is close by, would you like to send it a message?” Haha
I don’t have any problems with Bluetooth controls on power tools so long as they operate using an free and open specification such that anyone could make an app to replicate all the functionality that the manufacturer’s app provides and they don’t rely upon a cloud service. Everyone should start asking manufacturers these questions and reviewers publish manufacturer’s responses.
I really don’t want more easy to cheap out on and break buttons and dials nor complicated combinations of activations on tools. For instance, press the trigger twice in forward, once in reverse then switch the gearbox from high to low and back to higher again and press the trigger three more times like car manufactures do.
I know they all talk about phone apps. But, this kind of control also could all be done with a ruggedized wrist device or even a special purpose phone like display stored in a toolbox. This feature could open up a lot of room for innovation.
More functionality, information and safety is a good thing. The devil is in the details. It’s not necessarily the feature itself that is good or bad, it’s how it’s implemented.
Bluetooth would almost deter me from buying the tool. I really don’t how this could be useful and would either be a distraction or I fear take away from an added feature or better design.
it sounds like it’s a data scrape. like they want a large data subset for their tool algorithms to work from, as long as the phone app is open and doesn’t contain user data logging etc. they’d save a lot on RMA and D.O.A claims’ the sensors would report valuable information statistics about usage, whether it was abused, dropped, saturated, overheated, battey age and condition, soon they’ll reject any warranty claims if you haven’t registered the app, only a matter of time before user data is sold off,. i always bought bosch, but no more. this is rediculous.