Bosch has quietly launched a new 18V cordless drill kit, model GSB18V-490B12.
Update (3/22/2021): Bosch’s compact cordless hammer drill kit is back down to $99.
I’d describe this new Bosch cordless drill kit as a “special buy,” as it seems close in design, specs, and kit configuration to Bosch’s prior holiday season-promoted cordless drill kits.
$99 is also the common pro-grade cordless drill kit “special buy” price point, with Bosch, Dewalt, Makita, Milwaukee, Ridgid, Metabo HPT, and other brands all in very fierce competition with each other.
Every year, pro-grade cordless power tool brands all put out $99 special-buy 18V cordless drill kits, and sometimes those kits are upgraded.
Not to mince words, Bosch has not kept up with the competition in recent years. Their 18V offering at the $99 price point was often a lower-powered brushed motor cordless drill paired with low capacity batteries. Most of Bosch’s competition has moved to $99 promo kits featuring higher performing brushless drills, some bundled with a single battery.
Last year, Bosch’s brushed motor entry-level cordless drill kit was discounted a bit further, to $79. At $79, Bosch’s Black Friday and holiday season special buy was well-priced in the face of superior competition at the $99 price point.
But, here’s what Bosch did with this new model:
First, they went brushless! This is Bosch’s cheapest 18V brushless drill kit ever.
Also, it’s a cordless hammer drill, not just a drill/driver. Dewalt had a brushless hammer drill kit special buy a few years ago, but haven’t repeated that bundle since.
Plus, Bosch also upgraded the included battery. Instead of 2 lower capacity batteries (1.3Ah or 1.5Ah), they bundle this drill with a single 2.0Ah compact Li-ion battery.
What’s the catch?!
The specs, right? Nope.
Bosch USA has not yet made any announcements or issued any press releases, but this is what we gathered from their website and retailers’ product listings:
- Brushless motor
- 1/2″ chuck
- 490 in-lbs
- 0-600/0-1900 RPM
- 0-22,000 BPM
- 7.44″ length
- Weighs 2.4 lbs
- LED worklight
- All-metal chuck
- Ergonomic grip zone
- Removable belt clip
The kit comes with a charger, Bosch 18V 2.0Ah SlimPack battery, and tool bag.
Bosch says that the drill:
is made to tackle demanding materials and applications (such as metal or masonry) anywhere on a worksite.
Amazon has it for $99 (via CPO, an authorized dealer), and so does CPO directly. Others have the kit priced at $149, and it’ll surely be discounted to $99 as Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2020 get closer.
This seems like Bosch’s best 18V $99 cordless drill promo kit yet. Without obvious “gotchas” or compromises, this looks like it could be a good deal.
Sale Price: $99
Here’s our earlier post about Bosch’s main-line 18V brushless hammer drill. Referring to the specs, the Bosch GSB18V-535C hammer drill is rated at 535 in-lbs max torque, has a 0-600/0-1900 RPM 2-speed gearbox, and impacts at 28.500 BPM. It weighs 2.7 lbs.
This new Bosch 18V brushless hammer drill, GSB18V-490B12, is a little lighter and delivers lower max torque, but matches the speed of Bosch’s more premium brushless hammer drill. This $99 kit hammer drill has a lower hammer-mode impact speed.
With the $99 special-buy hammer drill, you get an LED worklight, and it’s placed near the base by the battery. And, the drill comes with a belt clip.
A belt clip might sound minor, but it’s an area where some brands cheap out in order to minimize the costs of their special-buy kits and combo kits. It’s better to have one included with a kit and not need it, than to need one and have to source one separately.
The more premium Bosch brushless hammer drill kit comes with a Core18V 4.0Ah battery, this kit comes with a compact 2.0Ah battery.
You don’t get Bluetooth-connectivity, but you’d be hard pressed to find that for $99 – if it’s even something you want.
Frankly, I thought that Bosch gave up on competing with the other big brands at the $99 price point. A few years ago, they had a compelling kit, but not so much in more recent years after Dewalt, Makita, and Milwaukee all went brushless. With last year’s $79 kit, I thought that Bosch was throwing in the towel.
On paper, the specs look good, the all-metal chuck is reassuring, and the features seem very competitive.
It’s always possible for there to be compromises below the surface. We haven’t tried any of Bosch’s recent brushless drills, but I can’t imagine this one disappointing.
It might also not be a “special buy,” as there’s a bare tool part number, GSB18V-490N. If this will be a main-line inclusion in Bosch’s 18V cordless power tool lineup, and it’s very possible given the hammer drill’s specs and features, that would serve to make the special buy kit even more compelling.
We haven’t seen if other brands have upgraded their special buy cordless drill kit for Black Friday 2020 or the winter holiday shopping season, but there’s not much for improvement. Meaning, with this new brushless hammer drill kit, Bosch looks to be once again punching in the pro-grade weight class.
Sale Price: $99