Bosch has announced a new line of Driven screwdriver bits. These screwdriver bits are impact-rated and said to have precise tip geometry and have “50X life” compared to “standard bits.”
Bosch briefly talked about their new Driven screwdriver bits in their February virtual presentation video, but the focus was entirely on their customized case system. I rewatched the video replay and unless I missed it again, there wasn’t any information about the Bosch Driven bits themselves.
Bosch also has not provided any press materials – at least none that I’ve seen – about their Driven screwdriver bits.
While a neat innovation, Bosch’s custom cases came out nearly 4 years ago, and I’m not seeing anything new about them.
Let’s look deeper.
What’s new about the Bosch Driven screwdriver bit system, aside from the logo? They say their new impact-rated screwdriver bits have 50X life compared to standard bits. What does this mean? Do these new bits improve upon Bosch’s previous generation of impact screwdriver bits?
Bosch’s current (previous?) impact-rated screwdriver bits are said to have 10X longer bit life than standard impact bits.
So is Bosch claiming that the new screwdrivers bits have 50X longer bit life compared to standard bits or standard impact bits?
Did Bosch Tools update the bits’ designs in any way, or is this just a marketing update?
I have purchased Bosch impact bits in the past, although I tend to find Milwaukee and Dewalt impact-rated driving accessories to be more durable and longer lasting. I buy the Bosch bits on sale, for the cases, or when I need to spend an extra dollar or two to get free shipping.
In my opinion, Bosch impact-rated screwdriver bits are not bad, and can be a good value.
In their intro video, Bosch says the bits have a magnetized tip for better grip. Does this mean they can be magnetized, which is true for a great majority of screwdriver bits, or are they pre-magnetized, which doesn’t sound right.
OH – these will be available at Lowe’s. Ah – that explains everything. Or not.
Is this because Diablo (a Bosch Tools brand) have taken over for Bosch power tool accessories at Home Depot?
Home Depot has Dewalt MaxFit, Milwaukee Shockwave, and Makita XPS, plus Ryobi screwdriver bits. Lowe’s has Dewalt ToughGrip – a line that Dewalt only sells at Lowe’s – and… that’s about all that comes to mind. Well, I guess now we can add Bosch Driven to the mix.
If you look at Amazon listings for those Diablo bits, which appear to be identical to the previous generation of Bosch impact bits, it says:
longer life (50x)
Okay, so the seemingly identical-to-Bosch Diablo screwdriver bits that came out last year were newly marketed as having 50X longer life.
Looking deeper, Diablo claims:
50X longer life versus standard drive bit
So that’s 50X longer life compared to “standard bits” whereas the older/current Bosch bits are advertised as lasting 10X longer than “standard impact bits.”
Hold on a second – here’s an image of one of the new Bosch Driven bit sets:
Oh, I’m sorry – this is the previous set.
Here is the new Bosch Driven set.
Bosch’s bit cases had clear lids before, but as far as I am aware, these new ones have storage slots for the first time. I guess that’s new?
Bosch was sending out email blasts and promoting the Driven launch on social media and YouTube – and probably elsewhere as well – but has yet to send out any press materials describing the new product line. That’s unfortunate, but we can get to the bottom of this yet – I hope.
Here’s Bosch’s Driven YouTube video, which doesn’t tell us anything new.
Here’s what Bosch says in their email newsletter to customers:
The Bosch Driven range of screw driving bits delivers 50X life over the Bosch standard bit. The Driven bit has a torsion design built to last, with a new tapered design that absorbs torque peaks to reduce stress at the bit’s tip. Already a fan of the Bosch Custom case? Driven bits are Custom Case compatible so you can continue to use the best case for the best bits.
Aha! Driven bits are… custom case compatible? Aren’t all 1/4″ hex insert and power-bit style screwdriving accessories?
There’s a “new tapered design” and a closer look reveals that the new power bits do look different compared to the current/existing Bosch screwdriver bits.
It’s the torsion zone that absorbs the shock, and so a taller taper shouldn’t really do much, functionally. From what I can tell, this is likely mainly an aesthetics change.
My Bosch impact-rated screwdriver bits might wear out quicker than other brands’ bits, but I don’t remember breaking any, and especially not where the 1/4″ hex shaft meets the torsion zone.
I guess this would explain why Bosch is promoting their new Driven line via newsletter, social media, and YouTube. What would they actually say in a press release? Then again, it would have made this post a lot easier to write.
Back to the title.
Bosch Driven Screwdriver Bits are Coming to Lowe’s – Why Should You Care?
I hoped I’d get to the bottom of things and the question about why you should care would reveal itself.
After a lot of digging, here’s what turned up:
- Bosch specifically advertises that Driven is coming to Lowe’s
- “Magnetic tips”
- Lengthened transition (taper) between 1/4″ hex and torsion zone
- Cases now have clear lids with storage slots
The current non-Driven Bosch 44pc bit set is $18 via Amazon, model SDMS44. The Bosch Driven 44pc bit set is $25 via Lowe’s, model SDMSD44.
With the Bosch Driven bit set costing 39% MORE at Lowe’s than the existing product at Amazon, are the Driven screwdriver bits actually better in any way with respect to fitment or wear resistance?!
Looking at other stores, Amazon has the 44pc bit set for $18, but others have it for a range of prices up to $25.
Walmart is selling the Bosch 44 bit set for $20.76 (sold & shipped by Walmart). Compared to Lowe’s $25 price for the Driven set, that’s still a slightly more than 20% price difference.
I’m starting to guess why Bosch skipped news/media organizations and is instead advertising the Driven accessory line direct to end users.
If you guys discover any functional differences, please let us know!
Side note, I will give Bosch credit for the Driven name and logo. This is a lot better than Misfit and Freak.
If standard bits are $18 a set. So 50 times would be $900 for the driven. So the $25 Bosch set via Lowe’s looks like a bargain.
But those are NOT Bosch’s “standard” bits.
Maybe these are Bosch “standard” bits? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004Q005V4/?tag=toolguyd-20
Or the cheap bits in these value sets? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015SR9I02/?tag=toolguyd-20
Bosch says the new taper design allows it to handle a new generation of higher torque impact drivers. Hopefully this a hint that bosch will be producing a profactor impact. I know they are realeasing new profactor drills this year but not sure about an impact.
Their marketing language is unclear. Does the taper do anything, or are they referring to the torsion zone as the benefit-providing feature?
Torsion zones usually serve to prevent tip breakage. A longer taper would likely be implemented to reduce stress at the transition point IF breakage was common there.
But, Bosch is also specifically saying these are coming to Lowe’s. The ambiguous language and Lowe’s mention suggests to me that it’s just a style change so they could have something “new” to sell to Lowe’s.
The same with branding. Why does Driven only specifically reference Lowe’s availability? Is this because the bits are largely the same accessories that Bosch has been selling for years, with Driven mainly only being a new retail marketing approach?
Looks like you only buy the sets at lowes but the individual driven bits are available through toolmart online. Never bought anything from toolmart. Lowes has been clearencing out the old style and picked a few sets up at a good discount. Should be good with bits for a good while although this is one area you can’t have enough.
What is the “storage slots”? I can’t see what that’s referencing- the cases look identical save for the clear.
The Bosch 24pc set and others with clear lids are shallower and do not have built-in tabs for bit holders.
These new cases swap opaque storage lids for clear storage-capable lids.
Current: Blue lids with storage slots, shallower clear lids without.
Driven: Clear lids with storage slots (at least on the assortments I looked at).
Bosch bits have fantastic fitment when brand new but they tend to wear pretty quickly.
This has been my experience as well, but tbh, they’re not that far off from Makita golds, which is to say I have no complaints. I do use a lot of Wera and Milwaukee bits, which seem to edge them out in terms of longevity.
The specific question for me: has Bosch further refined how the bits are hardened/tempered? There’s no need to change the form factor.
So I like everything about out the logo except my impact driver catching fire.
That’s what long extensions are for!
I don’t put very much faith in the “lasts 50x longer” sort of ads that many of these companies make. I’m sure they did derive those figures from lab testing but in my experience most hex bits end up:
a) being lost
b) being damaged due to less-than-ideal-conditions like damaged screw heads or having to work at an angle so the bit isn’t perfectly inserted into the head, etc.
c) being modified in some way for a single special application. I sometimes grind down bits to fit in narrow holes, modify slotted tips to fit oddball sized screws, shorten (cut down) tips or lengthen (weld on a piece of rod) them to fit hard-to-reach areas, etc.
….none of which are represented by a lab durability test.
I have a set I take to every job Its evolved over the years as I’ve bought sets from different brands to fill in missing pieces or fill special roles. Currently it’s mostly Dewalt since that’s the most recent set I happened to buy. It’s also got Milwaukee 6″ long-reach bits in common sizes, an Irwin T27 6″ for working on my Stihl equipment, a variety of security and oddball sizes from Wiha, etc. There are some Bosch in there too; I’ve got a lot of use out of their square drive bits. I’m happy with all of them. I don’t think I’ve actually worn out or had an impact bit fail in well over a decade so long as it’s been a well known brand. My only rules are to avoid the no-name imports as well as Vermont American.
Agreed. Only way my bits would last longer is if they were flourescent-colored, glow in the dark, or came with GPS tracking! For every bit I wear out, I probably lose/give away 10.
Switch from phillips screws to robertson or torx and you get 1000000X bit life regardless of the bit you’re using.
I agree 100% on torx but not so much on Robertson.
Maybe I’m just sloppy but I tend to get equal life from Robertson’s and correctly fitting Phillips.
YES…. I’d like to see some Robertson bits promoted & sold!!!
I’ve been buying some of these Bosch bits in the holder that fits into the case. Strangely, the T15s will not fit in GRK T-15 screws. I don’t get it.
This is the first time I’ve had this happen. They sort of seem like they’ll fit, but cam out.
Must be a defective batch of bits, because the screws work with every other T-15 bit.
Probably best to blame it on Covid and move on.
I have probably half a dozen of their cases with bits. I like them.
If I put a standard phillips bit in an impact driver, depending on what I am driving or trying to drive, it may break with the first use before you finish or within minutes / a few screws. I have actually been through this at a family member’s house, maybe 10 years ago, in a late hour weekend offering help, must keep this repair / renovation going, ready-up asap for move-in … where I went through a box of HF standard bits, breaking tip after tip … because that was all there was.
So in that regard, if a HF standard steel bit fails with first use … 50x could actually be 200x.
That aside. I think these bits are exactly the same performance wise as the previous generation, and marketing is bumping up the nn x for bigger numbers = better … competing with others making similar claims … must outclaim the other brand …
Only the shortest bits had the square hex edge. The longer bits already had a taper. Doubling the taper length will make no performance difference. It is all about tip wear, phillips, hex, square, torx, …
More 1” bits to chuck in the garbage (since not a single associate of mine will take them for free).
No way, not ever.
I’m with ya. I only buy longer bits these days.
Koko The Talking Ape
If these new bits last 50x standard bits, and the old ones lasted 10x impact bits, then is there any improvement? If ordinary impact bits last 10x standard bits, then these new bits are half as good as the previous ones!
And these driver bits are themselves “Driven”? Quis custodiet?
I’ve a question regards all major brand bit cases. Milwaukee, Makita, Dewalt, Bosch, whatever.
Which brand seems to be the easiest to access the actual bits without resorting to forcefully prying them out?
AKA most finger (only) access?
In my experience the easiest to access are *some* of the Dewalt ones, but they’re a little difficult to describe as not all Dewalt’s bit holders are the same and some of them are downright frustrating.
Most bit holders are just a little slot that grabs the bits. Many of Dewalts are like this too. But some of them are made so you first put the rear end of the bit into the holder then you swing it down into place rather than having a simple slot to press them into. Removal is the opposite: you pull up the tip of the bit, then once it’s at a roughly 45 degree angle they come right out. IMHO these are much easier to access since the tilting motion is much easier than taking them straight in and out. They also seem more secure which is nice for heavier bits like 6″ long ones, extensions, larger drill bits, etc.
The specific type of holder I am talking about can be seen on the left (clear) side of the product case shown here:
Dewalt makes the same thing also in a black color. I think the best way to identify this kind of holder is that it takes two dovetail slots in the outer case whereas the less convenient holders only take one slot.
I am happy with Bosch. No real qualms about them. Tilt in and out.
Hate the Milwaukee ones, where I need a screwdriver to pry hex bits out … and the case of drills with hex bases … omg is that ever a nightmare to try to pull them out of the case. Like the hex holder holes were printed too small.
I like the Bosch, but those Dewalt’s that MM mentioned look pretty good.
For insert bits, I keep a Wera Bitcheck 30 that I just keep refilling with a custom assortment. It’s wallet sized and v quick to access. For drills, I usually carry these Bosch tilt-out cases – stands a much better chance that I’ll put the bits back in place as I work.
A plastic peanut butter jar will hold as many bits as 10 or 15 plastic cases taking up a tiny fraction of the room, so that our toolbags can actually hold tools.
We certainly don’t worry about leaving/forgetting a bit on a jobsite (since we aren’t putting them away in their supposed spot in each plastic case which would let us know if one was missing) as I see bits as consumables, space in toolbags as premium real estate, and don’t want to pay someone walking around and wasting time looking for a lost bit that’s probably about wore out anyway.
So we just chuck ’em in a plastic jar and move on.
When we can’t find a certain bit, we have a large stash of new ones with us.
Get ‘er done and move on carrying the least amount of bulk as is possible.
Best case I ever used in regards to ease of removing/inserting bits, while still holding them securely was a Craftsman set I got on clearance when our Sears store closed. Tip the bit and it came right out. Re insert it, lay it down and it was secure. Designed so that when closed the bits could not tip and come loose even if dropped. The best design I’ve seen. Hopefully Craftsman will make that design again.
I really like the Bosch custom case idea, but have been unable to find just the red clip bit holders. Does anyone know whether there is a source for these items?? Thx so much for your help!
They might have had them at some point, but I’ve only seen refill kits – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073HQXT8Y/?tag=toolguyd-20 .
Honestly, the cheapest way to get them is to wait for another $10 assortment sale and buy them for the boxes and inserts.
They sell empty cases, but not the inserts. I suppose it’s not economical to sell the bit strips/clip-in holders, and so that’s why they’re only available with bits or in assortments.
High & Mighty
No one should care about these bits or much of anything else that Bosch is doing until they start producing results from their line of profactor tools. They announced it a few months ago and yet the newest tool they released is some compact shitty diy grade hammer drill. Obviously showing zero initiative towards improving their tainted reputation. Even worse is that they partnered with a whole bunch of other companies to make tools for their batteries and they have yet to produce anything. Perhaps Bosch abandoned the partnership similar to the megawatt tools. Or, all of those brands realized that Bosch wasn’t going to do anything to get the ball rolling and they told Bosch to fly a kite. And no one should feel bad for not being interested in any of this crap that Bosch is up to. They’re not worth paying attention to. They certainly should not be mentioned in the likes of professional brands. They don’t exhibit professionalism. How long ago did they start on this new line of tools that has yet to be seen? 4 years ago? Still nothing. Yeah, they’re real professionals aren’t they. So they jumped from 10x longer to 50x longer and yet its the same shit that Milwaukee claimed with their matrix bits. We all know how that went. Did Bosch stumble upon some secret metallurgical process that really makes their bits last 50 times longer than normal bits? Absolutely not. In fact the only bits that I have ever had break are the impact rated bits. I’ve always been curious what it is they mean by standard bits. They’re all made from chrome vanadium. That’s been the standard for a long time. Tool steel is tool steel which is why all tools are the same color metal and they all rust. And Bosch is the last brand that I would think to make any effort to make something like bits last longer. You wanna know how to test if a bit is impact rated? Put it in a vise with the business end up above the vise and hit it with a hammer. Hard. If it snaps, it ain’t impact rated. Never have I had a normal cv bit break or snap. That torsion zone impact rated stuff is a bunch of horseshit. It doesn’t do anything for longevity purposes. It was a marketing scheme that everyone caught wind of and ran with and it stuck. Notice how nobody makes standard bits anymore. But everyone claims their impact rated bits last longer than standard bits. They even came up with catchy nonsense like flex and torsion zone. What the hell that’s supposed to mean, I have no idea. I don’t think they do either. It just sounds catchy. I think Bosch deserves every bit of criticism that comes their way. They have failed to meet expectations time and time again. It’s time to show and prove.
Torsion zones are the reduced diameter lengths of the shafts.
Basically, bit tips are a weak zone. Too much stress, and they deform and then break off.
A torsion zone acts as a kind of spring, absorbing some of the energy in an elastic manner, meaning the excess energy isn’t lost, it’s simply stored.
Let’s say you have a much older impact bit and a new bit with torsion zone. Both screwdriver bit tips are Torx T20. You have two fasteners, two impacts, and your two screwdriver bits. You fasten each fastener down 95% of the way. You give the impact with the older style impact bit a quick squeeze of the trigger. In a metal fastening task, the fastener tightens and then it resists additional motion. *crack* your bit tip breaks off. You take your bit with torsion zone squeeze the trigger, and your fastener tightens and then stops. You see that it’s not turning anymore and you let your finger off the trigger.
The physics is sound. A longer torsion zone can absorb a certain amount of energy. Rather than have excess energy break off your fastener tip, it twists the bit about its “torsion zone.”
Is the torsion zone fully responsible for reduced bit tip breakage these days? I’d say no – impact accessories have also seen improvements in metal alloys, heat treatment, and geometries over the years.
“Torsion zone” is as descriptive a feature as can get.
It would be a miracle to have only broken impact bits and never a regular one. Try some standard phillips bits from any old assortment stuffer, or a ten pack from HF in an impact driver. You can shatter those super easy driving some 3 inch or longer screws.
One word, Wera!
They are taking large sales online and the other brands needed to close the gap. Tools are like fashion whereas they will have to make sales and do this monthly by creative means as necessary. When revenue dips from major brands, this signals change in production and launching of come innovative designs (Fashion) trying to appeal to consumers.
Yes, tools are like fashion and the really identify with loyal consumers who just have to have the latest designs.
The “torsion zone” flexes to absorb some of the sharp impact that might otherwise break a tip.
But this also means that the “torsion zone” bit does not transfer all of the tool’s available impulse to the tip. It’s a “shock absorber” between your tool and your work.
In other words, the peak impact you can apply to a fastener is reduced. You can think of it as lowering the max impulse available from your driver.