We spotted a new and lower-priced Bosch 18V FREAK brushless 2-in-1 impact driver and impact wrench combo kit, GDX18V-1800B12.
At the time of this posting, the price is $159 for the kit, but that could change soon.
Bosch has also come out with a new $99 18V brushless drill kit for Black Friday and the 2020 holiday shopping season, and so it wouldn’t be surprising if this new FREAK kit will indeed be priced at $99 as Thanksgiving nears.
At first glance, it looked like this new Bosch FREAK impact tool kit was simply a cheaper configuration, but closer inspection shows that it’s a different tool. There are noticeable differences between the updated Bosch FREAK brushless impact and this new cheaper model.
- Previous (premium) model: GDX18V-1800C
- New (basic) model: GDX18V-1800B
The Bosch GDX18V-1800C 18V “FREAK 2.0” originally launched as a $159 bare tool and $299 kit.
After the updated Bosch brushless FREAK launched, Bosch also released a one-battery kit version of the premium model, GDX18V-1800C.
This new kit is very similar in appearance and model number, but is definitely different.
To start, this new cheaper GDX18V-1800B12 kit comes with a different charger, as you can tell by the different markings and LED indicators on the front.
Bosch’s product listing says that the kit comes with their GAL 18V-20 charger. We don’t yet know if the charger in this value-oriented kit is slower than the one included in the more premium cordless FREAK kit, but would assume so.
We have asked Bosch PR for more information about the GAL 18V-20 charger and how its charging rate compare to that of the GAL 18V-40 charger.
We’re also curious as to why this charger has fewer indicator lights than the other model. We know that the GAL 18V-40 charger, as well as the new Bosch 18V 6-port charger, feature dual-cycle charging – perhaps this one does not?
About the tools themselves, it looks like there are noticeable differences:
- Single speed and torque mode (vs. 3 on the premium model)
- No Bluetooth Connectivity (optional on the premium model)
- Different LED worklight
- No LED on/off button
The basic features and specs are the same:
- 1/4″ hex shank screwdriver bit holder
- 1/2″ square drive socket anvil
- 1800 in-lbs max torque
- 0-3400 RPM (no load)
- 5.8″ length
- Brushless motor
- Belt clip
It is unclear as to whether this new model, GDX18V-1800B, will be replacing the previous model, GDX18V-1800C, but that’s doubtful. There will be two brushless drill and impact driver combo kits featuring this new FREAK impact, but they look to also include Bosch’s new basic brushless drill/driver and different battery configurations.
It is our assumption that Bosch will continue to offer the more premium impact alongside the new value-focused model. We have reached out to Bosch PR for clarity and are waiting for their response.
Lastly, this new kit comes with an 18V 2.0Ah SlimPack battery, instead of the CORE18V 4.0Ah battery included with the more premium kit.
Sale Price: $99 (as of 11/2/2020)
This looks like a replacement for Bosch’s 18V brushed motor FREAK impact tool kit, GDX18V-1600B12, which went on sale last year for $79 as part of Lowe’s Black Friday tool deals. At the time of this posting, that kit is priced at $149.
If a brushed motor tool kit that’s regularly priced at $149 could go on sale for $79, I think it’s reasonable to think that this new $159 offering might be a $99 Black Friday special at Lowe’s and other retailers later this year.
At the time of this posting, the more premium kit is priced at $200, except at Acme Tools where it’s inexplicably $159 right now.
Compared to the more premium tool, Bosch did a couple of things to lower production costs for this more value-priced budget model, but without changing its fundamentals.
You still get a brushless motor, and you still get the 1-in-1 FREAK-style screwdriver bit and socket impact driver-wrench mechanism, and you still get the same 1800 in-lbs max torque and 3400 RPM max speed setting.
You get a more basic LED, they took out the worklight on/off button, they took out the multi-speed and torque settings and control button, they give you a lower capacity battery (2.0Ah vs CORE18V 4.0Ah), and it looks like you get a slower and slightly lower-frilled charger.
The heart of the tool looks to be there, and it’s worth noting that Bosch managed to keep the belt clip included in this basic kit.
This looks comparable to other brands’ “basic” and “better” impact driver lineup entries, only the basic models used to be brushed motor and the more premium brushless.
IF this will indeed be a $99 Black Friday 2020 special buy, it’ll be a heck of a great buy.
Given how this new Bosch 18V FREAK impact looks heavily based on their existing model, I have been looking at it as a cheaper version of that tool. But if that more premium offering never existing, this would be quite the upgrade compared to Bosch’s brushed model offering.
Compared to the brushed motor model, this new model has a brushless motor, higher power (1800 vs 1600 in-lbs), faster max speed (3400 vs 2800 RPM), and shorter length (5.8″ vs 6.7″).
Actually, let me emphasize this – the new FREAK looks to be a HUGE upgrade compared to the previous brushed motor model.
We’re going to have to wait and see how things play out. Strategically, I think that Bosch will sell a whole lot more units at $99 than at any other price between $99 and $159. Given the timing of this launch and Bosch’s promotional history, a $99 holiday season price seems possible if not likely.
Would you buy this kit at $99? $129? Any price?
For those of you that have used any of Bosch’s 18V FREAK impact tools, what would you say to anyone considering buying this or another of their 2-in-1 impact driver/wrench models?