A couple months ago I was asked by the Mechanical Hub team to to put the Bosch EC Brushless Socket-ready Impact Drill/Wrench (IDH182) through some tough and challenging rigors. In my line of work that would not be a problem as being a contract Fire Sprinkler Fitter. 10 years in the industry I’ve gone through my fair share of Impact drills. I had the perfect job coming up tearing down and replacing a Fire Pump at the local USPS headquarters. In addition to the impact I also got to test out the new WC18CHF-102 18 V Wireless Charging Starter Kit with Mobile Holster and Frame. The first of its kind as to my knowledge but more about that below.
I’m very familiar with Bosch drills as we use them for all sorts of pipe drilling for mechanical tees. It just so happens that our Fire Sprinkler shop uses both Bosch and Milwaukee cordless power tools. So when the Hub told me I was getting a wireless charging 18v impact drill, I was already skeptical that it would have the power and the torque to take on such a large task and expected to be charging batteries all day. Up to this point I have been a Milwaukee man and I was determined to push the Bosch 18v EC Brushless Impact drill to it’s limits. I wanted to see this drill fail in action.
To my surprise at first looks it seemed a bit too small for big jobs. Also I was intrigued by the drill’s chuck, it allows seamless changes between ¼-inch screwdriver bits and ½-inch sockets, eliminating the need for two tools and extra adapters. This would prove to be extremely useful on the job as I would not have to keep track of my socket adapter [for my Milwaukee impact driver] in the mess of flange nuts and bolts. I also noticed a variable speed setting but this meant nothing to me as a Sprinkler Fitter, admittedly we are pedal to the metal. We’ll leave the finesse stuff to the soccer Moms and HVAC techs. The Drill is also fitted with a Bosch three LED light design to provide maximum illumination of work area without shadows; that’s good because a lot of my work is in dark places. Gripping the drill was comfortable and the drill itself was pretty light. To my own chagrin I was excited to even think of the small spaces I could possibly maneuver the drill to get to the difficult reaches for bolt removal on flanges; an task normally left to manual removal with a adjustable wrench and hold back.
Bring it on!
I was going to defeat this drill and prove that once again my Red Impact would outperform and last as long if not longer. Not only that, but the environment this drill would be in was constantly wet and trapped with water. There was no way in my mind this drill would take the abuse or last long enough. Step one was to set start charging the wireless 4.0 Ah FatPack battery with the wireless charger. As I placed…yes placed the 4.0 Ah 18V Wireless FatPack Battery on top of the charger the indicator lights indicated all systems go. This part just felt odd that I did not have to snap a battery into a charger. Sometimes that click can be soothing and reassuring, but hey I’m willing to try new things.
At first I thought I had the Bosch on the run and already down for the count as it struggled to loosen 1 ½-inch flange bolts. I was already getting my satisfaction that I was right. It was too small to do the job. But the reality was my Milwaukee couldn’t handle it either. The bolts were all painted with a heavy latex paint. I had to achieve some of the loosening manually as some of the threads were covered in the thick rubbery paint.
So as the week went on demoing and rebuilding the Pump and system of flanges and vics…I kept using the Bosch over my Milwaukee. I also didn’t notice right away that the battery impressively lasted and performed, if not outperformed my Milwaukee drill and batteries. The Bosch wireless charger kept up beautifully during the project and I never once had to wait for a charge. I also fell in love with speed and torque of the drill as I knew I had a secure tight fit with each flange bolt. By the end of the project I had completely ignored my Milwaukee Impact drill and it’s socket adapter. I became so impressed and attached to the Bosch that if my apprentice even looked towards it, I would hiss and low growl at him like a beast from hell just daring him to try and ask me for it. Use the red one, rookie…
So one more test I had to try. What about the average Joe working on his trusty vehicle that hasn’t had a rear brake job since 2005? Not only did it handle the lug nuts but the variable speed and torque setting allowed a safe loosening and tightening of the brake caliper assembly and rotors!
This IDH182 Bosch 18 V EC Brushless Socket Ready Impact with 1/4 In. Hex and 1/2 In. Square Drive won me over big time! Absolutely impressive in my opinion and actually fractured my brand loyalty from previous mind set. This Drill can do big jobs as well as little jobs. It’s just as much for the average Joe as to the Professional Contractor. Well done Bosch.