NITSAN SIMANTOV. PHOTOGRAPHER. FILMMAKER.

East Grinstead photographer and filmmaker Nitsan Simantov. Wedding photography and commercial video production in London and West Sussex.

REVIEW: Bosch GSB 18V-LI drill driver

I love this thing!

GOOD:
Smooth and decently quiet. At slow speeds it's about as quiet as my tiny 3.6v screwdriver.

Nice speed control on the trigger.

Lots of power. I've yet to come across anything this couldn't drill or screw.

Very comfortable grip.

The LED light works well. You can press the trigger just a tiny bit to turn the light on without having the drill actually spin. Great for when you're aligning the screw.

Very compact for this power. Because of this, there is no second handle. Not a problem, but would have been nice to have. Bosch do a larger version with a second handle, but it costs more too, so I went with this.

The two batteries are superb. I can charge one while using the other if needed, although so far I've never run out during a project. I also bought the GST 18V-LI jigsaw, so the second battery lives on the jigsaw. (The jigsaw was about £120 body-only, so it was a a nice cost saving since I already had the batteries)

Both batteries have a test button to see how much is left, although on one of them it's a bit hard to press the button.

Really tough. See thee video made by "tools in action" on Youtube. They did a great destruction test with lots of 18v drills. There are also several other destruction tests with the Bosch drills on Youtube.

Charger seems tough too. Charges very quickly.

I use the carry case for all my in-use chargers. This is not the L-Boxx version, which costs a little more and has the option to stack multiple boxes securely.

BAD:
Who was the genius that designed the shallow belt clip? Almost guaranteed to fall off your belt in a few minutes. I'll be making my own deeper belt clip for this, probably using some strong steel wire. An extra 1-3cm depth would do the trick I think.

I've had a screwdriver bit fall out a few times when I didn't tighten the chuck well enough.

CHEAP VS EXPENSIVE DRILLS:
While this is great, many budget drills are also very good for the price you pay. This is definitely the best drill I've ever owned, but a cheap drill can often do the same job for a fraction of the cost. I would say if you're on a low budget, spend £20 on a basic drill until you have the budget for a £130 kit. I personally wouldn't go for the mid-priced ones at £50-70, at that price I would just spend a bit extra and get Bosch or Makita to get the reliability.

COMPATIBILITY:
If you're not already invested in Bosch tools, I would say take a look at the Bosch (blue only!) and Makita websites and see what tools you might want to get in the future. (There are some other brands too, but those are the two I would personally prefer. Very reliable, but still much less expensive than Festool, Fein, Hilti, etc.)

I got a Bosch 18v drill and jigsaw, even though the Bosch range has a few things missing (and some tools that have no warranty because they are only available from abroad, such as the 18v sander, 18v vacuum cleaner, etc.) so I might have to get a couple of Makita 14.4v batteries to give me access to a good cordless staple gun, pin nailer, sander, vacuum cleaner, etc.
The Makita 18v line is noticeably more expensive than the Bosch 18v, so for me it works out fine to have a mix of Bosch 18v and Makita 14.4v.

Conclusion:
Very glad I got this. Using it almost daily. Love it.