Bosch 18V Impact Driver Sports Hybrid 1/4″ Hex and 1/2″ Square Drive
The Bosch 18V impact driver with socket ready drive isn’t a new player in the impact driver sector, but it’s getting a fresh look thanks to the Core18V battery. Earning a new nickname with the updated kit option, the Bosch Freak warrants your attention.
Despite its seemingly mediocre results head to head, Bosch’s Freak is one of my favorite impact drivers to use. It has the power to drive thicker screws and the hybrid square drive means I’m not shearing off adapters when I want to use a socket. This is one model that’s more useful than its rating makes it seem.
But there’s also more good news – an updated version of this model is on our way and we know it has even more power. Check back for updates!
*Results as of February 11, 2019. Check out our Best 18V Impact Driver page for the latest updates.
With 2800 RPM and 3200 BPM rates, there’s clearly enough speed to cover your fastening duties. How much muscle it has comes in the torque rating – 1650 inch pounds. We like to see at least 1500 for a primary impact driver, so this Bosch 18V impact driver checks off that box. There are models that push 2000+ inch pounds that lead the class, though.
As an impact wrench, the torque translates to just under 140 foot-pounds. So what you’re looking at is a light-duty impact wrench. That’s not a surprise considering that the dual-purpose drive is geared toward construction with some automotive use.
There may be some concern about the strength of the square drive since it allows space for the 1/4″ hex collet. With the torque limited where it is, I haven’t come across any issues of failure at the drive, nor do I expect to. It would be a different story if we were looking at something around 400 foot-pounds or so.
Longer life, more runtime, and more power are a few of the benefits you gain from Bosch’s EC brushless motor. You can read about the differences between brushed and brushless motors here.
Bosch Core18V batteries take the cordless side of Bosch’s power tools business a big step forward. 2 of the 6.3 Ah batteries come with the kit to give you better performance and runtime. It’s more than just more capacity, though. Core18V runs coolers and is capable of delivering much greater power than Bosch’s standard 18V batteries.
There’s a 4.0 Ah slim pack and an 8.0 Ah pack coming soon as well.
Socket Ready Drive
What gives the Bosch Freak its name is the unusual drive design. On the surface, it looks like a standard 1/2″ square drive for sockets. A closer inspection shows it’s more hollow inside than others and hides a 1/4″ hex drive. At its core, the Bosch 18v impact driver with socket ready drive is an impact driver after all.
LED lights are common on nearly every cordless tool these days. The Bosch IDH182 is noteworthy because they include 3 that surround the chuck and give you much better visibility.
With the new kit option, Bosch includes their fast charger. They promise you’ll get an 80% charge in just 41 minutes and a full charge in 55 minutes on the Core18V batteries that come with it.
Additional Bosch IDH182-24B Socket Ready Impact Driver Features
- Electronic mode controls
- Maximum impact endurance hammer/anvil design
- Longer belt clip
- CoolPack 2.0 technology for battery
- Full Bosch 18V battery system compatibility
Only two things stand out as missing at this stage of the game for Bosch: smart controls and assist modes. Those are features that we see from the other Big 3 (Makita, Milwaukee, and Dewalt), but they don’t change the game so much that it feels like Bosch is missing out for not having them.
Are they convenient? Sure. Necessary? Definitely not.
As a bare tool, the Freak weighs in at 2.4 pounds and 4.2 pounds with the Core18V battery. The battery certainly makes the tool hefty for all day use, but not horribly so. The recent addition of Core18V slim packs is good news if you’re looking to make this your primary impact driver.
Bosch’s handle ergonomics are excellent – it contours to my hand beautifully. The balance is on target as well. I’m not fighting the weight no matter what direction I’m fastening, though you will notice that it’s bottom-heavy with this battery.
At $349, the Bosch IDH182-B24 clearly carries a premium price. For a driver that’s been on the market for several years that may be a surprise. Keep in mind that with standard 4.0 Ah batteries, the L-Boxx kit price is just $269 and it’s $159 as a bare tool. The extra $80 moves you up to the Core18V batteries and a fast charger.
Pro Buying Tip: For $50 more, you can get the same kit and add Bosch’s HDH183 brushless hammer drill.
Compared to other brands, Bosch is right on par with Makita’s XDT12 kit while Milwaukee and DeWalt run a bit less. The difference is none of them offer a kitted battery similar to Core18V.
The Bottom Line
The Bosch Socket Ready Impact Driver checks off all the boxes for what we expect on a Pro-level impact driver. The major benefit is that whether you’re driving standard screws or a hex head bolt, you don’t have to go searching for an adapter before you put a 1/2″ socket on.
Bosch 18V Impact Driver with Socket Ready Drive Specs
- Model: Bosch IDH182-B24
- Power Source: Bosch 18V Battery (2 Core18V 6.3 Ah included)
- Drive: 1/4″ Hex + 1/2″ Square Drive
- No Load BPM: 0-3,200
- No Load RPM: 0-2,800
- Torque (in. lbs.): 0-1,650 / 0-900 / 0-400
- Height: 7.75″
- Length: 6.25″
- Width: 2.93″
- Weight: 4.14lb
- Price: $119 (bare), $249 (compact kit), $349 Core18V kit
- Warranty: 1 year
Editor’s Note: This review originally published on August 21, 2018 and has been updated to reflect the Bosch 18V impact driver’s performance in our recent shootout. Look for the full shootout results starting Feb 11, 2019.