If you’re looking to go cordless in concrete, the Bosch 18V SDS-Plus Brushless Rotary Hammer is a popular option. Paired with their onboard dust collector, it makes drilling holes in concrete more convenient makes any surprise OSHA inspection a little less tense. SDS-Plus covers a pretty wide range, so where does this option fit into the mix? And what does it bring to the table over its competition?
Brushless motors are king in the cordless world thanks to their longer runtime and life. If you’re going to drill more than a few holes in concrete, having a brushless motor is the way to go. Bosch packs their EC brushless motor in the GBH18V-26.
One of the major standout features on the Bosch 18V SDS-Plus Brushless Rotary Hammer is its kickback control. Even though it’s not as powerful as an SDS-Max rotary hammer, it’ll still wrench your arm if you hit a piece of rebar and aren’t ready for it. Kickback control will help reduce the risk of injury significantly.
Electronic Precision Control
EPC – Electronic Precision Control – gives you a slower ramp up when you need an accurate start. This sounds like a fancy term for a soft start, but it goes a bit further. Using EPC control, you’ll have a soft start along with a maximum of 70% total power. It’s best for when control throughout the entire drilling process is a must. Flip the switch to 100%, and you’ll have full power without the soft start.
Core 18V Compatibility
The Bosch GBH18V-26 isn’t one of the tools built around the Core 18V battery. However, like all Bosch 18V tools, you can use it in this system. Not only will you get more runtime from the 6.3 Ah battery, you’ll also get a little boost in performance.
One of the nice things about the SDS-Plus platform is that the rotary hammer using it are smaller and lighter. This one weighs in at 6.3 pounds without the battery and bumps up to 8.1 pounds with a Core 18V battery. If you’re adding the GDE18V-16 onboard dust collector, you’re sitting at 10.7 pounds for the whole kit.
I’m a fan of the overall compact design over the longer styles. The two-finger trigger and handle are comfortable enough to use bare-handed and there’s overmold in all the usual places.
When you assess the capabilities of a rotary hammer – even before you read the specs – two features will tell you a lot of what you need to know about its purpose: it’s shank size and whether it’s corded or cordless. The SDS-Plus shank is suited for light and medium duty work (SDS-Max is for the heaviest duty) and the battery power allows you to finish jobs with a smaller scope or work where power is unavailable.
Within the range of SDS-Plus rotary hammers, the 1.9 foot-pounds of impact energy Bosch packs in this Bulldog are best for holes up to 1″ in diameter. While the Bosch GBH18V-26 is going to do its most effective work a little shy of that mark, it can handle the 1″ hole if you need it to. If you’re consistently drilling 1″ holes or a little higher, you’ll want to look to a more powerful model.
There is some vibration control built into this model. You’ll notice the vibration-reducing handle on the outside. Bosch isn’t specific about what they’ve done under the hood, though. In practice, there’s still some vibration that reaches your hands. It’s better than some of the low to mid-range brands out there, but I’ve used others on the high end that do a bit better.
For most drilling, the GDE18V-16 dust collector is the way to go. But if you need to drill holes deeper than 4″ or more than 5/8″ in diameter, a dust shroud will be the easiest way to go. For concrete anchoring applications, hollow core bits will get the job done well and save you the blow-brush-blow part of the process.
Until We Meet Again…
What I like about the Bosch 18V SDS-Plus Brushless Rotary Hammer is that it brings a lot to the table for light to medium-duty work. It’s a well-built system for drilling holes under 1″ in diameter and it’s the only cordless model that Bosch currently has a dedicated onboard dust collector for.
Dan Elms currently has this one out for some more extensive field testing. As soon as he finishes formulating his thoughts on the system, we’ll update this review.
Bosch 18V SDS-Plus Brushless Rotary Hammer GBH18V-26 Features
- EC Brushless motor – delivers 1.9 Ft.-Lbs. of impact energy and longer runtime
- Lightweight, at only 6.3 Lbs. (tool only, not including battery) – for great performance-to-weight ratio
- KickBack Control technology – reduces the risk of sudden tool reactions in binding conditions
- Electronic Precision Control – provides slower ramp-up for accurate bit starts
- Vibration Control – affords great user comfort for extended periods of work
- SDS-Plus chuck – industry-standard system compatible with many bits
- Robust power system – produces 0-4,350 no-load bpm and 0-890 no-load rpm
- Electronic Motor and Cell Protection – protects motor and battery from overheating
- Ergonomic layout – made with an L-shape design for better horizontal drilling
Bosch 18V SDS-Plus Brushless Rotary Hammer GBH18V-26 Specifications
- Model Numbers:
- Bosch GBH18V-26 (Bare)
- Bosch GBH18V-26K24 (Kit with Core 18V Batteries)
- Chuck Design: Keyless
- Impact Energy: 1.9 Foot-Pounds
- Chuck Size: 3/4 Inch SDS-Plus
- Length: 13.7 Inches
- Concrete Max Capacity: 1 Inch
- Steel Max Capacity: 1/2 Inch
- Wood Max Capacity: 1-1/4 Inch
- Max. Hole Diameter in Concrete-Thin Wall Core Bit: 2-5/8 Inch
- No Load BPM: 0 – 4,350
- No Load RPM: 0 – 890
- Torque: 250 Inch-Pounds
- Width: 3 Inches
- Includes: Auxilary Handle, Depth Gauge