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Bosch Brushless Freak Impact Driver Review GDX18V-1860CN

Bosch 18V Brushless Freak Impact Driver GDX18V-1860 Review
PTR Review
  • Overall Rating 9.0

The Bosch Brushless Connected-Ready Freak Impact Driver packs more power into their hybrid drive, making it an even better all-around tool for both screwdriving and socket work than the original Freak. Even though it's an incremental step forward, the price isn't changing, making the choice between the 1800 and 1860 an easy one.

Overall Score 9.0 (out of 10)

Bosch Freak Gets Another Upgrade with the GDX18V-1860CN

The original Bosch Freak (IDH182) has been around for a while now and it got a brushless upgrade a few years ago. There’s another upgrade and we wanted to see how much of a performance boost the latest Bosch brushless Freak impact driver (GDX18V-1860CN) received.


Pros

  • More torque than the GDX18V-1800CN
  • Comfortable handle
  • Ready for Bosch Connected Module if you want to add it
  • Socket-ready hybrid hex/square drive
  • No price increase

Cons

  • Hybrid drive makes the tool longer

Bosch Brushless Freak Performance

On paper, the Bosch GDX18V-1860CN differs from the 1800CN in just two measurements. The torque moves up from 1800 in-lbs to 1860 in-lbs and the impact rate drops from 4200 IPM to 4100 IPM. The three speeds still top out at 1100, 2300, and 3400 RPM.

We ran a couple of tests to see what the practical differences are. Up first, was our 1/4-in x 8-in GRK Fasteners RSS screw test in stacked OSB. Here’s how the results played out with a 4.0Ah Core 18V battery:

GDX18V-1800CNGDX18V-1860CN
Test 119.2813.83
Test 216.4013.68
Test 315.1012.93
Test 416.9215.48
Test 513.1514.34
Average16.1714.05
Bosch 18V Brushless Freak Impact Driver GDX18V-1860 Review

Despite no change in the top no-load speed, the additional torque made driving these tough screws more than 2 seconds faster on average. We also ran the test with an 8.0Ah battery and the results were very close to the numbers with the 4.0Ah pack.


The second test was to see what kind of breakaway torque each impact driver has. The 1800CN was able to loosen 3000 in-lbs (250 ft-lbs). The updated GDX18V-1860CN took off 3240 in-lbs (270 ft-lbs), verifying that it is a little stronger.

Bosch 18V Brushless Freak Impact Driver GDX18V-1860 Review

Bosch Brushless Freak Design Notes

Connected-Ready

One of the cool features of the Bosch brushless Freak is its connected-ready status. If you want to have some control over the settings, view diagnostics, and see some tracking info, you can add a Bosch Connected module and turn it into a smart tool.

If you don’t want it, you don’t have to pay for a module you’re not interested in. You can add it at any time if you decide later on that you want it. Either way, I like that Bosch makes it available the way they are.

Physically, the only change is the model door shifts to the right side of the handle.

Connected module access

Hybrid Square Drive

The defining feature of both Freak models is the combination 1/4″ hex and 1/2″ square drive. It’s something only Bosch has and it eliminates the need for socket adapters. It also removes the cost of breaking adapters when they absorb too much torque.

Hybrid Drive

The question that lingers is how much torque Bosch’s hybrid square drive can handle. Most impact drivers don’t need more than 1600 in-lbs of torque, but offer more for the impact driver/impact wrench we often want these tools to be. With a pile of sheared socket adapters from our impact driver testing, it’s not always practical.

Single LED Light

Bosch had a 3-LED light trio around the chuck of the original Freak and that’s the style we prefer. The GSX18V-1860CN (and the 1800CN) has a single LED below the handle. It’s certainly not a deal-breaker, though.

Additional Features

  • Brushless motor
  • Electronic battery and motor protection

Bosch Brushless Freak Quick Comparison

GDX 18V-1800CNGDX 18V-1860CN
No-Load Speed0 – 1100/2300/3400 RPM0 – 1100/2300/3400 RPM
Max Torque1800 in-lbs1860 in-lbs
Max Impacts4200 IPM4100 IPM
Bare Weight2.6 lbs2.6 lbs
Head Length5.8 in5.8 in

Bosch Brushless Freak Price

Retail price for the brushless Bosch Freak is $159—the same price as the last model. However, we spied it for $129 at Lowe’s, so be sure to check them out first. Bosch warranties the tool for 1 year and you can extend it to 3 years with a free Bosch ProVantage registration.

The Bottom Line

The Bosch Brushless Connected-Ready Freak Impact Driver packs more power into its hybrid drive, making it an even better all-around tool for both screwdriving and socket work than the original Freak. Even though it’s an incremental step forward, the price isn’t changing, making the choice between the 1800 and 1860 an easy one.

Bosch Brushless Connected-Ready Freak Impact Driver Specifications

  • Model: Bosch GDX18V-1860CN
  • Power Source: Bosch 18V batteries (including Core18)
  • No-Load Speed: 0–1100/0–2300/0–3400 RPM
  • Impact Rate: 4100 IPM
  • Torque: 1860 in-lbs
  • Weight: 2.7 lbs bare, 3.8 lbs with Core18V 4.0 Ah battery
  • Height: 8.2 in
  • Length: 5.8 in
  • Warranty: 3 years with ProVantage
  • Price: $159 bare

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Roger

I’m not sure if it’s nationwide, but Lowe’s in Las Vegas metro area has a Bosch offer that gets you a free battery and charger kit with the purchase of most of their Bosch 18V tools. This is a huge bonus in my opinion.

Mark Griffin

I’ve been pretty impressed so far by the Bosch freak 1800. It’s become my go to for any impact drive. I’ve also found it to be quieter than any impact I have. I happen to pick one up for $99 that included the charger and battery. Possibly mis priced. Had to take a double take because the 1600 is on sale for that price as well.

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