When 1+1 = More Than 2
It is an ever-growing scenario… Why just buy the tool you need, when you can get two tools for less than the cost of their individual prices combined? Lately, the benefit of a package deal ties in the all-important battery bonus, plus the obvious practical and sometimes emotional value of getting a “deal”. In the case of the CLPK222-181 Bosch 18V 2-Tool Combo Kit, all these upsides are present, plus the more practical, real world utility of getting two really good complementary tools.
A Battery of Information
Like many of you, I have had my fair share of battery-powered devices over the past several years. That said; this is my first experience with Bosch. Cordless tools have changed a lot in recent times. They have evolved from low power, short run time homeowner helpers, to today’s powerhouses, which contractors can’t seem to live without. Battery and motor design have improved at break-neck speed. This leaves me wondering if battery development is trying to keep up the pace with integrated circuits which double in density (resulting in faster computer performance) every 2 years (Moore’s Law, for the uber-geeks out there). Last year, Bosch made the leap to 5 amp hour batteries. At World of Concrete 2015, they announced their upcoming 6.0 amp hour battery that debuted in Europe last year.
Jumping with No Cord
A stand out Bosch technology feature on this Bosch 18V 2-tool combo kit is the LED battery level indicator. It may not be as sexy a feature as wireless charging technology, but it’s important. It’s also, believe it or not, still not quite a standard feature for every manufacturer, so I’d be remiss to understate it. For me, the battery level indicator is high on my list of cordless tool features. I’m at the point that if it doesn’t have an indicator, I’m most likely moving on to another model, and perhaps another manufacturer. Many other pros also consider this a deal breaker item.
Great Name, Great Impact
Beyond the power system, the CLPK222-181 Bosch 18V 2-Tool Combo Kit includes the Bosch 25618 ¼” Hex Impact Driver and the HDH181X 1/2″ Brute Tough Hammer Drill Driver. Both tools have built in LED work lights, another newer feature on many, but not all power tools available today. Last, but not least, a nice sized durable material contractor bag is thrown in to keep everything in one spacious and portable place.
The Bosch 25618 Impact Driver included in this Bosch 18V 2-Tool Combo Kit has a female quick-change hex tool receptacle and universally accepts any tooling in the ¼” drive category. Delivering a maximum 1500 in. lbs. of torque, 2,800 RPM and 3,200 BPM (blows per minute), the all metal gears and high performance motor provides ample power and control for most tasks. Ergonomically, the Bosch 25618 is well balanced with well-contoured and good friction grip surfaces. With its compact head design, it was easy to get into a variety of tight spaces.
Operating the Bosch 25618 Impact Driver was comfortable and reassuring throughout several projects. Installing 1/2″ lag bolts into pressure treated lumber was virtually effortless. As mentioned above, the compact design made the tight squeeze at ground level feasible without any strenuous effort on my part. Battery power was barely diminished after completing several railing post installs on my 410 square foot deck. As an automotive tool, the Bosch 25618 Impact Driver was a back and time saver when I used it to free up lug nuts on a ’98 pickup, which had been sitting for months. Torque and speed were more than adequate to loosen the seized nuts. Not having to find and manually work a breaker bar, saved time and energy. Normally, I would have been winded, if not for the benefit of the impact driver.
Staying in the automotive category, a pesky water pump project was made a whole lot easier with the Bosch 25618 Impact Driver. Several bolts were involved on the pump change out on a 2000 Chevy Tahoe. Fortunately, there’s a little more room in this model engine compartment, so the Bosch 25618 Impact Driver was put to work. As expected, there were no issues.
Let’s Hammer This Out
Moving on to the Bosch 18V 2-Tool Combo Kit’s HDH181X 1/2″ Brute Tough Hammer Drill Driver, I was equally impressed with its design. With 752 in. lbs. of torque, Bosch has provided plenty of power. They also considered ergonomics and safety by adding active response technology which offers kickback and binding reduction control. Anyone who’s ever drilled a large diameter hole into wood and hit a nail knows this can save a sprained wrist. Gear shifting provides variable speed up to 420 RPM or 1,800 RPM. Impact rate is 27,750 BPM. The weight of the hammer drill driver is obviously greater than the impact driver, although, ergonomics and balance are still pretty good. Adding a 320-degree adjustable and removable handle to the tool complements the added weight while also providing improved control and hand/wrist stress reduction.
With a fully adjustable torque clutch and hammer feature control on the collar, the Bosch HDH181X 1/2″ Brute Tough Hammer Drill Driver provides everything at your fingertips. The tool-less chuck performed very well. While this type of feature is more widely available today, I found the Bosch solution to be very positive and reliable. It quickly shifts in to what I call “micro-squeeze” in order to really leverage your hand power in order to get a good bite on a round bit. I had no slipped accessories during my use, which was really impressive, as paddle bits seem to have a knack for wiggling loose. Just as easy, the release and removal of bits was no problem.
While I didn’t have a lot of practice in this round with the hammer-drilling feature, it performed as expected. The adjustable side handle is expected on a hammer drill. Bosch designed it to provide for virtually any radial position, which comes in handy in tight and awkward spaces. There is a depth gauge rod provided for drill depth control. Securing the gauge rod was easy, however, the threaded lock knob appears a little flimsy for the application. Unless you’re really leaning into the drill during operation, it should hold up well enough for most users.
In the End, There’s More to the Bosch 18V 2-Tool Combo Kit
In closing, the Bosch 18V 2-Tool Combo Kit is a great value. Bosch’s brand recognition as a leader in professional grade toolmaker, as well as this positive hands-on experience, makes this a go-to option. Beyond these two particular tools in the CLPK222-181 kit, Bosch has ensured system compatibility by providing universal interchange amongst all of its 18V batteries. So, 1+1 may equal WAY more than 2. Additionally, the Bosch Power Ready wireless battery and charging system is now available, which they are the first and only system on the market. With wireless charging options, universal Bosch 18V compatibility, plus excellent performance, I feel good about investing in this series of Bosch tools for the long haul.
Bosch CCPK222-181 18V 2-Tool Combo Kit Specs
Bosch 25618 ¼” Hex Impact Driver
- No Load Speed: 0 – 2800 RPM
- Torque: 0 – 1500 inch pounds
- Impacts: 0 – 3200 IPM
- Chuck: 1/4″ hex
Bosch HDH181X ½” Brute Tough Hammer Drill Driver
- No Load Speed: 0 – 440/0 – 1850 RPM
- Torque: 752 inch pounds
- Beats: 0 – 27,500 BPM
- Chuck: 1/2″
You can pick up the CLPK222-181 Hammer Drill/Impact Driver kit from most Bosch retailers. Retail prices are listed around $329. Along with the hammer drill and impact driver, the kit includes a pair of 4.0 amp hour batteries, belt clip, magnetic bit holder, 2 screwdriver bits, charger, and contractor bag. The kit comes with Bosch’s standard 1 year limited warranty or 3 year ProVantage warranty program (registration required).