Bosch Brushless Connected-Ready Freak Cordless Drill Reviews & Impact Drivers

18V Impact Drivers

Pro Rating
Final Thoughts

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 no longer has the 3-LED light ring and it tests a bit slower under a moderate load, the improvement Bosch puts into the New and Improved Freak are well worth it. And since there's no increase in price, you get a better tool without having to dig deeper into your bottom line.

Overall Score 4.2 Pro Review

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Bosch Brushless Connected-Ready Freak Impact Driver GDX18V-1800CN


Bosch GDX18V-1800C Upgrades Performance and Connectivity to the Freak

The original Bosch Freak (IDH182) has been around for several years and it’s no surprise the product team was working on an upgrade. That comes to us in the form of the Bosch Brushless Connected-Ready Freak Impact Driver. It’s more than just the addition of the Bosch Connected module-friendly form—there are some performance upgrades to talk about as well.

Pros

  • More torque and light-load speed than IDH182
  • Smaller head length and lighter weight
  • Quieter under load
  • Ready for Bosch Connected module if you want to add it
  • Socket-ready hybrid hex/square drive
  • Combo kits available that include new Connected-ready hammer drills

Cons

  • Shifts from a tri-beam LED light to single
  • Slower moderate load times in our testing

Recommendation

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 no longer has the 3-LED light ring and it tests a bit slower under a moderate load, the improvement Bosch puts into the New and Improved Freak are well worth it. And since there’s no increase in price, you get a better tool without having to dig deeper into your bottom line.

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Performance Upgrades

Let’s go straight to the tale of the tape to see the performance upgrades in the new Freak.

The Bosch GDX18V-1800C actually drops some speed compared to the IDH182 in our testing. On paper, it picks up 600 RPM and you can see that increase when you’re driving deck, drywall, or other light screws. In our 1/4″ ledger screw test, the new model averages 444 RPM, a decrease of 96 RPM from the original Freak’s performance.

Bosch Brushless Connected-Ready Freak

What it drops in speed under that heavy of a load, it picks up in torque. According to the specs, the new Bosch Brushless Connected-Ready Freak Impact Driver has 1800 in-lbs of torque. That’s a 200 in-lb increase that shows in our test results.

For fastening torque, we measured 1988 in-lbs on our test rig. That’s an improvement of more than 500 in-lbs and just over 40%. There’s a strong boost in breakaway torque as well where the new Freak moved up 540 in-lbs to 3300 in-lbs and grabs a nearly 20% improvement.

Bosch Brushless Connected-Ready Freak

When it comes to noise level, this model makes a significant drop. Moving from the original Freak’s 101 decibels down to 97, the Bosch Brushless Connected-Ready Freak Impact Driver ties with Hilti’s SID 4-A22 as the quietest we’ve tested in the 18V class aside from hydraulic impacts.

Key Features

Connected-Ready

One of the major upgrades for the Bosch Brushless Connected-Ready Freak Impact Driver is the 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.

Bosch Brushless Connected-Ready Freak

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.

The slight downside for some us is that it makes the handle a little larger in diameter. As a guy with medium-size hands, the IDH182 fits perfectly in my hand and the GDX18V-1800C isn’t quite as comfortable. It’s not as noticeable if you have larger hands.

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.

Bosch Brushless Connected-Ready Freak

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.

But that’s not the case for Bosch. This combination drive should be able to handle more than any other impact driver out there. It currently sits on 3300 in-lbs (275 ft-lbs) of breakaway torque. I’m hoping future brushless motor development combined with Core18V battery technology spurs this towards 350 ft-lbs of breakaway and 250 ft-lbs of fastening torque to become the premier combination impact driver/light-duty impact wrench available.

It’s in sight, it’s just a matter of whether there’s enough market demand to reach for it.

Single LED Light

Bosch had a 3-LED light trio around the chuck of the original Freak and that’s the style I like. For the GSX18V-1800C, they shift to a single LED below the handle. It’s entirely possible that it’s one of the ways Bosch manages to drop nearly 1/2″ from the length. If I have to choose between the two, I’ll take the more compact footprint.

Bosch Brushless Connected-Ready Freak

Additional Features

  • Brushless motor
  • Electronic battery and motor protection

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Price

The Bosch Brushless Connected-Ready Freak Impact Driver runs $159.00 as a bare tool, putting it in the premium class. It gains a solid value as $199 kit that includes a charger and Core18V 4.0 Ah battery pack.

You can grab it in a combo kit for $349 with two Core18V 4.0 Ah batteries and the GSB18V-535C Connected-Ready compact hammer drill. Moving up to $399 gets you the beefier GSB18V-755C Connected-Ready hammer drill.

Overall, retail prices match the IDH182. It’s in a rare place where you’re getting better tools without an increase in cost.

The Bottom Line

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 no longer has the 3-LED light ring and it tests a bit slower under a moderate load, the improvement Bosch puts into the New and Improved Freak are well worth it. And since there’s no increase in price, you get a better tool without having to dig deeper into your bottom line.

Bosch Brushless Connected-Ready Freak Impact Driver Specifications

  • Model: Bosch GDX18V-1800CN
  • Power Source: Bosch 18V batteries (including Core18)
  • No-Load Speed: 0–1100/0–2300/0–3400 RPM
  • Torque: 1800 in-lbs
  • Weight: 2.7 lbs bare, 3.8 lbs with Core18V 4.0 Ah battery
  • Height: 8.2″
  • Length: 5.8″
  • Warranty: 3 years with ProVantage
  • Price: $159.00 bare, $152.49 kit with 4.0 Ah Core18V battery

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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.