Review: Bosch 26618-01 18V


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Like it’s brother the 25618-01, this Bosch driver has top-of-the-pack torque at 1500 ft-lbs.

What differentiates this is its 3-mode operation, allowing you to switch between 2 drill modes and impact mode. Add some minor improvements, and you get an excellent tool that can handle all your drilling and driving needs.

Choose wisely, however – the additional modes come with some additional cost.


At a Glance
Price $620
Sale Price $ (as of 7pm, 12/31/1969)
Voltage 18v
Torque 1500 in-lbs
Drive size 1/4″ hex
Weight (w/o battery) 3.8 lbs
Length 5.7″
Battery lithium ion
Impacts/Min 0-3200 ipm
Impact Speed (no load) 0-2800 rpm
Drill Mode 1 Speed 0-750 rpm
Drill Mode 2 Speed 0-2800 rpm
Resources Manual
Mfr. Data Sheet
Warranty 1 year
Bare tool part number 26618B

Description

Bosch gave a bit of a facelift to their 18v driver, adding a few new features in the process. This is one of the few true cross-over cordless drill/impact drivers available, and they did a great job on it.

The first thing you will notice is the change in the look – the new version has an up-swept profile. This makes it easier to hold and use at eye-level or below, while making it a bit more awkward when reaching overhead.

While this change does increase the length, it still remains small – which means it is quite compact and very maneuverable.

The biggest change, of course, is the aforementioned mode-selection. This essentially allows you to disable the impact mechanism and use the tool as a pure drill. If you don’t use an impact driver often, the benefit to this may not be obvious.

With a typical impact driver, the impact mechanism only engages when the extra torque is needed. The problem with this is if you are trying to drive a small or soft screw, you may have the impact mechanism turn on when you aren’t expecting it – and the speed and torque may rapidly exceed your needs. This can result in a over-driven or sheared off screw head.

By allowing you to go to drill mode, not only will you have a finer control at low speeds and torques, but you get a better drilling experience as well. Turning off the impact mechanism means the drill can operate quieter while still providing high speeds.

Bits are held in a 1/4″ hex drive with Quick Release, which is basically the same pull-sleeve mechanism on all the impact drivers. With so much power, be sure you are using impact-rated bits and drivers or you will be certain to snap them off.

Batteries

Bosch lithium ion batteries are small, and longer lasting than the ni-cad. It takes around 45 min to charge a dead battery, which is a bit longer than other brands. On the other hand, they do last a good long time between chargings.

This impact driver only takes li-ion batteries, but if you already have Bosch Lithium-ion then you might want to save some money and buy the bare-tool. Otherwise, the kit comes with a pair of 18v FatPack batteries, which are heavier but last twice as long as the SlimPack batteries.

The lithium ion line uses Bosch’s “Electronic Cell Protection”. This is technology they built into their batteries prevent some of the main causes of short battery and tool life – overheating, overloading, and deep discharging.

Additional Features

Bosch 26618-01 Impact Driver - 3-led

  • 3 LED light ring turns on when you squeeze the trigger. The lights are placed around the driver collar, eliminating shadows on the bit and fastener. The previous model has only a single LED below the bit.
  • Includes a belt hook, an exceedingly handy attachment.
  • The variable-speed trigger allows for good torque control, once you get the hang of it.
  • The motor brushes are replaceable, which may be needed if you are a daily user of the tool.

Problems

The only thing that might keep you from switching completely to this from a drill is the hex-shank chuck.

You have 2 options – either get a full replacement set of hex-shank drill bits, or purchase a conversion chuck adapter for impact drivers. Not only can you use your old bits, but there is a larger selection and more kinds of specialty bits with regular round-shanks that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Check out our accessories page to see what’s available!

Bottom Line

Compact, huge power, and loaded with features. The weight is little more than other impact drivers, but this can truly be used as a drill replacement. While the price is a bit more than the regular Bosch 25618, you certainly get your money’s worth.

Smart feature upgrades like the 3-ring LED show that Bosch is always trying to improve and create quality, useful tools.

If you can afford the slightly higher up-front cost, go ahead and get it.



Bosch 26618 info and prices at Amazon
Bosch 26618-01 18-Volt Lithium-Ion 1/4-Hex Impact Drill/Driver Kit with 2 Batteries, Charger and Case Bosch 26618-01 18-Volt Lithium-Ion 1/4-Hex Impact Drill/Driver Kit with 2 Batteries, Charger and Case
18v li-ion cordless impact driver, two 18v FatPack li-ion batteries, 18v charger, hard carrying case
Bosch Bare-Tool 26618B 18-Volt Lithium-Ion 1/4-Hex Impact Drill/Driver Bosch Bare-Tool 26618B 18-Volt Lithium-Ion 1/4-Hex Impact Drill/Driver
18v li-ion cordless impact driver, bare tool (no battery)

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