Bosch Cordless Drill">Bosch Cordless Drill

| August 18, 2013

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Bosch Cordless Drill DDS181

Reviewed By: Sam. Kissil.
 4star 4.0

The DDS181 Bosch cordless drill is one of the smallest, lightest and compact drills we’ve tested and reviewed. The small dimensions, extreme light weight and superb overall performance bring this tool to the group of the leading drills.


  • Weight
  • Handling
  • Ergonomics


  • Power
  • Charge Time

Jump to the video review @ the bottom of this page – Click Here



The Bosch DDS181 hammer drill is one of the smallest, compact and lightest drill we’ve tested and reviewed. At 7.5″ long and 3.43 LBS it is extremely compact and can fit the tightest spots and work areas. The blue and black drill is ergonomically designed with a nicely balanced positioning of the handle – not nose heavy nor battery heavy. The plastic tool and handle are covered with a soft protective rubber. The handle is covered with very thin rubber (too thin in our opinion) – however we felt that the positioning of the rubber was not optimal and some rubber was missing on the bottom of the handle (picture). We feel that additional rubber in those areas would give the tool a better feel and grip (just a minor remark).

The positioning of the direction button is great, enabling the selection of direction without changing the grip on the drill. The trigger is smooth and long and selecting variable speeds were easy when we tested it in our screw driving test. The 18 plastic ring torque selector moves easily and a further twist to the drill position selects the full torque of 600 INCHxLBS. The 2 speed selector on the top slides to position 1 and delivers 0-500 RPM and position 2 delivers 0 – 1700 RPM.

The 1/2 inch metal chuck is covered by a hard plastic sleeve and tightens it with a strong ratcheting action. During our test we found it hard and tricky to load a hex, quick load bit( it wouldn’t sit center with out wobbling) but once we got it in center – the chuck held it in firmly and did not move. The DDS181 Bosch cordless drill has a bright LED positioned on the bottom of the handle “shooting” its light up towards the drilling area. The positioning of the LED lets you enjoy the light without and shadows on the drilling area.


Battery loading and unloading is easy with a push on a button and a sliding action.

Handling Ergonomics Weight Dimensions Trigger
Good Good Excellent Excellent Excellent


Power And Torque


According to the specifications that Bosch publishes the drill delivers 600 INCHxLBS and spins at a max RPM of 1700. In the power test we timed how long it took to drill 15 holes in a plank of 2×8 using a new 1.5 inch spade drill and found that the drill finished the task in 4:20 minutes but – it only finished 10.5 holes – and the battery drained out! That is an average of 24.7 seconds per hole.

During the test we noticed that as we kept drilling more holes the pace got slower and when we later on checked the videos we confirmed our feeling – the first few holes took 17 seconds/hole and the last 3 holes took 27 seconds/hole. This may be because the electrical motor heats up, the battery heated up or the battery got emptier and supplied less power. What ever the reason may be – it is the first time we have actually noticed it during the test. The average during the drilling stands on 24 seconds per hole – not the fastest drill we’ve seen!

During our drilling we monitored noise levels of 102.2 Decibels – this is the average of all of the 18volt drills.

( read here how we conduct the same test to all of our tools to eliminate any variables and come up with accurate and objective results).

Power Consumption And Battery Life


In our tests we check how many holes the drill can make on 1 battery charge. With the DDS181 Bosch cordless drill we got our answer in our power test – 10.5 holes from one 1.3 Ah battery – that is 8.1* holes for every 1 Ah.

After the battery cooled down we slid it into the charger and timed how long it takes to charge from 0 to 100%. We were a bit surprised to find out that the charger took 43 minutes to charge such a small battery. That is much slower than most competitors that took less time to charge larger batteries ( Makita 18v -1,5 Ah : 24 minutes, Dewalt 18v-2.2 Ah 44 minutes). The charger is very simple in design with 1 led flashing while charging and steady on once charge is complete.

Power test Charge time Holes Test Energy Conversion
Below AVG – 24.7 Seconds/Hole slow – 43 min. 10.5 Holes 8.1 Holes/Ah*





The DDS181 Bosch is built with Durashield housing (a hard plastic polymer)- which is very light and hard. The tool is covered with rubber that provides better grip and protection against every day wear and tear from use on the job site. The metal check is covered with a plastic sleeve and looks like it can hold up to the task. From our observation it looks like the tool is built very durable yet very light .

Warranty and customer care


The standard warranty that Bosch gives for al of its tools is 1 year however they created a program for their cordless tools called Provantage . After buying the tool you must register your tool via filing out the supplied postcard and sending it or by doing it online on their website. The program gives a warranty of 3 year on the tool and 2 years on the batteries. However if you do not register your tool you will only get a 1 year warranty on the tool and battery with an original receipt of purchase.

When we called the Bosch Provantage program to find out a bit more about the program we were surprised how fast we got to an actual customer care representative (not an annoying redirect service) that explained to us about the program. When we asked if we had to register the tool the answer was “you must register” – or else you will not enroll and you will need to provide a receipt when asking for service. We then asked if they will honor the warranty for a second hand tool that is less than 1 year old – and the answer was – NO. Only the original buyer can enjoy the warranty and it must be with a receipt from an authorized Bosch seller! So be extra careful before you buy a Bosch tool from someone who isn’t an authorized seller.


The DDS181 Bosch cordless drill is part of a large 18 v family with many new tools joining the family every year. Your 18v charger and battery can fit other 18v bare tools and vice versa.

The tool comes with a 2 sided Philips bit and a belt hook that can connected to the right or left of the handle.

Durability Warranty Cunsumer ratings
Very Good Good Above Average



Value For Money

The German technology of this Bosch cordless drill costs more than its competitors. The performance is a bit better than the average 18 volt tool but accordingly, the price is higher. The compact size and light weight is second to nothing and for that you pay more! If you would like owning a good, compact size and light weight drill with solid overall performance – we definitely recommend this tool even though the price is a bit higher than other drills.


Final Verdict – “The DDS181 Bosch cordless drill is best for…”

The small dimensions , extreme light weight and superb overall performance bring this tool to the group of the leading drills. This tool would be great for craftsmen in need for a very compact tool (like kitchen installer, HVAC installers) and for homeowners too looking for a light weight strong tool.

Handling power Durability Value/Money
4.5star4.5 3.5star3.5 4star4.0 4star4.0

Final Score

Video Review

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