DIY Building & Installing

Bosch’s Cordless Drill Is Compact, Powerful, and Home-Workshop Worthy

Bosch lives up to its reputation with a brushless cordless drill/driver that’s affordable, easy to wield, and capable of handling most DIYers’ demands.
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The Bosch 18V Compact Brushless ½-Inch Drill/Driver Kit on a workbench.

Photo: Tony Carrick for Bob Vila

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In the power tool industry, Bosch has developed a reputation for producing affordable tools that fall somewhere in the middle tier of the market in terms of both performance and price. For that reason, it’s no surprise that this brand is a favorite among DIYers. Bosch’s 18-volt cordless drill, which packs a punch despite its compact size, exemplifies the impressive value Bosch’s products typically offer. 

I put this cordless drill through a series of head-to-head tests against five other similarly priced drill/drivers to see just how it ranks in the sub-$100 cordless drill market. These tests involved driving in fasteners ranging from small 1¼-inch drywall screws to large 3-inch lag bolts, as well as drilling everything from pilot holes to large 1-inch-diameter holes. Once the sawdust settled, it became clear that this Bosch brushless model is one of the best cordless drills you can get for under $100. 

Bosch 18V Compact Brushless ½-Inch Drill/Driver Kit: At a Glance

Rating: 9.25/10

The Best Cordless Drill Under 100 Review
Photo: Tony Carrick for Bob Vila


  • Max speed: 1,900 revolutions per minute (RPM)
  • Max torque: 400 in-lbs (inch pounds)
  • Weight (with battery): 2.8 pounds
  • Head length: 6.3 inches


  • Lightweight and compact size makes it easy to use and fit into small spaces
  • Can drive small fasteners quickly thanks to its max speed of 1,900 RPM
  • Impressive build quality at this price point; features an all-metal chuck


  • Slower performance when driving in large fasteners and drilling wide holes

Get the Bosch cordless drill kit at:

What is the Bosch cordless drill?

The Bosch cordless drill/driver is a battery-equipped power tool ideal for many DIY tasks. It’s powered by a rechargeable 18-volt battery that gives it a maximum torque of 400 in-lbs and a top speed of 1,900 RPM. It’s equipped with two speed options and 20 clutch settings for versatility. It measures 6.3 inches from the tip of the collet to the back of the head, and it weighs 2.8 pounds with the battery attached. This drill is equipped with a ½-inch keyless chuck made of all metal that’s compatible with hex-shanked and round-shanked driver bits and drill bits. It also comes equipped with a built-in LED work light that turns on automatically when you squeeze the trigger. The drill is available as a stand-alone tool or as part of a kit that includes a charger and 2.0Ah (amp hour) battery.

The Best Cordless Drill Under 100 Review
Photo: Tony Carrick for Bob Vila

How easy is the Bosch cordless drill to use?

One of my favorite things about this cordless drill—and part of the reason why it ranked number one on my list of the top six cordless drills under $100—is its compact size. The drill measures just 6.3 inches from the tip of the collet to the back of the head, which is about 1 to 2 inches shorter than most drills at this price point. The difference may not sound like much, but it’s significant. The shorter head makes it easier to fit into tight spots, which is key if you’re working inside cabinets, between wall studs, or in other tight confines. 

It’s not just the length of the head that makes this drill compact. It has a narrower profile and slimmer battery than other budget-priced cordless drills made by such brands as Ryobi, Craftsman, and Ridgid. This compact design gives the Bosch cordless drill a more balanced feel in the hand.

The Bosch drill is also notably lighter. It weighs just 2.8 pounds (battery included) compared with the 3.5 pounds or more that most other cordless drills in the sub-$100 tier weigh. Combined with its compact size, its lightweight design makes it one of the more nimble cordless drills I tested. I found it noticeably easier to wield than other models, and that lighter weight resulted in less arm fatigue. 

The Best Cordless Drill Under 100 Review
Photo: Tony Carrick for Bob Vila

Bosch Cordless Drill Performance

The Bosch drill’s compact size and light overall weight wouldn’t amount to much if it came at the cost of power. But thanks to its brushless motor, it doesn’t. With a top speed of 1,900 RPM and max torque of 400 in-lbs, it competed with larger and bulkier drills at this price point. 

I put the Bosch cordless drill and five other sub-$100 drills through their paces, testing each one’s ability to function as a driver and a drill. Despite being smaller and lighter, the Bosch cordless drill posted very similar driving speeds as the larger cordless drills I tested when driving both shorter 1¼-inch screws and longer 3-inch screws. 

Its power was evident as it blazed through holes measuring less than ⅜ inch. However, drilling larger holes and driving larger fasteners was a different story. I was forced to drop the speed down to account for its lower torque output when taking on larger lag bolts or drilling holes ½ inch or greater in diameter. While it certainly could handle these heavier-duty tasks, it did so at a slower pace than some of the brawnier drills I tested. Given that many of a cordless drill’s jobs involve smaller bits and screws, I didn’t find Bosch’s slower performance with these larger drill bits and fasteners to be a huge concern. 

The Bosch cordless drill’s two speed settings and 20 different clutch settings—which are useful for boosting torque for tougher jobs or dialing back power and speed for more delicate fasteners—put it on par with other cordless drills at this price point. 

The Best Cordless Drill Under 100 Review
Photo: Tony Carrick for Bob Vila

Bosch Cordless Drill Quality

Not only does the Bosch cordless drill impress when it comes to performance and size, but its build quality is also excellent for a drill that costs less than $100. Bosch equipped it with a metal chuck, a feature typically found only on pricer cordless drills. This bolsters the drill’s overall durability and allows it to create a tighter grip on bits. I didn’t experience any slipping with either drill or driver bits during my testing, even when using the drill at max loads and speeds. 

Is the Bosch cordless drill worth the money?

It’s hard not to see the Bosch cordless drill as an excellent value. It excels when driving in screws measuring up to 3 inches long and when drilling holes under ⅜ inch in diameter. Though it’s a bit slower than some drills at the under-$100 price point when boring large holes or driving in lag bolts, I think its lightweight build and compact design make up for that.

With its short head, narrow profile, and light overall weight, it’s one the easiest and most enjoyable to use of any drill at the sub-$100 price point. And thanks to the all-metal chuck, it’s also one of the more rugged budget-priced cordless drills. All of these attributes combine to make the Bosch feel like a drill that’s worth more than its going price. 

Is the Bosch cordless drill right for you?

While the Bosch cordless drill is certainly an excellent deal, whether it’s worth a spot in your tool arsenal is another story. With its brushless motor and high speed and torque output, it’s more than capable of handling most home improvement projects a homeowner will throw at it. Plus, its compact size and light weight make it more user-friendly than other bulkier sub-$100 drill drivers. 

But as much as I love the value this cordless drill offers, it’s not a tool designed for pro jobsites. The 400 in-lbs of torque it provides is plenty for most DIY projects, but it pales in comparison to the 1,200 in-lbs of peak torque that the top drill drivers offer. And while it is more durable than most drill drivers at this price point, it’s not a drill designed to endure the everyday rigors of professional use. If you’re a pro, consider going with the Milwaukee 2804-20 M18 FUEL ½-Inch Hammer Drill/Driver.

While the Bosch cordless drill is a worthy choice for most DIYers’ workshops, it may not be enough for every weekend warrior. For someone who routinely takes on advanced carpentry projects around the house, it probably makes sense to spend more and go with one of the more powerful picks from our list of the best cordless drills for DIYers, such as the DeWalt DCD771C2 20V MAX Compact Drill/Driver Kit

The Best Cordless Drill Under 100 Review
Photo: Tony Carrick for Bob Vila

Where to Buy the Bosch 18V Compact Brushless ½-Inch Drill/Driver Kit

Get the Bosch cordless drill kit at:

Meet the Tester

Tony Carrick is a freelance writer specializing in home improvement, landscaping, technology, home security, and design. His articles have been featured on such sites as Popular Mechanics, Futurism, Field & Stream, This Old House Magazine, Pro Tool Reviews, and more. Carrick has conducted rigorous product testing on everything from power tools to home security systems to backyard grills. With each review, his goal is to help readers determine whether a product meets their needs and if it is or isn’t worth its price tag.

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Tony Carrick

Contributing Writer

Tony Carrick is a freelance writer who has contributed to since 2020. He writes how-to articles and product reviews in the areas of lawn and garden, home maintenance, home improvement, auto maintenance, housewares, and technology.