Drill it and drive it. Don’t worry about power cords, just get the job done. Bosch has a reputation for durable, powerful tools that are excellent quality for the money. These two combo kits fit the need in the market for pro quality tools at a lower price. Let’s look at both of them to see which one will be the best for you.
Bosch CLPK232A-181 18V Lithium-Ion Cordless Two Tool Combo Kit
The Bosch CLPK232A-181 kit contains a drill, an impact driver, a charger, and two batteries. Let’s start with the drill.
The DDS181A drill is an improved version of the DDS181 drill in the kit described below. It’s more compact at only 7 inches long. It weighs just 3.5 pounds. It’s a ½” drill with a heavy duty keyless chuck that won’t let a bit slip. That’s good, because this drill has both power and speed.
Instead of a regular 4-pole motor, the DDS181A has a “canned motor.” It takes up less space than a conventional motor but still has the same amount of power. The maximum torque is an impressive 600 inch-pounds. It has a two-speed transmission that ranges between 0-500rpm (under no load) and 0-1700rpm, with 26 clutch settings. Use the “drill” setting to lock up the chuck for the toughest tasks. You can control the precise speed with the variable speed trigger. As soon as you release the trigger, the drill stops. This saves battery power and causes fewer stripped screws.
The maximum drilling capacity in soft wood is 2 inches, and 1-1/2 inches in hard wood. Bosch didn’t report masonry test results for this drill, but they say the maximum capacity in “mild metal” is ½-inch. You can also use accessories (sold separately) to sand and polish.
The DDS181A has an LED work-light at the foot of the drill, just above the battery. The body of the drill has Bosch’s Durashield housing to protect the motor from drops, dust, and humidity.
The two 18V 2.0Ah lithium-ion batteries that power both the drill and the driver refill in about an hour on the included charger.
Now, on to the 25618 ¼” hex impact driver. They call it the “Impactor.” It’s very compact and lightweight, measuring 5.7 inches long and weighing just 3.3 pounds. Bosch says they made the driver for professional jobs, and it certainly seems so with this much power. It has one gear with a variable-speed trigger. It offers up to 1500 inch-pounds of torque, with up to 2800rpm at 3200bpm (blows-per-minute). There is also a single LED work light located just below the chuck.
More features of the Bosch CLPK232A-181 combo kit
- Comes with drill, driver, BC660 charger, two 2.0Ah capacity 18V lithium-ion batteries, screw-driving bits, and a carrying bag
- Bosch offers a 1-year limited warranty
Bosch CLPK234-181 18-Volt Lithium-Ion 2-Tool Combo Kit with 1/2-Inch Compact Tough Drill/Driver, Impact Driver, 2 High Capacity Batteries, Charger and Case
The CLPK234-181 kit contains the previous version of the DDS181 drill and the IDS181 impact driver. This earlier model of the drill is almost identical to the DDS181A described above. It’s just ½-inch longer, measuring 7.5 inches long. All the specifications about power and capability are the same. It just doesn’t have the compact canned motor like the DDS181A does.
Both the drill and impact driver, the charger, and their batteries have what Bosch calls “Electronic Cell Protection.” This is a feature designed to help lithium-ion batteries last longer. Li-ion batteries typically work well even in freezing temperatures, but they don’t survive long at high temperatures. Please don’t leave your batteries in a hot car.
The IDS181 1/4-inch hex impact driver is less powerful than the 25618 driver in the other kit above. Its maximum torque is 1150 inch-pounds, with a top speed of 2600rpm with 3100bpm. On the other hand, it’s smaller and lighter than the other driver. It measures 5.4 inches long and weighs only 2.9 pounds. Instead of just one LED work light, it has a ring of three LEDS around the barrel.
This kit also contains a rapid charger that refills the batteries in about an hour. The batteries have a 2.0Ah capacity, and an integrated fuel gauge so you can see how much charge they have.
More features of the Bosch CLPK234-181 combo kit
- Comes with drill, driver, charger, two 18V lithium-ion batteries, and a carrying bag
- Bosch offers a 1-year limited warranty
Since the drills in both of these kits are practically identical, the choice is down to the impact drivers.
If you want a more powerful driver, choose the CPLK232-181 kit with the 25618 impact driver.
If you prefer a driver with less weight and a smaller size, choose the CPLK234-181 kit.