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Bosch DDS180-02 vs DDS181-02 Review

Bosch has been one of the most trusted names in power tools for several years.  The quality, toughness, and reliability their tools provide have become a job site favorite.  In this comparison review we examine two of their 18 volt power drill kits.

Bosch DDS180-02

Bosch DDS180-02

Bosch DDS181-02

Bosch DDS181-02







Bosch DDS181-02

First up is the DDS181-02 18-volt Lithium-Ion 1/2” Compact Tough Drill/Driver Kit with 2 high capacity batteries, charger, and case.  Buyers typically purchase the Bosch T118 18-piece titanium twist drill bit set and T4021 screwdriver bit set with this drill because it does not come with any bits.  This particular drill comes with 3 options when purchasing.  You can purchase the drill, batteries, charger, and a standard soft-sided carrying case or you can upgrade your purchase with an L-BOXX which is a sturdy plastic carrying case with top and side handles, or you can purchase it with the L-BOXX and a small Lithium-Ion powered portable radio.  Regardless of the package option you choose to go with this review focuses on the base drill and battery kit.

Features with the Bosch DDS181-02 include:

  • A four pole high performance motor that provides maximum power in a compact size
  • Patented gear train and clutch which allows for the most compact design in its class as well as the lightest weight
  • Flexible power with both DD and HDD which are compatible with every 18-volt Bosch Lithium-Ion battery so you can use this with your current Bosch 18-volt batteries.
  • Two slim pack 1.5 Ah HC batteries
  • An ergonomic grip for better grip and comfort

This drill is designed for heavy duty applications in a wide range of materials from metal to wood.  The 7 inch head length is the smallest in its class even though it delivers top performance.  The batteries included in this kit provide up to 50% more run time over standard lithium-ion batteries and even include an electronic battery fuel gauge so you know when it is time to change out batteries during a job.  To give you an idea, you can drive up to 500 screws into wood on a single charge.  This drill has two speeds which are 0-500 RPM and 0-1,700 RPM and provides a maximum of 600 inch pounds of torque.  Use the 0-500 speed when you need more torque and the 0-1,700 setting when you need more speed.

This model also comes with a single sleeve 1/2” auto lock chuck so you can change bits quickly.  The DDS181-02 comes with a ProVantage three year protection plan.  This means you are guaranteed two years of battery protection and one year of tool protection and you receive a free tool repair package for the second and third years of ownership.

Bosch DDS180-02

The Bosch DDS180-02 18 volt lithium-ion ½” compact tough drill/driver kit is next in this comparison.  This kit comes with two batteries, charger, and plastic carrying case.  This drill has the same body with comfort grip as the DDS181.  Unlike the DDS181-02 model this one is only available with a single package option.  This drill is an excellent tool for various applications and is very similar to the DDS181-02.

Features with the Bosch DDS180-02 include:

  • A four pole high performance motor that provides maximum power in a compact size
  • Patented gear train and clutch which allows for the most compact design in its class as well as the lightest weight
  • Flexible power that is compatible with any Bosch 18-volt lithium-ion battery
  • Electric cell protection to increase the battery lifetime and prevent misuse

This kit also includes two batteries however they are the 1.3 Ah Slimpack batteries to help keep the weight down.  These batteries reduce the amount of run time you have with the 1.5 Ah batteries that come with the DDS181-02.  This model also has the 0-500 RPM and 0-1,700 RPM speed settings for high torque or high speed applications.  This model comes with the ProVantage guarantee on the battery and tool protection.


The major difference between these combo kits are that the DDS180-02 comes with 1.3 Ah slimpack batteries and the DDS181-02 comes with 1.5 Ah high capacity slimpack batteries.  Both batteries are about the same in size however the 1.5 Ah has a longer runtime.  Also, you get a soft sided carrying case with the DDS181-02 model and an option to purchase it in other combo packs.  You get a hard plastic carrying case with the DDS180-02 and no option to purchase it in different combo kits.  Both drills are essentially the same except for the batteries they come with.

This leads to two options for purchase:

Purchase the DDS180-02 if price and battery life aren’t a major concern

Purchase the DDS181-02 if you need a battery with a little longer runtime and if you wish to have a different option in the combo kit

Regardless, both drills uphold the highest standards Bosch has to offer and you can use any line of Bosch 18-volt batteries.  If you don’t care about the weight but need a longer running battery you can opt to purchase the Bosch 2.6 Ah lithium-ion FatPack battery (model BAT618) sold separately.



Click here to purchase Bosch DDS180-02 on Amazon!


Click here to purchase Bosch DDS181-02 on Amazon!