Bosch DDS181-01 Review 

By  Enda McLarnon

Here we review the Bosch DDS181-01 cordless drill model from the company Bosch. This particular drill is one of the more expensive in the range.

It is however loved by buyers so we wanted to take a closer look and see if it really was good value for money. At the end of the day with an average price of around $200, this is a heck of a lot of money to spend on a drill/driver.

It does however get the highest ratings possible by those who have bought it so well worth a closer look. For those of you who do not have time to read a full review, I have included a quick guide just below.

Quick Guide To The DDS181-01 Model

  • Amazing reviews and ratings by actual buyers
  • Works with all 18 volt Li-Ion Bosch batteries
  • Light and compact but rated in the heavy duty category
  • Integrated LED light for using in dark or confined workspaces
  • Keyless chuck
  • Comes with 2 batteries, a 30 minute charger and a hard case

Detailed Review of the DDS181-01

For those who like more details then I have completed a more detailed review below. In this we examine the main features of this model. We also look at what real life buyers have been saying, and try to figure out if this particular drill/driver will match up to your needs.

Key Features and Specifications

In summary, the Bosch DDS181-01 is a compact and lightweight tool that is designed for drilling and also driving screws. At the higher price point Bosch have aimed this model at the professionals and contractors who need a powerful but portable drill.

Those who do a lot of projects around the home should also consider this one as a good option, if your budget allows that type of $200+ spend.

It comes in a new and more user-friendly design as well as patented clutch and gear train mechanism. We will explain what that means under the benefits section below.

Power and Charging

The drill is powered by slim 18-volt, 2-amp lithium-ion batteries that require up to 30-minutes to fully charge. By any standards that is a very fast charge. As this model also comes with 2 batteries there should never really be any excuses for not always having a fully charged battery to hand. If you are out on a site, then you already know just how important that is.

Generating a maximum torque of 600 in-lbs and maximum power of 1700 RPM, the tool is good for use in concrete, wood, metal, plastic, and more. The speed comes in two variants; 0-500 and 0-1700 RPM. It comes with a 1 /2- inch keyless ratcheting single sleeve clutch plus 18+1 positions.

Both the HDD and DD varieties come with a 4-pole motor, Electronic Cell protection (ECP), and a fuel gauge. Other features include Durashield Housing, Optional Flexible Power System (FPS), and LED light.

Benefits of Using This Bosch Model

There are quite a few benefits of picking this as your main drill choice. We have listed these below.

  • Better build and design – This is a new design by Bosch and the DDS181-01 drill/driver comes in a much stronger build (Durashield) and slim grip design that is easy and comfortable on the hand.
  • Variable Speed – The variable speed allows a user to choose between high torque (0-500RPM), or high power (0-1700RPM). The patented 18+ 1 clutch and gear train improves performance by optimizing power.
  • Battery Life – For enhanced battery life, the drill features Electronic Cell Protection (ECP) technology that also minimises misuse. The high capacity charger can boost battery charge within 30 minutes, and for more continuous working the unit comes with 2 batteries.
  • LED Lighting – Working in poorly-lit areas is less of a problem as the cordless drill comes with a LED light that is easily turned on. A user can take advantage of the Optional Flexible Power System (FPS) that gives the option of either minimum weight or maximum run time.


Solid and Light

The Bosch drill is made from quality material and is effective for regular use and also against frequent falling. The Durashield housing maintains its appeal even after many years of use.

Despite its sturdiness, the drill/driver is lightweight and can be used for long periods. It is not always easy to find a drill/driver that is light on the hands but packs more than enough power.

Small and Powerful

The Bosch DDS181-01 is among the smallest drills/drills in its category and is effective in small and tight spaces. Despite its small nature, the drill is quite powerful courtesy of the 4-pole motor and will tackle most jobs in the home or workshop with ease.

Compact and user-friendly

The drill is very compact and features a balanced-design that makes it versatile and effective. It will perform well from any angle and will drill many holes and drive in many screws on a single battery charge.

Comfortable and Balanced

The new slip design and soft grip greatly improves handling and comfort. The drill can be used continuously without causing unnecessary sweating, numbness or fatigue.


Not the Cheapest In the Market

The drill from Bosch is not among the cheapest products in the market. In fact, it ranks among the expensive brands in the market. This applies to both new as well as reconditioned products. All Bosch drills are in the same type of price point. Bosch is a good brand and if you want a product of this quality, then this is the price that you have to be willing to pay.

Mainly Suitable for Light Applications

Delivering 600 inches-pound and 0-1700RPM, the drill is adequate for domestic or medium to heavy use. Driving long screws or running it continuously can overburden the tool. Also, the batteries will not last very long when used for heavy drilling and screw driving. That is however pretty much the case with any cordless drill.

What Is Found Inside the Pack?

When you open this product up, you should find

  • The Bosch DDS181-01 18V Compact -inch Drill/Driver
  • A Battery Charger
  • 2 18V Lithium-ion FatPack Batteries
  • 1 Double-sided Philips Drive Bit
  • A  Carrying Case

It also comes with the usual instruction  booklet. In essence you are buying a high quality drill with 2 batteries to help keep you up and running.

Summary of Buyer Reviews

There is not a lot of reviews and this is simply down to the fact that most people will not be able to afford this one. We found about 20 reviews from different websites. We did these dotted around the web, and the review ratings were similar, with a 94% satisfaction rate.

Overall they are all very positive and that is a good sign. At this price though we would expect to see that. Here is a typical review:

Researched all the drills in this class (and others) before I made a decision. The Bosch drill stands out amongst all the others.

That is close to the truth as Bosch make great drills that last a long time. This particular DDS181-01 model is no exception and is a high class product. We have done a top 10 list of Bosch drills which you can view here, but needless to say this model is on that list of excellent products.

Enda McLarnon

Enda McLarnon is now retired and is now enjoying writing about his love of power tools. All types of these tools are now available and they make working on projects and DIY jobs around the home a great deal of fun

Enda McLarnon

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