I've had the Bosch Rotary Hammer GBH18V-26K24GDE on site and available to the crew for a little over a month. With all of us using it for long days the last couple of weeks, it's easy for me to say that this kit is impressive. The size and power have been more than enough for the applications of this rotary hammer. The included on-board dust collection attachment is also a must have on most of today's construction sites. It helps us meet OSHA crystalline silica exposure standards while maintaining a clean work site. The dust collection also does its job wonderfully without adding too much bulk and battery drain to your cordless hammer drill. Let's have a look.
First of all, this is NOT a review. Consider it an overall impression of the tool and how it worked for me on actual job sites in actual conditions. To be honest, I had unfair expectations for this rotary hammer. It all started with what I would consider my first “real” power tool purchase circa 2006. I had finally gotten sick of breaking off-brand hammer drills. The decision to spend some extra money on the original Bosch Bulldog rotary hammer was made. Thirteen years, four sets of brushes, and tens of thousands of holes later, it is one of the only corded tools I have left. I just can't kill it, or part with it. So, naturally, I expected the same power, comfort, and durability that I associate with my first Bulldog.
The rotary hammer performed exceptional all by itself. It has three modes of operation – hammer only, drill only, and hammer drill. I found the vibration control to be more than adequate, and the kickback control to be pretty effective as well. The necessity for these features to be good (or better) is especially evident when being used for extended periods of time. There's nothing like a twisted wrist to really ruin a day or WEEKS!
The EC Brushless 18V motor provides plenty of power. Combine that with the EPC (electronic precision control) feature that allows slower ramp-up time for controlled starts, and the drill will stay right where you want it.
Pairing all of that with Bosch's CORE18V 6.3ah batteries we saw exceptional run time and zero overheating issues. The included BC1880 18V charger provides 80% charge in 41 minutes, and a full charge in 55 minutes for the 6.3ah CORE 18V batteries.
The included GDE18V-16 dust collection attachment is a must for 99% of the job sites I work at. It is also exceptionally effective. The vacuum is not overly loud, doesn't demand too much extra power from the battery, and collects nearly all the dust. I've actually started to use the dust extractor more often. Even when not required, I use it to minimize cleanup and increase professionalism on the job. The attachment is easy to install and remove from the tool. All of the depth stops and bit length adjustments are intuitive to use. The filter assembly and canister are also easy to remove, dump, and clean. This brings me to my one complaint. In regards to the attachment, you need to remove it from the tool in order to store it. I'd prefer the option to store it in the case both on and off of the tool. As it is, I actually tend to store it loose (out of the case) because of this. This just adds premature wear and tear.
All in all, the GBH18V-26K24GDE kit is thoroughly impressive. I welcome the user-friendly features, especially with repetitive use. The dust collection worked very well. It worked even when paired with novice operators who paid little attention to the collection canister and filter. YIKES! The time spent developing great battery technology is also very apparent. I feel that this cordless version has definitely surpassed the power and durability of my old corded Bosch Bulldog. More power, dust collection, and being cordless is definitely a winning combination. If you're in the market for a hammer drill kit with included dust collection attachment, this is a great option. If you don't have any Bosch cordless tools yet, don't worry. The batteries and tools are a very good investment, and the future for this industry leader looks bright.