Bostitch, a company mostly known for their nail guns and air compressors drives one home with their 18v drill/driver. Some key aspects of this tool set it apart from others in its class, but would still benefit from improving in order to bump it to more of a "pro-grade" tool. Impressive as a whole, this drill/driver is perfect for the DIY'er in everyone.
When most think of the typical Bostitch lineage, it's scattered with quality air compressors and nail guns. However, since the Stanley Black & Decker acquisition of the Bostitch brand, we've seen some more interesting improvements in their lineup. The most notable of the line is their 18v cordless drill/driver, marketed and sold primarily in US Walmart stores. Let's jump right into the Bostitch Cordless Drill Review.
Bostitch Cordless Drill Review Overview
For the everyday DIY'er, or homeowner, doing intense research on a power tool may not be the first priority. Usually, it's one of those, spur of the moment, go home and do the work type of deals, right? With that in mind, if this takes place at Walmart, you may luck out. This Bostitch is a hidden gem of a power tool!
Out of the box, this set includes the bare tool, carrying bag, (1) 18v Battery, and the accompanying charger. Not bad for the low price of $78.00!!
Like a pro-grade tool is meant for a pro, the Bostitch 18v Drill/Driver was most certainly designed for homeowners and DIY'ers. This drill/driver is constructed and performs like a pro-grade model without some of the more robust features that typically have a more intimidating price. Basic features, to get basic tasks done, with reliability and a budget price to match. Who could ask for more?
Bostitch Cordless Drill Review Features
Under the hood, where most pros dare venture, the Bostich is very simply made well. The stiff glass fiber reinforced frame is nicely complimented with a precisely injected thermoplastic elastomer overmold. This serves as a nice grip on the tool, and added protection should the tool be dropped from a mid-sized ladder or less.
Another added touch is the bit holder. Often not included with some pro-grade tools, this tiny add-on is made from ABS plastic, with metal inserts to hold bits in place. If you decide this feature isn't for you, it's easily removable with a small screw. It's the little things that count!
Like most other consumer grade tools in its class, the Bostitch is equipped with an LED work light- activated only by depressing the trigger. Surprisingly, this LED is just as bright as other pro-grade tool lights. This is a nice touch that most drill/drivers are sporting nowadays but sometimes fall short of in the brightness category. The Bostitch nails this one!
With a strange resemblance to the Stanley FATMAX battery, the 18v Bostitch battery is made of strong ABS plastic. Cosmetically, on the ABS constructed battery shell, there is no battery status meter which is unfortunate, but not a surprise. This pretty much aligns with other consumer grade tools in its class but would be a true pacesetter if Bostitch integrated the feature.
As far as specs go, the Bostitch is fairly impressive overall, but certainly, a leader in its price range. It boasts a 24 position clutch and has a very effective 480lbs of torque coming from the 2-speed gearbox. This is certainly enough to handle everyday maker tasks for DIY’ers and more demanding home improvement tasks. All of that power is fed from the proprietary Bostitch 18v lithium ion battery. This battery is probably the weakest point in terms of performance due to its 1.3 amp-hour rating. This doesn’t afford a ton of run time at varying loads but does recharge nicely at around 40 minutes for a full charge.
Bostitch Cordless Drill Review Performance
It felt like I was using a pro-grade tool, it really did! The Bostitch left no room for doubt after driving screws through hardwood and drilling plenty of holes through test pieces of scrap wood. The sheer top end power of the tool exceeded my expectations, and the low-end torque was much the same. With the drill/driver on its highest settings, a quick squeeze of the trigger leaves you with a fair bit of recoil when letting off, a testament to being a step ahead of most consumer grade competitors.
The only real room for improvement (given the price point) would certainly be directed towards the 1/2in chuck. Through hard testing, and even casual use, the chuck loosened on my bits- not a deal breaker, but it would be nice to see a Jacobs branded chuck on the Bostitch. This especially, considering that even some Harbor Freight tools are featuring the legendary chuck brand. It wouldn't be a costly upgrade, something to consider, Stanley!
Bostitch Cordless Drill Review Value
The Bostitch falls in the mid, to the higher tier of consumer-grade drill/drivers currently on the market. This product, model #BTC401LA comes in at roughly $79 for most Walmart stores or here on Amazon. With that being said, it's certainly the most expensive option on the Walmart shelf. Compared to other brands, this is a very generous price, especially with the associated quality.
But as with most things, they aren't perfect, especially with power tools. The one lacking component to the value equation is the absence of a second battery. The Bostitch drill/driver includes a charger, and alone 18v battery. Once you manage to hunt a battery down, the price varies from between $29.99, all the way to $59.99 dependent on the retailer.
Bostitch Cordless Drill Review Final Thoughts
Since I'm the target audience for this Bostitch 18v Drill/Driver, I've got to admit, they've won me over. A strong, ergonomic, and dependable frame, paired with performance and value makes for a great DIY'er tool. Sure, there are a few minor improvements that could be made, but keeping a sub $80 price point and still including a battery and charger is a tall order. Things like a battery fuel gauge, Jacobs Chuck, and better construction on the battery housing would probably push this tool closer to the $100+ mark. This could impact the attraction- especially on Wal-Mart shelves. Luckily, Bostitch has watered down a pro-grade tool and nailed this one all around, much like they've done in the past (pun certainly intended).