Bosch RHH181 18V SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Review


Besides an impact driver and hammer, a rotary tool is probably one of my favorite tools to use.  That’s why when we heard about the Bosch RHH181, we jumped at the chance to check this out.

The RHH181 is a 3/4″ SDS Plus rotary tool and replaces the older RHH180.  If you’re just looking at the tool, you might not notice much of a change in the new RHH181, unless you look at the dial.  You will now notice two more icons which include a chisel mode.  Yes, you can now chisel with this rotary hammer.  The other icon lets you set the chisel to the proper angle of your work, called Vario-Lock.  As the late night TV states, “But wait, that’s not all.”

Bosch made some significant improvements on the inside as well.  Bosch incorporated their EC motor which is a brushless motor.  The brushless motor offers a couple of advantages such as increased durability, run time and efficiency of the tool.   Bosch didn’t stop there, they also included two 4.0 A/h Lithium-ion batteries which provides even more run time.  Not only did they increase the amp hours of the batteries, but they designed a way for the battery to stay cooler using a unique cool pack design.  The housing of the battery uses a heat conductive design to help keep the battery cooler.  So you get even more run time and a longer life from the battery.  We all know heat kills tools, but it kills batteries just as quickly.  So this is a great design Bosch implemented into the tool.

These tools are made for work, serious work.  When you’re fighting against a strong material like concrete, a tool needs to be tough and that’s why Bosch designed this tool with EMP.  The Electronic Motor Protection helps protect the motor from overheating.  Another way Bosch protects this tool is with ECP.  Electronic Cell Protection protects the batteries from also overheating and self discharge.  So not only do you have a better motor and better battery, but you have ways to protect your tool and batteries from damage and best of all, you don’t even have to think about it.  Before I forget, there is also a built in LED light to help the user in darker areas.

I am sure you are wondering about the stats, so here is a quick rundown:

Height 6.15″
Length 21.15″
Max. Capacity in Concrete 3/4″
Max. Capacity in Steel 1-1/4″
Max. Capacity in Wood 1/2″
No Load BPM 0-4,500
No Load RPM 0-1,400

Bosch Rotary Hammer 09I can’t say we have used this for hundreds of hours, but we have used this for a couple different jobs, well not us.  We let a couple other people do most of the work.  I used it for a little light chiseling, fastening about 40 Tapcons and a couple small holes.   Some of the other guys used it to drill holes to run pipes and another to install anchors.  Both stated the tool worked hard and lasted a lot longer than they expected.  The balance and the feel of this tool are incredible.  The slim design makes this very easy to handle and work with.  The biggest item I noticed was while you get vibrations, it’s not even close to some of the other tools we have tested.  When you’re hammering or chiseling, you don’t feel the huge jolts in your hands, wrists or arms.  This tool is very smooth.

My only complaint is the tool uses a nylon carry bag instead of a hard plastic case.  The bag is nice because you usually can put more bits in a bag, but I still like the plastic case over nylon bags.

The Bosch RHH181Brushless Rotary Hammer is a great tool with lots of power.  The new improvements make this tool invaluable to anyone looking to do some serious work.  This has to be one of my favorite 18 V rotary hammers on the market.




  1. Throw this in an l-boxx and I would be drooling even more! I sure hope Bosch continues to put more and more of their tools in l-boxxes as an option

  2. Thanks for the review! The stats say maximum capacity in concrete is 3/4″. Does that mean you can only chisel up to 3/4″?

  3. By the way, I really like the amazon link at the bottom of the article. (Maybe it was there all the time but didn’t notice it).

    Any time I plan to buy a tool or anything from Amazon I will make sure I click there first. Let’s ALL support our tool guys.

  4. 40 holes seems like a lot of juice for a cordless going into concrete and fastening tapcons. My biggest worry about heavier cordless tools like this is that the battery would die quickly, but this thing seems to hold up.

  5. Looks great but I figured it should be atleast 7/8″ for drilling in concrete. I know its not that much more than 3/4 but most are 7/8″ nonbrushless. I believe ive seen a brushless go up to an inch.


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