Bosch 36V vs Dewalt 20V vs Milwaukee 18V

Most of the tool industry has concentrated their efforts on a 20-volt or 18-volt line and some feel that it is better to use multiple 18-volt batteries to get the higher voltages for use in larger tools.  Bosch is going against the grain and working to better tools for their 36-volt line.

Bosch offers less than a handful of tools in this line currently, but might be using this battery platform for further development.  On the other hand, Bosch has been pushing that the new Bosch Core 18-volt battery platform is the future.  So with all of this information, we decided to put the new Bosch 36-volt Brute Tough 1/2″ drill up against the Dewalt 20-volt and Milwaukee 18-volt to see if diving into a new battery platform was worth it.

With the size of the new Bosch 36-volt Brute Tough 1/2″ drill, we have to expect some serious power.  The specifications list this drill with 885 in. lbs. of max torque while the Dewalt and Milwaukee list 1,200 in. lbs. of torque.  The two speeds on the Bosch are slower than the Dewalt and Milwaukee with speed one having a no-load rpm of 0-420 and speed two with a no-load rpm of 0-1,800.

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Bosch also states this drill is only 4 lbs. for DDH361 and 4.25 lbs. for HDH361, BUT that is the drill only, no 36-volt 2P battery attached.  The 4.0 Ah battery consists of two packs of 2.0 Ah batteries making 36 volts.  Two sets of 36-volt batteries make the pack heavier.  It may sound like we are coming down on Bosch, and to some degree we are.  This tool should have more power than the Dewalt and Milwaukee and Bosch should have stepped up to today’s technology and used 3.0 Ah batteries allowing for a single set of batteries making a 3.0 Ah 36-volt pack that weighs in at half of the 4.0 Ah pack.  We love Bosch Power Tools, but they seem to be content living in the technologies of 4 years past.

Tool Battle

To get through the marketing numbers and claims, we set up some testing to get to the bottom of this.  Our goal is to figure out if a heavy 36-volt drill is worth getting into a new battery platform.  Our tests were designed to push the drills to test power and long-term heat dissipation.

Flat out, you have to watch our YouTube video to see the tests.  Unfortunately, the Milwaukee Drill had a side handle failure on the first test and had to be put aside for safety.  From the use prior, we know it has the power of the Dewalt.  So the Dewalt and Bosch faced off all the way up to a 6-1/2″ hole saw where we could finally say that the Bosch was just slightly better than the Dewalt because the Dewalt would time out once and a while.

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How many people use a 6-1/2″ hole saw with a small drill over and over?  Not many!  so is it worth going to a 36-volt platform with very few other tools just for that benefit?  We do not think so.  Sewalt has many more options in the 20-volt and FlexVolt platform and in the smaller tests, the Dewalt drill outperformed the Bosch all day long.

There is no doubt this Bosch 36-volt Brute Tough 1/2″ drill has its place and the kickback control is nice for safety.  We just really hoped Bosch would give the tool a bit more power to compensate for the weight of the tool.