Selecting an appropriate power tool that can satisfy your needs can be a daunting task, especially when considering the seemingly infinite number of manufacturers who produce a wide range of products. The general rule when purchasing a compact drill is to look for the market leaders and see what items they have for sale. Typically, the best-selling companies manufacture high-quality products, but you’ll most likely have to have a thicker wallet to afford them. Ultimately, the value of the product is most important.
In the business of power tools, two popular companies known for making some of the best items are DeWalt and Bosch. The American and German companies, respectively, release highly praised products regularly, and one of their best selling product lines is cordless drill/drivers. Another challenge that buyers face is comparing two remarkable products, checking for differences and seeing in which regards they overlap. Here, we’re going to check out some of these companies’ critically acclaimed cordless drill/driver models: the DeWalt DCD771C2 and the Bosch DDB181-02.
DeWalt Brushed versus Bosch Brushless
Whether a motor is brushed or brushless greatly affects a drill/driver’s overall performance and battery life. There are several reasons why users would shell out the extra cash to go the brushless motor route. Despite being considerably more expensive than their brushed counterparts, brushless motors produce less friction, resulting in quieter operations, less friction and thus less heat, better heat dissipation, and fewer maintenance issues. These all translate into an extended lifespan of both the drill/driver and the battery.
DeWalt opted to install a brushed motor for their DCD771C2 model opposed to a brushless option to keep prices down. Bosch, on the other hand, focused more on long-term usability and efficiency by installing a high-quality, albeit rather costly, brushless motor in their DDB181-02 model. In the end, in terms of motor quality and durability, hands down, the Bosch wins this round.
Since these two drill/driver models are cordless, their source of power comes from rechargeable batteries that you get upon purchase. The DeWalt model uses a 20V rechargeable Li-Ion battery which can power the unit for up to 30 minutes of drilling, whereas the Bosch model draws power from an 18V rechargeable Li-Ion battery which offers up to 40 minutes of operation. Here, we see a major difference in operating time between the brushed DeWalt and the brushless Bosch.
Each kit comes with a battery charger which takes roughly 60 minutes to fully recharge a battery from empty to max capacity. This is by no means the fastest charging battery out there, but it works decently and downtime is rather shortened. However, the DeWalt kit comes with two batteries to work with, meaning that customers can leave one battery in the charger while using the other battery to power the drill/driver. The Bosch kit only comes with one battery, so unless you order another one, you’re left with longer downtimes.
Mechanical 2-Speed Control and Torque
Both the DeWalt and the Bosch motors feature mechanical variable 2-speed controls. On first gear, the DeWalt and the Bosch can reach up to 450 RPM and 400 RPM, respectively. On second gear, respectively, they can reach maximum speeds of up to 1,500 RPM and 1,300 RPM. In terms of speed, there’s very little difference. The additional 200 RPM won’t be very noticeable since professional workers tend to manually control speed and power using the touch-sensitive trigger. However, if your ultimate goal is to shave seconds when finishing multiple tasks, the DeWalt is much more time-efficient.
In terms of drilling and driving power, the DeWalt DCD771C2 delivers up to 480 inch-pounds of torque, whereas the Bosch DDB181-02 offers only 300 inch-pounds. For DIY enthusiasts and home repairmen, depending on what surfaces and material you work with, these drill/driver models offer more than enough power than you’ll ever need. Professional users will find greater value in the more powerful DeWalt unit.
To assist operators with torque control, the DeWalt and Bosch models feature several clutch positions which offer various levels of power. The DeWalt unit comes with 16 clutch positions, whereas the Bosch has 20+1 clutch positions. Depending on the materials and surfaces you’re working with, you’ll be glad that the clutch positions are there to limit (at varying degrees) the amount of torque behind driving screws.
These clutch positions are extremely handy for working with softer screws that are prone to stripping. The lack of clutch positions in the DeWalt model isn’t that big of a deal since most users will pick a setting for a certain material and go with it. More experienced users will utilize the touch-sensitive trigger to control speed and power. Either way, you’re getting the same value from these two models despite their differing clutch position count.
Design and Weight
From chuck to the back-end, the DeWalt and Bosch measure in at 9.88 and 11 inches, respectively. The DeWalt is considerably more compact than the Bosch – something which is uncommon when comparing brushed and brushless drills – which can fit more easily into tight areas and work in corners much more comfortably. However, the 11-inch Bosch works well in cramped areas, though users might need to employ the help of extended bars or flexible hex shafts to get work done in awkward places.
There is only a minor variance in weight between the two models. The DeWalt weighs 3.64 pounds (including battery), whereas the Bosch model is 3 pounds. Will the 0.64-pound difference matterNot at all. The insignificant weight disparity means that both lightweight models can be held comfortably in the hand without causing cramps or fatigue, and they can both be lifted above head-level to get work done in high spaces.
The DeWalt uses a brushed motor which is less expensive, but the Bosch’s brushless motor has several pros that brushed motors can’t compete with. However, in terms of speed and power produced by their respective motors, differences in speed and torque are only marginal and won’t be a huge factor for amateur and home project hobbyists to take into account.
Professional users might appreciate the DeWalt’s slightly quicker and more powerful performance, but the value you get from both of these units are comparable. Finally, in terms of battery life per charge and overall battery lifespan, the Bosch’s brushless motor guarantees fewer visits to the charging station and longer battery utilization.
Overall, between the DeWalt DCD777C2 and the Bosch DDB181-02, the more superior model is the Bosch which offers slightly greater value.