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Thread: Review of the Bosch I-Driver

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    313

    Review of the Bosch I-Driver

    Review of the Bosch I-Driver

    Santa brought me a new Bosch I-Driver. Below is my mini review – enjoy!

    Overview:
    I have a couple of tools for driving in screws in tight quarters. But each has weaknesses:

    • I have a corded small right angle drill, but it has no clutch.
    • I have a right angle “thingy” that attached to my cordless drill. Now I have a clutch, but it is awkward to use.
    • I also have a small palm-sized ratcheting screw driver that is slow and also awkward to use.

    With the Bosch I-Driver, I now have a tool that will drive screws in tight quarters without any weaknesses.

    Please be aware that the Bosch I-Drive is more of a “right angle” DRIVER – and less of a drill. At 600 RPMs it could be limiting and tough to call this a drill. But as a driver it performs flawlessly.

    Also, the tool does not have an adjustable chuck… it has a ¼” locking Quick Change Chuck that prevents bit loss in drive mode – you pull to insert or release 1/4″ hex shank bits. You can use drill bits BUT they must have a ¼” hex shank.

    Specs:
    No Load RPM0-600
    Torque (in. lbs.)80
    Weight (lbs.)2.2
    Rating10.8V
    Length90° = 3-1/2″ / 180° = 11-1/2″

    What Do You Get?
    Here is case closed... nice case with padded handle:
    (SEE Photo #1 Below)

    Inside the case you have: (See Photo #2)
    • The Tools
    • 2 Batteries
    • Charger (30 minute)
    • 2 bits
    See photo #5 for features of the tool.

    Impressions – What I LIKED:

    This is a different type of driver in a couple of ways… and in this case different is good!

    • The first time I pulled the trigger, I thought the batteries were dead. I then realized that I was experiencing the “soft-start” mechanism. As you pull the trigger it spins slowly to speed (actually is more like a split second) This allows you to make sure the bit has engaged the screw. It took about 5 minutes to get used to the soft-start. After driving in my 10th screw into hard maple, I began to appreciate the difference… no more “cam-outs”. (Note-the soft start is most noticeable if you squeeze the trigger to full RPMs.)
    • The second thing I noticed was the “electronic” clutch. When you hit the clutch point the motor stops. All my other drills (which have “mechanical” clutches) continue to “grind” when hitting the clutch point. I rather like the motor cutting out… I feel like I have a little more control when drilling the screws.
    • The torque seems pretty good. I was driving 1 5/8” pocket hole screws into hard maple at a clutch setting of “5”… so I had 2 more positions to max plus the drill mode. (No it will not compare to my 18v cordless)
    • The unit has a nice ratcheting head for tight spaces. I found the tool to be a little awkward to use in the 0 degree position in the vertical position. In the horizontal position it was fine. (see photo #3 below). But the tool wasn’t really designed to be used in this position… after all it’s for tight quarters.
    • At the 90 degree position the tool was a pleasure to use.(See photo #4) I tried it in a cabinet situation and it worked great!
    • With a short bit, you can comfortably get into a space of 4”.
    • The tool is very well balanced. The balance point is right where you hold it.

    Impressions – What I DID NOT LIKE:


    There’s not much to dislike about this tool… once you understand the soft-start.
    However, there are a few things Bosch could have done better:
    1. This drill was designed for tight spots i.e. places where light will probably be a problem. SO, why didn’t Bosch add a light to this drill?? I think Bosch missed on this feature big-time! OR this will be available on version 2.
    2. The tool comes with 2 bits. It would have been nice if the tool could have incorporated a place to accommodate “on-tool” bit storage. Not a big deal, but it would have been nice.
    3. It seems like the clutch doesn't adjust low enough for driving small screws or driving into soft material. It may strip them out. At the lowest clutch setting, I can drive a 1 5/8” pocket hole screw about 1/3 way into a 2x4 before the clutch kicks-in.

    Final Thoughts
    This is really a nice tool for close-quarters and Bosch did a good job designing the tool. The only thing they missed on was not putting a light on the tool.

    The tool is built in China, but the fit & finish are high quality. It is what you would expect from Bosch!

    I would highly recommend this tool if you find yourself having to drive in screws in tight spaces.


    I hope you find this helpful!



    -jj
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by joseph j shields; 12-26-2006 at 9:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    19,705
    Thanks for the review Joseph. Good stuff and congrats.
    I am familiar with modern idioms but they are outside the vocabulary of what I want to say.

    - George Dyson (composer)

  3. #3
    I've had mine for about two months, and pretty much echo all your likes and dislikes. One 'difference of opinion' is that I have no problem with using the straight-on, 0° position. I grip it differently, though. I hold it with the tool pointing upward/outward, like I'm shaking hands with it, and my thumb on the trigger. I find it very easy to control in this position.

    BTW, mine replaced a DeWalt 7.2v screwdriver (DW920) that I'd had for about ten years. The second pair of batteries for the DeWalt died, and replacing them would have cost more than a new DeWalt driver kit, so I decided to 'upgrade' to the Bosch. After using it for a while, I'm convinced that the Bosch really is an upgrade. I particularly like the Lithium batteries. No shelf-life power loss like the NiCads.

  4. #4
    Great review!!

    I bought the small pistol grip model. I really like it


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Plymouth County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,933
    [quote=joseph j shields]Review of the Bosch I-Driver

    Santa brought me a new Bosch I-Driver. Below is my mini review – enjoy!

    Overview:
    I have a couple of tools for driving in screws in tight quarters. But each has weaknesses:

    • I have a corded small right angle drill, but it has no clutch.
    • I have a right angle “thingy” that attached to my cordless drill. Now I have a clutch, but it is awkward to use.
    • I also have a small palm-sized ratcheting screw driver that is slow and also awkward to use.

    With the Bosch I-Driver, I now have a tool that will drive screws in tight quarters without any weaknesses.

    Please be aware that the Bosch I-Drive is more of a “right angle” DRIVER – and less of a drill. At 600 RPMs it could be limiting and tough to call this a drill. But as a driver it performs flawlessly.

    Also, the tool does not have an adjustable chuck… it has a ¼” locking Quick Change Chuck that prevents bit loss in drive mode – you pull to insert or release 1/4″ hex shank bits. You can use drill bits BUT they must have a ¼” hex shank.

    Specs:
    No Load RPM0-600
    Torque (in. lbs.)80
    Weight (lbs.)2.2
    Rating10.8V
    Length90° = 3-1/2″ / 180° = 11-1/2″

    What Do You Get?
    Here is case closed... nice case with padded handle:
    (SEE Photo #1 Below)

    Inside the case you have: (See Photo #2)
    • The Tools
    • 2 Batteries
    • Charger (30 minute)
    • 2 bits
    See photo #5 for features of the tool.

    Impressions – What I LIKED:

    This is a different type of driver in a couple of ways… and in this case different is good!

    • The first time I pulled the trigger, I thought the batteries were dead. I then realized that I was experiencing the “soft-start” mechanism. As you pull the trigger it spins slowly to speed (actually is more like a split second) This allows you to make sure the bit has engaged the screw. It took about 5 minutes to get used to the soft-start. After driving in my 10th screw into hard maple, I began to appreciate the difference… no more “cam-outs”. (Note-the soft start is most noticeable if you squeeze the trigger to full RPMs.)
    • The second thing I noticed was the “electronic” clutch. When you hit the clutch point the motor stops. All my other drills (which have “mechanical” clutches) continue to “grind” when hitting the clutch point. I rather like the motor cutting out… I feel like I have a little more control when drilling the screws.
    • The torque seems pretty good. I was driving 1 5/8” pocket hole screws into hard maple at a clutch setting of “5”… so I had 2 more positions to max plus the drill mode. (No it will not compare to my 18v cordless)
    • The unit has a nice ratcheting head for tight spaces. I found the tool to be a little awkward to use in the 0 degree position in the vertical position. In the horizontal position it was fine. (see photo #3 below). But the tool wasn’t really designed to be used in this position… after all it’s for tight quarters.
    • At the 90 degree position the tool was a pleasure to use.(See photo #4) I tried it in a cabinet situation and it worked great!
    • With a short bit, you can comfortably get into a space of 4”.
    • The tool is very well balanced. The balance point is right where you hold it.

    Impressions – What I DID NOT LIKE:

    There’s not much to dislike about this tool… once you understand the soft-start.
    However, there are a few things Bosch could have done better:
    1. This drill was designed for tight spots i.e. places where light will probably be a problem. SO, why didn’t Bosch add a light to this drill?? I think Bosch missed on this feature big-time! OR this will be available on version 2.
    2. The tool comes with 2 bits. It would have been nice if the tool could have incorporated a place to accommodate “on-tool” bit storage. Not a big deal, but it would have been nice.
    3. It seems like the clutch doesn't adjust low enough for driving small screws or driving into soft material. It may strip them out. At the lowest clutch setting, I can drive a 1 5/8” pocket hole screw about 1/3 way into a 2x4 before the clutch kicks-in.

    Final Thoughts
    This is really a nice tool for close-quarters and Bosch did a good job designing the tool. The only thing they missed on was not putting a light on the tool.

    The tool is built in China, but the fit & finish are high quality. It is what you would expect from Bosch!

    I would highly recommend this tool if you find yourself having to drive in screws in tight spaces.


    I hope you find this helpful!

    Joe..my wife saw your picture and thought you looked kind of young for woodworking(beaver) lol lol

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    313
    Yeah...

    ps Ward & June say "Hello" :-)

    -jj

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    230

    approx cost/ battery life

    I have been thinking about an impact driver for drawer slides and tight quarters, this might be a better idea. Can anyone ballpark a retail price and advise on battery life? Thanks in advance!

    A reputation for craftsmanship is a responsibility
    to never take lightly.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    313
    You can get it for about $150...

    Can't answer your question about battery life since I just got it :-(

    -jj

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Heil
    I have been thinking about an impact driver for drawer slides and tight quarters, this might be a better idea. Can anyone ballpark a retail price and advise on battery life? Thanks in advance!
    I paid $144 for mine at Hartville Hardware.

    Battery life is excellent - several times what the charge life of my former DeWalt NiCad driver was. Also, the lithium batteries don't lose their charge while being stored between uses. In two months, I've only recharged each battery once, and I've done a lot of driving (and a little bit of drilling) with the tool.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Mid Michigan
    Posts
    468
    Joseph,
    Very good review.
    I have both of the Bosch 10.4 drivers, great tools. I have no complaints with mine.

    While chatting with a Bosch rep at a show last summer, I was told the next addition to the 10.4 volt line will be an impact driver. It is supposed to be the same size as the pistol grip model, only slightly enlarged in the body area to accomodate the impact mechanism.

    Ed

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Waterford, MI
    Posts
    4,673
    Anybody know of any sellers with a price better than $139.99 ?? So far that's about the best I've found online, but am also waiting on a reply back from CPO Bosch that may have factory refurb ones for $119.99.
    Use the fence Luke

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    313

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shepard
    Anybody know of any sellers with a price better than $139.99 ?? So far that's about the best I've found online, but am also waiting on a reply back from CPO Bosch that may have factory refurb ones for $119.99.
    If you have a Menards in your area....

    They often run a 15% off "Bag Sale".(15% off anything you can put in their bag)

    This would bring the price down to around $125.

    -jj

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