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A new Bosch 18V cordless FlexiClick 5-in-1 drill kit quietly appeared at online retailers this month, model GSR18V-800FCB24.
The new Bosch FlexiClick cordless drill appears to be an upgrade to an existing model, GSR18V-535FCB15.
Looking at the specs, there’s not much of a difference except for the new kit costing $80-$140 more, depending on the retailer.
Looking for clues, we can see that the new Bosch FlexiClick has a KickBack Control feature, that reduces the risk of sudden rotational torque in a bind-up scenario.
However, the older model has a similar feature, but it just wasn’t advertised on the handle grip.
The efficient, brushless motor delivers an impressive 565 In.-Lbs. of max torque for heightened performance.
This is the same max torque as for the older model.
The new FlexiClick drill has a slightly updated housing and styling.
As with the other 12V Max and 18V cordless drills across the Bosch FlexiClick line, the new model also has a modular chuck attachment interface for tackling drilling and driving work in tight spaces and around obstacles.
It comes with 3 attachments – a drill chuck, right angle drill chuck, and offset driving head. There’s a 1/4″ hex bit chuck built into the tool.
Bosch describes the 18V FlexiClick as a 5-in-1 tool, but I’m having difficult seeing where the number comes from. There’s the built-in locking bit holder, drill chuck, right angle drill chuck, and offset driving head. That’s just 4, right?
It has a typical drill clutch, but also what’s described as a switchable precision clutch that, when activated, stops the tool when clutch slippage is detected.
Retailers’ product pages elaborate:
The switchable precision clutch feature ensures greater control by stopping the override once a set torque level is reached.
Does that mean the drill has an electronic clutch, rather than mechanical, and that an additional setting can stop things… further?
- Modular chuck system
- 0-630/0-2100 RPM max speed
- 565 in-lbs max torque
- 5.4″ head length
The kit comes with 2x Core18V 4Ah “advanced power” batteries, a charger, the 3 head attachments, and a tool bag.
Price: $399 for the kit
When looking at new tools and related tech, I tend to ask myself a big question:
Why should I care?
I’m a tool user and here’s a brand new Bosch 18V cordless FlexiClick drill/driver with brushless motor. Why should I care?
Well, it has…
565 in-lbs max torque – just like the old model.
Anti-kickback tech – just like the old model.
3 head attachments – just like the old model.
Oh – it’s slightly faster than its predecessor, with 0-630/0-2100 RPM compared to 0-600/0-1900 RPM for the older model.
Is that worth increasing the price from ~$260 at Amazon for the older model 2-battery kit to $399 for the new one?
The older model is advertised as having a precision clutch. This new one has a “switchable precision clutch.” I don’t understand the point of that when there’s a clutch dial at the head of the tool.
From what I can see, that’s the only real difference here.
Switchable precision clutch – when switched on, stops the tool when clutch slippage is detected.
Isn’t that how all mechanical and electronic cordless drill clutches work? When a torque clutch activates, it decouples power transmission, whether mechanically or electronically. So again, what’s the point in an added “switchable precision clutch” on top of that?
Why should I care?
If power transmission is disconnected, does the tool need to be stopped also? Clutches will usually remain engaged until the user lifts their finger from the trigger switch.
Are marginal no-load increases in speed and this switchable precision clutch feature meaningful upgrades that justify the bump-up in price?
I started off excited about this new 18V brushless FlexiClick, but that changed very quickly after I went searching for details and insights and came up near-empty.
Am I missing something here? Or is the new FlexiClick drill as ho-hum of a development and upgrade as it seems?