Nothing is more annoying than getting into a rhythm on the job and then having to stop and switch tools. And then stop and switch. And then stop and... you get the point. Thankfully, Bosch Tools has come through with a fix: the Bosch Freak—half driver, half wrench, and all impact. NED spoke with Theron Sherrod, Product Manager at Robert Bosch Power Tools to see if this tool is really the answer to your fastening problem.
NED [New Equipment Digest]: What is the Bosch Freak and what industry/workers will use it?
TS [Theron Sherrod]: The Bosch Freak, GDX18V-1800C, is an impact driver and wrench at the same time to accomplish any driving or fastening application. It has a 1/4-inch hex bit holder for driving screws and a 1/2-inch square drive so sockets can be used to drive and/or fasten lag bolts and nuts. It's also Connected-Ready (when the Connected Tool Module is inserted into the tool) to customize settings and includes Bluehound—Bosch’s asset management and tracking solution—to track the location of the tool.
This tool can be used in any industry where there is a driving or fastening application. The tool has 1,800 lb-in. of torque that will satisfy many drilling/driving or fastening applications.
NED: What are the main features?
TS: In addition to the two-in-one bit/socket holder for impact driver/wrench functionality, the Freak features an EC brushless, cordless motor; Bluetooth connectivity to link the tool to the free Bosch Toolbox app for customized settings and detailed feedback; three-speed/torque settings; a variable speed trigger; and a single-focused LED for excellent illumination.
NED: What is your favorite feature and why?
TS: My favorite feature is the two-in-one bit/socket holder because it allows me to work faster and easier. I no longer need to set one tool down and pick up another, because I can accomplish both tasks at the same time.
With the Bosch Freak, I can easily place my socket over the screw-driving bit in the Freak and drive bolts. When I switch to driving screws again, I just remove the socket and continue working.
NED: How is this different from similar impact wrenches/drivers on the market?
TS: The two-in-one feature is a Bosch exclusive; it's the only combined impact driver and impact wrench on the market.
NED: What was the biggest challenge in making the Freak?
TS: The biggest challenge was developing the tool with a head size that is comparable to the competition, as they tend to boast on the length of the head of the tool. At 5.2 inches, the Freak can fit into small working spaces while providing first-class power and speed.
NED: Can you tell us something interesting about it we won’t find on your website?
TS: One of the features called Soft Start is only accessible when the tool is connected to the Bosch ToolBox App through the Connection Module. This feature acts as a variable speed trigger so that when the trigger is completely pressed, the chuck spins slowly in the beginning, allowing the user to get control of the work, and then ramps up the speed to the current speed setting. This prevents loss of control of the tool, which could cause “skipping” across the workpiece or breaking of glass if working near a window installation, for example.
NED: Anything else you’d like to add readers might find interesting?
TS: The GDR18V-1800C, which is an impactor with a 1/4-inch inch hex bit holder, has one of the best head-size to torque ratios on the market, with a head length of only 4.8 inches, to fit into tighter work areas. The GDR18V-1800C has the same power and speed as the Freak and is loved by drywallers who appreciate the short head length and light weight of the tool.