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Jason Feldner, son of Sauron the horrible, did look out onto the land and he said “Come, pathetic tool writer hobbits and test these drills, that I might crown the One Drill.” And so it was that the hobbits were made to to suffer in the bowels of Chicago’s heat in search of the One Drill for the son of Sauron.

“Screw!” Barked the Feldner. “Screw and screw some more! Find me the One Drill, for you will not be released from bondage until you do!” And the hobbits toiled.

The good hobbits did as they were driven to do, what their cruel master demanded of them. They drove the 3-inch screws into the 6×6 boards with tireless effort. Many along the way perished, but still their taskmaster whipped them forward. Marc of the HomeFixated.com Shire and Clint of the ProToolReview.com Keep were among the many brave fallen.

In due course, some emerged as heroes among the good hobbits while others, flagged by heat and driven to exhaustion, were simply silenced and tossed aside to rot beneath the carved concrete sarcophagus in a mass grave. It was a grave marked only by its master’s symbol — and the likeness of the One Drill’s original creator, Robert Bosch the Elder.

Still the hobbits were whipped to bring forth the One Drill. Whipped until after much driving in the heat, their lord Feldner crowned the Bosch drill to have outlasted the Milwaukee, Makita, and DeWalt 18v drills with 519 screws driven.

But no sooner did he have his prize than did the clever hobbits, led in part by Joe the Grey from his wooden perch, and not wanting the Feldner’s evil to spread, they did steal the One Drill and conspire to drop it into the fires of Mount Doom.

The hobbits rejoiced but were faced with a dilemma. None knew the way to Mount Doom or, in fact, Middle Earth. It seemed all was lost when it was discovered that the closest hell-like atmosphere available was Cleveland or perhaps downtown Detroit. Add to that the active volcano scene was sparse in Chicago, and you begin to appreciate the danger of failure they faced. It was then decided that the dropping itself was really the important part — not where the One Drill was dropped into nothingness.

So the Clever hobbits, wary of the wrath of the Feldner, chartered a Red Dragon to do away with the dread One Drill. Surely a drop of 500 feet from the claws of this beast would stop the dread lord’s diabolical evil.

So the good hobbits did what hobbits do best — they trudged. They trudged through the heat of their lord’s Chicago hell to the spot where the dragon would destroy the One Drill. Hopeful their misery was near a close.

The dragon did release the One Drill and let it fall. Down it went. 500 feet through the midsummer sky to meet its final end. The hobbits cried for joy, and the horror was indeed over. The One Drill was gone forever.

The hobbits returned to their valleys and keeps, secure in the knowledge that evil had been vanquished.

Unfortunately, the hobbits, while clever and inventive, had not counted on the One Drill’s solid construction. The Feldner retrieved the One Drill from the grassy field soon after the triumphant hobbits had gone. He pulled the trigger and the wicked tool of torque spun to life as it always had.

Dark days awaited the the good hobbits of Toolwriter Hollow — dark days, indeed.


24 Responses to Bosch: Lord Of The Drills

  1. Houston says:

    This post was absolutely hilarious! I love Bosch drills, they’re so durable.

  2. zdiggler says:

    Yeah, I have dropped my el cheapo dewlt from 2 story house on bare ground and it didn’t break. My Co-worker drop his Craftman drill from 6ft step ladder and it broke in to pieces.
    Today I dropped my Dewalt from 8ft step ladder on to concrete and it didn’t even dent!

  3. zoomzoomjeff says:

    What kind of cordless was it? My dad has a 36v that won’t quit!

  4. John says:

    I am very impressed with how far Bosch has come over the past few years. There was a time, when we would stay away from their tools and go with more familiar names like Craftsmen and Dewalt, but Bosch has proved to be right there in the mix.

  5. Ben says:

    ya i dunno im still on the boat of “bosch is a great company and makes amazing things but tools….”
    after that compressor review im thinking of the bosch compressor and hopefully that will change my view. i mean shit i used to think of makita as garbage and now i love them.

  6. David Chiles says:

    F dewalt!

  7. Julian Tracy says:

    What the heck alternative reality have you guys been living in to suggest that Bosch tools were at one point mediocre? And to suggest Craftsman has EVER made a power tool better than Bosch is just plain ridiculous.

    If anything – older Bosch tools that were made in Switzerland and Germany were better made than the newer China/Mexico/Malaysia tools.

    I’m no Bosch uber fan, but they’ve always been one of the best quality tool companies out there with the usual mix of hits and misses that all of the better tool companies have.


  8. fred says:

    @Julian Tracy Says:
    Good comments – about hits an misses.
    I’ve been buying tools both for personal and business use since the mid 1960’s. I’ve tried a whole bunch of brands and have seen some trends over the years – but nothing is hard and fast – nor can you always make generalizations. I’ve not done a scientific study – but my impression is that over the years – professional quality tools have come down in price in real terms. That is to say – tradesmen had to shell out more of their paychecks for a quality tools than they do today. They also had fewer buying options – with local industrial suppliers or hardware stores being dominant. Often you had to order specialty items from a catalog – and pay top dollar. The big-box stores helped change this and the Internet has really opened things up – on both price and selection. I think that I also observed a different trend that is inter-related to quality, technological advancement, consumer choice/expectations and competition – and probably more things as well. I think that when you purchased a quality portable power tool in the ‘60’s you had an expectation that it would last your working lifetime – given reasonable care and regular maintenance. I knew where the local factory service centers were for Rockwell-Porter Cable, Black & Decker, Milwaukee and Skil. Features didn’t change much year to year and the concept of change out of battery platforms wasn’t even on the Radar Screen. Back in the ‘60’s the Dewalt brand was associated mostly with RASs and Makita was still a bit of a newcomer that you bought based on price not quality. I probably had never heard of Bosch or Hitachi – and the “Craftsman – Commercial” – line of power tools were also-rans in my mind. Craftsman power tools were presumably then – as now – outsourced by Sears on a completive basis. I had heard the Emerson produced some if not most of the Craftsman stationary tools – and Sears sold a lot of RASs to homeowners. I’m guessing that when Emerson – in more recent times – lost the contract with Sears – their Ridgid (plumbing tool brand) got applied to tools being sold at the emergent big-box Home Depot.
    Back in the day – there was also some variations across a brand name. You could see an orange colored low-end Black & Decker drill or circular saw sold at the local discount store – or buy a ½ inch B&D HD drill or Super Sawcat from your industrial supplier. Rockwell-Porter Cable, known for high quality sanders, power planes and routers – also put their name on drills, roto-hamnmers and saws. Rockwell also sold a line of homeowner- quality tools with a green plastic case – avoiding putting their PC brand name on low-end stuff. Skil – known for circular saws marked a full line of other tools in varying grades . Milwaukee – seemed to stay with mostly tradesman tools. I still have a variety of these old tools like PC 503 sanders, a PC 4-1/2 inch worm gear saws, a B&D SuperSawcat and Skil 7-1/4 wormgear saws still in productive use.

  9. Julian Tracy says:

    I’ve got one of the super Sawcats – electric brake, front ball pivot. Back in the day – Black & Decker made some high quality tools.

    Funny thing – my local building supply has a showcase with a bunch of that vintage B&D stuff brand new with the retail prices ready to sell. But most will never buy it cause they have no idea of the history. Just keep on buying yellow crap at HD.

    Having said that, a lot of the “yellow crap” is actually very good – either clones of the good ole B&D industrial stuff or clones of the European ELU tools which were top-notch.

    Yes – we are very lucky to have all the options we have these days – the best of which is Craigslist.

    I was at a rummage sale last year and they had a consumer level B&D circular saw, no interest in it, but it came in a sweet Orange steel saw tool box. I bought it just to give that nice Sawcat I own a fitting home.

    I never used Makita in the early cheap alternative days, though I do remember that all the cheap import crap was from Japan. How odd is that, considering that Japan was also the source at the same time of precision camera equipment?

    Makita – solid circ saws, nice, wide current cordless system.
    Dewalt – dependable miter saws, high-quality routers, decent cordless lineup
    Hitachi – hard to say, I have a HD 10 amp grinder that’s made in Ireland, but all the new stuff at Lowes is China plastic.
    Bosch – dependable, but they dropped the ball on the cordless end.
    Milwaukee – great routers, amazing history of sawzalls and drills, but these days all the original tools are now made in China with the exact same model #s. Wouldn’t trust the cordless stuff too much – they change their battery chemistry and voltage and drill platforms so fast their 2nd only to Ridgid in that regard. Hard to say what’s good anymore: V28/V18/M18/M18 red, etc.
    Festool – they only tool company with no compromises, though price makes them out of the radar for most Joes.


  10. Trondor says:

    I love hobbits!

  11. fred says:

    My Super Sawcat – electric brake is in one of theose orange metal boxes too – albeit with a new top hanhle riveted on

  12. Mark says:

    Great write up!!!! That’s what keeps me coming back.

  13. fred says:

    @Julian Tracy
    Regarding Japanese quality issues – companies like Toyota (who once also made Stradavario Sewing Machines) seemed to get on the TQM bandwagon with consultants like Deming purportedly leading the way. Funny how quality-cars became synonymous with Japanese-cars – much as the name Cadillac once had the same connotation. I suspect, that just as you have observed about the tool market – not all Japanese cars are created equal – and there is hope that we may say the same in the future looking back at tools built in China.
    The Japanese post-war camera business, started off by copying German cameras e.g. Zeiss-Ikon – morphing into “Nippon-Ikon” – Nikon and Leica copies by Canon. Some consider the post-war Nikon rangefinder cameras to be close cousins of the Zeiss Contax – and then once the switch was made to the Nikon F SLR – it set the standard for 35mm work-a-day instruments

  14. Kyle says:

    My grandpa has a Bosch hammer drill-yellow casing- that he got many yesr ago on one of those $20 because a coworker was tight on money situations, It has ran great forever and has tons of torque, I am sure that drill will run long after he is gone.

  15. Austin says:

    tricksy hobbitses! they won’t get our precious!

    I’ve seen lot’s of abused tools through the years, Makitas never seemed to withstand the abuse of building or demolition in a theater – even though lot’s of people swore by them.
    I’ve only used two drills that ever did, an old full metal cased – corded Black and Decker and a trusty corded DW100 DeWalt. Not the most convenient, but they didn’t stop until I did, and could reliably put in, or remove all those 3″ screws – so I am impressed by this demonstration!

  16. PutnamEco says:

    Re: Japanese vs Chinese. The Japanese developed their own brands, yes sometimes with blatant copies but it was at least their name that they were putting on the line, unlike the Chinese who are trading on formally American companies brand names and reputions
    Re: Austin says:
    I’ve seen lot’s of abused tools through the years, Makitas never seemed to withstand the abuse.

    Hits and misses? In the case of Makita, It is my opinion that there 5007 circular saw, along with their 9.6 volt drills were the turning point when all the manufacturers started down the path of “value” engineering, before they came out, most of the pro tools where really meant to last, After they had been out for a while and had penetrated the market, the other manufacturers all came out with pro power tools to try and match the Makitas on price.
    That said I would say that their 5007 saw was one of their “hits” I know of quite a few of these saws that have lasted many years of heavy use. I can’t comment on their newer Chinese versions of these saws.
    I have had both Dewalt drills and their B&D predecessors, most of the Dewalts are long since gone, but their predecessors still soldier on.I have steered clear of Dewalt due to the failures I have experienced with their products. I do like my Dewalt router even though I’m on my third warranty repair with it.
    If I were to need a durable 3/8 drill I would be looking at an older Milwaukee Magnum Holeshooter. I’ve been using mine (# 0224-1) for over 20 years and it is still going strong. I don’t think their newer Chinese manufactured drill is anywhere near as good, despite the seemingly better specifications on paper. Hilti also has made some worthy drills.
    One of the things you should consider when evaluating other peoples tools is that often the people buying tools on price are often the people with the least mechanical sympathy, and among those most likely to be misusing tools.
    I always wonder which, if any of today tools will be the ones that people will be willing to pay three or four time their original cost for in twenty years from now. like the prices original Sawcats, Porter Cable 503s and 126s command today, or if have we have past the golden age of portable power tools.

  17. fred says:

    @PutnamEco Says;

    I think that you are right about “value engineering” having been applied to power tools – and probably lots of other consumer products too. To paraphrase Skakespeare – the fault may not be in the stars but in us who buy based on price and seemingly constsntly search for new features – some of which may be improvements – while others turn out to be gimmicks. I grew up the son of parents who weathered the Depression as young adults – so they inculcated a notion that you had to make things last. Today – we buy a piece of consumer electronics – with the thought that it may be obsolete pretty soon – so it may not need to last too long. Are we doing the same with tools? I have seen some employees who can’t seem to understand how a business needs to amortize some capital tool purchases over several years and many jobs – so that buying the latest gimmick that yields no real gain in productivity makes no sense. So those early Makita drywall screwdrivers that I recall buying that seemed to have nice features – but turned out to have poor sealing against dust – and vinyl cordsets (instead of rubber as on our Screwshooters) that cracked in the cold – were not such good choices after all. I still have the Milwaukee Screwshooters and Hole Hawgs – as well as some Skil D-Handle right angle drills – but I’m pretty sure what became of the their lessser-made cousins. Cordless tools – have also taught us a lesson that battery platforms do not last forever. Our first 12V PC Magnequench NiCad drills were things to behold – or so we thought. The reality hit – when we understood that batteries don’t really last forever – even when you can find someone to rebuild them – because the next generation of batteries perform much better and support a larger base of tools.

    One good thing about being around during what you call the Golden Age of power tools is that I have a number of Rockwell-Porter-Cable Sanders, Power Planes, 4-1/2 inch worm gear saws , a B&D Supersawcat and several other tools from Milwaukee, Skil and B&D that will ondoubtedly outlast me.

  18. PutnamEco says:

    Re: fred says:
    The reality hit – when we understood that batteries don’t really last forever – even when you can find someone to rebuild them – because the next generation of batteries perform much better and support a larger base of tools.
    Darnedest thing, I can still go to my local big box out here in the sticks and buy a brand new battery for my 9.6v Makita drill, right off the shelf…

    Makita,I believe started out with really cheap, built to a price tools, then ratcheted up their quality, in the late 70s early 80s after they killed their market share with junk tools. Their screw-guns were alright during this period, having what to me, felt like a better balance than the Milwaukees, although they were not as long lived as the Scewshooters, I don’t believe I have a single Makita drill or screw-gun left from this period. Black & Deckers Professional / Industrial line was an OK option as well, not the most comfortable but they did last and had a sweet clutch, and then they turned yellow and the quality declined..Hilti made a nice drywall gun as well.I never had much experience with the Porter Cables of that era.

    I have to admit that I have bought some cheap tools specifically to use as disposables, and would not wish to deprive anyone of that choice. I only wish that the manufacturers would give us the choice to buy a quality durable tool that was engineered to last and be easily repairable rather than worry about getting it out at the lowest cost without causing consumers to jump ship.
    I’m perfectly content to watch the early adopters find all the bugs in the latest wiz bang tool and prefer to purchase tried and true tools, unless there is a feature that I absolutely can’t live without. I do find myself scavenging auctions and yard sales for decent used tools, now that everything seems to be made in China

    What I wish is that some manufacturer would step up and do what Festool/Protool is doing in their native country, and build a high end durable tool, right here in America. Just picture a modern Sawcat done in carbon fiber and titanium, probably come in weighing around six pounds, and picture the same carbon fiber/titanium treatment done to a Holeshooter.
    P.S. And then NOT sell the company to the Chinese when it becomes successful.l

  19. IronHerder says:

    In case I’m not the only reader who was more confused than amused, the next time the urge to wax metaphorical is irresistible, please include a plain language summary statement at the conclusion.

    The only take home message that I could see is that the Bosch drill & battery drove more screws than the competition, but I’m still left wondering by how much, comparatively. A lot? A few?

    As a DIYer, I don’t worry about the total number of screws per charge because I only do that scale of job once every year or three. Meaning that the time I spent deciphering the metaphor was not rewarded with any useful information for me. Maybe that’s the price I pay for trying to run with the big boys.

    I don’t mind TM posts that aren’t relevant to me, I just want to be able to figure that out in the first paragraph.

  20. Sean O'Hara says:

    @IronHerder Sorry you didn’t like that one man, I call it like I see it… sometimes that just happens to be in fantasy style old English.

  21. Chuck Cage says:

    @IronHerder Thanks for the tip. FWIW, we’re preparing a complete review of this tool when we have some time to spend with it, and most importantly when we can perform a similar test against the competitors’ newest drills. Sean can correct me if I’m wrong here, but the test we performed at Bosch was actually stacked against older models.

    (I’m not suggesting that they did this on purpose. Hell, DeWalt literally announced the new models the week prior, so it’d make sense that they wouldn’t have a bunch on-hand at Bosch. Milwaukee announces theirs later in the summer.)

    Anyway, having trudged along with the group, I got a kick out of Sean’s take on this. Clearly runtime and durability were at the top of the Bosch model priority list, and it’ll be interesting to see how that applies to users. As you mentioned, runtime isn’t your highest priority. Is durability? For that matter, what priority would you assign various features?

    Know what? I’m gonna stop commenting and go write a post and ask this question for real. 🙂

  22. fred says:

    @Chuck Cage says:

    I’m guessing that most of us don’t have the exact same expectations for every tool we use in the shop or bring to the field. Some tools get used in nearly continous duty for several hours at a time while others are picked up for specailty jobs. A dedicated jigsaw that is being used to cope crown molding – doesn’t get nearly as much use as a drywall screwdriver – and nothing like the demand put on pneumatic sanders or grinders in the shop.
    That being said – reliability is important – don’t like saws that burn up in the field because of poorly designed windings/brushes. Serviceability is another top priority – while I expect to have some tools in the shop being serviced – I would prefer not to be tossing too many out because they are not serviceable.

    For cordless tools we buy our LXT and M12 batteries in bulk and will have several spares on-charge – so runtime is a bit less important as long as it is reasonable- but charge time becomes a bit more important. All things being equal – battery life is important too – as is cold weather performance. We don’t expect that our cordless drivers are up to the same driving capability as a pneumatic (or even corded) impact driver for big lags – or that they can handle big selfeeds like a super hole hawg or 3/4 inch Miwaukee corded drill – so some of these tests seem a bit silly to me – sort of like testing a rotohammer for breaking pavement or ledge and seeing if its as good as a hoe-ram

  23. Drew says:

    As powerful and tough drills go, I’ve been impressed with my Ingersoll Rand IQv D650 for the few years I’ve had it. Metal-reinforced composite housings and an all metal gear train are supposed to make it pretty rugged. Granted, it is about $280 w/ the charger and a 19.2v LIon battery. The IQv line probably makes more sense if you’re also in the market for cordless impacts, ratchets, die grinders, etc.

  24. TomH says:

    I see a gopro mount on there…where, I ask, is the drop footage!?

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