There are a pile of instances where you are looking to loosen a nut but not fully remove it from the thread. Often, being a little heavy on the trigger finger due to pushing to get a job finished, you end up spinning the nut completely off and watching it fly into the unknown. If you’re standing on the ground it might not be a big deal, but if you’re working at height it can be a huge issue. It’s with this scenario in mind Bosch has created the GDS 18V-300 ABR 18V BRUSHLESS impact wrench, and the scaffolders are going to love it.
In what I believe is a first in user safety, the GDS 18V-300 ABR has Auto Bolt Release in reverse mode. Essentially, when undoing nuts the tool shuts off when minimal torque is registered which keeps the nut on the thread and reduces the drop hazard from height. For applications such as scaffolding this will save users a heap of time.
The ABR feature can easily be switched off using the onboard mode select button.
In another impressive step forward, the new improved gearbox and 18V brushless motor deliver 2x lifetime compared to it’s predecessor. These two new features combine to produce 300Nm of torque making it perfect for working with up to M18 fixings. The 1/2 square drive with friction ring and pin hole further add to safety at height as the sockets can be locked into place. The tool also fits beautifully in the hand thanks to a slim grip and compact head design.
To help ensure the body and shell of this impressive performer lasts as long as the new motor and gearbox, a full-metal gear housing is the backbone of the tool.
Variable speed on the trigger means ease of control and the forward and reverse switch is in easy reach. Bright LED light for working in enclosed or low light areas. The GDS 18V-300 ABR fits all 18V batteries in the Bosch range from 2.0ah -12.0ah, and we would recommend the ProCORE18V 4.0ah as a perfect match.
- Max Torque: 300Nm
- No load Speed: 0-2400rpm
- Impact rate: 0-3400bpm
- Tool holder: ½” friction ring & pin
- Maximum screw diameter: M18
- Head length: 163mm
- Weight (without battery): 1.25kg
- LED work light
Test #1: Auto Bolt Release (Abr)
The new ABR feature was the obvious place to start, and I couldn’t think of a better test than jumping straight onto some scaffolding and putting the Bosch to work.
The feature only requires the ABR button to be pressed, and it lights up to indicate it is activated.
You always need to be that little bit more aware of your surroundings on the scaff to avoid head knocks – I’m 6’4″, so I wasn’t really made for scaff work – but having one less thing to worry about, like losing nuts while at height, leaves that much more brain space to concentrate on staying safe.
Once activated the ABR feature did an awesome job. A sensor triggered the tool shut-off when minimal torque was reached, stopping the impact wrench before the nut was fully off.
It’s quite a clever feature, really.
Test #2: Size And Ergos
Bosch has created a great tool that will more than suit any user looking for a compact mid torque impact wrench. When working at height for any reason, the size of the tool is ideal for negotiating areas like scaffolding, where there are many situations a larger impact wrench can be snagged going through tight areas.
The GDS 18V-300 fits well in the hand, the trigger is well positioned and overall the tool is lightweight and well balanced. Coming in at only 1.25kg without the battery, the tool has a no-load speed of 0-2400rpm, and an impact rate of 0-3400bpm and has an M18 maximum screw diameter.
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
The combination of ABR, compact size and 300Nm of torque truly does make the GDS 18V-300 a great option for scaffolders and the like. The ABR feature works well at its designed purpose and the addition of a new gearbox and 18V brushless motor make this impact wrench a great compact performer that will impress on several fronts.