Bosch FlexiClick review
Sector experience since
not enabled
Joinery installation in the broadest sense
Written on

My experience with Bosch the last couple of years has been great. A few of the new machines are not that competitive but for the most part the are well made and some are truly excellent.  The Bosch GBH 18V Hammer Drill, the GDX 18V EC Impact and the GST 18V LI are great machines and made me buy into the line up. I was not too thrilled with the drills until the FlexiClick surfaced and I decided to buy it unseen - based on my experience with the Impact and the superb grip.

The machine has  great build quality. The FlexiClick concept is not new - I own another German brand drill that has a more extensive add-on line up. What Bosch does better is that they have a high quality hex bit holder, a locking hex bit holder. Great! It runs true with minimum wobble. The drill chuck is a quality chuck that fits on top and does the job well.

The angle drill attachment is a miss though. Metabo and Festool do it better - they have angled bit holders that are shorter and helps out when space is limited. When you need the drill chuck you simply add it to the angle chuck. This is a better solution. If Bosch had fitted the angle chuck with the same high quality locking bit holder it would have been great! Then you could keep the length to a minimum and add the standard drill chuck if needed.

When the machine arrived I was also surprised at the grip. It is not a nice surprise. In comparison to the excellent Bosch Impact the grip on the FlexiClick is far worse, see images attached. These are my images. The FlexiClick has less rubber and tapers "the wrong way" with a wider base. This is not very ergonomic and the difference in actual use is that it is far worse when working odd angles.

This is a very bad idea. Take a look at the drill market today and you will find that most brands all have great grips and that you buy them based on other aspects like performance, balance in hand and system integration. The Bosch grips goes against the stream by having a grip that is inferior to the competition. I wonder how Bosch design/ergonomics could overlook this.

I talked to a Bosch representative in Sweden about this and he had not seen the FlexiClick but he agreed that the Impact has a great grip and he said that customer feedback on the impact was great. When I commented on the FlexiClick grip he said that Bosch are phasing out the older grips in the 18V line. He thought they were going to introduce the slimmer grips across the line.

I am of course hoping that this would be the case and I would happily replace my FC2 with a slimmer grip SOLO version. But why would Bosch release the FlexiClick with the less ergonomic grip since it is a new product?

I am keeping an eye on the market and I have noticed that the new brushless 18V machines that are being released ALL have the grip that I have been complaining about. Out of my colleauges (all seasoned pros) not a single one prefers the FlexiClick grip (the new grip) over the Impact grip (current grip, being phased out?).

We all have different hand sizes, my hand size is a normal 9/10 and with or without gloves the Impact has a superior grip especially when working odd angles.

Looking at this preview you can see that on the third image from the top the FC has the more ergonomic grip! Is this the FlexiClick1? If so, I would like to have it!!!

My images comparing the FlexiClick2 to the Impact: note the grip difference when viewed from the back. The slimmer, more ergonomic grip on the right is that of the Impact. How on earth could Bosch decide on the FlexiClick grip?

Since the drill was meant to be my go-to and everyday drill I decided to switch back to the other brand I had been using. I keep the Bosch 18V kit as an "emergency" kit and I hardly ever use it, which is a shame since the other machines are great - but they are not the machines I need or use the most. 

If Bosch miraculously sobers up and introduces the grip as per the image in the link above I would definitely get it but as it stands now I am thinking about selling off the Bosch gear and stick with the other brand.

All in all I would give the drill/system three stars. It would have been four solid stars for the SDS hammer drill attachment but the angle drill chuck attachment which is not as well implemented as the competition drops a star and the poor ergonomics leaves the drill at maximum three out of five stars. All those bells and whistles don't push the drill above the competition.  For anyone tied into the Bosch system it is not a _bad_drill, it is just that the competition offers better ergonomics.

It is an easy fix though: better grip (get a grip Bosch!) and an angle chuck adapter with a locking hex bit holder and you have a winner!
Deleted user
Written on
Hi kosmoskatten,
Thank you for the review of the flexclick.
Your images also clearly prove your point on ergonomics too.

Ergonomics have been at the forefront of everything for over 20 years and no more so where products may be used on a regular basis. (driven by health and safety to stop RSI etc)

Can not understand this error.

But will wait and see if what happens.