I saw a prototype of this tool last spring at the National Hardware Show and a production model a few weeks back at The World of Concrete (WOC). The tool is extremely compact, an impression bolstered by the small diameter of the motor—which is optimized for the sizes of fasteners used by for drywall and metal stud work (1 to 2 1/8 inch screws). I’ve handled the tool and it feels very light; with a SlimPack battery it’s the weight of a corded model. But without the weight of a cord hanging off, it feels even lighter.
According to the press release, this gun is capable of driving 3,400 screws per charge into sheet metal when equipped with a 4.0 Ah 18-volt FatPack. That’s a difficult task for carpenters and drywall hangers who don’t do commercial work to relate to. A more relatable one can be found on the graphic Bosch posted at WOC. According to it, with a 4.0 Ah battery the SG182 can drive at least 1,500 screws per charge when fastening drywall to wood studs—which works out to 7 or 8 charges for all the board in a 2,300 square foot house.
Runtime will be longer with the 5.0 battery that was recently announced, and longer still with the 6.0 Ah pack that is in development and was on display at WOC. But runtime isn’t everything. Sometimes it’s more important to handle less weight; the company suggests switching to a ThinPack (compact battery) for extended periods of overhead work. It makes sense—there’s no point using a battery that can outlast the guy who is using the tool.
As with corded drywall guns, the motor on this one can be activated for each screw, or locked on for continuous driving. Pro hangers usually lock the trigger because it makes the work go more quickly and is easier on their trigger fingers. The downside of this practice is that the batteries run down more quickly—which is why Bosch went with a brushless motor.
Brushless motors are more efficient and can do more work per charge (Bosch claims up to 30% more for this tool) than comparable ones with brushes. The move to brushless motors in drywall screw guns is part of a trend; DeWalt and Makita are doing it too.
The SGH182 can be used as-is to drive bulk fasteners or equipped with an optional magazine for use with collated screws. The MA55 Auto-Feed Attachment has been used for years on corded guns and will fit this one too.
The screw gun has a slim comfortable grip and a nose piece that retains its depth setting even when removed and reattached. Features include a reversible belt hook, LED light, and an ambidextrous forward/reverse switch. Bosch does not currently offer a cordless cutout tool to go with the screw gun, which is a bit surprising given their ownership of Rotozip, the original maker of cutout tools.
SGH182 Drywall Gun Specs
Motor: brushless; 18 volts
Speed: 4,200 rpm
Weight: 3.5 pounds (w FatPack); 2.9 Pounds (w SlimPack)
Length: 9 7/8 inches
Country of Origin: Malaysia
Kit includes: tool, bag, charger, and one 4.0 Ah battery
Price: $349 (kit); $249 (bare)
Available: May 2015
MA55 Auto-Feed Attachment
Fits: SG182, SG250, and SG450 screw guns
Drives: 1 to 2 1/8 inch drywall screws
Weight: 0.9 pounds
For more information on recently released brushless drywall screw guns see:
New Cordless Drywall Guns from Bosch, DeWalt, and Makita
DeWalt DCF620 Drywall Gun
Makita XSF03M Drywall Gun