Bosch GSB 13 RE Professional Impact Drill (Review 2024)

Complete Review of Bosch GSB 13 RE. Dive into our comprehensive analysis of the powerful Bosch GSB 13 RE impact drill, providing you with an in-depth understanding of its features, performance, and suitability for DIY and professional use.

Let me start by saying this.

The Bosch GSB 13 RE is a powerful compact impact drill that has established itself as one of the leading contenders in the market. Having had the pleasure of using this exceptional drill for several years, I can confidently say this is one of the best compact drills due to its low weight, impressive performance, and reliability.

With the Bosch GSB 13 RE, you get the best of both worlds. Not only does it excel as a drill, but it also delivers exceptional impact drilling capabilities. This versatility sets it apart from the competition, making it a go-to tool for various applications. And the best part? With its robust and powerful 600 w motor it manages to maintain a compact and lightweight design without compromising on power.

Bosch GSB 13 RE variable speed
Bosch GSB 13 RE Impact Drill

In this tool review blog post, I want to share my experience with the Bosch GSB 13 RE, providing you with an in-depth review of its features, performance, and the benefits it brings to the table. I’ve been using the GSB13RE for a few years now, and without hesitation, I would buy another one. So, let’s dive in and take a closer look at this incredible drill together. 

What is Bosch GSB 13 RE?

The Bosch GSB 13 RE is a versatile and powerful impact drill designed for both professional and DIY home projects.

It serves as a standard drill for delicate woodworking tasks and drilling projects, while also excelling in more demanding jobs such as drilling into walls, bricks, and even concrete using its drill impact mode.

The “GSB” in its name stands for “General Schlag Bohrer,” where “Schlag Bohrer” translates to “impact drill” in German. With its compact and lightweight design, this impact drill allows for easy maneuverability and reduces user fatigue during extended use.

The main benefit of the Bosch GSB 13 RE is its ability to seamlessly transition between standard drilling and impactful drilling modes, making it suitable for a wide range of applications.

So whether you’re a professional or DIYer tackling projects at home, this impact drill is a great addition to your workshop.

Top Benefits of Bosch GSB 13 RE

  1. Versatile Functionality: The Bosch GSB 13 RE excels as both a standard drill and an impact drill, allowing you to effortlessly switch between delicate woodworking projects and more demanding tasks like drilling into masonry, walls, or even concrete.
  2. Powerful Performance: With its 230-volt, 16-amp motor, and high-impact force, this drill delivers impressive power for efficient and precise drilling more than capable of handling a diverse set of tasks, ranging from woodworking, and metalworking, to general maintenance projects.
  3. Compact and Lightweight: Weighing just a few pounds (1.6 kg), the Bosch GSB 13 RE is easy to handle and maneuver, reducing strain and fatigue during extended use. Its compact size enables access to tight spaces where larger drills may struggle.
  4. Durable Construction: The Bosch GSB 13 RE is built to last, featuring a sturdy metal keyless chuck designed to securely hold cylindrical drill bits. Unlike regular drills with plastic chucks that tend to wear out over time, the BOSCH GSB 13 RE’s durable chuck ensures long-lasting reliability and consistent performance throughout your projects.
  5. Variable Speed: The drill is equipped with a flexible speed option that comes with a locking button on the side, that allows for precise control over the drilling speed.
Bosch GSB 13 RE diy drill stand
Bosch GSB 13 RE Drill Stand

Bosch GSB 13 RE Impact Drill Parameters

Find the basic technical details of the Bosch Professional GSB13RE and explore its key parameters.

Power SourceCorded Electric
Idle Speed (No load RPM)0-2800 min-1
Dimensions (Length x Height)266 x 180 mm (10.47 x 7.09″)
Weight1.6 kg (3.9 lbs)
Input Power (Wattage)650 W
Voltage, Amperage230 Volts, 16 Amps
Cable length2.4 m (94″)
Drilling capacity in concrete13mm (1/2″)
Drilling capacity in masonry15mm (5/8″)
Drilling capacity in steel10mm (3/8″)
Drilling capacity in wood25mm (1″)
Chuck Capacity1.5 – 13mm (1/2″)
Idle bests /impact rate0 – 44800 min -1

 As the norm, an auxiliary handle is included with the GSB13RE model which also features a keyless chuck of 13mm and a depth stop of 210mm.

For more information check out the official Bosch GSB13RE technical specification.

Best Features of Bosch GSB 13 RE

The Bosch GSB13RE boasts a range of impressive features that contribute to its exceptional performance and usability. Here are some of its standout features:

  • Powerful Motor: The Bosch GSB13RE has a powerful 650W, 230-volt, 16-amp motor that can reach speeds of 2800 RPM and 44800 BPM, making it ideal for tough materials such as masonry or bricks.
  • 2-mode operation: Drilling and Screwdriving, Impact Drilling.
    1. Drilling and Screwdriving: When in this setting, the drill operates like a standard drill by rotating the bit without any impact force. This mode is optimal for tasks that require accurate drilling in materials like wood or metal. 
    2. Impact Drilling: This setting integrates both rotary motion and impact drilling. It is particularly efficient when drilling through tough materials, such as masonry, due to the support of the impact drilling that breaks up the material while the drill bit rotates to create the hole. 
Bosch GSB 13 RE operation modes
Operation mode
  • Variable Speed Control: With the variable speed button and the lock-on button for continuous use, you have precise control over the drilling speed, allowing you to match the tool’s performance to the specific task. The lock-on button enables continuous use without the need to constantly hold the trigger.
  • Reverse Rotation: The drill is equipped with a reversing button that allows for a change in the rotational orientation. Speed and torque in reverse are the same as in forward rotation. To change the directional rotation you need to turn off the drill first. The reverse button has a middle setting that securely locks the drill, allowing for safe bit replacement without the need to unplug the tool. 
Bosch GSB 13 RE variable speed
Speed settings and Reverse rotation
  • Keyless chuck: The drill features a convenient metal keyless chuck, allowing for easy and quick bit changes without the need for additional tools. Simply twist the chuck to secure or release the drill bit.
  • Depth Stop: By adjusting the depth stop, you can ensure consistent and accurate drilling depths, which is particularly useful for repetitive drilling tasks or when precision is required.
Bosch GSB 13 RE metal keyless chuck
Metal Keyless Chuck for Cylindrical Drill Bits

Bosch GSB 13 RE Pros & Cons

Based on my experience working with the Bosch13RE, I’d like to share some of the pros and cons I have found:

What I like about this tool

  • Compact and Powerful: I’m amazed by the Bosch GSB 13 RE – it’s a compact impact drill that doesn’t compromise on power, allowing you to tackle tough materials like masonry and concrete with ease.
  • Impressive Impact/Hammer Action: This drill’s impact/hammer action is the best I’ve experienced in any non-SDS drill – it’s like having a mini demolition machine in your hands.
  • Sturdy Metal Keyless Chuck: Changing drill bits is easy and quick with the metal keyless chuck – you simply tighten it until it clicks, knowing the bit is securely in place.
  • Lightweight and Comfortable: The drill weighs just 1.6kg, which makes it easy to work with for extended periods. Whether you’re using it for delicate woodworking or tackling home improvement tasks, its lightweight design won’t strain your arm.
  • Adjustable Speed Wheel: You have full control over the drilling speed. Once you find the perfect setting on the speed wheel, just push the lock-on button, and the drill will maintain a constant speed.
  • Versatile for Various Projects: I’ve been using the Bosch GSB 13 RE for both delicate woodworking projects and home improvement tasks, and it has exceeded my expectations in both areas.
  • Collar: One thing that sets this drill apart from cordless models is its collar, which opens up possibilities for even more uses. You can use it together with a drill stand or any other device that tightens around the collar.

What I don't like about this tool

  • The switch between the drill and hammer modes can be easily triggered accidentally, so it requires some extra attention during operation. The same applies to the switch between the forward. lock and reverse mode. There is no sound click when switching between the modes.
  • While the keyless chuck generally holds the drill bits tightly, there is a slight tendency for them to slip in impact mode. You really need to tighten the chuck to make sure the bits won’t slip.
  • The price point might be higher compared to other drills in the same category, but definitely worth it (Not entirely a con of the tool. The price corresponds to the quality).
  • The drill is packaged in a cardboard box rather than a sturdier storage case and you might need to invest extra to get a proper case.

Working With Bosch GSB 13 RE: How I Use It

Working with the Bosch GSB 13 RE has been a game-changer for me.

This little drill is a powerhouse that tackles wood, masonry, bricks, and in some cases even concrete. It’s like having a versatile tool that can handle any project I throw at it (except for demolitions where a rotary hammer drill is needed).

One of the things I love about this drill is its size and weight. It’s compact and lightweight, making it so easy to handle. Plus, the powerful motor packs a punch, delivering the torque I need to effortlessly work with different materials.

When it comes to woodworking, this drill is amazing. Its compact design and low weight make it perfect for use with various woodworking jigs and devices. Together with the right drill bits I can easily make sharp, precise, and accurate cuts.

I’ve paired the drill with my homemade Drill Stand, and the results have been great – perfect 90 degrees, sharp cuts. Similarly, I can use it with any other woodworking jig in the workshop.

Bosch GSB 13 RE homemade drill stand
Using Bosch GSB13RE in a drill stand
Bosch GSB 13 RE drilling in wood
Drilling in wood with Bosch GSB13RE

Its small dimensions make it incredibly versatile. I can easily navigate tight spaces, like drilling into cupboards or other confined areas.

The drill’s comfortable grip and gradual start trigger make it easy to control, ensuring I can locate the hole precisely before diving in.

I have used it on several other home renovation projects where drilling into masonry was needed and I didn’t have any problem whatsoever.

I have been using the drill for several years now – it’s durable and reliable. It’s a Bosch, after all. It might come with a slightly higher price tag compared to other options, but it is worth every penny. This little tool is a true workhorse, ready to tackle any task around the house.

Bosch GSB 13 RE drill disc sander
Using Bosch GSB13RE in a disc sander

Conclusion: Should you Buy Bosch GSB 13 RE?

In conclusion, I would highly recommend the Bosch GSB 13 RE to both DIYers and professionals.

As a multi-purpose tool, it is suitable for a variety of tasks, from precision woodworking to more demanding tasks such as drilling into masonry, bricks, and partially even concrete. I’ve been using the tool for a few years now, and I have to say, I’m really happy with how it performs.

Despite its small and lightweight structure, the power and speed of the Bosch GSB13RE remain uncompromised. Any homeowner looking to tackle any home improvement tasks will find this tool to be an invaluable asset.

The Bosch quality ensures that the tool will last for many years, I appreciate the robust body and the metal keyless chuck.

Furthermore, the fact that it is available at an affordable price point makes it an excellent choice, especially for beginners who may be starting to build their toolkits (that was exactly my case).

In conclusion, if you are looking for a high-quality, versatile power tool you should definitely consider the Bosch GSB 13 RE. 

What are the alternatives to Bosch GSB 13 RE?

If you’re considering alternatives to the Bosch GSB13RE, here are a few corded impact/hammer drills worth exploring.

  1. Bosch 1191VSRK 120 Volt, 1/2 Inch: Another reliable option from Bosch, offers excellent performance and durability.
  2. Bosch 11255VSR Bulldog Xtreme: Known for its exceptional power and durability.
  3. Dewalt DWD520K Hammer Drill Kit: 10 Amp motor capable of handling a wide range of drilling and hammer drilling tasks
  4. Skill HD182001 Hammer Drill: Affordable option, doesn’t compromise on quality

RELATED: Best Corded Hammer Drills on the Market

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Bosch GSB 13 RE Impact Drill

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a standard drill and an impact drill?

A standard drill is primarily used for drilling holes, applying rotational force to the drill bit. In contrast, an impact drill is designed for driving screws and bolts with high torque, combining rotational force with concussive blows. The impact mechanism of an impact drill reduces the likelihood of cam-out, providing better control when driving screws.

What is the difference between an impact drill and a hammer drill?

An impact drill focuses on delivering high torque for efficient screwing and bolting tasks, while a hammer drill is specifically designed for drilling into hard materials like concrete and masonry. The key difference lies in their action: an impact drill utilizes rotational force and concussive blows, whereas a hammer drill combines rotational force with a pulsating hammering action to break through tough surfaces.

Can I use an impact drill as a standard drill?

Yes, an impact drill can indeed be used as a standard drill for drilling holes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the primary function of an impact drill is for driving screws and bolts with high torque.

Can I use an impact drill as a hammer drill?

No, an impact drill and a hammer drill cannot be used interchangeably. An impact drill is designed for driving screws and bolts with high torque, while a hammer drill is specifically engineered for drilling into hard materials such as concrete or masonry. The hammering action in a hammer drill helps break through tough surfaces, which an impact drill lacks.

Can I drill in concrete with an impact drill?

Yes, an impact drill can be used for drilling in concrete, although it may have limitations compared to a dedicated hammer drill. While an impact drill can effectively drill smaller holes in concrete and masonry, it may struggle with larger or more demanding drilling tasks. For heavy-duty concrete drilling, a hammer drill with its specialized hammering action is generally recommended. However, if you have occasional or smaller concrete drilling needs, an impact drill can still be a viable option with the right drill bits and proper technique.

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About the author, Lukas
About the author, Lukas

Meet the creator of AllFlavor Workshop! As a passionate DIYer and woodworking enthusiast, Lukas is always looking for ways to make things himself rather than buying them off the shelf. With a keen eye for design and a knack for working with wood, Lukas enjoys sharing his craft with others and helping them discover the joy of building. Whether you're an experienced woodworker or a novice looking to try your hand at a new hobby, you're sure to find plenty of inspiration and tips on AllFlavor Workshop.