Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bosch 36618-02 drill review and 3M Headlight Lens Restoration System test

Well, I tested my new Bosch 36618-02. I also compared it with my old Makita 6233D. One of the Makita's batteries died, leaving me with just one. And I didn't want to buy a new battery for my old drill. So I bought a new drill, the Bosch.
Here of pic of the new Bosch next to the Makita.
In short, I like the new Bosch. Compared to the old Makita:
  • The Bosch runs faster (1600RPM vs 1300RPM)
  • The Bosch has more torque
  • The Bosch has a brake, it stops right away when you release the trigger
  • The Bosch has many more torque settings
  • The Bosch appears to have a more steel at the nose of the chuck. That seems more robust
  • The Bosch is lighter
  • My only complaint is that the Bosch's Lithium Ion batteries are only 1.3Ah. But you can get a bigger battery if you want.
To test the drill I used it to polish the old fogged headlamps on my Nissan truck (the motorcycle hauler). Unfortunately I didn't take a "before" pic. I used a 3M Headlight Lens Restoration System. Obviously, my old Makita is, well, OLD. So this really wasn't a fair comparison, but it did let me run the new drill long and hard. A lot of my work in the garage is sanding, grinding, wire wheeling or buffing, so this is pretty representative of what I do. It's not building a deck and pounding 1000 screws, so I'm not sure how that all compares. That said...
The new drill was much better. Frankly, the extra speed was a big factor. The 3M system even says in the directions that you need a 1200 - 1600 RPM drill. Now maybe my old Makita has slowed down, but the Bosch did work much better. So I quickly stopped using the old drill. The project had me run down 5 batteries from full to empty. I only have 2 batteries, so I did have to recharge them. It seemed to take approximately 30 - 40 minutes to recharge the batteries. Unfortunately, I ran down the drill batteries faster than that. Given I had to start and stop and change sanding pads, get a drink, etc., I'm not really sure how long the drill ran on a charge. I'd guess about 15 minutes, maybe 20, of continuous sanding. I would have liked it to run longer, but then I guess that would require the larger batteries that would take longer to charge... so I'm not sure what to think about that. As it was, I only had to take a 10 minute break and the spare battery was ready off the charger and I could swap the batteries and keep going.
Here's an after picture of the headlight.

The headlights really did come out great. So I really recommend the 3M kit. It is a scary process as the first thing you do is sand the whole lens until it is opaque like frosted glass. But it all works out in the end. The only issue I had was the small round lights protrude from the rest of the headlamp and there are some tight corners and recessed spots that are hard to get to with a sanding disk. I ended up gouging the plastic in a couple spots. But it's not visible from 3 feet away. And having the clarity restored is an important factor for having good functional headlamps, and that was my goal. I should note that if you have normal flat headlamps, or headlamps with just a simple curve and no recesses this would be a simple project and be much quicker. I'd estimate that you could do the first headlight in 45 to 60 minutes and then the second in maybe 20 to 30 minutes. The first one taking longer as you figured everything out. Complicated curves like on these took me a while, being especially careful.
So in summary, I like the new drill. And the headlamps came out great.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah. I agree I have this one also.. And it is pretty nice tool.