New Harbor Freight Cordless Tools – Lithium 20V Bauer Hypermax Power Tools

It’s been a crazy weekend over at Harbor Freight as they’ve come out with new cordless 20V and 12V lithium battery power tools from brands such as Earthquake XT Xtreme Torque and Hercules. Along with those new cordless tools are new cordless 20V tools from a newer Harbor Freight brand called Bauer Hypermax. Just like the Hercules brand, the Bauer tools also consist of a total of 3 power tools – a drill, a hammer drill, and an impact driver.

While the Earthquate XT and Hercules brands look to be their higher performing (pro) equivalent tools, the Bauer Hypermax 20V power tools appear to be mid-range power tools and are pinned higher above their other in house brands such as Chicago Electric and Drill Master.

While the new Bauer 20V power tools are in the mid-range territory they still feature good stats with 450 in-lbs torque for both drills and 1300 in-lbs for the impact driver. Of course no where near today’s high performance pro drills and impact drivers they are still very respectable within their class. I do like that the Bauer tools have modern light systems with 3 LED’s at the head of the impact driver for less shadows and both drills have the LED light at the bottom of the handle facing upward toward the bit for better illumination. I do like that both drills offer 1/2 inch metal chucks. Metal chucks on compact drills are hard to come by as most compact drills use plastic chucks so it’s nice to see Harbor Freight went with metal chucks on these drills.

As is the tradition with mid-range tools, they offer good but not best performance stats and often are paired with a slightly larger body and a bit more weight to them and this is true of Bauer power tools compared to the Hercules models. The best performance paired with the smallest and lightest body is always reserved for more expensive pro models.

What I like the most about the Bauer models are their value as they are priced between $70-$80 for each model and each model comes as a complete kit with one 1.5ah lithium ion battery, charger, and soft tool bag. And if that weren’t appealing enough, extra batteries are only $19.99 for the 1.5ah compact batteries and they also offer larger 3.0ah batteries for $34.99. Spare chargers are only $19.99 which charge the 1.5ah battery in 60 minutes and the larger 3.0ah battery in 2 hours.

Just like the Earthquake XT and Hercules power tools, the Bauer tools also resemble current known brands. While they don’t exactly replicate any drill or impact I’ve seen on the market, I do see a strong resemblance to Porter Cable 20V power tools. The Bauer drills sure do have that Porter Cable rugged and ribbed theme. Also the hammer logo on the Bauer hammer drill looks similar to the hammer logo on Porter Cable hammer drills. The batteries don’t look like Porter Cable batteries or any other battery platform that I’ve seen. The closest thing to the Bauer battery design I could find was Stanley FatMax Lithium ion 20V batteries, but even then they weren’t identical, but just share the same basic shape.


Stanley FatMax and Porter Cable are owned by the parent company Stanley Black & Decker and the Bauer power tools might be made or influenced by Stanley Black & Decker power tools. Keep in mind that this is just an observation and in no way a confirmed fact, so take my educated guess with a grain of salt. EDIT 7/30/2018 we found out that these Bauer 20V cordless tools are not built by Stanley Black & Decker but instead are rebranded Powerplus 20V tools which are a UK brand. Click here to read more.

I think the price is fantastic and a great value and so are their batteries but just like the rest of the recently spotted Harbor Freight 20V and 12V tools, the Bauer 20V line up is very limited in terms of variety. The three tools you see in this article are all you get at the moment, and to make things worse, they are not compatible with any other tools and batteries from the other brands within the Harbor Freight store. This means that if you pick up a Bauer brand drill, hammer drill, and impact driver and you want additional cordless tool like a saw you will have to look elsewhere. This downfall cripples the Bauer 20V system but can easily be fixed if Harbor Freight decides to release more tools to the Bauer system.

EDIT 7/13/2017: I found out that the back of the boxes of the Bauer 20V kits show the complete line up of tools which also include a cordless 1/2″ impact wrench, LED light, 4-1/2″ angle grinder, jigsaw, reciprocating saw, and a 6-1/2″ circular saw as part of the 20V lineup. Pretty cool and definitely fixes the issue of only have 3 tools to start off with and lacking variety. A line up such as this one is more well rounded and will satisfy the needs of most casual users. Obviously not all as the Bauer lineup cannot compete with the depth of variety of tools that other cordless brands have, that and no brushless tools as of yet. For more details click here.


Bauer Hypermax 20V Impact Driver Kit

From the manufacturer:

The Bauer™ 1/4 in. Hex Compact Impact Driver is designed to deliver superior performance and durability. The impact driver has a powerful motor that delivers 1300 inch lbs. of torque to handle the most demanding fastening jobs. The cordless impact driver has a 1/4 in. quick-change chuck for quick and easy bit changes.

  • 1/4 in. hex chuck for quick and easy bit changes
  • All-metal gear construction improves life and durability
  • High performance motor covers the most demanding fastening jobs
  • Compact lightweight design minimizes user fatigue
  • Textured overmold for secure grip and comfort
  • Universal battery powers all Bauer 20V lithium products
  • torque 1300 inch lbs.
  • 0-2900 RPM
  • length 6-3/8 in.
  • weight 3.3 lbs.
  • 1/4 in. Hex 20V Compact Impact Driver, 20V 1.5 Ah Compact Lithium Battery, 20V Lithium Charger, Tool Bag, (2) Impact Rated Driver Bits

Bauer Hypermax 20V 1/2 Drill Driver

From the manufacturer:

This high performance cordless drill/driver delivers 450 in. lbs. max torque for powering fasteners into a wide variety of materials. The all-metal gear construction ensures heavy duty performance with daily use. The LED spotlight gives you a clear view in dark spaces.

  • 1/2 in. all metal keyless chuck for quick and easy bit changes
  • All metal gear construction improves life and durability
  • Two-speed selector matches speed and power to application
  • High performance motor covers all drilling, and fastening jobs
  • Compact lightweight design minimizes user fatigue
  • Textured overmold for secure grip and comfort
  • Bright LED light illuminates work area for increased visibility
  • torque 450 inch lbs.
  • 0-450/0-1700 RPM
  • length 8-1/4 in.
  • weight 3.4 lbs.
  • 1/2 in. 20V compact drill/driver; 20V 1.5 Ah compact lithium battery; 20V lithium charger;Tool bag;(2) impact rated driver bits

Bauer Hypermax 20V 1/2 Hammer Drill

From the manufacturer:

This high performance cordless hammer drill delivers 0-7200/0-27,200 BPM for drilling in tough concrete or masonry. The all-metal gear construction ensures heavy duty performance with daily use. The LED light gives you a clear view in dark spaces. Easy switchover between hammer drill and drill-only modes.

  • 1/2 in. all metal keyless chuck for quick and easy bit changes
  • All metal gear construction improves life and durability
  • Two-speed selector matches speed and power to application
  • High performance motor covers all drilling, hammer drilling and fastening jobs
  • Compact lightweight design minimizes user fatigue
  • Textured overmold for secure grip and comfort
  • Bright LED light illuminates work area for increased visibility
  • torque 450 inch lbs.
  • 0-450/0-1700 RPM
  • 0-7200/0-27,200 BPM
  • length 8-3/4 in.
  • weight 3.5 lbs.
  • 1/2 in. 20V compact hammer drill, 20V 1.5 Ah compact lithium battery,20V lithium charger,Tool bag,(2) impact rated driver bits

A big thanks to Joshua B. for sharing this info with us.

Stay tuned for more Harbor Freight cordless tool news, as more info is coming soon!

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  • Rob Centros says:

    $35 for the 3.0 Ah battery makes more sense than the $70 that they are marked for at my local Harbor Freight. I thought something was wrong there.

  • Steven says:

    I just got an email from HFT today showcasing the new line of Bauer Corded and Cordless tools. In the email, it seems that HFT is listening to its consumer demands because the Bauer line is getting more 20V cordless tools. Coming soon is: 1/2″ Impact, Reciprocating Saw, 6 1/2″ Circular Saw, 4 1/2″ Angle Grinder, a jigsaw, and LED light. I’m guessing that in the future we might see a followup to the EarthQuake and Hercules series.

  • diy_idiot says:

    I checked the HFT website, AND downloaded both the Hercules AND Bauer manuals. Everything states “90 Day Limited Warranty”. Unless HFT was signage that expressly states that, these come with 90 days as far as I am concerned.

    I’m looking to replace my dying Black & Decker 12v drill, and the Bauer looks like it may fit the bill. This is a drill that I would leave in the trunk of my car so I can use it if I need to at work while I’m on the road. I did stop in my local HFT, and they had some Bauer and Hercules out to touch & feel. They feel much beefier than the Chicago Electric with a smaller footprint.

    For me-if I buy a Ryobi at Direct Tools-I get a year warranty. If I buy Ryobi from HD, I get 3 years. Is this worth it for me at $59.00 with the coupoon they emailed me?-Maybe not, but I have got to say that I am impressed with the quality of the tools. Bauer supposedly has other tools coming out as well. I guess we will see….

  • SVL says:

    To the author: Lack of attention and pride in your work, looks nothing like the current gen porter cable drill you have compared it to! Looks more like previous gen porter cable/stanley (non-fatmax) drills. As a product review author, please respect your readers by being more thorough in your research!

    • Javier says:

      I disagree with your opinion that they look more like previous gen Porter Cable cordless(18v models). I’ve seen and held the 18v tools from Porter Cable and I don’t see the resemblance, but I respect your opinion.
      But since an opinion may be subjective as is the case here, we will have to agree to disagree.

    • Robert N. Allen says:

      I disagree too..

  • diy_idiot says:

    Javier-when are you going to do a review of Hercules and Bauer Drills and Impact Drivers? I look forward to your reviews.

  • bob says:

    how long does the battery last doing normal jobs around the house

  • David says:

    With Bauer drill, will I be able to use my B&D batteries or chargers?

  • RAR says:

    Do they have a clutch?

  • Ange says:

    The tools look more like the Milwaukee brand of tools than anything else. My husband is a total tool snob and only uses Milwaukee brand power tools and walking through Harbour Freight today we saw the Bauer Brand and said OMG – someone copied Milwaukee.

    • Javier says:

      Only similar in color. Not in specs, features, size, weight, or performance.
      Harbor Freights Hercules Brand are more similar to Milwaukee tools, although Hercules tools are directly aimed at Dewalt.

  • Christopher says:

    Anyone know -will the Bauer batteries work with Porter Cable tools? Thanks in advance!

  • Jonathan Temkin says:

    The drills stopped working. The battery is charged, pull the trigger and nothing happens. Does anybody know why? posted

  • scott says:

    the 20v battery design and charger look exactly like a DeWalt. I have several and want to know if I can use them on your tools?

    • Javier says:

      The Hercules 20V batteries look more like Dewalt’s batteries however those are not cross compatible. As a general rule of thumb, batteries from different brands are not cross compatible.

      • scott says:

        I think I’ll take one into a store and see for myself.

        • Javier says:

          Suit yourself, I’m willing to bet money it won’t work. I speak from experience.

        • Ryan says:

          I have a buddy with Dewalt tools. I tried swapping the batteries to see if it would work. They are so very similar but they won’t work. Maybe with a little modifications, possibly; but straight out of the box, they won’t work.



    • Mickey Bunting says:

      same thing here drill drive using to back out screws soft pine last tues, heard a poping sound drill stopped working also 6 1/2 skill saw fist time used to cut a 2 foot counter top 1 cut, second time trying to cut 1 by 6 got 3/4 way thur stopped both past 90 days old, so have 2 pieces of junk, now have charger and 3 battries that are useless

  • Juan martinez jr says:

    Can I use a porter cable 20v 4.0 lithium battery for my baur 1/2″ impact

  • Jay says:

    Question , will a 20 volt Porter Cable battery fit the Bauer 20 volt impact??

  • Clplaya10 says:

    Lol are these people joking? The batt. Are not interchangeable between brands. I hope you guys are joking.

    • Javier says:

      Unfortunately they are not joking. They think because brand’s A battery looks similar to brand’s B battery they automatically assume it should work but are not 100% sure so they ask.

  • Gary Jagodzinski says:

    Drill driver received Christmas 2018 already burnt. Not used in day to day heavy construction, just periodic household use. Drill a hole, set a screw, etc. JUNK. Never own one again.

  • Bill Penn says:

    I bought the 20 volt lithium drill and while I was putting in a screw for a door lock, it popped and quit. Needless to say it was after 3 month warranty ran out. I’ve only used this drill 4 times and will NEVER buy power tools from harbor freight again. They don’t even have a repair program for them so you have to buy a new one.

  • my 20V 1.5 AM Lithium battery pack will not hold a charge for more than 15 minutes when using it on a 20V blower. I exchanged it for a new battery but had the same result. Please advise.

    • Javier says:

      That doesn’t surprise me since blowers are known to drain batteries quick. I’d suggest getting a 4.0 ah battery or larger on a 20v blower however it looks like the 3.0 ah is the largest they have so get that one to get the most runtime possible on your blower.

  • John says:

    Wanted to give the Bauer brand a shot, but in under 2 years of light use the motor on their drill driver went up in a puff of smoke. Harbor Freight would not allow me to replace just the drill (I had just bought a new battery), so I will go with a Ryobi this time.

  • Bud Koch says:

    I have a drill master drill with a light and want to know if the battery will interchange with the Bauer battery operated jig saw

  • Jim says:

    The 20 v Bauer is a POS. I’ve been thru two the battery has never held a consistent charge. I’m going back to Home Depot Ridgid. That thing is a beast with life time warranty. I’m tired of HF and it cheap garage. You get what you pay for… money and time wasted.

  • Tenny says:

    Does the Bauer Drill have a locking chuck?

    • Javier says:

      I’m not sure what you mean by a locking chuck but like all drills, these DRILLS have chucks that tighten to hold bits down and you manually untighten to loosen. Impact drivers have chucks that lock bits into place but they are not called locking chucks either.

  • Vctor Chu says:

    What is the Input Power Voltage of – Hammer drill and Impact driver’s CHARGER ? Are they universal type input voltage (110~240VAC) ?

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