Bosch 12V Lithium-Ion 3/8" Drill Driver

A dependable powerhouse in a compact format

bosch_PS31

Bosch 12V Lithium-Ion 3/8" Drill Driver



Bosch seems to make a drill driver for every occasion. Currently they have six models in their 12-volt line-up alone. The PS31-2A is one of two 3/8" versions.
 
It has what I consider to be the better of the two drive options, namely a 3/8" chuck. I don't mind a hex drive on an impact driver, but for convenience and speed, especially when you're frequently switching between drill bits of varying sizes, 3/8" is the way to go.
 
The standard 12-volt 1.3 amp-hour battery delivers good value for the dollar. You get low weight and very good run time, two critical factors in a compact drill. Plus, these batteries are relatively inexpensive to replace (about $40 each).
 
The PS31-2A delivers two speeds - 0-350 RPM and 0-1,300 RPM. This is a feature much preferred over a single, low speed drill. Couple with the dual speed transmission you get a single sleeve chuck with 21 clutch settings, and an impressive 265 inch-lbs of maximum torque. This really is a complete package - variable high and low speed ranges, enough torque to sink all but the largest screws and bolts, and a sensitive clutch. The chuck is plastic covered, but it does have a metal nose, making it much more durable.


024
Ubiquitous 12-volt 1.3 amp-hour battery
061
Two speed transmission
To top it off, Bosch has managed to put the PS31-2A into a very small package - 2.1 pounds, and 6-5/8" long (from the tip of the chuck to the end of the handle). As far as I can determine, it's the lightest 12-volt 3/8" drill on the market. The other impressive feature is the size of the handle. Just about every other cartridge style drill has a handle measuring approximately 2" in width; on the PS31-2A the handle is a svelte 1-3/4". This makes a big difference in comfort when you've a lot of drilling and driving to do. You also get an on-board battery power meter and LED work light (though I now consider that these should be standard features, along with rubber overmold grip handles).

001
Variable speed trigger, forward/reverse switch, battery fuel gage, LED light (in front of trigger)
018
Metal housing at the end of the chuck

 
The PS31-2A is very well balanced in the hand, and you can set it down on end, and it won't tip over. On both sides of the casing is a large rubber pad that protects the drill when you lay it on its side.

019
Protective rubber pads
023
Well balanced and a very comfortable grip
In use the Bosch PS31-2A is like my uncle's Clydesdale. Day-in and day-out the Clyde was the epitome of power, dependability, and durability. The PS31-2A is much the same. It's somewhat more expensive than other drill drivers in its class, but worth every penny.


bosch_logo

KEY FEATURES:

  • 3/8" chuck
  • 12V lithium-ion battery, 1.3 Ah
  • 20+1 clutch settings
  • 0-350 and 0-1,300 RPM
  • 265 in/lbs of torque
  • LED work light
  • On-board battery power meter
  • 2.1 lbs weight
  • 6-5/8" head length
  • 3 year warranty
  • Includes: fast charger, 2 batteries, case

MANUFACTURER:Bosch
AVAILABLE FROM:Tool and equipment suppliers nationwide
RETAIL PRICE:$137
MODEL #:PS31-2A
MADE IN:Mexico
Carl Duguay, January 2011
Discover more great woodworking reviews!
Subscribe Now and get instance online access to our library filled with exciting woodworking information.
Continue to stay connected to the latest tool reviews with our bi-monthly woodworking magazines!