Bosch 12V Max 2-Speed Pocket Driver

Perfect mini driver for shop use - less than 2 pounds in weight and 265 in-lbs of torque

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Bosch 12V Max 2-Speed Pocket Driver



On construction sites the adage that 'bigger is better' generally holds true. Big, heavy, durable, high-torque power tools are what you need. However, when installing cabinetry or trimwork, in the workshop, and around the home, bigger is not always best. While size isn't the crucial factor, the 'abilities' are just as important: durability, reliability and capability.
 
The new 12V Max 2-Speed Pocket Driver (PS21-2A) from Bosch Tools is just about as close to a perfect compact drill/driver as you could expect to get.
 
At only 1.8 pounds and with a head length of 5-1/2" and body height of 7" it well deserves the 'pocket driver' moniker. While it might not actually fit into most work pants pockets, it easily fits into a tool belt, holster, or shop apron. You can tote it around all day without much bother. And, as with most power tools today, the PS21 has a rubber overmold, which makes the tool that much easier to handle. The tool body is made primarily of high impact ABS plastic. There is padding on the sides of the head and on the back end of the tool that add a bit of cushioning should you drop the tool on hard, rough surfaces. The trigger and forward/reverse switches are easily accessible with finger and thumb, while the speed selector is located in its usual position atop the drill.
 
The 1/4" hex chuck extends only 3/4" from the clutch sleeve, giving it the shortest barrel of any drill/driver that I've seen. The short barrel gives this drill superb balance, regardless of the length and weight of the bit in the chuck. Nor does the drill tip over when placed on its handle.


PS21_1
Flat face - the 1/4" hex chuck couldn't be any shorter
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21 position clutch for precise torque control
 
The PS21 is powered by Bosch's new generation lithium-ion battery. These 12V, 1.3 Ah batteries hold a charge well, and, according to Bosch, you can expect a recharge cycle life that is five times longer than conventional lithium-in batteries. Apparently this is due to voodoo magic (or Bosch's Electronic Cell and Motor Protection System that protects the battery, and drill, from overloading, overheating and deep discharging). Replacement batteries cost a reasonable $49. The PS21 ships with two of these lovely batteries, and a 30 minute charger (plus a handy carry case).
 
What this means to the user is an impressive 265 in-lbs of torque. Which makes easy work of drilling holes with just about any size hex drill bit you happen to have on hand, setting all but the largest bolts and nuts, and sinking all but the longest and largest diameter screws. I used the PS21 to drill 1" holes through 3/4" hardwood and 1 1/2" spruce with a spade bit, and sink #12, 3 1/2" deck screws. Obviously, you're not going to select this drill if you plan to build a deck, but in a pinch - not a problem. Where the PS21 really shines though, is when you need to drill and drive with precision. This is largely due to it's light weight, superb balance, and sensitive trigger. With the 21 position clutch and dual speed drive (0-350 and 0-1,300 RPM) you'll never strip a screw again, or inadvertently drill through a lovingly finished table top. It's also a great choice for assembling case goods and furniture.


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2 speed transmission
PS21_2
Bright LED work light and a sensitive trigger
The PS21 has a bright work light, which I find very useful when drilling in awkward, dim places. The hex locking sleeve has a ribbed surface that makes it easy to grasp when inserting and removing bits. An electric brake stops rotation almost as soon as your finger removes pressure from the trigger. Another great feature is the automatic shaft lock. Especially when setting smaller screws, I can power them home until almost set, and then manually twist the drill to apply the final bit of torque necessary to set them perfectly.
 
The PS21 doesn't have a on-board battery charge indicator, which I've grown fond of. But, it does have a 3 year warranty - the ProVantage Protection Plan. It provides for a tool replacement in the first year, a free tool repair in the second and third years, and a two year free battery replacement.


167
Superb balance, comfort and control
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Could this be the perfect shop driver?
The PS21 is, in my view, the best little driver on the block. Of course, not everyone likes a hex chuck. Not too worry, Bosch makes a 3/8" compact drill driver (PS30) that looks to be every bit as impressive as the PS21.

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KEY FEATURES:

  • 12V lithium-ion power source
  • 265 in-lbs of torque
  • 0-350 and 0-1,300 RPM
  • 1/4" hex chuck
  • 21 position clutch
  • Forward/reverse switch
  • LED work light
  • 1.8 lbs weight
  • 3 year warranty
  • Includes: two 12V lithium ion batteries, 30 minute charger, soft shell case, operating instructions

MANUFACTURER:Bosch Tools
AVAILABLE FROM:Search for your local retailer
RETAIL PRICE:$149.00
MODEL #:PS21-2A
MADE IN:Mexico
Carl Duguay, November 2010
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