Bosch 12V Max Hammer Drill/Driver

A great combination of speed and torque for most day-to-day drilling and screwing applications plus a capable hammerdrill function


Bosch 12V Max Hammer Drill/Driver

A hammer drill/driver provides two modes of operation — a conventional drilling and driving mode, which is likely to be most frequently used, and a 'hammering mode', which adds a specialty function to the tool. The drill/driver mode uses rotational force against the drive shaft to turn a drill bit or driver bit. When accuracy in hole size and depth is crucial, this is the preferred mode of operation. Hammering mode provides percussive force in addition to rotational force - that is, it both turns and applies inline force against the shaft. This pounding force makes the hammer drill best suited for boring masonry — brick, stone, concrete block, stucco and the like.
While you might not use a hammer drill on a regular basis, it is a convenient tool to have on hand when you need to drill the occasional small diameter hole in brick or concrete. The Bosch 12V Max Hammer Drill/Driver (PS130-2A) is the newest addition to Bosch's 12V Max cordless line-up.

Convenient carry case with charger and batteries
The PS130 comes in a canvas carry case that holds the hammer drill/driver, two lithium-ion batteries (BAT412A), and a 30-minute charger (BC430). The case doesn't provide much in the way to protection, but it will keep things neatly stored and is handy if you tote the PS130 to and from a job site.
As you'll see below, I found that the 1.3 amp-hour batteries provide very good runtime. Replacement batteries are $59CA/$36US. A higher capacity 1.5 Ah battery (BAT413A) can also be had for $52CA/$47US.

PS130-2A (left), PS31-2A (right)          
A short while ago I reviewed the Bosch 12V PS31-2A drill/driver. In appearance, and in features, the PS130 and PS31 are almost identical — essentially the PS130 is the PS31 with a hammer mode feature. The result is that the PS130, at 2 lb. 5 ounces (with battery installed), is somewhat heavier than the PS31. And it has a head length of 7-5/16", about 1" longer than the PS31.

PS130-2A (left), Milwaukee 2411-22 (right) 
There is, by the way, only one other 12V hammer drill/driver currently on the market. While they might look somewhat different, the PS130 is, functionally, quite similar to the Milwaukee 2411-22. Both have 3/8" chucks, LED work lights and on-board battery fuel gauges. The PS130 has a marginally shorter head length, and it weights about 8 ounces less, while the Milwaukee has a slightly higher rotational speed and hammering rate. You can see the differences between these models on the comparative tool chart.

Protected in all the right places   
One of the features that I've always liked on Bosch power tools is generous use of rubber padding, not only along the handle, but on the side, top, and rear end of the tool. Most of the places that are likely to get knocked or abraded are protected. Pistol style drills like the PS130, with the battery mounted in the handle, don't stand up on their bases — instead, you'll lay them on their side. So, having ample padding, particularly on the sides, is a real bonus.

(A) Chuck (B) Clutch (C) Mode Selector (D) Gear Shifter     
The keyless chuck is made of a high impact plastic and has a metal nose. It's slightly tapered, providing a better sight line, without blocking too much of the LED work light (located beneath the head, in front of the trigger). It has an auto spindle lock, which I quite like, as it enables me to manually tighten screws by rotating the drill by hand. Another nice feature is the auto brake, which stops the chuck from spinning as soon as you release the trigger. I find this handy when I want to sink a lot of screws quickly.
The clutch rotates smoothly, and makes an audible clicking noise when turned. It's a feature that I like, as I don't have to visually check the collar when adjusting torque.
The mode selector also moves smoothly, and has a slightly audible click as it moves from mode to mode. However, the mode selector pointer is barely visible — dark blue on a black background is a poor choice of colour.
The gear shifter works fine, though if you're wearing gloves it can be awkward to move. In first gear (#1) the PS130 delivers maximum torque at lower speeds — best for drilling harder materials, drilling larger diameter holes, or setting larger diameter lag screws. In second gear (#2) the drill delivers higher speeds at a lower torque level, which I use when drilling smaller diameter holes or setting smaller diameter screws.

One hundred and five #8 2-1/2" screws

Eight 1" holes   

Eleven 1/4" holes    
I carried out three tests on the PS130, running each test three times, and then averaging the results. For each test I used a freshly charged battery. These test results are influenced not only by the quality of the hammer drill/driver used and the ability of the battery to hold a charge, but by the quality of the accessories and the type of the stock used.
For stability when drilling, I typically grasp the top of the drill housing with my left hand. In this position my hand is adjacent to the ventilation slots. One thing I noticed when doing these tests is that the PS130 runs fairly cool, barely heating up, even when it's in continuous use for fifteen or twenty minutes at a time. Which bodes well for the long-term durability of the PS130, as heat is a motors number one enemy.
Setting screws is one of the most common uses for a drill/driver, and the PS130 did a commendable job, sinking an average of one hundred and five #8 2-1/2" screws in a 4" cedar post. You should expect to sink quite a few more shorter (1" to 2") screws.
I expected to be able to drill quite a few 3/4" holes through a 1" piece of Fir, but was somewhat surprised with the result — an average of 8 holes. This may be due, in part, to the drill bit I chose - a new style Task spade bit (which I will be reviewing in the near future).
In hammer mode the PS130 was, in my view, a knock-out, drilling an average of eleven 1/4" holes though a 2" high density concrete patio block, using a Task carbide-tipped hammer masonry bit. You'll get a higher count if drilling through lower density cinder block (hollow masonry blocks). The largest diameter holes you can drill in hammer mode are 3/8".

The Bosch PS130 - compact and powerful 
Overall, I am very pleased with the Bosch 12V Max Hammer Drill/Driver (PS130-2A). It looks and feels well built and delivers a good combination of speed and torque that is suitable for most of my day-to-day drilling and screwing applications. I find it well balanced tool, and I like the compact size — it's much more convenient to use when assembling furniture or cabinetry than an 18V tool.
For about $60CA/$30US more than the Bosch PS31 you get a hammering mode. If you don't do any type of construction or renovation work, then the PS31 makes a sensible choice. Otherwise, the PS130 is the way to go. And, it's certainly a lot less expensive than purchasing a separate hammer drill. Don't forget that you need to register your product in order to get the 2 year warranty on the battery.



  • 12V, 1.3 Ah power source
  • 3/8" chuck
  • 20 clutch settings
  • 0-380 and 0-1,300 RPM
  • 124 and 265 in. lbs. of torque
  • 19,500 BPM impact rate
  • LED work light
  • On board battery fuel gauge
  • 2 lb. 5 oz. (battery installed)
  • 3 yr. warranty (2 yrs. for the battery)
  • Includes: 2 batteries, canvas carry case

MADE IN:Malaysia
SOURCE:Woodworking and hardware stores nationwide

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