Bosch PS21 & PS31 Cordless Drivers & Drill Hands-on Review Jul 16, 2010 Stuart 18 Comments If you buy something through our links, ToolGuyd might earn an affiliate commission. Bosch PS31 Battery Gauge Bosch PS31 Cordless Drill Speed Selector and Clutch Settings Related posts: Bosch’s Brushless 12V Max FlexiClick Drill/Driver Kit Now Available Which Came First, Milwaukee M12 Fuel Cordless Installation Drill/Driver or Bosch FlexiClick? Pages: 1 2
I’m in the process of upgrading my Crapsman cordless driver. After countless hours of research, I think you’ve helped me make up my mind. Now I just have to convince the other half.
Thanks for the review.
I’m glad that you found the review to be helpful!
I really don’t envy the position you’re in right now. There are many great compact cordless tool options available these days with even more on the way. Choosing a system to buy into has become a somewhat daunting task.
Well, good luck!
(If you need help narrowing down the choices to help make up your mind, let me know – it may be the motivation for us to finally publish a compact cordless tool “buying guide”.)
I have the old model of impact driver. I picked it up after I saw an electrician using it. Looked so handy to carry in your regular tool belt. I’ve been very happy with it for the last few years. I’m disappointed to see they moved the light from a ring around the chuck to the body. The light on my impact driver is actually functional and shines on the work. The body mounted light on my Dewalt 18v drill casts a shadow on the work. Looks from your photo like the new models have the same problem. What were they thinking?
wow nice review
Ben, the driver featured in this review is not an impact driver. You will be happy to know that the new impact driver has an improved 3-LED ring light.
The PS21’s body-mounted light is not shadowed, although its reflection pattern is a bit funky. The PS31’s light is obstructed a bit by its longer 3/8″ chuck, but the same is true for every single 12V and 18V cordless 3/8″ or 1/2″ drill I’ve ever come across.
uthscsaedu, thanks! Hopefully we’ll continue to meet and exceed your expectations!
The Bosch 10.8 volt cordless range just kepps getting better. Here are a couple of links to video demos we done on a couple of their products:
I picked up the P31 a month ago. It’s a great tool, and the drill/driver I reach for unless I need far more power (which is a rare occasion for most homeowners). The chuck is fabulous, and the ergonomics spot-on. I looked at the Milwaukee, and found that my palm would get caught between the chuck and the LED housing (there’s a gap there).
does it use the same batteries /charger as the PS20?
The batteries (BAT412) have been upgraded slightly, presumably to offer slightly better performance, but older batteries (BAT411) and chargers should be cross compatible with the new ones.
The older BAT411 and BAT 411a batteries are compatible. The 411a has been offered as a mail-in or in-store “rebate” with the new drill. Reports are that the new one lasts longer.
I’d love to find a compact cordless impact driver and a low profile right-angle cordless impact driver suitable for automotive use that I liked. I’m looking into taking my business mobile and I’d rather take nitrogen and battery tools in a service van than have another compressor. Right now I have a Milwaukee 9070-20 1/2dr 120v impact and I’m not fond of it, it doesn’t really hammer like a pneumatic wrench or even my cordless Makita 14.4v impact driver does. The cordless Makita isn’t up to what I want in a tool, it runs in decking fasteners all day on the weekends but it’s not for lugs and I won’t use it for that. In cordless tools, I’m fond of Makita since I’m already invested in them but with an eye to the future and new style batteries I know I’ve got to start fresh. I’ve been thru the aisles in Lowes and Home Depot, and nothing is really saying “buy me!”
For a right angle impact driver, take a look at Ridgid’s JobMax kit. The took is a little larger than it could be, but the right angle driver head is as compact as I’ve seen on a 12V tool.
Hi Stuart, Great review! quite a few of our customers ask for our opinion on certain drills when they are considering buying and its often hard to give a non bias review. I’ve actually pushed this post around our sales office, because its very useful to get someone else’s point of view. So many thanks!
Thank you for the kind words, and I’m glad you and your colleagues found the review to be helpful!
Stuart, great review! I bought my dad a PS20 a couple of years ago and he loves it, uses it all the time! For his birthday this month, I’d like to add to his driver with a PS31 so that he has a 3/8″ chuck and can do some drilling if he needs to as well. Are the 10.8 batteries that came with his PS20 compatible withe the PS31 if I buy just the bare tool? Or do I need the PS30?
Yes, Bosch’s 10.8V and 12V batteries and interchangeable and backwards compatible. The form factor is the same, and the 12V batteries are actually 12V “Max”, with a 10.8V nominal voltage.
You may want to consider the PS31 kit, however, since the batteries have been upgraded slightly over the years. But if you/your dad is happy with the current battery performance, then the bare-tool will save you a bit of cash as you already know.
Now that the L-Boxx kits are shipping, I contacted Bosch to find out if they’d be selling the form-fitting inserts separately, so I could get one for my PS31. Unfortunately, they don’t have them for sale, and there are no plans to offer them. So all who bought the earlier kits are “orphaned” and can’t get the same L-Boxx2 as the newer kits. Stupid decision, Bosch! Very short-sighted.
i have owned the ps21 for over a year, this driver is amazing. i had been working on a project and took a break, while on break a popup thunderstorm drenched my driver, peeved at myself i took the battery out, let it dry and voila, it works just fine. built bosch tuff.