Following hot on the heels of the newly redesigned PS21 Pocket Driver is Bosch’s new PS31-2A 12 volt 3/8″ cordless drill/driver, which improves upon their PS30 model. The newest addition to Bosch’s lineup of compact lithium-ion cordless tools is lighter, more compact, and stronger than its predecessor.
Bosch PS31-2A 12 Volt 3/8″ Drill Features
- Single sleeve 3/8″ chuck
- 2-speed settings: 0-350 and 0-1300 RPM for high torque and high speed applications
- 20+1 clutch setting (20 fastener driving modes + a drilling mode)
- 265 in-lbs max torque
- Improved LED to illuminate work areas
- Battery fuel gauge to ensure that you don’t run out of juice unexpectedly
- Lightweight at 2.1 lbs
- Ultra compact with a mere 7″ head length
- Kit includes the drill/driver, 2 12V lithium ion batteries, 30 minute charger, and a carrying case
Bosch PS31 vs PS30 Comparison
While we won’t know for sure until we handle one firsthand, it looks like the size and balance of the PS31 slightly improves upon the PS30. The PS31 looks to be a bit more streamlined and slender than the PS30, which could account for how Bosch was able to shave its weight down from 2.4 to 2.14 lbs.
Aside from the shape of the body, the major external components of the PS31 appear to remain unchanged except for minor tweaks here and there, probably to improve the ergonomics of the tool.
The PS31’s greater torque capabilities and slightly higher no-load speeds are sure to please many, but we think that users will also be very interested in the PS31’s improved worklight and newly implemented battery gauge.
This new 12V drill driver will be available both as a kit (PS31-2A) and bare tool (PS31B). Since the tool has not yet been released, pricing information is a bit uncertain. The kit is currently available for preorder at $150-165, and the bare tool at about $105.
Bosch PS31-2A 12V Cordless Drill/Driver Kit via Amazon
Bosch PS31B 12V Cordless Drill/Driver Add-on via Amazon
Product Info via Bosch
For comparison: Bosch PS30-2A (predecessor) via Amazon & via Bosch
Note: Purchases of the PS31-2A kit through May 31st 2010 are eligible for the same mail-in rebate for a free PS20B pocket driver, BAT411A spare battery, or FL11A flashlight as previously discussed. Details and the rebate form are available here.
Today I received from Ohio Power Tool a Bosch PS31-2a. The drill arrived in the usual soft-side case with the familiar delta shaped charger and two batteries. I was surprised to see the drill was indeed appreciably smaller in all dimensions than my favorite Bosch 12V PS30 3/8″ drill. It looks like a PS30 left out in the rain, and shrunk by 20%! Out of the box, the only obvious difference aside from the LED fuel gauge, is a smaller guide light above . The smaller light is not so much smaller that it is useless, rather, it has been scaled to maintain overall proportion of it’s big brother the PS30. For the tasks I use it for around my business and home, both the PS30 and the PS31-2A are perfect in every way. Like the Ford Probe car that was designed by and marketed to women, the PS31-2A would be a perfect tool for a person with smaller hands and especially shorter fingers. The weight it just right, the tool still uses the fantastic Bosch 12V Max LiIon batteries, and the chuck holds fast a variety of bits solidly. The PS301-2A is everything the PS30 is, only smaller. I’d definitely recommend this tool to a friend or relative with no reservations.
I picked one up, and think it’s a nice addition to a larger and more powerful portable and/or a corded drill. Very comfortable handle, light weight, and surprisingly powerful.
I chose this over the similar Milwaukee for at least two reasons not related to the Bosch being a newer generation 12V drill. I figure that display models lead a dissolute life, and every one of the Milwaukees I found in Home Depot had torque setting rings that were extremely difficult to set for drilling and not screwdriving. They were hard to turn, and two would not go into lockup drill mode without significant force (and one wouldn’t leave that mode). The older Bosch in Lowes showed no such problems. The Milwaukee has an ergonomic flaw — your palm can get caught between the torque setting ring and the LED housing. The Bosch has no such problem, as the clearance won’t let your skin get caught between the parts.