on December 10, 2010
I have had a Milwaukee M12 Impactor and driver for a couple years now. At the time I bought it I had tried out the original Bosch and I thought the Milwaukee to be better.
Well, time goes on, and this new Bosch is much improved and much better than my Milwaukee. I picked up the combo pack, because I'm setting up a new workspace and needed a new pair. So before I took these over to work, I decided to do my own direct comparo - bottom line; both the new PS41-2 and the PS21-2 significantly outperform my old Milwaukee units.
I drove 3 inch wood screws into a piece of 2x6 treated lumber - pretty typical duty for one of these. Both the Bosch and Milwaukee Impactors drove the screws with no trouble - the Bosch put the screw in about 3x as fast. I then drove the screws into a big knot - Bosch - no sweat, Milwaukee - did it, but barely. I then performed the same test with the new PS21 and the Milwaukee driver - This is where I saw the most difference between them - the PS21 drove the screws pretty effortlessly, even on high speed. The Milwaukee drove the screws very slowly, and its low speed is slower than the low speed on the Bosch.
So on both speed and power - these new Bosch's win. I didn't try to test the endurance, because that wouldn't be fair comparing the new Bosch to the old Milwaukee batteries, but I haven't had a problem with the battery capacity before for home use.
This is not surprising, I'm sure Milwaukee is going to try and up the ante again in a few months.
On other features, these Bosch's are significantly more compact, but I think I still like the grip on the Milwaukees slightly better, because they are a bit thinner at the "neck" where the handle meeds the body - this is minor, however and I'm shure some people would say they like the Bosch better. I do like the placement and the size of the reversing button on these bosch tools.
For some reason Bosch put a battery gauge on this impact tool, but didn't put one on the driver tool. This is one of my favorite features of my Milwaukees - and I would say their 4 LED gauge is still better than the Bosch 3 LED gauge. Also, I like the quick change bit chucks on the Milwaukees better still - Interestingly both of the Bosch tools and Both of the Milwaukees have different chucks. My favorite is the one on the Milwaukee M12 driver - it holds "open" until you push a bit in, then it locks - this means you don't have to use both hands. The Bosch tools have a chuck that seems a bit small - they are a little harder to get grip on.
The LED headlights on these are improved over the prior models, but that's not something I really use much. One other nit - the Bosch tools seem to have a slight delay starting when you pull the trigger. It took a little getting used to - I think I like the instant start of the Milwaukees better in that respect.
So there you have it. If you are thinking about buying one of these, go ahead, they seem like great tools, and they have speed and power. I can't imagine most homeowners ever need any more power than these have - they are going to take a bite into 18V tools. I do still recommend you take a look at the other companion tools that share battery packs before you buy, which may tip you to one brand vs another.
on November 20, 2010
I initially purchased the Milwaukee M12-series model 2450-22 1/4" impact driver. It advertises 850 in-lb torque. This Bosch claims 930 in-lb torque. In lb-ft, that's 71 for the Milwaukee and 78 for the Bosch. This all started with the Milwaukee's inability to loosen a fastener anywhere near its rated torque...
I performed my test on two exhaust manifold bolts using the same torque wrench and same 1/4" hex to 3/8" square adapter and a 12mm socket. Each tool had a full battery and each was tested on both 12mm bolts. I tightened the bolts in 5 ft-lb increments until i couldn't break them free anymore. The Bosch was able to break free bolts tightened as much as 45-50 ft-lb. The Makita would break bolts free at 35 ft-lb max. This gives the Bosch about 60% of rated torque and the Makita 50% of its claimed torque.
So, based on the above, neither tool delivered its rated torque in my test. Given i will mostly use this for working on my car, I wanted something as gutsy as possible that was compact. Given the Bosch delivered more of its already higher torque, the Bosch was a keeper in my book. I returned the Milwaukee. So, besides decent power, what else about the Bosch?
-1" shorter body than the Milwaukee. Will fit into tighter spots AND balances well in the hand.
-The rubber-coated plastic body feels great in the hand. Better quality feel than the Milwaukee.
-Great trigger. Smooth and easy to finesse screws slowly if needed.
-Two batteries and a 30-minute charger (Milwaukee has the same setup).
-3 LEDs for lighting in front of the tool. Brighter than the Milwaukee, although the Bosch does have a bit of a weird light pattern. This could be improved.
-One of the few tools not made in China (Milwaukee and Makita are). Made in Malaysia for the Bosch.
-Slight delay when trigger pressed. Milwaukee feels instant. Minor gripe.
-Soft padded case. Milwaukee has a tough plastic case. Bosch case takes up less room. Each has its advantages i suppose. I'd prefer a plastic case.
-Price. $160 for the Bosch. Milwaukee can be had for $100.
-Few tools in the 12V line. The Milwaukee M12 line is huge.
For me, price was a lower concern than quality and performance. Of course, if the Bosch was $250, I probably would have kept the Milwaukee :) For the $60 extra over the Milwaukee, I felt good with my purchase given the higher power, better feel, and smooth trigger of the Bosch. My only other planned purchase for the future is a compact 12V drill, which Bosch also makes (it has great reviews).
on September 6, 2013
Important....Center hex shaft is not straight and wobbles when pulling the trigger. Also when your hex bit is locked into place, it slides in and out about 1/4 of an inch. Not a big deal but not what I expect for paying $130. My craftsman 20v Impact attach. is straight and true.
This tool is compact but it is not much smaller than its 18v brother or competition milwaukee, and the actual grip handle is much larger diameter then the 18 Volt because that's where the battery goes. My hand measures 9.5 inches from pinky to thumb tip. Somebody with a smaller hand probably will not like this tool. I like the light. I like the low speed that is variable. I don't like the misleading advertising that states 30 minute rapid charge when it takes 52 minutes to charge each battery. The picture on Amazon shows that it comes with the 12 Volt battery that has a red stripe on the bottom which is the litheon version lithium battery which advertises 3 hours and a 5 times extra battery capacity. This is not the battery that comes with the tool and again nor is it a rapid charger. If you look up Bosch 12v charger on amazon, it shows only the 30 min charger available(430 model). That is not the charger that comes with kit, it is the (330 model which is not 30 min) and has just one green light vs a red and green on the 430 charger. One last thing, this tool does not produce 930 inch pounds of torque which is 80ft lbs. It does about half that at best.
I did a test on one lug nut on my truck breaking it loose, using the impact to tighten it and then checking the torque with a digital torque wrench. It tightened the lug nut to about 40 foot pounds or 460 in lbs, which is still good but half what is advertised on a full battery.
I did a direct Comparison with my craftsman impact driving 3" lag bolts that are 1/4" with socket adapter. The bosch did it but struggled , the craftsman 20v drove it effort less and 3 times faster. The Bosch 12 v is not designed for this but to advertise 930in lbs, it should be easy and it isn't. You do not want this tool for anything other then very light hardware which is why I bought it, not repetitive driving unless it is just small wood screws/ sheet rock, etc but I wanted to test it. The craftsman bolt on 20 v has crazy speed and power. I would guess the Bosch has 1500 rpm not 2600, for $79 you could buy the porter cable 12v vs this at 129, same specs and that claims 30 min rapid charger too.
In conclusion, I like the tool just don't love it and I really wanted to. I brought this to home depot to compare head size. It is identical to Milwaukee 18v, Dewalt 18v, Rigid 18v, basically all of the larger impacts have the same compact head. They just have a longer and much thinner handle because 18v battery is the base of the unit.
-decent power at 460 in lbs not 930 in lbs like advertised
-slow controlled variable speed
-soft case included
-Underpowered, does not make torque specs advertised, no way is it 930 in lbs. My test indicated about 460 in lbs
-Not as fast as it states 2600 rpm, NO WAY, more like 1500 rpm
-Not a 30 min charger, takes 52 minutes with 330 charger model included
-Not litheon version advertised(red stripe 5x cap. 3hr) lithium battery as picture shows, but still a lithium at 2.0.
-handle is very bulky diameter due to battery,and I have a very large hand, 18/ 20v handles are thinner
-can buy Porter-cable 12v lithium for 79$ saving 50$ and you will have same specs, but head is an inch longer. Porter 18v combo ni-cd is 118$, porter 20v lithium kit is 129$. By the way I'm not pushing Porter, I'm just giving prices that are less or the same and you get more with a 3yr warranty. The Bosh is one yr. If you want a great tool but its pricey, the new Milwaukee 18v lith feels great. I loved that impact M18 fuel version,but not for 240$ just for the impact, it does have a 5 yr warranty.
Not trying to be critical, just keeping it real.
I bought the PS41 in a combo package with the PS21. I was not familiar with the concept of an impact driver, but the combo was a great deal, and reading up on it, it sounded like potentially a great tool that I would grow into quickly. I was right about that; I'm glad I bought it.
The impact driver is certainly better for driving screws into wood where a screw has not been before, and speeds new construction work as a result. It is not the same thing as a hammer drill (used for driving screws into concrete). If you search for "impact driver wood whisperer," you'll find a good blog entry that compares various drills and drivers and explains the difference in terms of how they work.
I have found that the impact effect kicks in when needed; there is a bit of a "two speed" effect that is easier to understand when seen than explained in words, but I saw it in action recently when driving conventional wood screws into pilot holes that were a bit too small. The impact effect in this case is that it gave several small bursts of high torque, giving a stepwise drive, at the same time a downward push onto the screw, thus avoiding gumming up the standard screw slot (would have been straightforward with Philipps). The screws went in effortlessly, though with a bit of noise.
I really like the drill driver for quickly driving long screws into wood with less effort. I will be using this tool a lot for construction projects.
The new battery technology is great. It is small and lightweight, and lasts a really long time. It is interchangeable with the PS21, so if you are mainly using one tool and the battery has gone weak, you can borrow the battery from the other while you charge up - which takes only an hour anyway. It even has a battery gauge so you can easily avoid having a dead battery by knowing to charge up during a break.
BEWARE! DON'T USE SHORT BITS WITHOUT A BIT HOLDER
My only complaint is that the collet has a significant limitation which is not well described in the instructions, and this caused me a big problem.
The instructions say the following: "The Bosch model PS41 Cordless Impact Driver has a collet that accepts only standard 1/4" hexagonal shank accessories with power groove." Well, ALL of my driver bits are standard 1/4" hexagonal shank, but I didn't know what a power groove was (isn't that something in a Michael Jackson tune?), and they offered no explanation. I looked closely at the standard 1/4" hexagonl shank bit I wanted to use, and it had grooves in it, so I used it. All went well until I tried to remove it: it was jammed tight, and I could not get it out.
I had to call customer service for help. "Is it a short insert bit that you inserted?" Yes. "The Bosch model PS41 Cordless Impact Driver has a collet that accepts only standard 1/4" hexagonal shank accessories." Yes, but I used a standard 1/4" hexagonal shank bit. "The bit would have to have that power groove on the shank. Otherwise, with the short insert bits you'd want to use a bit holder."
Great! Why don't they say that in the manual? And maybe tell you what a "power groove" is? Yes, there is a picture showing a short bit with a bit holder, but there is nothing telling you that you have to use it that way, and since you do NOT need a bit holder with the PS21, naturally I assumed that it was an option, not a requirement.
So what IS a "power groove"? If you look at a standard 1/4" hexagonal, two inch long screwdriver bit, just above the shank end there is a substantial indentation that goes all around the bit. THAT is what they mean by the "power groove". What I tried to use was a one-inch bit, and those bits NEVER have a power groove. To use a one-inch bit, you MUST use a bit holder with a power groove - or you will have a devil of a time getting that one-inch bit out again.
Do I feel stupid? Sure. But hey, I'm an amateur, not a pro: I read the instructions, and there's nobody around to warn me what was missing in the instructions. The instructions COULD have had an extra sentence like "WARNING: Do NOT use one-inch bits directly in this tool without a bit holder or it will become jammed and difficult to remove, potentially voiding your warranty" and a little picture of the one inch bit with a circle and a line through it. Some people complain about getting reconditioned PS41's- I bet these are returns from people who jammed the bit and just returned it that way.
Customer service may tell you to try tweezers or long-nose pliers to pull on the bit while pulling down on the collet. I tried: No way. Try this instead: get some narrow-nose vice grips. Clamp down on the bit just as tight as you can, releasing, retightening the screw, try again until you can't clamp any more, back off and clamp. Now put the vice grips in a vice, or clamp them to your bench somehow. Then while pulling down the collet, pull the drill for all you're worth. After a few tries, it worked, and no apparent damage to the tool (OR the bit), because it works fine now.
Now I own a magnetic bit holder for short bits, plus a variety of bits that don't need it. And you will too, if you read this warning.
PS41 is a very good tool that I would rate four stars ("I Like It"), except one star is removed because the collet does not accept short bits like the PS21, and because there is no explicit warning in the instructions to warn you not to use short bits or they will get jammed.
on October 31, 2010
bought this driver during a bosch sales event at a local store with one extra battery.
I custom build houses for living and could not be happier with this 12v driver for the following reasons:
1, it has superior power for its size. my crew and myself used it to drive deck screws, floor screws, dry wall screws at tight spots, all day long. very handy all around driver.
2, compare with bigger conventional drill/driver, it is really easy on the wrist.
3, for its size, you can put it in the pouch and working on awkward spots like top of the ladder.
4, battery charge is not bad at all, again, for its size.
5, i dropped it quite a few times from 4 to 5 feet hight, still works no problem.
6, the LED light is a great feature.
if you are looking for a compact driver with solid quality, i highly recommend it. it does not however replace the 18v/36v hammer drill/driver for heavy duty drill/driving, like drive screws into masonary.
hope that helps.
on November 25, 2011
I will start by saying that I have both this impact driver and also the m12 impact driver by milwaukee. At the time I got the Milwaukee, it was much cheaper and seemed a similar adversary to the Bosch 12v impact driver.
I was thrilled at first with the Milwaukee Impact. About a week ago, I picked up this bosch impact driver here on amazon. I have been using it ever since, and really comparing them, and I absolutely love the bosch. As for the Milwaukee, it really is not a bad driver, but is still quite lagging behind the bosch. There are several key areas where I thing that the bosch is superior to the Milwaukee. There are also areas where I think that the Milwaukee is superior to the bosch.
- Seems to be of better quality.
- Much more comfortable
- Better balanced in your hands
- Stronger impact, and higher torque
- Better LED array
- Better Battery
- Has a stronger option of a better battery, whereas bosch has only one
- Great, bright red hardhsell carrying case, bosch comes with soft zipper case (looks kind of like a lunchbox)
- Much greater versatility of tools within the M12 line
- You can start buying bare tools, and use the same battery
- Seems as though the driver starts more immediately after you engage the trigger, bosch has slight delay.
Now do not get me wrong, both are great options. I performed side-by-side testing of each, and in my opinion, the Bosch is superior in most applications. I will be using this as an HVAC technician, so it will see heavy use, as does my Milwaukee already, with sheet metal screws and lags and many more things. Honestly, I have no particular interest in buying all my tools of the same brand. I buy what i think is best. At home I use ryobi mostly. But working, I will use just about any brand without hesitation if I think it is better. This is my first bosch tool. After seeing the quality, I will probably get the corded metal shears as well. But anyway, back to what I was saying.
You really can't go wrong with either Impact driver, but I would reccomend the Bosch as the better option. Thank you for taking the time to read my review. If you have any questions just ask, because I will probably get back to you pretty quickly. Thanks, Ray
on July 29, 2011
I have worked on bowling machines for the last 13 years and this impact driver is great. It gets into hard to reach places of the machine and allows me to get the job done faster. The torque on this little Bosch PS41 it awesome! It has un-seized nuts that have not been removed in years over and over with ease, and really does drive in 3 inch wood screws fast and with no hesitation. A fellow mechanic owns a small impact driver from a very well know and a much more expensive company and this Bosch beats it every time.
The battery life on thing is great. It will last. Bosch puts a little LED "Fuel" gauge on the side. I love this feature, it tells me just how much battery life is left. So when, and if I have to change the battery during a job and I just swap batteries with out the annoying "die down" of the charge. I just check the gauge and when I get to one light, I swap. The charger is pretty fast too, about 30 to 40 min.
Another great feature is the LED lights on the front. Some parts of the machine are usually ill lit so this helps out a lot. I have also found myself using it as a flashlight at times.
It does have a little delay when the trigger is pressed, but only a fraction of a second, so minor I didn't even notice till I read about it. The only other con is the soft carrying case it comes with, but for me I just leave the impact driver in my toolbox.
The Bosch PS41 is by far one of the best power tools I have ever owned, and I have gone though many in the past years. This impact driver is light, compact, tough (I have dropped it from 5-6 ft a couple of times and still running no problems), and powerful. I would highly recommend this tool to anyone, even if you were just using it around the house. I hope this helps.
on July 7, 2012
This is my first impact driver I bought on Amazon. Im a plumber and generally just use my Bosch cordless drill for driving and drilling. This impact driver is so much more compact for screwing my backer plates in stud walls or for screwing anything! The overall feel is nice. The LED lights on the front are actually pretty bright compared to single LEDs of other guns. Its nice the battery is in the handle unlike other brands that have a giant bulky battery. I wish the case was a hard case though rather than a bag. Overall great buy!
on September 8, 2011
I purchased this tool because I process a lot of scrap metal, which means I need to quickly and efficiently disassemble a lot of items ranging from BBQ grills and lawn mowers to home appliances.
I have used this tool for about 24 months now, and have found it to stand up to a beating on a daily basis. Its compact size and long battery life have cut my dis-assembly time by about 75% over hand tools.
One advantage this particular driver has over its competition is its compact size. I can and do use this tool in tight spaces where other drivers will not fit. I also recommend this model over an 18v driver for that reason. Bigger is not always better.
This driver has replaced the tool box I used to carry with a small divided container for bits and sockets. Its light weight and power have also significantly reduced hand fatigue and arm pain associated with the over use of hand tools.
My wife has found this to be a handy tool around the house for small jobs such as installing cabinet and drawer latches, and mounting curtain rods.
I generally get about two and a half to three hours of nearly continuous use between charges, which take about 30 minutes. If you are using it for driving large wood screws you will go through the batteries much more quickly. In the two years I have owned this tool the batteries performance has held up remarkably. I have owned other cordless tools where the batteries deteriorated making the tool nearly useless. This has not been the case with this driver.
Bottom line, if you need a tool for assembly/dis-assembly/installation this is the top tool on the market, if you are looking to build a deck buy a corded driver.
on December 18, 2011
This is a powerful, very well made unit, well balanced, nice feel in the hand. Being a woman who takes on a LOT of projects, I've struggled for years trying to drive big screws into hard wood, treated fence posts, etc. I simply don't have enough arm strength to put enough pressure on a regular drill to avoid stripping philips screws. (Subsequently, I try to buy star or square drive whenever possible.)
This past August, I was ready to put over 400 square feet of porcelain tile in my great room. It was knowing I'd have to drive a ton of screws into the cement board that prompted me to look at impact drivers. It was an absolute BREEZE with this driver!!! And, it comes with 2 batteries, which re-charge in about 30 minutes. So, by the time I wore down the battery with continuous drives, the other battery was ready.
Now, I use it on almost everything ... my other cordless drivers normally sit idle! I just finished building fencing around my pool, used this to drill over 400 holes in treated wood with a 7/8" spade bit, and to toenail big screws thru treated 2x4's into treated 4x4's. A breeze!!!
If you haven't yet moved up to an impact driver, you don't know what you're missing. I can do anything and never strip a screw. I LOVE my Bosch impact driver!!!