Customer Reviews: Bosch PS21-2A 12-Volt Max Lithium-Ion 2-Speed Pocket Driver Kit with 2 Batteries, Charger and Case
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on March 31, 2010
Just purchased the PS21-2A at JLC live last weekend and so far, this sub-compact drill has handled everything I've asked it to do without protest. I have wanted a pocket driver since they came out but in researching and using comparable products from Milwaukee, Makita, Ridgid, and Bosch I found that while small size was an asset, the power needed wasn't there. Bosch has taken care of this problem with the PS21. Upping the torque from 100"/lbs to 265"/lbs transforms the drill into something that you'll use more than half the time rather than just when it's size makes it necessary. Also, the greater range in RPM makes the PS21 much more capable in all types of drilling. If you're a contractor this will never be your primary, but still the PS21 is a solid offering into the sub-compact drill/driver marketplace if not the clear frontrunner. Not to be forgotten, other improvements make the PS21 even more useful, such as an optically enhanced LED, and shorter length.
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on May 24, 2010
I was looking for a power screwdriver with a removeable battery because I was tired of having a tool go dead in the middle of something, or even just wondering if that would happen. Despite it not actually being a power screwdriver, I stumbled across this little beast in my search, and notice it has among the shortest head length including many 3.6, 4v, and 7.2v models. It's wieght was a bit more than some of the 3.6 volt drivers at 1.8 lbs compared to 1.5 lbs average, but what you get for those extra few ounces is amazing: 265 in-lbs of torque - granted that's not going to be needed for putting furniture together, but I was able to drill a hole through a 2x4 with a one inch spade bit no problems as well as effortlessly drive 2 1/2 in drywall screws into studs, and who doesn't want that kind of power on a lightweight 5 1/2 inch head length tool? This little Bosch has all but replaced my 18v cordless drills for anything that doesn't absolutely require them, working with it is such a pleasure. Add in that you get two batteries (lithium ion!) that charge from dead to full in 30 min so you'll never have to deal with waiting on a battery to charge, I feel I got more than I paid for. A 2 speed transmission and a 20 position adjustable clutch just put this tool over the top - quickly drills pilot and other small bore holes (takes 1/4 in. hex shank "quick change" bits), and no stripping screws or over tightening when I actually do use it as a power screwdriver.

*UPDATE* 6/24/10:
The longer I own this tool the more impressed I am with it. Used it the other day to hang doors and install dead bolts. There are 3" (3.5" maybe) bolts used to secure the strike plate to the frame, and this little beast drove 6 of them in (no pilot hole) without protest along with the dozens of other smaller screws involved. Looking at the tool first of all you wouldn't expect it could sink those larger screws, and looking at the battery you would think that in doing so it would really drain the battery, but after all was said and done it still had 2 of 3 battery bars. Bosch really did well with both this tool and their 12v litheon batteries.

I did find one slight downside, but it's not so much a problem or fault with the tool as it is the industry. All of the 1/4" hex shank drill bits I try don't hold completely straight in the chuck, as the chuck is designed with just driving in mind, it doesn't accept the 1/4 in hex shank drill bits real tight. This allows for some ever-so-slight wiggle room and some wobble with drilling bits I've tried (not an issue with driving bits) I've tried both makita and craftsman bits with the same result. The driving bits are fine, but the drilling bits just don't seat as snug. Once the hole is started obviously everything goes in straight, but there can be some "walking" when starting the hole. Pretty minor issue but I thought I'd mention it for anyone else considering drilling holes with that sort of drill bit and this tool.

On the upside though, the chuck on this pocket driver really is outstanding, as it will actually grab the 1" bits that normally are too short and won't hold in other 1/4" chucks (like impact drivers) and hold them solid, so you can really get into tight spots. I'm not even sure how it works, as there isn't really any indentations or grooves on those short bits for the chuck to grab, yet grab them it does and will not let go unless you manually release them the same as any other bit. The chuck is also the right depth to leave the full head of the bit showing, and is completely useful - not like impact drivers (I know I'm not the only one that's jamed a 1" bit in there and tried to use the little bit of what protrudes out of the chuck to finish something up in a pinch, you guys know what I'm talking about). With a bit inserted, it's still less than 6" long.

Another bonus I found is that the PS21 fits in the hammer holder (the metal loop) on my tool belt. Yes the drill is small and fits in a pocket easily enough, but I actually liked it in the hammer slot better, so long as I don't need that hoop for an actual hammer. The PS21 seemed to sit in there great, I didn't have any issues with it falling out while moving around and going up and down stairs (haven't tried it on a ladder), or moving from a standing to kneeling position and vice versa.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 2, 2010
This tool is for driving, it is not suited drilling. As a driver, this Bosch is very efficient and makes driving screws, or attaching nuts a breeze.

At 265 pounds of torque there isn't much the average DIY'er can't tackle. With 2 batteries and a fast 30 minute charger you can keep driving, and driving, and driving. Well, you get the picture.

In my video, I put the Bosch through a very unscientific endurance test. See for yourself.

I make and design wood musical instruments as a hobby plus build furniture for the family. Consequently I use a lot of screws. Generally I use square drive screws because of the lack of cam-out, but in the video I used #2 phillips drive screws, which are more common. The Bosch is light enough to use almost continuously and not cramp up or get blisters. I was using a Craftsman 18v driver, but that thing is a beast. I was always sore. Not anymore!

The Bosch is now my go-to power driver. It's light, well balanced in the hand, and has plenty of torque for my needs. I recommend buying high quality bits for this driver (Wera or Wiha).
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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.
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on October 26, 2010
A practical driver for a wide range of usage and skill level however there are a few design flaws:
- universal drill bit does not fit standard quick change bit commonly sold.
- build in led light turns on almost at the same time as when the driver spin. This make the light impractical to use when trying to line up a screw bit with a screw.

I would give this a 4 star but there are better options out there that addressed both of these flaws and for a better price too. After seeing my friend's Makita LCT203W inspired me to create this review, Bosch have no excuse creating a product like this on their second try.
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on March 22, 2013
Let me start by saying that I own 10 Milwaukee M12 tools (I don't count the 2 lights). I'd been wanting to buy the M12 screw driver because I needed something w/ more finnesse than my M12 drill & impact drivers, for more delicate fasteners. I decided on this over the M12 because of the speed/drill selections: #1= 0-350 rpm for driving, #2= 0-1,300 for drilling & fast driving ~vs~ 0-500 rpm for the M12 screwdriver. The tool's solid & feels great in the hand. It drives well w/ a semi-soft start that's spot on for the small to mid-sized fasteners that it's intended to drive. The "snub-nose" design makes it all the more compact & allows for better illumination of the tip, than chucked drill/drivers. As it stands I like the tool alot and hope to use it often & for a long time.
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on March 1, 2012
I am an aircraft mechanic who normaly used airtools. I recently moved into the avionics skill. I am all over the airplane now so airtools are impractical for me now. I needed something else. A 12 volt driver fit the bill. I spent alot of time looking at different 12 volt drivers, pretty much all of them. This model of bosch seemed to have the best of all worlds. Compact, powerful, speed control, and adjustable torque. Torque is all done by hand but I know the tool well enough to set the torque on the driver very close and finsh torquing by hand. The batteries have good staying power and charge very quickly. The only downside is the light. Not very bright and does not come on till the driver starts to spin, making the light almost worthless. Overall a very good tool.
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on April 24, 2013
I'll make this short. You cannot use quick release bits with this drill without annoying (to me and many others)wobble....that is until now. I found an adapter that enables you to use quick release bits without the wobble: Genius Tools 285608 1/4" Hex Dr. 1/4" Hex Shank Bit Holder Adapter. Get it and problem solved.
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VINE VOICEon December 15, 2013
This Bosch drill/driver has been one of my favorite tools, not only because of its smaller dimensions, but also because it has the performance capabilities that equals or exceeds larger and higher voltage drills that I have owned. The variable speed trigger has a good predictable linear response that enables the torque of the motor to be applied in exactly the intended amount and makes slow starts under varied loads easy. When releasing the trigger, the drill stops instantly. The two speed transmission engages positively and has never slipped out of gear because of vibration as some other drills I have owned. The 12 volt battery seems to provide more than enough power for any around-the-house projects and recharges in less than 30 minutes, although I have never had to change batteries in the middle of jobs because of loss of power. The spring loaded bit chuck holds bits securely and does not cause driver bits to wobble, although there is some very minor wobble when using hex drill bits. Any minor wobble on drill bits is far less than I have experienced with other quick change chucks and bits I have used and would not cause a problem unless attempting to drill very precise positioned holes in metal.

While this driver is of smaller and very practical size, it does not have the feel of a lessor quality tool. In fact, I was surprised at the heft and solid feel of the tool. I am not easily impressed by power tools because I have found drawbacks in almost all that I have owned. However, this Bosch drill/driver has continued to impress me over the last 18 months so much that I bought another to give to my son for Christmas because he was also impressed with mine when using it on the many jobs he has had to do in his new house.

I suppose that if one has major construction projects requiring the drilling of hundreds of holes or installing hundreds of screws in a day, one might want a heavier duty higher voltage tool, but for less regular jobs requiring convenience of bit changes, a smaller drill that will fit into tight spaces, high performance and surprising long battery life and power, I recommend this Bosch tool without hesitancy.
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on November 29, 2015
This is a nice 1/4 inch drill with the exception of the battery system. Why Bosch makes the batteries so difficult to get out of their Max tools, I do not know. You would think their engineers would consider that not all of us have great thumb strength, especially as we grow older. It sure would be nice to have a system that doesn't require the use of a vice or water pump pliers to remove the battery.
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