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The Test

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“Age before beauty” dictated that we start with the 14.4V Impactor, so we grabbed a 1/4″ quick-release 3/8″ drive adapter, slapped a 3/8″ to 1/2″ drive adapter on it, attached a 15/16″ impact driver socket to it, and went to town.

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The 14.4V easily and quickly drove the screw, hammering like hell all the way.  As you can see from the video below, the whole process took about 48 seconds.

Next we applied the same crazy-ass adapter-adapter-socket rig to the PS40 and gave it a shot at the same task.  The absurdity of using the PS40 for this kind of job is clear when you consider that the screw is almost bigger than the driver!

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As you can see, this task is definitely out of the PS40′s league.  It did, however, drive the screw.  It took about 3 minutes and an almost an entire battery charge cycle, but it did drive the screw.  While we wouldn’t recommend the PS40 for the task, it’s worth noting that if you were stuck on the jobsite with only the PS40 and just had to drive a screw this big, you could get the job done.

While both drivers took a rest, we threw all the batteries back on their chargers and set up the sheet metal test, this time using a simple 1/4″ quick-release 1/4″ socket as the sheet metal screws had hex heads.

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First the PS40:

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The PS40 drives these screws quickly, spinning them for just a brief moment before the end drills in and the threads grab.  After about 50 screws, though, the PS40 began to get a bit warm.  As with the PS20, we feel this is caused by the vent placement.  On such a small tool, there’s really nowhere to vent exhaust air except at the rear of the tool.  When you put a second hand on the tool to “bear down,” it’s easy to cover the vents which can lead to heat buildup.

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After 78 screws, the PS40 was hot to the touch, but kept on driving.

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After 100 screws, it was so hot we were glad we were wearing gloves.  Finally, on the 112th screw, it finally quit all at once in the way we’ve come to expect from li-ion tools.

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That’s a pretty impressive runtime, and after just a moment to swap in the other battery, we were able to use the PS40 to remove all the screws as well.  The removal task was much easier on the tool, and the PS40 cooled down completely during the process.

As you might imagine from the specs, this task was a walk in the park for the 14.4V Impactor.  It spun up to full speed quickly and drove each screw like a bat out of hell.

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Also, it stayed cool during the entire test, mostly because its larger size accommodates side vents in addition to those on the rear.  During the test we could feel the hot air moving from the side vents.

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We managed a whopping 225 screws on a single charge with the 14.4V.

Read on to page five for our conclusions.

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21 Responses to Hands-On: Bosch’s 10.8V Litheon Impactor

  1. Rick says:

    Great review guys.. very informative. Looks like I have another tool to save up for. :-D

  2. Stephen says:

    When can I buy it! Hopefully a they will develop a dedicated drill that will fit in the lineup.

  3. l_bilyk says:

    I have the 12v impactor… I don’t think I will be buying this, but it would be a REALLY nice tool for the electrician

  4. Michael says:

    Nice review. I bought the PS20 after your earlier review and use it most every work day. Does about 75% of the work I need a drill/driver for (right now). I could see how an impact driver similar in size would be handy to have around.

    Hmm, better show this review to my wife, less than a month to go until my birthday….

  5. bc says:

    Great review! I think it is a solid tool… but feels too big for my hands. Nothing has beat the 14.4V Ion Panasonic in terms of ergonomics. This thing is perfect. Now if Bosch made a mini recip and run on the 10.8s I would purchase this…

  6. Phillip says:

    I agree with what’s been stated so far. Most of my fastening needs are not the abnormal-sized screws so I think this would be a great addition to my tool box. I would like to see Bosch really (market) the heck out of these 10.8volt tools with a combo set and maybe add a true drill and a flashlight for real cheap.

  7. mstudley says:

    Great review! Thanks!

    Now I have yet another tool to add to my want list. Any idea when we will start to see these on shelves (or better yet online)?

  8. Eric Corson says:

    Thanks for great review. I think these would be great for home woodshop or a locksmith. I have used same makita 12v impact for about eight years mostly for sheet metal screws at work but also must have for wood deck screws. Gone through about 3 pairs of batteries, though, and the NMH batteries no better than NiCad in my opinion. The LiIons seem like the way to go and I suspect reason this new COOL driver did so well against its big brother. I must soon replace my makita, but hopefully with a brand with a SYSTEM that includes the flourescent light and blower I cant live without-so I hope at least Makita-(hint,hint)-is listening!

  9. [...] So keep that in mind when we tell you about Makita’s “compact” 18V impact driver.  It’s not as small as, say, Bosch’s new 10.8V Impactor, but it’s actually slightly smaller (and, more importantly, lighter) than the 14.4V we used in the Bosch comparison test.  And when you consider that it delivers a li-ion-driven 1,280 in-lbs of torque, you’re starting to get the picture. [...]

  10. [...] Hands-On: Bosch’s 10.8V Litheon Impactor In one of our most thorough hands-on posts to date, we put the spurs to Bosch’s tiny new impact driver with excellent results.  With over 800 in-lbs of torque in a package the size of a small cordless screwdriver, this is going to be the tool to have when it hits shelves later this year. [...]

  11. Random West says:

    I discovered this review while looking for something completely different. A happy mistake. I have a PS-20 and use it constantly. I was thinking of getting a second one to keep on the truck, but one thing stopped me, and that is the torque limits of this unit- it does a fantastic job on all but the longest screws, when it seems to simply poop out.

    I still find my ancient Makita 9.8v will beat it every time, but can’t compare to the portability. Now I can investigate the new Impactor and make a move. I heartily agree with posts calling for more uses for the 10.8 battery- for one job I adapted it to fit a Black & Decker electric caulking gun (don’t ask!) and it worked great.

    The annular light is a small but brilliant development, even though I made fun of the PS-20′s wonky one-eye LED, it still is pretty useful I can’t wait to see how much trouble the new one will save.

  12. Al says:

    As someone who had first hand knowledge of this and all of the Bosch tools, I can tell you that this tool will be a HOT seller. As a Bosch rep, I sold a ton of the PS20 to HVAC contractors who loved not having to lug their 18V up into the tight spaces. However, I could never get them to get rid of their makita impact drivers. This tool will handle that little issue.

  13. clueless says:

    I got to play around with the PS40 this weekend at a sidewalk sale. The Bosch rep told me that it was 179.95. Impressive power for its size. I think that it would be great for removing panels . I hope they are going to sell it in a “tool only” option because I already have the PS20.

    Now if they made a Litheon 10.8 small recip saw that uses jigsaw blades like the old B4050 and 3294EVS inline jigsaw, I would buy one in an instant! I’m still looking for an inline jigsaw with no success.

  14. [...] Clueless — a name we don’t self-apply down here in Texas — posted this comment on our Hands-On with Bosch’s 10.8V Litheon Impactor: “I got to play around with the PS40 this weekend at a sidewalk sale.  The Bosch rep told me that it was $179.95.  Impressive power for its size.  I think that it would be great for removing panels.  I hope they are going to sell it in a “tool only” option because I already have the PS20.  Now if they made a Litheon 10.8V small recip saw that uses jigsaw blades like the old B4050 and 3294EVS inline jigsaw I would buy one in an instant!  I’m still looking for an inline jigsaw with no success.” [...]

  15. Random West says:

    Ran a little demo today, 2 fresh batteries and 2 pilot holes. Simple but effective. Check it out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtWwIlAuSwo

  16. Joe Nash says:

    Awesome review of the 10.8V Impactor against its bigger brother. I was quite amazed that someone had taken the time to do such a practical video review on such a new tool. I have been studying the Impactor at Lowe’s for a couple of weeks, and this helped me make up my mind on the purchase.

    Great job and congratulations!

    Joe

  17. Thanks for great review.

    ith the help of Bosch appliances, the things you do every day are easier and more enjoyable. Whether its the industry-leading silence of our dishwashers, the ingenious engineering and time-saving features of our cooking products, or the unmatched efficiency and gentle care of our front-loading washers and dryers, youll find that life with Bosch is an exciting and liberating experience, giving you the time and opportunity to focus on what matters to you most

  18. Bobby Joe says:

    Great review. I will add my two cents to the guys who requested an in line jigsaw. I almost bought the Black and Decker series for this one reason. I hope Bosch will consider adding one to the 10.8 Litheon line.

  19. Lane Smith says:

    These are great service tools. I wish that Bosch would make a 30 min charger for 12 volt automotive use. I have one for my Dewalt tools and it is a great addition to my service truck.

  20. Hi there, after reading this awesome post i am also
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  21. Demetrius says:

    I read this paragraph completely about the resemblance of hottest
    and preceding technologies, it’s amazing article.

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