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As fans of the other two tools in Bosch’s still-relatively-new 10.8V line, we’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of the PS40 10.8V Litheon Impactor.  So as you might imagine, we were pretty excited when we received one of the first marketing samples of from Bosch.  After playing around with it a bit, though, we found ourselves in a quandary.  How could we show you the crazy-mad power this little sucker puts out? 

We decided the best way was to stack it up against a totally unfair opponent: Bosch’s classic 14.4V Impactor — the PS40’s “older brother” that hangs out with the in-crowd and spends too much time at the gym.

Read on past the jump for the results of the showdown plus lots and lots of pictures and video.

Unboxing: 10.8V Impactor


As you can see from the pictures, this is an early marketing sample direct from Bosch, so we can’t show you what it’ll look like in retail packaging.  We’d guess, though, that it’ll ship inside its soft case packed in a photo-labelled box pertty much as the PS20 and PS10 did.

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Note: Click on small pictures for larger ones. 

And speaking of the soft case: it looks identical to the PS20’s.  If you’re into soft cases, you’ll like it.  It looks quite durable, has a rubber handle on top, and features the Bosch logo prominently.


After opening the case to reveal the 10.8V Impactor itself we were happy to discover that it’s quite tiny — just barely larger than the PS20.  Actually, it’s better to describe it as “fatter” than the PS20 as opposed to “larger.”  It’s definitely a little heavier.

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The composite and thermo-plastic rubber (TPR) grip is also like the PS20’s, including the TPR up around the motor’s rear vents which really helps with comfort.  Its 10.8V standard batteries insert in the base of the handle, fitting in tightly like the clip in a gun.  Sean’s comment about the PS20 — “it feels like a  Glock” — applies here as well. 


The bright red trigger controls the PS40’s variable speed, ranging from 0-1,800 RPM and 0-3,000 beats per minute (BPM).  A switch just above the trigger extends through the tool horizontally and selects direction of rotation, as indicated by the arrows underneath the switch.

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One of the coolest new features of the PS40, though, is its innovative lighting.  Most lighted drivers feature an LED somewhere on the handle shining up at your work, and it’s surprisingly easy to block the light with your hand, arm, or even workpiece.  On the PS40, Bosch installed a ring of three LED lights into the front casing of the tool just behind the chuck, shining directly on your work from a very short distance.  This is an awesome solution, and we hope to see it propagate throughout the Bosch cordless line.

The chuck is a (quite beefy) 1/4″ quick-release type that feels sturdy.  In fact, everyone around the shop who picked up the PS40 commented on how tight and solid it feels in terms of build quality.  I suppose this isn’t too surprising considering the similar comments we’ve heard — and made — regarding the other Litheon 10.8V tools.

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The PS40 ships with two 10.8V li-ion batteries, a quick charger, and

Read on to page two for our unboxing of the 14.4V Impactor.

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17 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. 😀

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Random West says:

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


  13. 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!


  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Jeff says:

    On my SP 20 when you depressed the trigger all the way it seems to stop and nothing happens batteries seem to be charged what could be the problem

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