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I’ve heard about Snap-on’s new 7.2V cordless screwdriver (model CTS561) from a number of sources, and when I saw their email campaign today offering free shipping it goaded me into actually taking a close look at the specs.  Snap-on wants $130 for the CTS561 — almost exactly what Bosch is asking for the PS-20 “Pocket Driver,” which makes them an obvious comparison. 

After the jump we pit these two mini-drivers against one another in a “battle of the spec sheets.”

First of all, the tale of the tape:

(Snap-on CTS561 on the left/PS-20 on the right)

  • Torque (mfr. claimed): 60 in-lbs/80 in-lbs
  • No-Load RPM: 375 / 0-400
  • Voltage: 7.2V / 10.8V
  • Weight: 1.2 lbs / 1.8 lbs

There are also some significant differences in construction:

  • The Snap-on features a rocker-switch-style trigger to engage forward or reverse while the PS-20 requires you to engage a separate switch.  Of course, this means that the Snap-on is a single-speed driver while the PS-20 offers trigger-controlled variable speed. 
  • The Snap-on is a bit smaller than the PS-20 — though not much — and might fit in some areas where the PS-20 wouldn’t.
  • Snap-on claims that their model “can drive 35 #10 screws per charge” — far less than the PS-20’s 80+ 3″ wood screws. 
  • The Snap-on’s batteries require a 55-minute charge while the PS-20 recharges in 30 minutes. 

The verdict: 

The PS-20 wipes the floor with the Snap-on.

For me, the lack of variable speed alone puts the PS-20 in a different class, but I can’t see why anyone would be willing to give up (a very significant) 20 in-lbs of torque, 25 minutes of charge time, and a ton of useful runtime as well just for the Snap-on name — even taking into account the fact that you can make Snap-on warranty exchanges right at the truck.

Of course, you might have a different opinion, and if you do, feel free to share it in comments.

7.2V Cordless Screwdriver [Snap-on]
PS-20 10.8 Litheon Pocket Driver [Bosch]
Street Pricing [Froogle]
Via Amazon [What’s this?]


23 Responses to Snap-on’s New 7.2V Screwdriver Vs. Bosch’s PS-20

  1. l_bilyk says:

    I agree.. the bosch looks like a clear winner
    Mayvbe snap-on should stick to what they do best

  2. Chris S. says:

    The snap on one looks like a toy. The PS10-2 I-Driver kicks its ass even more, however weights a full 1 pound more than the snapon (2.2 vs 1.2) but you gain the rotating head with 5 positions between 0 and 90 degrees.

  3. Steve Thompson says:

    I get the impression that Snap-On is just throwing this out as an entry-level into their power tool line. Sort of like how All-Clad oten offers a $15 8″ frypan that is a steal, but what you really need is their 10″ or 12″ pan at 5 times the price. That ad caught my eye, but judging from the prices of their full-size drivers listed on the bottom of the ad – it doesn’t even seem in the same league.

    I get the feeling Snap-On is trying to expand their market with some lower-priced offerings, like their Blue-Point tool line, but thats’ just speculation.

  4. Michael W. says:

    I guess the best clue of what the Snap-on is supposed to be is it’s name.

    The Bosch is much more than a screwdriver. It won’t drive too many screws into white oak, but I bring it with me to all my jobs. For most of the work I do with a drill/driver it more than fits the bill. Especially when I’m loaded down with other tools it’s nice to be able stick the Bosch in a pouch and go.

    I think that the audiences are totally different. I’m a woodworker. Bosch is a familiar and trusted name to woodworkers. Snap-on makes tools for mechanics.

    And lastly $130 is a lot of dough for a non-variable speed anything, no matter how well it’s made.

  5. Harry says:

    I have the Snap on model and use it daily. It’s small, well balanced, fast, and great for removing automotive trim components. Although it may be getting some more press lately, I’ve had mine for about a year, I didn’t think it was that new. I paid $100 for it from my dealer. The batteries hold a charge for what seems like a long time and they do not take 55 minutes to recharge, 30 minutes max. The Bosch appears to be a better tool on paper and offers alot. However, Snap on has done a great job providing a small framed and lightweight cordless screwdriver. Before I got the Snap on, I used a full size Makita cordless drill. The Snap on model fits into the cramped under dash spaces with ease. The Bosch has more torque but, I don’t need alot of muscle running screws back into delicate plastic and thin metal. The Snap on driver is only one tool in a mechanics arsenal for fixing cars. I reach for it first when it’s time to take a dash apart or do other trim work.

  6. Crispy says:

    That is the same thing I use the Bosch for, car audio dash and trim disassembly. There are times when the Bosch almost doesn’t have the torque to break stuff loose, the electronic clutch is a godsend for not stripping stuff out, and the light saves my ass a lot, although I do long for the “ring of light” style light on the Impactor.

    My Bosch has all the same pro’s of the Snap-On too, long run time, holds the charge for forever, and quick 30 minute recharge. Using the trigger to spin a screw super slow is a life saver at times when I can’t get something to thread. But sometimes the tool a bit too long but I have an angle driver I can slip into the chuck. Being able to change the driver out at a truck is nice though, I would have to talk to Bosch before I could get mine exchanged.

    If I had to choose between the two I would go with the Bosch again. But I biased because I got it first and I’m just hearing about the Snap-On, I haven’t tried it out in person. But the Bosch does have some features that the Snap-On doesn’t that would make it hard for me to get go with the Snap-On.

  7. DavidtheDuke says:

    I was lended the Snap-On cordless for a week from my dealer. I didn’t really need it (at least since I have a Blue-Point mini-1/4 air ratchet) that works just fine. If I hadn’t gotten that I might have got this instead. Thing is what I found suprising is, at least the charger, is made in China, yet bares Snap-On’s name. I wonder if those at the Snap-On plant are a little worried about their jobs. Maybe the drill itself is USA, I dunno.

  8. Brau says:

    My deal breaker turn-off is the rocker switch on the Snap-On. I have one cordless with this feature and do not like it at all. I much prefer a separate switch like the Bosch has.

  9. Pencilneck says:

    I have the Snap On tool and use it only for interior work on VWs. The battery seems to last for ever and it does have a good amount of torque. The rocker switch really isn’t a problem (or at least for me). I also have a Mac version that I got a few years back but the batteries are built into it, so when they go dead you can’t just swap out the batteries like can with the Snap On version.

    The only MAJOR flaw of the Snap On tool is the lack of a adjustable clutch!!!! Pure stupid stupid stupid. Aside from that “design flaw”, the Snap On driver is pretty solid.

  10. Tim says:

    i work for snapon tools….seeing where that guy said it was made in china, that is a incorrect statement. It is ASSEMBLED in China, all the parts are made here in the USA. If it is not made here in the USA it would be a blue point brand. I have used both bosch and snapon products. they are nice and def have different features, my one concern with the 561 was no variable speeds…i of course own a 561 and i actually bought 3, one for the basement, upstairs, and one in the truck or my 4 wheeler. Its a great tool and SnapOn stands behind there stuff more than Bosch. Snapon does SELL Bosch tools through the RWD line. Bosch makes some good stuff, but Did most of you know, that Black and Decker, Bosch and Makita are all made by the same people??? So think about what you are saying when you compare future tools….they could be the same, with a different cover and cost more…

  11. Jimbo says:

    So you’re telling me you make the parts in the USA, ship them to China to be put together, then ship the completed product back to the USA? What a wasteful process. And then the best price that can put on a weaker, non-variable speed product is $130?

  12. j.butler says:

    I am a Snap-on tool franchise owner. The cts561 has been a great tool. The tool was designed by Souix tools ( Owned by Snap-on ) and made over-seas. This tool has been in such high demand that we were having to wait 2 months for back orders to fill. I have sold 39 units on my route and have had zero failures or complaints. If a customer did have a failure he would have his problem resolved immediately by a dealer. Not a person on the phone at Black & Decker, I mean Dewalt, ooopps Bosch.

  13. Dustin says:

    I have the bosch and got rid of the snap-on. I broke the snap-on at least twice a month. the bosch has never gave me a problem. it is so much more powerfull, faster charging, you actually have control over the speed and easier to use. i would highly recomend the bosch.

  14. Jesse Lyons says:

    I wonder how this would compare to the Metabo Power grip II since the metabo has the same torque like the bosch and smaller then the snap on.

  15. Justin says:

    That the old model in the snap-on bite screwdriver the new model blows the bosch out of the water funny thing it almost looks the same

  16. Nunya says:

    I own both of these, unfortunately I purchased the Bosch based on recommendations from this worthless article. Seems that NOBODY on here owns both, and NOBODY on here has spent more than a “reviews” amount of time using either, if they had they would know the Bosch is something that belongs in a little old ladies junk drawer and brought out once or twice a year to hang a pic frame. After spending less than a week with the overweight over sized Bosch piece of junk I quickly snagged up a Snap On from the nearest truck. I have to wonder why NOBODY has pointed out the Snap On unit has a battery twice the size as the Bosch??? I use the Snap On daily, and the only disappointment is lack of variable speed, but its a small price to pay for a tool that works well. This little tool has become so valuable to me, after losing the first one I had my Snap On man bring me a 2nd unit the day after I noticed it was gone. Readers should also be aware the photo of the Snap On unit above is the “old” style. The newer units include a clutch, although you can still get the old unit too. I paid $85 for the old unit and $135 for the new, my Snap On dealer threw in a flashlight for free when I purchased the second unit.

  17. Carl says:

    I tried to get replacement parts for snapon grinder to find out from snapon tech that black and Decker parts are the same. For snap on person to bad mouth brands that are made by same company he needs to research where snapon power tools are made.

  18. Jim says:

    They are not made by black and decker….idiot

  19. sparky says:

    Comparing these two formidable products to one another in a competition is simply not proper, here is why;

    Snap-On 7.2 Volts using NiCad Cells
    Bosch 10.8 Volts using Lithium Technology

    Snap-On unit is light weight unit and contains a smaller motor.

    Bosch unit is heavier unit with a more robust and larger motor.

    The Snap-On model compared here has no clutch feature.
    (NB. There is a snap-on model with the clutch feature.)

    Bosch unit has a clutch feature.

    So, considering the above points I have mentioned, in my opinion this comparison obviously puts the BOSCH unit in a clear, no contest, unfair advantage win over the Snap-On.

    If I was commissioned to compare two pieces of equipment, I would certainly make sure they are on the same playing field, and then apply their features and performance in a fair competition.

    What do you think?

    Was this tool comparison fair or unfair?

    I welcome your comments.

  20. Jeremy says:

    how about you guys check out the new snap-on cts561cl way better than any p.o.s. bosch

  21. Rod says:

    I had my snap on set since 2008 nearly 10 years! i use almost every day the batteries still hold charge as they did when i bought and the driver still going strong, i dont see it giving up any time soon. Thats why i chose snap on reliability not specs.

  22. JOSH says:

    I found this thread while in the middle of a deep internet search to try to locate the MOST AMAZING PISTOL GRIP 8v Max impact screwdriver… hands down this little BLACK & DECKER DRILL is the best tool I have owned and I’ve had 3… I broke the first one and I ran with 2 until I lost one and the only one I have left is STILL WORKING GREAT AFTER over 10 years!!!! TEN YEARS AND I flip it around and drop it regularly. I got the triple flip down landing with my finger on the trigger this gun is so bad ass! BLACK AND DECKER, POTRTER CABLE both had one available but they have been discontinued. The battery took at least 10 hours to charge but I bet I charge it monthly and That is just to make sure it’s not going to die and It never dies… you could put together 100 complicated stupid things from ikea or disassemble anything with this baby. Sometimes I even use it to remove the 9/16 bolts from pool pumps. It won’t take off the ones that the 3/8 impact can but this tool is amazing and im sure it would wipe the floor with ANY OTHER POWER TOOL IN ITS CLASS I PROMISE. If you ever come across one buy it and you will be happy! I’d pay 200 for a used one if I could find it! BDSC801 the handle is incredible and it looks like a little gun.

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