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As it has for the past four years, the end of this year warrants a few posts about the hardware that emerge as tough and rugged gear. Some publications (and apparently readers) are content with the quick mention of a tool and a feature list. We actually use the tools we write about — new, old, or well-used, they all get a workout just the same. A few, like the Bosch ps21, stand out as remarkably handy to have in the shop.

Two of these ps21s are running around the Toolmonger testing area. The first is in the auto toolchest and serves with distinction by getting its squat, little five-inch frame wedged in places other drills simply wouldn’t fit. The other ps21 lives in the woodshop. It has a drawer it belongs in, but winds up sitting next to the miter saw most of the time for frequent driving duty.

The amount of shop-floor drops and caked-in sawdust the driver has managed to absorb is nothing short of astonishing. Earlier this summer, while fixing a chimney cap on the roof after a bad storm, I tossed the ps21 down to my brother (a maneuver I should really stop attempting) before I came down the ladder. He missed the catch — as always — and it bounced and skidded down the driveway. The ps21 sustained no injuries and still runs like a champ.

Pros often need an 18v system for heavy applications, but for home or woodshop duty the 12v, two-speed ps21 does everything you might need short of an impact driver. The clutch doesn’t slip during heavy load, and the torque (rated at 265 in/lbs max) drives home fasteners that a few years ago you’d have needed a corded driver for. It’s just solid.

Our attention span is not limited to the latest models and the hottest new features. Just like anyone else who picks up tools on a regular basis, our viewpoint and knowledge change with experience. The ps21 has been in the shop for over a year now and remains a trusted, hardworking piece of gear. That is, and will continue to be, worth mentioning.

ps21-2a [Bosch]
Street Pricing
[Google Products]
Via Amazon


11 Responses to TM’s Fav’s 2011: Bosch ps21

  1. Matt says:

    FYI, Lowe’s is going to have this in a kit with the impact driver on Black Friday for $129. Got mine last year on the same deal.

  2. Fong says:

    I still have two PS-20’s (along with one PS-40) from 4 years ago that won’t die. Probably my single most used tool.

  3. Bob says:

    I bought a PS20 a while back and use the cr@p out of it. Recently bought the PS21 and impact driver set. Made a nice stand for all three but the PS20 & PS21 always seem to be in use somewhere.

    BTW, I found it handy to hot glue a disc magnet on each to hold a few screws/bits

  4. browndog77 says:

    I have a PS 20 that came as a freeby w/ the Multi-tool I purchased. I went w/ the Bosch because I already had an I-driver and the batteries are the same. While I am not really thrilled w/ the Multi, the PS 20 has been a great little driver. I since purchased a PS 31 so I could use bits other than 1/4″ hex, and those 2 tools make cabinet installations a breeze. Tons of power related to the tool weight, and good battery life. I still use the I-driver for more intricate jobs, though. Setting it for straight-line use makes it easy to access tight spots.

  5. DustyPockets says:

    Good choice, I cannot believe how many times a day I use mine. One in the truck and one in the shop. I am a big fan of the 12v line, I think I have them all. Just picked up the little reciprocating saw, I wish they offered more in this line mostly because I have maybe? 15 batteries…….

    Oh the flashlight is great also!

  6. whataboutj says:

    Lowes also has the PS20 & oscillating tool in a kit on sale for $129.99 and don’t forget to use the 10% off coupon that is in the USPS movers kits

  7. Keith J. says:

    Ahh, so it’s a cordless power screwdriver! I had a hunch that it was, but didn’t see that specifically mentioned in the original posting. To those of us not intimately familiar with Bosch model numbers, it was a bit of a mystery until I went to the Bosch web site. Thanks for the recommendation though; I’ll have to check into one of these units, as they’re certainly getting positive reviews here and elsewhere…keep up the good work gents!

  8. Michael says:

    I have a 12volt Dewalt, a Bosch ps20 and ps40. I find that the one I reach for most is the ps40. It is small, light weight,and the battery holds a charge when not used for awhile and seems to last forever while using it. Not to mention that it recharges in 30 minutes–by the time I need to recharge I am generally ready for a break anyway.

    Just saw the combo kit on sale with 2 batteries (LITHIUM) for $129. Pretty much a no brainer. While as a guy I would usually want the biggest, baddest (18Volts) I have found that in this case the Bosch’s work great, without the extra size and weight—oh, and my batteries are the orig 10.8 volt but they work as well as the 12 volts.

  9. rob says:

    I have the ps412a the impact snub nosed impact driver I think the highest torque rating of all the little bosch guns love the thing it lives my pouch I also have the multi tool I use it a drywall saw most of the time and I use it to make nice clean cuts in cabinets

    it is just the thing I needed to save my makita 18v impact from dieing do to over use this gun makes up most of my daily use I only reach for my 18v gun now when I know I will need longer run time or I am working with big screws and lots of them

  10. Mike- says:

    These Bosch pocket drivers continue to amaze me. I have owned the originals since the day they were released to the consumer and since then have added a few more of the 12 volt line along the way. They are truly terrific for the renovations that I do and so very portable. Rock Solid.

    What can I say – Bosch has never let me down!!!

  11. Bob A. says:

    I also bought the combo kit last year at Christmas but I wish they bundled the PS31 drill model with it instead of the PS41 impact. For woodworking when you have the drill with a countersink bit and the driver with an extra long torx bit it makes a killer combo for ripping through a lot of screw assembly.

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