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.