A Very Nice Surprise

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Review by USCJeff posted 08-27-2008 06:03 AM 2935 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A Very Nice Surprise No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I recently got one of the PS40-2 Impactors as a freebie from a WoodSmith Tip they picked up of mine. I felt I owed it to Bosch (and August Home Publishing) to let my fellow jocks here about the product. I just got it three days ago so I’ll preface all by saying that I obviously am speaking from first and very limited impressions. This is the first impact driver I’ve used. I’ve picked it up at Lowe’s a dozen times and thought it was very small and possibly very convenient as a result. This weighs in at just over 2 lbs. My 14V Fein drill is quite a bit more and lets you know it when working overhead. I went straight to a tough test for a first attempt. I grabbed a ragged 4” lag bolt with a partially stripped head and a scrap 2X6 board. With no predrill it drove it slowly but never faltered. I later learned that the lower RPM’s are paramount for the higher torque. That seemed counter-intuitive at first, but makes sense once I thought it through. The impact mode kicked in almost instantly and seemed to get to full torque in about 5 seconds by the feel of it. The negative was the noise. No idea how loud it was going to be. If used constantly, protection would be essential as it is in another category of loud compared to normal drivers. That alone is why I went 4 out of 5 stars. I haven’t used other impactors, but I would think the noise could be reduced somehow. That might sacrifice weight and size, I suppose. Just can’t say for sure. A standard 3” brass screw into the same 2X6 went very smoothly. The impact mode kicked in quickly as I didn’t predrill. I was able to use the variable trigger to ease to a stop. I then didn’t ease into it and another screw would allow me to burrow through the entire board if I didn’t stop. I imagine the head would simple break in many cases if not careful. I then tried out how it would work for a cabinet job. I tried to get to the various screws in already built shop cabinets and the small size allowed for simple access. Can’t comment on batteries just yet. The charger reflected full charge in under 30 minutes as indicated, but I can’t say that it really is fully charged or how long that’ll buy you in usage. It looks like the 10.8V is not in production as the 12V seems to have replaced it. I imagine that’s why WoodSmith/Shopnotes have picked them up as their Top Tip freebie.

I would love someone to let me know how this model stands up against rivals. Haven’t used any of them so some perspective would be great.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

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1065 posts in 4915 days

10 comments so far

View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 4721 days

#1 posted 08-27-2008 12:10 PM

Great review, Jeff. My old Makita is dying and the batteries are to expensive now anyway, so I’ve been eying this drill/driver. Thanks

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4614 days

#2 posted 08-27-2008 04:16 PM

nice review! i have a friend who had this drill and he loves it. it has a good amount or power put is small and lightweight!

View Emeralds's profile


143 posts in 4409 days

#3 posted 08-28-2008 03:13 AM

I’ve got the non-impact version and it’s a truely great little gadget, lightweight, very powerful and I could drive screws all day on only one of the two batteries. Fortunately this version isn’t noisy at all but Im sure that for those that need the extra umph that the impact feature offers, it’s a useful tradeoff.


-- JMP

View Karson's profile


35225 posts in 5247 days

#4 posted 08-28-2008 03:43 AM

I’d like to tell you a story told to me by LumberJock Lee Jesberger.

He has a Makita version like you are reviewing. He had it on a job site and one of the other workers was saying he’d never have one of those things. Lee showed him that he had a light on the front.

A couple of hours later the worker was back and wanted to borrow it. He was putting screws under a cabinet and he thought the light would be perfect. Lee told him that old piece of junk you want to borrow.

That night the borrower stopped off and bought his own. They are great, I have the Ryobi Lithium and the light on the Impact tool is great. If you are looking look for the tool look for the ones that have a light, it helps in dark places.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 4915 days

#5 posted 08-29-2008 07:03 PM

The light hasn’t helped thus far, but I see it’s potential. I imagine those that dabble in mechanics will find it a great feature (laying under an engine, or such). Inside cabinets is the obvious benefit for me, but it wouldn’t be a selling point so much. It’s nice, but I could live without out it. All the same, glad its there. The weight (outside of the impact function) has been the best reward so far. I was hanging a ceiling fan and the normal arm strain never came. 2lbs versus a ballpark 6lbs for my 14V. Karson, I have heard great things about Lee’s Makita as well. I’ve also heard the Ryobi Lithium upgrades are very nice. Still waiting for someone to post a Ryobi Lithium Cordless Router Review. Cordless could be very handy if not top heavy.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View ceejay's profile


2 posts in 4421 days

#6 posted 09-04-2008 06:55 AM

I have the Ryobi impactor (my first impactor) with which I am extremely pleased. I have my old DeWalt, but find myself reaching for the Ryobi for everything. For the money, the Ryobi is hard to beat. I got the impactor batteries and charger for slightly more that what a battery for the DeWalt costs. I’ve got my eye on the new Bosch 12v Lithium. I, too, am constantly picking it up at Lowes and gazing longingly at it. I feel I’ll succumb to the temptation shortly.

-- John, Tennessee

View kevinc's profile


1 post in 4280 days

#7 posted 01-02-2009 09:30 AM

I have this impactor drill also and I love it! The batteries last a long time and it has a ton of power. I even got adaptors for 1/4” and 3/8” sockets and I use it when working on my car- it’s way more convienient than a pneumatic ratchet without a hose to worry about. I also have the Bosch PS-20, which is the non-impact version. They use the same batteries which is nice, and for driving screws in fragile material I prefer the non impact one. It can be hard to see how much your screws are turning with the impact model, and you really don’t get much of a “feel” for how much torque you’re applying with the impact action.

-- Kevin, Okinawa, Japan

View lumberjohn's profile


20 posts in 4273 days

#8 posted 01-08-2009 04:37 AM

I am a impactor freak, sort of…
I also have the Milwaukee version of this little marvel.
I have the Makita and the Ryobi too.
I am very disapointed by the Bosch version.
It began impacting way too soon and don’t seem to have the 800 in/lb advertised.
In a head to head comparison with the 3 others brands, who also advertise about 800 in/lb of torque,
this one seem to have only 600.
The Milwaukee and the Makita are equaly the strongest, but the Makita is smaller in your hand.
The Ryobi seem a tad less strong but hold small bits wonderfully with no adapter.
The 10.8 or 12 volts issue is just marketing. It is 10.8 volts nominal and 12 volts mesured for all theses tools.
Excuse my poor english, I am french speaking.

View cosmicturner's profile


403 posts in 4242 days

#9 posted 02-07-2009 06:07 PM

“The 10.8 or 12 volts issue is just marketing. It is 10.8 volts nominal and 12 volts mesured for all theses tools.
Excuse my poor english, I am french speaking.”

I have read this as well and I think you are correct. Very good you can still save money if you buy the 10.8V it is the same thing for less money.

I can’t make up my mind whch brand to purchase.

-- Cosmicturner

View MrRon's profile


5931 posts in 4090 days

#10 posted 11-27-2011 06:57 PM

I got my impactor about a year ago and now use it for everything I used to use the 18V Dewalt driver/drill for. It is a great tool. I especially appreciate the 1/2 hour charger and two batteries. I got it from CPO as a reconditioned tool. It came with a 1 year warranty and it looked brand new. I saved a lot of money.

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