Bosch - PS31 12v 3/8" Drill Driver (Rating: 5)

The PS 31 has quickly replaced my Bosch 18v as my everyday drill. I could not have been more surprised by the performance.

Initial Impressions

The case that comes with it is not as robust as the traditional Bosch tool case. It is made from a soft canvas-like material but the construction seems sturdy enough. I would not stack other tool cases on top of this one. On the other hand, the drilll is very tough. It fits well in your hand and the rubberized surfaces are very comfortable. The size is a little deceptive but, it only takes one pull of the trigger to realize this is no kid's toy. It comes with an led light to see what you are drillling and it has an integrated battery gauge.

Specs/Warranty

The drill is rated at 265 in/lbs torque and weighs in at 2.1 lbs. It comes with the Bosch Provantage Program. When you sign up, you get 2 years of free battery replacement and 3 years of repair. It took me about 5 minutes on the phone to register.

Using the drill

To see what it was capable of I chucked it with a 1" spade bit. I drilled the first hole in a pine 2×4. No problems. I then proceeded to drill a hole in a piece of walnut scrap that was a little thicker than the pine. Once again, no problems. After boring the 2 holes, the battery gauge still showed a full 3 bars. In all honesty, if you are going to drill large holes all day long, this is probably not going to be the ideal tool. I would imagine that the battery would start to drain after prolonged use. However, this little beauty can certainly handle occasional heavy-duty tasks.

It has 2 speeds, a progressive trigger and a clutch with 20 settings. I really like the trigger.

Where this drill/driver really shines is in normal, everyday woodworking. It fits into tight spaces and can be carried in your pocket. It is hard to explain just how easy it is to use. This tool feels like an extension of your hand. I have owned three 18v drills and always believed that bigger is better. The ps31 has changed my way of thinking. The power ratings on this tool are comparable to the ratings on the 14.4V
nicad drills still out there. The weight is about half that of the 14.4 nicads.

It comes with 2 batteries. The batteries charge in less than 30 minutes.

Summary

This drill may not completely replace your need for an 18v or corded drill. But, for a woodworker, it should handle all of your daily drilling and driving tasks and the occasional holesaw or spade-bit chore. It will also go a lot of places that an 18v or corded drill cannot. The best part is that due to the light weight, your arms will thank you at the end of the day.

Bottom Line

Don't be scared by the small size. This thing packs a punch and is very easy to use. You will be pleasantly surprised.