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Pocket Rocket

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Review by Ben posted 04-14-2011 06:34 AM 2979 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Pocket Rocket Pocket Rocket No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

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.




View Ben 's profile

Ben

158 posts in 2112 days



15 comments so far

View Greg's profile

Greg

284 posts in 1621 days


#1 posted 04-14-2011 07:17 AM

Hi Ben, I agree with just about everything you said on the plus side. I just bought this tool a few weeks ago becuase my 14.4v was too heavy to drill all the 1/8” holes around the hoops of my custom fly fishing nets. This thing is so light that it does the job perfectly. I looked at other brands, but I do love my bosch tools. They build them for the serious woodworker.

The only downs for me are the apparent sluggish response time on the trigger. It may be an electronic “slow start” thing, and it doesn’t affect the power, but I guess I am just used to the larger drills.

Love the battery LED indicator, and the LED work light, the clutch, and the 2 gears/speeds. This thing has all the functions of a drill twice its size. I find myself grabbing it for all of my workbench needs. LOve it.

-- You don't have a custom made heirloom fly fishing Net? http://www.Sierra-Nets.com

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1863 days


#2 posted 04-14-2011 10:27 AM

thank´s for the rewiew
I have an old old 12V with one battery I thought it wuold have died years ago
but now its start to give up and I have never realy thought that bigger is better
since the old 12 V has done the same jobs as the bigger one
and every time I have try´d a bigger ….. I have thought the waight/power ratio didn´t
justyfired to buy a bigger if you just use it for woodworking and occasionaly have to make
holes in walls a 12 V will do well even 8 inchscrews from time to time
so I´m glad this rewiew just came on the right time :-)

take care
Dennis

View Greedo's profile

Greedo

468 posts in 1708 days


#3 posted 04-14-2011 12:34 PM

i have the older 1 speed driver version, i think the new one has more torque.
i do love it, small and light, does 80% of my driver work. i use the bigger heavier 14.4V bosch drill for all the drilling and really big screws.
after now 6 months of almost daily use i do not feel any loss in battery life. it is verry rare that i can discharge a battery in one day. charging it once a week on average, and what’s amazing is that it gives near full power all the time, and then suddenly it slows down a bit and stops when theres no more power.

View Cwj212's profile

Cwj212

8 posts in 1388 days


#4 posted 04-14-2011 01:26 PM

I hav the set that includes an impact driver and a drill. The drill has the quick change style chuck. That requires hex shaft bits and a little sloppy but ok. I use both all the time and love them. The Bosch customer service is top rate. I had 2 batteries die. I called them and a human answers the phone right away! No computer loop. He sent me replacement batteries right away, no questions. I got them in 2 days. I’m sold on Bosch tools for that reason.

-- Craig

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1835 posts in 2420 days


#5 posted 04-14-2011 02:21 PM

Nice review!! Thanks Ben!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View Deglazed's profile

Deglazed

17 posts in 1439 days


#6 posted 04-14-2011 03:58 PM

I also have the older version and have been using it for almost 5 years. Very handy when working overhead. The drill and batteries seem as good as the day I boought them. Best $100 I ever spent.

-- ~tomorrow should see more working and less figuring

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3685 posts in 1912 days


#7 posted 04-14-2011 04:54 PM

Nice to hear about the customer service. I am slowly gaining a stable of small Bosch tools, and none of them has needed any service. But I am sure that will change some day.

I have the 18v set, and I was amazed by the power, and the convenience. I need to buy some tools for my vacation house in La Conner, and I think I will pick up this 12v set first, since my needs will be more DIY than woodworking there. Although I plan to have enough of a shop that I can do certain types of hobby woodworking as well.

Thanks for the review, just what I neede to know.

Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View PhineasWhipsnake's profile

PhineasWhipsnake

77 posts in 1796 days


#8 posted 04-14-2011 06:44 PM

I started with the 10.8v driver, and fell in love. Now have the whole stable, including the oscillating tool. Your review is right on – these new tools are quite an improvement over previous technology. The other brands are finally catching up, but I think Bosch 12v line is still the best of them.

-- Gene T

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3556 posts in 1561 days


#9 posted 04-14-2011 10:18 PM

Thanks, much appreciated review. I guess it’s down to this or the Dewalt 12 volt LI-Ion.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Jay Neale III's profile

Jay Neale III

171 posts in 2082 days


#10 posted 04-15-2011 02:06 AM

Very helpful. I’m looking for a new drill-driver.

-- Read my amazingly insightful blog at http://jn3Woodworks.blogspot.com/

View Dave's profile

Dave

11205 posts in 1588 days


#11 posted 04-17-2011 04:00 AM

I have been welding a big ole Milwaukee and it gets heavy on the wrist. I want small and power. This one reaches those goals. Thanks for the review.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View tt1106's profile

tt1106

112 posts in 1816 days


#12 posted 04-20-2011 05:34 PM

Thanks for the review. I ended up with the Ridgid 12 Volt impact and drill and as you stated, they have quickly replaced my 18 volt drill/driver.

-- -Todd

View BentheViking's profile

BentheViking

1755 posts in 1312 days


#13 posted 05-26-2011 03:37 AM

Love this thing…use it all day every day

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3685 posts in 1912 days


#14 posted 05-26-2011 04:30 PM

After reading this I bought this drill and two drivers, all 12V Bosch for La Conner, and used them quite a bit while I was there. Thanks for the review, they are winners.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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