Bosch PS41BN 12V Review
Compare to Similar Products
Bosch PS41BN 12V
|Price||$90 List||$110 List||$120 List||$120 List|
$88.99 at Amazon
$81.05 at Amazon
|Bottom Line||The PS41 can handle light-duty projects with ease but lacks the power for big jobs||An exceptionally fast and powerful tool that is slightly held back by an average battery||The M18 has plenty of torque and an industrial-grade feel but couldn't quite clinch one of the top spots||When it comes to 12-volt impact drivers, it's hard to beat the performance of this model||We found the ATOMIC to be a fairly uninspiring impact with a lack of noteworthy results in our tests|
|Rating Categories||Bosch PS41BN 12V||Ryobi P238||Milwaukee M18 2850-20||Milwaukee M12 Fuel...||DeWalt DCF809B Atomic|
|Specs||Bosch PS41BN 12V||Ryobi P238||Milwaukee M18 2850-20||Milwaukee M12 Fuel...||DeWalt DCF809B Atomic|
|Impact Driver Model #||PS41||P238||2850-20||2553-20||DCF809|
|Average Measured Fastening Torque||147 ft-lb||300 ft-lb||245 ft-lb||143 ft-lb||215 ft-lb|
|Measured Breaking Torque||150 ft-lb||300 ft-lb||300 ft-lb||275 ft-lb||300 ft-lb|
|Measured Length||138 mm||161 mm||130 mm||132 mm||130 mm|
|Average Measured Sound Pressure Level||86 dBa||104 dBa||99 dBa||97 dBa||92 dBa|
|Quick Bit Insert?||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Multiple Fastening Modes?||No||Yes||No||Yes||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The PS41 could be a great option for a homeowner or DIYer who only tackles the occasional renovation project. You could easily stash this impact and its charger in a kitchen or garage drawer, and it generates far less noise than other products, making your neighbors and anyone else you live with much happier.
Unfortunately, the list of flaws we found with the PS41 is slightly longer than the list of attributes we found favorable. It got off to a rough start in our speed tests, taking significantly more time to drive in fasteners than the premium tools. It took this tool an average of 10 seconds to drive in a 3-⅝" ledger screw into stacked sheets of plywood and 8 seconds to set the same screw in stacked 2x12s, which is about twice as long as the fastest tools.
The speed difference became even more pronounced in our lag bolt test. The Bosch takes over a minute to drive in a ½" x 3" screw to its full depth and 24 seconds to remove it. The fastest models among top impact drivers only took a little more than 10 seconds to drive in the screw and half that to remove it.
The PS41 also scored relatively poorly in our torque tests. It just managed to tighten a ¾-10 nut to an average of 147 foot-pounds and took 6 seconds to loosen one of these fasteners tightened to 150 foot-pounds. The top tools easily achieved double this in both tests.
The PS41 is a fairly compact impact, allowing you to reach into tighter areas than the higher voltage tools with its shorter front-to-back distance of 138 mm. It also includes a Phillips and a common bit but has no integrated storage options. This driver also lacks different torque settings, a belt clip, and a quick-insert chuck. This means that you have to manually release the locking collar to both install and remove a hex bit when you only have to do this to remove the bit from the quick-insert models.
This 12-volt tool also has one of the better built-in LED work lights we have seen, thoroughly illuminating the area you are working on. There aren't any inconveniently placed shadows, and you can lightly hold the trigger to turn on the light without starting the chuck.
To rank and score the battery life of each tool, we alternated between setting 14 ledger screws and driving one large lag bolt in and out until a fully charged battery ran out. The PS41 only made it through 1.75 cycles of this before dying, with the best tools finishing over five sets.
The Bosch PS41 delivered by far its most notable performance in our noise assessment. This tool only generated an average of 86 decibels at the ear height of the operator while in use, measured by our SPL meter. This is considerably less than the 100+ decibels of the loudest models. However, you should always check the manufacturer's recommendation regarding the recommended hearing protection to wear while using an impact driver — even with the relatively lower noise levels of the Bosch.
Should You Buy the Bosch PS41BN?
This impact driver is more compact and quieter than many of its competitors, but it is far from our favorite when it comes to driving fasteners. We also weren't super impressed with its battery life. It's a good option if you care about making the least noise possible, but it still makes more than enough sound to be disruptive. Overall, we generally would recommend most people check out some other products over this one.
What Other Impact Drivers Should You Consider?
We don't think the Bosch PS41 is a particularly good bargain option since it didn't score all that well, and there are a handful of other impacts that we thought performed better and cost a bit less. Although it is a bit more expensive, the Milwaukee M12 Fuel is our choice for a professional-grade, 12-volt driver. The Ryobi P238 strikes a good balance between this and the PS41. It offers the power of an 18-volt battery at a price point that falls slightly below the M12 Fuel.