Hands on with the Bosch Pocket Driver

Posted by on August 3, 2006

We recently got to spend a couple of days with the new Bosch Litheon 10.8V tools in the IT office. After playing with them a bit, I’ve got to say I really like them. But don’t just take the easy answer, let me tell you what all I like about the Pocket Driver.

Balance

The balance on the pocket driver is amazing. Regardless what I was doing with it, this tool never felt cumbersome. The small handle seemed like a great fit for not only myself, but for just about everyone that tried it. Of course, that brings me to the next thing I liked…

Size

Being small isn’t everything, but for most of the jobs I do around here it can count for quite a bit. A drill is just too big for most things. For example, assembing a PC doesn’t require the bulk or the power of a cordless drill. Assembing a desk or other office furniture is the same way. Installing equipment into a server rack, driving screws into wood, etc. – small size makes a bigger difference than big power. The size of the pocket driver allowed me to do just about anything I wanted to with minimal inconvenience. As you can see from the picture, it is a fraction of the size of a 12V compact drill, yet boasts a reasonable amount of…

Power

What good is a small tool if it doesn’t have any juice? Well, it’s got plenty for most everyday jobs. Granted, it’s not going to replace a drill for drilling, but 80 in. lbs. of torque really makes for a reasonable amount of power for a driver. Driving most screws doesn’t take the 475 in. lbs. of torque that a 14.4V drill will produce. This isn’t a drill, after all. This is only a driver – as in screwdriver. I thought that the clutch felt pretty good for the jobs I was doing, too.

Price

For around $130 with 2 batteries, a charger and a case, this seems like a pretty good buy. I guess I forgot to mention that 2 batteries should do just fine, as it can drive 100 3″ screws on a charge and each battery charges in 30 minutes. If you’re trying to drive more than 200 screws per hour, I’d suggest something with a cord. Otherwise, this seems like a great value. It’s most certainly on my short list of future tool purchases.

9 Responses to Hands on with the Bosch Pocket Driver

  1. trav

    This a very good, and accurate review.
    Most that I have read have forgotten that this is indeed a “driver”, you know for screws, and as you point out comes with two batteries (i.e. cost complaints). I get tired of lugging out a DRILL/driver just for screws; I really like my Bosch sander,and am inclined to purchase this product.
    Thanks for a job well done. I appreciate it.

  2. Brian Mark

    Trav,

    Thanks for the nice comments. I do my best to call them like I see them, and this isn’t a drill and the price is reasonable with 2 batteries factored in.

    It’s too bad that more of the “Professional” reviewers can’t see tools for what they really are. I’m just a guy working in the industry, not someone that makes his living doing reviews, and I could see that.

    Brian.

  3. KMS Chris

    We have had this in our store for a couple months now also. It is definetly the best tool in its class. Any tech would probably love it.
    A few things that i dont like about is that the feel of the handle bugs me(personal prefence) it doesnt seem to fit just right when i hold it. Its not pointing straight ahead, but rather off center.
    The price point is very competitive for what it is and should just kill the lifespan of its metabo and milwaukee competition.
    But still, for me, something just missing with it.

  4. KMS Chris

    oh yeah, forget to mention that the size comparison is an example of creative advertisment. If you actually lift up the pocket driver so that the armatures (main body of the drill) are side by side the size difference isnt nearly impressive. the biggest difference is that big pod battery sticking out of the bottom of the 12v drill. But that gives of the advantage of having it being able to stand up on it.
    Oh yeah, 100 screws per charge?
    This i doubt, so i will actually do a test right now. Im going to drive 3″ deck screws into pine and see how many i get.

  5. KMS Chris

    ok, im done.

    as it turned out we didnt have any pine or 3″ deck screws like i orginally planned.

    what i did use was 2-1/2″ deck screws and hemlock.

    total number of screws? 89.

    didnt live up to the 100 3″ screws like bosch claimed, but you know what? that is still VERY impressive. that little thing just kept going and going.

  6. KMS Chris

    just finished another tool test. same conditions as above but i used the makita compact lithium ion 14.4v drill, the BDF440.

    same 2-1/2″ screws, same hemlock wood.

    This time a pushed in a whopping 170 screws. i was expecting around 120ish, but wow.

    granted its not an equal comparison being 14.4v 3.0Ah vs a 10.8v 1.5Ah machine, but it was the closest comparison between lithium ion compact drills i could find.

    i new the makita would do better(otherwise it would really suck) but it did far more than i thought.

    so anyway, just food for thought

  7. Brian Mark

    Wow, Chris. You commented a bunch there. I also like the Makita, but the price on this Bosch is awesome. The shorter body actually makes it much more convenient to stick in a pocket, so I feel it still has an advantage there as well.

    89 screws isn’t bad at all. I mostly use my for assembing desks and PC’s, so I don’t really need the 170. If I need more, I grab my 18V drill and go to town.

  8. KMS Chris

    i agree with you also mark. the bosch 10.8v tools definetly has a place in the market.

    though i havent seen it yet, i think the I-Driver would be more my preference because of its very compact swivel head to get into tighter places.

    btw, does Makita USA have any of there 14.4v li-ion tools available yet? i dont see it on there website.

  9. Doug Parris

    I got mine for a host of handiman jobs around the house and maintaining rental properties – after reading these reviews. It came with the holster that I use more than I thought. It has pretty much replaced both my 14.4 and 18 volt drills for most tasks. We installed a house full of blinds – starting without and finishing with the Pocket Driver. What a difference! Climbing a ladder, holding the bracket in one hand and the screw in the other and the drill in my third hand… changing tools or bits from drilling to screwdriving… gets a little old with a tool that’s twice as heavy and, because of its weight when held over your head, looking up while balancing, is much less precise.
    But putting a quick-connect drill bit and the Phillips in the Pocket Driver holster, everything was right there, everything was quicker and less fatiguing – fun, actually. It has plenty of power and speed for pre-drilling and countersinking.
    I put a set of quick-connect drill bits into the case and and the whole rig with charger, bits and two batteries is smaller than my larger drills by themselves. What a joy to carry all that capability onto the jobsite in such a small package.
    I’m in love with this tool. I just wonder if I might need a concealed carry permit.