Product Type: Bosch Cordless Screwdriver
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Bosch PSB 12 VE-2 Cordless Hammer Drill
Member Name: Nibelung
Bosch PSB 12 VE-2 Cordless Hammer Drill
Date: 14/02/01, updated on 14/02/01 (1360 review reads)
Advantages: Good power for a cordless drill
Disadvantages: NiCad batteries need to be used frequently
Cordless tools are both beguiling and disappointing at the same time. On the one hand, there’s the prospect of a labour-saving gadget that doesn’t need a mains lead trailing behind it to get tripped over, or worse still, cut in half!
Then there is the other side. A lot of cordless tools sit there for months on end with their batteries trickle-charging constantly, awaiting the day that they will be pressed into action.
This is precisely the job that Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) rechargeable batteries were NOT made for.
That is why many, but not all cordless power tools seem to be past their best on even their first outing.
NiCads thrive on a cycle of heavy use to the point of exhaustion, followed by a complete recharge. My Black and Decker Emergency Torch is a good case in point. Taken good care of, and discharged/recharged frequently it’s fine. Leave it unused until the actual emergency arrives and it’s useless, it’s limp orange glow being just sufficient to help find the candles and matches!
Well, that’s a long preamble to an opinion on a cordless drill but I hope it helps set the scene on cordless tools in general, and the fact that you should only buy them if they are going to get regular use. (Unless they start putting better battery-types in them, that is.)
My Swiss-made Bosch 12v Cordless drill comes as part of a pair with a smaller tool intended mainly as a screwdriver (although it drills wood OK), in a smart carrying case. They are both “drill-shaped”, i.e. with a pistol-grip and trigger.
Screwfix are currently asking £189 for the set, but I bought mine a few months ago in Hereford for £149.
Even then, I admit that’s still quite a lot to pay, compared to other offerings from B&D, Red Devil etc.
So what do you get for your money?
A 12v Drill with hammer action, reverse, a 2-speed gearbox for some real low-speed screw d
riving power, electronic speed control in the trigger, variable torque settings when used as a screwdriver, keyless chuck with lock for easy fitting/removal of bits (just twist the rubber collar around the chuck) and a clip-on torch for those niggly little dark places requiring the mains switched off!
A 12v Screwdriver is of less “beefy” construction, but it hardly disgraces itself on this score. Sure, there’s no 2-speed gearbox, but speed control in the trigger is still there. There are 5 torque settings for screw driving but you can turn it off for drilling. The reverse is easily selected with one hand.
THREE batteries, admittedly still NiCads, and a rapid (1-hour) charger. Both tools take the same size of battery – very handy.
Assorted driver bits. I added my own set from Screwfix, which are surfaced in diamond-grit which gives them some “bite” to help stop them popping out of cross-point screws
So how useful is this package?
Well, the drill is powerful enough for most plaster/brick holes for all the sizes you’re likely to need for run-of-the-mill household jobs, shelving etc. This makes it very useful for use right at the top of ladders where the mains won’t stretch without tying an extension cable to the ladder. I recently built a wooden decking patio (with optional “Dimmock”, or water feature as they used to be called). This involved the drilling for, and screwing of, 450 x 2.5” size 10 screws.
The battery charge lasted long enough to do half, by which time it was flagging, but then so was I!
A rapid charge of current and calories got us both back in action to do the rest.
You’ve still got the smaller tool for screw driving if you want to, or you could use its battery as a spare to keep the momentum going. Whichever way, I wouldn’t have attempted this job with anything less. The torque setting is invaluable to
stop you damaging your wrist – a very real problem with jobs of this magnitude and repetition because of the “kick” from the drill as the screw reaches the end of its travel.
Expensive if you only want to put screws in, but almost as good as some mains-powered hammer-action drills I could name. Needs regular use to keep the batteries at their best. It would come into its own in a location where you are forced to work with the mains off, as long as you charge all three batteries in advance, that is.
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