Milwaukee 4201-22 vs. Bosch PS20-2 – Part 2

 

In a recent post we briefly compared the Bosch 10.8V Pocket Driver PS20-2 and the Milwaukee 12V Micro Driver 2401-22. At the time we had not receive the Milwaukee 12V tools so it was more of an on paper comparison. Now that a few months have past and we have some customers using them it is time to take another look.

I would like to start off by saying both these tool lines have been incredibly successful and I really feel these are professional tools that just happen to be very small. The Sub Compact Tool category has a very legitimate place in many professional tool boxes. An estimated 80-90% of our customers are professionals who come to us for their tools and repairs and we wouldn’t sell any products we don’t stand behind.

The Bosch PS20-2 claims to be able to drive 100 3” screws on a single charge and I though a good comparison would be to see if that was true and then see if the Milwaukee 2401-22 could match it… then though about screwing in 200 3” screws and decided against that particular comparison.  

On paper it looks like the Milwaukee Micro Driver has a serious advantage over the Bosch Pocket Driver.

Milwaukee 2401-22 Micro Driver   –   12 Volt   –   120 ft lb

Bosch PS20-2 Pocket Driver   –   10.8 Volt   –   80 ft lb

Some interesting information on the PS20-2, the rating is actually on their “average power” not the “initial power”. The claim from Bosch is that their starting power rating is actually above 12 Volts and the initial ft lb torque is also higher, presumably around 120 ft lb like the Milwaukee 2401-22. The entire line of 10.8V Bosch tools will actually get a name change to “Bosch 12 Volt Max” at some point in the near future. This explanation leads me to believe their will be no real changes to the components only the name will change to reflect their “Max” power rating. This information is from Bosch so you should consider the source; Milwaukee probably has a completely different view on comparing the two products.

If this is the case essentially these two tools are even more similar than they appear. When you look at the batteries they look almost identical in shape and size. It is not hard to believe the power output would be very similar as well. The chargers and cases are also very similar as you can see in the picture below. I did test these both out on a few screws and from that basic test I couldn’t feel any real difference in power although I wasn’t exactly testing the limits.

Currently Bosch has 4 tools in their line-up while Milwaukee only has the 1 but both companies are planning to have 20-30 tools out for each line in the next year or two. It will be very interesting to see what new tools we will see in the sub compact tool market. Milwaukee for instance has plans to create a product that will compete with the Ridgid Seesnake Micro 25643 so we are going to see all sorts of new tools outside traditional saws, drivers and drills. This makes the comparison much more difficult because you always want to choose the line that will have the most versatility using the same battery system.

Bosch does currently have a special for a free ESPN fleece with all 10.8v purchases until April 11th if that might effect your buying decision.

So who wins the ultra compact driver comparison between the Bosch vs. Milwaukee? I personally would have to give a slight advantage to the Milwaukee 2401-22 and this is under the assumption the power output and torque are more similar than the numbers say, which I can believe. The Milwaukee had a few features over the Bosch that makes it stand out. First, the quick bit-loading 1/4” hex chuck is really nice and easier to use than the Bosch. Second the Milwaukee has a battery gauge, where the Bosch doesn’t. Finally the Milwaukee 12V Driver just looks cooler. Now the Milwaukee did come out 6 months later so they had time to really make more improvements. Both tools have build in light, weight about the same and feel very similar in hand. What would really make the decision much easier is if I knew what 20+ products were going to be added to each company’s line up. These are just the drivers; I can’t wait to see how competitive this gets in the next year.

If you have any opinions about either of these tools or any other sub compact tools feel free to post a comment.  

 

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Comments

  1. Ptown says:

    can’t put it up against the impactor though

  2. acer says:

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  3. Doug says:

    I have used the Bosch daily for over a year now doing electrical work and wouldn’t want to be without it. Its lite weight and size allow it to sit nicely in my toolbelt ready to go. Only problem is when it gets cold out, the driver will not work at all. The battery will act as if completely dead. With winter coming on, I am trying to find out if I need to buy a Milwaukee driver for cold weather use….if the Milwaukee suffers from the same problem….or if Bosch has overcome the problem. I know I have no problems with my 18V Milwaukee Lithium batteries when it is cold out.

  4. Jay A says:

    I haven’t tested these two in the cold I can tell you what I’ve heard from people working in the cold is that the old NiCd tools worked better in the cold than the Lithium. The new Milwaukee & Bosch lithiums are supposed to both be built to work in cold weather but haven’t had a chance to test them yet. Great idea for a post in the winter, I will leave them all in the car and see which ones work. Until then sorry I don’t have better answers for you.

  5. KB says:

    Haven’t tried the Bosch, so can’t compare, but I own the Milwaukee 2401-22 and have been extremely impressed. I recently finished framing for a finished basement and in the process drove about 1500 3″ #8 screws into SPF. It had plenty of torque for the job and the second battery was always fully charged in time to swap. Best part is the light weight and compact size, a real asset working in overhead or in tight spaces. Plus it withstood being dropped 6′ or more on to concrete more times than I care to admit. Would buy this tool again in a heartbeat.

  6. Al says:

    I have had the Milwaukee for 3 weeks using it daily for 3 weeks. I love it. The only problem is that all of a sudden the brake quite working. I think the trigger might also be going out. I just bought the Bosch today and will be trying it out. I don’t know if I just got a lemon or if this is a problem with the Milwaukee.

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