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Review: Bosch 12V MAX I-Driver

The Bosch 12V MAX I-Drive has been my go-to driver for many years. This driver performs as advertised…if not a little better.

When wanting to accomplish light to medium duty projects: the low rpms, low torque, and 7 position clutch make the driver very easy to control and avoids over-driving a screw.

If you intend to do: extensive framing, major deck work, or hard material drilling, you will have to consider another tool for your budget. Otherwise, the Bosch I-driver can handle just about any other job.

For both homeowners and professionals wanting a very versatile all-in-one tool, this driver will meet your demands.

Bosch 12V MAX I-Driver Specs:

  • Battery – Lithium Ion
  • Battery Voltage – 12V
  • Chuck Size – 1/4″ in Hex
  • No Load RPM – 0-600
  • Torque (in lbs.) – 80
  • Weight – 2.2lb

The Bosch 12V MAX I-Driver has a lot to like:

I use this I-Driver for many automotive and home projects. From removing fasteners of a cars belly pan to change oil, to hanging a door, and everything in-between. The uses are endless!

  • Very versatile.
  • Lightweight (2.2lbs).
  • Compact – 11.5″ with head positioned inline with body. Head is only 3-5/8″ wide when positioned at 90-degree.
  • 90-Degree articulating head – rotates and locks into five positions for increased versatility.
  • Low torque, rpms, and slow clutch engagement = very controlled power.
  • Solid battery life
  • Reliable – For personal home use, this drill should hopefully last you many years, as it has for me.
  • Economical when considering all the uses.
  • 1/4″ quick change hex locking chuck that can be used for driver bits and hex based drill bits.
TOOL TIP: Use drill bit adapters (Snappy or Insty Bit) to convert your existing smooth shank drill bits.
Bosch 12V MAX I-Driver many uses

What isn’t so great about the Bosch 12V MAX I-Driver:

  • Low torque, rpms, and slow clutch engagement – Not the tool for heavier duty projects that require large hardware to be used, or frequent drilling.
  • The metal wire storage hanger tends to flop around and get in the way. It can easily be removed if not needed.
  • The rotating chuck / head has some play in it. This is a non issue for the most part, but if fitting a 1/4″ hex base drill chuck, the loose tolerances may make precise drilling challenging.

My experience with the Bosch 12V MAX I-Driver…

Tests performed on dry pine found that the Bosch PS210-2A can handle the following on a full battery charge without the tool laboring and having the clutch kick out.

**Dry-soft lumber is key to the capabilities listed. Wet wood or hardwood of any kind highlights the low torque (80 in. lbs.) immediately, and will have you looking for a more powerful driver.

  • Bosch states their I-Driver “drives 100 3 In. screws per battery charge”. When using common #10 – 3″ long framing screws, we found this statement to be true enough. Results will vary based on overall life of battery and materials used.
  • Need to drill a few holes? Using a 1/4″ wood bit; drilling several dozen 3″ deep holes in dry pine lumber is easily achievable. Smaller diameter drill bits will allow even more use per battery charge.
  • Hit a knot in the wood and the I-Driver will be stopped dead in it’s tracks when driving #10 framing screws.
  • Even a small 3/8″ spade bit will quickly be halted. You’re limited to 1/4″ and smaller drill bits.

The above tests were done using the most extreme uses for a drill driver of this type. There are dozens of much lighter duty projects where the I-Driver shines regularly, and all those many light-duty projects are what this tool should be considered for.

As I mentioned in my opening statement, this is “my go-to driver”, but sitting in the background is a Bosch HD21-2 for the heavy-duty work. Depending on your needs, you may have to consider 2 or more drill/drivers as well.

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