Tool Review: Bosch Pivoting-Head Drill

Tool Review: Bosch Pivoting-Head Drill


When it comes to power tools, bigger is sometimes better, but not when you’re looking to drill a few holes for a project and find that your drill is too large or unwieldy to accomplish the task. This often happens when you need to drill holes inside an enclosure, drawer, cabinet, or other tight quarters.

Right angle drills and drivers can be used in projects where ordinary drills just won’t fit. A pivoting-head drill, such as the Bosch PS11, offers even greater maneuverability.

The 3/8″ chuck of the Bosch PS11 can be pivoted from 90° to a full inline 180°, via a locking push-button, in 22.5° increments. During the several projects where this drill came in handy, I found myself using the 90°, 45°, and 180° positions most.

The PS11 is powered by a 12V lithium ion battery, and can deliver a maximum torque of 101 inch-pounds. A large variable speed trigger adjusts the speed from 0-1300 RPM.

As you can see, the pivoting-head drill is substantially shorter than an ordinary 12V pistol-grip drill/driver. If you still encounter clearance issues, there’s also the option of buying shorter (mechanics-length) drill bits.

While you can slap in a hex bit holder and screwdriver bit to use the PS11 drill as a driver, note that there is no adjustable clutch. Pistol-grip and right angle drill drivers, like the Milwaukee M12 model I previously reviewed, often feature adjustable clutch controls. Without a clutch, there is a greater chance of over-torquing or damaging fasteners with the PS11 drill if you’re not careful.

One feature I especially liked is the LED worklight, which can be turned on even with the forward/reverse switch set to the middle (locked) position. Whether by intent or consequence, the worklight housing also serves as an alignment aid. When pressing both the blue pivoting head and LED housing against a work surface, the chuck and drill bit are brought into perfect parallel alignment, leading to cleaner and more precise holes.

While the PS11 pivoting-head drill is not as well suited for general purpose use as an ordinary pistol-grip drill, it definitely has its moments. It can drill holes in wood, plastic, aluminum, and sheet metal with relative ease, but its torque limits become clear when attempting to drill larger or deeper holes.

Overall, the PS11 pivoting-head drill is a well-built problem solver that performs exceptionally well. It’s priced at ~$100 for the add-on tool and ~$150 for the 2-battery kit. Right-angle drill attachments and chuck adapters are clumsy, but affordable alternatives.

Stuart Deutsch is a tool enthusiast, critic, and collector, and writes his passion at ToolGuyd.

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When I am not testing and reviewing new tools, I am working on robotics, electronics, woodworking, and other types of projects.

I am also interested in microscopy, the physical sciences, and new technologies.

I write about tools and workshop topics at

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