Metabo Stainless Steel Plate Beveling Tool KFM 16-15F Review
Saving money and being more efficient is how you make money and win big jobs. The Metabo KFM 16-15F may be the tool for you to do just this.
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If you are a fabricator, fitter or welder, you’ll want to look hard at purchasing a Metabo KFM 16-15F stainless steel plate beveling tool. Whether you work with steel or stainless plate, steel or stainless pipe, the Metabo KFM 16-15F does it all. From a small chamfer to a full 45° bevel, up to 5/8” deep (thick). Making a grinder accomplish the same task, with the same quality, is nearly impossible.
Professional Testers – AIS
We put the Metabo stainless steel plate beveling tool in the hands of our fabricating pros at Advanced Industrial Services (AIS) for performance and durability testing. AIS employs several teams of fabricating specialists and welders. This is not just a cookie-cutter welding shop. They supply many theme-parks in Central Florida with custom aluminum, steel and stainless steel products. From handrails, to ornate light poles, and even flame-throwing dragon heads, they can and will do anything with metal.
We first put this tool on location a few months ago, and we covered it in our video review: Metabo Portable Steel Plate Beveler – KFM 16-15F. Check it out for a quick watch.
KFM 16-15F Stainless Steel Plate Beveling Tool Features
We just mentioned that the Metabo KFM 16-15F will bevel steel or stainless steel at 45°, up to 5/8” thick. How does a handheld tools do such a task? To start, the Metabo stainless steel plate beveling tool has a 14.2 amp motor and an all metal gearbox. The cutting head includes three (3) carbide cutting teeth, or inserts.
Cutting Inserts For Steel and Stainless Steel
The carbide inserts for the Metabo KFM 16-15F are indexable as well. By just removing a torx screw for each of the cutting inserts, the user can rotate each insert 90° for a brand-new cutting surface. In addition, Metabo has cutting inserts specific for stainless steel. The stainless steel inserts (623565000) ensure longer life when chamfering and beveling stainless steel.
Using a stainless steel plate beveling tool, rather than a traditional grinder and wheel is no comparison. Even the best grinder (tool) and grinder (person grinding) can’t keep the same angle grind all the way down the plate, the pipe. In addition, even so, it will take much longer. Using the KFM 16-15F, making a 45-degree bevel on 1/4” plate may take less than a minute to run 6 feet. Using a grinder, this same job could take 20 minutes.
Metabo Power and Precision Performance
Pulling the trigger on the Metabo stainless steel plate beveling tool sends power to the cutting head, but not in a brutal way. Soft-start technology gently ramps up the power to the cutting inserts, allowing the user more control.
Overload protection is built in to the Metabo KFM 16-15F as well. If the operator is working a large project, and the tool starts getting hot, it will shut down before burning up. Metabo technology provides the tool intelligence so it constantly measures several critical variables in the hardware and electronics. If the tool shuts down, once it cools off, the Metabo KFM 16-15F will roar to life again. No reset is necessary.
Beveling Depth and Angle Adjustment
No tools are needed to adjust the depth of the cut. The spring-loaded adjustment dial allows the user to lift the dial and turn the desire setting. Detents keep the adjustments to measured adjustments. Markings on the adjustment dial include metric (mm) and imperial (inches), to the 1/64th. This tool-less adjustment adds efficiency, saving time on the job, hence saving the company money.
Included with the KFM 16-15F, Metabo includes an excel spreadsheet for the determining depth and angle of cut. In other words, if you want to make a 45-degree, 5/8” deep bevel on 3/4” stainless plate, you don’t do this in a single pass. The spreadsheet allows the user/superviser to input the material, depth and angle, and it will calculate the number of passes and how many clicks on the dial for each. First pass may be 1/4”, then go 15 clicks and make the 2nd pass, then 10 clicks on the last pass. The spreadsheet helps to provide the best end-result and maximize the life of the cutting inserts.
Adjusting the bevel angel does require the included hex tool (allen key), yet it’s still simple to do. By loosening two allen bolts on the fore and aft (4 total), the user then adjusts the angle as desired. For bevels and chamfers on pipe, Metabo also includes a roller to help guide the KFM 16-15F. Markings on the fence allow the user to quickly install and adjust the roller for the size pipe being beveled.
Savings And ROI For A Metabo KFM 16-15F
Let’s face it, this is not some ordinary power tool that you pick up at the local big-box store. A stainless steel plate beveling tool from Metabo is a sophisticated and powerful industrial power tool. At a price around $2,000, it’s also something that probably won’t be purchased on a whim, from Petty Cash. What type of return on investment does the KFM 16-15F provide?!
Discussing this with AIS, they explained to me that a stainless steel plate beveling tool pays them back in two ways. First, the Metabo KFM 16-15F delivers a better finished-product, allowing their finish work to look better than the competition. Second, less time on the job. The user/welder/fitter spends less time dressing and mating the pipe or plate, so the welding starts sooner. In the end, there is less labor cost for each job where the KFM 16-15F is used. Labor adds up quick, and competition is brutal. “We (AIS) want to be the best at what we do, and make a fair profit doing.”
Using the Metabo KFM 16-15F for the first time ourselves at the Metabo Tool and Safety Media Event was an eye-opening experience. I knew right then, we need to get this into the hands of AIS for their feedback. We are excited to see they are as surprised as we are with the performance and smooth output.
After a couple uses from their experienced welders and fitters, they bring out a beveler from their tooll room that never gets used. The tool looked like a small volkswagon bug with two handles, weighed about that much too. They hate using it, so they never do. Without telling us they had one, they thought the Metabo would fall in the same category. After using the Metabo stainless steel plate beveling tool, they think much different now.
Metabo stands behind this stainless steel plate beveling tool with their three (3) year warranty. Considering this is mainly and industrial-use tool, 3 years is an eternity, so it’s great to see manufacture support and believe in their tools. If welding and fitting is what you do, we recommend that you look into the Metabo KFM 16-15F.