As a team member here at Shop Tool Reviews, we sometimes get to participate in some awesome opportunities. On Tuesday, September 20, in Philadelphia, PA we had the honor of being a part of the Metabo tool and safety media event. The symposium focused on the history of Metabo, and the future of their tools and safety. Represented and presenting at the meeting were Metabo dignitaries from Germany (HQ), USA, and Canada.
Albrecht Schnizler first developed the hand-held drill (No. 18) back in 1923, in his parent’s bakery. The first order was a contract for 500 of the hand-held drills. The drills are known in German as a Metallbohrdreher. This drill was the origin for the name Metabo. Based in Nuertingen, Germany, Metabo has more than 500 active patents. They also produced the first electric drill in 1934 and the first percussion drill in 1957. Later, in 1966, Metabo released the first one-hand angle grinder, which they’re probably best known for.
Metabo Tool and Safety
The original one-hand grinder from Metabo in 1966 included a unique safety feature that carries on in their tools, even today. The safety clutch has remained much the same in their latest angle grinders. The safety clutch eliminates kickback when the wheel (grinder or cutter) jams, hence saving the wheel and potential injury. While safety is very important in their development, it is not their only focus.
In addition to grinders, Metabo is also known for their wheels, and they created the original “Slicer” for cutting steel with an angle grinder. Metabo feels they have the best grinder, combined with their wheel/s, for any type of application. They feel this is their heritage, so there is much determination to lead the industry in angle grinders technology. We had a chance to use many of their grinders and wheels here at the Tool and Safety media event.
Metabo LIHD Battery Technology
Setting their sites on being the industry leader in cordless technology for industrial use, Metabo develops a battery that was unique only to their tools. There have been a few companies that have followed their lead, so more of the market may follow suit. Discussing battery technology can consume a complete review, and probably a series of reviews. We will be covering an in depth battery article in the coming few weeks, so we’ll leave a lot of this discussion for that article. In short, Metabo is using larger cells, rather than more cells to drive the power (Amps) needs of their cordless tools.
The Metabo tools currently sold in the US are either on the Metabo 18V platform, or their newer 36V platform. In particular, their new 9″ cordless angle grinder is on this 36V battery technology. This 9″ cordless 36V angle grinder is the equivalent to a twenty-one amp corded model. Metabo is branding their new line of batteries, launched in 2015, as the LiHD. Typical cells used in most other lithium batteries measure in at 18mm x 65mm. By increasing the size to 20mm x 70mm, Metabo is able to gain a significant amount of power while still remaining compact.
Using Tools At The Tool and Safety Media Event
After some classroom time, we got to do what we’d all be anticipating, play with tools. Metabo not only had many of their tools on display, but we had the opportunity to put them into real tests. Many of the stations even included some pretty significant torture tests. From concrete saws and drills, to grinders and stainless-steel polishers, the Metabo Tool and Saftety event was full of sparks flying and the sound of power tools at work.
This is Tim from @ShopToolReviews doing one of the scariest #grinder tests in the business! #scarytools #dangerous #daredevil pic.twitter.com/TkaZawISrl
— Pro Tool Reviews (@ProToolReviews) September 20, 2016
Metabo is the one that introduced the first cut-off wheel for grinders, known as the original “Slicer”. You can see the “Slicer” in action below against the competitors.
Throwing #sparks at @MetaboNAmerica with a #grinder slicer wheel #shootout pic.twitter.com/qNEFyLYMvX
— Shop Tool Reviews (@ShopToolReviews) September 20, 2016
The 36V Cordless 9-inch wheeled grinder was a very popular tool during the tool and safety event. This is definitely not a small grinder, and the power it delivers is pretty stunning. Clint Deboer from Pro Tool Reviews did some grinding on some 1/2″ plate steel, displaying a shower of sparks.
Using the cordless beveling tools from Metabo was an eye-opening experience as well. The KFM 18LTX3RF is a cordless 18V model that will put a 45° chamfer, up to 4 mm, on plate steel. The corded KFM 16-15 F Beveling Tool will put a 45° angle on 5/8″ steel! It was actually pretty simple and very easy to use these beveling tools. These make your welding prep look really good.
Another tool that was out of the realm of metalworking and concrete was the Metabo LF 724 S Paint Remover. This has been on the market for years, but it has slipped past us until now. There are carbide cutting heads that strip the paint off wood with very little effort. In addition, there are “windows” on both sides and the front that will also allow the tool to strip the paint from vertical surface, while still stripping the horizontal surface. Think of stairs, stripping the treads and risers at the same time. We will definitely find a way of reviewing this in the near future.
Many times in the power tool world, we settle on using general tools to do numerous different tasks, to which there are more than a few power tool companies that fit this bill. Metabo is a company and tool of a different color. During the tool and safety media event, it was evident that Metabo is set on making power tools that are specific to the job being performed. In addition the determination to make quality tools, they also focus heavily on making these tools safe. Whether it is 99.9% concrete dust collection with their HEPA vacuum kit, the safety clutch on the grinders, or patented cooling technology on the battery and charger, Metabo is focused on making the trades and tradesmen safer and more productive.
There will be more to come here at Shop Tool Reviews from Metabo as we review more of their tools. We will be sure to keep Metabo in focus to see what exciting tools they will release next. The new 9″ cordless grinder that I’ve mentioned multiple times in this article is due to hit the market on October 1. If you’re a metalworker or shop owner, you definitely want to consider purchasing one.
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