A couple of weeks ago, Metabo announced a new 8-port battery charger, the ASC Multi 8, order number 627291000 (USA: 627301000). It’s an 8-port charger that can charge up to (8) Metabo 18V or 36V Li-ion battery packs, simultaneously.
Yes, so that means parallel charging of up to (8) 14.4V to 36V battery packs. A sales flyer promotes it as being:
World’s first and only charger that charges 8 batteries at the same time. This becomes the power source [for] your cordless metal fab shop!
It features a robust aluminum case, wall-mounting keyholes, and air cooling for each battery pack. There’s a carry handle for easy transporting, and on/off switch.
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An EU product listing says that the charger can handle the 680 watts needed to charge 8 batteries at once. The charge rate is 3.0 amps, meaning a 1.5Ah battery is fully recharged in 30 minutes, and a 4.0Ah battery pack in about 80 minutes.
Another source, the sales flyer I mentioned previously, says that it can recharge a 2.0Ah battery pack in 30 minutes, and a 7.0Ah LiHD battery pack in 120 minutes.
Price: See Below
This looks like a compact and tidy way to charge up to 8 Metabo battery packs. It looks like a great solution, and has some user-friendly features, such as the on/off switch and handle, which I can’t seem to find an image of.
It looks to be a convenient product for very heavy users of Metabo cordless power tools. It’s more compact than 8 individual chargers, and probably more efficient too. Maybe quieter?
The batteries are air-cooled, with “Ultra-M Air-Cooling technology,” which the sales flyer says “accelerates charge on hot batteries and considerably enhances the life of battery packs.”
The fact that it can handle multiple Metabo battery pack voltages is a bonus.
I was very excited about the new multi-charger. But then, in preparation for this post, I looked up the price. If you hadn’t clicked the Buy Now link above, I’ll save you the trouble. It’s a THOUSAND DOLLARS. $999, to be precise.
A single Metabo charger is priced at around $60, sometimes less. Individual users might be better off coming up with a DIY solution. You can buy 8 chargers for around $480 or less, leaving a $520 or greater price difference for a mounting board or box, and some kind of cable management solution.
But I can’t criticize the price too much. This looks like a specialty made product made in low quantities, and it likely requires new custom parts and assemblies. That means it probably costs a lot more to build than 8 individual chargers.
For an individual user, the price might be ridiculous. But for a commercial user, the features and benefits might justify the cost. I’m playing devil’s advocate here because I know how pricey specialty tools and equipment can be, and how there are reasons a substitute – especially a DIY solution – cannot be used.
I’ve found that Metabo, like some other higher-end and specialty tool makers, doesn’t design around price, they design around functionality and quality. It seems that this is perhaps a strong example of that.
It’s a good-looking charger, but I’d like to see a lower price point. To be fair, I don’t think I have any need for an 8-port parallel charger; I think a smaller 4-port charger would be better suited for my needs.
I’m sure Metabo didn’t randomly decide to build this as an 8-port charger, and that commercial users who could use the charger close to its full potential wouldn’t mind the price so much.
As a final comment on the price – this could be why brands don’t come out with certain tools that users ask for. I guess I can appreciate that Metabo came out with a product I’m sure some of their users have been asking for.
I was shocked when I saw the price, and am expecting the same from many of you. But in finishing up this post, I’m drawn to a question. Would it have been better if Metabo decided NOT to offer this product based on price projections? I don’t think so.
In other words, if lower pricing simply wasn’t an option, would it be better if Metabo decided not to come out with this 8-port charger at all?
Update: Another product listing says it’s ideal for medium-sized and large industrial companies and large trade companies. Hopefully this puts the price in more perspective.
WAIT, did I just say the charging time would be 120 minutes for a 7.0Ah battery pack?! What 7.0Ah battery?
Oh, this one. The one that’s casually listed on Metabo’s website. I’m also seeing what’s described as a “Superfast” charger. More on this soon.