Metabo has just come out with a new brushless drill (BS 18 LTX BL Quick) and hammer drill (SB 18 LTX BL Quick), that they say are the most precise, versatile and longest running brushless hammer drills in the industry.
The new drills feature several new innovative features that we haven’t heard about before, including a variable electronic torque adjustment wheel and an add-on torque amplifier handle.
Update: Although we haven’t heard about this feature, it’s something that Fein and Festool have already built into some of their cordless drills as well.
- Both drills are powered by Metabo’s 18V 5.2Ah Li-ion battery pack
- 1/2″ keyless chuck that removes to reveal a 1/4″ hex screwdriver bit holder
- Brushless motor for maximized power and runtime
- 0-600 / 0-2500 RPM
- 38,950 IPM (hammer drill)
- Max torque: 44 Nm (~390 in-lbs) soft joint, 90 Nm (~797 in-lbs) hard joint
- Electronic torque selector
- Lowest weight in class – 1.9 kg (4.2 lbs) and 1.7 kg (3.75 lbs) with and without quick drill chuck; hammer drill is 0.1 kg (0.22 lbs) heavier
- Shortest tools in class (screwdriver mode with chuck removed)
- Torque amplifier provides 3X power boost
- “Impuls” mode for precise driving, easy removal of jammed screws, precise spot-drilling in hard materials
Variable Electronic Torque Selector
If you look closely at the new drills, there’s no clutch! Instead, Metabo designed the new cordless drills with an electronic torque selector wheel.
We asked Metabo for more details about this feature, and they said it allow for very precise torque settings and repeatable drilling depths. Users can select between 11 preset torque settings. The lower settings are optimal for lighter drilling and fastening tasks, while the higher settings are optimal for heaviest duty drilling and driving applications.
Recent flagship brushless impact drivers feature 2 or 3 different electronic torque and speed settings that work in a similar manner. But instead of buttons, the Metabo drill has a rotating dial. This is also necessary to accommodate the 11 preset settings.
A red button at the top of each drill allows users to switch to full torque as needed. Press the button again, and the drill resumes operating at the dial-selected torque setting.
(Optional) Torque Amplifier Attachment
The torque amplifier attaches and locks into place between the drill chuck and 1/4″ hex adapter. The amplifier provides a 3X torque multiplier to help users power through the toughest drilling or driving jobs.
An optional right angle attachment is also available.
Pricing and Availability
MAP: $399 for the drill kit, which come with a drill, (2) 5.2Ah Li-ion batteries, and a charger. Hammer drill might be a little more.
ETA: Available now
You can find these drills at local industrial supply houses and national chains, such as Fastenal, Grainger, MSC, AirGas, and online dealers.
Substituting an electronic torque dial, which works in a similar way as a variable speed dial, instead of a mechanical clutch is something we hadn’t seen before. Sure, this is how many brands are building torque limiters into their premium impact drivers, but we didn’t think anyone was thinking of doing the same with their cordless drills. (Note: As discussed in the comments, similar electronic torque features are also found on Fein and Festool cordless drills.)
These new brushless drills have the potential to be game-changers, and could influence the entire cordless drill market. There’s also the potential for users to be scared away by the lack of a traditional adjustable clutch.
One thing I noticed was that Metabo didn’t include any LED work lights on the drill. I have little familiarity with the brand, at least compared to my knowledge and experience with Bosch, Dewalt, Milwaukee, and other leading power tool brands, but this tells me that Metabo might be more a leader than a follower.
Update: There are two LEDs that are subtly placed on the sides of the torque selector wheel.
Metabo talks a big game with these new drills, and it will be interesting to see how well they perform compared to other brands’ flagship models.