Metabo vs. Metabo HPT. Brand comparisons and confusions have come up quite a bit over the past few years.
First, a short history lesson.
So, Hitachi Tools has been Metabo HPT for nearly 4 years now.
A reader recently left a comment to one of the name-change posts:
Metabo is Made in Germany. Metabo HTP is not it is a lower grade tool. I distribute for these tools.
Hitachi’s name change was necessary. As KKR acquired Hitachi Koki from the Hitachi company in 2017, their continued use of the brand name was governed by a licensing agreement.
Under a licensing agreement, Hitachi – and not Hitachi Power Tools – would have final say on the tools and products that could bear their name. Long-term, this could only hamper things. So, a name-change allowed for freedoms outside of external limitations and controls.
Overseas, Hitachi Koki became known as HiKoki. Here in the United States, they became Metabo HPT.
Those “in the know” understand the distinctions, but 4 years later, it’s obvious there are still a lot of confused users.
Metabo HPT and Metabo cordless power tools are NOT compatible with each other – they both have completely different battery systems.
Is Metabo HPT a “lower grade tool?” Absolutely not, and a distributor should know that.
Like most professional tools brands, such as Bosch, Dewalt, Makita, and Milwaukee, Metabo HPT has different tiers of tools, ranging from entry-priced to premium.
Metabo specializes in metalworking tools and grinders. Metabo HPT has incredibly popular air nailers.
Metabo has their Cordless Alliance System (CAS), where they make their battery system available to 3rd party power tool brands.
Metabo HPT has their unique MultiVolt system, where there are 18V tools that can use 18V and 36V battery types, and 36V tools that can be powered with the 36V battery or AC adapter.
There are great distinctions between the two companies, and few similarities aside from the now-shared name,
It is admittedly confusing for two completely separate brands to share the Metabo name in this way, and it seems that this leads some users – or dealers apparently – to create their own often inaccurate explanations.
I can understand the reason for going with Metabo HPT, as Metabo is more recognizable than HiKoki would be here. Personally, I tend to think HPT instead of Metabo HPT, as this creates better separation for me, but that’s when I don’t automatically default back to Hitachi.
I can’t speak as to which brand is definitely more popular here, but I would guess Metabo HPT, given their broader distribution, visibility, and seemingly greater focus on the USA market compared to Metabo, except maybe when it comes to angle grinders and some of their other more popular tools.
Because of this, maybe the deciding powers figured that most users might come to know Metabo or Metabo HPT, but perhaps not both.
Regardless, Metabo HPT has been moving forward over the past few years, with new and high-performing tech, and definitely not “lower grade” offerings.
There is a staggering abundance of misinformation out there, and so there might always be some confusions. Last year I had to debunk claims of Dewalt and Milwaukee Tool being the same company, and no, Harbor Freight does not own Snap-on Tools.
Metabo and Metabo HPT/HiKoki are both very popular in different categories and they seem to be popular in different worldwide regionals as well. As far as I can tell, they continue to be managed and operated completely independently.
Some confusion was bound to happen. I think that user awareness is much better now than it was 4 years ago, but I’m still seeing more misinformation than I would have expected at this point.