With every new iteration of cordless tools, we get closer and closer to truly replacing corded tools. In 2017 with all companies combined we are the closest that we have ever been. Tools can run with more power and accomplish things that we have been dreaming of with brushless technology and modern batteries.
Although not most commonly known to the average tool user, Metabo has one of the most advanced battery pack available on the market. To pair with that, they offer amazing cordless options for tools most importantly the angle grinder. Metabo has been known for decades for their angle grinders being the first to introduce a safety clutch. Over the years they have perfected this tool giving us some of the most well balanced and powerful machines on the market.
Immediately from opening the tool case to find structural foam all the way down to the box the battery comes in screams Metabo quality. You just shelled out $500 bucks for a top of the line machine, and unlike other manufacturers, they make sure you get the bang for your buck. The kit consist of:
- Plastic tool case similar to Bosch’s L-Box construction – I found the plastic to be a bit on the flimsy side but its nice to have a case with structural foam included to protect its contents.
- 2 7.0 ah battery packs. These packs have the latest battery tech, seven amp hours packed in to just two layers of cells not much bigger than a Milwaukee 5.0 ah battery.
- Both 4 1/2″ and 6″ guards – Although it is a 6″ grinder it can still operate as a 4 1/2″ grinder. The 6″ guard comes with a plastic cover that covers the bottom of cut off wheels to protect the user. Being marketed for 6″ a 4 1/2″ cover is not included.
- Safety handle – the handle does offer some vibration stability built into the handle, but I would have like to see a little more which becomes more noticeable in cutting operations
- The grinder – sitting in forest green packed with so many features such as a fast brake, soft start as well as a safety clutch.
- Air cooled charger – the charger will cool a hot pack before charging, these nuclear reactors that come with the kick take around 2 hours to charger including cool down time. You can hear the fan kick to different levels from transitioning from cooling to charging.
So with all these included goodies, put them together and this grinder simply becomes a work of art, just eating at anything that you throw at it. The power at your hands is unbelievable to experience in not only an 18v platform but a cordless solution all together. While running 6″ grinding discs its takes an incredible amount of pressure to cause the internal mechanics to shut the unit off. On a 2″ by 1/4″ piece of steel I was able to eat through more than half of it before burying it to its stop.
Ergonomically this grinder reigns king, all the way from the well designed paddle switch to the rotating battery connector at the rear. The battery can rotate almost a full revolution to accommodate various grips and uses. I found while grinding a sideways battery is the most comfortable. It is very easy to rotate the pack, especially with the heavier 7.0. The detents are on the lighter side and sometimes during usage the battery can rotate on you. It wouldn’t hurt the grinder to have a little stiffer rotation.
As I have mentioned before this grinder is extremely powerful. When switching to a thin kerf wheel the user can really feel the true grit this machine bares. Now the soft start is great because you don’t feel that torque on start up allowing you to remain more on target on your cuts and not start swinging the tool around. As powerful as this unit is I never felt out of control cutting through various pieces of steel, angle iron and square tubing.
I do have to tell you testing this tool has been one of the most fun experiences in a while. Ripping through steel and spraying sparks and grit all over the garage was an absolute blast, but there was a purpose throughout the spark spray. I wanted to see what kind of work can be accomplished on a single charge. Pretty logical question right? Our tools are an investment and at the end of the day can I be more productive adding this tool to my bag? And to be honest as powerful and fun as this grinder is I can’t honestly tell you this will keep you working all day, because it won’t. Is struggled for a few days with this on the idea of this replacing a corded grinder and for the cost at hand if you a running a grinder for long periods of times I am sad to say this is not the tool for you.
So with the disclaimer in hand lets talk about run time. Now look at it this way, we are running a supercharged V8, fuel economy is not our friend. On a single charge grinding from full charge to dead pack yields around 10 minutes of straight run time. Now being an angle grinder this is not something you wouldn’t expect right? Drop the discs down to a 4 1/2″ and you’ll get an extra few minutes averaging around 12. I have cycled through the batteries multiple times trying to nail this runtime down. Fortunately the tool world is very friendly because my friends over at Oz Tool Talk crunched some numbers while I stared at a dead battery in disbelief. These 7.0 packs have 128 Wh (watt hours.) Now this grinder is said to pull 800 Watts of power, given the battery pack yields around 9.5 minutes of runtime. So in retrospect thats not too bed given the circumstances I tests were what I would rate medium duty grinding.
So in this day of 2017 we still haven’t totally replaced corded tools but we are getting way closer and cordless tools have been proven to be more powerful. So do I recommend this tool? Absolutely! Not all of us are metal workers where we have 6 or 7 grinders at hand to accomplish our tasks. Most of us will not be required to grind for 10 minutes straight and heres the other thing, not all of us will be grinding. Now I couldn’t give you a good gauge for runtime cutting, but I will tell you the average user could get through the day with in a single charge, or at the very least two batteries.
At the end of the day we have another great tool thats worth having. Everything from the toeless lock nut to the quick adjusting guards makes this a user friendly tool. The guard can be switched out or changed positions in a matter of seconds with the quick lock. If you need to change your wheel, don’t worry about where you left your wrench, you won’t need one with the quick nut.
You get a lot of bang for your buck with this kit and if your looking for a cordless grinder you shouldn’t look at any other option than the Metabo here. Now I own a Milwaukee Fuel grinder and I thought that was the bees knees and I still own it and love it, but the Metabo WPB 18 LTX BL 150 Quick is on another level. If your just looking to get into Metabo make sure to get the kit for $499 and you can get a free tool through September 30. Not a bad deal for getting a top notch grinder and two nuclear reactors to go with it.
Head over to Acme Tools to order yours today.