Metabo Cordless Drill Driver
Friday 12 March 2010
Derek Jones tries out this entry level 18v power tool
The BS18 Li-ion is the 18v version of Metabo's new entry-level cordless drill/driver designed for light to medium work.
The BS Compacts use 14.4 and 18v compact battery packs to achieve small and lightweight machines with plenty of punch. They benefit from ESCP (electronic single cell protection), Metabo's new system for monitoring individual cells for status and condition. Each battery pack has a capacity indicator button with 4 LEDs.
As well as soft start and precise variable speed change in both directions, this drill/driver benefits from one of Metabo's new smaller motors, and the powerful LED light mounted low down is perhaps the most useful one I've come across.
With a full battery I wound forty-four 4x40mm screws in and out of solid European oak before moving straight onto a 76mm-diameter hole sawn into 18mm chipboard. Bearing in mind this is a compact, the fact that it whizzed straight through was impressive. So I tried another one, and then another, and then another... until finally it gave up.
By definition, cordless machines encourage a go-anywhere attitude and for the professional user, keeping up with the pace is essential. The BS18 Li-ion had no problem. The now flat battery took only 30 minutes to charge before tackling forty, 8mm holes to a depth of 40mm in European oak, by which time it had used only 50 percent of its power. A cooling fan built into the charger prevents overheating of the battery pack, thus prolonging the life of the individual cells.
It's rare nowadays that we only have one such machine in our toolbox and like manufacturers of power tools in general, we are encouraged to buy into a brand system. Metabo is certainly no slouch in this respect, with a number of really useful accessories to suit various models across the range.