A Versatile Addition
Wednesday 25 January 2012
Derek Jones adjusts his perceptions of this machine as it proves it can get the job done
As 10.8s go this latest offering from Metabo is a bit on the chunky side. The grip is like that of a larger machine with all the usual rubber overmould, all rather necessary for an impact driver.
There's only one speed setting in either forward or reverse although the trigger allows you to creep up to full revs in both directions. The quick release bit holder takes standard 6mm hex bits and there's an LED light located between the trigger and front metal casing. The PowerImpact comes with two 1.5Ah Li-Ion batteries that
require only 40 minutes to charge. Unlike other Metabo kit there's no power level indicator which I've found to be a useful feature on other models.
An impact driver might have more appeal than you first think if you work in materials other than timber. The percussion mechanism is noticeable but not uncomfortable to use. The sensation is very much like using a drill driver with a clutch mechanism. Optimum tightening torque of your chosen fixing is achieved by controlling the duration of the impact function. A short burst for fixings into steel and a longer burst onto timber. I tried this repeatedly at the top end of the scale with some 5x70mm self-countersinking screws into a piece of oak. In a comparison test with a none-percussion machine the PowerImpact afforded greater control allowing the heads to finish flush without any pre-drilling. The bit remained firm in the screw head whereas the standard drill driver jumped on more than one occasion, damaging the screw.