Metabo 12V Drill Announces Powermaxx as Legit New Lineup from Germany
We recently tested more than 50 drills of various shapes, sizes, and power ratings in our recent Best Cordless Drill head-to-head review. The brand-new Metabo 12v drill entered the 12V competition. Just holding the tool gave us the impression of quality. The numbers don’t lie, and the numbers we got say that Metabo is off to a flying start with this lineup.
- Interchangeable head system
- Excellent ergonomics
- Excellent drilling performance
- Outstanding build quality
- LiHD batteries come in the kit
- Premium pricing
For performance, we look at a drill’s speed under load and how much torque it can generate. For more information about how we tested for these measurements, check out our Best Cordless Drill head-to-head review.
Speed Under Load
The Metabo 12V drill did well in our speed tests. The Skil DL529001 12V drill was marginally faster and the two of them put a large distance on the rest of the group.
In our soft torque tests, the Bosch FlexiClick leads the pack with Metabo in second again. Metabo’s 400 in-lbs of specced torque is on the high side for the 12V class, so seeing it land in the upper tier is no surprise.
Metabo “Quick” Change
How many features can someone put into a drill? That’s a fair question since drills aren’t particularly complex. Most of the 12V drills we tested have brushless motors, LED work lights, and belt hooks. Everything we tested has at least 2 speeds to work with.
But Metabo includes a couple of features we don’t see with too many other models. The most notable of those is the Metabo “Quick” change bit holder. Similar to Bosch’s FlexiClick, the Metabo 12V drill has a detachable power head you can swap out for right angle and offset bit holders (sold separately).
The same chucks also work with Metabo’s 18V Quick system so you can buy one set for both.
Most brands offer a 2.0Ah compact and 4.0Ah full-size batteries on their 12V line and Milwaukee has 3.0s and 6.0s available for M12. Metabo has a standard 2.0Ah pack and a 4.0Ah LiHD battery. Several brands have an advanced battery pack for 18V tools, but we haven’t seen anyone else do it for 12V. That puts Metabo in a great place as they introduce 12V tools with advanced LiHD technology.
The Metabo BS 12 BL Q measures in at 6.3″ long and 7.5″ tall. Those measurements put it firmly in the middle of the pack. The Bosch PS32 is the smallest and shows off the difference between a pod-style 12V design and one like Metabo’s that goes with a slide pack. There’s more freedom for handle design on a slide pack and Metabo takes advantage of it with a handle feels great in your hand.
Without the battery, the Metabo 12V drill weighs in at 1.84 pounds, making it the second-lightest 12V we tested. With a 4.0Ah LiHD battery on board, it drill jumps up to 2.56 pounds. That’s still not heavy and it finishes in the middle of the pack for weight.
The Metabo BS 12 BL Q (kit) retails for $285 and comes with two 4.0 LiHD batteries and a charger. The bare tool runs $149. There are a couple of talking points here. First, this is Metabo’s first run at a 12V line, so you probably need batteries. You might as well get them in your first kit or three rather than buying them separately.
Second, notice Metabo isn’t settling for a 2.0Ah pack. Considering one of Metabo’s core competencies is metalworking, they want to make sure their 12V tools keep up with the reputation of their cordless. That means you need performance and runtime. Metabo warrants it for 3 years.
Comparatively, this Metabo 12V drill is on par with Milwaukee’s M12 Fuel bare tool pricing, and the highest in our tests once you add in batteries. However, no one else kits their 12V drills with two 4.0Ah packs nor do they have an advanced battery for their 12V platform yet.
The Bottom Line
This Metabo 12V drill doesn’t have a chink in its armor. The Powermaxx BS 12 BL Q’s performance is excellent and it’s one of the only 12V systems we’ve seen using an advanced battery system. It has the best feature set of any of the 12V drills we tested, including Metabo’s Quick interchangeable head system. All that and it’s still a relatively light and compact drill. Like most of the Metabo lineup, it doesn’t come cheap, but its build quality is top-notch.
Metabo 12V Drill Specs
- Model: Metabo Powermaxx BS 12 BL Q
- Power Source: Metabo 12V LiHD or Metabo 12V
- Max Torque (Soft): 160 in-lbs
- Max Torque (Hard): 400 in-lbs
- Adjustable Torque: 4.4 – 44.3 in-lbs
- Max Capacity in Steel: 3/8″
- Max Capacity in Soft Wood: 1″
- No-Load Speed: 0-500 / 0-1650 RPM
- Weight (w/ 4.0Ah LiHD battery): 2.56 lbs
- Warranty: 3 Years
- MSRP: $285 (kit); $149 (bare tool)
For more information about the Metabo Powermaxx BS 12 BL Q, check out Metabo’s website here.