Bolt Mode Claims to Offer More Power
Stepping up their game from the last impact driver, the Metabo HPT WH36DC MultiVolt 36V Triple Hammer Bolt impact driver includes new features, including a mode for higher torque fastening. On top of that, the new model is more compact, offering more opportunities to use it in smaller areas. Our question has to do with whether or not this tool is worth upgrading from the capable WH36DBQ4, one of the recommendations in our best cordless impact driver article.
Metabo HPT 36V MultiVolt Triple Hammer Bolt Impact Driver – The Big Deal
Compared to the previous model, the Metabo HPT WH36DBQ4 Triple Hammer impact driver, the Metabo HPT WH36DC claims to have increased power. At 1,903 in-lbs of max torque (compared to the 1,859 in the last model), the 36V Bolt impact driver adds just 2% more torque. Where we see the most benefit, however, is speed. The new Metabo HPT WH36DC impact driver spins at 3,400 RPM as opposed to the 2,900 RPM of the WH36DBQ4. That’s a 17% uptick.
Five Speed/Mode Settings
Metabo HPT also gives you five different speed/mode settings with the new 36V impact driver compared to the four settings of the previous model. You switch between the modes by pressing soft the Tightening mode button on the base of the tool. Here’s how the modes work:
Soft mode provides the lowest amount of speed and torque. While it doesn’t automatically stop while the trigger is held, it reduces the likelihood of stripping out a fastener when using the impact driver on more delicate tasks. Use this mode when installing hinges or driving small cabinet screws.
Power mode is your “medium-duty” power mode and applies a significant amount of both torque and speed. Most users will find this mode provides a nice balance of both speed and power.
Bolt mode works with the highest speed and torque and gets you there quickly. Use this mode for any high-speed tightening work that doesn’t require precision.
Bolt Single Mode
Bolt Single mode stops automatically after applying a number of impacts. You don’t even have to time when you let go of the trigger. This is perfect for when you need to set a bolt or nut but would like to use a torque wrench to get a more exact amount of torque. This mode also works well for delicate or assembly work.
Self-Drilling Screw Mode
Use the Self-Drilling Screw mode when running self-tap screws into sheet metal. This mode reduces the chances of overtightening and acts as a sort of torque-reducer to help reduce snapping bits and fasteners.
The main thing to get excited about is the Bolt mode. Designed to tackle large nuts and bolts as well as structural screws, Bolt mode maxxes out the tool’s capabilities. In Bolt mode, the Metabo HPT WH36DC impact driver spins up to its maximum speed and fires off its 4,100 BPM. Metabo HPT also claims to have dialed in lower vibration, which should make it more comfortable to use long-term.
Triple LED Light
Another feature we can’t fail to mention on the Metabo HPT BOLT impact driver is the triple LED light. This lighting system offers more light coverage than the previous model which only had a single LED above the trigger. The three LEDs surrounding the collet help reduce shadows when you don’t have a lot of light.
While this may not seem like a big deal, the last thing you want when the sun goes down is to not be able to see, especially working with power tools. Metabo HPT also lets you leave this light running as a flashlight if needed. Just activate the LED button at the base—the tool doesn’t even need to be running.
- Lightweight (2.0 lbs without battery)
- Variable speed trigger
- Water and dust resistant
- Brushless motor
- Compatible with any MultiVolt battery
- Compatible with AC adapter for long-term use
Price and Availability
The Metabo HPT36V MultiVolt Triple Hammer BOLT Impact Driver is sold as a kit, including two 2.5Ah MultiVolt batteries, a rapid charger with a USB port, and a carrying case. The retail price for the kit is $299.
Clearly, the Metabo HPT WH36DC Bolt impact driver makes some improvements over the WH36DBQ4 and WH36DBGM (the kit version). Those updates, however, only benefit a small slice of users. With how excellent the older model performs, we don’t recommend upgrading unless you really have a need for the Bolt and Bolt Single modes. If, however, you’ve never given the Triple Hammer a try and you’re in the market for a new impact driver, this tool will likely knock your socks off if it indeed exceeds what we experienced with its predecessor.
Metabo HPT Bolt Impact Driver Specifications
- Model: WH36DC (WH36DCM kit)
- Variable speed: 0-3400 RPM
- Impacts per minute: 0-4100
- Battery: 36V MultiVolt
- Drive: 1/4-inch square
- Length: 4.5 in.
- Weight (bare tool): 2.0 lbs
- Kit (WH36DCM) includes: WH36DC impact driver, 2 x 2.5Ah MultiVolt batteries, battery charger, hard case