We got to look at the Metabo KHE 3250 1-1/8” SDS-Plus rotary hammer early on, but it had to wait for just the right application for us to review it. As it turns out, a home renovation put it quickly at the forefront of our schedule—and allowed us to test nearly every aspect of what makes this one of the lightest, most powerful corded rotary tools we’ve used all year.
Build Quality and Features
At first glance, the KHE 3250 is very compact, and at just 7.5 pounds, the balance and feel of this tool is impressive. It’s definitely the tool you want to grab when overhead drilling is in the mix. Newer battery-powered tools have the power to do this type of work, but they are often underpowered, or they weigh more than their corded counterparts due to the weight of a 36V battery.
The motor on the KHE 3250 SDS-Plus rotary hammer is rated at 7.2 amps and the tool delivers 3.1 joules of energy per blow. At up to 4,470 blows per minute and over 900 rpm under load, that’s a tool that can get a significant amount of work accomplished. The KHE 3250 is spec’d to be able to drill into concrete with bits up to 1-1/8″ in diameter and up to 3-1/8″ in diameter when using thin wall core bits in brick. In mild steel the bit can handle a 1/2″ bit and in wood you can fit it with anything up to 1-3/8″.
There are three modes available for use, including hammer drilling, rotary only and chipping mode. The modes are set using an easy -to-spin dial on the left side of the tool. When chipping with a flat blade, you can rotate it in any of twelve different positions to get just the right angle to the material. The side handle can be rotated all the way around the tool for a solid grip, and it—along with the rear handle—is physically vibration-dampened (Metabo calls their system “VibraTech”) to prevent the work and impact mechanism from traveling at full reactive power to the user.
Under the hood, Metabo used an aluminum die-cast gear housing and an automatic safety slip clutch that will keep the tool from twisting your arm out of socket in the event the tool binds up on a nail or some other blockage.
- Bit type: SDS-plus
- Drill diameter (concrete): 1-1/4 in.
- Drill diameter (steel): 1/2 in.
- Drill diameter (soft wood): 1-3/8 in.
- Speed (no load): 0-1150 RPM
- Speed (load): 0-920 RPM
- Rated input power: 800 W
- Output power: 440 W
- Impact rate: 4470 IPM
- Energy (EPTA): 3.1 J
- Impact power: 222 J/s
- Collar diameter: 2 in.
- Cable length: 13 ft (4 m)
- Weight: 7.5 lbs
- Includes: KHE 3250 rotary hammer, side handle, drilling depth guide, plastic carry case
In the Field
Certainly the features of Metabo’s KHE 3250 were impressive, but using the tool was the proof in the proverbial pudding. Metabo is clearly going after the commercial concrete construction market as well as anyone who needs a way to set concrete anchors. That means electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians and more.
On our home renovation we were running plumbing, electrical and removing over 800 square feet of floor tile. While there are other tools that could be used more efficiently for removing the floor tile, I opted to put the KHE 3250 to the test in a marathon project to take out a couple of rooms worth of the 12-inch tile. The 12-position chuck worked flawlessly as I was able to get just the right angle for chipping away at the floor. When you’re doing a lot of material, it’s always good to be able to alternate your position and the orientation of the tool in order to get a fresh grip.
We compared the Metabo KHE 3250 rotary hammer to three other chipping rotary hammers, including an 18V cordless Milwaukee and the Makita HRH01ZX2 36V cordless model. While the 36V tool really held its own and did an impressive job of tile removal, the 18V tool didn’t have the same amount of impact power. And, while the 36V rotary hammer performed on par with the Metabo, it weighed about 30% more. In the end, the Metabo KHE 3250 won out and really took the crown as the performance king. It had less weight, all the power, and a nice ergonomic feel that was hard to beat. Metabo’s passive vibration control was adequate, but not as efficient as some of the more sophisticated tools we’ve used. We did a lot of chipping work with this tool and there was some numbness after more than 15 minutes of continuous use. Gloves helped alleviate the issue significantly.
In drilling applications, the Metabo did equally well. We used it for opening up 3/4-inch holes for running plumbing through stud walls in two different bathrooms and we also drill out some entry points for electrical wiring. The light weight of the KHE 3250 made it very simple to use in both horizontal and overhead positions—even when I had to drill for extended periods of time. Cutting speed was impressive with the Bosch SDS-Plus bits we were using, and we made quick work of our wood-drilling application. When I needed to back out the drill, the bottom-mounted directional control responded with a quick slide of the switch. It’s not as intuitive as a rocker trigger, but separating out the reverse control and leaving the full-size trigger on the KHE 3250 makes for a much more ergonomic tool.
Metabo has a real winner with its KHE 3250 1-1/8″ SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer. The size is right, the included features are spot-on and the ergonomics of the tool make it a real go-to product for small-hole and serial applications. With a street price of around $330, this is a tool that has great value and will give pros years of productive use. The fact that it has enough power to really take on chipping work as well is a bonus that many electricians working with concrete block (or even tile installers looking to bust up a small area) will really appreciate.