Greenlee Intelli-Punch 11-Ton Knockout Driver

Greenlee Intelli-Punch 11-Ton Knockout Driver
PTR Review
  • Build Quality 9.5
  • Ergonomics 9.5
  • Feature Set 9.5
  • Performance 9.5
  • Value 9.5

The Greenlee Intelli-Punch 11-ton knockout driver is a fantastic addition to your toolbox. At $1,850, you might bristle but it's funny - when I bought a hydraulic knockout driver it was. $1,700. And this is a far superior tool.

Overall Score 9.5 (out of 10)

The service panel is the power hub of a building from which incoming electricity is divided and distributed. Because different buildings require different electrical service, each service panel must be customized so that incoming and outgoing lines can be safely collected and protected inside the box. This customization is accomplished with a knockout driver that cuts a perfect hole in the side of a service panel. Traditionally, knockout drivers have been either fully manual or manual with a hydraulic assist. Both are time consuming and required a lot of elbow grease. But now Greenlee, who invented the knockout driver, has introduced the Greenlee Intelli-Punch 11-Ton Knockout Driver. It’s powered by a Makita 18V 3 amp hour battery and if it works as advertised, it will cut the time and effort of service panel preparation significantly. Let’s get to work.

First Impressions

I love that this tool is battery powered – it’s really on the cutting edge in the knockout driver segment along with Milwaukee. Innovations like these mean that the first time in service panel preparation, the tool will do most of the work.

The Greenlee Intelli-Punch 11-Ton Knockout Driver cuts 1/2-inch to 4-inch holes in 10 gauge mild or stainless steel. It has the capability to cut up to 6-inch holes, but the 6-inch die isn’t included in the set I reviewed. In fact the Intelli-Punch is available in 12 different sets that include Slug-Buster knockout punches, Slug-Splitter knockout punches, and the Speed-Punch system. The tool is compatible with all knockouts.

Greenlee Intelli-Punch 11-Ton Knockout Driver

The knockout driver features a swivel head rotates that 360 degrees so you can get into just about any space. Greenlee designed the auto-retract technology to sense completion of the punch and retract the ram. This minimizes wear and prevents damage. The full set including the dies and tool is quite hefty to carry around. Just the tool itself weighs 5.8 pounds with the battery. A helpful LED work light—a feature standardized on just about all cordless power tools—makes for good visibility.

Greenlee Intelli-Punch 11-Ton Knockout Driver

First Round Knockout

Greenlee Intelli-Punch 11-Ton Knockout DriverI’ve been a journeyman electrician and residential supervisor for a little over seven years. Service work is really my favorite part of the job, and in my relatively short career I’ve seen new and improved tools make the job easier. For example, wire pulls can be done by just one person now. But the Greenlee Intelli-Punch 11-Ton Knockout Driver might take home the trophy for improving workflow.

I used it for several panel changeouts, upgrading service from 400A to 600A, and knocked out many 1/2-inch, 2-inch, and 4-inch holes over the course of this review. The time and effort savings were remarkable. In less than 10 seconds, I got a perfectly round hole every time – which lines up with Greenlee’s claim that the Intelli-Punch cycle time is 8 seconds.  Once you plan the holes, the Intelli-Punch can get the job done in about 10 minutes even if every side of the service panel is being used. Using traditional methods such as a hole saw, hand crank, or hydraulic punch, you’d probably spend at least an hour doing the same job.

Greenlee Intelli-Punch head

Precision Counts

Precision counts when knocking out holes so that connectors fit snugly. The Intelli-Punch was very precise. Screw on the cup and die and pull the trigger – it’s that’s simple. If you aren’t careless, all knockout methods result in a precise hole, but there’s no comparison in time and effort between all other tools and the Intelli-Punch. It’s comfortable and easy to use. What’s more – the battery is terrific – I haven’t charged it yet and I’ve used it on more than 8 different jobs.

Greenlee Intelli-Punch 11-Ton Knockout Driver

Pro Tip: Make sure you have the die threaded onto the tool well enough. This tool creates a great deal of pressure, and if only partially threaded, it can damage the threads.

The one possible issue I found was that of spacing. Although the beefy head has a full 360 degrees of rotation, it still might get in the way when working with a shallow panel. Same goes for one already on the wall. When preparing a panel before installation, you should not have any issues.

The Bottom Line

One interesting point to ponder is the partnership with Makita for the battery platform. I’d take this as a pretty clear indication that Makita has no interest in competing with Milwaukee’s Force Logic line—not that we expected them to given Makita’s core user base. What it does open up is battery capacities up to 6.0 amp hour (108 watt hour) for really heavy users. Working with Makita means there’s no proprietary battery system to worry about, and users can take advantage of any new 18V batteries they develop.

Greenlee Intelli-Punch Makita batteries

The Greenlee Intelli-Punch 11-Ton Knockout Driver is a fantastic addition to your toolbox. At $1,850, you might bristle at the price, but when I bought a hydraulic knockout driver it cost $1,700. And this comes in as a far superior tool. The time and effort savings on the back end is well worth it, and you’ll be happy you have it along. It’s fast, the battery life is excellent, and it makes a perfectly round hole every time. The diameter of the head diameter may be slightly too big for shallow panels already on the wall. That’s a very small concern given the usefulness of this tool. I certainly recommend this Greenlee Knockout Driver to other Pros.

Greenlee Intelli-Punch 11-Ton Knockout Driver Features

  • Patented Pressure-Sensing and Auto-Retract Technologies – Intelli-Punch accurately detects punch completion and automatically retracts the ram, preventing damage to punch parts
  • 360° Rotating Head – Rugged, patent-pending swivel design to punch at any angle
  • Time Saver- Punch faster, with a maximum cycle time of 8 seconds
  • Compact, Ergonomic Design – Provides easy one-handed operation and an ergonomic tapered grip
  • Compatible – Works with all Greenlee Knockouts and other brands designed for use with a hydraulic tool
  • Gator Eye Compatible – With iPress software, monitor tool performance – peak force, number of cycles, etc.

Greenlee Intelli-Punch 11-Ton Knockout Driver Specifications

  • Model: Greenlee LS100X11SB4
  • Power Source: Makita 18V LXT battery
  • Application : Punch conduit size holes in mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, fiberglass and plastic.
  • Overall Capacity : 11-Ton
  • Capacity Mild Steel : 4″ Conduit up to 10 gauge, 6″ Conduit up to 14 gauge
  • Capacity Stainless Steel : 4″ conduit up to 10 gauge
  • Conduit And Pipe Size : 1/2″ to 6″
  • Maximum Capacity Mild Steel : 10 gauge
  • Minimum Pilot Hole : 1/2″, 7/8″, 1-1/8″
  • Operation : Single-Trigger
  • Operation Type : Battery-Hydraulic
  • Dimensions : Driver with Battery: 4.4″ x 2.9″ x 14.5″
  • Weight : 5.8 lbs with battery
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Price: ~$1300 (bare) to ~$2500+ (various kit options)

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