Metabo and the 3 Year Warranty
Posted by Mark Hunter - August 03, 2011
Power tools aren't cheap. Well, the power tools of quality aren't cheap. And that isn't a bad thing, after all, our mum always told us, "you get what you pay for".
A good quality power tool will, for most us, mark a significant financial investment. And like all significant financial investments we expect a decent ROI, or return of investment.
What would a decent ROI look like for a power tool?
Consistent performance, closely linked to reliability. Durability. A sense of having exceeded our expectations via its day-in-day-out performance. A long life. Hard-wearing.
But what about warranty and after sales care?
How many of us consider
these before we punch our credit card number into the Toolstop checkout?
What would a warranty and after sales care look like if it was to mark a decent ROI on our power tool investments?
And what would it tell us about the power tool manufacturer?
It's no secret that Metabo offer the sort of warranty on their professional power tools that you don't find anywhere else on the market place.
We've talked about this before on the Toolstop blog, the borderline-mental level of warranty that Metabo have slapped on their 18v lithium-ion cordless power tools. After all, you're either nuts, ridiculously over-confident or extremely cynical to offer a 3 year warranty that covers the power tool, the chuck (if it has one), the charger and the lithium-ion battery.
We obviously mean no disrespect to Metabo, but think it through...
Metabo produce the sort of power tools that, by their own marketing, are aimed at the guys and gals on the jobsite who will, without a doubt, abuse them. Whether it's dropping them from a height, or running them until the motor is screaming for mercy, or pushing them through tasks that would have you reported to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Professional Power Tools. If such a body existed.
In other words, you see a Metabo power tool, you're going to want to work it hard. We've seen these tools up close. We've even sat through a presentation from the UK's product and brand manager for the company where he explained - at length - the innovation, the research, the development and the manufacturing processes they have in place.
And we've been left in no doubt that Metabo take the design and manufacture of their tools extremely seriously.
In fact, financial strategists would be scratching their heads at the ethos of the company.
For starters, rather than just design their tools in their German plant, they also manufacture the vast majority of their components there, too, instead of outsourcing the manufacturing to countries where the operating costs would be considerably less.
Apparently the thinking behind this is that Metabo like to carefully manage every single aspect of the design and manufacture of their power tools, allowing them to keep a close eye on quality. And apparently the CEO of Metabo (seen left) is a "product guy" who, when cut, bleeds attention to product detail.
He sounds like some sort of Steve Jobs*.
And, much like an Apple product, there's method to their madness.
What this appears to mean is that Metabo not only design and innovate with stereotypical German fastidiousness, they also apply that same mind-set to each element that goes into your Metabo power tools.
So, the motor housing, the gear boxes, all of the aluminium, metal and copper bits that turn your drill bit, your grinding disk or spin your saw blade are designed, engineered and manufactured in Germany, Nürtingen. At the Metabo plant. Only then are the component parts sent to their Chinese plant for assembly.
What we're trying to say is, Metabo power tools are extremely well made.
And that's because 80% of all their machines are still produced in Germany to their exacting design, manufacturing and assembly standards. The other 20% are assembled in their Shanghai factory which utilises the local labour force, but is controlled by German Engineers.
In some instances German made parts are even shipped over to the Shanghai factory for assembly, crazy as it might sound, this gives you some idea as to the investment in quality that is being made here.
So, you'd have to conclude that it's this level of engineering and manufacturing that gives Metabo the sort of confidence, not found anywhere in the power tool market, to slap a 3 year warranty**.
Including on the rechargeable batteries.
The truth is, lithium-ion battery technology, as advanced as it is, is still developing. As a result, not all lithium-ion batteries are created equal. We know this. You know this. Metabo know this.
Here's some of the tech-spec that you'll find on a Metabo 18v lithium-ion rechargeable power tool battery:
- Electronic Single Cell Protection is going to constantly monitor the health of, not just the battery, but every cell within the battery. ESCP is in operation whenever the battery is in operation, and when the battery is charging.Metabo claims ESCP will determine which cells need charging first and give them priority so that the battery is fully charged and ready for you to use much quicker.
- lots of checks and balances are constantly running within the battery. For example, deep discharge protection, overcharge protection and monitored overload and overheat shut-off, along with fan cooling the batteries as they charge are processes that will enable the lithium-ion batteries to work harder and longer.
So, the batteries are built well, and are built to last.
But remember, the Metabo 3 year warranty also applies to the charger!
So, which is it with Metabo? Are they nuts, overly confident or cynical? After-all, do they assume that no-one will bother themselves signing up on-line for the 3 year warranty?
Or could there be a fourth option?
Perhaps, just perhaps, Metabo are a power tool company who are - without a doubt - very confident in their products, due to the above mentioned manufacturing and design ethos, and want to make sure that the people who make a financial investment in one of their products are guaranteed a fantastic ROI?
An ROI that includes consistent performance, closely linked to reliability. Durability. A sense of having exceeded our expectations via its day-in-day-out performance. A long life. Hard-wearing.
And a great after-sales warranty.
What do you think of Metabo and the 3 year warranty? Marketing hype from them or peace of mind for you? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook.
* Not even Steve Jobs, as much of a product guys as he is, slaps a 3 year warranty on any of his products.
** Metabo have asked us to add the following disclaimer:
Warranty only covers part failure due to faulty assembly or manufacture. It does not cover wear and tear or miss-use. If a battery fails within the 3 year period the Metabo UK service department will run diagnostic tests to determine the batteries life history and if deemed within expected normal working parameters will issue a replacement battery at no additional charge.
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