The battery cooler from Metabo or with airplane noise to the cool glass of white wine
Metabo makes tools. And recently also cool boxes - ones that run on battery power. This is especially interesting for people who already own Metabo products.
If you browse the Galaxus online store in the Drill + Impact Drill category, you have to scroll a bit until you come to the first Metabo product. The company from southern Germany still lags a bit behind Bosch and Makita in terms of awareness. It's pure coincidence that my cordless drill is from Metabo. My father gave me the set as a gift for my first apartment.
To increase the popularity of the brand outside the Teufelberger family, there's now a cool box with a volume of 24 liters. So not only because of that. It is intended to expand the product range and also offer added value to the customer. The box has room for 1.5-liter bottles, can also heat and, above all, can be powered by a rechargeable battery. This is not included, because the box is powered by the same 18-volt battery that powers many (impact) drills, grinders, lawn mowers, etc.. It's even compatible with other select brands. So if you already have a product from the line, you can use your battery for all other 18-volt tools. According to Metabo, this is not only good for your wallet, but also for the environment.
It all sounds very user-friendly at first. But can the cooler do anything?
More is more
The first thing that stands out is the 1-star rating, which was given without explanation and makes me a bit pessimistic. Right after that, the visuals catch the eye. The manufacturer's name is emblazoned on all four sides, plus the colors red and green, which run through the entire product range. The goal of raising awareness was definitely taken seriously. In addition, the size of the box makes it look very bulky. An impression that is supported by the somewhat angular design. You don't get elegant restraint with the product.
In addition to the battery operation, you can also charge the box at the socket or at the cigarette lighter in the car. This can be set via a switch. On the other switch, you can choose whether you want to cool or heat. According to Metabo, the latter option is primarily aimed at use on the construction site. Especially in winter, silicone and industrial glue could be kept warm this way.
A controller can also be used to select how much power should flow into cooling/warming. And there's a bottle opener on the right-hand corner to open the cooled glass bottles at the lake, on the campsite or in the poorly equipped allotment garden.
So much for the theory.
Cabin crew, prepare for departure
In practice, I first have to charge the 18-volt battery that I received from the manufacturer. My cordless drill set comes from a different series with only 12 volts and is therefore not compatible. As soon as the chunk is plugged in, I feel like I'm on vacation. Not like the relaxing part at the beach or hotel pool. No, like the stressful part on the plane. The battery sounds as if I've just taken the window seat next to the jet.
This is especially irritating because I charge the battery next to my desk. Relegated to an empty room, I then don't really care about the volume. And the volume even has something good. It comes from the built-in ventilation, which cools the battery during the charging process and thus prolongs its lifespan.
The battery - with a capacity of 5.5 ampere hours - is full after just under two hours and can easily be snapped into place on the side of the box. It already weighs 5.9 kilograms. If you add the weight of various bottles, it quickly becomes clear that you won't be walking ten kilometers to the swimming lake, but at most the last few meters from the parking lot to the lawn.
With a full battery charge and at maximum level, I now want to cool two white wines. One comes out of the fridge and just needs to be kept cold. One comes from the wine rack and has to be brought from room to drinking temperature.
After an hour, the bottle of warm wine has already cooled significantly, the already cold wine has maintained its temperature. According to the manufacturer, the inside of the box should be able to drop to a maximum of 17 degrees below ambient temperature. That is, at 20 degrees outside, you should be able to cool your drinks down to 3 degrees. At 30 degrees, however, you should only be able to cool them down to 13 degrees.
The battery gives up at 3 hours and 45 minutes - in max mode. Unsurprisingly, the cold bottle is still cold and the previously warm one is now actually drinkable. And that's without relativizations like "Yes, it's just okay" or "The main thing is that we have wine".
With the second battery charge, I test the keeping-warm qualities in Eco mode. The manufacturer promises up to 60 degrees. I put a bottle of freshly brewed tea in the box. It is a substitute for a thermos, so to speak. I really can't think of much more for the keep-warm function, since I don't need to keep industrial glue warm.
It quickly becomes apparent that the Eco mode is a bit too weak to keep the tea really hot, the inside of the box is only lukewarm after half an hour. On maximum setting, however, we get towards the promised 60 degrees.
But now I also want to know how the Eco mode does when cooling. At an outdoor temperature of 20 degrees, the mode is sufficient to keep cool things cool, but not to make warm things cool. In return, the battery life increases to five hours.
The target group for this cooler is clearly people who already own a drill and therefore also the 18-volt battery from Metabo. Or those who want to purchase one of the other 18-volt battery products anyway. In that case, the good 130 francs (as of May 10, 2022) are worth it, because the box delivers what it promises: It actively cools down drinks, keeps my peppermint tea warm as well as probably the silicones on the construction site, and can also be filled with 1.5-liter bottles, which is not a matter of course.
And all that without being tied to power outlets. Only one other cooler in the Galaxus online store runs independently of the power grid. You can choose different modes to prioritize either battery life or cooling quality. This way, you can enjoy sipping cold drinks in the maiensäss as well as in the boathouse. You just have to accept strong branding and a somewhat bulky design for that.
It seems a bit harsh to give it a 1-star rating just because of that.
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