Metabo Corp.

Within the competitive world of ergonomic tool design, sometimes is pays to play around. That's evidently what happened when Germany–based Metabo Corp. and Porsche Design Group teamed up to produce the P'7911 sporty multihammer that went on sale earlier this summer.

About three years ago, a Metabo design engineer took the main handle off one of the manufacturer's hammer drills and stuck it upside–down on top of the drive body. The company had just installed a new chief executive officer, who noticed the tool while he was taking a tour of the office. Seeing the odd–looking implement laying on the engineer's desk sparked the new CEO's imagination. The rest, as they say, is history.

After engaging Porsche to draw up a sleek–looking package, the two companies began testing the smooth–running drill. It may not run red lights like a Porsche 911, but testers thought that it made for buttery–smooth drilling and chiseling through concrete, wood, tile and metal. "They found that it is ergonomically designed, it is more well balanced and it actually is easier to use," says Terry Tuerk, product manager for Metabo Corp. USA in West Chester, Pa.

It has the hallmarks of luxury sport–car design, all the way down to a carbon–fiber and aluminum housing. The inverted handle takes pressure off the hand, and the bottom of the drill is flat. So you can lay it down when it's time to take your rear–engine roadster for a spin, then pick it up again quickly to finish hanging cabinets before dinner.

The 6–amp drill generates 133 in.–lb of torque and can bore open a 3/4–in. cavity through solid concrete. But most users probably won't play much with this "heirloom tool," Tuerk suggests. At a suggested retail price of $645, it's definitely no kid's toy.