Have you heard? Kobalt will soon be introducing a new line of 24V Max cordless power tools!
Not only did Kobalt step up the voltage, all of the tools included in the initial launch, except for the non-motored LED worklight, are engineered with brushless tools.
We couldn’t make it to the Kobalt 24V Max cordless power tool launch event in Las Vegas, but our buddies over at Tools in Action were kind enough to share some photos and initial impressions with us.
There will be several new Kobalt 24V Max brushless power tools included in the first wave:
- Impact Driver
- Impact Wrench
- Heavy Duty Impact Wrench
- Circular Saw
- Reciprocating Saw
- LED Worklight
They’ve got a First Look video up, check it out:
Some General Kobalt 24V Power Tool Notes
The new tools will be out before Father’s Day, so June 2016. The tools demoed by the TIA crew, and other media sites, were pre-production samples, and so there might be some tweaks to the final products between now and then.
When I talked to Dan, he sounded genuinely impressed with the new lineup, commenting that they felt every bit like professional-level tools.
They overall felt sturdier than Kobalt’s 18V and 20V Max lineup, and also seemed to perform admirably.
One thing that stuck with me. Dan mentioned a few times how the new 24V Max tools didn’t feel any heavier than most 18V or 20V Max tools.
He said that, overall, the new tools were impressive. They have a new look, and both build quality and performance that line up well with Kobalt’s pro user targeting.
“They felt and performed like Pro tools” came up a few times.
The new Kobalt cordless power tools are expected to be competitively priced, presumably against Rigid.
Brushless Motors and an Extra Battery
In a nutshell, brushless motors are more efficient, meaning more power, longer runtime, or a combination of both. Plus, there are no motor brushes that wear out with use.
As for the battery packs, Kobalt designed the line around a 24V Max form factor.
With 18650 cells, that means 6x 3.6V batteries. 18V and 20V Max battery packs have 5 batteries each.
So that’s 21.6V nominally, and 24V Max.
Several media sites reported that Kobalt engineers moved some of the battery electronics from the battery pack, to inside the tools. This helped make it possible to achieve close to the size and weight of 18V and 20V Max battery packs.
I have a feeling that Kobalt went with 24V Max partially for the “wow, that’s a bigger number than 18V or 20V Max” factor, but the higher voltage should translate to slightly more power.
Kobalt 24V Max Brushless Drill
When I asked Dan about what he liked most about the new Kobalt 24V Max brushless drill, he said that the ergonomics were fantastic. The grip was really comfortable, with perfect balance.
He said that the Kobalt 24V Max cordless drill didn’t feel at all heavier than 18V or 20V Max models.
The LED worklight is at the base of the tool. Oh, and Dan made sure to tell me that it had a very nice metal chuck.
A hammer drill is expected to launch as part of the second wave of tools, later this year.
Kobalt 24V Max Brushless Impact Driver
The new Kobalt brushless impact driver features the same ergonomics as the drill.
Dan mentioned that it felt a lot like Dewalt’s DCF886 brushless impact driver, in that it was light and powerful.
Here. the LED worklight is beneath the chuck, making room on the base for a 3-speed switch and “finish” button.
You know what the 3 speeds are for. They give you multiple max speed and max torque settings so that there’s less risk of stripped out fasteners or damaged bits.
The “Finish” button activates a special mode that helps to prevent users from overdriving their fasteners. When the finish mode is activated, the tool will work until the impact mechanism engages. Once the impact mechanism kicks into gear, it will work for 1 second before turning off.
This should allow for more controlled driving of smaller fasteners.
Kobalt 24V Max Brushless 3/8″ Impact Wrench
The new Kobalt 3/8″ brushless impact wrench is said to deliver up to 150 ft lbs of max torque, or about 1800 in-lbs.
I spoke to Dan about the impact as well, and he reiterated the sweet new Finish mode that helps to prevent over-torquing of certain fastener types.
Kobalt 24V Max Heavy Duty 1/2″ Impact Wrench
What about the heavy duty 1/2″ impact wrench?
In no uncertain terms, it’s a heavy duty impact wrench that can handle all your tough jobs, even removing lug nuts.
It can deliver up to 650 ft-lbs of nut-busting torque.
Kobalt 24V Max 6-1/2″ Brushless Circular Saw
I think this was Dan’s favorite tool, and I can definitely see why.
The way it’s designed, this 6-1/2″ saw can cut deeper than competing 6-1/2″ saws, meaning you don’t have to step up to a larger, heavier, or pricier 7-1/4″ saw.
It’ said to have the same cutting depth as a 7-1/4″ saw. It can cut through up to 3 stacked sheets of 3/4″ plywood.
Kobalt 24V Max Brushless Reciprocating Saw
Dan didn’t seem to have a strong opinion of the new Kobalt brushless reciprocating saw.
But he did spend enough time with it to notice that it’s slightly slimmer than the previous model. Plus, it offers extended runtime, a tool-free blade change mechanism, adjustable shoe, 2 LED worklights, and good ergonomics.
While it doesn’t have an orbital mode, it’s said to have the fastest stroke speed in the industry – 3100 SPM, as well as 60% faster cutting speed, and 5x more endurance than the previous model. It can cut 5x more 2x4s per charge.
I asked Dan about the LED worklight.
There was a worklight? I guess that means it wasn’t very impressive? I saw some images of it on Twitter, and it looks like your average pivoting head LED worklight.
There will be 3 battery sizes, and it looks like all will have built-in battery charge fuel gauges.
I can’t compare battery pack sizes just going by these images, but if I had to guess I’d say that these 24V Max packs are slightly longer than 18V and 20V Max battery packs.
Kobalt 24V Max Brushless Power Tool Expansion
Expect to see a new brushless hammer drill, angle grinder, and oscillating multi-tool later this year, with perhaps even more new Kobalt 24V Max power tools destined for 2017.
A BIG THANKS to Dan from Tools in Action, for the photos, permission to use the photos, and for sharing as much as you possibly can over the phone.
I’m optimistic. The extra battery cell had me worried for a little bit, but initial media response seems to be quite favorable.
I think that Kobalt is looking to match up against Ridgid’s 18V Gen5X power tools, at least performance wise. And there’s definitely going to be a marketing advantage.
The difference between 24V Max and 18V is just one battery cell, two in a high capacity battery pack, but that’s definitely going to be a selling point for DIYers and pros who haven’t yet learned what the Max part means.
Plus it should contribute to higher power and thus potentially higher performance.
Like I said, I’m optimistic, and cannot wait until I can give these a go myself firsthand.
Will Kobalt’s all-new 24V Max brushless cordless power tool lineup take a bite out of competitors’ market share?