Behold Kobalt’s (new?) 24-in-1 auto-loading ratcheting screwdriver. It features a pistol-grip driver and four bit cartridges that hold 6 bits each. I’ve seen bit-cartridge-based screwdrivers, auto-loading screwdrivers, and pistol-grip screwdrivers, but this is the first time I’ve seen all three features in the same package.
I must admit, I almost bought one of these Kobalt pistol-grip drivers for review purposes, until a reality check made me put it back down. The design just seemed too unnecessary.
The first thing that turned me off is how this is described as a 24-in-1 driver. If I bought a tool pouch and loaded it with a couple of tools and bits, I wouldn’t be right in calling it 10-in-1 multi-tool. So why is this multi-component product being described as a “24-in-1” product?
Aside from my philosophical marketing gripe, the design also looks a bit goofy. Thinking about it for a moment, I really don’t see something like this saving me any time or effort.
It’s not the auto-loading aspect I have issue with, as I have a couple of such drivers floating around, and although they’re bulky they’re interesting and maybe even fun to use.
But this whole shebang just seems a bit gimmicky – a solution in need of a problem. I am seeing an increasing number of tools like this hitting the market, especially around the winter holidays and Father’s Day.
Am I being too harsh here? I almost bought a Husky bit cartridge screwdriver system a few years back, but for some reason I decided against it. It seems like a good idea to load up different cartridges for different needs, and if made compact enough such a driver would be great for portable tool kits. But the Kobalt version just seems a little over the top to me.
Even so, I was tempted for a good minute or two to buy one for testing. The tool certainly has an ooh-ah appeal to it, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good product. In any case, it’s still available for $13 online and in-store. If anyone really wants me to test one, I might reconsider picking one up for review.
Buy Now(via Lowes)
That item looks like one big fall and this item would snap in two-three pieces. Not to mention the colors remind me 1970’s neon colors you used to see in older sings.
If I want something “auto loaded” I’ll do it myself. Something that small is bound to get lost, but you can’t lose your hands. I have a Wiha 38025 Insulated 6 In 1 Magnetic Bit Holding Handle no bits
1000 Volt Rated, accepts 1/4″ drive insert bits and also a “vintage” Dewalt cordless drill. Both work perfectly for me. My Dewalt was even made in USA as well.
Thought the item was a neat idea when I saw it at Lowe’s. However when I picked up the demo model there was a bit stuck in the chamber that I couldn’t get out. Spoke volumes to me about the functionality of the tool.
It could be a neat idea, for someone who wants to have a wide selection of bits easily available, in a small space, if built with some quality.
It will never replace a full set of good drivers, but most average homeowners only drive a screw every now and then, and having all the bits ‘there’ could be a nice convenience for them.
I don’t think that this is as much about the bits anyway. It’s the tool itself that I find questionable. You can certainly obtain better leverage and torque with a pistol grip configuration. At the same time, it could only function as a ratchet. You couldn’t use it in a manual “fixed” setting like a standard driver. There’s no way to spin it without continually resetting the bit in the fastener. That’s why right angle drivers are typically convertable to a standard configuration.
Somewhere along the way they ran out of ideas for these things. I’m all for fast bit changes. If you need that kind of variety however, it’s usually not because of continual bit changes during a particular job. If you want variety and still want rapid bit changes, I’d be inclinded to recommend a rapid loader, (pump type,) such as the “Craftsman.” Then just get yourself a set of standard hex bits with some decent variety. You could then customize it with whatever bits you want at a given time. At the same time, you still wouldn’t have to give up the faster bit changes.
At the end of the day, you can’t have it all. I agree with Stuart. This is gimmicky, and it’s a stretch to call it a 24 in 1.
I purchased one of these yesterday on a whim… I used it right away for a few small things around the house, it works well… The only big downside is that none of the cartridges are Phillips head, only flt blade, stars, and square. I have been looking online and can’t even find a separate cartridge to add to the set.
CHAD- the picture above clearly shows a philips bit cartridge, and the one I looked at at Lowes has philips. FOUR cartridges of six each (flat, philips, star, square). If you purchased the 24-in-1 version and got three cartridges of six… you got 18 bits.
i got this however mine is not locking in place… was wondering if anyone else had this issue or do I just have to take it back and get another one?