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)