Over at Lowes, today’s tool deal of the day is this Kobalt 24V Max brushless drill kit, for $99.
It only comes with 1 Li-ion battery pack, but you can buy an extra 1.5Ah pack for $10, or 2.0Ah pack for $20.
Yea, I know – $10 for an extra battery pack? Whoa. I saw the display at the local Lowes and was tempted to buy a couple for use in robotics or portable electronics projects, and still might.
Also See: Best Black Friday 2016 Cordless Drill Deals
This drill delivers some punch, with a 650 in-lb torque rating, and it’s no slowpoke either, with a 0-550 and 0-2,000-RPM 2-speed gearbox.
It comes with an auxiliary handle (which really should be shown on the drill in the product images), and a 2.0Ah Li-ion battery pack.
I’ve tested a Kobalt 24V Max drill with good results, and it might be this same one. Even if not, the user reviews seem to be positive.
Buy Now(via Lowes)
Update: There’s also sale pricing on a Kobalt 24V Max drill and 3-speed impact driver combo kit. (Thanks, Aaron!) $149 thru 11/30/2016.
I am a little hesitant about buying into a Kobalt cordless power tool platform. It wasn’t too long ago that they launched their 18V lineup, rebranded it as 20V Max, and then seemingly abandoned the entire lineup in order to emphasize this new 24V Max brushless tool lineup.
The tools are reasonably specs and definitely different from competitors’ offerings. The 24V Max battery packs provide more oomph, and the brushless motors give you a boost in power and efficiency.
Other brands are reluctant to change, due to DIYers’ tendencies to hold onto cordless power tools for far longer than most professional users (so I’m told).
So I guess that’s good and bad about Kobalt. They’re willing to launch a new cordless power tool lineup in order to offer the latest tech benefits. Well, Porter Cable did the same thing recently, with their 18V and 20V Max platforms.
A lot of people criticized Dewalt for launching their 20V Max platform, but they’ve stayed true to their word of fully supporting the 18V lineup, even building more tools and launching a limited but still welcome battery platform adapter.
I seriously doubt that Kobalt has any intention of replacing this new 24V Max lineup anytime soon, and would doubt that it’s even on their minds. If they were to launch a new lineup, I’d think it would be a new 12V Max or 16V Max (14.4V nominal) platform that fills the need for compact cordless tools. But, that’s probably not in their plans either.
If I were an average DIYer in the market for just a new cordless drill, I’d take a serious look at this deal. I don’t think I’d give it as a gift, though – I usually gift more compact 18V-class or 12V-class drills, like the Milwaukee M18 2407 and Bosch 12V Max PS31.
Buy Now(via Lowes)
This deal is valid 11/18/2016, probably expiring at 12am or 3am ET 11/19/16.
This looks like it could be the most powerful $99 drill/driver kit deal on the market right now. It might also be a nice gateway tool into Kobalt’s 24V Max cordless power tool lineup.
Lowes says the “was” price is $179. I remember checking the price when I was putting together my Black Friday cordless drills deal post, and the drill kit was on sale for $149. Or was it $125? I don’t remember exactly, but I’m pretty sure it was somewhere between those 2 values.
So while I don’t think you’re really saving a full $80 compared to the normal sale pricing, you are still saving a bunch of money – maybe as little as $25-30, or as much as $50.
Kobalt is also running a sale on this 24v Max drill and impact driver for $149, which is a much better deal. The impact is excellent; 3 speeds, with a “finish” mode which allows for only one impact per trigger press for precision work.
I’d purchase the combo for the impact alone; it’s on par with Milwaukee and DeWalt’s best offerings. I truly hope that Kobalt plans to stay with these tools in the long run, as they’re excellent offerings and extremely affordable. Their circular saw is also among the best on the market.
I’d like to know who really makes them and why the 24 Volt system. It’s a neat idea and I’m sure they aren’t bad items – the previous Kobalt branded stuff was pretty decent.
It’s an interesting piece and the price is surely right.
Chervon. I’m 99% certain of this. They made Kobalt’s previous 18V/20V Max tools. They also make a lot of Craftsman’s C3 cordless power tools.
Why 24V Max? Probably to gain a competitive or marketing edge over brands like Ridgid, Craftsman, and Ryobi.
I still can’t believe the 10 dollar battery pack pricing though. I wish more tool companies worked on making battery packs cheaper. We all know they follow the razor blade pricing on battery packs sell the tools as a deal and sell the battery pack the consumable at a larger markup.
Razor blade pricing isn’t exactly fair. Kits are heavily discounted to get you into the system in hopes you’ll buy more tools. Maybe the markup is a little more on batteries to help make up for it, I’m not sure.
The battery pack pricing really is insane. Consider this: the battery cell maker, battery pack maker (if different from the OEM), the OEM, and Lowes all have to make money on the pack.
I doubt that these are the same high performance cells used in higher tier brands’ battery packs. Then again, with higher voltage motors, it’s okay to use cells with lower power draw limits.
Lowe’s isn’t actually making money on the 1.5Ah or 2.0Ah. They purposely priced them at this level to help out customers who have been asking for years and challenge the market to bring their prices down.
They are the same high performance cells you would find in any other drill in the price range.
Thank you for the insider insights!
They pack is the loss leader in this case. At least that’s my opinion of the deal. Which honestly might be good for the consumer. Unless it’s made poorly – which might be the case. for the home user It looks pretty good. If I was shoping and didn’t care so much about ecosystem of bits – I’d bite (lack of other kobalt cordless tools would be a concern for me)
I doubt the batteries are a loss-leader. The reason they are so cheap is because they are 1.5 ah cells (in a world where 3 ah cells of the same size and weight are common now), but more than that they probably have junk chemistry which means they probably will only recharge maybe 50 times before the internal resistance starts to get so high that they become useless.
If you get 50 cycles from $10 that’s still a great value and pairs perfectly with the kind of tool that’s only expected to be used a few times a year by a home owner.
Stuart, for a drill driver kit, would you get this for $150 or the DeWalt 20v for $160 also at Lowe’s?
To be honest, HDs lifetime battery replacement is very tempting on their drivers….
Does that Dewalt have the DCD771 drill?
I think there might be a Milwaukee combo on sale for the holidays. I’d get that one.
I need to think this over.
Yes the DCD771 and DCF885
I’d go with the Kobalt. The DCD771 and DCF885 are both two generations removed from current tech and brushed, while Kobalt’s 24v is current tech at least and likely above given the increased voltage, not to mention brushless.
So the $150 Milwaukee 2691-22 at HD would be better?
I believe so.
I didn’t know it was on sale yet!
With that kit you get Milwaukee’s everyday drill and impact. With Dewalt’s promo kit, you get their mass market drill and first generation impact.
There’s a Dewalt kit that comes in a Tough System container, which muddies things a bit.
I see nothing wrong with giving the Dewalt DCD771 as a gift, but I’d rather use Milwaukee’s M18 2606.
Thanks Stuart, for steering me to Milwaukee. I’ve used their FUEL tools in the past and have always liked the ergonomics. I ended up with the 2695-24 from Northern. With the coupon, it came to $249, which is an incredible deal for the hammer drill, impact, hackzall, light and 2 4.0xc batteries.
I’m generally a fan of corded tools over cordless but this kit has me really excited!
Seems like a great deal! Good luck, use ’em well.
You’re not the only one that gets excited about new power tools!
Honestly I wouldn’t get this. 24V is not that much different from 18V or 20V, heck even my 12V Bosch is plenty good enough for most use. So I don’t see a reason to go 24V for a drill.
I think you’ll be much happier in the long run going with Dewalt, Milwaukee, Mikita or Bosch. The eco system is so much better not to mention proven reliability.
Kobalt’s 24v Brushless line is really being sold short in these comments thus far.
I would confidently state that these are pro grade tools overall, and compare favorably to Milwaukee and DeWalt. I’ve mentioned earlier my opinions of the drill and impact driver; the circular saw is the best non-FlexVolt cordless circular saw on the market IMHO, with the most cutting depth.
This isn’t some Porter-Cable/2nd-tier stuff. From what I understand there will be a second wave of tools coming up in the 1st or 2nd quarter of 2017 (grinder, hammer drill, multi-tool, etc.). Don’t sleep on this line as the quality is very good.
I think brand loyalty plays an impromptu role in such discussions. And when it comes to our tools we are all quite stubborn.
These kobalts, to me, and this is only an honest opinion, feel like a toy in my hand. The plastics of both tool and battery feel cheap(to me) and although their specs and performance may compete with top tier tools, it will be in getting over that initial hump that Kobalt will find most problems.
They need something to draw me away from my Makitas. My new Bosch EC hammer drill. Not offer cheaper versions of tools I already own. Where is the wow factor? For example, i, right now am waiting for an M18 surge in the mail as I HAD to have it…. Nothing screams at me from Kobalt.
Nothing against Kobalt and the quality of their tools. I strive for better tools, want their manufacturers to burden me with decisions. The options are what makes tool buying great.
It’s not quite like buying a car – but tool buying has lots of dimensions. Brand recognition and brand-loyalty have a play – and can be based on anything from advertising hype to actual long-term experience. Along with this, comes a pride-of-ownership factor. To use the automobile analogy – I may choose to drive a Bentley or a Kia – or maybe something in between – partly because what I think the car says about me. When I was buying a new tool for a business, I tried to factor in such things as cost effectiveness, past performance (of the tool and/or brand), employee input/feedback – and if it was a cordless tool – what battery platform(s) in which we already were invested. Concerns over things like safety on the job (OSHA or other certifications), longevity under commercial use and warranty servicing/replacement were issues that kept us from buying into some low-end brands. I always thought: why take a risk if there was a concern over on-the-job failure that might result in delays or worse yet injury? That stopped me from considering power tools from place like Harbor Freight – but also the more DIY-Aimed tools from Ryobi and other second-tier brands. While possibly a bit irrational, I also thought about how the tools (brand name, cleanliness/condition) we showed up with on the jobsite might instill a sense of pride in our workers and confidence in our customers.
So I was in Lowes today. The holiday display this year at my local Lowes is pretty lackluster and disorganized. My local Home Depots on the other hand did an awesome job.
So I checked out the 24v tools, to my surprised they were a bit hidden. None of them have any battery attached. The batteries, of which I think is a major selling point for this kit, is in a inconspicuous spot with other batteries in separate battery section a few isle away. I only see the 2Ah and 4Ah available for $20 and $50 respectively.
Though the battery weren’t attached. Based on my visual inspection they do seem to be well built. Definitely much better than the typical Kobalt tools that I have seen.
I went to a different Lowes, and their promo tool displays were in 3 different areas. Their Kobalt tools were in their own small section, in 3 rows with narrow walkways between them.
I have found that some Lowes stores typically have better tool gift centers. Maybe because they’re larger?
no knocking the product they look decent performers but you can get the same or better performance from others at lower voltage. shows where the cost cutting was done – but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing either. If my dad didn’t already have a ryobi device taking up space in his garage I’d buy him these in a heart beat.
incidentally – Notice this is remarkably similar to the new Greenworks Tool.