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
If you appreciate this sneak peek (and we certainly do), head on over to Tools in Action, or the Tools in Action YouTube channel.
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
You’ll want to check out our Power Tool Tech: Brushless Motors 101 post to learn more about the benefits and differences of brushless power tool motors.
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.
Check out the Tools in Action site here, and their YouTube channel here.
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?
I’ve never been that impressed with KoBalt power tools. Their hand tools are made by one of the big companies and have a great home user warranty. I like them though I don’t own many of them.
But the power tools always felt like a watered down bosch or ?
which leads to the question – who makes them for Kobalt? And in this case – where are these made. I assume China but occasionally I get a surprise.
Good question, who does mange them?
I’m not sure about all of them now – but some in the past came from Nanjing Chevron
Here’s a link to Chevron:
They also were an OEM for some of the Craftsman Lase Levels
They look a bit like the Masterforce tools from Menards, though with an extra battery cell. The Masterforce tools and old Kobalt 18/20volt tools always felt like too much cheap plastic was used. If Kobalt can actually build this into a system that would be great; due to the lack of add-on tools I never considered Kobalt tools as anything more than something to buy if you forgot your “real” tools.
Ridgid has the track record of maintaining support for their tools over time but Kobalt never really took off. With these new 24volt tools, it makes me wonder if this is the reason why some of the Porter Cable tools have taken a hit with cheap rebrands of Black + Decker tools. The original 20 volt Porter Cable tools had some real quality in them but newer combo kits keep coming with the cheap rebrands. So it makes me wonder if Lowe’s is trying to slot these 24v Kobalt tools above Porter Cable and below their Dewalt and Hitachi lines, thus making PC the Lowes version of Ryobi tools (but without as large of a selection of tools)
My first impression is that they’re a little late to the game. I feel like most people are already invested in an 18v lithium ion system and depending on price point and warranty, I don’t think any professionals would ditch one of the big names for Kobalt. It even seems that the majority of DIYers that I know really like the Ryobi system for price and performance. I think that Kobalt has bitten off more than they can chew with this endeavor.
My experience with Kobalt has been very poor. It’s one of the reasons that I no longer shop at Lowe’s. I feel that Lowe’s is also fighting for survival, at least in Illinois, and it would upset me if I invested into their brand names cordless system only to have the store close its doors.
You asked “Will Kobalt’s all-new 24V Max brushless cordless power tool lineup take a bite out of competitors’ market share?”
My take is it depends on how many contractors shop at Lowes – and if their numbers are increasing or decreasing. I’m not sure that Lowes competes well head to head with Home Depot for the contractor market in most locales – but maybe they can get a buzz going based on these new offerings and their Hitachi deal.
When we were doing residential work – we bought a lot of pick-up and last minute items like consumables at HD – but generally bought our tools either on-line or from a tool supply house that also serviced them. Our crews knew where the Home Depots were located – but I’m not sure the same was true about the local Lowes.
They don’t look that refined do they? Compare them to any Makita, Bosch or Dewalt and Kobalt looks like they are stuck in the 70s.
wonder if it’s geographical – but around here Lowe’s is more the home owners/ weekends shopping ground.
I’ll be honest I go there most of the time. But if I need wood or other serious construction material I go to Home Depot because they tend to be cheaper. They also rent more of the larger tools – if that’s a need.
However for plumbing or electrical it’s about a wash. Tool wise I rarely shop either store.
It’s a wash? Lowes doesn’t even carry leviton. They also sell the crappiest lights that I’ve ever had the displeasure of installing. Lowes electrical department is a joke.
What is taking DeWalt so long to come out with brushless saws? An I agree, they look a little… “off”…
I’m not sure these will help kobalt much with pro level sales. But that might just be the bias my area has, around here all the pros will live and die for black and yellow. I’ve only ever seen Milwaukee on one job site.
But I do think this lineup could help them win over some of the more enthused diyer, I’d assume these will be around the level of hitachi or ridgid, which is a big step up from where I consider their previous offerings to be.
Even if by some miracle these are true pro grade tools I think they’ll have a hard time taking off. Most people working trades are well set in their ways. They’re the guys that’ll start a fight over which of the big three makes the best truck, and kobalt is like Toyota or Nissan trying to jump in.
I am a Lowe’s Guy. I’m not sure when I shifted, but at some point I got fed up with the layout of Home Depot and some of the hardware I wanted I couldn’t get there and I’ve frequented Lowe’s ever since. It may have been when I bought my appliances last and got a better deal there. I’ve never even considered buying Kobalt power tools. The only things I have gone to Home Depot for as of late has been for a Ridgid table saw and shop vac.
I do see Lowe’s as catering more toward homeowners, and Home Depot maybe more towards contractors, but they both have their pros and cons. For me I just like walking in and knowing where to find what I’m looking for at this point, which is usually miscellaneous stuff for remodeling.
I also buy their paint, Sherwin Williams colors with Ovation base.
Not sure why I went on this rant, but yeah.
At the last Lowes I frequented, I always saw the Kobalt stuff arrayed in the automotive section, far away from the main power tool aisles, or the sad little Bosch end-cap. If you walked into the store looking for a chop-saw, or a drill, you wouldn’t even know Kobalt made either one.
Since I moved, I’ve only been in Lowes once, for a black friday Dishwasher deal. I did step into the power tool area, but can’t remember seeing any Kobalt stuff there at all. It was mostly Bosch, followed by DeWalt and Hitachi.
I wonder if these tools will get a proper showing in the stores. If the managers won’t place their companies products front-and-center, it doesn’t bode well. I think these tools are going to sell best to an un-informed buyer, who’ll see the 24V Max and think “This one must be better!”. Maybe if the reviews are glowing enough, you’ll get contractors buying a set to try them out, and it could grow from there. I don’t really see it happening.
12v for small tools, 18v for most others, 36v when you really need power (circ saws, chainsaws). 24v (and 28) never made sense to me.
With X2 systems it’s all pretty well worked out now.
To me they look like the Kawasaki brand only in blue also the blade on the circ. saw is on the east coast side.
Color…Seems to me, that they chose wrong color. Brushless is a plus, this is what will give them some customers who are shopping at HF. Definetely for DIY but most of them already invested either in Ridgid or Ryobi. Unless Kobalt will start this line with aggressively low price point for some time, as well as with an agressive advertisement and promotions, I personally, don’t see them getting much new buyers for these tools. I might be wrong, but I don’t see people, who held and worked with Millwaukee, Makita or Dewalt would invest in some low brand. Also, speaking for DIYers, I think Ryobi is on the top with the variety of the tools they have, so, even most of diyers would prefer R over K.
Heh I wasn’t going to say anything, but I agree the color looks off. I thought Kobalt was a dark purple blue not a neon bright blue, though maybe the pictures are a bit off from real life.
Compare to this:
All new styling. From the photos, I like the new colors.
The timing of this seems really odd considering Hitachi acquired Metabo and Metabo power tools are starting to show up finally in Lowes locations. With their exclusive Hitachi deal and now Metabo, I wonder if this new spread is going to upset their exclusive vendors.
I totally agree! I was thinking that Lowes was going to disregarded all kobalt power tools and primary sell hitachi tools in their place.
read a rumor they were dropping the bosch brand. Not sure about that either. but I could see them making a bid to handle one line in a drop for another. Just like I could see Home Depot doing the same but with the opposite brand.
have to say I’m curious as to who makes these and if there’s going to be a new standard battery line soon.
I can almost guarantee no battery standard. especially when one company is basing their batteries off of 6 cells, vs 5, that is if you are referring to other companies using the same battery platform
yes I meant I wonder if you will see someone else bringing a 22ish volt system to market to go along with.
Maybe the next Metabo setup, or Bosch (which I would think would already be a thing) or ?
The only negative thing that i can see in the pictures with the new kobalt 24 volt brushless tools would be with the new 1/2 heavy duty impact wrench that is a single speed instead of a 3 speed for more power settings.
Your all full of butterflies I’ve used the 18 v kolbolt I couldn’t tell the difference between them from dewalt or Milwaukee same quality I have power tools from black and Decker called firestorm a hammer drill ,impact driver and recip saw they have to be over ten years old and they still run great and I’ve beat the butterflies out of them they do the jobs I wouldn’t take my dewalt tools to do like crawl spaces and wet nasty basements drop my hammer drill in a pool still runs perfect
Really? I have a buddy that has the Firestorm tools and I can barely drill crap with them without stalling them out, etc.
Do you use these professionally?
Ur full of butterflies if u can’t tell the difference between the tools u mentioned and new miluakee and dewalt tools, u either just like making butterflies up or u never used a quality tool before cause Ur comment is so stupid I gotta believe that u said it as a joke , a joke that wasn’t funny, u know what u should provally just stay quite for now on, don’t spread Ur lack of knowledge anymore
Guys, please keep it clean and respectful, thanks!
What are their price range?
They look solid to me and much better then their current offerings. What could possibly be wrong with that.
Did anyone notice that they used the same entry-level cheap chuck on their hammer drill, that comes on the lower end Dewalt compact brushless drills? I hope they priced it accordingly, because the pro’s definitely notice that stuff… I did.
you must be referring to the 18v line. right? I would think the Dewalt Brushless would have a decent chuck; that’s a bit surprising to me.
It looks like an all metal chuck to me. How do you know it’s cheap?
I’m pretty sure protoolreview confirmed they are all metal
Maybe JT shouldn’t be speaking for “pro’s”
A Brushless 24V 3/8 Impact that only delivers 150 ft-lbs… not impressive at all, actually ordinary. The new crappy Ryobi 1/4 3 speed impact does that and its not brushless. All these medium-low end tools for a little less than professional grade is why I only buy Milwaukee now.
You really don’t need more then that much torque for 3/8 sockets. If you are looking for more 1/2 sockets is more suited for that purpose.
The mount of the side handle of the drill looks unusual. It apear to have two positions. Hitachi’s new brushless hummer drill also has two but has kind of different design.
What is the parent company or manufacturer of Kobalt Pitchforks?
One thing they are forgetting here is that in their case a quality tool by itself is not enough to succeed. Pro grade tools already exist and if they expect a diehard user (red, yellow, or teal) to switch to blue they need to provide some serious tangible reasons. Performance difference will need to be drastic, or price way lower for similar quality, otherwise a 24v drill is still a marketing gimmick when sitting next to an m18 fuel. The real mark of success for them i think will be if the 24v allows them to make cordless tools other brands cant, simply put in order for this to really take off, their stuff is going to hafta be game changing in some way. If it isn’t disruptive, there just is no reason to switch.
I received the 24v impact, hammer drill, driver, and 3/8 impact for Christmas 2016.
I returned all of it. Complete junk.
The rapid charger that came in the impact kit was able to charge the 4.0 amp battery in under an hour.
The slow charger that came in the 4.0 Hammerdrill / driver combo kit overheated and melted the tablecloth. It did not charge the 4.0 battery to capacity despite being left in charge for over 12 hours.
I tried to return the charger after reading on several forums that the small charger only handles the 2.0 amp battery and that most Loews stores would do an exchange.
My Loees would not, they insisted on a full exchange. I did, same problem.
1/2 impact did not have enough power on full battery charge to complete a full tire rotation, and at 650 ft lbs torque is substantially less than the 1200 lb ft from the 20v DeWalt.
The return process was horrible, I will never buy anything from Kobalt again. With Home Depot and the Husky brand, I see no need to ever set foot into a Lowes ever again.
Saw these new 24v tools at local Lowes today. Drill/Driver delivers 650 in-lbs and impact driver does 1800 in-lbs. Still somewhat pricy. A two tools combo including only one 2ah battery sells at $229, while similar Ridgid set with 2 4.0 ah batteries now sells at $259 at Home Depot.
Kobalt needs a to make a jig saw what the f.
they have one now
Will there be upcoming reviews for these soon, Stuart? They look highly tempting, especially with 2.0 batteries for only $20!
Have you tried these yet, Stu?
Too bad there aren’t any thorough reviews out there. Lowe’s has now reduced the price of the combos AND has a 24% trade up discount going.
My old hitachi set is worn out and I’m looking at this….
But I think they also have a one year “test drive” type promotion going on too.
Been using these for a few weeks now and must say I’m really impressed. We use DeWalt exclusively in the fab shop I’m at and these tools are pretty darn close in terms of performance for way cheaper. The battery price and warranty alone make these worth trying. Will have to see how they hold up but I’ve pushed them pretty hard so far and am happy with the purchase.
I am sick and tired of dewalt, and now kobalt stating the MAX voltage, instead of the actual under load voltage. My tools don’t do squat just sitting there under no load.
I hope you’re as sick and tired of Milwaukee, Bosch, and Makita as you are of DeWalt and Kobalt. They do the exact same thing with their 12v tools that you’re complaining about.
I have the 3/8 impact , basic drill and grinder. I will take it over black and yellow any day. Try out the drill before you forsake it. Has a metal Jacobs chuck like my Snap on came with. Seldom ever slips unlike the plastic chucks on my 18v dewalts. Better set clutch though or it will snap a bit or your wrist in short order. I have had this stuff about 2 months and I beat the crap out of it almost daily . The 2.0 batteries hold up comparably with the 18v Dewalt but only cost 20 bucks each…… Longer warranty.
Best set of cordless tools I have ever bought and I have had them all, Dewalt, Porter Cable, Ryobi and Milwaukee. You can not beat the power these batteries have. I have an impact, two drills, a flashlight , a blower, a weedeater and a skill saw. Before you knock it try ripping 14 2x4s with your cordless skillsaw let me know how it works out.
i bought the 3/8 impact not bad doesn’t stand up to my snap on but it also was not 450 dollars either all in all not bad for the price you get what you pay for
I just got the Oscillating bare tool for 79 bucks and so far it has been great. A solid quality feel to it and for 79 bucks a pretty good deal.