Over on social media channels, Lowe’s and Kobalt have been showing off new garage storage products.
This is a product category that Craftsman has been dominating at Lowe’s for a few years now, and so it’s interesting to see new Kobalt products added to the mix.
We asked Lowe’s if there was any press or media information to go along with their social media announcements, and are still waiting for details.
In the meantime, we have learned enough for a quick introductory discussion.
First, the new Kobalt workbench, priced at $299, features an interesting design I don’t recall seeing before. It features a 1.18″ wood top, height adjustability from 32.8″ to 40.8″, and perforated side panels that fit pegboard hooks and bins. The bench measures 72″ long x 24″ wide and can support up to 1500 lbs.
Related: Husky Adjustable Height Workbench Review
The new Kobalt garage cabinet measures 72″ tall x 36″ wide x 18.5″ deep and can be free-standing or wall-mounted. What’s interesting is that there is a separate drawer section below the larger upper section. The adjustable shelves in the top section can support up to 150 lbs each, and the fixed shelf can hold up to 100 lbs.
Here’s a look inside the cabinet. The cabinets are priced at $399 each.
Lowe’s will also be launching a 4-tier utility shelf, priced at $239. It measures 72″ tall x 77″ wide x 24″ deep, and can support up to 1500 lbs per shelf. There will also be a larger 4-shelf unit and a smaller 3-shelf unit.
If I’m shopping locally, I’d be much more inclined to head to the closest Home Depot and look at their Husky tool and garage storage products. Still, it’s nice to see Lowe’s bring out some new Kobalt offerings to complement their Craftsman storage selections.
My disappointment about Kobalt tool storage products is that they never seem to commit to a product line. They came out with tool boxes with slide-out pegboards, beefy tool carts, and unusual tool box configurations, and all of those products (and more) seem to have been quickly abandoned. Kobalt and Lowe’s experiment with different designs – which is good – but it seems they never commit. Will this happen to the newly launched workbench and garage storage products as well?
The pricing of these Kobalt garage storage products seem a bit high to me, but given the launch timing, I’d bet they’re priced this way to allow for compelling Father’s Day discounts.
Do any of these new Kobalt products appeal to you?
Kobalt has nice tool boxes, tool storage and power tools… so why are their hand tools such crap? I looked at one of their wrench sets the other day and it looked so cheaply made, I put it back. Their ratchets and sockets look like Harbor Freight rejects. That’s pretty bad. Kobalt needs to up their mechanics tool game.
I haven’t really checked in a while, but years ago I thought kobalt had a really good vibe for pro mechanic tools on budget. Did they do a major supplier switch on those?
Lowe’s has switched suppliers once or twice from the late 90’s/early 00’s when HH William (Snap On subsidiary) was making the socket & wrench sets (I still own my HH Williams made Kobalt socket set – I hope it does not break).
Stuart – are you planning on a Flex Tool cordless write up?
I’m with Aaron on this one.
I only have a few Kobalt tools – but they are seem pretty good. Have maybe a dozen or so loose sockets I bought as part of expanding my drive size ranges (e.g. I can use my 3/8 ratchet from 5mm all the way up to 23mm if I want). I didn’t notice any fit or chrome issues with any.
I tried a couple ratcheting flex-head wrenches – they’re equal to Gearwrench as far as I can tell.
Their non-ratcheting wrenches are pretty good too – much thinner around the head than Husky or Craftsman (which I consider competitors), which provides good clearance. The finish is flawless.
I like Proto best for wrenches – but you have to consider Proto is many times more expensive.
If I had one category where I would steer clear – it’s pliers. But I HATE cheap pliers with a passion. Kobalt’s are ok, but once you get something of at least Channellock-grade, you won’t go back.
I bought a majority of Kobalt’s early 2010s hand tools. The 1/2″ & 3/8″ dr. torque wrenches were incredibly affordable I’ve used them more times than I can count. I trusted them a lot considering I used them on my cars for VIR track sessions, which is true torture testing. They even made really cool experimental (relative to mainstream go with the flow sockets and screw drivers) things like speed adjustable wrenches, double drive ratcheting screwdrivers, the LED ratchets that had a light in the center of the drive block, and I believe it was a 72-tooth all three sizes held up fairly well. Lights still work to this day. Their sockets were pretty good too from my experience. I did not find their specialty box (Flex & Universal spline) ends as enticing as competitors, Gear wrench was a little pricier but was felt like a better quality. The Shame is that the revived Craftsman line they carry does look like a higher quality product, and I do not doubt that they could have let Kobalt’s quality slip remembering the way Craftsman died out under Sears downfall. When you start using plastic in your socket wrenches or cheap metal it kills the brand in my opinion.
Lowes with their Kobalt Brand – like Home Depot with their Husky brand seem to change OEMs when they either get dissatisfied with their current supplier or get a better deal from someone else.
J.H. Williams was indeed an early supplier of Kobalt sockets. You could tell by UPC’s starting with 662459. Then the seemed to switch to Danaher – then Apex – with UPC’s starting with 082171. Now I see some UPC’s starting with 820909 (Hangzhou Great Star) and 099198 (J.S. Industries – Steelman) There may be others too.
Home Depot’s Husky sockets once were made by a Stanley (original owner of the Husky brand name when the acquired Husky Tool). The telltale here were UPC’s starting with 051655 (Stanley’s National Hand Tool). But then HD switched to Danaher and then Apex (UPC starting with 037103) – and may have switched again for some items.
Home depot’s store brands are mostly exclusives with a single manufacturer where kobalt is a mishmash. Seems like the Flex partnership is an attempt to address the chaotic weaknesses of that?
Any word if the cabinet is welded together or shipped flat and bolted together?
They don’t specify, but I found an installation PDF that shows assembly is required.
I have one of the lower units from the 3000 series that you linked. I can’t complain too much, I only paid $180 for it. But it does bother me that my only chance of getting a unit to go on top is via 2nd hand market. The 3000 series came out just in time for black friday 2017. I bought my unit as a closeout in June 2018. Barely 6 months in store before they started to move them.
I’m going to be very hesitant to buy any Kobalt “system”.
Koko The Talking Ape
Yep, expensive, especially that shelving unit, though it has a high weight rating. Ordinary industrial wire shelving is maybe half the price, and is plenty strong. I don’t need a unit that can hold three tons of stuff.
For my next garage, I would not mind some rugged wire shelving like that; but I like greater shelf density.
Five or six shelves per unit suits me better.
And for the price, I will probably stick with the standard wire shelving. Bit delicate to assemble and adjust if needed, perhaps, but I have a few of them now, pretty much all going strong though a few wheel bit the dust under load while moving.
Im still in love with my Gladiator Premiere; I have about 10K worth of Gladiator stuff (spent around 3-4 K hunting Sears sales back in the day…woot) in my garage and it has survived a move along with my Gladiator/Racedeck floor. It still looks timeless too. THe old Kobalt was cool and futuristic but the fact that they redesigned everything is a testimony to how fleeting that older line was. The fact that Sears isnt around and that it is 10 years later makes Gladiator almost cost prohibitive. 🙁
We purchased several Kobalt cabinets for our garage renovation project. We are unsatisfied and frustrated ! Every one we purchased had to be returned for one reason or another. And then returned again and again ! Many were damaged with dents, large scuff marks or broken parts. After assembly the doors did not stay closed or did not match up at all with the other door. This is unacceptable when these cabinets are for garage use. Can’t have the doors swinging open randomly and knocking into parked cars close by. Can’t have large gaps in cabinet s to allow rodents to explore. Over the last week my husband had assembled 7 cabinets and only one was worth keeping. Repeatedly returned the product after spending time on assembly, only to discover faulty item. Very frustrating. We called the company and their only response was to just keep returning the cabinets and get a new one. Would never recommend these cabinets. For the price , you would expect a better product and much better quality control at the factory and much better customer service.
Where can I get additional shelving for storage unit with doors and pull out storage at bottom of unit
I’m sorry, you’ll have to ask Kobalt.