That’s right, Lowes and Kobalt have launched their very own line of 18V cordless power tools! While there have been Kobalt power tool offerings here and there for quite some time, this is their first major foray into the cordless tool market.
The initial launch includes:
Kobalt Compact Lithium Ion Drill Driver
While I’m not sold on the looks of the drill/driver, it has decent specs to justify its Porfessional Grade description. The driver features ratcheting keyless chuck, 2-speed 0-450 RPM and 0-1650 RPM gearbox, and 455 in./lb max torque. The kit includes two 18V compact lithium-ion batteries that fully charge in 20mins. ($159)
I’ve got to say, the boxes looked pretty snazzy. I’m a sucker for nice packaging and presentation.
Kobalt Cordless Power Tool Combo Kit, NiCad
The drill included in the NiCad combo is a bit longer than the compact li-ion version. $169 for a 4-tool combo is pretty decent, and upon rough inspection the tools seem to be comparable to Porter Cable’s NiCad combo kit. The kit includes a drill/driver, circular saw, work light, reciprocating saw, kit bag, charger, and 2 NiCad batteries.
Kobalt Cordless Power Tool Combo Kit, Lithium Ion
The drill/driver looks different than both the compact and NiCad versions. The circular saw looks about identical to the NiCad version except for the color scheme. Upon first inspection I thought the reciprocating saw was identical to the one included in the NiCad kit, but after looking over the photos I am no longer certain about this. The work light is also different – pivoting (and rotating) LED head, vs. a larger (incandescent?) version in the NiCad combo. You also get a kit bag and charger, plus one compact lithium-ion battery and one extended-run battery. ($269)
Kobalt Cordless 1/2″ Impact Wrench
Only after reviewing this photo of the endcap display did I notice that a 1/2″ impact wrench will be included in the initial launch. It it curious why Kobalt is including an impact wrench in the new lineup but no impact driver.
Complete product specs and details of all these tools will be emerging soon, and we will share any information we find out.
One thing that is uncertain is whether these new Kobalt tools will affect Lowes’ selection of similarly priced Porter Cable power tools. But what we do know is that Lowes has Home Depot’s Ridgid brand in its sights. A small portion of the banner behind the display was devoted to a comparison between Kobalt and Ridgid’s leading drill/drivers.
What I find somewhat amusing is the “ergonomic design” vs. “standard design” bullet points.
One thing’s for sure – it will be interesting to see how these tools compare against others in their price range and those that are also considered professional grade.