These are the new Kobalt… box wrench-like… tool thingamajigs, which Lowe’s just launched for their Black Friday 2022 and holiday gift center.
Lowe’s product description says:
Easy switching between sockets quicksilver button.
Common applications include automotive mechanical applications and home repair.
Aach wrench fits multiple size fasteners, with the blue wrench for metric sizes, and the red fits SAE/inch.
There are 6 sizes at each end, for 12 per wrench and 24 fastener sizes total for the two tools.
Kobalt has had catchy names for tools like this in the past. What are these called?
Lowe’s describes these wrenches as:
Kobalt 100% Steel Carry Handle
This can’t be the official name, right?
Lowe’s recently announced a new “Tech Hub” with the headline:
Lowe’s Tech Hub ‘WOWs’ with Grand Opening Celebration and Light Show.
It will feature a “best-in-class technology center,” with an “innovation lab, Big Room Planning multipurpose room, and multiple game and social hub spaces.”
Maybe they’ll finally start working on website improvements. Or, maybe Lowe’s will focus on more “metaverse” and NFT wearable stuff there.
Sorry, I digress.
The last I checked, my Lowe’s store didn’t have these out yet, and so I haven’t seen which sizes they give you, or what it’s really called.
I spotted these new Kobalt tools online last month, and hoped Lowe’s would have updated their product listing by now.
If you’re interested in the new “Kobalt 100% Steel Carry Handle,” with its “easy switching between sockets quicksilver button” for your “automotive mechanical applications” or home use, it’s available now online.
Is there hidden value in these wrenches that I’m just not seeing? Or is it a holiday gift item that’s destined to be a junk drawer paperweight for 99% of the users that receive it?
If you ask me, there are far better ways to spend $20 at Lowe’s.
Here’s What I Would Buy Instead
If you really want a tool that can handle a wide range of fastener sizes, try an adjustable wrench.
This Craftsman is $18 at Lowe’s.
This Channellock 8-inch adjustable wrench is – in my opinion – a better investment than the Kobalt contraptions discussed above.
In my experience, Channellock’s made-in-Spain adjustable wrenches deliver a much smoother user experience compared to others I have used over the years.
It’s priced at $21.40 at the time of this posting.
Alternatively, you can buy a Husky 3pc adjustable wrench set for $14 at Home Depot.
If you can spend a little more, the Channellock WideAzz adjustable opens wider and has a cushion-grip handle.
I have much better fastening tools – combination wrenches, ratcheting wrenches, pliers wrenches, sockets, and so forth – but still whip out an adjustable for quick and light tasks.
These are strong, can open very wide, and comfortable to use.
Does anyone have other alternate tool suggestions at around the $20 price point?
If You Really Want an All-in-One
If you really want universal-type many-sizes-in-one box end wrenches, the Duratech “Universal Wrench Set” has 8″ and 10″ wrenches that they say cover 4 different inch and metric fastener sizes.
These wrenches are a bit gimmicky too, but should adjust quicker than the Kobalt, and you don’t need separate tools for inch and metric fasteners.
The 2pc set is $24 at Amazon at the time of this posting.