Kobalt 24 Volt Brushless Cordless Tools

Kobalt 24V

Kobalt Announces NEW Cordless PRO Grade Line Up of Tools

Kobalt wants to change the way you think about their tool line!

You’ll see a lot of changes come to light this year as Kobalt has completely re-designed their cordless tool line from the ground up. This new release is Phase I of a multiple phases and includes the following tools:

  • 24 Volt Brushless Drill Driver
  • 24 Volt Brushless Impact Driver
  • 24 Volt Reciprocating Saw
  • 24 Volt Circular Saw
  • 24 24 Volt Brushless ½” Impact Wrench
  • Volt Brushless 3/8” Impact Wrench
  • LED Work Light

Kobalt 24V Lineup

Kobalt 24 Volt Brushless Cordless Tools – Perception is Reality… or is it?

Kobalt’s new goal with this release is to “up their game,” to a PRO quality line with a consumer price point

I recently tested a few of these tools, and while they still have a long way to go, I think they on a much better track than years past.

Optimizing the Brand

Kobalt increased marketing investments and production activities in 2016, more than any other year in their history. In addition to a new logo and color, Kobalt is making category, strategy changes that better addresses the needs of end-users.

These new 24 Volt MAX brushless tools will be the “hero” for what they are calling the “Year of Kobalt.”

To get there, Kobalt invested in heavily brushless motor technology and made significant improvements in battery capacity, all with the goal of addressing end user needs.

Todays end users are more trusting of cordless performance and Kobalt has developed their new line around four end-user requests:

  1. More power
  2. Better run-time
  3. Reliable
  4. Desire to cut the cord.

Kobalt made the decision to scale their tools to a place where no other battery platform is going, and that is 24-volts. They designed these tools around one principle, that they call an “extension of me!” Meaning, the tools should feel great in your hand, and are built for serious tool users. Basically Kobalt feels that it’s all about the right balance of ergonomics and power.

Kobalt’s 24 Volt BatteryKobalt 24V Battery Packs

The idea of a 24-volt battery coupled with a new 24 volt brushless motor was to achieve the desired power and 20% more runtime all at a lower price point than competitors. According to Kobalt’s Electromechanical Engineer, Abdul Koya, “These are true 24-volt tools.”

Kip Pohlman, Kobalt Design Manager, told us that in order to achieve a 24-volt Kobalt battery they needed to add additional battery cells and reconfigured them to fit in a compact, newly designed lithium-ion battery pack. To make room, they removed some of the battery circuitry and placed it into the tool to make room without increasing the pack size.

Kip explained that the Kobalt team spoke to end-users on job sites and built these new tools with them in mind: to be reliable, resilient and long lasting. He explained that his team built simulated load brakes, performed environmental testing, and other constructed testing jigs to put the tools through thousands of cycles. He told us that each motor is specified for 400 hours of life and he has many motors still operating in his test lab at 4,000 hours plus. The new tools have been rated to perform at temperatures from -4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Kobalt 24 Volt ½” Brushless Drill Driver

These drills impressed me during our testing. Kobalt built the 24 volts ½ drill to be a well-balanced, well-designed powerhouse. The tools rubber grip is solid and comfortable and the drill operates at 650 in-lbs. A variable-speed trigger allows 0 to 550 RPM [low] and 0 to 2000 [high]. A 24 position clutch allows you to dial in your torque and Kobalt used a “Jacobs” metal drill clutch which has a durable, solid metal ratchet action.

Kobalt 24V Drill Driver

Kobalt ½” Drill Driver Specs

  • Variable Speed: 0-550 RPM [low] 0-2000 RPM [high]
  • Torque: 650 in-lbs
  • 2-speed gear box
  • 24-position clutch
  • ½ inch Jacobs clutch
  • LED Light

See Drill Driver In Action Against A Milwaukee Driver

Kobalt 24 Volt Impact DriverKobalt 24V Impact Driver

The impact driver is a staple on today’s jobsites. Kobalt redesigned their impact driver to be 20% more compact and have 40% more torque to meet those job site needs.

According to Kip Pohlman, “this driver will install 1,639 deck screws on a single 2Ah battery, that’s a 10 x 10 deck.”

The new Kobalt impact driver boasts 3,500 IPMs with 800 in-lbs of torque and features an electronic finish function that stops the impact action after 1-second to prevent overturning during fastening. Either turning it off or depressing the trigger additional times easily bypasses this feature. Each time you release and activate the trigger to tool will impact an additional 1-second, allowing you to dial in your fastening.

I tested the finish function on at least 5 different fastening applications from drywall to decking and metal. It word extremely well and will be a useful feature when installing fasteners in the field.

Kobalt 24V 3/8” Impact Driver Specs

  • Electronic 3-speed control: 0-850/2000/2700 RPM
  • Impact: 3,500 IPM
  • Torque: 1800 in-lbs
  • 24 Volt Brushless motoe
  • 1/4-inch quick release collet
  • LED work light
  • Variable speed trigger
  • 3-Speeds
  • Finish function torque control

Kobalt 24 Volt Brushless Reciprocating Saw

Kobalts new reciprocating saw has a 3100 SPM, variable speed trigger and cuts at a 1-1/8” stroke. It was powerful, cut well, has a tool free blade change, adjustable shoe plate, and an LED light.

After testing it on wood studs, gas pipe, aluminum and pvc pipe we feel it has a little further to go before we’d consider it for my job sites. This tool could use a rafter hook, a blade auto-eject and better rubber over mold, contour boot. Specifically, we felt the rubber over mold was not tight enough to the saw body and will eventually become dislodged or damaged after rubbing up against materials.

Kobalt 24V Recip Saw

Kobalt Reciprocating Saw Specs

  • Brushless motor
  • Variable Speed: 0-3,100 SPM
  • Tool-free blade change
  • LED light
  • 1-1/8” Blade stroke length
  • Adjustable shoe
  • Manual trigger lock

Kobalt 24 Volt 6-1/2” Circular Saw

This circular saw will allow you to achieve a depth of cut of 7-1/4 inches.   In order to achieve this Koblat used an outer rotor brush motor, coupled with slightly rounded cut-out in the shoe plate. The new design allows the blade arbor to get lower and closer to the shoe plate, cutting deeper, than a standard 6-1/2” saw.

The saw spins at 5400 RPMs and is stated to be able to cut 87 linear feet of pine on a 4 Ah battery. We tested this saw on plywood and I was able to easily rip through 3 sheets of ¾” plywood. The retractable saw guard is a bit flimsy but I was told these were prototype testing models, and that may change, I hope so.

Kobalt 24V Circular Saw

Circular Saw Specs

  • Blade: 6-1/2″ 24T
  • Cut depth: 2-7/16″ (90º) and 1-11/16″ (45º)
  • Speed: 5,400 RPM
  • Electric brake
  • Brushless 24V motor
  • Aluminum blade guard and shoe

Kobalt 24 Volt ½” Brushless Impact Wrench

The Koblat ½” wrench was designed for fastening and breakaway applications.   While still a heavy tool it is lighter than in years past and certainly more compact.

The new Kobalt 1/2” impact driver boasts 650 ft-lbs of torque.

I had an opportunity to visit with and speek to a few of the Kobalt race team pit crew guys at the Kobalt 400 Race and they told me they have been using this tool in the shop to avoid hoses. They still use pneumatic in the race pit for speed.

Kobalt 24V Half-Inch Impact Wrench

Kobalt 24 Volt 1/2″ Impact Wrench Specs

  • Variable Speed Trigger : 0-1900 RPM
  • Impact: 2,400 IPM
  • Torque: 650 ft-lbs
  • Brushless 24V motor
  • 1/2-inch anvil
  • LED work light

Kobalt 3/8” Brushless Impact Wrench:

The 3/8” impact wrench has an 3/8” anvil and variable speed trigger. This tool impacts at 3,200 IPM. Brushless motor delivers 150-ft-lbs or torque in forward and reverse. It’s 3-speed electronic switch to allow the user to dial fastening in and settings from 0-750,1400, and 2300 RPM.

Kobalt 24-volt max 3/8-in cordless impact wrench is ideal for installation and breakaway of nuts, bolts, and fasteners in compact spaces. Built-in LED work light illuminates dimly lit work spaces.

Kobalt 24V Three-Eights Impact Wrench

Kobalt 3/8″ Impact Wrench Specs

  • Electronic 3-speed control: 0-750/1400/2300 RPM
  • Impact: 3,200 IPM
  • Torque: 150 ft-lbs
  • 24 Volt Brushless motor
  • 3/8-inch anvil
  • Variable speed trigger
  • LED work light

Kobalt Tools 24V LED Work Light

The new Kobalt Tools 24V LED work light looks a lot like other work lights you may have seen, and takes advantage of LED lighting technology, as well as, Kobalts new batteries which provide advanced run-time. I do not have run-time data to report yet.

The work light has a light output of 200 lumens and presents as a focused beam. The bezel head rotates tilts to allow 135 degrees, giving you pretty good angle light coverage.

Battery Charging

There are also two chargers, including a 110W fast charger [45-minutes] and 45W compact charger [90-minutes].

Warranty

Kobalt tools are sold exclusively at Lowe’s Stores, Kobalt is so confident in these tools, that they are offering a 1-year, 100 percent risk free guarantee plus a 5-year tool and 3-year limited warranty.

What’s Next For Kobalt?

These tools are phase one of a multiple phase project. These 24 volt tools will release by June 2016 and Pahase II will be out in December will include a brushless hammer drill, multi tool, and grinder.

What About 18-Volt and 20-Volt Kobalt Users?

This was a question that we asked the Kobalt team and were told that they are working on it. Kobalt will no longer be supporting the older platforms so if you’ve bought into that platform you are standing alone.

My guess is that they will offer a “trade-in deal,” to anyone who has the older Kobalt battery platform, but will it be enough to avoid any and bitter feelings? Time will tell and all eyes are on the Kobalt team to see how they handle they’re loyal end-users.

Back To Reality

While these new tools seem compelling, and the promise to be PRO grade certainly refreshing, time will only tell how these new tools perform on the job site.

The Kobalt Kobalt 24-Volt Max 4-Tool Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Brushless Motor Cordless Combo Kit with Soft Case sells online for $392.00 here:

How Much and Where to Buy?

The Kobalt 24-Volt Max 4-Tool Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Brushless Motor Cordless Combo Kit with Soft Casesells online for $392.00 here: Kobalt-24-Volt-Lithium-Brushless-Cordless

Kobalt 24 Volt Intro Video

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts. He also writes the "Ask the Carpenter" advice column in the Boston Globe, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

http://www.aconcordcarpenter.com/@https://twitter.com/robertrobillardRob Robillard

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20 Comments

  1. Nate T.

    I’m a big fan of the 20v max tools and how they still accept my older 18v li ion batteries. I’m also impressed with the quick charge time; 20+ minutes for standard batteries and 29 minutes for extended run batteries. 45 minute “quick charge” option doesn’t sound very quick. If I’m doing a lot of cutting, I keep 3 batteries in rotation.

  2. john

    That impact driver’s 1800 inch lbs is not much of an improvement considering it is brushless. Ridgid and Greenworks have it beat. I do like the drill’s specs and compact size.

  3. Vince

    I don’t understand why it says they have a long way to go as I use these tools daily in construction and the work wonderfully. The impact driver will last over twice as long as the porter cable 2ah batteries do and it’s definitely faster and more powerful. Even compared to the dewalt 20v max it is more powerful but I feel the impacts are slightly slower. The circular saw is amazingly powerful and we often don’t use a powered saw these days and that’s saying something when you are toping 8×8 post, ripping planks of treated decking and 2 by materials. I cut all day today on 3 4ah batteries. The Sawzall is nice but doesn’t stand out because I don’t use it much same for the drill. I will say the drill has some balls though in comparison to old kobalt 20v and porter cable 20v tools. For the money these tools are tough to beat but they need to expand the line up to really compete. Every night I charge 4 to 5 batteries so I use these tools a lot, much more then then the reviewer has and I love them. All the crew I work with is impressed with them. Not trying to sell anyone on kobalt but it’s tough to find a real review from someone that owns these tools.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Vince – Thanks for sharing your experience. This particular article was a preview of the tools when we first saw them at the media event. We are writing an actual review at the moment that will publish soon. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at it. Thanks again for your comments.

    2. Appalachian

      I have never in all my days in the construction field seen anyone using Kobalt cordless tools.

      1. they’re trying to make a new name in the market

  4. Vince

    Sweet I can’t wait to see it. I wasn’t trying to be too derogatory by saying I use the tools more than you guys I felt a little bad after rereading my comments. I just wanted to make the point that I use the tools and a lot. Had to put a blade on the circular saw today and the dewalt blade definitely cuts better than the factory kobalt did. Thanks again for your reply.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Vince – No offense taken at all…just wanted to point out that the previous article was written literally when we got back from the Media Event. Glad to hear you like them.

  5. Patrick Fish

    I just got the 1/2″ impact wrench and there’s no “Finish feature” despite all the previews claiming it would be there. Also a bit sad about the lower IPM.

    The claim that some battery circuitry was moved into the tool to save space is not credible. This is a cost-saving feature for making thr batteries.

    It will also make it harder to mix n match the 18v and 24v systems. Lowe’s Kobalt is playing a dangerous game and risks driving off people who invested inntheit 18v equipment.

    Dewalt did it right by coming out with adapters so you could run lower voltage tools on their newer higher voltage batteries.

    In principle you should be able to go the other way, albeit making the 24v tools perform at lower capacity.

    1. Jeff

      That is for the impact driver only. I can’t find anywhere that says the impacts have this feature. Also, the batteries being as cheap as they are, I see it as a very small investment away from inferior 18v. You get batteries with a starter set, not sure why you would need to use old batteries, anyway. If the 18v or 20v stuff works fine for you, why even upgrade?

    2. Charles

      Why would you want a “finish feature” on a 1/2” impact? I think you bought the wrong tool for the job, a 1/2” impact is generally used to break tight fasteners, I’m not even sure how you would use it for driving screws. The prices on the Kobalt 24V tools is incredibly low in comparison with other major brands. If you are just a casual user, there really isn’t any reason to replace your 18volt tools if they are working for you. Like anything else in the world, technology advances, and there will be associated costs to take advantage of them.

  6. Kenneth

    Can the 24v charger work with the 18v batteries?

  7. Jim

    Can the new 24 volt tools work with the 18volt lith ion batteries,mainly interested in the light

    1. Todd Fratzel

      No….the voltages cannot be mixed

  8. lonnie

    I like the 1/2 and 3/8 inch impacts but I would really like a boot for them

  9. Maury Baker

    On the second day of use, my new grinder/cut off tool started turning itself off. It appears to be a trigger problem.
    I shall return for the same product and give it another try. I am cutting pipe and was impressed until I wasn’t.

  10. Robert

    Man my 24v kobalt impact driver has earned a reputation with my coworker as “the screw breaker”
    It’s more powerful Than anyone else’s. dewalt 20 v included.
    Batteries last way way longer. They go through two to one against me.
    I am a professional glazer in heavy commercial construction. I’m so glad I took a chance and bought my first kobalt
    Set at xmas. The $10 1.5 amp batteries sold me.
    I bought ten!!! Regular price $20 for 2 amp batt.
    So I don’t care about slow charging
    The four amp batt are only $50
    They need some more tools in the line though.
    The grinder and hammer drill are first class also

  11. W Stone

    I picked up the Kobalt 1/2″ Impact Wrench (650 ft lb) torque.
    Quick question…When I change from forward to reverse (or vice versa) and squeeze the trigger, It takes about 1/2 second to start spinning….definitely a noticeable pause before engaging. If I’m in forward…release and squeeze again, in forward, it spins immediately. Is this normal….or will this disappear after a ‘break in period’? Any comments or replies are appreciated. Thanks!

    1. Todd Fratzel

      While I can’t be certain, I’m pretty sure that’s due to the electronic controls. These are brushless motors, so they are fully controlled by a circuit board, and it’s likely they designed it that way to be sure the gears are not mashed quickly going from forward to reverse.

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