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Kobalt winners and losers


BMack37

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First one, ratchets. I noticed the Pro90 came out about Father's day, maybe a little earlier. They came as a set, I swear they were  labeled as "Made in China." Well recently they put the out as singles, so I took a look: The label on the singles said “Made in Taiwan.”  They do have the normal switch orientation unlike the other current Kobalt ratchets. I would NOT buy these, they’re gigantic!

 

BUT, HUGE Kardashian sized BUT and the reason for making this thread; these ratchets have a sister ratchet; the “Mini head” (72 tooth) those are “Made in Taiwan” really nicely sized, priced the same as the Pro90 and again, switch is in the correct orientation. If I was buying ratchets from HD or Lowe’s, the “Mini heads” would be my choice. I didn’t have a Snap-On ratchet with me but the size seemed really close. The lever on the mini heads are also really nice, nearly flat but easy to switch over. They have a recessed locking button but it’s chamfered so your finger fits inside the head and easily pushes the button.

 

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Same orientation, mini on the left and Pro90 on right:

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I worry about Kobalt power tools the one thing is they seem to mess with batteries way too much. They need to concentrate and pump out some tools to compete with Ryobi. I know people talk shit about Ryobi but no one offers the dept of tools they do on the 1+ system. They have a lawnmower !!

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14 minutes ago, DR99 said:

I worry about Kobalt power tools the one thing is they seem to mess with batteries way too much. They need to concentrate and pump out some tools to compete with Ryobi. I know people talk shit about Ryobi but no one offers the dept of tools they do on the 1+ system. They have a lawnmower !!

 

The low cost batteries are one of the reasons I want to try out the Kobalt power tools. I’m going to see if I can’t find the Impact driver or wrench on sale after Christmas to try out.

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On 11/5/2017 at 1:35 AM, BMack37 said:

I've seen an interesting trend with Kobalt tools, some have been in a decline in quality but some are getting better. So much like a HF good or bad thread, here's Kobalt's. Feel free to post power tools.

 

I can't think of many recent Kobalt purchases, but the little 1/4" socket sets are outstanding.  I got the smaller 19-piece set for $10 in 2010 or 2011 and loved it.  When it got stolen I was hoping to find a replacement for a similar price, but settled for the 51-piece set when it dropped to $30.  

 

Kobalt is hot or miss, and Lowe's seems hellbent on promoting the brand for certain trades only to clear them out or lessen their presence in favor of other brands.  Until 2014 or so, Kobalt concrete, masonry, and drywall tools were sold.  Now the mechanics tools and toolboxes are the only ones that dominate their respective shelf and floor space.  Layout tools, hammers, and other hand tools attempt to compete against other brands at prices that are little, if any, cheaper.   

 

Most stores are putting together much more aesthetic power tool displays, though, with brands including Kobalt standing out.  Even though I have no interest in adding the brand to the multitude of cordless platforms I own, I hope that Kobalt 24v Max tools are considered outstanding well into the future.  I have a 20v Max impact wrench and it is pretty good.  It'll be gifted to a relative this Christmas, though.

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2 hours ago, DR99 said:

I forgot they have 10 dollar 1.5 amp battery packs!! Thats insane in most brand money that's what 60/80 bucks for the same amp hours?

 

 

DeWalt 1.5's, Milwauke 1.5's, and Makita 2.0's are all $79 at Home Depot. The Kobalt 5.0's are only $80. Definitely a decent option for around the house tools, a loaner set, or for a task you may not want to risk a more expensive tool.

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5 hours ago, fm2176 said:

 

I can't think of many recent Kobalt purchases, but the little 1/4" socket sets are outstanding.  I got the smaller 19-piece set for $10 in 2010 or 2011 and loved it.  When it got stolen I was hoping to find a replacement for a similar price, but settled for the 51-piece set when it dropped to $30.  

 

Kobalt is hot or miss, and Lowe's seems hellbent on promoting the brand for certain trades only to clear them out or lessen their presence in favor of other brands.  Until 2014 or so, Kobalt concrete, masonry, and drywall tools were sold.  Now the mechanics tools and toolboxes are the only ones that dominate their respective shelf and floor space.  Layout tools, hammers, and other hand tools attempt to compete against other brands at prices that are little, if any, cheaper.   

 

Most stores are putting together much more aesthetic power tool displays, though, with brands including Kobalt standing out.  Even though I have no interest in adding the brand to the multitude of cordless platforms I own, I hope that Kobalt 24v Max tools are considered outstanding well into the future.  I have a 20v Max impact wrench and it is pretty good.  It'll be gifted to a relative this Christmas, though.

 

The problem is that the reason they clearanced last year was because the sockets switched to manufactured in China...well I say problem but they're probably just fine.

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