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New Kobalt Tools Discussion


Stercorarius

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Some of you may have seen the periscope but Kobalt just announced their new line of 24v Max brushless tools. To me it is going to be interesting to how things play out.

Based purely off of specs these tools are above DeWalt and above DeWalt in variety and innovation and on par with Milwaukee in all departments. Quality and longevity and field performance is still the major unknown factor. I'm looking forward to see if we will have another serious competitor in the contractor grade tool field.

Competition benefits all of us from a price tag and innovation perspective. They already have a brushless grinder, sawzall, 3/8 impact wrench and a finishing mode on their tools that DeWalt doesn't have. The high specs on their impacts, 150 ft/lbs on the driver and 3/8 and 650 on the 1/2 drive are extremely competitive numbers.

When I first started working for my company, all the tools were Kobalts, including those of the owners. Eventually they were phased out by Milwaukees, but the irrigators still run Kobalts. The only issue I've ever had with Kobalts is that their batteries overheat rapidly under load. This made their recip. saw unusable. They were very solid tools.

If they have solve the battery issue they could be viable players in the tool market if they are able to overcome their current brand image and stigma against Kobalt Tools in the workplace. At the very least, Ryobi should be sweating. Post your thoughts and comments below. I want to hear what the crew thinks!

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it takes time to prove a brand name regardless of what they have to offer tool wise, the tools need to be in the hands of the hardcore users. If the performance and quality is there and the longevity is as well and they are offering comparable tools to what is out there they need something to make people want to try or jump ship......there is hardcore brand loyalty out there as well so unless these tools can do thing others can't it may take awhile to become mainstream. Bad news travels faster than good....... 

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Look at RIDGID, their impact boasts over 2200 in pounds of torque and I see a lot more red than orange, just remember paper stats can be bloated until the tool hits a workload and it can't even finish a days job. I have no experience with kobalt so I'm not knocking the tool, but to add to what comp said how are these going to hold up, just buyer beware.

What's their warranty like?

Jimbo

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Look at RIDGID, their impact boasts over 2200 in pounds of torque and I see a lot more red than orange, just remember paper stats can be bloated until the tool hits a workload and it can't even finish a days job. I have no experience with kobalt so I'm not knocking the tool, but to add to what comp said how are these going to hold up, just buyer beware.

What's their warranty like?

Jimbo

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5 year warranty and you can return it within a year if you don't like it. As far as actual support goes, I have no Idea. I doubt it's as good as Milwaukees service but it wouldn't be hard for them to beat DeWalts service. I agree with both you and comp on it being to early to tell untill we see some in the field. That's why I'm excited for these to come out because it is basically a completely new tool brand.

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Just more crap not to buy as far as im concerned. I dont see what the deal is. 24v? Big deal,brushless? Pretty much everyone has gone that same direction. No one is gonna abandon the setups they have for these. Why would they? There isnt anything these tools can do that others cant. 

 

Only good for beaters and to loan out to sheeple.

 

 

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it doesn't matter how good these tools are, it will take time to earn trust from the user and for a new company that is putting out tools directly in the line of fire with proven companies it will be tough.......pretty hard to put aside a brand you.... your father .....and some times grandfather raved about.....and are still going strong.

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It all depends on the price.  The only reason we don't have everything brushless yet from other brands is because marketing can make more money off of us if they roll out tools slowly.  I think the approach here is that they can make a tool as powerful as the top brands for cheaper by having a little more voltage in the battery.  If the new tools are priced similarly to old kobalts I'm hoping this is a nice kick to other manufacturers to step up their game.

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Cheaper is great dont get me wrong,but as someone who has worked in manufacturing most of my life,cheaper also almost always means cheaper everything for it to hit that price point.

Every company has to try to keep their hand in the bag somehow,there is a flood of stuff out there.

 

 

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2 hours ago, JimboS1ice said:

So here is my question... Is this replacing a battery platform? I haven't watched the TiA video yet but dorm they have an 18 and 20 volt line?

Jimbo

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The 18/20V is probably getting discontinued.

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48 minutes ago, DR99 said:

The 18/20V is probably getting discontinued.

 

They've been on clearance for a while, expecting to see deep discounts soon...but who really cares because the support for the tool ends at point of sale, you won't be able to buy a battery a year from now from Lowe's.

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2 hours ago, BMack37 said:

 

They've been on clearance for a while, expecting to see deep discounts soon...but who really cares because the support for the tool ends at point of sale, you won't be able to buy a battery a year from now from Lowe's.

Kobalt is such a fringe brand good luck on finding a 3rd party Chinese knockoff either. Lowes and Kobalt have a long road to over take Ridgid and Home Depot. Plus guys with the old Kobalt 20v tools are pissed because their tools have been discontinued.

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Hmmmmmm, if they drop the price enough I might buy a 20v Kobalt impact wrench to keep in my trunk, or cuz you know I can't resist the allure of impact wrenches. They are like beating the shit out of the something in a controlled manner that actually is constructive.

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  • 2 weeks later...

One issue that I feel plagued Kobolt in the past was the variety of tools. I don't remember them having much more than the basic 5 (circular saw, reciprocating saw, drill, impact driver and light). That is one thing they will have to resolve if they want the 24v line to succeed. One group of tools they should look into is cordless nailers. I feel like those are going to be the next big thing in cordless tools.

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Great discussion, I imagine Kolbalt will have priority, upfront space at Lowes. I think there are a lot of people that have not yet bought into any particular brand yet, for example my son.  He works at Lowes, and if the tools are priced below Milwaukee or DeWalt, and are priced on par with say Ryobi, I am thinking more folks will go Kolbalt, especially if a snazzy display can lure them in.

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Great discussion, I imagine Kolbalt will have priority, upfront space at Lowes. I think there are a lot of people that have not yet bought into any particular brand yet, for example my son.  He works at Lowes, and if the tools are priced below Milwaukee or DeWalt, and are priced on par with say Ryobi, I am thinking more folks will go Kolbalt, especially if a snazzy display can lure them in.

That and the marketing of voltage... 24>18/20

Jimbo

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  • 3 weeks later...

these seam like they are goin to be sweet like the idea of another cell in the battery. I'm an rc junkie also and I know more volts = more fun with those so I wonder if will add up with these tools as well. I watched a vid on youtube were they raced this new drill against Milwaukee fuel gen2 it was a very close race kobalt just barely won.. but only time will tell. in a couple yrs when I get the itch for new cordless tools these might be in the running lol

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  • 8 months later...

My father and I are carpenters and after about 5 years of hard use our cheap porter cable drills have finally shit the bed.  Honestly for their value they lasted a long time and through many tough projects.

 

Now I am in the market for a new cordless set.  I am not one to just go out and buy the hottest brand name.  I need to see real proof that the product I'm buying is going to meet or exceed my expectations.  After watching just about every 18v brushless review on the internet I was almost dead set on the Milwaukee M18 fuel $300 impact and drill kit combo.  Until I stumbled upon Kobalts new line.  It seemed they had everything that dewalt, makita, and Milwaukee lacked but for less money!  The batteries have a low power indicator unlike makita.  All the tools had belt clips unlike Milwaukee,  they had more settings then dewalt.  The kobalts also have quick release and metal chucks as well as double bit holders and of course led work lights built in.  On top of that variable speed settings, impressive specs and 24V powerhouse batteries that cost tons less than the competition.  I watched a video where a guy was removing lug nuts on his van with his Kobalt  drill from the combo set, when he tried to remove them with the leading brands they failed miserably.  

 

I am normally not one to buy products when they are first released but Lowes has put such an outstanding warranty on these products with a 5 year tool, 3 year battery and a 1 year no questions asked replacement I think they just may surpass Milwaukee for my new purchase.  Also seeing some verified Amazon reviews stating that the milwaukees are Chinese  now made and falling apart didn't help my decision to buy there brand.  Apparently these reviewers were die hard Milwaukee owners who are now disappointed.....I don't want to be disappointed.  

 

The bottom line for me is that Kobalt made sure to add every feature the competitors missed.  Tomorrow we are going to lowes and checking them out.  Hopefully they will be everything we have wanted and more.   I look forward to a new tool set that will allow me to continue to put food on the table!  I hope Kobalt is the one.  If I'm not impressed in person I will probably shoot for the new compact makitas but after all the evidence and videos I think The brushless Kobalts are going to be the set for me.

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6 hours ago, jeffmcmillan said:

Are you sure you're not mistakenly comparing the kobalt line to budget tools from other brands?  Depending on the tool you're comparing I'd say every one of the claims about X brand not having Y is false.

 

I was looking up where they're made for you (china) and came across this that got enough chuckles to share...

Kobalt vs dewalt.png

Lol I remember you doing this with DeWalt, and hence your new profile pic was born haahaaahha

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