Lowes has officially released the new lineup of Kobalt 24v Brushless tools — which are designed specifically to compete in the rapidly expanding heavy-duty cordless power tool market. Rather than just re-badge existing tools (as others frequently do — with new color combos/logo changes/replacement model #s), they took the plunge to create an entirely new lineup that excels in many categories.
The first tool that comes to mind for pretty much anyone when you mention the word “cordless” is going to be a drill. If you have no other cordless tool, that is going to be the one that you most likely start with — since everyone needs one, and they are so useful. The Kobalt drill is not “small” by any means & comes in roughly the same size/weight as the competition’s 18v & 20v units, but it also has additional power and run-time over many of those — without increasing the overall footprint.
Here are the specs on the Kobalt 24v Brushless Drill :
- Brushless Motor
- 1/2″ Jacobs All-Metal Ratcheting Keyless Chuck
- Removable Side Handle
- 2-Speed/Power Modes
- 24 Clutch Positions
- LED Light
- 650 in-lbs Torque
- 7-1/2″ Long
- 10″ High
- 3-1/2″ Wide
- 4lbs 13.5oz (without side handle)
- 5lbs 9.5oz (with side handle)
It has two different speed/power modes. Mode #1 is designed for larger holes & is the setting you will use to obtain maximum torque, while also maintaining lower RPMs. This mode has a maximum of 650 in-lbs of torque (we think is highly under-rated….it seems much more powerful) & a range of 0-550 RPMs. Mode #2 is designed for smaller holes and faster drilling. It has a range of 0-2,000 RPMs — and everything is controlled precisely with the variable speed trigger.
When you are drilling smaller holes, the side handle really isn’t necessary — since you don’t typically run the risk of the drill binding up. However, for larger holes (or drilling into metal), it is recommended. Drills like this (with extra power) have a tendency to twist out of your hand when/if they hit a knot in wood, if the bind when drilling metal, or if the bit exits the opposite side of the material. By using the side handle, you then have two points of contact (giving you excellent control) & the chances of the drill twisting out of your hand greatly reduces.
This was very helpful when using a very large hole saw (4-1/4″ through 2×6 pine). In speed/power mode 1, the Kobalt was able to easily drill through the material without slowing down, binding, or stalling — and with the side handle attached, we maintained control the entire time.
Runtime & Endurance testing are always important. Not only to prove the amount of work that can realistically get completed per-charge — but also to prove if the tool will experience problems under heavy use. With the Kobalt we did not experience any issues, and the drill never overheated, shut off, bound up, or stalled.
Going through standard 2×6 material (pine), we completed the following testing :
- 1″ Holes with an auger bit – 185 per 4.0ah battery
- 2-9/16″ Holes with a self-feeding wood bit – 69 per 4.0ah battery
At the base of the grip is an LED light, which is activated anytime you press in on the trigger. There is a 10 second delay when you release the trigger & it will not only illuminate what you are working on, it also doubles as a flashlight in a low-light situation. One of the most useful times that the LED on a drill is used (for us) is when we install door locks. Even if you are in a lighted room — shadows always seem to be cast on the mounting holes, which makes installation harder. By lighting up the knob/deadbolt, it makes installing those very small screws a breeze.
Depending on what you are working on, you may want to adjust the 24-position clutch. There are 23 settings which limit the amount of power going from the motor into the chuck — and one setting which overrides the clutch & applies full power from the motor. Normally when drilling you will always be in “drill mode”, and when driving screws/fasteners, you will adjust the clutch accordingly (depending on the fastener & material type). The adjustment collar is between the speed/power mode selector switch & the chuck — and and easily be adjusted with one hand (rotating left/right).
Like most other 18v & 20v tools, the Kobalt 24v tools have a “slide-rail” battery system. Pressing in on the two black tabs on the front of the battery & pulling forward will release it. Charge the battery or swap it out with another, slide it in place, and once it clicks you are ready to go. Also like the other brands, the fuel gauge (aka battery status indicator) is not on the tool — it is on the battery. Pressing the small button on the front will light up LEDs & you can quickly see what the current charge of your batteries are.
Warranties are always a huge concern, especially when you are considering an investment to make your living with. Kobalt has one of the best warranties & guarantees on the market with this new 24v Brushless lineup — with the tools coming standard with a 5yr warranty, the batteries & chargers carrying a 3yr warranty, and everything is backed with a 1yr 100% money back guarantee!
They are so confident that you will be happy with them, that if anytime within 12 months of purchase that you end up not being satisfied — bring the tools & receipt back into your local Lowes & get a 100% refund!
Overall we would rank this as a higher-end drill with a lot of useful features and good power levels. For the DIYer or Pro, it would absolutely be one to consider — especially taking into account the run-time, power, features & the great warranty. The biggest negative would be a limited number of compatible other tools that use the new 24v batteries (currently 7 total)….however, Lowes has already shown us 3 additional tools coming this fall & they hinted around at a 3rd release coming by the end of the year. It seems that the 24v Max line is here to stay & they are available exclusively at Lowes!