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  • What's the word on Kobalt?

    I'm not new to power tools, but as I rarely go into Lowe's (nothing against them, just isn't one where I work) I know absolutely nothing about Kobalt tools - they seem to make a wide variety of power tools, compressors, mechanic tools and such, and I'm wondering what the general consensus on them is.
    From what little I've read, they've been making tools for a while, but recently signed up Lowe's to be their exclusive supplier. And it's no use going to www.kobalttools.com, as the only thing left is a sign saying 'Hi, you won't find what you're looking for here, go to Lowes.com.'
    I'm wondering what the quality, endurance and reputation are on these tools - anyone have experience with them? Are they a Black&Decker, or a Ridgid, or a Dewalt, or a (fat chance) Milwaukee or Makita?

    EDIT: Ok, I've looked into it a bit more, it looks like they barely make any power tools, but I'm still interested regarding the compressors and air tools.
    Last edited by Fightgar; 03-23-2006, 05:13 AM.

  • #2
    Kolbalt is pretty much the same as husky. On the back of husky hand tools you will read "made in Taiwan for home depot" and the Kolbalt will read "made in Taiwan for Lowe's" They are made in the same country from what i can remember. With most of the tools today they may even come from the same factory!
    "Diplomacy is saying nice dodging until you can find a rock." Will Rogers
    "If a Monkey can do your job, are you in the right profession?

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    • #3
      That's real funny, my Kobalt tools just say made in the USA. They must be knockoffs!!

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      • #4
        Kobalt is made by Snap-On for Lowes (hand tools) on another board someone claiming to work for Lowes said the compressors were Colemans.... Hope this helps. Aloha!

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        • #5
          Of all the kobalt tools at LOWE'S only 7 types of tools are made entirely in the USAThe rest are either made with parts from other country's or made in china.
          The air compressors are made in the USA with the motors coming from Mexico.
          Two screwdriver sets are made entirely in the us

          The 3rd set labeled "professional" is made in china.
          all their power tools are made in china (except the air compressor)
          all the mechanic associated tools like jack stands, ATV lifts, bottle jacks and the 3 ton jack combo.

          rolling tool chests are made in USA. as are the mechanics tools like the socket sets and wrenches.
          the "locking pliers and all other kinds of pliers are made in china.

          With kolbalt is is possible to get tools that are made completely in America and what i liked was the Klein like screwdrivers made in the USA. (the contractor set)I have never been sore using a screw driver with the rubber grip on a clear plastic handle. Over all it really makes little different with the hand tools and the Air compressors but i wouldn't bother with the impact wrench 3.6v screwdriver or the grinder. Unless you are getting tools for you wife.

          Some of the tools are made by "great neck saw" manufactured in china
          Last edited by Polar Sparky 1224; 04-10-2006, 12:39 AM.
          "Diplomacy is saying nice dodging until you can find a rock." Will Rogers
          "If a Monkey can do your job, are you in the right profession?

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          • #6
            I got one of the folding utility knifes from Lowes that says Kobalt on it. It is exactly like the ones at Home Depot that say Husky on them except it's a LOT nicer.

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            • #7
              i got the same knife from menards, but its a sheffield.

              nick

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              • #8
                Originally posted by xSTARKISTx
                i got the same knife from menards, but its a sheffield.

                nick

                You win.

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                • #9
                  Those Knives

                  You can pretty much find anywhere. I see them on the counter display at the Ace stores around here. I think they're all made by the same company then rebranded. The Kobalt hand tools are made by Snap-On though, just not as nice. Probably something with the type of steel they use.

                  BTW, what difference does it make where the tool was made? They're all gonna be made in China in a few years anyway.

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                  • #10
                    In a few years more of our American jobs will go to china as well. They bought the steel plant in Utah and a few thousand jobs vanished. How long will it take before we as a nation go from wealth to poverty. It's already hard to get affordable housing even with the cheap labor from Mexico and other country's but the whole problem it there are people that don't care how they make their money. even if a few jobs are lost they still have their large house and sports cars they never drive.

                    Unfortunately it is true that in a few years they only things still made in America will be our children. Hopefully that doesn't change too.....
                    "Diplomacy is saying nice dodging until you can find a rock." Will Rogers
                    "If a Monkey can do your job, are you in the right profession?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Theycallmetak
                      Kobalt is made by Snap-On for Lowes (hand tools)... Aloha!

                      Uhmmm,
                      no, not even close! If you believe this, I have some Arizona swamp land to sell you.
                      Most of the Kobalt stuff I've looked into says China on it.

                      Snap-on has no Chinese tools!

                      While they do have a Lifetime Warranty, that's the only thing they have in common.
                      Phil
                      Tools Rule

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                      • #12
                        Kobalt was made by Snap On

                        All,

                        When Kobalt "Mechanics Tools" (wrenches & sockets) were first introduced in Lowes they were made by J.H Williams of Columbus, GA a division of Snap On.

                        I own Kobalt/Snap On socket set that I purhased on clearance in early 2003. Once the Snap On made stuff was clearanced out, the Allen wrench "sourced" stuff showed up.

                        Ohiohead

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ohiohead
                          All,

                          When Kobalt "Mechanics Tools" (wrenches & sockets) were first introduced in Lowes they were made by J.H Williams of Columbus, GA a division of Snap On.

                          I own Kobalt/Snap On socket set that I purhased on clearance in early 2003. Once the Snap On made stuff was clearanced out, the Allen wrench "sourced" stuff showed up.

                          Ohiohead
                          The whole point of these odd brand tools are - they are "sourced" from all over the world. One lot may be from BlackHawk Tools, and the next lot may be from "the Red Rooster" in Shangxai; but the tools will almost be identical.

                          Years ago, I gave one poor salesman at Sears a big hassle because I wanted warranty on a broken pair electronic needlenose pliers. The one I had was Craftman (according to the code was sourced by Xcelite, USA) and what he wanted to give me was from France (yuk, I don't think so). I finally broke down and took the Frenchie, but they earned their pay that day.
                          Yes, Williams is a division of Snap-on. But, don't think that the Allen brand has flies on it.
                          Allen is from the Danaher conglomerate - and this stuff is top-drawer quality stuff.

                          A while back I did a Are You a Tool Snob? thread to discuss this very thing. Most of us have no problem with the quality of most of the Chinese tools, but, once in a while a tool is a key tool (ratchets, for example as opposed to extensions), it is worth buying the best available.
                          Phil
                          Tools Rule

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                          • #14
                            Kobalt wrenches, sockets and ratchets are made by Danaher. Several years ago, Lowes switched from JH Williams to Danaher for these items. Check out the Danaher website. They make hand tools for several top quality lines. I've got a few Allen brand wrenches and ratchets and they have been fine for me.

                            Back when JH Williams made the Kobalt mechanics tools, Lowes got into some hot water due to some of their sales people telling customers that Kobalt WAS Snap On with a different name. The Snap On company did not look kindly upon that.

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                            • #15
                              Hello All,
                              I've been reading a lot here about the Kobalt Brand of tools sold though Lowes and just want to clear up some misconceptions that have been posted here about them. KOBALT wrenches, ratchets, and sockets are STILL made in the USA and clearly stamped to indicate this.

                              I'm not too sure where people get the idea that the older original Kobalt wrenches, ratchets, and sockets were made by Snap-On. They were actually made by a secondary subsidiary of Snap-On. The original KOBALT tools made up until early 2003 were made by JH Williams in Midland, Georgia. Williams is an industrial tool maker that has been making it's own tools under it's own name here in the USA since the late 1800's. JH Williams as of 1999 became a subsidiary of the North America division of BAHCO, a Swedish saw blade manufacturer that is owned by Snap-On. Actually BAHCO had more control over JH Williams and how they made the older KOBALT tools than Snap-On did. Make no mistake that Williams makes some tough industrial excellent tools.

                              The newer KOBALT wrenches, ratchets, and sockets are still made in the USA. Lowes has now contracted the brand to be made by foundries owned and operated by Danaher Tool Group. Yes it's the same company that makes post 1994 Craftsman tools. In fact since Danaher Tool Group owns Allen, MATCO, and Armstrong too. I wouldn't be suprised if the KOBALT wrenches, ratchets, and sockets are made in factories by Armstrong, MATCO, and Allen.

                              While I do agree that the older Williams made KOBALT stuff was smoother looking and had a better feel to them than the newer satin finished Danaher stuff. KOBALT tools old and new are very good wrenches. I own some socket sets, ratchets, and wrench sets, a 1/2 inch drive breaker bar, and have never broken a tool. Of course I use each tool as it was intended and designed for In other words if I need a hammer, I use a hammer, I don't suppliment my ratchet for it, you get the idea. Well and they just only see regular moderate use, not industrial use.

                              It's true that KOBALT still has a web page, but it only direct you to Lowes. Must be a left over defunked website from the Williams days.

                              Oh by the way, was in Home Depot the other day and looked at their line of Husky tools made by Standly. Could not find one Husky tool that was still made in the USA. Sadly it was all Taiwan made stuff.
                              Last edited by Kevin G; 06-08-2006, 05:15 PM.

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