Originally Posted by Theycallmetak
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.
Kobalt was made by Snap On
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.
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.
Originally Posted by ohiohead
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.
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.
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 at 05:15 PM.
You said you have never broken a Kobalt tool, but how much does a "space cowboy" use those tools?
Husky mech tool made by Stanley
I was told the husky sockets, ratchets... are made by stanley. If you look at the address to return a tool under the lifetime warranty the address is stanley.
If I recall correctly didn't Lowes start phasing out all the Kobalt tools, and started selling Task Force. At least here in central pa.
Re: What's the word on Kobalt?
I bought a Kobalt paint sprayer and I need a new needle. I've looked all over and of course Lowes ( the store and online ) and Kobalt.com were zero help. Any one know where I can get replacement parts for Kobalt tools? Maybe it's just me, but making tools, but not selling parts is bad business.
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