Kobalt vs DeWalt (Which is Better?)

In today’s world, the average DIY enthusiast has a near endless array of power tools at their fingertips. Many of the industry’s finest brands now produce their own comprehensive lines of battery-operated power tools, making it easier than ever to locate the perfect tool to meet your needs.

However, this wealth of availability also leads to a certain amount of confusion, when attempting to decide which particular brand of power tool to choose.

Kobalt and DeWalt are two of the industry’s iconic brands, which are often found side-by-side on retail shelves. Both of these brands carry a legacy of substantial quality, and have become favorites of consumers the world over.

This leaves one to question which of these brands to invest their money in, when attempting to locate the perfect power tool.

For this reason, we have assembled the following guide. Below is a side-by-side comparison of Kobalt and DeWalt, in regard to numerous characteristics of value. As such, the information found within should assist consumers in making the best possible choice for their given situation.

See Also: DeWalt vs Ridgid

History

Kobalt and DeWalt both have shown many successes over the years. Even though Kobalt’s history is much newer than DeWalt’s, each of these manufacturers has strived to produce and offer nothing but the most premium of products.

The following is a brief history of Kobalt and DeWalt’s rise to mainstream notoriety.

About Kobalt Tools

Kobalt Tools logo

In the world of tool manufacturers, Kobalt is a newcomer on the scene compared to most companies. The Kobalt brand came into existence in 1998 when Lowe’s home improvement stores desired to have a house brand to compete against Home Depot and Sears. 

In the early years, Kobalt tools were produced by J.H. Williams Manufacturing, which had been in business for over 100 years. The Lowe’s company sought out J.H. Williams with a proposal of a partnership to produce the home line of tools. This partnership continued to prosper until 2002 when J.H. Williams became a part of the Snap-On line. 

The Danaher Corporation took over the production of Kobalt Tools for Lowe’s after the acquisition of J.H. Williams by Snap-On. Danaher, who was headquartered in Washington, D.C, also produced tools for other well-known tool brands like Matco. Kobalt continued to be manufactured by Danaher until 2011. 

Production of Kobalt’s different lines became outsourced to multiple manufacturers. J.S. Products, based in Las Vegas, has assumed production of almost all Kobalt hand tools, except for the brand’s screwdrivers, which are currently produced by Great Neck.

Kobalt has also introduced its own line of battery-operated power tools. The majority of these tools are manufactured by Chervon Tools, which is based out of China. Chervon also manufactures tools for EGO and SKIL.

Ironically, Craftsman tools have also become a staple of Lowe’s product offerings, thus competing directly within the same store. However, the popularity of Kobalt tools is such that the brand can now be bought in multiple places including Wal-Mart, Ace Hardware, TSC, and Amazon.

See Also: Kobalt vs Craftsman Tools

About DeWalt Tools

Dewalt logo

DeWalt tools are a staple in the construction and woodworking industries, with a rich history dating back to 1922. The company was founded by Raymond DeWalt, who developed a revolutionary woodworking machine that was known for its high degree of versatility and productivity.

The DeWalt company is well-known for its high-quality woodworking machines. It all started with their Wonder Worker universal machine, which could be operated in nine different ways. They also offered a dedicated mortiser and jointer. Their new manufacturing plant in Lancaster, Pennsylvania was much more modern and allowed for even more production.

The company experienced rapid expansion during the 1940s, largely due to a number of wartime production contracts. By the end of the decade, they had been acquired by American Machine Foundry, and continued to grow and expand production. They opened operations in Canada, continuing their trajectory of growth.

DeWalt launched its own line of portable power tools and accessories in 1992. These tools were designed with the residential contractor and woodworker in mind. The line expanded to encompass over 200 tools and over 800 accessories by 2001. These cordless power tools were offered in  five varieties ranging from 12V and all the way to 20V.

New and innovative technology has continued to be added to DeWalt’s line of tools in order to keep pace with the needs of both professional and residential users. The company continues to grow on the strength of its large range of conventional and cordless power tools.

Today, parent company Black & Decker owns DeWalt. They have over 13,000 employees in the United States and abroad.

Read Also: DeWalt vs Makita

Manufacturing

Many consumers place a significant amount of consideration into the origin of a tool. Therefore, it is only fair that we compare such characteristics, by looking at the production of both Kobalt and DeWalt tools. 

The following is a general overview of Kobalt and DeWalt’s manufacturing practices.

Where Are Kobalt Tools Made?

Chervon factory for Kobalt tools

J.S Products Inc., which is based in Las Vegas, Nevada produces Kobalt hand tools today. Even though J.S Products is an American-based company, most of its actual manufacturing facilities are located in Taiwan and China.

The majority of Kobalt’s power tools are also manufactured in China, by Chervon Tools.

See Also: Kobalt vs Ryobi

Where Are DeWalt Tools Made?

DeWalt factory

DeWalt’s headquarters are in Towson, Maryland and they have seven manufacturing sites throughout the United States. The following are the cities where these facilities are located:

  • Cheraw, South Carolina
  • Hampstead, Maryland
  • Shelbyville, Kentucky
  • Greenfield, Indiana
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • New Britain, Connecticut
  • Jackson, Tennessee

See Also: DeWalt vs Ryobi

Product Line 

Kobalt and DeWalt each have product lines that are in much demand by the consumer, even though the companies are very different in size. Their tools are both immensely popular with the everyday DIYers, to the tradesmen alike. 

The following is a general overview of Kobalt’s and DeWalt’s most popular product lines.

Read Also: DeWalt Tools vs Craftsman Tools

Kobalt

Kobalt hammer drill

Through the years, Kobalt’s line of mechanics and household tools have been known to be top-notch and in much demand. The versatility and convenience of their drivers and sockets, along with the variation of kits containing them is an all-around favorite.

However, Kobalt’s wrenches and screwdrivers are much sought out also. Lowe’s has begun to scale back their inventory of such handheld tools in favor of the newer battery-operated lawn and garden tools, such as weed eaters and leaf blowers that Kobalt is now producing. 

Kobalt offers an ever-popular line of 24V brushless power tools. These tools have been a mainstay line for the company and continue to be top sellers. While originally Kobalt’s main focus in the 24V line was quality drills and impact drivers, their line has expanded to include more variety such as circular saws, reciprocating saws, and jig saws. 

Although Kobalt is best known for its above lines of tools, they have also made a name for itself with its line of tool storage and garage organization. Kobalt not only has a line of storage units for your garage, but also manufactures a variety of toolboxes, tool chests, and even truck toolboxes. Whatever your storage needs are, Kobalt has you covered.

See Also: Kobalt vs EGO (Brand Comparison)

DeWalt

DeWalt cordless drill

DeWalt’s power tool dominance began in the early 1990s, with the introduction of the company’s first cordless tools. DeWalt cemented its early success in 1994 by releasing 30 additional cordless power tools.

Its first 14.4V offerings, which included screwdrivers, impact drivers, impact wrenches, saws, flashlights, and the first combo drill/driver/hammer drill, were among the most notable.

The 20V Max series was launched in 2011 and is DeWalt’s best-known line of power tools. This range comprises roughly 200 power instruments, with new ones being added on a regular basis.

Portable drills, reciprocating saws, impact wrenches, and grinders are among the most popular products in the 20V Max range. In 2013, a line of 20V Max brushless tools was released.

DeWalt also has a solid offering in the 60V Max category, including a complete set of battery-powered tools for the skilled tradesman. These devices give more power than DeWalt’s standard 20V offerings. Nail guns, circular saws, air compressors, and rotary hammers are some of the items included in this series.

While one of the world’s largest manufacturers of power tools, DeWalt also produces a full range of sturdy hand tools. DeWalt has been marketing its own heavy-duty line of specialist mechanic’s tools since 2013.

The DeWalt 40V MAX* Outdoor Power Equipment line provides the power, durability, and runtime that a professional landscaper requires. With no trips to the gas station, minimized maintenance, and low noise levels, this equipment maximizes efficiency.

Technology 

Kobalt and DeWalt have both served as innovators within the tool industry, in their own right, making advancements to improve their lines for the convenience of all consumers. 

The following are several of Kobalt and DeWalt’s most notable technological advances.

Kobalt

Kobalt battery

Variable Speed Triggers

The majority of Kobalt power tools feature variable-speed triggers, which provide far greater control than would be possible with a standard trigger. Kobalt’s variable trigger allows the consumer to control the tool’s motor based on the amount of pressure that is exerted on the trigger. Thus making working on delicate projects more attainable. 

24V Brushless Technology

Kobalt’s latest claim to fame is the production of the company’s FLEX 24V brushless technology. Tools featuring this design are now capable of charging 50 percent faster all the while producing 20 percent more power.

Kobalt manufactures a number of handheld power tools that utilize this technology, including an assortment of impact drivers, saws, and drills.

Industry Leading Torque

Several of Kobalt’s power tools have begun to acquire a reputation for displaying brutish strength when called upon for the toughest jobs.

This is evident when studying the brand’s ¼” impact driver, which is rated to produce up to 1,800 in-lbs of torque, making it one of the stoutest impact drivers of its size range. Kobalt’s impact drivers can take on tasks that leave other brands in the dust. 

DeWalt

DeWalt battery

FlexVolt Batteries

DeWalt’s FlexVolt series of batteries are among the most versatile on the market. These dual voltage batteries are universal in nature, proving adequate for use with both 20V and 60V DeWalt portable power tools.

As such, these batteries can power over 200 products. They automatically switch voltage as you change tools, meaning that you only need to pack a single type of battery for any application.

Jobsite WiFi

The DeWalt Jobsite WiFi Access Point is easy to set up and can extend WiFi access to the entire job site. It’s tough enough for any construction site, “Made in the USA with Global Materials”, and is a great way to stay connected on the job.

Warranty and Service

The warranty offered with any hand or power tool is of immense value and should be a major consideration at the time of purchase. Tools are subjected to many extreme uses over their lifetime and the importance of the warranty and customer service that stands behind it should not be overlooked. 

The following is a side-by-side comparison of Kobalt and DeWalt’s warranty policies.

Kobalt

Kobalt warranty

The majority of Kobalt’s power tools are covered by a 1-year “Risk Free” guarantee. Under this policy, if you are dissatisfied with a product you may return it within 1-year of purchase and receive a replacement or a full refund. 

Kobalt is known for its customer service and this shows with the company’s 5-year limited warranty on the bulk of its handheld power tools. This policy covers defects due to poor material or workmanship. However, this warranty does not cover damage caused by normal wear and tear, misuse, or attempted repair by unauthorized persons. 

Furthermore, Kobalt’s power tool battery packs are backed by a 3-year warranty policy. If at any time, a Kobalt battery pack fails within three years of purchase, simply return it to your local Lowe’s home improvement center, to receive a free replacement.

Kobalt carries other specific warranty coverage as listed:

  • Outdoor equipment, 5-year, batteries 3-years
  • Hand Tools, Lifetime Hassle-free warranty
  • Garage and Tool Storage, 3-5 year warranty
  • Mechanic’s Tools, Lifetime Hassle-free warranty

DeWalt

DeWalt warranty

The DeWalt portable power tool warranty for tools purchased after 2004, offers coverage for defects in materials and workmanship for 3 years after the purchase date. This warranty does not cover issues that occur as a result of normal wear and tear, but it is still a valuable protection for your investment.

DeWalt additionally provides a one-year free service contract in addition to the company’s standard three-year warranty. Within the first 12 months of service, this agreement states that DeWalt will repair any faults in its equipment caused by normal use and tear.

All DeWalt power tools come with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied with any DeWalt power tool, return it within 90 days and receive a full refund, no questions asked.

All of DeWalt’s mechanics tools are covered by a lifetime warranty. This means that if the instrument ever breaks down, you will be given a replacement at no cost. There is no need for proof of purchase.

Kobalt vs DeWalt: And The Winner Is…

Dewalt logo

While Kobalt and DeWalt both produce a number of quality power tools, these two brands are not one in the same. For the most part, DeWalt caters to those in search of professional grade tools, capable of withstanding years of constant use. On the other hand, Kobalt products tend to be a favorite of hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts.

For this reason, among others, DeWalt takes top honors in our side-by-side comparison. When push comes to shove DeWalt produces a wide range of high-quality power tools, which have quickly become favorites of tradesmen in many different crafts.

DeWalt is also widely known for its adherence to top-notch customer service practices. The manufacturer backs each of their power tools with a comprehensive warranty plan, and stands by the ready to take care of their devout following of customers.

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