If you have a workshop or spend a lot of time around tools as we do, there’s a good chance you have seen the Kobalt brand becoming more popular over the past 10-15 years, especially if you frequent big hardware stores. We’re going to go over these tools to help you learn more about them. We’ll discuss where they come from and who makes them. We’ll also see how many tools there are and if there are budget versions you can purchase inexpensively.
Join us while we take a deep dive into Kobalt Tools.
Who Owns Kobalt Tools?
You may be surprised to find out that the reason you often see Kobalt Tools at the big hardware stores is that Lowe’s owns them, and it is probably there that you’ve seen them. It’s the main brand you will find in Lowe’s, and it was also part of the Masters Home Improvement chain in Australia, which was also owned by Lowe’s but is no longer in business.
Kobalt Tools History & Manufacturing
Lowe’s and their manufacturing partner J.H.Williams started making Kobalt tools in 1998 to compete with Craftsman and Husky tools that Sears and The Home Depot were making. In 2003, the Danaher Corporation took over the manufacturing of Kobalt tools as J.H.Williams became Snap-On Tools.
In 2011, Lowe’s again switched manufacturers to J.S.Products of Nevada, which still makes the tools today. They also signed a deal with Chervon to produce cordless power tools, and Great Neck Saw produces their screwdrivers. Since 2020, a Taiwan company called Rexon Industrial Cooperation makes the miter saws.
There are two tiers of tools lower than Kobalt called Project Source, and Blue Hawk. Project Source was the first budget brand produced by Lowe’s, and it started soon after the production of Kobalt. Blue Hawk is much more recent and didn’t begin until 2009.
Kobalt produces a wide range of tools for every need. Let’s take a look at a few of the tools they offer in each category.
Kobalt Outdoor Power Equipment
Where Are Kobalt Tools Made?
The Kobalt hand tools are of high quality and durable. Their sockets, wrenches, pliers, and other tools are just as good as the most popular brands and often cost less. These tools will make a great addition to any workshop.
The power tools are a decent quality along the same lines as Black + Decker, Milwaukee, Ryobi, and many other brands. Though they are expanding the line, it’s not as complete as DeWalt or Makita. They also seem to be more interested in expanding into air tools and outdoor equipment than improving the power tool line.
We were impressed with the performance of their outdoor tools and liked that they are battery-powered and good for the environment. If you have a smaller size yard, we highly recommend them. Unfortunately, many of these tools are still expensive, and they could lose charge before you finish with a larger yard.
Kobalt tools are a fine choice, especially their American made hand tools. They are easy to find, and there’s a big enough selection that you can probably find what you need at a reasonable price. Their power tools aren’t going to compare with DeWalt or Makita, but they’re perfect for most DIY home improvement tasks.
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Featured image credit: Kyle May, Commons Wikimedia
Pete has been working in the trades since high school, where he first developed a passion for woodworking. Over the years, he has developed a keen interest in a wide variety of DIY projects around the home. Fascinated by all sort of tools, Pete loves reading and writing about all the latest gadgets and accessories that hit the market. His other interests include astronomy, hiking, and fishing.
As the founder of House Grail, David’s primary goal is to help consumers make educated decisions about DIY projects at home, in the garage, and in the garden.