On the Hefty Side, Kobalt Impact Driver Delivers Impressive Breakaway Torque
We’re constantly on the lookout for the best cordless impact drivers. With a combination of decent performance and a reasonable price tag, Kobalt’s 24V Max brushless impact driver offers a nice value.
Kobalt 24V Brushless Impact Driver Performance
The Kobalt Impact Driver has a no-load speed of 2,700 RPM, 3,500 IPM, and 1800 in-lbs of torque. These are all right in the mix for mid-level professional impact drivers, but it’s the actual testing that shows how motor specs and mechanical design come together to do work.
Speed Under Load
This Kobalt impact driver moves at a somewhat leisurely 398 RPM during our speed test as it sets a 1/4-inch ledger screw. That’s not exactly lighting the world on fire considering our top model was more than 250 RPM higher. However, it also has a lower specified speed, so it’s not an unexpected result.
Of course, speed isn’t everything, and this model doesn’t feel like it’s struggling to sink a 1/4″ ledger screw.
While speed isn’t necessarily in Kobalt’s wheelhouse, power is. Kobalt finished our fastening testing by showing off a solid 2585 in-lbs of fastening torque. This earns it a 2nd place finish behind Milwaukee as one of only 3 models to hit harder than 2500 in-lbs.
Our fastening test allows the impact driver to drive a hardened nut for 5 seconds. We measure the average torque it takes to break that effort loose over 5 tests. This does not equate with manufacturers torque specification.
The Kobalt Impact Driver really shines in nut-busting, finishing in a tie with Milwaukee’s 18V model. Kobalt delivers an impressive 3,600 in-lbs—or 300 ft-lbs—of breakaway force.
With that much power, take it easy when you get to metal fastening. That much torque doesn’t have any trouble breaking socket adapters or shearing off screw heads. This is where Kobalt’s fastening mode comes in – it starts in high speed and stops after a few impacts to set the screw without shearing them off.
Kobalt 24V Brushless IMpact Driver Size and Weight
This Kobalt brushless impact driver is one of the heavier bare tools in our test at 2.6 lbs. Its compact battery only adds another pound, but it’s still noticeably heavier than our lightweight units.
It’s not terribly compact, either. At 5.6 inches, it stands out next to the most compact models that are a full inch shorter from front to back.
All impact drivers are noisy—it’s just kind of the nature of the beast. Some are less taxing on your eardrums than others though, and the Kobalt Impact Driver happens to fall on the quieter end of what we’re used to hearing from these noisy tools.
- 3-Speed Mechanical Switch: We prefer these mechanical switches blister buttons. Sure, they’re not as sexy, but they also won’t fail or crack as quickly as blister buttons tend to.
- Finishing Mode: This mode allows the tool to set the screw head in metal fastening. The tool senses when it starts impacting and stops. It consistently sets the screw without shearing the head off.
- 24V Max Battery: One of the high points of the Kobalt line of cordless tools is that the battery packs have an extra cell. This means more power and longer runtimes.
- Brushless motor
- Belt clip
- LED worklight
Kobalt 24V Brushless Impact Driver Price
Kobalt’s brushless impact driver runs $149 for the kit with one 2.0Ah battery, charger, and soft case. It comes with a 5-year limited warranty on the tool and a 3-year battery warranty.
You can also find it as part of several combo kits at Lowe’s.
Deal Alert: You can get the impact driver, matching drill driver, battery, and charger for $149 at the time we’re writing this!
The Bottom Line
This Kobalt cordless impact driver almost has impact wrench DNA—running a little slower but hitting much harder. It’s moderately higher weight and size add to that feel.
Still, it performs well and didn’t seem to be stressed in any of the tests we ran. For less than $150, it’s a good value to consider if you’re on a tighter budget.
This model is no longer the darling of the 24V line, though. That title now belongs to the Kobalt XTR impact driver that promises even better performance.
Kobalt Impact Driver Specifications
- Model: Kobalt KID 1324A-03
- Power source: 24V Max Lithium-Ion Battery
- No Load Speed: 2,700 RPM
- Maximum Torque: 1800 in-lbs
- Impact Rate: 3500 IPM
- Bare Weight: 2.6 lbs
- Weight with Battery: 3.6 lbs
- Length: 5.6″
- Height: 8″
- Warranty: 3-Year Limited (Battery), 5-Year Limited (Tool)
- Price: $149 kit with 2.0Ah battery and charger