Kobalt 24V Cordless Impact Driver Review: Next-Gen

Kobalt 24V Cordless Impact Driver Review

Kobalt 24V Cordless Impact Driver Delivers Upgraded Torque And Feature Set

We’re constantly on the lookout for the best cordless impact drivers and Kobalt just came out with an upgraded one. Today we’re diving deeper into the next-generation Kobalt 24V impact driver that promises better performance, improved runtime, and more.


Kobalt 24V Cordless Impact Driver Performance

Kobalt 24V Cordless Impact Driver Review

The first question to answer is… does this model replace the standard brushless impact driver or the XTR version? It replaces the standard model, so it doesn’t quite reach the performance of the XTR (or the price point).


The upgraded Kobalt KID 124B-03 impact driver’s speed tops out at 3,100 RPM and has a max impact rate of 3,800 IPM. Its brushless motor is also capable of producing up to 2,000 in-lbs of torque. Here’s a quick side-by-side look at the previous KID 1324A-03:

KID 1324A-03 (Original)KID 124B-03 (Updated)
Speed Settings3 standard, Finish Mode 3 standard, Finish Mode, Self Tap Mode
No-Load Speed0-950/2,000/2,700 RPM0-1,500/2,400/3,100 RPM
Max Impact Rate3,500 IPM3,800 IPM
Max Torque1,800 in-lbs.2,000 in-lbs

Right off the bat, it’s clear that there are significant improvements across the board. These are all right in the mix for mid-level professional impact drivers and frankly, very few people need more than what this impact driver promises. However, it’s the actual testing that shows how motor specs and mechanical design come together to do work.

RSS Screw Test

Kobalt 24V Cordless Impact Driver Review

When testing impact drivers we like to put them up against a few 8-inch GRK rugged structural screws to see how fast they can drive them into stacked OSB subfloor. This gives us an idea of how well the tool balances its speed and torque.

The Kobalt KID 124B-03 powered through five of these screws with an average speed of 8.8 seconds. While it doesn’t challenge the top contenders or the XTR model, it’s within half a second of some big names like the DeWalt DCF887 and Makita’s XDT16. That’s not too shabby if I say so myself!

Specialty Modes

Electronic Controls

The KID 124B-03 features both a Finish mode as well as a Self-Tap mode.

The Finish mode allows you to work quickly and precisely without damaging your material. It helps to prevent over-tightening screws without stripping out the head by stopping rotation once the impact mechanism engages.

This Self Tap mode starts with fast rotation and then slows down once the impact mechanism engages. Doing this helps prevent screws and other fasteners from breaking, stripping, and over-tightening.

We tested these modes with both drywall screws and self-tapping screws to see the results for ourselves. The Finish mode perfectly countersank the drywall screws and the Self-Tap mode confidently drove our self-tapping screws into our aluminum with enough control to easily avoid damage.

Kobalt 24V Cordless Impact Driver Design

Ergonomics

Grip

This Kobalt impact driver tips the scales at 2.4 pounds as a bare tool and 3.4 pounds with a 2.0Ah 24V Max battery—slightly lower than the previous model. Thanks to the brushless motor’s efficiency, the compact battery is a great choice to help keep the overall weight down and still give you plenty of runtime.

While it’s not the most compact impact driver we’ve ever seen, it’s only 5.25 inches from tip to tail and that’s about 0.4 inches more compact than the previous model. As for the height, it stands 9.25 inches tall with the kitted 2.0Ah battery. This makes it a great option for working inside cabinets or other places where space is at a premium.

In general, I really like the feel of this new generation of tools from Kobalt. The grip is slightly more angled than its predecessor which makes for a more comfortable hand position. The grip features an improved rubber overmold that offers more aggressive texturing and larger grooves for channeling away dirt and sweat.

Additional Features

  • Reversible belt hook
  • LED light
  • Tether ready
  • One-hand bit insertion

Kobalt 24V Cordless Impact Driver Price

Kobalt 24V Cordless Impact Driver Review

Kobalt’s brushless impact driver is available at Lowe’s and 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.

The Bottom Line

As an upgrade, the next-gen Kobalt 24V cordless impact driver makes some very real gains in power and speed, resulting in faster work. Its tweaked ergonomics and more compact build are also welcome improvements. As far as suitability goes, we like this as an option for serious DIYers and value-minded Pros.

Kobalt Impact Driver Specifications

  • Model: Kobalt KID 124B-03
  • Power source: 24V Max Battery
  • No Load Speed: 0-1500/2400/3100 RPM
  • Maximum Torque: 0-850/1600/2000 in-lbs
  • Impact Rate: 0-1900/3100/3800 IPM
  • Bare Weight: 2.4 lbs (bare), 3.4 (with 2.0Ah battery)
  • Length: 5.25 lbs
  • Height: 9.25 lbs
  • Warranty: 3-Year Limited (Battery), 5-Year Limited (Tool)
  • Price: $149 (kit)

Related articles

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

6 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Fyrfytr998

Also meant to ask, since you sometimes use previous articles and just update them. Is the 8.0 score from the previous model or this newest one?

Fyrfytr998

I sometimes wonder if it is worth starting over again? I wanted to start with Kobalt, but the Craftsman BOGO’s made it hard to pass up. Craftsman hasn’t disappointed since I bought most of the brushless DeWalt clones, but there is something nice about that Kobalt blue.

Mike Scott

Lowe’s has the kit (driver, battery, charger, soft bag) for $99…

Ron Bowman

Really like the tool reviews on this site. But in regards to the impact driver you did not mention cost of additional batteries or replacement? The one reason l choose kobalt over all the others is $20.00 batteries. I hate running out of juice so for just a few bucks I can have extra batteries charged and on hand. Keep up the great work!

6
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x