In preparation for reviewing the next-generation Kobalt 24V cordless reciprocating saw, I went back and read Clint’s review of the original from back in 2016. Back then, Kobalt was ahead of the game with genuinely impressive performance and was one of the first to adopt a brushless motor at a high-value price. For the price, it was tough to beat. As we started working with the updated model, we wanted to know if it still has those characteristics.
Kobalt 24V Cordless Reciprocating Saw Performance
Unsurprisingly, Kobalt sticks with a brushless motor. Using the tool’s variable speed trigger, you can run the blade up to 3200 SPM. Combined with a 1 1/4-inch stroke length, that’s a very solid number, keeping up with the best names in the business.
Compared to the previous model, it’s 100 SPM higher with an extra 1/8-inch on the stroke length. How much of a difference does that make?
In terms of linear blade movement, the original model covered 291 feet per minute. The next-gen model covers 333 feet per minute. What you’re cutting has a lot to do with the actual cutting speed, but in general, you can expect nearly 15% faster cutting speeds.
Another change is the shift to a 2-speed design. The original just had one and the update gives you a low-speed option that tops out at 2800 SPM and is great when you’re cutting metal.
The speed is a big deal, but pay attention to vibration control, too. Kobalt added a counterbalance system to this model that drops the amount of vibration you feel by as much as 45%—that’s significantly better!
Kobalt 24V Cordless Reciprocating Saw Design Notes
Size and Weight
Considering the performance level, this is a compact saw. It measures 17.1 inches from tip to tail (18.3 inches when you have a battery installed). Bare, it weighs 6.1 pounds and a 4.0Ah battery brings the total weight to 7.8 pounds before you add a blade.
The only change we’re not crazy about is the shift of the blade release. The original model had a lever on the housing and the new one switches to a more traditional blade-mounted release. It’s still tool-free and the access is better than some models we’ve tested, though.
As we expect on any reciprocating saw designed for serious DIY or professional work, the shoe pivots and has an adjustable length. To adjust the length and use a different part of your blade, press the button toward the front of the housing and adjust the shoe in or out. We really like that Kobalt designed it so that the shoe doesn’t come all the way out. It’s a small change, but it solves a minor pain point we have with some saws.
- Rafter hook
- LED light
- Compatible with all Kobalt 24V batteries, including Ultimate Output
Kobalt 24V Cordless Reciprocating Saw Quick Comparison
|Kobalt KRS 1824B-03 (Original)||Kobalt KRS 224B-03 (New)|
|No-Load Speed||0 – 3100 SPM||0 – 3200 SPM|
|Stroke Length||1 1/8-inch||1 1/4-inch|
|Shoe||Pivoting, Adjustable||Pivoting, Adjustable|
|Blade Release||Side Lever||Shaft-Mounted|
|Length||17.1 inches||17.1 inches|
|Bare Weight||6.3 pounds||6.1 pounds|
Kobalt 24V Cordless Reciprocating Saw Price
While it’s come down in price some over the years, Kobalt’s original 24V cordless reciprocating saw launched at $129 for the bare tool. The updated version? $129 for the bare tool. Considering the boost in performance, we’re not complaining. As usual, Kobalt has a 5-year warranty on the tool. It’s a great fit for serious DIYers and value-minded Pros, though some may want to consider stepping up to the stronger XTR model for heavier use.
The Bottom Line
The next-generation Kobalt 24V cordless reciprocating saw improves its cutting speed and makes serious gains in vibration control over the previous model. Perhaps most importantly for fans of the 24V line, it’s once again an excellent value with performance that punches above its price tag.
- Model: Kobalt KRS 224B-03
- Power Source: Kobalt 24V battery
- No-Load Speed: 0 – 3200 SPM
- Stroke Length: 1 1 /4 inches
- Length: 17.1 inches
- Weight: 6.1 pounds bare
- Warranty: 5 years