Kobalt 24V Max Brushless Jigsaw Offers a Nice Balance of Performance and Value
The Kobalt 24V max brushless jigsaw was one of the first entrants to the Kobalt 24V brushless power tool line up. Over the year and a half of use I’ve given it, the Kobalt variable speed Jigsaw did not disappoint me. But just like anything, there are a couple of items to consider if this is the right tool, given the tough cordless jigsaw competition today.
- Strong, brushless motor
- 4-position orbital options
- Tool-free blade changes
- Tool-free shoe adjustments for bevel
- Low vibration
- No variable speed dial
- No dust port attachment
- Lower SPM than the Pro-level competition
The tools released at the beginning of the Kobalt 24V line-up had a bit more bulk than similar tools released later, and this jigsaw is in the same boat. Coming in at 5.2 pounds for the tool only, this D-grip jigsaw does feel heavy compared to other cordless models, and that’s without a battery.
However, that extra weight does make it feel sturdy during the cut and likely contributes to its lower vibration. Since the weight of the saw is typically supported by the material you’re cutting, it’s not really a major downside. It comes into play is on the more rare times you might need to cut vertically or overhead on material that’s already in place.
The battery placement on the Kobalt jigsaw sits quite a bit higher from the cutting plane than similar models, more like Ridgid’s placement. It was a bit in the way for long arm cuts, but people don’t usually cut at an arm’s length, so that wasn’t the main concern. The battery being higher meant that the center of gravity was also higher for 45º cuts. You have to use more downward force to keep the blade from drifting and cutting up higher on the opposite side.
It’s definitely noticeable compared to other versions with a lower center of gravity. If you take your time and use two hands on the saw until you get a feel for it, you’ll start to build the muscle memory you need to cut well.
With the lowest strokes per minute of its cordless Pro-level competition, Kobalt comes in at 3,000 SPM, whereas other models push up to 3,500 SPM. However, DeWalt came in low at 3,200 SPM and was famed for low vibration in its class.
That’s something I’ve noticed with the Kobalt jigsaw as well. Between the heft and the lower stroke rate, the operation feels smooth and easy. Basically, no jelly arms after several cuts.
Like its closest competitors, there are 3 orbital modes plus off to help you dial in the amount of aggressiveness you want on the cut.
Although the Kobalt 24V max brushless jigsaw does lack some of the features that the competitors boast, the overall function has been solid over this last year.
Several competitor models have the variable speed dial, but Kobalt instead went with a variable speed trigger. The trigger is very accurate, but still difficult to keep at a constant speed when trying to keep the SPM low when cutting metal. This could have been saved with a lock-on switch to hold your speed, but no such feature exists. A lock-off switch is available though.
Competitors such as Ridgid and Milwaukee have dust ports, although it’s seemingly less mainstream since DeWalt did not offer it either. It does have a dust blower, though, and that helps keep your cut line visible.
Kobalt has the standard features that almost all competitor versions have, including tool-free blade and bevel changes, as well as a sightline dust blower and its orbital action modes. Unlike most of the original cordless jigsaws, Kobalt uses a brushless motor that improves the runtime and life of the tool.
The regular price of the Kobalt 24V max brushless jigsaw is $119 and we saw it at Lowe’s recently for $89 as a “new lower price”, so it looks like it’s going to stay there. It was already a little lower than most of the other cordless jigsaws and this new price makes it a pretty impressive value.
It’s only available as a bare tool right now, so you’ll need to add a battery and charger if you don’t have them already. Kobalt has one of the more affordable battery pricing structures if you go that route.
Overall, the Kobalt 24V max brushless jigsaw has stood the test of time and is a worthy addition to the Kobalt lineup. It has a few trade-offs when compared to other cordless options, but if you’re a value-minded Pro or serious DIYer, that $89 price tag looks pretty sweet.
Kobalt 24V Max Brushless Jigsaw Feature Set
- Brushless motor
- Tool-free blade changes and bevel adjustments
- Dust blower
- LED light
Kobalt 24V Max Brushless Jigsaw Specifications
- Model: Kobalt KJS 324B-03
- Power Source: Kobalt 24V battery
- Stroke Length: 1-inch
- No-Load Speed: 0 – 3,000 SPM
- Orbital Modes: 3 levels, plus off
- Weight: 5.2 pounds bare
- Warranty: 5 years
- Price: $89