Kobalt 24V Max XTR Impact Driver Crushes Impact Driver Testing
Kobalt’s cordless impact driver is already a solid budget option and we were curious about what the upgraded Kobalt 24V Max XTR impact driver has to offer. So we set up our impact driver testing rigs to see how it compares.
- Fastest under load in our tests
- Strongest breakaway torque in our tests (tie)
- Big performance improvement without adding bulk
- Excellent value
- Bulkier than premium models
Kobalt 24V Max XTR Impact Driver Testing Results
On paper, the Kobalt 24V Max XTR impact driver has a 700 RPM advantage over its predecessor, moving to 3400 RPM top speed.
To see how that translates into work, we ran a 1/4-inch ledger screw into glued up OSB subfloor and measured the RPM once all the threads are engaged.
The XTR impact kept its speed up to 670 RPM—272 RPM higher than the standard Kobalt 24V Max.
That’s an impressive improvement, but even more so against the full group of cordless impact drivers. The Kobalt XTR impact driver is now the fastest model under load that we’ve ever tested, taking over the number one spot from Makita’s XDT16.
Kobalt’s listed torque shifts from 1800 in-lbs of torque to a monster 2400 in-lbs for XTR. That’s now 200 ft-lbs!
We have tests for both fastening and loosening. The fastening test doesn’t tell us how much torque the impact driver has, though. It tells us how much torque is required to break how hard it fastens grade 8 hardened bolts.
In this test, the Kobalt XTR actually showed less torque. Its 1874 in-lbs was well under the last model’s 2278 in-lbs.
While those are the actual numbers we got, we’re also putting an asterisk next to it for now.
The reason is that the Kobalt 24V Max XTR impact driver had a monster performance in our nut-busting test. Using our digital torque wrench and torque multiplier, we set the same hardened nuts to specific levels and tested how much the tool can loosen.
The previous impact driver broke a solid 3300 in-lbs, but the XTR moved the bar much higher to 4800 in-lbs. That puts it in a tie with Ridgid’s Octane as the strongest we’ve tested!
We’re not sure why the fastening results came back so low comparatively, but we’re going to investigate and retest.
Kobalt XTR Impact Driver Ergonomics
Most tools require more weight and bigger size when you see this kind of performance improvement. That’s not the case for the Kobalt 24V Max impact driver, though.
Its bare tool weight is 2.61 pounds—just 0.05 pounds more than the previous model.
Its head length is a touch more compact, moving from 5.64 inches to 5.56 inches.
It’s not the most compact, though. That crown belongs to Makita’s XDT16, weighing more than 1/2 a pound lighter and measuring better than an inch shorter. There are several other models to choose from that are both lighter and more compact as well.
In addition to the standard 3 speed modes, the Kobalt 24V Max XTR impact driver includes an assist mode. This one gives you a controlled start before ramping up the speed.
Other standard features
- Brushless motor (upgraded)
- Belt hook
- LED light
- Fully compatible with Kobalt 24V Max and Ultimate Output batteries
- One-hand bit insertion
- Spring bit ejection
- Smart controls
Kobalt Cordless Impact Driver Quick Comparison Chart
|24 Max Impact Driver||24V Max XTR Impact Driver|
|Head Length||5.64 in||5.56 in|
|Bare Weight||2.56 lbs||2.61 lbs|
|Top Speed*||2700 RPM||3400 RPM|
|Speed Under Load Test||398 RPM||670 RPM|
|Max Torque*||1800 in-lbs||2400 in-lbs|
|Loosening Torque Test||3600 in-lbs||4800 in-lbs|
|Fastening Torque Test||2268 in-lbs||1874 in-lbs|
|Impact Rate*||3500 IPM||4000 IPM|
Kobalt 24V Max XTR Impact Driver Price
You can grab the XTR impact driver for $179 with a charger and 4.0Ah Ultimate Output battery (KXID 1424A-03). That’s only $10 more than the standard model runs, making it a no-brainer if you’re trying to decide between the two.
It’s also part of a couple of combo kits:
- XTR 3-Tool Combo (hammer drill, impact driver, LED light): $289
- XTR 5-Tool Combo (hammer drill, impact driver, circular saw, reciprocating saw, LED light): $399
The Bottom Line
The Kobalt 24V Max XTR impact driver makes a compelling case for Pros and serious DIYers. It showed excellent performance in our tests without bloating its size and weight to get the improvement. While it’s not as compact as models from Makita or Milwaukee, it also costs quite a bit less.
If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck in a high-performance cordless impact driver, look no further than Kobalt XTR!
Want More Kobalt XTR? Check Out These Reviews!
- Kobalt XTR 5-Tool Combo Kit
- Kobalt XTR Circular Saw
- Kobalt XTR Hammer Drill
- Kobalt XTR Vs Ridgid Octane Hammer Drill
Kobalt 24V Max XTR Impact Driver Specifications
- Model: Kobalt KXID 1424A-03
- Motor Type: Brushless
- Drive Size: 1/4 in.
- Max Speed: 3,400 RPM
- Impacts Per Minute: 4,000 IPM
- Power Output: 2,400 in-lbs
- Length: 5.5 in.
- Width: 3 in.
- Height: 8.75 in.
- Weight: 2.4 lbs
- Warranty: 5-year tool warranty; 3-year battery warranty
- Price: $179