Kobalt 24V Brushless Drill Review
The Kobalt 24V brushless drill was the fastest drill we tested all year with only some hiccups on high torque applications depending upon the medium.
Buy it Now
At one time, brushless drills were typically reserved for top tier product lines. Milwaukee, Makita, and DeWalt all have a line of brushed and brushless tools. With most companies, their premium products include brushless models. As prices have come down, and manufacturing processes improved, brushless is much more mainstream. The new $149 Kobalt 24V brushless drill kit reveals that brushless is all but on its way to becoming ubiquitous in the market.
In 2012 I was able to test out the first Kobalt 18V lithium-ion combo kit which included a cordless drill. This time around, Kobalt introduced an updated model that goes beyond a simple voltage update, it adds brushless motor technology. The new Kobalt 24V brushless drill is a full inch shorter in length than the 20V model of just a few years ago (almost a 15% reduction). It also has an additional 165 in-lbs of torque (giving it roughly 25% more driving power).
Going by the specs, this tool really stand out as having the highest torque of any tool at this price point. (Lowe’s sells it for $149 as a kit). Even the DeWalt DCD790B doesn’t have as much power (on paper) as the Kobalt 24V brushless drill. As we saw in our testing, that stat transcended paper into reality as well.
Kobalt Tools 24V Brushless Drill Driver Features
The Kobalt KDD 1424A-03 has two modes, operating at 550 and 2,000 RPMs. It will do a phenomenal amount of work on a single 2Ah battery (which is what’s included in the kit along with the charger). The charger included in the kit will recharge the 2.0Ah 24V battery in abut 85 minutes. That’s one of the slower charge times in the industry, but a trade-off gets made when you’re talking about a brushless tool and the fact that the pack has an extra cell to charge.
That included 2.0 AH battery pack has a 4-LED charge level indicator which lets you know if the pack is charged. That way you’ll know before you put it into the tool. We only wish Kobalt included another battery with their kits (all are single packs). Press the button on the top of the pack, and it lights up to let you know whether you should use the pack, or place it on the charger. Above the foot of the battery sled an LED light shines up at the work area. This allows you to work without having the chuck of the drill interfere with your sight lines.
The Kobalt 24V brushless drill includes an all-metal 1/2-inch chuck. The chuck ratchets nice and snug on drill bit shanks, hole saws, and driver bits. The 23-position clutch helps you set the tool for best results on particular fastening applications. It will come in handy for hanging drywall or even when fastening self tapping screws into steel studs.
Kobalt Tools 24V Brushless Drill Specs
- Speed: 0-550/2000 RPM
- Chuck: 1/2-inch keyless all-metal
- Clutch: 23-position
- Torque: 650 in-lbs
- Motor: 24V brushless
- Battery: 2.0 Ah 24V Max
- LED work light
- Auxiliary handle
- Length: 7.5 in.
- Weight: 4 lbs.
- Warranty: 5-year limited(3-year battery)
Testing the Kobalt 24V Brushless Drill
It’s hard to surprise me, it really is. The thing is, though, the Kobalt 24V brushless drill had some stunning results in our testing. We ran the same tests used for our heavy duty 18V cordless drill shootout and the Kobalt drill bested the fastest drill (the Ridgid Gen5X brushless compact drill) by over 4 seconds in our 1/4-inch hole driving test. It drilled twelve holes through our layered plywood in just 21.5 seconds.
In our lag bolt speed tests, the Kobalt 24V brushless drill came up just 1/4-inch short of driving our 3/8″ x 3-1/2″ lag bolt all the way home in high speed. Switching to low speed we sank the bolts with an average speed of just 3.79 seconds. This put Kobalt just behind Makita and well ahead of the second place contenders, Hilti, Milwaukee, and Ridgid.
Moving to our 1″ spade bit drill test, the average seed to drill through our plywood with the Bosch bit was 4.09 seconds. That puts the Kobalt 24V drill in the lead for spade bit drilling speed.
Lastly we tested power using a 3″ hole saw. The Kobalt tended to bind up when it hit our second layer of plywood-something you may not encounter if you’re using the hole saw on solid 2x material. When this happens, the drill’s overload protection forces you to wait a couple seconds before the trigger will work again. Using low speed for this test, we got an average time of 16.2 seconds, putting the Kobalt towards the back of the pack in this particular test.
I didn’t expect to be as impressed with the Kobalt 24V brushless drill as I was. Time and time again, however, this tool came out swinging. For low to medium torque applications the Kobalt 24V drill proves itself as one of the fastest drills in the market. Even heavy duty jobs will prove to be no problem in most cases. Kobalt still has to break through the mindset that there tools aren’t equivalent to more popular brands, but our independent tests are starting to show that they’re definitely onto something.