Cordless Drill Reviews & Impact Drivers

18V Cordless Drills

Speed Under Load
Torque
Feature Set
Weight
Footprint
Value
Final Thoughts

After tallying up all the results, the Kobalt 24V Drill Driver and Hammer Drill models rate at least 4 stars in every category. There aren't many drills in any class we tested that can say the same thing. 

Overall Score 4.4 Shootout Results

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Kobalt 24V Drill Driver and Hammer Drill Review


Kobalt 24V Drill Driver and Hammer Drill Surprises Medium-Duty Class with Shootout Win

Lowe’s house brand Kobalt has been a pretty big deal around these parts since they first showed off 24V tools back in 2016. The 24V max (21.6V nominal) battery uses a 6-cell system instead of the 5-cell designs of 18V /20V max packs. We got our hands on the Kobalt 24V Drill Driver (KDD524B-03) and Hammer Drill (KHD524B-03) for our Best Cordless Drill Shootout, and it’s safe to say that both models impressed us.

Pros

  • Excellent speed under load
  • Highest torque in the Medium-Duty class
  • Excellent value

Cons

  • No major drawbacks

Shootout Results

After tallying up all the results, the Kobalt 24V Drill Driver and Hammer Drill models rate at least 4 stars in every category. There aren’t many drills in any class we tested that can say the same thing.

The fit and finish aren’t as refined as some of the premium brands and you won’t find some of the most recent features like smart controls. Kobalt’s 24V line isn’t as deep as others, either. However, if performance is your goal, Kobalt is your best all-around bet without moving up to the bulkier Heavy-Duty class.

While that might sound surprising at first, it’s a testament to how much the line has improved over its 18V predecessors.

Overall 18V Medium-Duty Drill Driver Ranking: 1st Place

Overall 18V Medium-Duty Hammer Drill Ranking: 1st Place

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A Little Background

Chervon is the manufacturer behind Kobalt’s 24V max line. They’re also responsible for EGO outdoor equipment, Skil’s new cordless line, Skilsaw, and others. In both our standalone and head-to-head reviews, these tools consistently perform very well, often outperforming much higher priced competition. In the case of Skil and Skilsaw, they’re genuinely taking the brands to performance levels their previous owners couldn’t or wouldn’t.

I saw that to set the table here. Kobalt’s 24V tools are not just a rebrand of their old 18V line. They’re no longer DIY tools pretending to be for Pros.

Features

The Kobalt 24V Drill Driver and Hammer Drill have identical feature sets, with the exception of the hammer drill having a hammering mechanism. That adds a little bit of length and a touch more weight. The hammer drill has a couple of extra clutch settings and comes with a side handle. Everything else is pretty much the same.

Kobalt 24V Drill Driver and Hammer Drill Review

Feature Set

  • 2-speed brushless motor
  • Variable speed trigger
  • LED light
  • All-metal chuck
  • Bit holder
  • Belt hook

Performance

Check out our Best Drill Head to Head Review to see our test methods for soft torque and speed under load.

Speed Testing

We chucked up a 1″ Bosch Daredevil High-Speed Auger Bit to see how well the brushless motor can maintain its speed in high while drilling out 5-ply OSB subfloor. After the dust settled on our series of tests, the Kobalt 24V Drill Driver finished with a 1419 RPM average. That’s a little more than 50 RPM off the lead.

That speed is 77% of the no-load speed we measured on it, good enough for the 2nd best motor efficiency rating in the Medium-Duty group.

Moving to a 2-9/16″ Milwaukee SwitchBlade Self-Feed Bit and low speed, it posted an average of 459 RPM—just 13 RPM slower than the leader.  Its efficiency rate is 86% in this test, telling us that it can handle an even larger load than we put it under.

Kobalt 24V Drill and Hammer Drill

With our concrete drilling speed test, the Kobalt 24V Hammer Drill slowed down a little bit from the rest of the pack. Using a 1/4″ Bosch Daredevil Multipurpose bit and drilling 3″ deep, its 6.95-second average was the second slowest.

Kobalt 24V Drill Driver and Hammer Drill Review

Soft Torque Testing

While both models finish in a highly-competitive 3rd place for speed, their torque production is what really sets them apart. Kobalt crushes the class with 562.8 in-lbs of torque on our testing rig. Bosch’s new brushless model gets within sight of Kobalt about 40 in-lbs behind. But the closest anyone else gets is more than 150 in-lbs off the pace.

Footprint and Weight

Kobalt 24V Drill Driver and Hammer Drill ReviewIf you’re looking at the Kobalt 24V Drill Driver, it has a head length of 7.5″ and height of 8.3″. We already touched on it, and the hammer mechanism adds 0.6″ for the Kobalt KDH524B-03. Neither model challenges Milwaukee’s ultra-compact design, but they’re also far from the bulk of Ryobi’s P251.

With a 4.0Ah battery, the drill driver weighs 4.83 pounds, less than 0.1 pounds heavier than the class leader. The hammer drill’s larger size and additional hardware bump it up to 5.03 pounds.

There’s not a huge range of weights in the Medium-Duty class, so Kobalt’s 3rd place drill driver and 6th place hammer drill weight rankings might be a little deceiving. Only Ryobi’s P251 is noticeably heavier in both drill and hammer drill categories.

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Price

Kobalt is offering some pretty solid sales at the time of writing, giving these tools an even better value. The Kobalt 24V Drill Driver is $99 as a kit with a 2.0Ah battery. It’s normally $159, so this is about as good as it’s going to get.

The Kobalt 24V Hammer Drill is currently $99 as a bare tool (normally $129). You can also snag this one with a brushless impact driver and a 4.0Ah battery for $229 (regular price $279).

Kobalt’s battery pricing is pretty compelling as well. Additional 2.0Ah packs run $20, 4.0Ah packs are $50, and 6.0Ah packs are $99.

Conclusion

After tallying up all the results, the Kobalt 24V Drill Driver and Hammer Drill models rate at least 4 stars in every category. There aren’t many drills in any class we tested that can say the same thing.

The fit and finish aren’t as refined as some of the premium brands and you won’t find some of the most recent features like smart controls. Kobalt’s 24V line isn’t as deep as others, either. However, if it’s performance you’re after, Kobalt is your best all-around bet without moving up to the bulkier Heavy-Duty class.

While that might sound surprising at first, it’s a testament to how much the line has improved over its 18V predecessors.

Kobalt 24V Drill And Hammer Drill Specs

Kobalt 24V Drill Driver

  • Model Number: Kobalt KDD 524B-03
  • Max Speed: 2000 RPM
  • Maximum Beats Per Minute: 26,000 BPM
  • Number of Clutch Settings: 24
  • Max Chuck Size: 1/2″
  • Chuck Type: Keyless
  • Tool Power Output: 650 in-lbs
  • Warranty: 5-Year (tool); 3-Year (battery)
  • Price: $132.98, $132.98 (kit)

Kobalt 24V Hammer Drill

  • Model Number: Kobalt KHD 524B-03
  • Max Speed: 2000 RPM
  • Maximum Beats Per Minute: 26,000 BPM
  • Number of Clutch Settings: 24
  • Max Chuck Size: 1/2″
  • Chuck Type: Keyless
  • Tool Power Output: 650 in-lbs
  • Warranty: 5-Year (tool); 3-Year (battery)
  • Price: $108.91 (bare tool)

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