Workwear Reviews & Safety Equipment

Kobalt Hybrid 24V Max Jobsite Fan Review – KJF 124B-03


Kobalt Hybrid 24V Max Jobsite Fan Delivers All-Day Runtime

There’s finally a Kobalt Hybrid 24V Max Jobsite Fan for the 24V line-up! I’ve been waiting on this for a while now since the 24V line up has not disappointed me yet.  And yes, you read that right, it is a hybrid tool, which is the first of the Kobalt 24V line to employ a secondary power option.

Kobalt keeps adding more and more tools to its 24V line, showing how a higher voltage and brushless motor can still be affordable. However, this jobsite fan does NOT have a brushless motor. So, does the extra cell in the battery pack and Kobalt design really outperform the competition despite a brushed motor? Let’s find out!

Pros

  • Crazy-long runtime compared to Milwaukee and Ridgid
  • 600 CFM is higher than closest competitors
  • Uses Kobalt 24V batteries or AC power

Cons

  • Larger footprint than similar designs from other brands

Recommendation

Overall, the Kobalt Hybrid 24V Max Jobsite Fan is a good addition to the Kobalt line up, with just a couple of minor hiccups. Its crazy-long runtime, high airflow, and hybrid power options make it a no-brainer for Kobalt 24V users, especially with the price drop to $69.

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Design

This Kobalt Hybrid 24V Max Jobsite Fan has a strong name to live up to. All the other Kobalt 24V tools I use are sturdy, reliable, and strong. Unboxing this tool felt like Christmas all over again, especially with the summer heat creeping up. Once out of the box, this fan was bigger than I had anticipated. It sits 12 inches wide, 8 inches deep, and 16 inches tall, which is an inch or so larger in every direction than its Milwaukee M18 counterpart. It’s still right around the same weight, though, at 5.5 pounds.

Kobalt Hybrid 24V Max Jobsite Fan Review - KJF 124B-03

The base and fan arms seem thick and sturdy. It can even be laid on its side to get the air closer to the ground and doesn’t wobble. The thick plastic areas employ a honeycomb design to reduce weight but still maintain integrity. So far, this fan has been through several drops and tumbles during transport between jobs with no issues yet. Even the scuff marks seem to wipe off. However, the honeycomb core outs do tend to trap dust which can be hard to clean out unless you have compressed air available.

Performance

Airflow

After hooking up a battery, I turned the dial to high and let the wind blow. The manufacturer’s website boasts 600-CFM worth of air moving power, but it doesn’t really feel like I am getting blown away. However, what you typically feel is the speed of the air rather than the volume. Although the airspeed is not impressive, the room quickly felt ventilated and cooler.

Kobalt Hybrid 24V Max Jobsite Fan Review - KJF 124B-03

That said, 600 CFM is significantly higher than Milwaukee’s 284 CFM and Ridgid’s 475.

On the highest setting, you can clearly feel the air moving up to 15 feet away! There’s no need to keep it on within arm’s reach with that kind of range. While it is not “puff out your shirt” speed, this fan does move some air, and quietly at that. On the lowest setting, it is so quiet that you have to feel the air to know if it is even on. On the highest setting, it reaches 58dB, which is still quiet enough to have a normal conversation.

Runtime

Kobalt recently released a 6Ah battery to run the tools longer, and this jobsite fan just runs and runs on that battery. On high speed, I timed right around 14 hours of run time, about 9 hours on the 4Ah battery, and around 4.5 hours on the 2Ah battery. Taking that further, you can expect a little over 2 hours of run time per amp hour on high.

Kobalt Hybrid 24V Max Jobsite Fan Review - KJF 124B-03

The website also boasts 60 hours of run time on low speed with the 5Ah battery. I was able to get about 24 hours of run time on the 2Ah battery, so logic suggests that you can expect about 12 hours of run time per amp hour on low speed.

That kind of run time on a single battery will keep your work area breezy for the whole day and it’s better than most of the competition. As an aside, the low-to-medium speed option is fantastic for camping. A high amp hour battery will keep your tent cool for many nights and provide slight white noise if you turn it up enough.

Feature Set

The Kobalt Hybrid 24V Max Jobsite Fan matches the competition in terms of features. The Hybrid feature is a new one for the Kobalt 24V line and would have been a huge blow to this tool if absent. Being able to plug in any old extension cord is very handy and offers continuous power. Although there is no immediate difference in the power between being plugged in versus a fully charged battery, there is a difference over time. These Kobalt 24V Max batteries have peak power for the first ~10% of the usage, then it levels off until the final ~10%, where the battery is “trying its best.” Being plugged in gives you that peak power all the time with no slowdown.

 

The 240º swivel of the fan head allows for air to go wherever you want it in line with the arms, regardless of the fan’s orientation. Luckily, there are many hanging options, including rafter hooks, screw keyholes, and two tripod mounts. The stud/rafter hooks are handy because the fan can hang on a vertical stud, or on a shelf. When hanging or mounted, there’s no vibration or resonance, even on high speed.

 

The power dial is my second biggest gripe about this fan, following the overall size. The power dial has a smooth motion to it, with a very analog feel. It’s like the volume knob of a radio. However, the operation of the fan speed is segmented, with 5 distinct power settings. This may be personal preference, but what is the point of allowing dial movement between speed 2 and 3 if there is no change in speed except right on those marks? The advantage of the distinct power setting is that you know exactly which power band you are in if you are trying to plan your run time.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, the Kobalt Hybrid 24V Max Jobsite Fan is a good addition to the Kobalt line up, with just a couple of minor hiccups. Its initial price at release was $99. With the high CFM and long run time, you could make a case for the money, but I still think it would be a hard sell. Fortunately for us, Kobalt dropped the price to $69, putting it much closer to its competition from Milwaukee, Ridgid, and quite a bit under DeWalt’s $100+ pricetag.

Kobalt Hybrid 24V Max Jobsite Fan Specifications

  • Power Source: Kobalt 24V battery or AC
  • Airflow: 600 CFM
  • Weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Price: $99 $69 at the time of writing
Final Thoughts

Overall, the Kobalt Hybrid 24V Max Jobsite Fan is a good addition to the Kobalt line up, with just a couple of minor hiccups. Its crazy-long runtime, high airflow, and hybrid power options make it a no-brainer for Kobalt 24V users, especially with the price drop to $69.

Overall Score 4.6

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