Husky and Kobalt have quickly become two of the most successful manufacturers of hand tools on the market. Both companies offer a comparable array of tools, and each has plenty of fans that rely on its tools every day.
But, with such similar products, it’s difficult to evaluate which one is better for your needs. Today, we’ll cover a bit of info on these two popular brands and pit them against each other head-to-head in our Husky vs Kobalt showdown.
Table of Contents
- Company Histories
- Husky and Kobalt Parent Companies
- Product Line Depths
- Brand Reputation and Cost of Tools
- Warranty Comparisons
- Husky vs Kobalt: Who Are These Tools Best For?
- Husky vs Kobalt: Who Should Avoid These Tools?
- Benefits of Husky and Kobalt Tools
- Husky vs Kobalt: Head to Head With Their Most Popular Kits
- Kobalt 227-Piece Mechanics Tool Kit
- Husky 268-Piece Mechanics Tool Set
- Final Word
- Husky vs Kobalt: Frequently Asked Questions
Husky and Kobalt are private label brands manufactured for Home Depot (Husky) and Lowe’s (Kobalt), respectively. Both companies launched private label tool brands in response to the wildly popular Craftsman line. Craftsman was produced by Sears up until very recently.
Husky Company History
The Husky brand was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1924, initially as a manufacturer of wrenches. The brand was sold several times and is now owned by Stanley Black & Decker. They began selling Husky tools exclusively to Home Depot beginning in 1992.
Today, Husky manufactures a full line of hand tools, like sockets, screwdrivers, and ratchets. As well as some pneumatic tools and tool storage solutions.
Kobalt Company History
The Kobalt brand was created much more recently. The company was incorporated by Lowe’s in 1998 and began producing hand tools to be sold exclusively in Lowe’s stores. In 2011, the line grew significantly. They now manufacture a full line of lithium-ion battery-powered tools in addition to their popular hand tools.
Today, Kobalt manufactures a full line of popular hand and mechanics tools. As well as pneumatic tools, power tools, and outdoor tools as well.
Husky and Kobalt Parent Companies
The Home Depot
The Home Depot is the parent company of Husky. They own a wide variety of brands:
- Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
- American Woodmark
- Thomasville Furniture Industries
- Hampton Bay
- Galcier Bay
- Commrcial Electric
- Home Decorators Collection
Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is the parent company of Kobalt. They own a few different brands:
- Project Source
- Harbor Breeze
Product Line Depths
Both Husky and Kobalt sell a wide variety of products. Below, you’ll find what each brand’s product line consists of.
Husky Product Lines
Husky sells power tools, outdoor power equipment, lighting, generators, storage, hand tools, batteries, and accessories.
Here are some of the specific types of products you can purchase from Husky:
- Air Compressors
- Paint Sprayers
- Nail Guns
- Pneumatic Staplers
- Mechanics Tool Sets
- Socket Sets
- Ratchet Sets
- Nut Drivers
- Tool Belts
- Work Gloves
- Knee Pads
- Work Lights
- Extension Cords
- & More
Kobalt Product Line
Kobalt sells power tools, outdoor power equipment, air tools, storage, hand tools, batteries, and accessories.
Here are some of the specific types of products you can purchase from Kobalt:
- Combo Kits
- Brushless Drills
- Table Saws
- Tile Saws
- Miter Saws
- Circular Saws
- Reciprocating Saws
- Band Saws
- Impact Wrenches
- Rotary Tools
- Lawn Mowers
- Leaf Blowers
- String Trimmers
- & More
Brand Reputation and Cost of Tools
Here we’ll go over the reputations and cost of the tools of each brand.
Husky Reputation and Tool Affordability
Husky tools are mostly seen as products that are average or mid-tier; there’s nothing bad about them, but there’s also nothing special about them. I would like to mention that there’s a big difference between the hand, mechanic, and power tools produced by this brand.
Husky power tools are okay; they’re best for home applications like light repairs, small building jobs, and various DIY projects. With that said, Husky tools are generally not seen as durable and tough enough to be used on heavy-duty projects and fast-paced job sites.
Husky is the more expensive option of the two brands, but not by much. While they do have a range of prices, one of the main things that makes them so appealing is that they offer more in their sets and tools.
Kobalt Reputation and Tool Affordability
When it comes to Kobalt tools, people often rate them between average and above average when it comes to quality. This may be surprising to some because Kobalt is not a massive brand. I would like to mention, though, that while most classify Kobalt tools as pretty good, those same people would most likely agree that they’re also nothing special.
Because of this, Kobalt tools are generally marketed toward homeowners, basic repairmen, and DIYers. With that said, you’re not going to see many large contracting companies using Kobalt tools since they aren’t durable enough for heavy-duty projects.
Kobalt is the more affordable option of the two brands. While they do have a range of prices, one of the main things that makes them so appealing is that they offer quality tools for less. On top of that, Kobalt has slightly more expensive products for professionals and inexpensive hand tools for homeowners.
Kobalt has a lifetime warranty on all of its hand tools. If anything goes wrong, you can return the item or items easily. However, it’s important to note that while you can bring it back to Lowes, you will still have to abide by their return policy. A receipt or ID is usually required. If you don’t have a receipt and Kobalt no longer makes the item you’re returning, you’ll be stuck with the lowest dollar amount the product sold for.
Most of Kobalt’s lithium-ion power tools come with a five-year warranty. Other items, such as hedge trimmers, also have anywhere between a three and five-year limited warranty. Their storage units also have a lifetime warranty available.
Husky provides lifetime warranties on its mechanics and hand tools. Most of the power and Jobsite tools feature either a two or three-year limited warranty. When it comes down to it, we would say that Husky has slightly better warranties than Kobalt, this is especially true when it comes to the mechanics and hand tools side.
Husky vs Kobalt: Who Are These Tools Best For?
Both Husky and Kobalt produce a reasonably broad range of different tools. They’re both aimed at the same type of consumer.
Both brands offer an economical alternative to more expensive national brands without skimping on quality. Much like how Craftsman became the preferred brand of professionals and DIY homeowners alike thanks to their bulletproof warranty and great quality and value, both Husky and Kobalt provide the same for today’s customers.
Husky vs Kobalt: Who Should Avoid These Tools?
Both brands offer impressive performance at a budget-friendly price. However, experienced professionals who are looking for the absolute best tools on the market will probably find that Husky and Kobalt don’t quite meet their high demands for performance and durability.
Benefits of Husky and Kobalt Tools
Both tool brands have tons of benefits that make them a smart choice, whether you’re in the market for your first tool set or looking to expand upon your growing collection.
Both brands offer exceptional value, and their tools are usually priced cheaper than comparable tools made by national brands. You’ll notice that both brands offer tool sets at identical price points. However, Husky tends to provide a few extras that are missing from the Kobalt kits.
There’s a reason why both brands’ tools have such great warranties: it’s rare that you’ll need to take advantage of the warranty. Both brands have strong reputations for making tools that are built to last.
Husky vs Kobalt: Head to Head With Their Most Popular Kits
Both Husky and Kobalt make a full range of different products, but they’re both most well known for their mechanic tool sets.
Kobalt 227-Piece Mechanics Tool Kit
This impressive kit from Kobalt includes virtually every hand tool you’ll ever need, except for niche specialty tools.
Included in the kit is a total of 117 different six- and twelve-point sockets, three ratchets, four extensions, thirty combination wrenches, and an assortment of popular Allan keys, insert bits, and nut drivers.
Plus, they also throw in a deluxe blow-molded toolbox with metal latches for storing your new collection. The toolbox is smartly sized, with an additional storage drawer, so that you have room for your collection to expand without having to buy a new toolbox.
As with all Kobalt hand tools, these are backed by a no questions asked lifetime warranty. If something ever goes wrong with one of your Kobalt tools, bring it back to any Lowe’s store and get an exchange; no receipt is required.
What We Like
- Impressive selection of popular hand tools
- Lifetime warranty
- Includes a toolbox
- 90-tooth ratchets
What Could Be Better
- Doesn’t offer as broad an assortment as Husky
Husky 268-Piece Mechanics Tool Set
This robust kit from Husky provides you with every popular mechanic’s tool you’ll need – and then some.
This kit includes an impressive array of 129 standard sockets and 39 deep sockets in six, eight- and twelve-point configurations. Also, you’ll find three ratchets, four extension bars, 30 combination wrenches, 40 Allan keys in short and long arm varieties, and a selection of insert bits and nut drivers. Altogether, this kit includes 41 pieces, more than the comparable Kobalt kit.
This kit also includes a blow-molded tool case that’s specially fitted to house all 268 pieces of this kit. While it may not be quite as nice as the toolbox that Kobalt provides, it’s good to see that it does include storage.
Plus, if you’re a tool hound like I am, chances are you’re removing all the tools from their original box and adding them to your rolling tool chests.
Like Kobalt, every product in the kit is backed by Husky’s lifetime warranty. All you need to do is bring the broken tool back to any Home Depot for a replacement, no questions asked.
What We Like
- More tools than Kobalt for the same price
- Lifetime warranty
- Stamped markings inside the tool case indicate which piece goes where
What Could Be Better
- Ratchets are slightly lower quality than Kobalt
One thing you’ll notice as you evaluate Husky and Kobalt is that both brands are strikingly similar. While Kobalt appears to have the slightest edge in overall quality, Husky makes up for it by including a few extras in each of their kits.
With each brand being so similar, picking our favorite isn’t easy. But there can only be one winner in the battle of Husky vs Kobalt. For my money, I prefer the sets from Husky. They include a few extra tools in each kit that the Kobalt kits don’t have.
Either way, both manufacturers make great, affordable tools that would make a perfect addition to your tool collection. When it comes to Husky vs Kobalt, which brand will you choose? Let us know in the comments.
Husky vs Kobalt: Frequently Asked Questions
Are Husky and Kobalt the same company?
No, Husky and Kobalt are not the same company. Kobalt is owned by Lowes Companies, Inc, which is the parent company. They own a few different brands. Husky is owned by The Home Depot. They own a variety of different brands.
Is Kobalt good quality?
Kobalt is often seen as one of the best tool brands that you can purchase today. They offer both brushless and brushed options, and the quality is great for DIYers and home use.
Are Husky tools worth buying?
Some Husky tool tests have found that their tools underperform when compared to other top tool brands. However, Husky offers incredible value for its tools.
Are Husky tools as good as Kobalt tools?
For the most part, Husky has several tools that are right on par with Kobalt tools, but Kobalt does offer a wider variety of products when compared to the Husky product line.
Is Kobalt better than Husky for cordless hand tools?
Kobalt tools are good quality and perform well. Husky tools are about the same. The answer to this question is going to depend on your needs. Kobalt offers a wider variety of tools, so they will be the better choice for you if they have what you’re looking for.
Do Husky batteries fit Kobalt?
Although Husky and Kobalt are in the same market space, they each have their own accessories, including batteries, to fit their tools. This is how companies ensure customer loyalty.