Table of contents
- Company History
- Kobalt & DeWalt Parent Companies
- Product Line Depths
- Brand Reputation & Cost of Tools
- Who Are Kobalt Tools Best For?
- Who Are DeWalt Tools Best For?
- What Kobalt Does Well
- What DeWalt Does Well
- Kobalt vs DeWalt: Battle of the Combo Kits
- DeWalt 5-Tool 20V Combo Kit
- Kobalt vs DeWalt: Warranty Comparison
- Final Word
- Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you’re shopping for your first set of tools or you’re an experienced professional replacing your equipment, getting the most value for your dollar is always a key concern.
New brands like Kobalt have emerged, and their products offer high-end features at a value price point. But, how do Kobalt products stack up against a more established brand, like DeWalt?
Read on as we cover what you need to know about these two brands, and discuss their most popular tools in the head to head battle of Kobalt vs DeWalt.
When it comes to Kobalt vs DeWalt, the history of the brands is a significant consideration you’ll need to address as you decide which tools are best for you.
Kobalt Company History
Kobalt is a relatively new brand. The Kobalt brand is owned by Lowe’s home improvement stores, and Kobalt tools debuted exclusively at Lowe’s in 1998. Lowe’s was hoping to compete with the wildly popular private label brands Craftsman and Husky, which were marketed by Sears and The Home Depot, respectively.
At first, Kobalt focused on mechanics tools. Today, they manufacture a full line of mechanics tools, storage solutions, lithium-ion power tools, and more.
Dewalt Company History
Meanwhile, the story of DeWalt couldn’t be more different. DeWalt was incorporated in 1924 by Raymond DeWalt, who pioneered many of the electric power saws we use today. The DeWalt company was later sold to the Black & Decker company, and they also began marketing DeWalt products as a higher-end alternative to budget-priced options.
Today, DeWalt continues to be one of the most trusted power tool manufacturers in the world, with over ninety years of experience in the business.
Kobalt & DeWalt Parent Companies
Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is the parent company of Kobalt. They own a few different brands:
- Project Source
- Harbor Breeze
Stanley Black & Decker (SBD)
Stanley Black & Decker, also known as SBD, is the parent company of DeWalt. They own a wide variety of brands:
- Black + Decker
Product Line Depths
Both Kobalt and DeWalt sell a wide variety of products. Below, you’ll find what each brand’s product line consists of.
Kobalt Product Lines
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
DeWalt Product Lines
DeWalt 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 DeWalt:
- Drill Drivers
- Hammer Drills
- Jump Starters
- Cable Cutters
- Dust Extractors
- Angle Grinders
- Impact Drivers
- Oscillating Multi-Tools
- Finish Nailers
- Air Hammers
- Air Sanders
- Combo Kits
- Rotary Hammers
- Orbital Sanders
- Track Saws
- Table Saws
- Miter Saws
- Circular Saws
Brand Reputation & Cost of Tools
Here we’ll go over the reputations and cost of the tools of each brand.
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 towards 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.
DeWalt Reputation and Tool Affordability
The number one thing that can be said about DeWalt products across the board is that they are likely some of the best out there. The general consensus about DeWalt tools is that they are fairly high-end, maybe not the very best in the world, but certainly up there with the best of them. What most people say, what we agree with, is that DeWalt produces tools and all sorts of products that are ideal for professional and heavy-duty use.
In general, these are the kinds of tools that a tradesman would use on a daily basis for big jobs and not have to worry about them breaking down. Indeed, DeWalt tools are well known for being durable and long-lasting, often using top-of-the-line materials and components in the construction of their power tools and other products.
Now, this is not to say that non-professional people, such as hobbyists, DIYers, and people looking to do home repairs, cannot use them. They are, of course, more than good enough for occasional and lightweight use.
That being said, DeWalt tools are not exactly cheap, which is why hobbyists and people who just need them for occasional use may not buy them. The flip side of that is that you do get what you pay for with DeWalt, and here you do get a whole lot of quality. Overall, DeWalt tools are recognized for their durability, longevity, comfort, functionality, and ability to deal with big jobs.
When it comes to Kobalt Tools, they’re ideal for first-time home owners, DIY enthusiasts, and anyone who is looking for high-end features from budget-priced tools. Their blend of value and performance has made them one of the fastest-growing tool brands in the country.
DeWalt brings much more experience to the table, and they also offer a broader product line that’s geared towards everyone from the first-time tool buyer to the experienced professional. Since DeWalt manufactures tools at virtually every price point, they have something for everyone.
As one of the new kids on the block, Kobalt brings a fresh perspective, innovative ideas, and a full line of tools that are loaded with value. While perhaps most well known for their mechanics tools, Kobalt has also launched wildly successful lithium-ion powered hand and outdoor tools, as well.
Their hand tools carry a lifetime warranty, and their lithium-ion power tools have quickly become industry-leading products.
Since DeWalt has such a wealth of experience, their tools are often the choice of professionals and homeowners that demand the absolute best from their equipment. For over 90 years, they’ve been a premier manufacturer of power tools. Today, they also continue to make some of the best corded electric and battery powered tools on the market.
To get a better idea of which brand is a better fit for you, let’s take a look at each brand’s most popular combo kits, in our Kobalt vs DeWalt showdown.
Kobalt 4-Tool 24-volt Max Lithium Ion Cordless Combo Kit
Kobalt’s most popular combo kit offers impressive features, great value, and some intuitive extras, which make it a compelling choice for the average craftsperson.
This kit includes a hammer drill, impact driver, circular saw, reciprocating saw, LED lamp, and a USB charging station. It includes only one battery, so you may want to pick up additional batteries if you go with this combo kit.
Both the hammer drill and impact driver offer variable speeds and impressive torque. The circular saw is powerful, with a 5,400 RPM motor and up to a 50-degree bevel with stops for making angled cuts, the reciprocating saw also offers variable speeds, and it’s perfect for making rough cuts in virtually any material.
Also included are an LED light and a USB charging station for charging any electronic device on the job site.
- High-end features
- Includes USB charging station
- Impressive warranty
- Only includes one battery
DeWalt 5-Tool 20V Combo Kit
DeWalt’s most popular combo kit blends impressive features and high-end construction with exceptional value.
This kit includes a hammer drill, impact driver, reciprocating saw, circular saw and an LED work light. This combo also includes a charger and two batteries, as well as a heavy-duty tool bag for all of your new tools.
While this kit offers only 20V compared to the more powerful 24V Kobalt kit, DeWalt manages to squeeze every ounce of power from the battery, and these tools offer performance that’s in line with the more powerful Kobalt option.
The tools also offer similar features, with a variable speed circular saw, hammer drill, and impact driver. The circular saw offers a slightly smaller motor at 3,700 RPM, and it cuts on an angle at a bevel up to 45-degrees.
What separates this combo kit is the build quality when compared to Kobalt. The DeWalt tools feel more substantial, they use more metal components, and they give the impression that they’re built to last.
Interestingly enough, the warranty offered by DeWalt doesn’t bestow that same confidence, and these tools are warranted for three years compared to five for Kobalt.
- Great value
- Great build quality
- Includes tool bag
- Includes two batteries
- Mediocre warranty
Kobalt vs DeWalt: Warranty Comparison
Here is a quick overview of both Ryobi’s and Makita’s product warranty.
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.
DeWalt does a pretty good job on the warranties for their tools and other products. They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of their tools. It also offers three-, seven-, or lifetime limited warranties depending on the specific tool you purchase.
Both Kobalt and DeWalt manufacture quality tools that offer plenty of value and impressive features. That said, we do prefer one brand over the other, and we feel there’s a clear winner in the Kobalt vs DeWalt showdown.
DeWalt is our choice, as they provide the experience and they also have build quality you’d expect from a storied brand. In conclusion, while Kobalt tools are impressive, they still have some work to do before they can contend with a more established brand like DeWalt. Who’s the winner in your eyes? Sound off in the comments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Kobalt and DeWalt the same company?
No, Kobalt and DeWalt are not the same company. Kobalt is owned by Lowes Companies, Inc, which is the parent company. They own a few different brands. DeWalt is owned by Stanley Black & Decker. 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 Kobalt tools worth buying?
Some Kobalt tool tests have found that their tools underperform when compared to other top tool brands. However, Kobalt offers incredible value for its tools.
Are Kobalt tools as good as DeWalt tools?
For the most part, Kobalt has several tools that are right on par with DeWalt tools, but there are some DeWalt tools that are of higher quality than the Kobalt version.
Is Kobalt better than Dewalt for cordless hand tools?
There isn’t a direct answer to this question. Dewalt tools are good quality and perform well. Kobalt tools are cheaper but can get the job done. However, one is technically better performance-wise. But Kobalt may be better for you if you’re just performing tasks around the house. DeWalt makes excellent tools for heavy-duty projects and jobs, but if you don’t need that, why pay the extra money?
Do DeWalt batteries fit Kobalt?
Although DeWalt 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.