Multitool.org Forum
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
+-

Hello Lurker! Remove this ad and much more by logging in.


Lowes Kobalt Budget Multitool Review. 7459

No Life Club Posts: 4,783 I miss Benner
Lowes Kobalt Budget Multitool Review.
« on: November 23, 2008, 12:42:30 PM »
Kobalt by Lowe’s Multitool Review
Nov 20 2008
Reason for purchase:
On the ever-present lookout for “the” tool that is perfect for all applications we once and a while comes up with issues that are unseen and another tool is necessary. It was about 2 years ago that I lent a brand new Surge to a co-worker that returned it in the most abusive manner by skidding it across the shop floor a total of about 50 feet. Then the search came to be to find the ultimate loaner tool and beater.

Fast-forward 1 year and while walking through Lowe’s I decided to look into the tool area to get a new SOG. Sitting on the shelf there was the Kobalt Multi tool. At a cost of about 15$ I decided that this would be a cool tool just to keep in the car for a beater, but found the thing to be a really useful implement.

Overall:
The tool came in a great package that allowed the buyer to see the tool with all implements out. It had come with a sheath that was actually usable, and it was a heavy tool. At 10 oz. with the sheath it will not be a tool that you will forget that you are wearing. It is closed at 3 ¾ inches or 9.5 cm the tool opens to 6 inches, and is ¾ inches thick. Tool shown in comparison with the wave that is usually carried at home.
 

Side photo with wave:
 

The tool comes with a great insert made of rubber that gives some grip and it really does give the tool a little class with the polished steel and the Kobalt blue grip. Though the tool is a bit on the heavy side, the very nice thing is that the grip of it is thick and beefy without being too unwieldy like the Gerber Suspension. Pliers on the tool come with a Very small hard wire notch that easily handles coat hanger and welding wire with ease. Also the head of the tool is spring-loaded and the spring is internal so it will not become lost. Though the plier’s head is smaller it does perform all tasks in an adequate way. The spring-loaded head has very aggressive teeth and I found it comfortable to grip up to a 9/16-inch bolt, and was easily able to grip it with force. Though the tool has no implements that lock, every piece of it has a “snap” when they click into place, and all tools have their own back-spring, not a common thing on most tools that will share a common back-spring. The tool is readily available at all Lowe’s and if broken can be returned without any questions for replacement there. So the tool also has a very excellent warrantee.

The sheath that the tool comes with is very reminiscent of the old Bianchi Mag pouches that were first issued with the 9mm. It is an accumold type design that is covered in a heavy cordora covering, and holds the tool very securely with a simple but stout button snap. It rides a little higher on the belt than the Leathermans, but will easily fit up to a 2-inch belt. I was able to crawl in and around the truck at work without it snagging and catching on anything. I actually would love to see the higher end tool companies make a sheath that the bargain basement company has come up with.   


Cutting blades.
I actually was fearful of them. I have become accustomed now as most to higher end steel that have become commonplace in today’s market. The tool comes with 2 blades a Drop point blade that measures.2 ½ inches, and is Hollow ground. While the steel is not premium, I actually would not say it is any worse that the average Wenger or Victorinox steel used today. It takes a great edge, though dulls quickly, can be retouched with a Diamond stone with very few passes. However the Serrated blade is kind of weird it does actually work but not as well as most. It has a duel-serrated pattern on it that has VERY aggressive teeth. Wider in the back than the front. I found it almost impossible to cut rope with due to the teeth but would open packages and cut fabric like a chainsaw. The cutting length is the same as the straight edge so they both work very well for general cutting.
 

Saw Blade on the tool is 2 ½ inches long and was the part of the tool that I was certain would be junk, however I was pleasantly surprised that the blade had been Hollow ground, and though the teeth not up to Victorinox standard did perform well. You will not break any speed records with it, but the tool does cut, and the teeth had no problem with clogging cutting green wood.

File on the tool measured also in the 2-½ inch range. This part of the tool was actually the most disappointing part. I found that the file would only work on wood, and soft brass. As a file user on my tools I understand that the implement is the hardest to manufacture, but they could have just left this part out. The steel used is the same as the whole tool, and has nothing for heat treatment. Though there is not really anything positive about it, I would have just left it out of the tool and maybe just put something else in its place. Maybe an awl, or just adding a lanyard loop in its place.

Can and bottle openers on this tool while nothing spectacular are functional. However the can opener will only work for you if you are right handed, and does come with a little straight driver ala Victorinox. The cutting edge on the tool came sharp enough but was very small, and it takes a time to work itself around a can. Positive side is that the ergonomics on it will keep the cutting in line, and will cut rather cleanly. Bottle opener on the tool also performed adequately and comes with another straight screwdriver blade on it.

On the tool is also two other straight screwdrivers present. However they provide no real reach over the can and bottle opener drivers, and coincidently are the some size! Go figure out that one. All straight drivers preformed ok but will slip on really tight applications due to the chisel grind used on the tool. I would have rather seen them take the 5 seconds to cut into the other side of the tool, but what can you expect from a 15$ tool?

Phillips bit on this tool is the same kind of driver used on the Vic tools. It appears to be stamped and is on the #1 size so it will work for most fasteners. All the drivers present on the tool gave the exact 1-inch reach.

Pros:
PRICE.
Tool is heavy and well done for cost. 
Pliers spring loaded.
Ergonomic.
Decent cutting ability.
Sheath works.
Very nice for wet environment with stainless steel implements.
Lifetime Warrantee!

Cons:
Heavy.
File will not be of use.
Can opener could use larger cutting blade.
Serrated blade has way too high peaks.
Redundant drivers.
 

Overall I would certainly recommend the tool as a backup tool in a box, or just a beater. It works extremely well for the cost and can be exchanged at any Lowe’s around the globe for a new one when it breaks. If you also need a cheap but decent gift give one. I would give this tool a solid 6, which I find to be extremely fair (considering I would give the Gerber Suspension line of tools a 2).  Also It is obvious that like most tools that come from a supercenter that the tool being reviewed is made overseas in China and distributed by Sheffield.http://www.multitool.org/miscellaneous-tools/medium-tools/sheffield-mountaineer.html
« Last Edit: November 23, 2008, 12:50:55 PM by hawkchucker »

S
Chief of the Absolutely No Life Club! Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 42,959 Why haven't you got a Farmer yet!
Re: Lowes Kobalt Budget Multitool Review.
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2008, 02:13:58 PM »
Great review mate, I assumed you'd be covering the Suspention though :think: :D

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
No Life Club Posts: 4,783 I miss Benner
Re: Lowes Kobalt Budget Multitool Review.
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2008, 03:04:34 PM »
Nah the suspension already had a review.

S
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,568
Re: Lowes Kobalt Budget Multitool Review.
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2008, 04:08:21 PM »
Great review, Hawk!  :cheers:

B
No Life Club Posts: 2,562
Re: Lowes Kobalt Budget Multitool Review.
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2008, 05:00:59 PM »
Very nice review, thx.  :cheers:
Global Tuffy Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 28,078 Just Awesome! And a Slayer of Polar Bear!
Re: Lowes Kobalt Budget Multitool Review.
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2008, 06:01:09 PM »
Great work John!  :tu:

I'm back!!
Global Moderator Just Bananas Posts: 61,240
Re: Lowes Kobalt Budget Multitool Review.
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2008, 07:00:29 PM »
Great review mate, I assumed you'd be covering the Suspention though :think: :D

 :rofl: ::)

Great review of a tool I would have never given a second look at but I might check it out now :tu:
No Life Club Posts: 2,886
Re: Lowes Kobalt Budget Multitool Review.
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2008, 02:35:00 AM »
Great review Hawkchucker. I really like the Kobalt tool. I keep it laying around the house so I can grab it when needed. I like the spring loaded pliers very much.

"
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Lowes Kobalt Budget Multitool Review.
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2008, 05:23:48 AM »
Wonderful review John. Seems like the Kobalt serves the purpose you bought it for perfectly. :)


Question: Have you used the phillips screwdriver? How would you describe the quality of the phillips?

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
No Life Club Posts: 4,783 I miss Benner
Re: Lowes Kobalt Budget Multitool Review.
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2008, 10:23:28 AM »
Bob I have used it and it did work out well enough. I only used ot to put batteries in toys at Destineees b day party last july, so there wasnt a bunch of torque on them. However I actually liked how they worked better than the strait drivers did. So I guess that they are actually quite good.

S
No Life Club Posts: 4,485 <*();::::::::;~
Re: Lowes Kobalt Budget Multitool Review.
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2008, 05:23:55 AM »
I bought one and I think it's worth about what I paid for it and not a penny more! LOL!!!!  :D
No Life Club Posts: 4,783 I miss Benner
Re: Lowes Kobalt Budget Multitool Review.
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2008, 10:45:46 AM »
Ha Love it!! But ya got to admit its better than the suspension.

S
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Lowes Kobalt Budget Multitool Review.
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2008, 12:40:26 PM »
Bob I have used it and it did work out well enough. I only used ot to put batteries in toys at Destineees b day party last july, so there wasnt a bunch of torque on them. However I actually liked how they worked better than the strait drivers did. So I guess that they are actually quite good.

Well that is surprising John as it seems like most tools imported from "out east" have a phillips screwdriver that is almost un-usable. :P  Maybe they are finally figuring out how to make them right.

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
No Life Club Posts: 4,783 I miss Benner
Re: Lowes Kobalt Budget Multitool Review.
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2008, 10:36:57 PM »
Ya Bob it really surprised me also, but it actually works well!

S
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,271
Re: Lowes Kobalt Budget Multitool Review.
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2008, 09:29:43 AM »
very nice review! for an inexpensive MT it doesn't sound bad (like some of the other cr... bargin stuff)
and like stated I might not have given it much of a look if it weren't for your review (what a snob I am!).
I do like that warranty.

thanks bro, I may have to check it out, if only for the pouch! :cheers:

Full Member Posts: 148
Re: Lowes Kobalt Budget Multitool Review.
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2009, 02:30:54 AM »
I just bought one of these at Lowes. Marked down to $7 something. I largely agree with the OP review. A couple of things. I find the can opener rather poor. It will work, but pales in comparison the the Vic can opener it seems patterned on. The plain knife blade is useful once a thinner sharp edge is put on it. The serrated blade seems mostly good at tearing stuff up. The serrations are very aggressive, which helps, but the bevels are thick and not particularly acute. The file is pretty weak. Not particularly toothy, it barely suffices for my fingernails. The drivers I find usable. All the implements except the saw are buffed even more rounded than Victorinox tools. I'd generally prefer the implements remain edgy.

One thing I do find redeeming is the plier head. I like spring loaded pliers, the shape and size of the Kobalt are decent. Particularly interesting are the wire cutters, which do not operate as shears the way Leatherman or Vic cutters do, but rather they displace wire as the two cutting edges meet but do not cross. This may have a slight advantage with materials that tend to slip between shears, but a disadvantage with very hard materials, which tend to dent the edges where they meet. The hard wire notch cuts coat hangers well enough. And the joint has no slop.

All in all, a decent tool for the price. Not as impressive as a Leatherman or Vic, but the the sale price, a good beater that won't break my heart if lost.
No Life Club Posts: 4,783 I miss Benner
Re: Lowes Kobalt Budget Multitool Review.
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2009, 02:35:50 AM »
Shecky You dont know how happy you just made me. i was posting about these now for well over a year, and I think you are the first here to get one. I really love my Lowes as what I reviewed it as. A beater and a loaner.

Plus you can return it anywhere there is a lowes. You dont have to mail it in.

S

 

Donations

Operational Funds

Help us keep the Unworkable working!
Donate with PayPal!
October Goal: $300.00
Due Date: Oct 31
Total Receipts: $109.46
PayPal Fees: $6.30
Net Balance: $103.16
Below Goal: $196.84
Site Currency: USD
34% 
October Donations

Community Links


Powered by EzPortal
SMF 2.0.17 | SMF © 2020, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.062 seconds with 32 queries.
© 2018 Defender Web & Tool