Are Kobalt tools any good?

Lowes has a sale on Kobalt tools.
For $6 you can get a screwdriver kit that
has torx bits down to size 4. And they're smaller shank,
so the bit holder has smaller diameter and will fit down
the deep hole in the plastic of some devices to access the
screw head.
No brainer...except.
Are they any good.
The bits are shiny silver. My experience has been that the
shiny silver bits are much softer than the dull black ones.
They're guaranteed for life, but that's no help if you've
just stripped the head of that #4 Torx screw holding together
the $300 gizmo you're trying to repair.
So, is there any correlation between shiny silver surface and
softness for screwdriver bits? In the store, how do you tell
what's tough and what's not?
Reply to
mike
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Once you've seen enough cheap Chiwanese crapmetals, you'll begin to discern real, usable tools from crap pretty easily. Alternatively, take one of their sets over to their vise sections and mount your own screws. Try to break one right there in the store. They might not like it much, but it's preferable to buying crap and then having to take it back for a refund.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Ok, but that's not helpful. The objective was to learn what to look for. And specifically, is there any chance that the shiny silver looking stuff could be hardened?
Reply to
mike
And a slow one such as your self once every few hundred years. Yodock
Reply to
Lt. Stacker
What to look for? Well Kolbalt is in the "For for Hobby Usage Now and Then" catagory.
I prefer Harbor Freight...cause if I bust something..they will give me a new one.
Not so Home Despot
Chrome plating could cover GOOD STUFF....as seen by SnapOn, Craftsman (older) etc etc...or it could cover taffy.
Shrug
Its $6. If it breaks..you arent out much
Reply to
Gunner Asch
I know, but it's extremely hard to put that experience into words. It would take weeks in a shop full of tools to show you the minutea of what to look for. I don't think it could be done online.
If you have several hundred dollars and want to learn, go buy as many hand tools at Harbor Freight as you can, from the cheapest on up. Once you see some fail, you can start to learn what to look for in the metal and the designs, but it's not instantly intuitive and it's not easy. Post to us in a month and let us know how you fared.
Which brings me back to my old time at the body shop, where people would call in and ask "How much will it cost to repair my car?" On the phone, they expected someone to tell them the repair cost of an unseen item. We're separated here by a little nuisance item called "reality", mike.
Metal? Yeah. Take a little file in with you, covertly, and find out. If you can file it easily, it's not hardened. If it barely scratches, it's hardened.
P.S: Instant Gratification takes too long!
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Please don't feed the buggered trolls.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
As a general statement, steel tools are plated or otherwise coated to prevent rust so a shiny finish is meaningless. another give away is that "Cobalt" is spelled with a "C" and not a "K".
It is, by the way, "A hard, brittle metallic element, found associated with nickel, silver, lead, copper, and iron ores and resembling nickel and iron in appearance. It is used chiefly for magnetic alloys, high-temperature alloys..." and "hard, brittle" hardly seem appropriate qualities for a tool (except maybe a glass cutter :-).
Reply to
John B.
Kobalt is a brand name and has nothing to do with the metal Cobalt.
well, in the case of a #4 Torx, I'd much rather have a tool shatter than round off the tiny corners and take the head of the screw with it. The tool, I can replace. The mangled screw stuck in a $300 gizmo, not so much.
In summary, nobody has a shred of useful advice. Thanks..I tried...
Reply to
mike
Advice..you got lots of it. You just didnt get what you wanted to hear.
Want some real advice? Dont buy Kobalt if you want GOOD stuff.
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Wiha is some of the absolute best. And a single small driver is $5-7.50
You DO realize that T4 is damned hard to find, right? Most companies start at T5 and go bigger from there.
Buy Wiha..and you know you are getting the absolute best.
Buy Kobalt..and you will be on a newsgroup asking guys about if its gonna bust or not.
And yes...an awful lot of cellphones have T4 holding them together.
Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch
and so did we... You're welcome :-)
Reply to
John B.
I purchased a set of Kobalt Torx drivers recently. I needed them and Lowes was open. My first use of the T10 driver twisted it into a spiral. I would not advise anyone to buy Kobalt tools.
Kevin Gallimore
Reply to
axolotl
True. And HF's Pittsburgh tools weren't made there.
Ditto.
Translation: The little kid (of whatever age) didn't get the instant answer he was after and it's now time to pout.
Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, ingrate.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
There you go. Real world experience. Thank you very much.
Reply to
mike
They don't know how to spell "cobalt".
That should tell you something...
Reply to
Jim Stewart
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(tools)
Reply to
Cydrome Leader
Cydrome Leader fired this volley in news:l5rl7e $ge2$ snipped-for-privacy@reader1.panix.com:
I dunno... I don't think all their tools are good, but you can tell by looking at the fit, finish, and general cosmetics of most tools to tell if they're any good. The only thing you can't surmise by looking is the quality of the metal.
I don't have a lot of them... mostly pliars and wrenches. But they're at least as good as any other retail tools I've bought. The metal is strong, properly hardened and tempered, and the articles fit well.
Where are you going to buy better at retail?
Lloyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
Or we don't:
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Many elements have Germanic common names. Using Latin symbols for them avoids international fights.
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
"Kobalt is a line of tools owned by the American home improvement chain Lowe's as their house brand for both Lowe's in North America and their joint venture Masters Home Improvement in Australia.
Lowe's and manufacturing partner J.H. Williams launched Kobalt in 1998,[1] with the intention of competing against rival retailers Sears and The Home Depot and their respective Craftsman and Husky tool brands.[2] Since 2003, Kobalt hand tools have largely been made by the Danaher Corporation.[3][4] Previously made in the USA, initially by Snap-on's JH Williams brand, Kobalt sockets and wrenches are now made in Taiwan, while pliers and other tools are made in China."
So the early ones were made by a good company...now they are made in Taiwan and China.
I wonder if he wanted to learn that?
Probably not.
Wiha....good tools.
Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch
err... Stanley tools are made in China, aren't they?
Reply to
John B.

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