Adding more options to their 24V Max lineup of budget-friendly cordless tools, Kobalt shows up again this week with another tool of the impact wrench variety. The Kobalt 24V 3/8-Inch Impact Wrench may not bring quite the same kind of thunder as the 1/2-Inch model we recently took a look at, but it probably doesn’t need to. Different tools for different applications, right? Well, this different tool packs a lighter-duty amount of power in a much smaller, lighter package. Why lug around 7 pounds if you don’t have to? If you can accomplish the same work by only picking up 4 pounds (with the battery attached), wouldn’t you? That’s where this impact wrench finds its niche: it’s compact and lightweight. Plus, if it sweetens the deal at all for you, this new Kobalt Impact Wrench only runs a measly $99 at your local Lowe’s.
If a heavyweight impact is what you’re after, you should check out our Best Cordless Impact Wrench Shootout.
He’s Just A Little Guy
First things first: the Kobalt 24V 3/8-Inch Impact Wrench, like the other tools on the platform, features a brushless motor. This should extend the tools lifespan as well as provide more power. Granted, this compact impact wrench will only pull about 150 ft-lbs of torque (tightening or removing), but as a supplemental tool that works well in small spaces, that’s not really a bad thing. Plus, going brushless means that you won’t have to replace your motor’s brushes when they inevitably wear out. Furthermore, the brushless motors extends runtime on batteries, for less trips to the battery charger.
This model also features three different speed settings and a finish mode. This allows you to dial in the speed you need for any particular application. Maxed out, the Kobalt 24V 3/8″ Impact Wrench can generate 2,300 RPM (no-load) and 3,500 IPM. Having a finish mode means that you won’t accidentally damage your fasteners or your work surface. Basically, this tool senses when you’re coming up on the end of wrenching down a fastener, and rather than continuing to drive full-bore, it will slow down automatically.
Like I said, this tool’s niche revolves around its size. With a 4.0Ah battery attached, this impact wrench weighs in at a grand total of 4 lbs and 2 oz. On a long enough timeline, even that amount of weight could be problematic if the balance is off. But, Kobalt designed this one with a pretty even weight distribution. In addition to that, the rubber overmolding is really comfortable, and the handle feels really form-fitting. The end result is a compact impact wrench that won’t tucker you out too badly under a heavy workload.
Other Notable Features
The Kobalt 24V 3/8-Inch Impact Wrench features a variable speed trigger for finessing your way to pro quality fastening. Coupled with that aforementioned finishing mode, you really shouldn’t have any excuses for rounding out a fastener.
Kobalt has also integrated an LED worklight directly above the trigger. Truth told, I prefer the positioning of the LED on Kobalt’s 1/2″ Impact Wrench, which is located at the base of the tool. With this model, I’m more likely to cover up the light with a misplaced finger, or with my other hand. But as this tool probably won’t require two hands very often, this probably won’t affect me too much. In either case, if I can keep my clumsy fingers out of the way, this light helps to keep what I’m working on lit up.
Normally, I’m not sure that I often get super jazzed about warranty and pricing information. However, Kobalt might have some of the best prices and warranties on the market right now. The Kobalt 24V 3/8-Inch Impact Wrench runs just under $100 for the bare tool, and it comes with a 5-Year Limited Warranty. Right now, they don’t offer this tool kitted with a battery and charger, but at $50 for a 4.0Ah battery, that might not be the end of the world. If you already work with the Kobalt 24V Max platform, this might not bother you at all.
Kobalt has continued to impress recently, both in their pricing and in their product builds. These 24V Max batteries and tools have really improved since Kobalt has started outsourcing development to Chervon, and this impact wrench is a testament to that. It feels comfortable and sturdy, and the 24V Max batteries are some of the better-performing options for its class.
Ultimately, you probably won’t use this tool as your sole impact wrench, as it really doesn’t generate the kind of power you’ll need for tightening lug nuts and dealing with other heavier-duty applications. But, as a supplemental tool, this thing rules; a brushless motor, variable speed settings, and a finishing mode all make this tool pretty useful. For $99, it feels like you could do a whole lot worse than this compact and lightweight impact driver.
Kobalt 24V 3/8-Inch Impact Wrench Features
- Brushless motor: Extends life and runtime while allowing for more power.
- 3-speed motor: Dials in the power and speed you need for the applications
- Finish mode: Reduces the power as you get close to finishing the drive to avoid damage to the fastener and work surface.
- Variable speed trigger
- LED light
- Reversible belt clip
- 5-year tool warranty
- 3-year battery warranty
Kobalt 24V 3/8-Inch Impact Wrench Specs
- Model: Kobalt KIW3824B-03
- Power Source: Kobalt 24V Max battery
- Max Torque: 150 ft.-lbs.
- No Load Speed: 0 – 2300 RPM
- Impact Rate: 0 – 3500 IPM
- Weight: 2 lbs, 7 oz (bare), 4 lbs, 2 oz (with 4.0 Ah battery)
- Warranty: 5 years
- Price: $99