Kobalt Vs. Craftsman: Which Of The Two Brands Is Better?

In need of a new power or hand tool? Then chances are you will have heard of Kobalt or Craftsman.

These well-known brands have established themselves as household names across the country, providing high-quality tools loved by DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike.

But choosing between the brands can be tricky, can’t it? We need to consider many factors when it comes to choosing our new tools, such as their build-quality and warranty periods.

Thankfully, we are here to help you with this process today! Keep reading to find out the answer to the question: Kobalt Vs. Craftsman: Which Of The Two Brands Is Better?

A Brief History of the brands

Let’s take a look at the history of Kobalt and Craftsman to help you learn more about the brands.

Compared to other brands on the market, Kobalt is considered a baby. The hand and mechanic tools brand that sells power tools was founded in 1998 by J.H. Williams, the manufacturing partner of Lowe’s.

Lowe’s is an American chain of home improvement stores, which is currently the owner of the Kobalt brand.

Kobalt came bursting onto the market as a competitor for Sears and The Home Depot, aiming to take over as a household name in the tool world.

They were created as a house brand of power tools across the USA and even went down under a partnership with the Australian Masters Home Improvement, which is now defunct.

As we have said, Kobalt was a competitor to the other brand we are looking at today, Craftsman.

Craftsman is a well-established brand created to sell power tools at Sears as far back as 1927! When Sears merged with Kmart, Craftsman was sold along with them to the retailer.

However, in 2017 Craftsman was sold to Stanley Black and Decker, the current owners of Craftsman.

What is interesting to discuss when we look at the history of these brands is that you can also find Craftsman tools sold in Lowe’s, despite Kobalt being created as their house brand!

Now that we have had a quick look at their history let’s take a closer look at the brands and what they can offer you.

Who has better quality?

One of the vital factors we need to consider when it comes to purchasing tools is the quality we will get.

After all, we don’t want a sub-par power tool, do we? When we consider the quality of a tool, we consider a few areas to make sure it’s the right tool for you.

Let’s start with where the tools are made. Kobalt makes their machine tools in Nevada, USA, and most of their power tools are manufactured in Germany or China.

Generally, the majority of the new tools Koblat are creating are made in China.

It doesn’t mean that there is a decline in quality, though. Most customers seem pleased with the overall quality of their Kobalt tools, whether they are made in the US or China.

While discussing quality, it’s also worth noting that the quality of Kobalt’s products has increased since being sold in Lowe’s.

While Kobalt is not considered the best quality brand for power tools, it’s definitely up there with the best of them, especially when you consider it a household consumer brand.

Now, what about Craftsman? Well, they have a global reputation as one of the highest-quality power tools brands.

They have the proof to back it up, too, receiving the highest scores available from the Harris Interactive Poll for both Trust and Brand Expectations! There’s some serious faith in the brand there.

Craftsman has also been voted as the best brand for hand tools by the readers of Popular Mechanics! It is also the official tool brand of the DIY Network, and wait for it, NASCAR!

If you weren’t convinced of Craftsman’s quality, let that be the confirmation you need! Regardless of the manufacturing location of the tools, Craftsman’s quality is unrivaled.

What about warranties?

When investing in tools, you want to know that they will stand the test of time and are protected with a warranty should anything go wrong.

Thankfully, both Kobalt and Craftsman offer great warranty periods, with Kobalt having the edge here.

Kobalt offers lifetime warranties on many of its tools and sets. There are some exceptions; each tool will be labeled with the warranty period, so be sure to check before purchasing!

Craftsman offers excellent warranties, too; you can expect to see several years of protection. However, they don’t provide as many lifetime warranties as Kobalt does.

Some warranties will be Sear’s responsibility depending on when you purchased your tool, which can be problematic.

These long warranty periods will provide peace of mind for users, but check the period and who is responsible for the warranty before purchasing.

Talk product portfolio to me

When choosing between the two brands, it’s essential to look at the product portfolio to see what the brand can offer you. Craftsman takes the lead here, with a large product portfolio across the board.

It’s worth remembering, though, that Craftsman has been around 70 odd years longer than Kobalt has.

So what does Craftsman offer? They have a large selection of power tools, automotive tools, lawn care, outdoor tools, and more available for consumers to purchase!

You can kit out all with Craftsman’s seal of approval!

Let’s take a closer look at the types of tools both brands offer, too, helping you choose the right brand for you today!

What about Power tools?

When it comes to power tools, Craftsman is the clear winner. They have more than three times as many drills on the market as Kobalt does.

You can say the same for grinders, saws, air tools, and others too!

Overall, Craftsman has a larger selection of power tools, applying to all categories and types of power tools compared to Kobalt.

What about Hand Tools?

Here is where we see Kobalt enter the race and level up against Craftsman. Kobalt has more or at least can match the portfolio of products in the hand tool department.

For example, where Kobalt has nine hand saws, Craftsman has six, giving Kobalt the edge.

When it comes to hammers, both brands have the same amount of models in their catalog. On the other hand, Craftsman has more pliers available than Kobalt.

In terms of hand tools, you need to consider what you need when making your purchase.

Both Kobalt and Craftsman have an expansive range of hand tools, although Kobalt has more tools available in certain categories than Craftsman.

Which should I choose: Kobalt or Craftsman?

Deciding whether to use Kobalt or Craftsman can be tricky, especially as both brands have some fantastic benefits. It’s worth considering what you want from your tools to help you make your decision.

If you are after hand tools, both brands have a good selection, whereas if it’s power tools you need, Craftsman has the edge with more available to choose from.

When it comes to quality, both brands feature high-quality tools that are designed to last.

While Kobalt offers longer warranties, you can expect to see your Craftsman tools last longer when used frequently.

Don’t forget to check customer reviews for the products you want and the materials used to ensure your new tools are strong, sturdy, and sure to last!

Final word

And just like that, we are at the end of the line. As you can see, both Kobalt and Craftsman are fantastic brands that have asserted themselves as household names over the years.

Both brands offer excellent quality tools that we are sure will be a welcome addition to your toolbox.

The brand that you choose will ultimately be down to personal preference, but hopefully, we have helped narrow your choice down today!

When selecting your new tools, be sure that they suit your needs and come well covered by a great warranty period.

Dean Luoma

As a long-time homeowner, Dean has been working on his own home projects for over 30 years. He is a licensed real estate agent in the state of Minnesota, helping clients with the buying and selling of their homes.

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