By: Hal Jones
(for an update on Kobalt Tools Xtreme Access Go Here)
In a quiet corner of the Hendrick’s Race Shop sat a table covered by a cloth. Truthfully I hadn’t noticed it until it was pointed out that Kobalt had another surprise for us. In the third quarter of 2011, Kobalt will introduce its line of corded and cordless power tools. Details will come as the launch draws closer. Extreme How-To looks forward to using Kobalt power tools. As I told Greg Palese, Kobalt Brand Manager, I would like to see quality cordless tools in the NASCAR race boxes along pit wall. Why not Kobalt? Like a true product manager, Palese reiterated that getting it right was the focus for now. Sounds like a good plan to me.
As much as race mechanics know about hand tools, I would love to sit down with them and show them the difference between cordless tools. The tools we use to demonstrate poor quality builds and engineering, well lets just say the boxes were full of them. Maybe cordless tools are provided to the teams but the other tool editors were also amazed at what we saw. Lots of NiCad and first generation lithium products were everywhere. I understand the NiCad to a degree. A lithium battery will go from full power to not functioning fast and NiCads slow before dying and so you know to change the battery before jumping over the pit wall. Or the teams could join the rest of us and use lithium third generation tools with batteries that show remaining life with LEDs. Come on guys, with all the millions spent on CNCs and engineering, let’s be big boys and provide crews with quality cordless tools. A well made socket set from the 1950s or 1960s is still a good and functioning tool, but cordless tool technology demands updating cordless products often. Using tools that were considered the best available 10 years ago in a competitive environment today and ignoring recent innovations is leaving yourself open to problems.
So for now Kobalt is working on bringing the quality of its just introduced line of hand tools to its corded and cordless tools that are now in your local Lowe’s Home Improvement Center. But still in my mind I can see pit boxes full of well built cordless tools bearing the Kobalt brand.