Competing with names like Fein, Bosch, and Makita, you wouldn't necessarily expect to find the Kobalt 24V Max oscillating multitool near the top of the cordless pile. But that's the surprising result of our in-person reviews when we put together all the data. So how did the Lowe's brand come up with a top-performing model?
- excellent cutting speed
- Brushless Motor
- value for money
- overall score
- Brushless Motor
- 24V Max systems use 6-pin configuration instead of 5-pin
- no package options available
If you're new to oscillating multitools, check out our beginner's guide to what they are and what to look for on them.
- variable speed dial
- On/Off switch (no trigger)
- Brushless Motor
- led lights
Aside from the attachment changing mechanism, the feature set of most oscillating tools is pretty basic. Kobalt checked out the two main things we were looking for – an on/off switch (we prefer triggers) and a variable speed dial. You'll find LED lights on most cordless oscillating tools, and the brushless motor is a nice bonus at this price point.
The Kobalt 24V Max Oscillating Multi-Tool has an attractive and slim handle that fits easily in your hand even if you have small hands. Rubber overmolding helps dampen vibrations and ensures grip.
At 3.5 pounds, the Kobalt's compact battery is right in the middle of the pack in terms of weight. The heaviest cordless model is less than 5 pounds, while the lightest is half that at 2.59 pounds.
Kobalt makes their accessory replacements tool-free, an important feature our professionals insist on. It's not as simple as a hands-free Starlock system, though. You need to flip the lever on top to release the clip. You can unscrew the bolt and remove it if you like, but it's not necessary.
Vibration control is an area Fein has traditionally owned, and one that several manufacturers are trying to enter. The Kobalt 24V Max Oscillating Multi-Tool scored highly when it came out, though it has slipped down the rankings due to new models from Milwaukee, Skil, and Masterforce.
All the multitools in our shootout were surprisingly loud when cutting, even outside of an open field where the noise doesn't bounce off the walls. In our tests, the set's volume ranged from 92 dB(A) to 104 dB(A), compared with the Kobalt's 98 decibels.
With up to 20,000 OPM and 1.8° swing (side to side), the Kobalt is one of the fastest cutting multitools we've tested. It also clocked an impressive time on the PTR Oscillating Multi-Tool Test Track. At 1 minute and 40 seconds, only Bosch and Fein managed to make a fast lap, and they had the advantage of Starlock changing the knife.
The following is the content of the Test Track:
- undercut door frame
- Cut drywall for electrical box
- Cut five facing nails to remove trim
- Remove 18" grout line
- Sand 6" sections of 2×4 pine studs
Along the way, we had to replace two blades.
price and value
If you haven't looked at Kobalt's 24V Max line, they make tools at a reasonable price with a 5 year warranty. They're quietly building a really good lineup, and even have a premium tool in the XTR line.
The Kobalt 24V Max Oscillating Multi-Tool is $99 bare-bones. There are currently no kit options.
- (3) 60-grit sandpaper
- (3) 120 grit sandpaper
- (3) 180 grit sandpaper
- Bottom plate group
- (3) Plunging blades
- scraper blade
- Grout removal blade
- Flat cutting blade
- Soft Case
the bottom line
When we tested the Kobalt 24V Max Oscillating Multi-Tool, not a single thing disappointed us. Of course, you get lower vibration or faster blade changes. But the Kobalt is a solid value and has excellent cutting speed. If these are your highest priorities, that's a huge win.
Kobalt 24V Max Oscillating Multi-Tool Specifications
- Model: Kobalt KMT 124B-03
- Power source: Kobalt 24V battery
- No-load speed: 11,000 – 20,000
- Swing angle: 1.8°
- Test Weight: 3.5 lbs
- Warranty: 5 years
- Price: $99.00