Kobalt Hybrid 24V Max jobsite fans deliver all-day runtime
The 24V range finally has a Kobalt Hybrid 24V Max Jobsite fan! I've been waiting a while, because the 24V lineup hasn't let me down yet. Yes, you read that right, a hybrid tool and the first in the Kobalt 24V range to feature a secondary power option.
Kobalt continues to add more and more tools to its 24V line, showing how higher voltage and brushless motors can still be affordable. However, this construction site fan does not have a brushless motor. So, despite the brushed motor, is the extra battery in the battery pack and the Kobalt design really superior to the competition? Let's find out!
- Incredibly long runtime compared to Milwaukee and Ridgid
- 600 CFM higher than the closest competitor
- Runs on Kobalt 24V battery or AC power
- Larger footprint than similar designs from other brands
This Kobalt Hybrid 24V Max Jobsite fan lives up to its name. All other Kobalt 24V tools I've used have been solid, reliable and sturdy. Unboxing this tool feels like Christmas is here again, especially in the heat of summer. Out of the box, this fan is bigger than I expected. At 12 inches wide, 8 inches deep, and 16 inches high, it's an inch or so larger in every direction than its Milwaukee M18 jobsite fan counterpart. It still weighs roughly the same 5.5 pounds, though.
The base and fan arms look thick and sturdy. It can even be placed on its side, allowing the air to be closer to the ground without wobbling. Areas of thick plastic are honeycombed to reduce weight but still maintain integrity. The fan has taken a few drops and tumbles in transit between jobs so far without any issues. Even the scuff marks seem to have been rubbed off. However, the honeycomb core does tend to collect dust which can be difficult to remove unless you have compressed air available.
With the battery attached, I turned the dial to high and let the wind blow. The manufacturer's website boasts 600 CFM worth of air movement, but I don't really feel blown away. However, what you usually feel is the velocity of the air, not its volume. While the airspeed wasn't impressive, the room felt airy and cool in no time.
That said, 600 CFM is significantly higher than Milwaukee's 284 CFM and Ridgid's hybrid fan's 475 CFM.
On the highest setting, you can clearly feel the air moving 15 feet away! At this range, there's no need to keep it within reach. While that's not "bloat your shirt" speed, this fan does move some air, and it's quiet. On the lowest setting, it's so quiet you have to feel the air to know if it's even. On the highest setting, it hit 58dB, which is still quiet enough for normal conversations.
Kobalt recently released a 6Ah battery that will keep the tool running longer, and this jobsite fan runs off of that battery. On high speed, I clocked about 14 hours of run time, about 9 hours on the 4Ah battery and about 4.5 hours on the 2Ah battery. Going a step further, you can expect more than 2 hours of run time per amp hour.
The site also boasts a 5Ah battery with a low run time of 60 hours. I was able to get about 24 hours of run time with the 2Ah battery, so logic says you can expect about 12 hours per amp hour at low speed.
This runtime from a single battery will keep your work area cool and breezy all day, better than most of the competition. By the way, the low and medium speed options are great for camping. The high amp-hour battery will keep your tent cool for many nights, and it will also emit light white noise if you turn it up enough.
The Kobalt Hybrid 24V Max Jobsite Fan is on par with the competition in terms of functionality. The Hybrid feature is a new addition to the Kobalt 24V range and would be a huge blow to the tool if it wasn't there. Being able to plug in any old extension cord is very convenient and provides constant power. While there's no immediate difference in charge between plugged in and a fully charged battery, there will be a difference over time. These Kobalt 24V Max batteries have peak power for the first about 10% of the time they are used, then gradually drop off until the last about 10% where the battery is doing "best effort". Plugging in allows you to maintain peak power at all times without slowing down.
The fan head can be rotated 240º, regardless of the direction of the fan, the air can flow with the arm to any position you want. Fortunately, there are many hanging options, including rafter hooks, screw holes, and two tripod mounts. Stud/rafter hooks are convenient, as the fan can be hung from a vertical stud or shelf. When suspended or mounted, there is no vibration or resonance even at high speeds.
The power knob is my second biggest complaint about this fan, after overall size. The power dial moves smoothly and has a very analog feel. It's like the volume knob on a radio. However, the operation of the fan speed is segmented, with 5 different power settings. This may be personal preference, but what's the point of allowing movement between speeds 2 and 3 if the speed doesn't vary except on those marks? The advantage of different power settings is that you know exactly which power band you are in if you are planning your run time.
Overall, the Kobalt Hybrid 24V Max Jobsite Fan is a great addition to the Kobalt range, with just a few niggles. Its initial release price is $99. With the high CFM and long runtime you can make a case for the money, but I still think it's going to be a tough sell. Luckily for us, Kobalt dropped the price to $69, bringing it closer to its Milwaukee, Ridgid competitor, and a lot less than DeWalt's $100+ price tag.
Kobalt Hybrid 24V Max Construction Site Fan Specifications
- Power: Kobalt 24V battery or AC
- Airflow: 600 CFM
- Weight: 5.5 lbs
- Warranty: 5 years
$99$69 at time of writing