Dan and myself went to the Kobalt tool event in NY and while we were there, we had the chance to play with the Kobalt Double Drive Screwdriver. Luckily for us, they also gave us a free one to take home. Unfortunately we couldn’t take them on the plane, so we had to pay $35 to check the bag. I know, why would we pay $35 to check a bag in when we could have left the screwdriver behind, carried the bag on the plane and when we got back to Chicago, just went and bought this screwdriver for $20. We could have saved $15. The reason we didn’t do that was because it makes too much sense and that means we would have had to use our common sense. Besides if we would have saved $15, Dan would have just blown the money on scratch off lotto tickets.
I have to admit before we went to the event, I have never really used any Kobalt tools. I have seen them and picked them up before, but I don’t have a Lowes by my house, so I never really had the chance to play with them or use them in long applications. From my brief use, they don’t seem like bad tools. The ones we played with at the event were cool, well balanced and seemed to be pretty good. In fact we will be doing a review of the 18V cordless driver soon, so for the first time I can really pick one up and play with it for a while before I make my opinion. One thing that stood out was the Kobalt hand tools. The hand tools I really liked. I usually don’t get very excited about hand tools, but the Kobalt tools just felt good in my hands. Which brings me to this review of the Kobalt 29 Piece Double Drive Screwdriver Set model 0362632.
The kit comes with 29 pieces. You get the screwdriver, a flex extension, 6 nut drivers and 21 bit inserts. Out of the 21 bit inserts, they are all different except you get 4 #2 Philip bits. The rest are all different, so you do get a variety. My guess is you will be using the Philips and flat head the most.
Ok what makes this kit or screwdriver so special. Well it’s not the kit, it’s the screwdriver. Kobalt has a patent on the Double Drive Technology which makes tightening and loosing fasteners much quicker. Ok here is how it works. As you see it looks like an ordinary screwdriver, but it’s not. You can use it like a traditional ratcheting screwdriver driver where you inset the screwdriver into the fastener and then turn to the right and it tightens. Then turn to the left and nothing happens and turn to the right again and it will tighten. This way you can leave the tip inserted into the screw at all times which saves time. Well with the Double Drive you can do this even quicker. From the example we just talked about, anytime you turn to the right, you are performing an action and tightening the screw, but when you turn to the left, nothing happenings. The Double Drive now makes turning to the left and right both perform an action. The way to engage this feature is just hold the blue collar and now the Double Drive is in place. So when you turn to the right, you still tighten. Then when you turn to the left, even though you are turning the screwdriver to the left, it still turns the shaft to the right to tighten. So as you can see with an ordinary ratcheting set you turn once for action and once for nothing. With the Kobalt, each turn performs an action. Just for your information you can do this when loosing fasteners also. Just push or pull the thumb switch to select which way you want to use the screwdriver.
On the top of the screwdriver, you can unscrew the cap and have a storage place for your bits. You will not be able to store the nut drivers or extension, so they will still be floating around somewhere to get lost.
Ok so hear is the low down. The idea and concept are really cool. As a professional, will you carry this on your belt? Probably not because while it’s not extremely heavy, it does add weight. Where the drive system is, you can feel the extra weight. If you have a tool bag, you might have a place for it as a quick tool you might grab for. My guess, this is great for the homeowner to have around. Probably somewhere far away from your workshop. It’s one of the screwdrivers you will have sitting in a junk drawer. Not because it’s junk, but because it’s just that type of tool. A screwdriver you will probably not be reaching for all the time, but when you need to quickly loosen or tighten a fastener, you can grab this and get the job done, without having to run to your shop or out to your truck.
Overall it’s a cool idea and very practical. For $20 it’s hard to beat. You get a nice variety of bits and drivers. The Double Drive system is a cool advancement in the screwdriver arena. With a lifetime warranty, how could you go wrong?
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