Kobalt 40V Max OPE – 7 Tools To Tackle The Toughest Yard
Yard work can be physically demanding and typically involves gas powered equipment that can be quite intimidating for some homeowners. Gas powered equipment also requires regular maintenance along with having to store gasoline and even mixed gasoline and oil. Those days seem to be about over as tool companies develop battery powered outdoor equipment.
Kobalt® just introduced a full line of Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE) with 7 new tools running off a 40V MAX lithium-ion battery platform. The tools include two push mower models, string trimmer, chain saw, blower, hedge trimmer and a pole saw. I had the pleasure of attending the Kobalt OPE Media Event for a hands-on preview of these tools and I was very impressed. Below I’ve summarized these new products along with my initial thoughts. In the coming months we’ll get a few samples and provide detailed reviews over on our partner site, ToolBoxBuzz.com.
Kobalt 40V Max Mowers
The new OPE line includes two mower models, a 19 inch model and a 20 inch model, the smaller model comes with a few less features and a lower price point. These mowers are a great option in many situations. Obviously home owners with small yards will find electric mowers an excellent alternative to noisy gas operated mowers. I also think homeowners (like myself) that have large yards, which they mow mostly with riding mowers, can use a mower like this to do their trim/cleanup mowing.
The one feature missing from these mowers which I think Kobalt should consider for future models is a self-propelled version. Obviously this comes at a price and power issue. However, with the advancement of brushless motor technology this is a feature that seems likely in the near future.
Kobalt 40V Max 19-in Mower, $349 – The 19-inch mower comes with a 2.0 Amp-hour Quick-Charge and a 4.0 Amp-hour Long-Run battery. The mower has one port which holds one battery at a time (the 20-inch mower holds two batteries). Having two batteries allows you to charge one while running the mower. The mower easily switches back and forth from your choice of mulching, rear bagging, or side discharge options.
It has a tough, 19-inch steel cutting deck, with 10-inch rear wheels and 7-inch front wheels. The 19-inch model offers a 7-position, single-level height adjuster that’s very easy to adjust for cut height. This mower uses a single blade and the handles are cushioned for comfort.
Kobalt 40V Max 20-in Mower, $399 – The 20-inch Doublecut mower is powered by two batteries – one 2.0 Amp-hour Quick-Charge battery and one 4.0 Amp-hour Long-Run battery. With this dual-battery system, one battery automatically switches over to the other, extending the mower’s run time without having to stop to swap them out.
This mower features dual blades (much like a riding mower) and features a 2-in-1 mulching / bagging feature which gives you a couple of ways to keep your lawn clean and healthy. You can change the mowing height easily with a 7-position single-level height adjuster. It’s cushion-handle grip is also designed to keep your hands comfortable while mowing.
This model has a high strength composite plastic deck (vs the steel deck on the 19 inch model). While I found myself gravitating towards the traditional steel deck, there’s no doubt this model will be just a durable and corrosion won’t be an issue.
Kobalt 40V Max String Trimmer / Edger, $169
There are lots of cordless string trimmers on the market and I’ve used most of them. However, non of them offer the power and design that this new Kobalt model does. I was very impressed with this string trimmer and think it’s the most impressive tool in this new OPE line-up.
The first major feature that I noticed about this string trimmer is the fact it uses two strings similar to a gas powered trimmer (most cordless trimmers use a single string). Two strings provides a more powerful and robust cutting performance for thick grass and weeds. The dual line offers an automatic feed (no bumping or adjusting required) and cuts a 12 inch wide path. It also features a variable speed trigger for better control around sensitive plantings.
I really like the “clean” design with no extra wheels or gadgets. It resembles gas powered units with it’s long length, comfortable handle, and well balanced weight. The handle surrounds the shaft making it easy to hold in both the trimming position and edging position.
Kobalt 40V Max Hedge Trimmer, $149
I have so many memories (bad ones!) of lugging a cord around the yard trimming hedges. Always pulling the cord out of the wall, nervous about cutting the cord, and struggling with long, twisted and tangled cords. Cordless hedge trimmers eliminate all those issues and provide a great deal of freedom while trimming hedges and bushes.
The Kobalt hedge trimmer offers a cutting speed of 2800 strokes per minute and an industry-maximum, 3/4-inch cut capacity. Its 24-inch, dual-action blades also extend your reach so you can make short work of those tough-to-reach spots.
Kobalt 40V Max Blower, $149
The blower was my 2nd favorite tool in this new lineup. I’ve been using cordless blowers to keep my garage clean for a few years and find myself using them instead of a broom almost exclusively. This blower offers cordless convenience with the power of a gas model!
This blower is capable of moving 250 cubic feet of air per minute, with a wind speed of 140 miles per hour. The blower only weights 5.2 lbs and is well balanced. The blower is so good the crew for the #48 Jimmy Johnson car even uses it in their pit stall at Nascar races to keep the area clear of debris!
Kobalt 40V Max Chainsaw, $179
Every home owner that has trees on or near their property should own at the very least a small chainsaw. Gas powered chainsaws can be quite intimidating with regard to mixed fuel, noise, and power. So having a cordless, battery powered chainsaw is very appealing on many levels.
The Kobalt 40V Max chainsaw gives you the power to make up to 75 cuts on 4×4 pressure-treated lumber with a single battery charge. It’s 12-inch steel bar is sized just right to take on almost any job in the yard. The low kickback chain offers an additional level of safety for users not used to cutting wood with a chainsaw. It has an automatic oiler and tool-free chain-tensioning that make maintenance easy.
Another great tool to have around the yard is a pole saw (in fact, this can serve double duty and take the place of a chainsaw for those that just need a storm clean-up saw).
The pole saw offers an 8 inch steel bar and chain along with a 10′-9″ reach for those hard to reach branches. You can remove the center section of the pole to reduce the length and make it easier to handle on lower work. Tensioning the chain is easy to do as well.
Overall Impression – Kobalt 40V Max OPE
The advancement in cordless tool technology over the last 5 years has been nothing short of awesome! The fact that large outdoor power equipment like mowers and string trimmers are now cordless is really impressive. The folks at Kobalt have really created some very useful and powerful cordless tools. The mowers, string trimmer and blower really impressed me.
These are tools I’d definitely use around my yard! Not having to worry about gasoline in the garage, or using fuel stabilizer in the winter, no more oil changes, fuel filters, and spark plugs are all huge benefits to owning cordless equipment. If I had one suggestion for Kobalt it would be that they offer some of these tools as a “tool only” option. This would allow someone that already owns the batteries to buy another tool without investing in another battery. If you’d like to buy these online or learn more about them you can HERE.
If you’re in the market this Spring for new outdoor power equipment be sure to check out the new line from Kobalt!
Disclaimer: Lowe’s and Kobalt Tools paid for all travel and entertainment expenses associated with the Kobalt OPE Media Event. However, the opinions and observations of Kobalt Tools are my own and we were not asked to endorse or post anything in exchange for our participation.