In this article, we are going to have a closer look at the product range of Kobalt Air Compressors and air tools by this well-known brand.
The first part of this article discusses some of the most popular air compressors from the Kobalt product line according to their tank size, mode of operation, and best applications.
Next, we are going to draw a head-to-head comparison between Kobalt air compressors and some of their biggest competitors – Ingersoll Rand, DeWalt, RIDGID and McGRAW.
Finally, we are going to answer some of the hottest and most topical questions about the Kobalt line of air tools that are currently circulating online.
One such question is, for example, if Kobalt is going to be discontinued, or it’s just a malicious rumor that is being spread by its competitors.
For a brief review of the products that are going to be discussed in this article, please have a look at the chart below:
|Product name||Max PSI||CFM Ratings||HP||Tank Size||Application||Price|
|Kobalt XC802000||175||15.6||5||80-gallon||Best for sanding, painting a car to repairing an engine||More Details|
|Kobalt XC602000||175||10.7||3.7||60-gallon||Ideal for garage and workshop applications||More Details|
|Kobalt 3332644||175||4.5||1.8||26-gallon||Quiet operation suitable for urban locations||More Details|
|Kobalt LK20175||175||4.0||1.3||20-gallon||Automotive maintenance & repairs||More Details|
|Kobalt 0300842||150||3.8||1.8||8-gallon||Home & Jobsite||More Details|
|Kobalt 3320447||150||2.4||1.0||4.3-Gallon||Ideal for use with brad/staple nailers, finish nailers and framing nailers||More Details|
|Kobalt 0120242A||125||0.5||0.5||2-Gallon||Perfect to be used around the house||More Details|
|Kobalt 120v & 12v Portable Air Compressor||120||0.4||0.3||Tankless||Inflates sports balls, rubber rafts, and other such items||More Details|
1.Kobalt XC802000 – Kobalt’s Best 80-gallon Air Compressor
This 80 Gallon compressor is designed to cope with a wide variety of heavy-duty jobs, from sanding, painting a car to repairing a jet engine.
Its heart is a massive 240-Volt, 5-HP, heavy-duty induction motor that generates tremendous air pressure to let you operate a wide range of tools for a longer period of time.
This 2-stage stationary electric air compressor by Kobalt is equipped with a durable cast-iron, oil-lubricated air pump. The pump’s high efficiency (175 PSI max pressure) allows you to work with more pneumatic tools at an increased flow rate.
Our testers were a bit surprised to find out that this robust unit does not include a power cord.
Instead, it should be connected to a dedicated power outlet that is at least 240-Volt. Notwithstanding its space-saving design, this massive air compressor is meant mostly for industrial use.
- Powerful 240-V electric motor
- Heavy-duty 2-stage oil-lubed pump
- 3-year warranty
- The oil-lubed pump requires regular maintenance
2.Kobalt XC602000 – Their Best 60-Gallon Air Compressor
Looking at this bad boy with a sixty-gallon tank, one just cannot fail to notice that this air compressor has been designed for maximum space-saving.
Its tank is vertical and has to be secured to the ground or other flat surfaces with screws and bolts. We recommend that you install it in a corner, close to a strengthened power outlet.
We do not recommend that you power up your compressor from a generator.
The unit pulls high amps on startup and this can cause sag from the generator and provide a poor power supply that may shorten the life-span of the motor.
This compressor’s 240 Volt, 3.7-running HP, a heavy-duty induction motor is mounted on top of the compressor in a special cage.
This ingenious design allows for easy maintenance of the motor and the pump.
The motor generates a maximum pressure to operate a wider range of tools – paint sprays, massive nail guns, rotary tools, grinders, etc.
- Vertical tank for maximum space-saving
- Heavy-duty motor for longer operation times
- Can do a wide variety of construction and home improvement jobs
- Occasional oil leaks from the pump have been reported
3.Kobalt 3332644 – Kobalt’s Quietest 26-gallon Air Compressor
Compared to the previous two compressors, this little fellah is more suitable for use in the workshop or in the car paint shop, but not on the construction site.
After all, its tank stores only 26 gallons of compressed air, which means shorter tool run-times.
The heart of this compressor is its 1.8 horsepower 4-pole induction motor that generates just enough power to run most nail guns, power drills, grinders and cutting tools that are meant for home or workshop use.
This compressor’s air delivery capacity stands at 4.3 SCFM at 100 PSI and 4.5 SCFM at 90 PSI, while its maximum pressure is 150 PSI.
This unit has two oil-less pumps for quiet operation (<70 dBA). Their lifespan is twice longer than that of similar models by other manufacturers, while at the same time they require less maintenance.
This is a portable unit equipped with two heavy-duty semi-pneumatic wheels. Thus, you can tow the compressor around the workshop using its strong handle with a comfortable grip.
- Quiet operation
- The reinforced frame provides maximum protection of the pump and the motor
- 3-year warranty
- Occasional air leaks from the tank have been reported
4. Kobalt LK20175 – The Best Portable Air Compressor by Kobalt
The LK20175 model is perhaps Kobalt’s best portable air compressor that they’ve made so far.
This is also the first model on our list to feature an oil-free pump for easy maintenance and reliable starting up in sub-zero temperatures.
KOBALT’s 20-gallon compressor is powered by a durable 120-Volt motor that delivers 175 max PSI and 4.0 SCFM at 90 PSI.
The improved performance of 175 max PSI and 145 PSI start-up pressure provides more usable air storage in the 20 Gallon tank for longer air tool run times.
We recommend this compressor for automotive maintenance jobs and heavy machinery repairs.
It also copes well with medium-duty spray painting, nailing, and finishing tasks. The LK20175 model can power up most framing and roofing nail guns, as well as inflate heavy truck tires.
This compressor also has two quick-connect air fittings for multiple tool operation.
The canister’s air filter extends the unit’s life and reduces noise down to 78 dB(A) for a quieter work environment. The vertical design requires less space to install, while the compressor’s 7-inch wheels provide maximum portability around the working site.
- Oil-free pump for easy maintenance
- Works in sub-zero temperatures
- The vertical design requires less space to install
- Some users complain that this compressor can be quite noisy at times
5.Kobalt 0300842 – Kobalt’s Best 8-Gallon Air Compressor
This is a relatively small air compressor and we were surprised to find out that its design is not quite ergonomic and space-saving.
Notwithstanding its small size, this unit looks a bit bulky, actually. The power unit is mounted right on the air tank without any fundament, and the handle is protruding quite a lot, despite its ergonomic handle.
The manufacturer explains that the horizontal tank design with a fully-encased pump and motor help reduce noise and protect these vital components from damage.
At the same time, this model’s removable handle and rubber wheels provide reasonable mobility around the workshop.
This 8-gallon compressor has the power you need in the house and in the garage.
It is just as efficient as the larger models reviewed above, but the smaller air tank means that the runtime of your tools will be a bit shorter. The compressor has a 1.8-HP copper winding motor that generates 150 PSI max. and 4.0 SCFM at 90 PSI.
The oil-free pump extends the life span of the whole compressor. This unit is powerful enough to cope with most light-duty sanding, drilling, cutting and nailing jobs around the house.
At 71 DB noise level when in use, we’ve found this air compressor to be a bit too noisy for its small size.
- Fully-encased pump and motor
- Highly-efficient operation
- Copes well with most light-duty jobs that need compressed air
- Only one-year limited warranty
6.Kobalt 3320447 – Kobalt’s Best Twin-stack Air Compressor
Kobalt’s 4.3-gallon, 150-PSI portable electric air compressor is just perfect for use with brad and staple nail guns, finish nail guns, and framing nailers.
This compressor’s heart is the 120-volt, 1-HP induction electric motor that powers two oil-less pumps and runs which are very durable and require very little maintenance.
The motor generates 150 max psi and the air delivery is 2.4 SCFM at 90 psi.
Kobalt’s 3320447 model features steel, twin-stack design that maximizes air capacity without taking up more floor space in the workshop. The compressor’s rubber wheels and sliding handle allow for easy towing around your garage or workshop.
The two gauges placed between the twin tanks allow the operator to monitor tank pressure and outlet pressure, so they will always know how much air they have at their disposal.
In addition, this unit’s integrated control panel has a regulator and a one-hand-push quick-coupler for easy operation.
- 3-year full warranty
- The oil-free pump requires little maintenance
- Rubber wheels for easy towing
- Suitable only for light framing and finishing jobs
7.Kobalt 0120242A – The Best 2-stage Air Compressor by Kobalt
This 2-gallon gallon compressor is perfect to be used around the house to blow up rubber rafts or sports balls.
You can also use it in your garage to blow away dust and debris. It can also be used for some lightweight pin nailing and finishing jobs.
Kobalt’s 0120242A model has got a 2-stage 0.5-HP, direct-current electrical motor that delivers 0.5 CFM at 90 PSI, while the max PSI is 125, while its oil-free pump requires little maintenance.
The integrated control panel has a large regulator knob and a quick coupler for seamless operation. The compressor’s robust frame protects the pump and motor from dust and damage.
The compressor arrives with a 25-ft recoil hose, a quick coupler, a female quick plug, a male quick plug, a blowgun, a tire chuck, a high-pressure nozzle, and several inflation needles, plus an adaptor, and some sealant tape.
The convenient power cord wrap and ball valve further facilitate the unit’s operation.
- Great output for such a small air compressor
- Arrives with multiple extras, including a 25-ft recoil hose
- Its oil-free pump requires little maintenance
- At 71 DB operational noise level, this little fellow can be a bit loud
At the bottom of our list sits a small, portable and very practical tankless tire inflator by Kobalt. It is powered by a 120-V power outlet and from the 12 V outlet of your vehicle.
With 120 PSI max, this inflator is a must-have item in the tank of your car or truck.
It copes relatively quickly with the inflation of car, bike and ATV tires. You can use it to pump up sex dolls, air mattresses, and beach toys.
All you have to do is plug it into your vehicle’s 12-volt power outlet or a standard 120-volt outlet in your home.
The inflator’s digital gauge shows current pressure inside the inflated item and allows you to preset your desired PSI from 1 to 120.
The automatic shut-off function switches the unit off once the preset pressure level has been reached, preventing the item from over-inflation.
The inflator’s 26-ft hose provides wide reach to use the device where the need may occur. Its built-in LED lights allow for use at night or in low-light conditions.
The unit comes with 2 sports needles and a raft nozzle.
The inflator’s Presta valve adapter ensures a secure connection between your item and the inflator.
The accessory storage compartment allows you to keep everything together. Yet, we were surprised to find out that this inflator comes without a carrying case, and you’ll have to buy one separately.
- LED lights for use at night
- The 26-ft hose provides ample reach
- Preset pressure option
- No carrying case
In the following sections, we are going to pit Kobalt’s air compressors against the products of some of its greatest rivals against a certain number of criteria such as duty cycle, maximum pressure and air delivery, maintenance required, and ease of operation.
Kobalt vs. Ingersoll Rand Air Compressors
The first challenger of Kobalt’s product line is a member of “The Holy Trinity” of air compressor manufacturers – Atlas Copco, Quincy, and Ingersoll Rand.
To make an accurate comparison between these two manufacturers, we picked up similar models by Ingersoll Rand and juxtaposed it by the models reviewed in the sections above. Here is what we found out.
|Feature||Kobalt Air Compressors||Ingersoll Rand Air Compressors|
|Overall user satisfaction||2/6||6/6|
Clearly, Kobalt is the underdog in this head-to-head showdown. What we’ve mostly taken into consideration is the general user satisfaction with the two product lines.
On the whole, there are much less entirely negative reviews about the air compressors of Ingersoll Rand compared to those about Kobalt’s products.
Also, Kobalt lags behind Ingersoll Rand with regard to the quality of customer support that they provide.
Kobalt vs DeWalt Air Compressors
The second head-to-head comparison was very challenging to compile, as both product lines are American-made.
Both companies Lowe's and DeWalt have long-established traditions on the U.S. market and their products’ feedback is more or less similar.
After a long and thorough examination of hundreds of user reviews and posts on specialized forums and website, our experts have decided to call it a draw.
|Feature||Kobalt Air Compressors||DeWalt Air Compressors|
|Overall user satisfaction||4/6||4/6
Kobalt vs RIDGID Air Compressors
The brand RIDGID can be found on hand tools, air tools, and air compressors. These items are sold in a number of big-box stores around the U.S. The Ridge Tool Company, owner of the RIDGID product line is itself owned by the Emerson Group.
We took a good look at their compressors and the first thing that struck us was their rough design. True, some of Kobalt’s models reviewed above also appeared a bit bulkier for our taste, but compared with RIDGID’s, they look graceful!
There are very few real reviews about RIDGID’s compressors and the level of general user satisfaction is below the accepted average. Here is our final judgment.
|Feature||Kobalt Air Compressors||DeWalt Air Compressors|
|Versatility||5 out 6||3 out 6|
|Efficiency||4 out 6||2 out 6|
|Customer Service||4 out 6||4 out 6|
|Reliability||5 out 6||4 out 6|
|Overall user satisfaction||5 out 6||2 out 6|
Kobalt vs McGRAW Air Compressors
Here is another minor challenger to Kobalt’s line of air compressors. It appears that all the information about McGRAW air compressors is on YouTube.
Which means you’ve got to watch hours of videos so as to get some general idea of the products they make.
From what we could endure watching, we found out they mostly make large vertical-tank air compressors for heavy-duty industrial applications.
By contrast, Kobalt’s compressors fit a much wider variety of applications, from industrial jobs to subtle sanding jobs and tire inflation.
Currently, they feature just two models of air compressors with vertical tanks – a 20-gal oil-lube compressor, and an 80-gal one.
They both appear to have a maximum pressure of 175 PSI and an output of 4.0 CFM at 135 PSI.
|Feature||Kobalt Air Compressors||McGRAW Air Compressors|
|Customer Service||4/6||No info|
|Overall user satisfaction||5/6||No info|
In the paragraphs that follow we are going to answer some of the hottest questions about Kobalt’s line of air compressors that have been circulating online.
1. Who Makes Kobalt Air Compressors?
Kobalt air compressors are made by Lowes.
2. Do Kobalt Tools Have A Lifetime Warranty?
If you look at the products reviewed above, you will see that the longest warranty on Kobalt’s air compressors is three years.
3. Are Kobalt Air Compressors 100% American-made?
The Kobalt line of air compressors is being manufactured for the Lowes stores chain by a number of different air compressor companies, so we cannot guarantee that all parts are made in the USA.
4. Is Kobalt Being Discontinued?
Lowes is not planning to discontinue its in-house Kobalt brand. The evidence is in the eight different models of air compressors reviewed above.
5. Is Craftsman Replacing Kobalt?
We found out that the Craftsman product line is picking up popularity really quickly, but our prediction is that both lines will continue to coexist together.
6. Is Kobalt Better Than Craftsman?
Craftsman is the older and more established of the two brands. Craftsman was launched in 1927, while Kobalt was started in 1998. Yet, when it comes to air compressors, we think that Kobalt’s products are more popular.
Well Established Brand
Kobalt’s line of air compressors impresses with its sheer broadness. If you look at the big table above, you will see that they make compressors with 80-gallon tanks, as well as ones with just two-gallon tanks to cater to the different needs of their customers.
Also, Kobalt stands on a par with DeWalt, which means that they are reliable, easy to use and generally require little maintenance.
The overall level of user satisfaction with Kobalt’s compressors is above average, although they can make some improvements regarding their customer service policy.
On the whole Kobalt’s compressed air solutions provide good value for your money.
However, please note that most of the models reviewed above have oil-lubed pumps, which require regular technical inspections.
True, there are models with oil-free pumps, but these are not so powerful and are therefore inappropriate for industrial use.
Finally, all of the eight models reviewed above are piston compressors, which means that they can maintain a 100% duty cycle over a shorter period of time, compared to rotary screw air compressors.
However, for the variety of jobs that they can cope with, Kobalt’s models are worth every cent you pay for them. We strongly recommend that you test your product before finalizing the purchase.