Well, this is interesting…
Got a Harbor Freight giftcard for my B-Day & went looking around the website yesterday for something to use it on. Went back today, and this was newly announced:
No 1/8" collet or mention of ER-11 compatability, and stated speeds slightly different, but looks like a twin.
Ryan - any insight?
P.S. Anyone in the market - I would NOT consider the Harbor Freight. Even if it were of equal build quality & specs (unknown), the 1/8" collet and ER-11 compatability makes the Kobalt the obvious choice.
With the ones I’ve seen, it’s often the cast parts that are identical w/clones - they slightly change the injection molded plastic parts to differentiate. My Makita clone (Bauer from Harbor Freight) appears identical to a Makita except for the plastic parts. That’s what caught my eye with the Kobalt clone - it seems the plastic parts are the same shape and color. That, and the inclusion of leds - which my clone and others lack.
Kobalt, I believe, is made by Chervon, a Chinese company, which is also where Harbor Freight gets a lot of stuff.
Almost all tool brands are really just a handful of tool manufacturers at the top, so very likely they licensed it or manufactured it for them, with some slight changes, and possibly with the agreement that they “target” a compare to with a competitor, of which DeWalt is because that’s a Home Depot stocked brand.