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Kobalt XTR 24-volt 1/2-in Keyless Brushless Cordless Drill KXDD 1424A-03 Review

A powerful drill that is up to almost any task thrown at it
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Kobalt XTR 24-volt 1/2-in Keyless Brushless Cordless Drill KXDD 1424A-03 Review (A very capable drill driver overall.)
A very capable drill driver overall.
Credit: Matt Lighthart
Price:  $169 List
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Manufacturer:   Kobalt
By Austin Palmer, Benjamin Hickok  ⋅  Mar 7, 2024
89
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 23
  • Drilling - 35% 9.4
  • Driving - 35% 9.4
  • Battery Life - 20% 8.4
  • Convenience - 10% 6.2

Our Verdict

The Kobalt XTR 24-volt 1/2-in Keyless Brushless Cordless delivered some of the highest scores throughout our side-by-side testing, proving it is an exceptional cordless tool that can handle heavy-duty tasks like drilling large holes in thick material or driving in stubborn lag screws. This 24-volt model's top-tier performance, strong battery life, and high level of speed and power is almost remarkable considering its price point and inclusion of a battery and charger. If you don't already have brand loyalty, or are not locked in by the fact that you already own a handful of other brand batteries, then this model is well worth your consideration for its all around performance and exceptional value.
REASONS TO BUY
Great performance
Metal ratcheting chuck
Includes hard case
Includes bit holder with a standard/Phillips head bit
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy
Flimsy bit holder

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Bottom Line A drill driver set capable of a wide range of tasksThis tool delivered excellent results across the board and is a fantastic option to complement the M18 battery systemA great budget drill for a homeowners or DIYer and has more than enough power for moderate to light-duty tasksOur favorite compact 12-volt drill when considering overall performance and priceThis drill isn't great, but can speed up driving screws through prefabricated furniture at a low price
Rating Categories Kobalt XTR 24-volt... Milwaukee M18 Fuel... Craftsman V20 1/2-I... Bosch 12V Max Drill... Black+Decker 20V Ma...
Drilling (35%)
9.4
9.6
6.6
5.8
4.1
Driving (35%)
9.4
10.0
6.2
4.5
3.2
Battery Life (20%)
8.4
9.8
4.4
3.2
2.6
Convenience (10%)
6.2
6.2
6.0
5.8
4.6
Specs Kobalt XTR 24-volt... Milwaukee M18 Fuel... Craftsman V20 1/2-I... Bosch 12V Max Drill... Black+Decker 20V Ma...
Measured Weight 4.09 lb 4.06 lb 3.44 lb 2.17 lb 2.68 lb
Measured Charge Time 85 min 25 min 58 min 85 min 210 min
Measured Length 7" 7" 8-1/4" 6-5/8" 7"
Measured Number of Settings 22 14 23 20 10
Included Battery Pack(s) 4 Ah
Tested with 2.0 Ah (not included with kit)
Tested with 2.0 Ah 1.3 Ah 2.0 Ah 1.5 Ah
Max Chuck 1/2" 1/2" 1/2" 3/8" 3/8"
Battery Voltage 24V 18V 20V 12V 20V
Drill Model Tested KXDD 124B-03 2803-20 CMCD700 PS31 LDX120C
Box Model (Kit) Tested KXDD 1424A-03 Tested tool-only, no kit CMCD700C1 PS31-2A LDX120C
Five Inch Hole Saw Test Timing 17 seconds 15 seconds 55 seconds 70 seconds 90 seconds
Lag Screw Test (What is Left to From Driving) 0.00 in 0.00 in 0.63 in 1.13 in 1.81 in
Manufacturer Stated RPM Low: 0 - 550
High: 0 - 2000
Low: 0 - 550
High: 0 - 2000
Low: 0 - 450
High: 0 - 1500
Low: 0 - 350
High: 0 -1300
0 - 650
Manufacturer Peak Torque 1,200 in-lbs 1,200 in-lbs 280 UWO 256 in-lbs Not Listed
Battery Indicator Location Battery Battery Battery Drill N/A
LED Location Above the battery Above the battery Above the trigger Above the trigger Above the trigger
Included Belt Clip Yes Yes No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Strong performances all-around make this one of the best drill drivers we've tested to date.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Drilling


Our first and most important test metric for evaluating and rating every drill is the drilling metric, which comprises 35 percent of each model's overall score. We broke this metric into three real-world types of tests. The first test recorded how quickly each drill put a 5-inch hole, using a holesaw, in a solid 1 ¾ inch wooden door. Our second test measured the speed of drilling a 1-inch hole in a 2x12 using a 1" spade bit, like what you might do if pulling electrical through framing. Lastly, we drilled through 16 gauge steel sheets with a ¼" and a ½" spiral drill bit.


Our test team was able to bore a hole in a 1 ¾ inch thick door, made of solid wood with a 5-inch hole saw with the Kobalt XTR 24-volt 1/2-in Keyless Brushless Cordless in an impressive 17 seconds, easily making it a top contender alongside just a handful of other models for the submetric. It didn't perform quite as well when faced with boring 1-inch holes through 2x12 lumber housing a spade bit. Although it got off to a great start in the high speed lower torque setting of '2', it bogged down after a few seconds and required the switch to the lower speed higher torque setting to easily complete the task at hand.

Effortlessly hogging out 1 inch holes.
Credit: Austin Palmer

The Kobalt XTR 24-volt 1/2-in Keyless Brushless Cordless impressed our team again in our sheet metal tests, making a ¼ inch hole in 16 gauge steel in 1.13 seconds, and then repeating that performance for a larger ½ inch hole that it made in 2.56 seconds. These were some of the most impressive test results we've seen to date and helped secure this model's status as a very capable cordless drill, suitable for nearly most tasks.

kobalt xtr 24-volt 1/2-in keyless brushless cordless drill kxdd 1424a-03 - this model offers great drilling performance in a range of materials.
This model offers great drilling performance in a range of materials.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Driving


Our secondary major metric contributes to 35 percent of the total score for each model and evaluates their driving performance. We conducted tests where we drove five-inch lag bolts through an untreated 2x4 stacked atop an untreated 4x4, assessing the remaining exposed length of each bolt after a model ceased making progress. Additionally, we tested the capability of each model to drive 3-inch number 9 Torx T25 flat head deck screws into the same material, observing their ability to countersink screws flush with the wood surface.


Much like its performance in our drilling tests, the Kobalt XTR 24-volt 1/2-in Keyless Brushless Cordless produced excellent results. It drove a five-inch lag bolt in the high speed low torque setting with 2 ⅝ inches left to go before our testers finished the task on the low speed high torque setting.

kobalt xtr 24-volt 1/2-in keyless brushless cordless drill kxdd 1424a-03 - no issues driving a 5 inch lag screw.
No issues driving a 5 inch lag screw.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Our 3-inch number 9 Torx head deck screws also proved to be no problem for the Kobalt XTR 24-volt, which easily drives countersunk screw heads perfectly flush with the decking material surface.

The Kobalt XTR 24-volt driving screws flush without issues.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Battery Life


Our evaluation of battery life contributes to 20 percent of the total score for each drill. As the name suggests, it focuses on assessing the battery's longevity under normal working conditions. Our team used each drill to drive 16 Torx T25 flat head 9 x 3 deck screws into dimensional lumber, as well as drilling three 1-inch holes using a spade bit in a 2 x 12. We repeated these tasks in rounds until the drills were no longer capable of drilling or driving.


The Kobalt XTR 24-volt 1/2-in Keyless Brushless Cordless offered good battery life in these tests, but was outshined by a number of 18-volt drills. Although not the top performer, the XTR has plenty of stamina to drive 144 3-inch number 9 deck screws into 4 inches of lumber, and bore 26.5 1-inch holes in 1.5-inch boards with a spade bit before its 2.0 amp hour battery taps out.

The battery life performance is nearly as good as the best models tested, but where it fails to be as good as the best models is in its recharging speed. The 2 amp hour battery requires 85 minutes, or just shy of an hour and a half, of charging before it is ready to return to work.

Our testing is designed for fairness, and the tests were conducted with a 2 amp hour battery, not the included 4 amp hour battery. So you will get a lot more mileage out of the battery included with this kit, but you can also expect much longer charging times as well.

kobalt xtr 24-volt 1/2-in keyless brushless cordless drill kxdd 1424a-03 - the xtr has a strong battery life but relatively long charging times.
The XTR has a strong battery life but relatively long charging times.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Convenience


Our final test metric gauged each model'sconvenience, accounting for 10 percent of the total score for each drill. Our team specifically interrogated user-friendliness, features such as ratcheting chucks, chuck size, tool belt clips, bit holders, work lights, buttons, triggers, size, battery changing ease, and weight.


The Kobalt XTR 24-volt 1/2-in Keyless Brushless Cordless is a larger and heavier model, weighing in at a hefty 4 pounds 1.4 ounces, with an overall length of 7 inches. You will feel the weight in hand if you are accustomed to a more compact 12v drill driver, and even the ergonomics of the handle is slightly larger and less comfortable for smaller hands. Trade-offs of size and power aside, we like that it includes a solid metal ratcheting chuck with a ½ inch diameter, work light, battery level indicators, belt clip, and even a bit holder, which seems to be a less common feature of modern drill drivers.

Two speeds which also alter the torque settings are on par with most competent drill drivers, and there is little to complain about outside of some slightly smaller battery tabs, that if larger, could make swapping batteries slightly easier. Finally, the tool is blue, which is a nice departure from the abundance of tool lines that are all similar shades of red, lime green or green, and yellow --if it matters to you.

kobalt xtr 24-volt 1/2-in keyless brushless cordless drill kxdd 1424a-03 - the kobalt xtr is a little heavier than other models that offer a...
The Kobalt XTR is a little heavier than other models that offer a similar level of performance.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Should You Buy the Kobalt XTR 24-volt 1/2-in Keyless Brushless Cordless?


The Kobalt XTR 24-volt 1/2-in Keyless Brushless Cordless drill demonstrated outstanding performance across our comprehensive testing, showcasing its capability to tackle demanding tasks, such as drilling holes in a variety of materials or driving large screws. Its top-notch performance and strong battery life are noteworthy, especially when considering its affordable price. Including a battery and charger deserves serious consideration for anybody in need of a drill driver with exceptional performance at an outstanding value, and is one of our top recommendations for a tool and battery combo.

What Other Drill Should You Consider?


The Kobalt XTR 24-volt 1/2-in is a great 24-volt drill, with performance rivaling the best model we tested overall, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 1/2 Drill Driver. The Milwaukee M18 Fuel offers a small step up in performance, but for a price. The tool alone costs nearly as much as the all-inclusive Kobalt kit, and Milwaukee batteries trend toward the more expensive side of the spectrum regarding battery purchases and replacements. Of course, if your budget does not allow you to purchase either of the top two models, then you may want to consider the Craftsman V20 1/2-In. Drill/Driver, which offers good performance for most common tasks at a more affordable price.

Austin Palmer, Benjamin Hickok