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If you thought the LED craze — where manufactures will stuff LEDs in anything that’ll hold still long enough — was over, this’ll change your mind: Kobalt now offers a standard ball cap with a pair of LEDs in the brim.  A Batman-style hidden button sewn into the rear corner of the brim turns it on and off, and the battery pack resides in the band near your right ear.

When I happened upon this hat I was reminded of something my Dad told me years ago.  He said, “Half the fishing lures at the store are designed to catch fisherman, not fish.”  I think we may be looking at the same thing here. 

A few practical issues bother me: it’s pretty heavy, and I’m not sure it’d be comfortable over time.  Also, I’m not sure how I feel about paying $30 for the option to charge my hat.  Of course, the final deal breaker for me is that I wear my hat backwards, so unless I need a spotlight on my ass, this won’t do me much good. 

Then again, I’ve been wrong before.  What say you Toolmongers?  Let us know in comments.

Light Hat [Kobalt]


post-kobaltcsd.jpgHaving recently reviewed both the Skil iXO and the Black & Decker SmartDriver, we couldn’t help but noticed the Kobalt version on the shelves at Lowes today.

It appears similar to the others externally in terms of form factor, and it features a top-mounted switch like the Black & Decker.  Interestingly, Kobalt does print a torque specification on the packaging: 43 in-lbs.

Where the Kobalt really differs from the others is in terms of packaged accessories.  While both the iXO and the SmartDriver come with a charging stand, the Kobalt uses a simpler wall-wart with a cord that plugs into the tool.  It also ships with just two bits — a standard and Phillips.

This is reflected in the price, which at $29.97 is about $10-$15 less than the Skil and Black & Decker tools.  We haven’t yet held or used one, but we’ll let you know more when we get the chance.  Of course, Lowe’s sells all three, so if you’re in the market you can do your own on-site comparison.

The Kobalt 3.6V Li-Ion Battery Cell Screwdriver [Lowe’s]