I’ve owned my Lowe’s Kobalt socket set for, say, five or six years now. To be truthful, I can’t remember exactly where and when I bought the darn thing. My thinking at the time of purchase, I imagine, went sort of like this: “Hmmmm, this is a pretty good price for all these tools. Yeah, I’d rather have Craftsman or even Snap-on but what the hey… I’m gonna leave the set on the boat where the salty atmosphere doth rust and corrupt. And the price, as they say, is right!” From the time I first slid the handy hard-shell case under the settee in Betty Jane’s saloon to the present moment I have never regretted that long-ago spur-of-the-moment decision. I have used my Kobalt socket set on so many onboard projects (from rehabbing an inverter to changing secondary fuel filters) that I’d be hard pressed to count them all. Are there a few issues? Yes indeed. The individual pieces, for example, come loose from their assorted resting places if the case is turned on its side—this is a pain in the neck if you’re in the midst of time-sensitive project, trust me. And the chrome vanadium steel the sockets and ratchets are made of tends to rust a bit if saltwater immersion is not addressed with a freshwater bath and a towel. But hey, these tools are still giving me great service after all these years, despite a salty, rough-and-tumble environment. And they are priced right! What more do you want?
This article originally appeared in the April 2014 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.