High-quality monodisperse metallic cobalt nanorods are obtained by the reduction of carboxylate salts of CoII in 1,2-butanediol using a rapid, simple, and solid-template-free procedure. In this polyol process, particle shape can be controlled via the growth rate, which depends on three parameters: i) the nature of the cobalt carboxylate, ii) the temperature ramp, and iii) the basicity of the medium. Cobalt in the hexagonally close-packed phase favored the growth of anisotropic particles. Magnetic measurements of the cobalt nanorods indicate they are ferromagnetic at room temperature. They have a very high coercivity of 9.0 kOe at 140 K, much higher than that observed for wires prepared with solid templates. This can be attributed to their small mean diameter and high crystallinity.