With their recent relaunch, Craftsman reminds us all that they mean business with their new brushless drill/driver, and impact driver. This combo kit features two powerful, and handy power tools that can handle all challenges, from soft materials all the way to concrete!
For some of us who grew up around a particularly handy family member, one of the most memorable things about them may not be their skill, trade, or even their workshop. In most cases, it was the tools of their trade. These were either organized or skewed across their garage or shop. These tools symbolize their lifeblood, their passion, and their knowledge – which in most cases was, in turn, passed down in the family. These tools, for me, are what I longed over in my father, and grandfathers shops. Most of the time, in my family at least, they were Craftsman tools. Over the years, very few brands have been able to carry a reputation synonymous with quality, integrity, and American pride – but Craftsman has been able to maintain these values. Today we will explore some of their new lineup in the Craftsman Drill and Driver Set Review.
Craftsman Drill and Driver Set Review Overview
The legendary name that consumed much of the workshop I grew up in recently underwent a large-scale relaunch recently. Some of the team made the trek to Baltimore to the Craftsman Launch Event and it was an impressive experience. New additions to the lines of hand tools, power tools, and other shop storage solutions were all seen. Over the past few weeks, I've had the pleasure of using their new V20 Brushless Combo Kit. I've conducted tons of testing and have used them on several projects I have in progress. Through this, I was able to capture a great snapshot of what Craftsman's new brushless lineup has to offer.
Over time, many power tool companies have tried to perfect the impact driver and drill/driver – a hard task. Realistically, every company has their take on ergonomics, features, power, battery life, and quality. Simply put, most of the selection nowadays comes down to preference. For me, being a longtime user of Craftsman tools has me gravitating towards the V20 brushless kit. Mainly due to the great experiences I’ve had in the past – likely familiar for many modern users. Craftsman has incorporated both new ideas and best practices into their new brushless combo. This equates to a product that longtime owners and new users can appreciate.
Craftsman Drill and Driver Set Review Features
The V20 Combo kit, Model number CMCK220D2 includes the V20 Cordless Brushless Drill/Driver (CMCD721), V20 Brushless Impact Driver (CMCF820), (2) Craftsman 20-volt lithium-ion batteries, a battery charger that accommodates both 12, and 20-volt batteries, and a soft carrying case. The tools, as noted on the box and tools themselves, are made in the USA with globally sourced materials.
The Craftsman 20 volt, 2Ah batteries provided a generally long-lasting performance when drilling through wood, and driving test fasteners. When using the hammer drill feature on the drill/driver, I was impressed with how much use I got out of an already half drained battery! It just goes to show the efficiency of the brushless motors today.
The batteries also feature a fuel gauge on the rear. An industry standard practice today, but having a very bright display on this gauge is very helpful when in bright environments.
Craftsman's new ergonomics made for a comfortable, yet firm purchase on the tool. Even after hammer drilling for extended periods of use, the overmold did not cause any discomfort. The angle and design of the grip are also easy on the wrist and hand when driving fasteners in awkward positions.
On par with other drill/drivers, the Craftsman features a 2-speed gearbox and 13 torque settings. Also, there are 2 additional settings for hammer drilling and conventional drilling. The maximum RPM on the highest speed is 2,100 RPM, and 600 RPM for the lower gear.
The hammer drill output was an impressive 35,700 blows per minute, making the CMCD0721 a great all-around drill/driver.
The impact driver features a 3-speed gearbox, with a max of 1700 in/lbs of powerful torque for tough jobs. The maximum revolutions per minute on speed 3 is an impressive 2,900 RPM. Pretty great performance for such a light tool, at 2.1lbs!
The LED work lights on both tools were bright and well placed. I especially enjoy how Craftsman has integrated the lights into the business end of the tool on the impact driver.
It was refreshing to see the 1/2in metal ratcheting chuck on the CMCD0721 drill/driver, rather than a plastic chuck, as most manufacturers are moving toward.
The tool shells appear to be constructed from a very strong, and impact resistant polycarbonate blend. The quality of the mold and the stiffness of the frame was very impressive and had very little “give” when under pressure. We discuss common tool materials like this and their benefits in What Your Tools Are Made Of.
Craftsman includes clips that are compatible with their Versa Track System. This system allows for easy, and modular storage of various Craftsman products via their trademark mounted track setup.
This kit is equipped with brushless motors, which allow for 60% more efficient than brushed motors. Read more about the differences between brushed and brushless motors (here).
Under the hood, the general build quality, and internal organization of both tools looks exceptional. In my opinion, could be viewed as on par with other companies' flagship drill/drivers.
The wire management and silicone coating over the PCB sticks out right away, showcasing the attention to detail that Craftsman has put into the 20v kit.
A Molex connector appears to be what connects the signaling from the trigger, and PCB to the brushless motor. This is a great design enhancement that makes for an easy motor swap if need be.
Craftsman Drill and Driver Set Review Performance
Both the impact driver, and drill/driver were very impressive during tests, and on various projects, I’ve had around the house. Both tools are lightweight and felt quite nice when working overhead. Paired with the grip, I never felt like the tool was going to come out of my hands, even when using the highest torque settings.
I was also impressed with the shear power of the impact driver for such a nice and light tool. I was able to really drive fasteners home with ease. And lastly, to me, build quality is part of what will allow the tool to keep performing over time. Craftsman hit this one home, as the materials, and general engineering of the tools are top notch. Much like my other, older Craftsman tools, I can see myself using this combo for years to come.
Craftsman Drill and Driver Set Review Value
Currently, this kit goes for $249 at Lowes Home Improvement. Where the price tag isn't as low as some other brushless kits, what you do get is the trusted Craftsman name, and a solid 3 year limited warranty. Not to mention, this tool is made in the USA, a sentiment to Craftsman’s history. For longtime fans of Craftsman tools, it is understood that these products stand up to the abuse that tools are exposed to, and perform very well over time. With that being said, you get what you pay for. This Craftsman kit is worth every single penny, and it will pay off over time.
Craftsman Drill and Driver Set Review Final Thoughts
Overall, I am personally very pleased with this Craftsman Kit. As someone who has an array of drill/drivers, and impact drivers, these will be used frequently! I particularly was impressed by the build quality, general performance, and light weight. I could certainly see pros gravitating to this kit for many reasons, as well as the hardcore DIY’er or homeowner. Regardless, It’s safe to say that Craftsman is continuing to commit to a tradition of quality and excellence.