I was surprised to find that Amazon didn’t really have any Craftsman tool deals for their recent Prime Day 2020 sales event. Although this doesn’t make up for it, I came across a new-looking “Fall Savings” promo on a number of Craftsman cordless power tools, plus a couple of other non-power tool deals.
This looks to be the start of a holiday season sale, with Craftsman and Amazon offering the following message:
Get these deals while they last. Check back for offers that are being added all season long.
To start, there’s a Craftsman V20 brushless drill kit, priced at $89.
This is not their most premium brushless drill/kit, it’s their second-best model, and in what looks to be a special 1-battery kit configuration.
Read More About Different Craftsman Cordless Drills Here
Still, it might be worth considering if you’re in the market for a ~$99 or less cordless drill.
There’s also this Craftsman 4-tool V20 cordless power tool combo kit, on sale for $179. Lowe’s has it for $199, and Ace Hardware for $219.
This seems like an aggressively low price. I can’t tell if it’ll be lower for the holiday 2020 season or Black Friday, but if so, Amazon’s holiday return policy has went into effect, and so there’s plenty of time for a return-rebuy.
There are a couple of other tools included in this Fall Savings promo, not all of them cordless power tools. Here’s an image of their 1700 PSI pressure washer, priced at $119.
There’s an empty box where “featured deals” will go, suggesting that more is to come.
Other than possibly price I can’t think I can’t think of any reason to go back to a tool company that tanked their quality years ago. Companies who have consistently provided good tools abound. I understand with globalization ownership has become convoluted but Craftsman never had really good cordless tools to start with (In my unhumble DeWalt-enhanced opinion) so Craftsman is dead to me and I don’t miss them.
By “years ago,” are you talking about when Sears owned the brand, or since then, after Stanley Black & Decker acquired and relaunched Craftsman tools?
On Amazon tool day I bought a Craftsman pancake portable air compressor for $100 with $50 off but I caught the last hour of a 7 hour deal.
I am in that phase where some of my old 18V tools are fading out and replacement batteries are expensive/not compatible with new tools. It’s just about time to buy into a new set of tools. Now, do I go all in for something like the Milwaukee or Dewalt 18/20V systems and pay a lot of money to get all the same batteries and access to a larger assortments of tools? Or do I buy sets like the Craftsman above for a far cheaper entry price, but plan on continuing the trend of buying a few specific tools from multiple manufacturers? It’s a tough call.
Craftsman is still very limited when it comes to cordless selection under Stanley Black & Decker, but they’re value-priced.
Me? I like specific tools from different brands, but I have to manage maintaining different battery systems anyway. If you’re open to different brands, aggressive competition means you can often get category-leading tool kits for not much more than bare tools, sometimes even lower, depending on the tool.
You have about 5-7 weeks to make any decisions.
Going all-in for Dewalt or Milwaukee is always an option, and I would encourage you to list out the models you’re interested in. Dewalt more so than Milwaukee will have a lot of value-oriented tool kits for the holidays, with tools that are lesser than their usual offerings or long in the tooth with respect to features and specs. But, they also have some very good offers.
For the past few years, Home Depot has held a “buy a drill and impact driver combo kit, get free bare tools” promo for Dewalt, Milwaukee, and other brands. Other retailers have “buy a starter kit and get free tools” promos.
I would encourage you to look over last year’s holiday deals to see what kinds of cordless power tool deals to expect for this year, and maybe that will help you make some of your harder decisions.
These tags go back a few years, you just have to change the year number in the URL, in case you want more promo and pricing history.
Cordless tool buying is indeed a hard call.
Complicating the call – is how important it is to you to stay with a single battery platform and voltage.
How important is it for the manufacturer to offer tools that operate at higher voltages with the same batteries – e.g. Dewalt Flexvolt or Makita 18Vx2 tools?
How important is the availability of higher Ah batteries with extended runtime or capability?
Then you have to decide if you like or need a platform that has an expansive line of different tools covering different trades/tasks. If so that probably eliminates folks like Ridgid, Metabo HPT, Bosch (if you live in the USA) Craftsman (for now anyway), Fein, Hilti, Skil, Festool and the Harbor Freight Brands.
Do you want what is generally considered to be a professional user brand? If so you will have probably already rejected house brands from Lowes (Kobalt), Home Depot (Ryobi and Ridgid) and Harbor Freight.
If all of the above are true for you, then you are likely down to considering the 2 leaders (Dewalt and Milwaukee – but might also want to look at sales on Makita kits.
Then to add to the complication, do you wish to consider some compact 12V tools to add to the 18/20V platforms? Or perhaps – for the work that you do – modern brushless 12V tools may offer enough performance to satisfy your needs.
I think the issue is Craftsman was a store brand before. You got a good tool at a good price.
Now, Craftsman is a name brand. You may get a good tool at a good price + 10%.
Before = Manufacturing cost + Sears Profit
Now = Manufacturing cost + SDB Profit + Retailer Profit = Pass for me with other options out there.
It might be in your best interest to look at store brands of the box stores if they have the specific tools you need now and in the future.
Maybe, but other private label brands have similar arrangements.
SBD can also negotiate aggressive deals with retailers due to exclusivity and quantity considerations.
And, if SBD produces a tool at in-house factories, that won’t be different than say TTI producing Ryobi tools for Home Depot or Chervon producing Kobalt power tools for Lowe’s.
SBD is, for a lot of tools, their own OEM. For some tools there might be added parties adding profit margin that inflates end-user pricing. This is probably why SBD acquired Waterloo, a tool box maker, and a stake in MTD, an outdoor power tools maker, with the option to buy the rest in mid-2021.
When you own the production facilities and capabilities, you can pay yourself more or less, depending on company structuring and competitive pricing goals.
I’m a “tools from multiple manufacturers” guy myself. I don’t regret it, but it can complicate storage and transport depending on how many brands you go with.
I have tools from Dewalt 20v, Dewalt 12v, Bosch 18v, Bosch 12v, Ryobi 18v, Porter Cable 20v, Worx 20v & Ridgid 18v. On the plus side, it’s a big advantage in many ways because I can grab deals or unique tools from multiple brands. Each time I bought into a new line it was because I could get a cheap deal on kit with batteries and a charger – that’s been great because I have a ton of batteries (albeit not cross compatible), but I can use multiple tools at once without switching batteries or competing for charger space.
On the negative side, I can’t use all that battery power for each tool. When I take my tools away from home for a project, I have a toolbox I bring that I built to hold a charger for each brand (I could take just the charger for a specific tool if I want, but if I want a drill, impact, circular saw and reciprocating saw for example, I need four chargers and might as well grab the whole kit). At this point I’m also becoming more reluctant to add more brands (M12 stuff is VERY tempting, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to jump on board yet).
Another strategy might be to adopt only two or three brands. E.g. Ryobi offers many unique and relatively inexpensive tools, so I really like having batteries for that brand. I prefer having a more pro-oriented drill and impact though (tools I use a lot), so Dewalt or Milwaukee might be a good second choice. M12 for heated gear, ratchets, stapler, etc?
I’m somewhat similar and mostly agree with you his take.
Honestly If you are not going commercial use then I would go ryobi. They probably have more tools in their ecosystem than any other brand, even random stuff like a cordless floor scrubber, or pressure washer, or floating bluetooth speaker. Their tools may be a little more clunky but their batteries are cheaper and the tools work great.
I would make a list of everything you have cordless now and use plus what you really want/need cordless and foresee buying. Maybe organize stuff in three tiers of necessity/frequency of use and the first one be your primary choice.
There’s also ergonomic differences between the brands and the aesthetics are important to some people.
Don’t underestimate 12v tools and be realistic about how much power you need. How often you travel with which tools (away from home base) is a huge factor. If you almost never need tools to go and aren’t space limited having multiple platforms is less if an issue.
also consider if you want to integrate OPE with your cordless system.
For at least non pros I think ryobi 18v these days should be on everyone’s list as they have so much variety for good price points and are mostly readily available plus good bundle sale deals can be had if you pay attention.
Personally- I’m primarily Milwaukee m18fuel (Drill, surge impact, full size sawzall, grinder,+) with a lot of M12/fuel (screwdriver, lighting, hackzall,+)and some ryobi 18(brad nailer,circular saws for price,7″ miter saw). I traditionally do more plumbing, mechanical, maintenance and diy work. I’m getting more into carpentry and woodwork recently.
Hasn’t been something I do a lot hence I don’t hav a better circ saw(and the Milwaukee options are pricey)
I’ve got a few other tools on platforms I’ve gotten good deals on which I really need to sell off because they’re mostly redundant.
I’m a Milwaukee guy it I’ve yet to see anything from Craftsman that surprises me with the price – only a few things like the pressure washer grab my attention. Sure Milwaukee is more but you can find sales eventually that get it darn close, and once you have a battery or two you’re going for bare tools anyway.
I really like how compact that pressure washer is! May buy that before the end of the day….unless I see another similar compact model that has a bit more pressure.
At that size, I could see a potential cordless version from SBD. Maybe not under the Craftsman brand, but a future FlexVolt offering maybe? Wishful thinking most likely.
You would think that if they can make a cordless vacuum and air compressor, then they would be able to make a cordless pressure washer….with a compartment that holds 10 spare batteries.
This particular model draws 13A, so around 1500 Watts. At 1500 Watts, a 4Ah FlexVolt battery could power it for only around 8-9 minutes. So they may need to make it dual battery, I guess.
Not that a compact pressure washer like this would be used for long jobs anyways. Be great for hosing off the ATVs by the lake though. Throw the hose in the lake, pop in a battery, and go.
Neighbor just picked up the new Craftsman recip saw. It feels good in the hand. Overall I would compare it to Ryobi. Good value with average performance and refinement.