Chicago Pneumatic, a company that – as you might have guessed – mainly specializes in air tools for automotive and industrial professionals, has come out with a new line of cordless power tools.
I suppose this was an inevitability, that CP would re-enter the cordless power tool market with new and more modern Li-ion offerings. Ingersoll Rand, a company that also typically specializes in air tools, has been making a greater push into the cordless power tools market in recent years, and Dewalt – better known for their power tools – have been pushing into the pneumatics tool market. And these aren’t just “me too” tools – IR’s cordless tools are excellent, with their compact cordless tool making it into our best cordless impact drivers guide.
Before I talk more about Chicago Pneumatic’s new cordless power tools, I want to point out that they seem to feature a lot of TTI-specific features.
For example, the new compact 12V drill/driver strongly resembles Ridgid’s new 12V drill, and looks to have a couple of common components. Chicago Pneumatic’s 20V hammer drill also looks like Ridgid’s and has a similar auxiliary handle mount.
Beyond that, the 20V battery pack, and the 12V as well, look identical to Ridgid’s. The similarities are more convincing with the 20V/18V pack.
Now that we’ve got it out of the way that I believe TTI partnered up with Chicago Pneumatic to design and/or produce CP’s new cordless power tools, let’s talk more about the tools themselves.
(As one more aside, if TTI and CP did partner up, I wonder if this means CP will lend their air tools experience to TTI if or when Milwaukee decides to enter the automotive pneumatic tools market.)
Similar to how cordless tool makers are now touting the corded-like performance of their premium brushless tools, Chicago Pneumatic implies that their new cordless power tools provide pneumatic-like performance. More specifically, they say they are combining the performance of air tools with the mobility of cordless.
Additionally, CP is emphasizing the new tools’ benefits in the areas of i) power and torque, ii) improved mobility since cordless tools are self-contained with no hoses or power cords needed, iii) comfortable ergonomics, iv) rugged, durable, and presumably automotive chemical-resistant housings.
Chicago Pneumatic CP8848 20V Impact Wrench
As you might expect, the CP8848 1/2″ impact wrench is the flagship of the new cordless series. It boasts some impressive specs, such as maximum reverse torque of 775 ft-lbs. The impact is designed for general automotive bolting applications and tire removal jobs on light vehicles.
- 1/2″ square drive with socket retaining ring
- Working torque range: 50-700 ft-lbs
- Maximum torque (reverse): 775 ft-lbs
- 2500 BPM
- 1900 RPM (free speed)
- 9.5″ length
- 6.9 lbs
- 89 db(A) noise level
- Kit comes with (2) 20V 4.0Ah Li-ion battery packs and a charger
Additional 20V and 12V Tools
There will also be a 20V 3/8″ compact impact wrench (CP8828), a 20V hammer drill (CP8548), a 12V 1/4″ impact driver (CP8818), and a 12V drill/driver (CP8528).
Chicago Pneumatic says that each tool provides superior power and torque while ergonomic handles and strategically placed switches guarantee ease of use.
The 20V tools come with 4.0Ah batteries, and the 12V tools come with 1.5Ah batteries.
There is no word yet about pricing, but all of the tools should now be in stock at authorized Chicago Pneumatic tool dealers.
More competition in the cordless tool arena is always a good thing, as it usually means greater and more frequent innovation. Cordless power tools – especially Milwaukee’s M12 and M18 offerings – have become popular with automotive professionals for one simple reason – they are often far more convenient to use than air tools.
Cordless tools have become popular with mechanics and auto techs because they aren’t tethered to a power outlet or an air compressive. They might not always be as lighter or as powerful as air tools, but they’re often more comfortable and far less cumbersome to use.
I think it’s a little amusing to see a new line of cordless tools from a company that calls itself Chicago Pneumatic, but it’s good to see that they’re trying to keep up with the competition and stay with the times.
Users will probably like to see a cordless ratchet or right angle impact added to the new lineup, but perhaps those tools are being developed for the next round of releases.
As for the similarities between these and Ridgid’s cordless tools, I don’t think that’s surprising either. Basing these automotive-specific tools off of tried-and-true cordless platforms should reduce costs, especially if TTI had a big hand in the tools’ development.
What I’m hoping is that the tools and batteries are drop-in compatible with Ridgid’s 18V and 12V lines, as this would allow for greater product breadth than Chicago Pneumatic is likely to offer on their own. This is perhaps untrue, but one can still hope.
Chicago Pneumatic has a solid reputation as a quality air tools maker, and I don’t doubt that their cordless tools will be just as good as one could expect.