Craftsman recently announced 2 new V20 Brushless RP cordless power tools, expanding their lineup of more premium tools that “deliver the runtime and performance that professionals demand.”
Shown above is a family photo with all of the current Craftsman V20 Brushless RP tools.
The new Craftsman V20 brushless RP 23 gauge pin nailer can drive nails 5/8″ to 1-3/8″ long. It features a brushless motor, tool-free jam release, low nail lockout, and LED light.
Only the tool-only SKU is available at this, but there are plans for a 1.5Ah kit version, CMCN623C1, which will be priced at $229.
The new Craftsman cordless pin nailer very closely resembles the also-new Dewalt 20V Max Atomic cordless pin nailer, model DCN623, which was announced last month.
The Dewalt DCN623 is priced at $249 for tool-only, and the Craftsman CMCN623C1 is $179.
The Dewalt drives nails 5/8″ to 1-1/2″ and the Craftsman 5/8″ to 1-3/8″.
The Dewalt is advertised as having a tool-free driving depth adjustment, something the Craftsman doesn’t seem to feature.
So, the Craftsman seems to be a scaled-back version of the Dewalt, with a $70 lower price point. Dewalt 20V Max and Craftsman V20 tools and batteries are not natively compatible with each other.
Stanley Black & Decker has done something similar with certain other tools before, with premium tools going to Dewalt and less expensive versions released under Porter Cable branding.
The Dewalt and Craftsman 23 gauge pin nailers look nearly identical, although it’s unclear if or how they might beneath the surface.
This is not quite a “lick and stick” relabeling situation, as the tools are seemingly slightly different in power, and the Dewalt has a feature the Craftsman lacks, namely tool-free depth adjustment.
Craftsman announced a kit with battery and charger, and with a price that’s less than the Dewalt tool-only price.
Will more price-sensitive Dewalt users choose the Craftsman model?
Speaking frankly, 1-1/2″ seems long for 23 gauge pin nails, and I think a lot of users would be okay downgrading to a pinner than can only drive 1-3/8″ nails. How might this marginal difference in max nail length spec equate to power or performance in different situations? Or do both tools have the same motor, with the Craftsman designed with a 1-3/8″ max nail size compatibility for the sake of differentiation?
The tool-free depth adjustment might be the more significant difference. And so here’s another hard question. Was the Craftsman cheapened a little for the sake of differentiation? Who wants to use a screwdriver or hex key to adjust nailer driving power?
$70 is a big difference in price.
Honestly, I’d feel better if the price difference was smaller. Otherwise, I can’t shake the feeling that something is going on beneath the surface. Are there more differences between the two tools that I can tell, or does 1/8″ of extra nail driving capacity and tool-free depth adjustment carry much greater value than I would have guessed?
Craftsman nailers are excellent, by the way. I loaned out my cordless narrow crown nailer stapler sample and so I had to make do with a cordless air compressor and my owned Hitachi/HPT air nailer. The air nailer is far lighter, but the Craftsman’s cordless convenience was totally worth it.
I don’t doubt that the V20 pin nailer will be a great performer. But I also cannot easily understand why Craftsman would compromise a tool that’s supposed to be part of their premium Brushless RP line. Tool-based driving depth adjustment? Maybe I’ve been spoiled, but – uch.
Sometimes it takes me a couple of tries to get driving depth dialed in correctly for a given nail size and the material I’m working with. This is a quick process with tool-free adjustments. Having to do this with a screwdriver or hex key is going to get old fast.
I’d say skip the Craftsman and go for the Dewalt, unless you have cordless platform preferences, but the price difference is not insignificant.
Back when Dewalt had a variable speed router and Porter Cable the same router but with single speed, that made sense. Here? The differentiation almost seems forced.
Most users will stick to their brand of preference and might not even be cognizant of the other; the Craftsman will be sold at Lowe’s, and the Dewalt Atomic nailer at Home Depot and independent dealers.
Meaning, the coexistence of both models isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. However Craftsman is still well behind their competitors with respect to cordless breadth and selection. If introducing dialed-back Dewalt tools as V20 Brushless RP offerings is part of their expansion plan, it won’t be long before users take greater notice.
Right now, it looks like Craftsman’s nailer is a version of Dewalt’s that was compromised for the sake of lower pricing. If this happens enough, how long until users notice resemblances and take to believing Dewalt offerings are simply slightly upgraded Craftsman tools?
Going back a few years, many users shunned the-new Porter Cable cordless power tools, which they described as being relabeled Black & Decker tools.
It makes sense for a company like Stanley Black & Decker to offer similar tools that share the same core engineering, and it’s usually not too much of a problem for hand tools.
Will it be a problem that Craftsman and Dewalt are more noticeably sharing the same DNA when it comes to cordless power tools?
In this instance, the resemblance isn’t a problem for me. What I’m unhappy about is the price difference and that the Craftsman seemingly leaves out tool-free depth adjustment. But that’s just me.