Craftsman, a Stanley Black & Decker brand that is available at Lowe’s, and Ryobi, which can be found at Home Depot, have both released competing cordless lighted magnifiers.
The two products are very different in design but serve similar functions, and so it seemed logical to discuss them together in a single post.
Craftsman V20 Cordless LED Light with Magnifying Lens (CMCE020B)
The Craftsman cordless lighted magnifier, CMCE020B, is officially described as an LED light with magnifying lens. It features “up to 2X total magnification power” and can illuminate your work with 200 lumens.
From the product photo, there looks to be two LED emitter zones on oppose sides of the magnifier lens, a variable brightness dial, and a compound hinge design for easier aiming.
Price: $30 (tool-only)
ETA: “Later this year” (2022)
Ryobi 18V LED Magnifying Clamp Light (PCL664B)
The Ryobi cordless LED magnifier, PCL664B, is very different, with a clamp-on base and gooseneck design.
The Ryobi PCL664B features up to 5X magnification and 500 lumens of brightness output.
The Ryobi can clamp to workbenches, table tops, and other surfaces up to 1-3/4″ thick.
From the images, the Ryobi magnifier looks to have a ring light-like design for even illumination.
The Ryobi magnifier has two brightness settings – 250 and 500 lumens. Its acrylic magnifying lens measures 3.5″ wide and has a 2.25X main magnification and smaller 5X spot magnification zone.
The flexible gooseneck arm measures 16″, and the base can also rotate.
Ryobi says that this is “ideal for technicians, inspectors, collectors, hobbyists, crafters, readers, and more.”
Price: $40 (tool-only)
The two competing brands take very different approaches. Ryobi’s can clamp to a workbench, has a flexible gooseneck-type arm, and has a dual-zone magnifying lens. The Ryobi also has 2 brightness settings.
The Craftsman looks to have a hinged arm design, which could be easier to control. It’s not as bright as the Ryobi, and it looks to have two LED light zones rather than the full-circle illumination of the Ryobi.
As a worklight, greater brightness and even illumination are important. For a lighted magnifier that might be close up to the work, even 200 lumens should be plenty.
The Ryobi looks to offer a bit more versatility, but the Craftsman looks like it folds up into a much more compact package for transport or storage. I’m a fan of minimal-footprint tools that don’t take up a lot of benchtop or shelf space.
Although the two brands are direct competitors, these two tools are not going to be in direct competition. The Craftsman magnifying lamp is likely going to appeal (or not) to Craftsman V20 cordless power tool users, and the Ryobi is going to appeal (or not) to Ryobi 18V One+ cordless power tool users.
It’s great that both brands have been expanding their hobbyist accessory tool offerings. What do you think about these two new tools, and what might you want to see from either brand next?