I bought a Craftsman V20 cordless drill kit a few years ago (for review purposes), and the charger had both V12 and V20 branding on it.
So, when are Craftsman’s presumed V12/12V Max cordless power tools finally coming out?
3+ years later, maybe it’s time we gave up hope.
Is there interest in a Craftsman 12V-class system?
Personally, I think I’ve realized that my interest is mainly tied to nostalgia. Craftsman’s Nextec line of 12V Max cordless power tools were fantastic, until Sears slowly eviscerated the system and left it to languish.
I should note that the company that served as the OEM for most if not all of Sears’ Craftsman Nextec 12V Max cordless power tools now owns and develops Skil cordless power tools. Because of this, my nostalgic interest in Craftsman’s hypothetical V12 lineup doesn’t even make a lot of sense.
When I think about it, I couldn’t tell you what I would hope to see in a Craftsman V12/12V-class cordless power system. What types of 12V-class tools could Craftsman offer that their parent company, Stanley Black & Decker, isn’t already doing with Dewalt 12V Max Xtreme?
We could point to Milwaukee’s M12 cordless system as an example of how successful a 12V-class system can be, but they’re an outlier. There are reasons why other brands have never matched the breadth of Milwaukee’s M12 lineup.
The truth of the matter is that 18V and 20V Max cordless power tools are much more popular than 12V-class tools.
You can buy a Craftsman V20 cordless drill kit for $59 right now. Would most consumers buy a Craftsman V12 drill kit at comparable or higher pricing?
There seems to have been enough impetus for Dewalt to finally revive and expand their 12V Max Xtreme cordless power tool system in recent years. But, Dewalt 12V Max Xtreme is available at many retailers and distributors, but the same cannot be said about Craftsman.
Lowe’s is Craftsman’s primary retail partner, and I’m sure this plays into it as well. Is there room for Craftsman V12 cordless power tools at Lowe’s?
Lowe’s currently has 3 brands in the 12V-class space – Dewalt, Skil, and sometimes Bosch. They have a much greater number of brands in the 18V/20V Max/24V Max classes of full-size tools – Craftsman, Skil, Dewalt, Metabo HPT, Bosch, Kobalt, and Flex.
Would a meaningful number of Lowe’s shoppers choose Craftsman V12 over Craftsman V20, or Craftsman V12 over Dewalt 12V Max?
Competitively, would Craftsman V12 bring more business and sales to Lowe’s and Craftsman? Isn’t that what it comes down to, how potential new offerings would increase the bottom line for brands and retailers?
Let’s look at Home Depot. How many, or rather how few 12V-class offerings do they promote or have placed in stores? When is the last time you saw any Ridgid 12V Max tools? In the context of handheld power tools, Ryobi is entirely focused on their 18V system.
Could YOU convince Lowe’s to give shelf space to Craftsman V12 power tools?
Maybe there’s still a little hope?
Craftsman and Lowe’s recently launched a new line of premium V-series hand tools. If the two companies were willing to bet on that, might they be willing to bet on a V12 lineup of compact power tools?
If 12V-class tools sell well at Lowe’s, that could help support the launch of a Craftsman V12 system. Or, it could fuel further development into just those brands.
Here is what I am getting at – a Craftsman V12/12V Max cordless power tool system could have existed. This was presumably in their plans.
But here we are, several years after Craftsman launched their V20/20V Max system. V20 developments are on the horizon with Craftsman Brushless RP, but there’s still no sign of any V12 system that could or would have been.
I know that some of you have been curiously waiting for Craftsman’s V12 system. I was also interested in this, but I finally realized that I have been asking the wrong questions.
Whether it was Craftsman’s call, or Lowe’s influence, it was the right decision.
Would Craftsman 12V-class cordless power tools benefit end users? Would it benefit Craftsman? Or Lowe’s? I’d say we need at least 2 out of 3 affirmatives for Craftsman to launch a V12 system.
I’m giving up on waiting for a Craftsman V12 cordless power system. There’s still the potential for a compelling lineup, but I don’t see anything on the horizon.
Maybe stacked lithium-ion batteries could change the industry enough to get Craftsman V12 into the game. Stacked batteries, like Dewalt’s new PowerStack battery, offer greater power delivery and density than those built with cylindrical cells, and can mean physically smaller battery sizes. As this is a developing technology, stacked lithium batteries are premium-priced, but they could be more affordable in time. If Craftsman waits stacked battery tech is more mature, they could have an edge if they launch a smaller form factor V12 system.
Maybe there’s still room for a little hope after all.
Do you think there’s room in the industry (or at Lowe’s) for a Craftsman 12V-class cordless power tool system? Would you be interested in such tools?
I was just talking about V20 on Slickdeals. Being an old Craftsman 19.2 tool owner it would be nice to stay with the brand….but then again, all it is is just a brand for sentimental reasons.
I am tired of it personally…all of the drama and whoop-dee-doo… and when/if I have to change systems completely I may just go with Ryobi 18V which I have shunned in the past but has a good price point, managed to adapt to new tool trends and keep the same battery system, and has been around forever.
My 88 year old dad was a Sears/Craftsman guy and he even started to buy Ryobi. Im kind of surprised actually…Its what Craftsman would have been if they kept up with their reputation decades ago.
ryobi is shockingly solid for many many tools. i hate the battery form factor but respect that they won’t ever ditch it unless there’s a basically free way to adapt
I think you touch on a lot of good points here and it boils down to “why bother.” 18/20v tools have gotten smaller and lighter and still have plenty of power, why would anyone jump to another 12v system?
If Craftsman was a premium brand competing with Milwaukee and DeWalt, sure! As a Ryobi competitor I don’t see a point. Skil has a pretty great 12v line. I’m not sure how they are doing from a sales standpoint. Im a huge fan of M12 because of the compact size and capability in the line. I don’t see Craftsman making that kind of commitment
Now that Lowe’s has Dewalt’s 12V Max tools as an exclusive offering I doubt a Craftsman lines makes any sense for them to support. Without an anchor retail customer to support it, I could see this as being an idea that died on the vine. And honestly, I would rather see Dewalt’s 12V line get the lion’s share of the time and attention anyway.
They should use two cells and make an 8v system hehehe
The sub-compacts are also competing with 12v. I don’t think a 12v Craftsman line make sense.
Kevin M Smith
Nobody cares about 12v anymore.
I’m wondering who is going to come out with the first keychain sized 2v system? This would be a groundbreaker for bloggers and the Smurfs.
Lots of people still care about 12V. At the least, Milwaukee’s M12 system is hugely popular.
Here’s an itty bitty drill powered by a coin cell battery: https://hackaday.com/2016/03/03/worlds-smallest-cordless-power-tools-3d-printed-of-course/
I’m not too optimistic on the need for V12 Craftsman. It’s primarily trades people niche that want compact portability, with a little entry level homeowner sprinkled in. HD has this covered for pros with Milwaukee and Lowes with Dewalt. Lowes has Skil thrown in for good measure to get the few homeowners in this market. That’s all. Bosch and Ridgid might as well not exist. I don’t think there is much to gain by Craftsman getting distracted with V12.
I think most sub-compact 18v tools have become light/small enough and so 12v doesn’t make as much sense any more. When my 12v Hitachi’s die, I probably won’t buy any more. I’d be more inclined to buy Makita sub-compact stuff.
I was less than impressed with the v20 tools I have (non-brushless to be fair). Every time I use my v20 drill it makes me wish I was using my Milwaukee m12 fuel drill. Taking your advice Stuart and getting the m12 fuel hammer drill was one of my better purchases.
The m12 surge has basically replaced ALL my cordless impacts and drills at this point. The only one that still comes out is the hole hawg now and then, and (rarely) the m18 drill when I need the big chuck size.
Plenty of options to buy into an existing 12v lineup if that’s what you want. Zero reason for a lower tier brand to start up a new one and zero reason to buy into it if they did. I have M12 because I like the form factor and they have a ton of options, but I’ve used other people’s DeWalt, Bosch, and Makita 12v lines; all are good.
Dave the tool
I believe the 12v lineup market is pretty well saturated with Milwaukee the winner by far! Skil’s Powercore 12v lineup of tools has gotten super reviews yet I don’t think the Marketing has worked well for them as they always seem to be on ridiculously low pricing sales including an incredible deal for the 5 pc set at Lowes currently! Perhaps this is why Craftsman hasn’t ventured back into the 12v lineup ie slow sales for Skils Powercore tools?
I just picked up the brushless 20v Dewalt Atom Sub compact drill sold at Home Depot as well as the new extremely short Subcompact Impact driver featured on Toolguyd last month. Both these tools are more compact than my Milwaukee M12 Brushless drill and impact along with having a more balanced and comfortable grip. In summary, if we can get 18-20v powered tools at the same size as 12v why wouldn’t we want the extra power!
I am invested in both Dewalt and Milwaukee 12v systems. I love the Dewalt size and balance. Milwaukee I extremely dislike but they have tools others don’t have. I do think with the new 20v powerstack battery technology there will be even smaller versions leaving very little difference in size between 12v and 20v.
With many 20v sub compact tools being same size as 12v, there will be little point in new 12v tools outside of specialized models. I am very tempted to replace my Dewalt 12v with Atomic and powerstack
Personally, I see no sense in developing 12v tools branded as Craftsman. Maybe, if Dewalt dropped the 12v from there line and Craftsman is not selling 20v subcompacts.
My take on it: until Craftsman wishes to support their tools with easier warranty and especially a service network WITH parts availability, they should consider ditching power tools altogether, including the few stationary tools they have. Granted, at their price point, many people will consider them throwaways, but to me it’s just extremely bothersome that so many companies refuse to provide parts these days, or do so only for a very limited amount of time. I avoid those completely and buy from companies that fill out the investment, so to speak.
At a lower cost of investment, perhaps craftsman could re-release dewalts 12v offerings, but on a 1-2 year delay and in red. Make them completely interchangeable/ compatible. Could make them with minor differences.
Advantages- jumpstarts the ecosystem, with less concern of abandonment and greater perception of quality. Initially will get craftsman owners into 12v but may also get them shopping dewalt for more options and newer tools. Could then also use craftsman line to test bed occasional oddball tool designs, or release a gigantic Ah battery pack— things that would engage dewalt users and expand the lineup with less risk of diluting the perceived quality of yellow. Even if it gets them talking on forums, it will have a benefit in keeping users invested in both ecosystems.
But I’m presuming they still have same parent company for power tool development?
Well Mac tools already offers DeWalt 12v and 20v tools in red with minor differences. So that option may not be the best. But then again not to many people have the option or the money to pay the Mac premium price…. I’m waiting for them to make a brushless ratchet(Mac/DeWalt). And I’m waiting for DeWalt to offer their own ratchet. Every other manufacturer is pretty much doing it now.
Craftsman has a hard enough time marketing their V20 line. Why introduce another platform?
At my Lowes they already offer DeWalt, Skil, and Bosch in 12v. I doubt Craftsman would supplant any of these lines. especially since Skil is inexpensive and has gotten decent reviews.