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?