Craftsman has launched several new benchtop power tools at Lowe’s this month – a 6″ grinder, 10″ tabletop drill press, and 9″ band saw.
The new workshop tools are not yet available, but should be launching soon.
All of these new Craftsman tools appear to be relabeled versions of existing Porter Cable models. The same has been true for other benchtop power tools that Craftsman has released over the past few years.
Craftsman 6″ Bench Grinder with LED Lights
The new Craftsman 6″ bench grinder (CMXEGAR500) features built-in LED lights over the wheels.
Features & Key Specs
- 6″ wheels, 1/2″ arbor size
- 2.1A induction motor
- 3,450 RPM
- Comes with 36 and 60 grit wheels
- 12.75″ long x 13.25″ tall x 9″ deep
- Weighs 14.77 pounds
Craftsman 10″ Benchtop Drill Press
Craftsman says that their new drill press (CMXEDAR300) is “compact for the home workshop but constructed for heavy duty projects.”
Features & Key Specs
- 3.2 amp 1/2 horsepower motor
- 10″ size – can drill into center of 10″ diameter workpiece
- 5 operating speeds, 610-2800 RPM
- 1/2″ drill chuck
- Quill has 2″ travel
- Cast iron table
- Table tilts up to 45° left or right
- LED worklight
Craftsman 9″ Band Saw
From the product description, the Craftsman 9″ band saw (CMXEBAR600) is designed for compact woodworking applications.
Note: The Craftsman band saw does not appear to come with a fence.
Features & Key Specs
- 2.5A motor
- 2500 RPM
- Blade size: 59-1/2″
- Compatible blade widths: 1/8″ – 3/8″
- Die-cast aluminum table (12-5/16″ x 11-7/8″)
- 3-1/2″ max depth of cut
- Table tilts up to 45°
- 2-1/2″ dust port
- Miter gauge is included
- Weighs 43 pounds
So that was why they cleared out these things by PC, a Craftsman rebrand.
Its exciting in this respect, a DIYer can have a shop full of Craftsman like in the old days.
Sorry Andrew. In the old days Craftsman meant quality. Those days are gone. Now Craftsman means you didn’t shop carefully and just bought shiny red tools.
You are completely wrong. I have owned more Craftsman tools and power tools than I can remember. Including just about every v20 power tool made. I’ve used the circular saw, drill and impact the most. Work perfectly and reliability. As a pro I see nothing but a very good too. Do you own or use Craftsman ?
I have many new Craftsman tools and agree with both of you. The new tools overall are ok. The better V20 are pretty good. The mechanics tools, are usable, falling somewhere between the USA craftsman and the chinese junk. Old Craftsman was not the top of the line tools we like to remember them by, especially their power tools, which kinda sucked compared to the market. They were known for the well priced, quality mechanics tools.
Sears did sell a line of power tools that they dubbed “Craftsman Commercial” to try to compete with the leaders in tradesman’s power tools. Back then, companies like B&D, Milwaukee, Porter Cable and Skil sort of dominated the US market for hand-held corded power tools. Then Makita started making some inroads – and B&D acquired Dewalt and morphed it into their top brand. My take was that Craftsman Commercial sold more to the DIY crowd that shopped Sears – and wanted better more robust tools. The other Craftsman focus seem to be on mechanic’s tools – where the brand seemed to do a lot of advertising via Nascar and similar venues. My take was that their wrenches were good – but perhaps not up to the quality of brands like Armstrong, Proto or Williams that sold to us in the industrial segment – or to SnapOn and the truck brands that sold to the automotive trade.
Those old Craftsman tools were simply rebadges of the B&D Professional *and* the B&D Kodiak models…and the first yellow DeWalt models were again just rebadges of the exact same tools (speaking of 1992-1993 with the first introduction of the label). We were curious when our new rep was touting how superior DeWalt was and was going to be…pressed him and he finally admitted the rebadging. Later, I confirmed this at a service center as we looked at the basic 3/8″ drill and screwguns….Craftsman, Pro, Kodiak, and DeWalt, side by side laid out on the bench…not a single different part inside, just colors and stickers. Funny (not really) to see how some of those same “early” tools were later rebadged to Craftsman and/or Porter Cable in more recent years. I just think it’s almost a sin what they did to Porter Cable. We lost some great things there on several levels.
This made me laugh. I don’t have new Craftsman so I don’t have an opinion. But somehow it was amusing anyway. Rebrands don’t count for me. A Dewalt is a Dewalt no matter who licensed it
Dewalt itself is a rebrand. Like Fred said above, it was originally craftsman commercial.
You might want to re-read Fred’s post as that is not what he said.
Dewalt had/has nothing whatsoever to do with Craftsman Commercial. Craftsman Commercial was a Sears product and is now defunct. Dewalt was originally their own company which got big making high quality radial arm saws which was then bought by Black & Decker, and as Radial Arm Saws fell out of use with the rise of the sliding miter saw they transitioned the brand to power tools in general, not just RASes.
I owned a lot of Craftsman tools back in the 90’s. Heck, I still own most of them. I don’t think they were ever particularly high quality. They were better than the low-end import brands but the were certainly not up to the standard of pro or industrial brands. Where craftsman stood out was offering reasonably good tools at excellent prices, but most importantly with an extremely good warranty. Back then you could swap your broken Craftsman hand tool at any Sears or Sears Hardware no questions asked. That was much better warranty service than anyone else short of a pro tool truck like Snap-On offered, and yet it was also very reasonably priced.
I never cared for their power tools, which never had the same kind of warranty their hand tools did. The first power tools I ever bought were Craftsman back when I was a teenager because Craftsman tools on sale in the weekend paper were what I could afford, and I thought well of their hand tools. Their power tools were not so good, in fact all were disappointing, and while I’m still using Craftsman sockets I bought 30 years ago I don’t think I even got 2 years out of my corded drill, belt sander, etc, so I have continued to hold a low opinion of most of their power tools. They had some marketed as Craftsman Professional and Craftsman Commercial. Those weren’t awful. But I would still consider them “homeowner” or “hobbyist” tier tools rather than true commercial grade.
These days Craftsman hand tools just seem awash in a sea of other import-made, mid-grade, tools with little to differentiate them from another.
Seems like soon there won’t be anything grey that hasn’t been painted red. 😄
The grinder tool rests – they only adjust in and out, not angles? That seems silly.
I wonder if Craftsman will ever come out with heavier-duty benchtop tools. E.g. like they have brushed basic cordless tools and brushless “pro” options. These tools all look fine, but clearly they’re for home users.
I doubt it. They didn’t when branded as PC, this is just a rebrand. They are probably contract manufactured for SBD. Anyone that wants pro grade in this type of tools gets Delta or some such brand from a specialty retailer.
Agreed, these are clearly low-end homeowner tools, but the Craftsman brand has had heavier duty tools over the years.
Several years ago I purchased a Craftsman Professional branded 14 inch bandsaw for the university lab I managed. I later found out it was made in the exact same factory overseas as many others, including Grizzly, who offered the same saw with a different paint job and different color knobs for a lot less money. But I would call that saw a heavier duty model. It had a heavy cast iron frame and table, cast iron wheels, good quality motor, ball bearing guides, etc. I’d imagine it would be easy for them to bring something like that back again, just do what so many brands do: buy them from whoever is making them in Taiwan or China and slap your branding on it. That wasn’t meant to be taken as a complaint either, as many of those tools are actually good value for money in my opinion.
20 years ago I purchased that Craftsman drill press!
Mine looks identical to this new one so it must be made by the same manufacturer that made mine. (Sears/Craftsman was not a manufacturer- everything was made to their specs by others. My C3 tools were made by Ryobi/TTI even though the battery stalk was different than Ryobi.)
So I’m glad SBD is using an original Craftsman manufacturer again (well they probably bought them too) because now parts for mine will be available.
PS- I see now that parts may have been available all during this time from Porter-Cable. Good to know.
They’ve been available through ACE Hardware for a while now.
So how would you rank these compared to something like Wen? I’m going to be in the market for a drill press and a few other benchtop type tools in the near future.
Wen seems popular right now. Ryobi might be a safe bet, or at least there are plenty of user reviews to help with research efforts.
Rikon has been a good name, but for the styles of tools here, I either couldn’t find competitive models or the pricing was at too much higher.
Home Depot just launched a line of new Delta-made benchtop tools.
My guess is all of these bandsaws are made in the same shop in China for Wen and Craftsman, etc. Theres like 6 or 7 brands with the same ones just different colors. Just like the Delta and Ridgid power tools recently.
I have noticed something similar over the years.
I wouldn’t say that there’s only one maker/manufacturer, as there are often too many differences between certain models, but there are definitely several brands that simply rebrand benchtop tools from the same maker.
This Wen seems to get some decent reviews:
At this price point – I wouldn’t expect much – but for hobbyist woodworking – it might do.
I removed the “reviews” link because that page is not magazine/review content. It looks like they simply grabbed the top-selling tools on Amazon and worked backwards.
They have a “best Dewalt drill” buying guide where they give the number 1 spot to Craftsman, the number 2 spot to “Wakyme,” 3 to “SnapFresh”, 4 to Porter Cable as a “contender, 5 to Black & Decker,
6 to “Teccpo “, and 7 as a Dewalt combo kit as an “also consider.”
Thanks – I should have read the so called review more closely
I have a Mastercraft-branded Wen drill press. Wen makes benchtop tools for several brands. It’s been great over the 25+ years I’ve had it.
Mine is the variable speed model – e.g. pull a lever to change speeds, not swap belt pulley positions.
Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ryobi drill press is a green-colored Wen too. Certainly there are other Ryobi benchtop tools that appear to be of that origin (e.g. the belt/disc sander combo).
Wen is clearly consumer grade, but not junk either. For the price, I think they are quite good.
Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
Not sure, on the Drill press ( I have an Harbor Freight one that has been good) but a couple years ago I researched Band saws quite a bit, and tried out several from different makers, at friends shops and at a local wood working school. The Ryobi PC, and WEN seemed very similar, but the Rikon stood out as being much better fit and finish and everything just felt smoother. Despite the extra cost I was going to go with the Rikon until someone offered me an older Craftsman 12′ bandsaw, for free.
My Wen drill press looks exactly like the Craftsman pitchered
they look like Harbor freight tools. not interested in the least
If they put as much energy into getting the USA mechanics tools made and on shelves as they do coming out with new product from China every week…
I’m actually thinking about buying an old table saw cast top. Then mounting a reciprocating saw from underneath. Hang a spring loaded blade guard from above. Make it AC for a remote shutoff.. I want to see if it’s better than these homeowner band saws.
biggest issue I see is that the blade wouldn’t be constrained at the top so it would be prone to bend/wander. unlike a bandsaw.
but a shorter blade would help that – oh and maybe a speed control.
Cheap band saws may also suffer from blade wander because of poorly performing guides. Other cheap saws that I’ve seen did not hold blade tension well. On some saws, one problem can be fixed by buying aftermarket guides. But a set of Carter guides for my Laguna saw cost almost twice the price of a cheap Wen saw.
Geez. Almost like ya gets whats ya pay for. If only everything in life was as well defined as most tool pricing.
It may also be like the sarcasm of Gilbert & Sullivan : “let the punishment fit the crime”
It may be a lament of old age, but I wonder if we will ever return to a time when build-quality and longevity reign supreme above price. In a totally different example – I think that may Leica M4 will be operable long after most of the current crop of digital cameras have been junked. That said – I’d probably have balk if the price I had to pay for my current Cannon digital reflected M4 build quality. But I’m happy to use the Cannon for its convenience compared to toting around film and lenses as I once did for the sake of vacation snapshots.
Thinking about this a bit more:
In relative terms (present value of money) I think that tools are sold at a lower price than they were when I started buying them in the late 1950’s and ’60s. There is certainly more selection and availability thanks to mass merchandisers like HD and more recently the internet.
Before this modern era, homeowners either ordered professional quality tools via a local hardware store or lumberyard – or perhaps sought out a mail order firm or industrial distributor that was willing to sell to a homeowner. Home centers and discount stores seemed to push lower end B&D, and the like – few carrying anything that was industrial quality. For the top end tools – you paid top dollar – unless you bought in high enough volume to negotiate a decent discount.
The reciprocal action cannot provide smooth enough cuts that most expected. Similar to your idea is those “blade runner” saws that use job saw blade. Too much vibration.
Jig saw blades.
While I don’t think you would get good results with either a jigsaw or recip saw they do sell such jigs:
With your idea of using an old cast iron saw table – at least there is a good expectation that the table will be flat. Some comments about cheap bandsaws complain about warped and irregular tables
I’m sure it will have some wandering. But I bet it will run trouble free. Compared to fiddling with a finicky homeowners band saw.
I’ll probably pick up a Craftsman or Wen model. Then see how it goes. I have so many memories of guys frustrated with plastic parts, etc. Maybe they have improved them over the years. If it doesn’t work out I might try the reciprocating table saw.
I’d look at Rikon, too, if it’s in your budget range. There just aren’t a lot of good benchtop bandsaws out there, unfortunately. A SWAG stand with a portaband might work as well, depending on what you need to cut. It’s definitely geared towards metal, though.
It would be worse in most cases.
Functionally, the biggest limiting factor on reciprocating saws and jigsaws is the travel: the blade only goes up and down by around an inch. That means the blade needs large, aggressive tooth geometry with big gullets in order to clear chips efficiently enough to continue cutting. We’ve all tried to cut something big with a reciprocating saw and had to “rock” the saw back and forth to keep it cutting: this is basically changes which part of the blade is cutting and gives the other teeth a chance to clear out chips. Band saws have the benefit of a continuously running blade, which has time, wheel curvature, and often brushes to clear the gullets.
I would be looking at the 12” pruning blades with the deep gullets.
I hope all this rebranding will end at some point for SDB, and they come to brand identity at some point. I understand ITT’ brands. Can’t say the same with SDB.
Corporate structure must be wildly different. AKA no founding family still in control.
That’s always a tricky corporate transition situation.
Said above but these appear to be just exact-product rebadges from Porter Cable to Craftsman, and they don’t look great. Not sure about the grinder but it’s a hard pass anyway with those JUNK tool rests…those can be a real liability and it’s a shame that so many brands stepped down to these thin flexible stamped steel rests. The current DeWalt rests are decent but still a little flexy at times. The old Delta and now most of the Jet/Shopfox/sometimes Grizzly products have cast aluminum or cast iron rests that are worlds better (and safer).
A few years ago Craftsman had a little 10″ with a laser (gimmick) that was actually a slight step up from this and the last couple models and most on the market. Little wider range of speeds and although still not much oomph it had a motor with a smidgen of extra power. The cast iron table and base are nice…used to be standard and still should be but many have gone with junky cast aluminum there – avoid those like the plague.
Right now, Wen is where it’s at for these small jobbies. Wen actually supports the products and customers, and has decent parts availability. Pretty much none of these others do. Some of the parts interchange, however, so if you can confirm that then Wen may help you out if you need something. As with their other tools, Craftsman just isn’t there anymore when it comes to warranty or parts, and until that changes, just skip ’em unless you get a super bargain closeout price and also consider it throwaway money. Better yet, step up a little to the better benchtop models if you can at all possibly afford it.