Over at Amazon, they recently listed a new Craftsman 18 gauge brad nailer, model CMPBN18K.
Unsurprisingly, the new brad nailer looks completely different from the CMPBN18SB brad nailer that Craftsman included in their air compressor + nailer bundle kits that hit the market a few months go.
But, it did look familiar to me, and so I double checked. The Craftsman brad nailer looks to be based on Porter Cable’s BN200C brad nailer, which has plenty of positive user reviews online. At least, it looks the same on the outside, and the specs are comparable.
Craftsman CMPBN18K brad nailer features and specs:
- Can drive 5/8″ to 2″ fasteners (18 gauge)
- 70-120 PSI operating pressure
- Weighs 2.7 lbs
- 100 nail magazine capacity
- Sequential drive mechanism
- Belt/rafter hook
- Compatible with Versatrack wall storage (hooks and accessories sold separately)
- Tool-free jam release
- Carrying case is included
The new Craftsman nailer seems reasonably spec’ed, but I do wonder about whether Amazon’s price is set in stone or not. Lowes also has it listed, for $89, but you can’t order it there yet.
Porter Cable’s BN200C brad nailer seems to be identical in specs and appearance (aside for the rafter hook), and is currently available for $60 to $65.
According to my records and online price history tracking, the Porter Cable brad nailer typically sold for $70, or $50 during holiday shopping seasons. Interestingly, price trackers show that the Porter Cable nailer became unavailable on Amazon starting about a month ago.
Frankly, it doesn’t bother me that Craftsman seems to have taken the Porter Cable nailer, updated the grip overmold design, and changed the color from silver and black to red and grey. If the Porter Cable was a good nailer, and online reviews suggest it was – at least for its price – then why shouldn’t Craftsman have done that?
They could have changed the internals too, but without any changes to the tool housing? If anyone knows or finds out if or how the Craftsman and Porter Cable brad nailers might be different, please let us know!
I’ve been saying, Craftsman is the tool brand that will pull together all of Stanley Black & Decker’s construction and DIY tool brands – at least the ones we’re familiar with here in North America. That synergy (I know, I dislike the word too), means that they’ll draw from what the other Stanley Black & Decker brands have to offer, making changes and improvements where possible and necessary.
But, let’s just hope that the price dips down a little. Maybe I’m missing something, but why does the Craftsman cost so much more than the seemingly identical Porter Cable nailer?
If the tools are functionally identical and only different in branding and color, I’d say skip the Craftsman and get the Porter Cable to save $24-40. Unlike cordless power tool battery packs, air compressors and hoses don’t care about the color or brand name on the side of your nail gun.
We’ll be keeping an eye on this.
I have tried to keep track of and compare many of the new Craftsman tools as I could. For the most part, the new Craftsman tools seem to be priced as expected. Some of the new designs are priced fairly and proportional to what I would expect. Others seem to be heavily based on existing designs, such as this brad nailer, and are also priced as expected. Cases like this, where there’s a price discrepancy, or the perception of a discrepancy, have been the exception and not the norm. Still, it’s something to be aware of.