Earlier today, I posted about Craftsman’s now-officially-announced V20 Brushless RP cordless power tool lineup.
Here’s what happened: A bunch of Craftsman brushless power tools were clearanced out at Lowe’s, and these Craftsman RP cordless power tools are taking their place.
Officially, all this is all for “easily identifying between CRAFTSMAN brushed tools and our premium brushless tools.”
Basically, the tools are the same, but with new branding intended to better differentiate Craftsman’s higher priced brushless offerings from their lower priced brushed motor offerings.
Craftsman is specifically targeting professional users with their Brushless RP lineup, or so they say, which seems to be a new approach for them.
V20* BRUSHLESS RP(TM) (Runtime + Performance) power tools meet the runtime and performance needs of professionals who rely on their tools day in and day out.
Other brands have different cordless power tool families to help with differentiation, such as Ryobi’s compact brushless One+ HP tools and Kobalt’s higher performing 24V Max XTR tools.
Dewalt – Craftsman’s sibling brand – also has different tiers in their 20V Max lineup, such as Atomic and XR.
Is Craftsman targeting professional users with RP, or are they targeting consumers looking to buy more premium tools?
I wonder – if Craftsman is indeed going after Pro users, might it have been better to designate these brushless tools as V20 Pro? Is Brushless RP going to be enough to appeal to more discerning and demanding users?
As an aside, how many tool users are aware of the subtle distinction between Dewalt 20V Max and 20V Max XR tools?
Craftsman RP emphasizes “More Runtime” and “Better Performance,” and you’ll see this repeated in their marketing materials and reflected in individual product claims and selling points.
Not all of Craftsman’s brushless tools are included in this initial launch.
The new Craftsman Brushless RP hammer drill, CMCD732, is different from their Brushless hammer drill, CMCD721. There are some design differences, such as with the RP’s LED placement, as well as differences in power and performance specs.
The CMCD721 also has a “Made in the USA with Global Materials” sticker, while the new Brushless RP CMCD732 does not.
The newer RP model also has lower UWO (power) specs than the older brushless model, as well as a lower top speed.
It seems that the V20 Brushless RP CMCD732 hammer drill is a relabeled version of the V20 brushless CMCD731. But the better and higher performing CMCD721 is not joining the Brushless RP lineup?
The new Brushless RP model is less expensive than the better spec’d CMCD721.
Craftsman’s V20 brushless impact driver, CMCF820, also has higher performance level specs than the new Brushless RP model, CMCF813.
Technically, “Better Performance” is true, although it can be misleading without context. I am surprised that Craftsman’s best-performing brushless tools are NOT included in the RP lineup.
In press materials, as well as individual product listings, here’s what Craftsman says about the new V20 Brushless RP tools:
- Oscillating multi-tool – delivers up to 57 percent more power
- Hammer drill – delivering up to 20 percent more power
- Impact driver – achieving up to 30 percent more runtime
- Impact Wrench – achieving up to 26 percent more runtime
- Circular Saw – delivering up to 75 percent more power
- Reciprocating saw – delivering up to 75 percent more power
- Angle grinder – delivering up to 65 percent more power
These claims are made for Craftsman V20 Brushless RP tools compared to V20 brushed motor tools when certain batteries are used. It’s not exact, such as how Craftsman compares their RP 7-1/4″ circular saw to their brushed motor 6-1/2″ saw.
When looking at Lowe’s product descriptions for the new cordless power tool models, here is how Craftsman qualifies the “Better Performance” claim of the RP and Runtime + Performance branding:
BETTER PERFORMANCE: versus competitive products with brushed motors, tested with either a 2Ah or 4Ah battery, performance based on UWO power, max torque or SCFM.
What are “competitive products with brushed motors?”
Better performance vs. competitive products with brushed motors? I would certainly hope so, as it’s extremely rare for this not to be true.
Craftsman V20 Brushless RP is a marketing pivot. There is one new tool, which is better than none. So, this is mainly a strategy shift so far, possibly to help sell more of the existing tools, and possibly to align better with Craftsman’s ongoing and future roadmap.
Maybe recent business news can offer some context.
Stanley Black & Decker – Craftsman’s parent company – announced their 4th quarter 2021 and full-year 2021 earnings figures last week.
Yesterday, Barrons released a story “Stanley Black & Decker Is Losing Market Share to Rivals,” referenced Citi’s downgrade of the company (stock symbol SWK) from “Buy” to “Sell.” They quoted analyst Eric Lau as saying:
We believe [Techtronic’s] upcoming 2H21E results (due on 2nd Mar) would provide more evidence of the potential market loss of SWK to leading players like TTI or even Chervon.
Okay, so let’s consider for a moment that Stanley Black & Decker might have lost market share to TTI (Milwaukee Tool, Ryobi 18V, Ridgid 18V) and Chervon (EGO, Flex, Skil, OEM for Kobalt 24V Max).
With respect to handheld cordless power tools, Craftsman competes with Ryobi and Ridgid at Home Depot, as well as Kobalt and Skil at Lowe’s.
Craftsman faces competition elsewhere as well, such as on Amazon, where they list a limited selection of V20 cordless power tools.
Lowe’s is Craftsman’s most significant retail partner, and Home Depot is Lowe’s primary competitor.
Lowe’s seems to have mainly focused on Craftsman’s entry-priced cordless power tools. Will this be changing?
Just talking about what’s available at Lowe’s, Craftsman RP will face competition from Dewalt 20V Max, Kobalt 24V Max, Skil 20V Max, and Flex 24V Max cordless power tool offerings, and maybe also Metabo HPT 18V and Bosch 18V.
Lowe’s likely wants to steer customers away from Home Depot’s Ryobi 18V One+ HP and Ridgid 18V brushless offerings. Can Craftsman V20 Brushless RP do that?
Craftsman is seemingly aiming the RP line at professionals, at least given their marketing language, but can they really compete alongside the likes of Dewalt, Milwaukee, Makita, or Bosch?
Craftsman says that additional tools will be joining the lineup throughout 2022, but will these be new tools or mainly more products that are given Brushless RP branding?
For instance, Lowe’s has a Craftsman V20 Brushless RP listing for the bare tool version (CMCC2520B) of Craftsman’s cordless air compressor (CMCC2520M1).
ToolGuyd readers wrote in about Lowe’s listing for a new Craftsman Brushless RP cordless jig saw, and so maybe this will be the next new tool announced.
The way they phrased things, additional tools joining the lineup could just as well mean new tools as it could mean more relabeled tools.
I like Craftsman, and I like Stanley Black & Decker. For the most part, I think that Stanley Black & Decker’s cordless team has been doing a fantastic job recently, with their expanding Dewalt 12V Max Xtreme, 20V Max Atomic, XR, and PowerStack offerings.
I also like Craftsman V20 cordless power tools – some are good and others even excellent.
Why should I buy Craftsman V20 brushless tools over competitors’ offerings?
So far, they have not done a great job so far of winning me over. Although, I can’t blame them, at least not entirely.
From how I see it, Craftsman needs to sell the idea to Lowe’s, and Lowe’s needs to sell it to their customers. Neither have done a great job so far in promoting Craftsman’s brushless tool offerings.
Here is a big question: Is Lowe’s going to give Craftsman V20 Brushless RP the visibility and promotion that Home Depot has given to Ryobi 18V One+ HP? If not, Craftsman’s job is going to be even harder.
Analysts believe that Stanley Black & Decker is losing market share to competitors, and Craftsman is likely at least a small part of this. Business reports mention TTI, but also Chervon, a company whose tools and products have increased presence at Lowe’s.
Will Craftsman’s V20 Brushless RP lineup have greater appeal or sell better than when the tools were simply part of their V20 cordless power tool system?
Craftsman “Brushless RP” hasn’t given us anything to be excited about yet.
Whatever Craftsman’s goals, I don’t think a simple name-change will do much to accomplish them. They’ll need to do more.
To move into the “professional” power tool space, I thought they might either clone Dewalt XR tools – or come out with some class-leading stuff to highlight that Craftsman is here to play in the big leagues. Sounds like they did neither.
If this is mostly just a branding change, that’s not very exciting. It does make SOME sense – in that “brushless” is almost meaningless these days (except to distinguish between budget tools and everything else), so using “RP” like Dewalt does with “XR” might at least create a simpler way to determine which Craftsman tools are top-performers.
Is that really going to push tool sales though?
I think they should have blatantly ripped off some Dewalt XR – just to make the point that Craftsman’s brand can span between budget homeowner and full-on pro grade (like they originally suggested). Either that or released some tools with Dewalt and Milwaukee-beating specs (even if this was only a one-time event), again, just to say “Look, Craftsman includes cutting-edge stuff!”.
I agree. Right now I just don’t see any compelling reason to buy Craftsman cordless tools. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they work well so I am not criticizing their function, I’m just not sure why I would buy into their system above others? For mainstream tools they are a lot like Dewalt, Milwaukee, and Makita…only with fewer tools on their platform, and in many cases inferior specs. So if I want mid-tier tools why would I pick their smaller system over the lower-end offerings from any of the three alternatives? If I want budget or homeowner tier tools then I think Ryobi offers both better value for money and has a larger platform. If I want high-end tools I don’t see how they can compete with Hilti, Metabo, or the higher-end offerings from Milwaukee, Makita, or Dewalt.
In my opinion Craftsman needs to do something to differentiate itself otherwise it’s lost in a sea of competition, much of which has the advantage of a bigger platform. They need some advantage they can leverage to compensate for that disadvantage.
I was going to say “well maybe Craftsman’s edge could be that you start out with homeowner grade and can get low-end pro tools all in the same platform”… but then I was thinking Ryobi HP kind of already does that better.
Having read your comment I just thought that one niche could be having both good quality standard tools (i.e. drill/driver, circ saw, recip saw, router, angle grinder, etc.) as well as having the less common and more craft oriented tools like a soldering iron, hot glue gun, etc. But then again I suppose Ryobi already offers those and has the HP line as you mentioned…
In my opinion it’s nuts that the big players like Milwaukee, Dewalt, and Makita don’t have a cordless hot glue gun on their platform. Milwaukee and Makita both lack soldering irons too. Milwaukee has one on the M12 platform but it has a terrible design flaw; there is too much heat coming back into the handle and the joint between the heating element and the handle fails. Meanwhile Ryobi makes solid versions of both. The glue gun product in particular has so much demand that least one 3rd party company, Surebonder, seems to rely on selling their glue gun outfitted to use those brand’s batteries.
Craftsman actually does have a glue gun, rotary tool, and soldering iron coming out on the V20 platform. All similar to Ryobi’s offerings. It’s possible they would make their way to yellow, but no word yet. And I think it would make more sense to leave them as Craftsman exclusives to get that more homeowner DIY crowd. Similar to what TTI does with Ryobi.
Good point. The glue gun is how I got into the Ryobi line. It’s an incredibly useful tool to have cordless. Then I bought the dual-mode inflator, then the rotary tool, then a vacuum…
Ryobi still has the “neat and innovative” category on lock. I think the belt file is next on my list – either that or the caulking gun.
My Milwaukee M12 soldering iron has served me well for maybe the past three or four years? And so far I’ve never needed one of the spare tips I ordered at the same time.
@Big Richard, I am sure if Dewalt made those tools they would sell, and not just to hobbyists. I’d imagine anyone doing automotive work, trailer wiring, car stereo installs, electronic service in the field, etc, and who uses Dewalt cordless tools already would love a Dewalt soldering iron. The glue guns may not see much professional use but they are a very handy tool to have around for all sorts of things and appeal to a broad range of people. And likewise for the rotary tool. They sound like no-brainer buys for anyone on the platform already. Milwaukee is really beating them on the small rotary tool area as they have not only a dremel-type rotary tool but also the straight and 90 degree compact die grinders. Dewalt only has a full-size straight grinder, which is a nice tool, but is a totally different animal than the little guys Milwaukee has and they do not.
I wonder if there is a design revision involved? Or perhaps a difference in operating technique? Normally I don’t put much faith in online reviews but the specific complaint of the plastic melting at the base of the heating element right where it attaches to the handle is extremely common in online reviews of the tool, so much so that I have to think there must be some validity there.
I think that Craftsman should cater more towards the house wives because the pros use Milwaukee. Dewalt, Makita, …but not Craftsman. Certainly not in 2022!
Dewalt is owned by black & decker, so is craftsman
I’ve owned the Dewalts for years and always thought they were one of the best. Then I bought a Milwaukee set. Just no comparison . IMO, no one competes with Milwaukee brands. They’re more expensive, but way worth it. I quit craftsman years ago and it would take a lot to get me back to them. No thanks on Ryobi either.
But they did clone Dewalt XR. The CMCF820 is essentially the same as the DCF887, CMCF920 is the DCF894, CMCF910 is assumably the DCF890.
I’d be happy to take the bet that the CMCS550 is the DCS570 and just about every brushless craftsman is some older XR model.
Those “new” brushless jigsaws and multi tools look suspiciously similar to some more Dewalt xrtools too, maybe SBD’s marketing isn’t doing a good enough job at conveying this but craftsman brushless is basically the older Dewalt XR lineup, you just don’t have an “upgrade” path beyond it if you want or need even more powerful stuff.
Here’s my take. Craftsman has been having a branding issue, as well as an identity crisis since Sears was intentionally driven off the cliff and didn’t have any outlet. Making them in China or other locations wasn’t any help either.
So, now that they’ve been in their new home for a few years, they’re still looked upon as the step child that isn’t quite accepted by the rest of the family.
So now they’re acting in a way to garner more attention. They don’t seem to have a clear approach, so they’re going to try anything and see what happens.
I’m not sure about all Lowe’s locations, but every one I’ve ever been to either rarely has, but most do not have, any Tool Reps there, explaining the tools and offerings to the customers. Compare that the HD that has not only TTI reps, but also DeWalt reps walking around the tool area. They assist the customers, show them where tools are located and give them a lotnof information about the tools and accessories.
On top of that, a majority of Lowe’s locations have their tool coral in disarray. So, no one is there talking about the new tool offeringd and difference and cleaning up that area. At one near me, the new FLEX display was broken within a month of it being out. There are Craftsman Stackable boxes that are broken, and strewn all over the place etc.
Presentation is absolutely the key to selling something.
As the Kander and Ebb lyrics said:
“Give ’em the old razzle dazzle
Razzle Dazzle ’em …
Razzle dazzle ’em
And they;ll never catch wise!”
Not that all advertising copy is flim flam – but it does seem that the goal of some is to hype – and when appropriate obsfucate so as to sell more product
Fred, I didn’t get the reference – the only culture in my life comes from yogurt! I Googled Kander and Ebb and found some info. It took all of 10 seconds to type and see the quote. Very little effort to learn something and I’m not even buying anything. I’m not sure how many people do a basic search before buying things, or do they still fall for taking advertising at face value? Maybe it comes from being born in Brooklyn. You have to ask three different people for directions. If two say the same thing, you can trust it. If I was a homeowner, I’d Google “what is the best affordable brand of tools for a homeowner”? Then I’d ask relatives, friends and anybody who is doing work on my house, and I’d probably come up with recommendations for Ryobi. Maybe Dewalt or Milwaukee if I thought I would really get into fixing things up and searched for “better quality tools for a homeowner”.
Thanks again Fred, for sharing your wide range of knowledge with us.
My wife and I are big fans of Broadway and London West-end shows.
We saw Chicago when Jerry Orbach sang the song that I referenced. In that cast Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera were also headliners, We saw the show again many years later – with Bebe Neuwirth – but can’t remember who played Jerry Orbach’s part.
BTW – nothing wrong with being born in Brooklyn. I was born in Manhattan.
“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with [email protected]#t”
ROBERT A YEZEK
Lowe’s your second to home Depot. If you want Craftsman to do well you have to put it in home Depot. Good luck with that though. Very hard to compete with Milwaukee and DeWalt tools for professionals. We like what we like and Milwaukee is number one. Ryobi is a great bet for anything you need to do at home. They’re 40 volt lawn mowers kick butt.
I think they bet a little too heavily on the numbers that the brand name alone would carry in a crowded market. I’m sure they’re plenty fine tools, but there’s already tons of plenty fine tools out there, that don’t require buying a new and limited platform.
Looking at the Lawn & Garden side [email protected] riding mowers and zero-turns are following the long-time tradition the name had for selling a product that looked great but was always on the low end for quality, horsepower, and long life. That was tied to a huge advertising budget that hit all the “phycological selling points” and a price that was just a little less than the competitors.
Sell a ton of product and have the largest margins in the industry…
I’m wondering if they are trying the same thing with the cordless tools – Keep the same product but add Pro to the name. Rewrite the sales copy, mark the price just a little less than the competitors, and rake in the profits.
Dewalt Atomic are available at Home Depot (but not Lowe’s) and are also available at independent channels.
Dewalt 12V Max Xtreme tools available at Lowe’s (but not Home Depot) and are also available at independent channels.
Craftsman V20 Brushless and Brushless RP look to be exclusive to Lowe’s. The same might be true for a lot of their outdoor products, except V60 which doesn’t look to be available at Lowe’s anymore (although some SKUs are now at Amazon).
Meaning, with Lowe’s as Craftsman’s major customer, they might be a position to dictate the types and price points of the products they carry, if not directly then indirectly.
Lowe’s is going to have lower price point mowers on their sales floor, and if not by Craftsman then by other brands.
Brushless RP looks to aim at mid-price point shoppers who might be more cognizant of features, quality, and compromises than entry-price point shoppers.
Lowe’s wants and needs might factor into what can be offered in the V20 system, but I don’t thinking anyone would be looking for a “slightly cheaper than the competition” strategy, at least not with RP.
I think its a tough sell no matter what they put out.
And I think they shot themselves in the foot with the rock bottom pricing they put on the clearance tools right after the 1st of the year. I stocked up on a few of the “old” items when they practically paid ME to take them out the door at Lowe’s. Seems to me like they set a mental pricepoint (at least they did to me) of what their tools should be. And now that the new RP stuff is out, it seems overpriced a bit. But it does still appear there are some values to be had even with the new stuff and the new pricing. But a 5 piece set with batteries charger and bag I got for $84? Can’t beat that, and now that I have it, I don’t need to buy any of it anyway.
Each major tool MFR differentiates between their brushed and brushless not a big deal actually quite helpful. At this point there just seems to be a lot of chatter about something evert other major brand already does. Craftsman = Not for me.
Stanley Black & Decker is afraid of losing or hurting DeWalt’s market share, which caused harm to Craftsman and all Stanley Black & Decker’s market share in general!
Just mimic Ryobi tools line up and take over old DeWalt tools with low prices, and you will be fine.
The V lineup and all the Pro Level thing is nonsense. Craftsman tools are pro homeowner tools, and they will be like that forever. Keep it that way, and people will buy it because they trust the name! and start bringing back USA-made ASAP.
Your absolutely right, when they purchased Porter Cable they should have kept it a pro level tool but instead they were so afraid that it would have taken some dewalts market, which it would have but they didn’t look at the big picture it would have taken from Milwaukee, Makita and other pro level too, but instead they decided to make it sub pro level brand and pretty much killed it, homeowners are now the biggest buyers of professional tools because now with the help of YouTube people are starting to do their own work
SBD Execs: “We need a line of quality tools that fit the needs of professionals and high use homeowners”
Also SBD Execs: “We have no idea what to do with Porter Cable”
Yeah this was a big hoop of nothing, those drills feel cheap compared to the competition at Lowes and they don’t have the performance to take on the in-store competition like the xtr, flex or metabo. If they expand their lineup they can compete with Milwaukee but that would take actual effort from them
They can’t seek to compete with Milwaukee without stepping on Dewalt’s toes.
Milwaukee can not handle moisture what so ever not an outdoor professional tool home owner quality
What a ridiculous statement…
Same with Ryobi and Ridgid. The Ridgid high torque impact wrench out performed Milwaukee’s. Milwaukee sued about their batteries and now no more Octane batteries and new batteries are not as good. Also they are replacing the Ridgid high torque impact with a less powerful one. Also the new Ryobi high torque impact wrench is a lot less power at only ~1200 ft lbs.
Ridgid 18V at Home Depot is developed and marketed by TTI. Milwaukee Tool is also owned by TTI.
Milwaukee does have Li-ion patents.
Ridgid 18V Octane batteries are a TTI product. That’s all between TTI North America and Home Depot, but still – TTI is not going to sue itself, especially regarding products developed for their biggest customer.
Emerson – Ridgid’s parent company – was sued over Ridgid cordless products independent of their licensed products at Home Depot.
Emerson has nothing to do with Ridgid 18V tools at Home Depot, and this includes Octane.
There’s no more Ridgid Octane tools because… I don’t know, they never explained why. The brand pivoted away from Octane tools and shifted towards 18V SubCompact and Max Output batteries.
TTI North America designs and develops for Ryobi 18V as well, and you will sometimes see “good-better” separation between the two brands’ lineups at tiered price points.
I’ve asked numerous times and have been told each time that Milwaukee Tool operates autonomously as far as tool design and development goes.
Milwaukee Tool did NOT sue Ridgid into abandoning their Octane tools or batteries.
SBD is bungling their Craftsman tools because there is too much consolidation in the tool industry and no competition across the large conglomerates. They are so worried about stepping on their other 98 million brands in their portfolios that they can’t seize the opportunity in front of them. We need more independent competition, companies willing to push it further.
Look at craftsman outside the idea of trying to relive old days. Its all overly complicated and filled with so many slightly different but basically similar tools.
The whole power tool line should simply be V20 based, competing against Ryobi, and targeted as nice homeowner level products. One V20 battery for any craftsman power tool. Brushless motors? Great, just make that the stock offering and advertise it as pro features trickling down to homeowners, just like computer technology.
Same goes for hand tools. They need to drop the 15 different types of combo wrenches and sockets and go with one. Be like Tekton, you get one nice wrench or socket, focused on good quality at a fair price, and a simple warranty process around it. Take a picture, send a message and you have a new one coming via Fedex. Try that with Kobalt or Craftsman at Lowes or Ace, it always depends on who’s working the register, if they understand the warranty, and if they have one in stock to replace it with.
Real example here, I need a new tape measure for my garage bench. Craftsman makes about 25 different ones, each hardly different from the other but choices just for choice sake. Focus on a few types, offer different lengths, and have the craftsman only features like the easy to read white tape and the red cases with the Made in America branding across them all.
In other words, just reduce the unnecessary sprawl and make it all simpler. That makes it a helluva lot easier to compete against others, instead of yourself.
SBD is the poster child of tripping over their own brands and tool lines. The Dewalt name by itself has 3 or 4 different tool lines that I can think of. Compare that to Milwaukee. M12 and M18, that’s it. Every M12 and M18 tool works with any M12 or M18 battery, respectively.
Yes they have Fuel MX now but I think that’s irrelevant to this discussion.
Dewalt has 12V max, 20V max, Flexvolt Advantage, and Flexvolt.
Milwaukee has M12, M18, M18HO, and MX.
What am I missing? Other than the potential confusion arising from the fact that you can use Flexvolt batteries to run 20V max tools but not vice-versa? I suppose Dewalt has “power detect”, but Milwaukee has M18 HO. Both systems run every 12V tool on all 12V batts and the same for the 18V platform, except that some M18 tools require HO batteries.
Yeah Dewalt has marketing names like “XR”, but that seems little different from Milwaukee’s “Fuel” label for their higher end tools.
Seems like “six of one and a half dozen of the other” to me.
To be fair and completely honest M18HO is not a separate system by no means. In fact it identifies a higher capacity battery there are zero M18HO tools period it would be ridiculous to say DeWalt XR or “power stack” are separate systems, but under your criteria they would be. I have actually used my 5ah battery on my tablesaw and chainsaw despite both coming with M18HO batteries and they worked fine! The Milwaukee MX system is in a completely different class made and priced for professional tradesmen and companies, and in my opinion don’t belong in the conversation. The “Fuel” designation is used to identify Milwaukee’s top notch Brushless tools again not a separate tool system just the best of the best and every tool maker separates their top end tools from the run of the mill in this way. Milwaukee has M12 and M18 period. That’s just the fact, every M12 battery works in every M12 tool as well does the M18 batteries work in every M18 tool, the same cannot be said of DeWalt. There is a difference. Dewalt currently has 20V Max, 12V Max, 60V Max, 40V Max all listed on their website. Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with DeWalt or Milwaukee they have just approached cordless power in different ways one being far more straight forward than the other but both accomplishing there goal.
Trying to make a pro version of Craftsman power tools makes little sense. I see a bit more with the hand tools, as SBD doesn’t have much in the way of higher end hand tools going thru brick and mortar retail.
But with power tools your just shooting yourself in the foot with Dewalt the next aisle over.
I don’t or am unaware of any other multi brand parent corporation that makes nearly identical products for their various brands like SBD does. American car makers did it for awhile until the customer base turned away. This is not a good sign for the future of some of these brands. Just my long term thoughts.
Colgate strategy of flooding the shelves with the illusion of choice but really just crowds our competitors.
If you look at RV’s it’s very common. Badge engineering was very common for years but as consumers have gotten wiser it seems to have fallen off.
I think the CMCD721 and CMCF820 are good units. Why would they not be RP?
Craftsman doesn’t make pro tools. end of story.
I have literally never seen them on a job site. If I did I would laugh.
It’s sbd’s garbage line, trying to fake out homeowners with marketing flim flam
The amazing thing is how highly priced that junk is. I continue to believe that eventually people will realize the emperor no longer has any clothes
I HAVE seen Craftsman V20 cordless power tools on a jobsite! Or at least I talked to a pro about the Craftsman cordless drill they had in their truck. The next time I talked with them, they complained the drill couldn’t so squat and they had to quickly replaced it.
They said the drill was a need-based purchase – they were caught without their kit (someone borrowed it if I recall correctly) and so they went to the nearest Lowe’s to pick up something quick.
I admittedly laughed a little.
To be fair, the tools I’ve used have all been decent, even the entry-priced models if I manage my expectations, but I also don’t think most Craftsman V20 tools would hold up to pro use.
MSRP is high but Lowes seems to discount pretty heavy into attractive prices from time to time. Still not enough for me to buy in but close.
ITT: Let’s build tools. SBD: Let’s do more market researches and focus groups.
The way the Craftsman name was run into the ground and abused–or should I say the way their formerly loyal customers were abused with cheap Chinese crap–if I was someone wanting to be a player in the tools business, I sure wouldn’t use the name Craftsman.
Even if you were “eventually” (sure aren’t there yet) start making GREAT tools again, now I am being served elsewhere.
Never again boys, and never is a LONG time……
Totally agree! I have some excellent “old” USA made Craftsman hand tools that I’m very happy with, unfortunately there is no warranty since they don’t make an equal replacement. I have moved on, permanently, from Craftsman. I can’t imagine anything that would make me take a second look. I don’t blame SB&D for this mind you, but I do believe their attempts to resurrect the brand will not be successful.
Same here. I have a lot of Craftsman Professional hand tools that I’m very happy with, but if one were to fail there is nothing they can do about it. Even if they wanted to honor the warranty they don’t make those products, or anything comparable, anymore.
They dont know what the heck they’re doing. Nobody cares about the brand anymore, just fold already.
I still care.
IndianaJonesy (Matt J.)
I will never understand SBDs branding thoughts. Seems like they learned nothing from Ford and GM and all their issues with it.
If I were I were in charge (feel free to make an offer, SBD) I would let the brands be the tiers and allow for battery cross-compatability (at least top-down) between tiers (ie Dewalt batteries could power everything but Craftsman batteries could only power Craftsman and B+D or whatever). This would allow homeowners to go into a brand like Dewalt for the tools they know they’ll use all the time but go cheaper on niche ones they may only need for a job or two. It would build brand loyalty and market presence without compromising the pro market, whereas now they have all these brands trying to upsell or downsell with confusing lines and acronyms that most consumers don’t get or care about.
I love this new craftsman stuff. I just started buying it and so far very happy. Price and quality along with what tools you can get are great. I egg bought the vacuum it works well and the chainsaw is better than my old gas powered.
On the one hand, it’s good to see Craftsman commit to differentiating between their brushed and brushless stuff. On the other hand, giving new model numbers to the same old tools seems lame.
Also, being on the Craftsman platform, I wonder if they are going to phase out the two American assembled clones of the DeWalt 887 and 796 which are Craftsman two most powerful models? The CMCF820 and CMCD721 clearly did receive the RP rebranding the two Chinese assembled brushless models did. It would make sense if they did, but I think selling Slightly less powerful “American Assembled” clones of DeWalt would help the brand bring back some of the pride in the line.
Just scored the 1in sds craftsman hammer drill for 83 dollars which is basically a dewalt 1in sds in red the dewalt was going for 219 dollars so you can’t beat that and I have both dewalt and craftsman tools, but my tools are becoming more and more craftsman
Well the fact they are the same exact tools as before with just new boxes and labels as the ones they just cleared out at rock bottom prices is bad especially since some of the clearance tools are still on the shelf available. I only saw the new RP labeled 1/4 impact driver for $79 I think and the former is still on the shelf at $69 no difference in specs.
They had higher end Craftsman V20 tools closer to DeWalt but they cleared them out even before the Xmas clearance and replaced with cheaper lower spec’d tools. I’m sure it was seen as infringing into DeWalt territory.
I like the clearance prices but not all the turmoil.
Too bad one company owns so many brands and holds the other lower tiers back.
We have TTI – Milwaukee and the rest Ryobi, Ridgid, and Hart
We have SBD – DeWalt and the rest Craftsman, Black and Decker, and Porter Cable. B&D and Porter Cable are the ones getting left out in the cold since Craftsman came along.
We have Chevon – Flex 💪 the new kid on the block and the rest Kolbalt, Skil
There are others like Makita , etc
Porter Cable and Tractor Supply have a new partnership. https://toolguyd.com/porter-cable-tractor-supply-exclusive-cordless-power-tools/
Ryobi and Ridgid are at Home Depot. Hart is at Walmart. Milwaukee is at Home Depot and independent retailers.
Dewalt has different lines with semi-exclusivity, but most of their core products are available at all Dewalt dealers.
Porter Cable was more or less tied to Lowe’s, which could be why it faltered. Now Craftsman is available at Lowe’s, CPO, Amazon, and Ace, but Lowe’s is by far their largest partner.
Ryobi and Ridgid cordless lines are tethered to Home Depot, but that relationship seems to work. But can Craftsman and Lowe’s enjoy a similar relationship?
That’s the problem – Craftsman/SBD is not Ryobi/Ridgid/TTI, and Lowe’s is not Home Depot.
Lowe’s is also not Sears.
Craftsman also does not exist in a bubble, they exist within boundaries set by Dewalt, Proto, Mac, and other brands on the high end.
I simply don’t understand the hate thrown at Craftsman. Maybe it’s because I have Flex ( almost all ), Milwaukee M12 ( extensive ), as well as Craftsman V20. I love tools, and don’t have a favorite. I want all of them to succeed, because, it breeds competition. I realize some users are “fan boys” of their brand, and become militant about that. I LOVE Craftsman, and want them to succeed! I simply cover my bases to have future use out of my tools. The hate thrown at Craftsman is not understood by me. I want SBD to succeed, and love having all of these options.
Today I just purchased the 2 tool brushless pack with the hammer drill CMCD721 and the impact CMCF820. I’m not a Professional contractor or anything, I’m just a Craftsman guy and these were on clearance so I said “what the heck” and purchased them. After reading all the other comments I found it interesting that in the manuals that came with them it stars that they are “designed for Professional use”.
ya and wilie coyote said he was a super genius you can say anything you want it wouldn’t be worth the cost to sue over it
Well, I’m sure SOME professionals use Craftsman V20. After all, I’ve seen at least one professional (landscaper, IIRC) using Ryobi One+.
Those two tools are perfectly usable.
I would think so, I’ve just been waiting for the price to come down.
I emailed SBD, and asked them why these tools were not RP. They said the circular saw was the only RP tool released as of now. They have a PR problem. I see multiple RP tools on shelf now. They are obviously not watching their competition..
Just for your info. The two tools you got happen to be the top of the Craftsman food chain as far as specs go, as they are direct clones of the DeWalt 887 and 796 assembled here in the US. All the other brushless stuff not made in the US are just Chinese models.
So I find it weird that they did not label their best impact and drills as RP.
i finally gave up and just buy the beat china crap most of the parts in so called american tools are made i china harbor freight has the same tools just a different color same tool
I agree about the premium drivers not being marketed as RP. I emailed them to warn them about shoddy marketing, as in, their competitors are watching. They reached out to me and said ” the circular saw is the only tool available”. I have been in a Lowe’s store within my metro area, which had the hammer drill, impact driver, as well as other units available. It should be noted that I bought the CMCF810B ( which is now an RP unit ) off of ebay, and that unit was assembled in Mexico. I have 3 CMCF820 impacts, as well as 4 CMCD721 hammer drills. I bought the CMCF810B to compliment the 3 CMCF820B units. I have Flex, M12, as well as V20 tools. I even have Skil 12 volt ( almost all ). I really like having the option to use what I want, when I want. I am fortunate in that I can afford to buy what I want. I really like all tools, and really love competition, because it breeds innovation. I do think that SBD has a marketing department that simply does not get it. Ryobi have been releasing super powerful tools at a good price. Craftsman is a brand that has a sweet spot in my heart, and I hope they get their house in order.
As far as the new line being released with “lower specs” as compared to the current line up, that’s what we call “Marketing Genius.” Why? Because in a few months they’ll introduce that higher performing tool as well, Higher Performing than the current line up. All they’ll do is add another LED, or change the location of it and make the over molding on the handle look different and throw it on the shelves. Brand it as RP+ or RP+P and hope it works.
But as I stated before, with 50+ brands and the different levels within those brands, it’s hard to tell what you are actually buying. That’s exactly why they need to have a factory rep at these stores.
Likely a supply base change, or Lowe’s pressure to hit certain price points and margin expectations or both. Either way, I wouldn’t underestimate the influence Lowe’s has in these decisions. SBD will show up to a line review with what they believe will work best in the marketplace given their brand positioning and current cost structure and the Lowe’s merchant team in some cases will toss that aside as for their own ideas that may sound good on paper to people in management that wield a pen more than a hammer but isn’t necessarily practical in the real world. All I’m saying is Lowe’s will drive these vendors to decisions they wouldn’t normally make by dictating specs and price points.
Make them in the USA with USA parts and game over!
I have several of the Craftsman tools, they are fine for DYI’s and the first high end models were just clones of DeWalt. I couldn’t pass up the clearance prices at Lowes and my favs are the 3/8 impact wrench I got for under $30 and the impact driver that was 1700 inch -lbs for under $50 with 4AH starter kit for free. The market is saturated with two many brands. I don’t see why anyone would buy Hart over Ryobi. I bought Porter Cable when they clearanced them out and they still work fine, but I wouldn’t buy them now since they are only left at Tractor Supply. The power tool wars will continue and some of us will save on clearance tool deals.