Tom sent in a tip that new Craftsman cordless power tools popped up on Sears’ website. (Thank you, Tom!)
I took a look, and yes, Sears has come out with a new Craftsman 20V Max cordless drill and impact driver combo kit. It’s model CK202A, item 00921417000, if you want to search for it.
The drill is said to deliver up to 300 in-lbs of torque, and the kit comes with a “charging station” that “notifies you when the battery is charged and ready for action.”
“No project is too hard now with this kit from Craftsman.”
The combo kit is currently “on sale” for ~$125.
There’s a September 7, 2018 customer question about whether replacement batteries are available. Sears’ response:
Yes, this will be available soon on sears.com December first week. #46530 only battery, #12882 Battery with charger.
This is important, because it suggests that this might be just one new offering from a new Sears Craftsman 20V Max cordless power tool platform.
This concerns me, for three reasons.
First, what about Craftsman C3 19.2V users? Will Sears maintain two cordless power tool platforms?
Second, what happens if the lineup doesn’t sell well over the upcoming holiday season? Will they abandon it, just like they did their Craftsman V4 lineup?
You remember Craftsman V4, right? They’re the tools that launched in the Fall of 2011 and were on clearance by December. I haven’t seen any replacement batteries after initial sales floor supplies sold out.
Third, in my opinion, this will surely confuse customers.
Shown here are some of the new Stanley Black & Decker Craftsman cordless power tools.
Here’s a side-by-side of Sears and Stanley Black & Decker Craftsman drill/driver offerings.
The batteries look different, and have DieHard branding.
But two lines of 20V Max (Sears just says 20V) cordless power tool platforms, completely incompatible with each other?
Sears will sell their Craftsman 20V Max cordless power tools, and Lowes will sell Stanley Black & Deckers. But, Amazon is also said to be an upcoming online retailer partner that will also sell Stanley Black & Decker’s Craftsman tools.
In today’s deal of the day at Amazon, there is a selection of Sears Craftsman tools on sale, and they’re sold and shipped by Amazon directly.
What will happen if Amazon carries these tools?
Most enthusiast users will know the difference. But there will likely be instances where the general public is confused. What happens when someone receives a tool kit for the holidays and buys a bare tool a year down the line? A battery? A charger? An expansion tool kit? And they find out that it’s not compatible with theirs? Oh boy.
Looking closer at the labeling, the Craftsman brand appears to be a badge recessed into the drill’s housing. To me, this suggests that it’s not a Sears Craftsman design, but perhaps a general design that is given Craftsman branding.
I cannot find like-designed tools online, nor can I match the battery pack design with other known designs. Meaning, I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.
I’m at a loss of what to think about this.
Sears sued TTI, one of their cordless power tool suppliers. Chervon, their other main cordless power tool partner, just launched their own cordless power tool lineup under the Skil brand they purchased from Bosch 2 years ago. Stanley Black & Decker, which made Sears’ Craftsman Bolt-On lineup, probably doesn’t have the capacity to manufacturer tools for anyone else right now, seeing as they’ve got plenty of new Craftsman tools to stock Lowes stores with.
So, it seems that Sears went with another OEM, presumably one that they haven’t sued yet. But which one?
Shown here is a generic-branded cordless drill, from an Alibaba listing. Can you see what the square recessed brand badge and (presumably) stickered battery has me thinking?
Are these new Sears Craftsman cordless tools – the drill and impact driver, and any other tools they have planned – designed and built especially for Sears and their Craftsman brand, or did they slap their brand on off-the-shelf offerings that they asked to be made in a red and black color scheme?
Here’s another cordless drill that’s available on Alibaba.
With a minimum order, you can work with the factory to get customized colors, branding, and packaging.
Here’s another one.
And here’s the new Sears Craftsman 20V Max drill with DieHard battery pack.
I’m really not looking forward to the types of emails I might receive down the road. “I bought a Craftsman 20V tool/battery/charger, and it won’t fit my other Craftsman 20V tool/battery/charger, what’s going on?”
Why, Sears, why? How could this possibly be a good idea?!
Thank you to Tom for the tip!