Why should you consider buying the Craftsman cordless drill or impact drill, as opposed to forking over the dough for a DeWalt drill, Makita Cordless, or perhaps a Milwaukee impact, or maybe a portable and lightweight Bosch driver, or, or, or...
If you're a younger guy, then perhaps you don't have quite the same feelings about Sears' products that others do and aren't as familiar with their lineage and history. Regardless, this aspect of the brand still carries some weight, especially for the more astute and informed “craftsman.” It makes sense, then, for us to either remind you or be the first to tell you that Craftsman has long been a trusted and reputable brand and for good reasons. When I was a very young lad, I remember hearing more than just a few people talk about how Craftsman products were the only tools they'd ever buy and, not only that, would often offer the reasons why without being prompted to do so.
Their logic was based primarily on quality and warranty.
Sears Craftsman products have long held the “lifetime” guarantee, to always be useable or replaceable for, basically ITS lifetime. I cannot testify to the truth of whether or not its actually acceptable to bring in an old Craftsman hand tool that belonged to your grandpa and have it replaced with a new one, but I can say for a fact that I have heard something along these lines happen before.
Does this mean that to buy a Craftsman cordless drill guarantees one a replacement upon breakage or wearing out? No, that wouldn't be fair to the company, now would it? It is, after all, an electric tool with parts that cannot possibly outlast the user—unless said user is perhaps a daredevil who jumps canyons regularly.
So, what exactly does this have to do with today's Craftsman tools and drills? That's easy. Look at their pedigree. Pedigree basically means the historical line of where today's Craftsman products come from: Sears Roebuck & Co.—tools with a foundation of quality backed by a strong warranty. This warranty was capable of success because of the actual, genuine quality their tools possessed, and this was by design—a purposeful move by the company's leadership to establish and later cement the image of both the Craftsman brand as well as the company itself—which was the largest success, in truth. In short, this early foundation for quality has no doubt long been a part of the company's blood, which continues to this day in the Craftsman brand.
Just for example, compare this to the very popular and known name of Stanley. My dad actually owned more Stanley tools than he did Craftsman tools, and over the course of my life, I believe that I have as well. Is this because Stanley enjoys a better reputation for quality and warranty than Craftsman? No, I do not view it this way, nor does anyone I know. I've never heard, for example, anyone speaking about their high quality or amazing return/replacement policy. The reason for their success in my perception is more about their focus on quantity, marketing, and affordable price for an acceptable product. Stanley isn't what I would call a “cheap” product, but it's definitely affordable, widely available, and the quality is not bad at all.
Simply ask your dad or grandpa which tool set they'd rather have if it was free, Stanley or Craftsman, and I think the answer would be the latter 99% of the time. In my opinion, a lot of this quality has carried over from the old says so that alone can help you to decide if you're still on the fence about which tool to buy, the Craftsman cordless drill, or another.
Which Craftsman Drills Are Best
If you've made up your mind to pick up one of these drills from Sears after all, then let's take a quick look at a few different types: the cordless impact wrench, cordless drill, and lightweight cordless drill.
First—because it's what we focus on—let's look at the Craftsman cordless impact wrench.
The Craftsman C3 ½” Heavy Duty Impact Wrench
We chose this particular Craftsman impact wrench primarily because of its high rating. On Amazon, it enjoys an average of 4.5 stars out of five, which is excellent. Furthermore, this excellent quality tool not only enjoys high customer satisfaction but also sports a very attractive price tag for those whose desire is to find the best value. At the time of this writing, it was priced at $159.46 and available here.
Weight: The C3 1/2” checks it at 7.4 pounds and, while not light, it is not surprising since it is indeed an impact wrench. If you're looking for something lighter, then jump ahead in this article to the lightweight Craftsman drill, or check back for our article about the lightweight Bosch impact wrench.
Voltage: 19.2. Around the time of this writing, it's still rather common to see that most of the main go-to tools are around the 18-20 volt range. This Craftsman impact wrench packs a bit more than 18 with 19.2 and is a far cry from the 12-14 volt range.
Power Source: Rechargeable Battery. Unlike traditional impacts, this one sets itself neatly into the unique category of cordless impact wrenches. No need to lug around an air tank and hoses—just grab your battery, drill, and go.
Battery Type: Lithium Ion, 4Ah, Multi-Chemistry. Needless to say, the L.I. Battery has become the standard these days, so it is the power source of choice for the C3 1/2”. The added benefit of today's tech combined with the Li Ion battery is that you get a better lifespan out of it, as well as per-use time AND power. With the additional technology of “multi-chemistry,” the Craftsman cordless drill offers a little extra dependability and value. The battery is engineered to not only be strong and long-lasting but will also operate in extreme high or low temperatures.
Extra Mentions: LED Lights. This impact comes with three built-in LED lights to make your tasks more efficient and hands-free when you don't have the luxury of good—or any—lighting.
Torque: 300 pounds per foot. For most applications, this is more than enough to get the job done, especially for the do-it-yourselfer.
Speed: 0-3,000 RPM/IPM. The impact is variable-speed, from zero (of course) all the way up to 3,000 revolutions per minute.
NOTE: The single drill unit DOES NOT come with a battery and charger. You must order the KIT if you want to get the drill, battery, and charger together.
Customer Rating via Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars from 22 customers—90% satisfaction—an excellent rating! (this rating is for the entire KIT, not just the drill itself).
Original Product Description Below (taken from Amazon):
“Don't get tied down with cords and hoses, experience battery operated freedom without losing power, with the Craftsman C3 19.2-Volt XCP Impact Wrench Kit! Perfect for the garage or automotive user, power is the key word when it comes to this Impact Wrench Kit. The robust motor provides 0-3,000 RPM/IPM. This motor also boasts a beastly 300 ft-lbs. of torque. Break-free the tightest nuts and drive the thickest bolts with ease. Heavy duty? No problem. The included 4Ah XCP lithium-ion battery takes this kit to the extreme. XCP technology delivers more power while increasing torque by 20%. Not to mention, XCP adds up to 4x longer run time over a ni-cd battery, all while providing better tool performance. To top it all off, this battery can operate in extreme weather conditions from 5 all the way up 158 degrees. When it's time to charge the battery, the included multi-chemistry charger will have you back to work in no time! The 3 built-in LED lights shine bright for maximum visibility. The micro-texture over mold grip increases comfort and control. This Impact Wrench is not just powerful, but convenient, flashy, and comfortable to use. Time to get the job done right! Unleash the power of Craftsman C3 and XCP with the Craftsman C3 19.2-Volt XCP Lithium-Ion Impact Wrench Kit! Powerful Motor produces 0-3,000 RPM for tightening or loosening nuts and bolts 4 Amp-hour XCP Lithium-Ion Battery Pack provides up to 4x run time, up to 20% more torque 1/2-in. Square Anvil with detent pin retention Up to 3,000 Impacts per minute Up to 300 ft-lbs. of torque for heavy duty applications Built-in 3-LED Lights illuminates dark work areas to maximize visibility Micro-texture over mold grip for added user comfort and improved tactile control.”