Craftsman comparison


#1

Has anyone done a comparison between Craftsman 20volt max and the C3 line?
I Know its comparing old and new but some folks ( like me) are heavily vested in the old line and revamping will be expensive. The old stem type batteries are still available and my tools have never let me down.


#2

I would not invest in the 20V Max line, Sears new line. As you have seen, Sears routinely recycles their lines these days, making replacement and expandability hard to count on. Even if they are serious about the 20V Max line, they may not be around in a few years to support it.

I would consider, when your C3 stuff bites the dust, switching to the Craftsman V20 line (the SBD Craftsman line sold at Lowes and some other places). SBD has shown a comparative ability to stick with one battery platform for several years on their DeWalt and B&D Lithium Ion tools, and I would expect the same for Craftsman.

That said, if you want the best chance of long term compatibility, Ryobi’s One+ 18V line is the choice. Prices are comparable to your C3 stuff, and they have used the same stem format packs for more than 20 years now, even dating back to the pre-Lithium Ion days. As far as I know, that’s longer than any other major tool brand’s existing 18 Volt battery platform. They are not the most powerful or technologically advanced tools on the market, but I’d say their mid-line is very comparable with C3.

All that said, if you like your C3 tools, they work for you, and you can get some existing batteries for them at a good price, I would go for it.


#3

I am 70 years old and love the best tools. However, buying for the future in a rapidly advancing world is a waste of money. Buy what you need, when you need it, using the best available information at the time. Making a decision before you need it, is a decision based on poor or wrong information for the time you will need it.


#4

Thanks jonesy my C3s work for me every day. I think I’ll stick with them till the cost or availability of batteries push me in another direction.


#5

Happy to read someone who believes the battery platform is important. I had Makita, Craftsman, B&D, and Worx tools, and got really fed up with different battery platforms. (I lobby for a universal battery platform every chance I get) So, I did my research on new battery operated tools with the goal of settling on 1 brand, mainly for battery interchangeability. The batteries I settled on were DeWalt, because the wisdom of the crowd say they are the best, most copied, and most likely not to change their interface. As a bonus, they plug into pretty good tools, too. I literally gave away or junked all my tools and went DeWalt. Now I can buy cheap “tool only” deals, not having to worry about batteries. I am not brand loyal, I will buy and use any tool that my DeWalt batteries fit! :wink:


#6

Yeah, if you have a reasonably diverse selection of tools, battery platform is everything. If you’ve got a drill, driver, and a single saw, it doesn’t matter as much because your tool replacement cost isn’t much more than your battery replacement cost. My hope at this point is that the major brands try to stick with their current interfaces for as long as possible, and if they have to change something, do like DeWalt did with FlexVolt and make them somewhat backwards compatible.

To me, Milwaukee’s shown that it can get basically everything that anyone would ever need out of an 18V platform with good cells – from ridiculously powered drills to table saws to weedwhackers. I’m sure a time will come in the future where some tool we haven’t even envisioned yet will demand a battery design revision, but at least at the moment, Ryobi’s, DeWalt’s, and Milwaukee’s decisions to stick with the same battery platform for several years while making progressively more and more powerful tools has me hopeful that they can continue with them for a long time in the future. I’m sure there are other brands out there that this can be said of as well, I’m just not as familiar with their offerings.

A few years ago I might have been concerned that Ryobi’s platform would have to eventually change as brushless tools came around, but with their somewhat recent release of the Lithium+ stuff on the same 20 year old format, I would still put them at the top of my list if I were a non-professional/homeowner or DIY guy (I am). The cost and diversity of Ryobi tools simply can’t be beat, and their performance is more than adequate for non-professional demands. While the build quality and total power isn’t the most robust, that doesn’t really matter as much if you’re not taking the stuff up on (and therefore potentially dropping the tools off of) ladders every day.


#7

I almost chose Milwaukee, and looked hard at Craftsman and Ryobi, but wasn’t as confident the batteries would be cheap and available as long as DeWalt.

You can get genuine 5ah DeWalt batteries for $57, and that’s hard to beat. There are so many DeWalts out there I think I’m safe for 10 years.