Stanley Black & Decker battery compatibility and the new Craftsman battery

Recently a photo of the new Craftsman Battery terminals was posted which appears to show yet another battery configuration with switched polarity but the same 4 connector terminal as the other SB&D lines. I’ve attached an image here:.

While I never got caught up in the 18V to 20V Porter Cable switch, I did however buy a 20V Stanley FatMax Hammer drill at Walmart which is still working well today and later on buying a 20V Porter Cable drill and impact driver. I also have a 20V B&D weed eater. I bought the B&D weed eater after realizing I could make the batteries work from the Stanley and the PC which are the easiest batteries to get to work on other SB&D lines.

While I understand SB&D wanting to maximize profit and other reasons for making batteries not work among the low-tier lines (non-DeWalt lines), I also think they are hurting themselves by not making batteries compatible among these lines since you can’t buy a Porter Cable weed eater, etc among different lines. I fear with the new Craftsman tools coming out the 20V Porter Cable line will be killed off along with the easiest battery to modify (or tool modify) to get to work among along these lines. I assume the 20V Porter Cable batteries will still be available for a while to come.

I assume the new Craftsman line based on what we have seen will be positioned from high to low tier and will offer tools with a complete like Ryobi with everything. i.e. - I have not seen a 20V B&D wet/dry vac like Porter Cable, DeWalt and Ryobi. Nor have I seen a 20V Porter Cable weed eater, etc.

It’s just the abandonment issue with the constant changing of batteries and lines that drives customers elsewhere. After introducing the Stanley Fatmax tools in the USA at Walmart, etc. (copies of Porter Cable). SB&D decided to stop the Stanley Fatmax 20V line in the USA. Now they have the B&D line and 20V Bostitch line at Walmart but for how long?

Oh Well at least they are moving some manufacturing to the USA.

Les, if there is one thing SBDC has done that I think has hurt them vs Milwaukee is the battery issue. B&D, FatMax, Bostitch, Craftsman, PC, and DeWalt? Good lord. How does anyone keep it straight.?

I suspect with the new Craftsman brand under theeir belt they will focus all their homeowner and light commercial tools under that banner. And the outdoor power equipment as well. Since PC didn’t have OPE under its marque there is little chance SBDC will make an adapter. I have not looked at them but are the pinouts different between all the brands? Seems like DeWalt had 5 pins and the rest had 4. Is that right? I am guessing from your post that the new Craftsman batteries are differently pinned to the others.

I think SBDC should get rid of them all except for B&D, Craftsman and DeWalt. And make adapters to use the new Craftsman batts on any of the old models.

All of the others (PC, B&D, Bostitch, Stanley Fatmax, etc) have the same 4-pin connection with the same polarity. They just make them not work with plastic tabs on top of the batteries, slots on the tools, and plastic slots on the sides. They are all easily modifiable except for the B&D batteries due to the slanted plastic on the side. The Craftsman battery however it appears they have reversed the polarity which will probably cause more problems for SB&D if there is no protection with people trying batteries from there other lines.

I did not realize that the new cheaper small chargers they ship with the B&D and Porter Cable now are pretty much universal except for the slot at the top for the battery tabs which some batteries do not have. I’m sure they are slower chargers though. I just modified my Porter Cable charger to accept the B&D batteries. It was very easy.
It was the PCC692L model.
If you open it up there is a small plastic stop that needs to be removed since the B&D batteries do not have a tab on top to get in the way,

I basically modified my Stanley and other Porter Cable chargers as well but this one with this design was the simplest, The batteries with tabs on top will still need to be shaved down, but as far as I’ve seen the B&D and PC batteries no longer have these tabs on top like the Stanley Fatmax did and the Bostitch now.

I would have been nice if they choose the same non-reversed polarity for the Craftsman so then everyone that has invested in PC batteries could use them. It would also make it more likely I would invest in the Craftsman line.
BTW - I think SB&D has many more lines or names they make that use this same battery pin configuration as I think I’ve seen a few others besides Bostitch, Stanley FatMax(overseas now), B&D, and Porter Cable.

I keep thinking about upgrading to Milwaukee, Dewalt, Rigid, etc. and get rid of what I have but that’s a lot of $$$. I’d rather pay $60 for the Porter Cable wet/dry vac than $100 for the Dewalt one because I don’t think there is that much difference and I’m cheap.

I wondered how they were going to muck that up. I too am disheartened by the oddity of all the configurations of SBD battery choices and uses. I sort of get keeping them seperate and I know there is a output/capacity difference with respect to the dewalt batteries. but it would have been nice to have some commonality.

Admittedly there is no commonality between the TTI brands - Milwaukee, ridgid, ryobi or elsewhere. So SBD isn’t really alone here. I have seen where people make adapters between some of the various pieces and supposedly it is an easy adapter between the Dewalt battery and the PC/BD setup. but it is an extra piece.

either way I sort of hope the PC cordless stuff goes away and they become the corded - prosumer line woodwork tool again.

“I sort of hope the PC cordless stuff goes away and they become the corded - prosumer line woodwork tool again.” - Well crap on the PC owners twice from 18V to 20V battery configuration change and then completely drop them - I hope not.
I know it’s not as good as DeWalt in all tool categories, but I don’t want to pay DeWalt prices on everything even though they have become a lot cheaper especially compared to some things in Milwaukee’s lineup.
I don’t see SB&D making it any clearer and will continue to blur the lines. I think they will continue to push out B&D at the bottom tier. Bostitch line will most likely continue on at Walmart and elsewhere? Will Porter Cable continue at Lowes? IDK - I hope it doesn’t die. But with the new Craftsman line it appears they are blurring the lines from top DeWalt to Porter Cable to B&D, etc. over all the tiers. Is the top of the line craftsman going to be as good as the best DeWalt? or are they going to short change it a little so the DeWalt is still better?
It’s a mess but I wish they would have made the batteries similar so they would work.

well not quite what I meant there. But What I probably should have typed - our MAC tool rep made a comment the other day saying that the reason you see the MAC cordless tools - Powered by Dewalt - is because in marketing they were planning on making Dewalt the premier cordless tool line and be cordless only. SO I extended that to think golly it would be nice if they would tailer PC back to what they used to be known for. Quality woodworking tools. and I guess to some degree metal fab tools.

The PC cordless stuff you have now is a different bodied dewalt tool that runs a less capable battery - and thus limited current draw. I too wanted to see the craftsman stuff be interchangeable with the current PC stuff. If for no reason than to have the expansion.

I bet it’s an easy thing to swap the pins on that battery. Little surprised they went so far as to trade out the polarity.

I have read that about Porter Cable wood working tools, etc. But as far as I know it’s been gone for some time and once you should down that manufacturing and expertise and the skilled workers, engineers, tool designers are gone it maybe hard to bring it back.
Stuart probably mentioned this and I didn’t read it but it appears Sears will keep it’s Craftsman line and SB&D is creating a separate Craftsman line. It’s as if SB&D only bought the Craftsman name to put it on their own products. Which makes all this even more confusing

I’m just waiting for SB&D to buy TTI to get Milwaukee, Rigid, Ryobi, etc and then Harbor Freight so they have all their bases covered :wink:

I think it had something to do with sears using the craftsman name on some many different products they sold it to SBD and retain the right to continue to sell craftsman stuff for some years. I think 10. It’s not said but I wonder how much of that has to do with contracts still open for supply of devices with craftsman naming.

Doesn’t mean they will actually come out with a new tool line per se.

Just for grins here is Porter-Cable = Stanley Fatmax overseas if you haven’t seen them:

There is also the Facom line:

Les, pretty interesting stuff. I guess SBDC knows what they want but it sure makes it difficullt for us. It looks like PC may be shuffled out of the picture. At least at Lowes. There are some posts by guys at Toolguyd blog saying most of the PC stuff at their stores is being discounted.

I don’t really know what/where/how they will settle all this but it doesn’t serve the U.S. consumer all that well and right now we are their biggest cordlesss consumer. And I don’t really get their whole schtick with the entry level tools. Nobody buys batteties for the B&D drills anyway. You just wind up buying new tools. We have a 20v B&D drill at our church. Someone lost the charger. Menard’s had a nearly identical drill with battery and charger on sale a few weeks ago for 19.99. So we got a new battery, charger, and back up drill for 20 bucks. The charger alone was more than that online. It just doesn’t make sense.

I had forgotten SBDC had their hooks in Facom as well. You can easily see the SBDC dna in all the tools. And the tough system cases too. I just hope SBDC settles this whole battery business soon.

Regardless of the Craftsman brand ownership, I think it’s just stupid that the new 20V Craftsman stuff is incompatible with the old. Do you realize that means there are now THREE 20V Craftsman product lines, all incompatible with each other? There was a 20V “Professional” line that was already discontinued.

Does the polarity configuration of this new 20V Craftsman line match the Dewalt 20V Max? That would seem weird, but who knows what they’re thinking.

I was at Lowe’s today and asked about whether Porter Cable 20V line is going away and they don’t know. I was told the Porter Cable line outsells the Kobalt line and he suspected the new Craftsman 20V line to replace the Kobalt line. The old Porter Cable brushed combo was marked $129 clearance, but no where to found. I’m seeing the brushless combo at $135 on Amazon and other places while it’s $149 at Lowe’s. I’m watching the prices and may grab a brushless combo if it goes lower and look for some big Porter Cable batteries maybe even 3rd party 4-6AmpH.
I’d like the Craftsman top of the line brushless combo that’s $250, but I can’t use the batteries on anything else which kills it for me.
I think I was told Lowe’s already has some the 20V Craftsman line but has not put them out yet.

Les, I think Lowes corporate has issued some kind of generic gag order about P-C vs Craftsman. I was at the store closest to me(30 miles away) and point blank asked one of the more helpful clerks if he new when or if the Craftsman stuff was coming and what was going to happen to P-C. He told me somethjng to the effect they were to tell us ‘they don’t know’. About either situation. I just hope the crap situation with Sears’ Craftsman lineup ends soon. The bankruptcy filing should tell anyone considering buying anything there to forget about it. Fast Eddie and gang are likely divying up the most plum parts of what’s left to absorb into their own portfolios. I really don’t want to see a as seen on tv version of ‘craftsman tools’ anytime soon. Who knows what those chowder heads will cook up. It’s bad enough rhat SBDC is introducing yet another battery ecosystem as it is.

BTW, I was wrong ^^^. There aren’t THREE incompatible Craftsman 20V tools. There are FOUR!

  1. Craftsman Professional 20V (Discontinued)
  2. Craftsman Bolt-on 20V Max (fully compatible with B&D 20V Max)
  3. Craftsman V20 (New line from SBD)
  4. Craftsman 20V Max Die Hard (New line probably manufactured by TTI)

What a mess. You might think #4 above will go away quickly with the demise of Sears, but I wonder if the “Craftsman by Sears” brand could be sold in bankruptcy and someone else will continue to sell it.

I think it’s obvious that SB&D wants us to just toss our old tools and buy new ones with new batteries. At least I didn’t get caught up in the first Porter Cable battery change. I bought a Stanley FatMax 20V they killed in the USA and then the Porter Cable stuff. I’ll probably keep some of the Porter Cable stuff since I can use the batteries in B&D stuff. I’m even tempted in maybe picking up a few items that seem to be going away.
Well it seems Porter Cable is down to 1/2 shelf at Lowe’s now with a huge long shelf for all the new Craftsman stuff. Several items at Lowe’s like the Porter Cable Wet/Dry vacuum seem to be no longer stocked.
The craftsman stuff seems to be a fair value, but I don’t see a kit with the top of line impact with the top of the line hammer drill. But I’m really tired of the battery and Tool line games. I got Home Depot gift cards for Xmas so maybe it’s time to switch to a TTI brand like Ridgid, Milwaukee, or even Ryobi. :-/
I’m not up to speed on all the Milwaukee or Ridgid lingo though - Red Lithium batteries, Fuel. Gen 5X, etc. to know which ones are the best for the money.
I can understand Sears problems with 4 different batteries because they didn’t really make the tools themselves.

When it comes to SBD brands, I think B&D, DeWalt, and maybe now Craftsman are the surest bets for platform longevity. DeWalt seems to have embraced the Max system, even going so far as to make some chargers and radios compatible with different voltage systems (12v, 20v, Flexvolt). B&D is a budget brand that changed with the times as their old 12v/14.4v/18v/etc NiCad systems grew outdated, and from what I’ve seen their tools are modern and functional, if not top tier.

The other lower-tiered brands such as Bostitch (both the 18v WalMart and 20v Max mailers), PC, and Fatmax aren’t worth risking investment in. Porter Cable was perhaps the second-tier line behind DeWalt but they seem to be facing internal competition by Craftsman now, which already has a much bigger presence at Lowe’s than PC ever had.

TTI got it right, in my opinion, by embracing the older battery designs Ryobi and Ridgid already used, in turn enabling 18v users from either system to use tools for over a decade. While Milwaukee has changed from V18 to M18, I feel as though that was mostly the result of early adoption of Li-Ion batteries before the technology was refined.

In other words, professional brands like DeWalt amd Milwaukee shouldn’t be changed too often, but increased usage and wear coupled with a need/desire for better technology makes it understandable if the platform is updated every so often. Lesser tiered brands benefit best from longevity, especially as most homeowners will find themselves replacing the battery two or three times before they do the tool itself. I acquired an old blue Ryobi drill from the father-in-law (he switched to DeWalt after seeing my screwgun in use). I have no need to use it, but I know that it will work with and of the Lithium+ or HP batteries I own.

There’s a really simple solution to all this battery polarity jargon… Take your bad/depleted battery pack and rebuild it with new cells, if that is an option you’re not comfortable with, batteries plus will rebuild it for you, and you can select the cells you want used, turn your 2 AH pack into a 4 AH pack simply by using better cells, I’ve done this with my B&D matrix, and couldn’t be happier with the results.