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Though we’re generally not fans of most Craftsman power tools, the C3 line has been a perennial best-bargain buy since its release, often selling for under $100 — with a free light. If you’re one of the many who invested in the 19.2V series to get started, you’ll be as pleased as I was to hear that Sears plans to offer a C3-compatible 19.2V lithium-ion pack for $70 starting in 2008.

This is a quite large pack — the same form factor as your current Ni-Cd pack — which means it should really pack some juice inside with the new chemistry. Sears claims a 295% performance increase and a 40% longer shelf life — plus a 20% lighter weight. These claims are in line with a Ni-Cd to li-ion shift, so I tend to believe ’em.

Regardless, you’ll have to wait just a little longer before picking one of these up for yourself. While they’re already listed on the Sears website, they’re “temporarily out of stock for delivery” — which means you’ll probably see ’em sometime in January.

DieHard 19.2V Li-Ion Battery Pack [Sears]

 

7 Responses to Preview: Sears Brings Li-Ion To C3 Series Cordless

  1. Toolaremia says:

    I’ve bought a bunch of the C3 stuff and am very happy with it. I started with their very good hammer drill, two batteries, and charger for *$90*. That was a total steal. Then I added the recipro saw for $50 and the sabre saw for $30. Replacement batteries are under $30, though since the are NiCads, they should last a long time and take all kinds of abuse. Really, it’s hard to beat the C3 stuff with a stick if you are a weekend user. And I say that as the owner of an old 9.6V 9000-series Makita drill still going strong.

    Because the NiCds are so cheap, charge so quickly, and last so long, I’m unlikely to get this LiIo battery unless I just have a gadget freak-out one day in the store…

  2. Brian says:

    Thats interesting news. I wonder if the li-ion batteries have problems charging when they get hot like my 19.2 ni cads. I noticed a lot of similarities between the 19.2 and the ryobi one+ line (maybe this is old news), even down to the nearly identical battery charger mounting. I figured craftsman either copied or borrowed from the design of the ryobi line. Im guessing this new battery will need a different charger as well? The best news from this new battery imo, is that it sounds like the 19.2 line will continue to be supported for a while longer.

  3. George says:

    the ryobi and craftsman are the same thing

  4. Alex says:

    Sears cemented a contract with Techtronic Industries in 1987 (the company was two years old) and made them into a manufacturing powerhouse. Now thanks to Sears, not only do they make Craftsman C3 (not the Craftsman Professional line), but they also make Ryobi, Milwaukee, and Ridgid (yes, Ridgid). You will need a new battery charger for the lithiums, and they are set to come to stores in January.

  5. Ted Sevick says:

    I do contracting with TGIF and Logan’s in the Altanta area and have been known to abuse my tools. I never had anything that lasted more than 6 months. That would include Skil, Boush, B&D, Ryobi and Makita. The only thing I had to replace so far on the C3 is the batteries and I replace the chucks as soon as I buy a drill. You can never have less that 3 drills. The only flaw I see in the drills are the chucks. I get the drill combo sets because it’s almost as cheap as buying batteries alone. The EX batteries were the problem for me but the Diehards are lasting MUCH longer. I wish the recipricating saw had a better Variable speed contol and that they would come out with a 4″ grinder.
    I’m glad to see that they are not changing the batteries and just up-grading un-like everyone else has. I worried about buying the C3 because so many of them have changed and then you have to go out and buy a whole new system. Keep a good thing going please!
    I have always used Craftsman hand tool but never liked the power tools because they are or were B&D or Dewalt.
    The C3 system is impressing me and hope it continues into the future!
    PS Why don’t Ryobi parts work with the C3 system?

  6. Randy says:

    I’ve started my C3 tool series and have been very impressed with the performance that i’ve got. I’m saving to upgrade to the new Lithium battery’s after reading about the technology. I’d really like to see a C3 4″grinder come out soon…it would make a very useful tool for my use.

  7. Dave Gustavson says:

    Ted, what kind of chucks do you replace with, and where do you find them? I too find the C3 chucks problematic. I can’t get them tight enough not to slip.

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