The medium-class 18 to 24 volt cordless drill seems to be a consumer favorite right now, especially if the drill in question is lithium-ion-powered. Craftsman’s professional 20V lands squarely in this popular price/performance zone, though we’ve found Craftsman drills to be hit-and-miss when it comes to power and quality. So we put this one to the test. Read on past the jump to find out how it fared.
Not surprisingly, Craftsman stuck with their good ‘ole red color scheme with this drill and it’s assorted gear, and it looks good — though the bulky battery brick doesn’t seem to match the rest of the kit’s flash. Of course, testing isn’t about how the drill looks, so we thought no more about it.
Pulling the tools out of the box we discovered that the charger is prominently marked with the SmartCharge trademark — meaning that the charger will shut off after 50 minutes of charging. We gave a little chuckle when we spied the DieHard logo emblazoned on the side of the brick — oh yeah, you know you’ve been to Sears.
The set also includes a huge, soft-sided bag that holds the drill, batteries, the charger and still has room for tons of extra gear. You might think this is just a case of a the bag being too big for the drill, but we prefer to think of it as room to stow a crapload of other tools along with your drill/driver system.
The charger features a built-in cord wrap — a nice change from the shop norm of stuffing the cord behind charger in the hopes you don’t have to look at it. An actual button on the batteries lights up the charge indicator — no need to try to mess with a divot in the plastic that makes you feel button-impaired. Four red LEDs tell you how much juice is left.
We were pleased to see a 1/2″ keyless metal chuck that feels super solid. It’s not an advertised feature, but it should be. It’s also easy to grip, and you can put force on it even with a gloved hand. The clutch ring is located right behind the chuck and sports 22 positions as well as the familiar direct-lock drill position.
Read on to page two for our in-use experiences.