Now that we've had a chance to play with the Craftsman V20 Brushless Hammer Drill (CMCD721) a bit, it's time to figure out exactly where it fits in the tool world. Craftsman is a brand of Stanley Black & Decker along with DeWalt, Stanley and Black+Decker. Rumored to replace Porter-Cable and take up a lot of space at Lowe's, is it a Pro, Prosumer or DIY brand?
- Professional-Grade Features and Design
- Professional speed
- lightweight design
- value for money
- Compact low torque
The Craftsman CMCD721 V20 Brushless Hammer Drill has a fairly standard professional-grade design and feature set. The handle design is very similar to the DeWalt's, with nice curves and comfortable overmolding.
Here is the full list of features:
- 2-speed brushless motor
- 1/2" ratcheting metal chuck
- 14 clutch settings plus drill and hammer drill modes
- Forward/lock/reverse rocker switch
- LED work light mounted above the battery
- double sided belt hook
The only standout missing feature is the assist handle. At low speeds, you may need to use it on some applications. There is no bit holder either. It's really no big deal, though.
As bare metal, the drills weigh 2.7 lbs and 3.5 lbs, respectively, and come with a 2.0 Ah battery pack. That's pretty reasonable for the compact Pro and Prosumer models, and a bit lighter than its closest competitors.
Craftsman Hammer Drill Performance
The Craftsman V20 Brushless Hammer Drill boasts a legal, professional-grade 2100 RPM no-load speed. Its hammer drill hit rate was also solid at 35,700. What about torque?
Well, here we go again – output 400 unit watts. I get the argument for using that value, but no one outside of Stanley Black & Decker uses it, so it's useless as a comparison. However, I will do my best.
DeWalt's DCD797 compact hammer drill has 460 UWO, while their DCD795 compact hammer drill has 360. Thanks to our friends across the pond, we know they're 620 and 531 inch-pounds of torque, respectively. Craftsman's 400 UWO is somewhere in between, so we can reasonably estimate it to be around 560 – 570 inch pounds, more or less.
This is definitely on the compact side when you consider the professional market. Even in DeWalt's line of brands, these are compact hammer drill numbers, not premium models that can push 800+ inch-pounds, while other brands have 1200+ lb models.
Check out Ryobi, their P1813 Brushless Hammer Drill delivers 750 in-lbs of torque at 1800 RPM. On the DIY side, Black+Decker's 20V Max BDCDHP220 has 412 in-lbs and 1500 RPM.
Craftsman seems to really spec between the Prosumer level and the compact Pro level.
Drilling with a Craftsman CMCD721 Rotary Hammer
Craftsman lists some recommended capacities for the CMCD721 Hammer Drill as follows:
- Twist: 1/2″
- Paddle bit: 1-1/4″
- Hole saw: 2″
- Concrete: 1/4″
Given that these are just suggestions, and I have some really nice accessories, I've put some of them a little further. Not surprisingly, the V20 can handle augers up to 1/2" with relative ease, and it's extremely fast.
I turned to my Bosch Daredevil Spade Bit kit and started drilling at high speed, I pushed it to 1" and then it started having problems on the exit. Once on low speed, I was able to drill 1-1/2" in PT pine all the way to the top of my range.
In the same PT pine I drilled with a 3" Bosch Daredevil hole saw. However, once you move beyond 2" holes, the lack of a secondary handle starts to make low speed boring a bit dangerous.
I thought concrete would be a bigger challenge than it proved to be. The hammer drill's 35,700 BPM melts concrete with just a 1/4-inch Bosch multi-purpose bit. I was really impressed, I put the largest bit in the drill (3/8 inch) and the drill performed brilliantly.
Craftsman Hammer Drill Prices and Values
At $119 for the bare tool (CMCD721B) and $179 for the kit with two 2.0 Ah batteries (CMCD721D2), I think the Craftsman V20 Brushless Hammer Drill has DIY-level pricing. You can also buy a combo kit with a Craftsman brushless impact driver for $249.
Check out what some competitive pricing looks like.
- Ryobi P1813 Brushless Hammer Drill: $149 kit with 4.0 Ah battery
- DeWalt DCD797 Brushless Hammer Drill: $169 bare, $219 kit with two 2.0 Ah batteries
- Milwaukee 2902 Compact Brushless Hammer Drill: $119 bare, $229 with two 4.0 Ah batteries
- Black+Decker BDCDHP220SB-2 Cordless Drill/Driver: $94.54 with two 1.5 Ah batteries
In this pricing structure, the Craftsman is clearly above the DIY level, but not as high as DeWalt's XR model. Interestingly, you can get Milwaukee's compact brushless model for about the same price as a bare tool. You'll pay more for the kit, but you get twice the battery capacity.
As far as you go in terms of performance, I'd really like to see Craftsman be more competitive with Ryobi.
the bottom line
Overall, the Craftsman seems best suited for the prosumer market considering design, performance, and pricing. The fact that this is its top-of-the-line model does limit how far it can go into the professional market, but there's some entry-level potential there.
What might give some users pause is the $30 premium over the Ryobi. However, it's still an excellent value when you look at performance and price across the 18V/20V environment.
Craftsman CMCD721 Hammer Drill Features
- Proudly Made in the USA in Charlotte, NC using global materials
- Part of the V20 cordless system
- Brushless motor provides up to 60% run time and increased durability
- 1/2" metal ratchet chuck for improved bit retention
- LED lights improve visibility in dark work areas
Craftsman V20 Brushless Hammer Drill Specifications
- Models: Craftsman CMCD721D2 (Kit), CMCD721B (Bare)
- Power: Craftsman V20 20V Max battery pack
- Chuck Size: 1/2″
- No-load speed: 0 – 600/0 – 2100 RPM
- Blow rate: 35,700 BPM
- Maximum torque: 400 UWO
- Clutch settings: 14 plus drill and hammer drill
- Weight: 2.7 lbs bare, 3.5 lbs with 2.0 Ah battery
- Length: 7.99″
- Height: 7.76″
- Warranty: 3 years
- Price: $119 bare, $179 kit with two 2.0 Ah batteries, $249 combo kit with brushless impact driver