Craftsman V20 Cordless PowerFile Review CMCW211

Craftsman’s battery-powered V20 system features over 100 solutions, with products ranging from power tools to OPE, and even some DIY and lifestyle products. The Craftsman V20 PowerFile fits into a few of these categories, coming in handy for woodworkers, DIYers, and homeowners alike. I got my hands on this tool to see what it has to offer and what types of work it will benefit.


  • Three speed modes
  • Dust extractor compatibility
  • Well-balanced


  • Brushed motor

Craftsman V20 PowerFile Performance

Craftsman PowerFile sandpaper
  • Model: Craftsman CMCW211B
  • Sanding width: 1/4-inch – 3/4-inch
  • Speed: 0 – 3950 FPM
  • Three speed modes
  • Variable speed trigger

The Craftsman PowerFile is a small detail belt sander that lets you remove material in tight spaces at any angle. Compared to an orbital sander or even a traditional belt sander, this tool’s long, narrow sanding arm allows you to sand small and intricate areas of your workpiece.

Craftsman PowerFile Variable Speed Dial

The V20 PowerFile achieves sanding speeds of up to 3,950 FPM, with three speed modes to choose from. Additionally, a variable speed trigger lets you dial in your speed even further for the task at hand

While it does have a brushed motor, it also has a comparatively low price point ($99) to similar tools from other brands. For example, Ryobi’s 18V PSD101 1/2-inch belt sander runs for $189, and it also has a brushed motor. Despite the price difference, the Craftsman PowerFile beats Ryobi’s top speed by more than 1800 FPM.

Craftsman V20 PowerFile Design

Sanding Arm Installation
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 17 x 6.1 x 5.2 inches
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds bare; 3.8 pounds with battery
  • Tool-free adjustment
  • Lock-on/Lock-off buttons
  • One-touch control
  • Dust extractor compatible

This tool has a bare weight of 2.3 pounds, and when you add in a 2.0Ah battery, that brings your working weight to around 3.8 pounds.

Craftsman included two different sanding arms for this tool— a straight arm and and offset arm. The straight arm is for sanding flat surfaces and the offset arm lets you contour around curved surfaces like table legs.

Switching between these sanding arms is simple and tool-free. All you need to do is unscrew the belt tracking knob on the right-hand side of the tool, remove and replace your desired sanding arm, and screw the knob back in.

Craftsman PowerFile sanding arms

Using the Craftsman PowerFile

This tool feels well-balanced, especially with a smaller-capacity battery like the V20 2.0Ah battery that I used during testing. I got some trigger time sanding down the edges of some rough wood pieces in the shop and it performed well, removing material at a decent rate in all three speed modes.

Trigger, lock-on, and lock-off

One aspect that I found very useful was the power-locking capabilities. To reduce fatigue, Craftsman included a trigger lock-on that lets you power the tool without holding down the trigger. Using it is simple- just hold down the trigger and press the lock-on button. To release it, just press down on the trigger again.

There’s also a trigger lock-out switch next to the power lock button— switch it to the right to lock out the trigger or to the left to enable it.

Dust Extractor Adapter

PowerFile Vacuum Hose Adapter

The Craftsman V20 PowerFile also includes a dust extractor adapter that attaches to the side of the tool via two small Phillips head screws. It enables you to capture dust and debris while you work when you hook up a compatible vacuum. This adapter accepts hoses up to 32mm in diameter.

One thing to note is that the location of the vacuum adapter makes it just slightly more difficult to load and unload your sanding belt, but not so much that it takes away from the quality of the tool.

Additional Features

  • Rubber overmold grip
  • Auxiliary handle
  • Craftsman Versatrack compatibility
  • Includes 60-grit, 80-grit, and 120-grit sandpaper belts

Craftsman V20 PowerFile Price

The PowerFile retails for $99 as a bare tool and there are no kit options at the time of writing. It includes two sanding arms, a vacuum adapter, and three sanding belts to get you started. Craftsman backs your purchase with a 3-year limited warranty.

The Bottom Line

The Craftsman V20 PowerFile is a well-balanced, easy-to-use option for light to medium wood and metalworking projects. Right out of the box, it includes everything you need to get started, minus the battery. If there’s something missing from your woodworking or DIY arsenal, this tool might just help fill the gap.

Best Belt Sander and Grinder Reviews
Craftsman V20 Brushless RP Cordless Router Review

Related articles