In general, we’re not one for multi-use power tools for professional use. For one, with few exceptions, dedicated tools just always seem to do the job better. For those who need some tools for occasional use, however, we’ve never been opposed to a product that is flexible and may save you some money by combining multiple products into one. When Black & Decker announced its modular Matrix Quick Connect System, we wondered if this product might show up anywhere else. It looks like Craftsman took up the charge and brought in its own 20V Max edition of the modular power tool, adding a ton of Craftsman Bolt-on 20V Max modules to the mix and creating a pretty hefty ecosystem of attachments for the base tool.
Craftsman Bolt-on 20V Max System Features
In fact, Craftsman is billing this as “America’s largest modular power tool attachment system”. The new Craftsman Bolt-On system has nine available interchangeable attachments that all connect to a single 20V Max tool base. The idea is that you’d be able to have a single tool for attacking many household-type jobs that would otherwise require an entirely new tool for each task. While the Craftsman Bolt-on tool may not be the best tool for every job, it certainly looks like it may provide some cost and space savings for an at-home tool.
As far as using the tool, the attachments switch out in just seconds to convert the Craftsman Bolt-on 20V Max from a drill to a router, impact driver, jigsaw, oscillating multi-tool, sander, hammer drill, inflator or trim saw.
The Craftsman Bolt-on 20V Max system base comes in a kit with a 20-Volt Max Lithium-ion battery, a compact drill/driver featuring a heavy duty metal chuck, and Craftsman’s QuickBoost Charger. The QuickBoost is a product we viewed over a year and a half ago at the 2011 International Builder’s Show and uses a technology that fast-charges a battery from 0 to 30 percent in just 10 minutes with the push of a button. Full charge is attained in just 30 minutes.
For the Craftsman Bolt-on system, each additional attachment is sold as an individual SKU. Here is what’s available:
- Drill/Driver (included with the base kit)
This drill/driver uses an all-metal two-sleeve chuck and features 0-800 RPM
Similar to what you’ll find with an oscillating multi-tool, this compact sander is perfect for granting access to tight spaces. It’s designed to be used for finishing, rust removal, dry scrubbing, polishing and detailing.
- Jig Saw
This jig saw looks like a good fit for smaller jobs and also for tighter work areas where you can really get at it from a top-side or head-on position. We also like that the Bolt-on Jig Saw attachment also uses a tool-less blade change for fast and efficient operation.
- Impact Driver
Another die cast metal attachment lets this single-speed impact driver provide up to 1300 in-lbs of torque
- Oscillating Multi-Tool
Designed to cut drywall, metal, wood, plastic composite and a variety of other materials, the multi-tool attachment, like the jig saw, uses a new tool-free blade change mechanism that eliminates the need for a hex key.
- Two-Speed Hammer Drill
If the standard Drill/Driver isn’t enough, or you need to set some small anchors into concrete, the hammer drill will give you two speeds and power to get through masonry.
We never would have thought a trim router would be at home on a Dril/Driver style body, but Craftsman thinks it will go a long way for quick trim routing jobs. The company says the attachment will be good for small edging, decorative woodworking and hinge routing applications. Plus, a quick-adjust button lets you plunge up to half an inch.
- High Pressure Inflator
Inflators don’t get much press, but they are incredibly handy tools to have around the home. This attachment seems exclusive to Craftsman and can inflate bicycle tires, basketballs, or other air-filled products at up to 80 pounds per square inch (PSI). The attachment comes with a 14-inch hose.
- 3-3/8″ Trim Saw
Sometimes a small trim saw is all you need for cutting through small pieces of plywood, paneling or fence boards. If you keep it simple, this attachment should do the trick.
The Craftsman Bolt-On System is available for pre-sale at www.craftsman.com beginning September 16th, and at Sears stores nationwide in November.