Craftsman V20 Brushless Hammer Drill CMCD721 Review
Now that we’ve had a chance to use the Craftsman V20 Brushless Hammer Drill for a bit, it’s time to figure out exactly where in the tool world it fits. Craftsman is a Stanley Black & Decker brand along with DeWalt, Stanley, and Black+Decker. Rumored to replace Porter-Cable and taking up a monstrous amount of space at Lowe’s, is it a Pro, Prosumer, or DIY brand?
- Pro-level features and design
- Pro-level speed
- Lightweight design
- Excellent value rating
- Low torque for the compact class
We recently put the Craftsman CMCD721 Hammer Drill and CMCD720 Drill Driver up against a bunch of other Prosumer and Pro-grade hammer drills. How did it stack up? Overall, they’re a little light on the torque and have okay speed. Their highlights include a lightweight package and excellent value.
Overall 18V Compact Drill Driver Ranking (CMCD720): 10th place
Overall 18V Compact Hammer Drill Ranking (CMCD721): 6th place
Check out the full results and testing methods here!
The Craftsman V20 Brushless Hammer Drill sports a pretty standard Pro-level design and feature set. The handle design is very similar to DeWalt with a nice curve and comfortable overmold.
Here’s a full list of the features:
- 2-speed brushless motor
- 1/2-inch ratcheting metal chuck
- 14 clutch setting plus drill and hammer drill modes
- Forward/lock/reverse rocker switch
- LED work light mounted above the battery
- Reversible belt hook
The only feature that stands out as missing is an auxiliary handle. In low speed, there might be some applications you’ll want it on. There’s also no bit holder. That’s really not a big deal, though.
As a bare tool, the drill weighs in at 2.7 pounds and 3.5 pounds with its 2.0 Ah battery pack. That’s pretty reasonable against both compact Pro and Prosumer models and a bit lighter than its closest competition.
The Craftsman V20 Brushless Hammer Drill boasts a legitimate Pro-level 2100 RPM no load speed. Its hammer drilling blow rate is also solid at 35,700. What about torque?
Well, here we go again – 400 unit watts out. I get the argument for using that value, but no one outside of Stanley Black & Decker uses it, so it’s fairly useless as a comparison. Still, I’ll 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 those are 620 in-lbs and 531 in-lbs of torque, respectively. Craftsman’s 400 UWO settles between the two, so we can reasonably estimate that it has roughly 560 – 570 in-lbs, give or take.
That’s definitely on the compact side when you consider the Pro market. Even looking in the brand family at DeWalt, those are compact hammer drill numbers, not their premium models that can push well over 800 in-lbs and other brands are boasting 1200+ in-lbs models.
Looking at Ryobi, their P1813 brushless hammer drill gives you 750 in-lbs of torque with 1800 RPM. On the DIY side, Black+Decker’s 20V Max BDCDHP220 has 412 in-lbs and 1500 RPM.
Craftsman really seems to spec out somewhere between the Prosumer level and compact Pro level.
How About We Make Some Holes Already?
Craftsman lists some recommended capacities that go like this:
- Twist bit: 1/2″
- Paddle bit: 1-1/4″
- Hole saw: 2″
- Concrete: 1/4″
Seeing as how those are just recommendations and I have some pretty nice accessories, I took some of these a little farther. It’s no surprise that the V20 handle twist bits up to 1/2″ with relative ease and excellent speed.
I turned to my Bosch Daredevil Spade Bit set and started the drill in high speed where I pushed it to 1 inch before it started having trouble on the exit. Kicked into low speed, I was able to bore all the way to the top of my range at 1-1/2 inches in PT pine.
In the same PT pine, I bored up to a 3-inch Bosch Daredevil hole saw. The lack of an auxiliary handle starts to make low speed boring a bit riskier once you move beyond that 2-inch hole, though.
I figured concrete would be a bigger challenge than it turned out to be. The hammer drill’s 35,700 BPM simply melted through concrete with a 1/4″ Bosch Multipurpose bit. Genuinely impressed, I put the largest bit in the set in (3/8-inch) and the drill performed beautifully.
Price and Value
At $119 for the bare tool and $179 for a kit with two 2.0 Ah batteries, I don’t consider the Craftsman V20 Brushless Hammer Drill to have DIY-level pricing. You can also snag a combo kit with Craftman’s brushless impact driver for $249.
Check out what some of the competition 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 Drill/Driver: $94.54 with two 1.5 Ah batteries
In this pricing structure, Craftsman is clearly above the DIY level while not quite as high as DeWalt’s XR model. What’s interesting is that you can get Milwaukee’s compact brushless model for the same price as a bare tool. You’ll pay more for the kit, but you get twice the battery capacity.
For what you’re getting in performance, I’d really like to see Craftsman be more competitive against Ryobi.
The Bottom Line
Looking at the whole picture and taking into consideration design, performance, and pricing, Craftsman seems to fit best in the Prosumer market. The fact that this is its top model really limits how far into the Pro market it can reach, but there’s some entry-level potential there.
What might cause some users to hesitate is its $30 premium over Ryobi. However, it’s still an excellent value when you look at the performance and price against the entire 18V/20V landscape.
Craftsman V20 Brushless Hammer Drill Features
- Proudly made in the USA with global materials in Charlotte, North Carolina
- Part of the V20 Cordless System
- Brushless motors provide up to 60% more runtime and improved durability
- 1/2-in. Metal ratcheting chuck for improved bit retention
- LED light improves visibility in dark work areas
Craftsman V20 Brushless Hammer Drill Specifications
- Model: Craftsman CMCD721D2 (kit), CMCD721B (bare)
- Power Source: Craftsman V20 20V Max battery pack
- Chuck Size: 1/2″
- No Load Speed: 0 – 600/0 – 2100 RPM
- Blow Rate: 35,700 BPM
- Max Torque: 400 UWO
- Clutch Settings: 14 plus drill and hammer drill
- Weight: 2.7 pounds bare, 3.5 pounds 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
This article was originally published on December 13, 2018. We’ve updated it to reflect its performance in our recent Best Cordless Drill Shootout.