Craftsman NEXTEC 12-Volt Right Angle Impact Driver - Review
Thus far, we've been pleasantly surprised with Craftsman's 12-volt line, particularly their cordless oscillating tool. A couple weeks ago, we got word that they released a right angle impact driver and when they offered to box one up for us and send it on for a review, we happily agreed.
To test this tool, pretty much like all of the others, we just plugged it into our daily mix of activities. This one happened to come along at a time when we were building and installing some kitchen shelves and a wooden counter top. The process meant driving a lot of screws in cramped spaces and nothing says, 'driving screws in cramped places' like a right angle impact driver.
So what did we think of the tool? Well, when we envision what our ideal right angle impact driver looks and acts like, it falls short. It's actually bulkier than we were expecting and the head of it is pretty big, especially when compared to the Hitachi right angle impact. The Craftsman has a little battery indicator light which is nice and an LED which is also a help, but unfortunately, the LED only comes on when the chuck is moving...some brands make it so a gentle press of the trigger turns the light on and nothing else.
But when we step back into reality, the Craftsman looks better and better. The tool has some impressive power and did everything we asked it to. In a head to head test against the Hitachi, it proved to be stronger than the green and black tool and the Craftsman is much smaller than the chunky Ridgid JobMax right angle impact driver.
In the past, we've made a lot of mention about the fact that 12-volt Craftsman cordless tools only come with one battery and that that fact excludes them from contractor consideration. In this case, we'll hold off on the criticism because the right angle impact is really a specialty tool and it's unlikely that you're going to work an entire battery down in a single sitting.
$100 at Sears
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at October 21, 2010 5:30 AM
I have the Makita (Mosquita) right angle and love it. I had the Rigid prior and there is no comparison. (Other than the fact they are both cordless, right angle impact drivers... OK, so you can compare them). The light that stays on for 15 seconds, the fact that you can run either the compact or long run batteries, the glow in the dark trim ring (Funny, nobody mentions this feature. Handy when you're stuck in a dark sink base, looking for your driver after you've drilled the pilot hole...) I haven't had an issue with tool body length, but there have been occasions it wasn't able to drive a 3 1/2" screw fully into hickory along it's entire depth. I can't fault the tool as I later tried with a standard gun and promptly broke 2 high quality "Lubricized" screws.