Craftsman NEXTEC Cordless Homeowner Tools: Real Power Tools or Just Toys?

Craftsman is the leader in cheap cordless drills. Craftsman has had the NEXTEC 12 volt Cordless power tools for quite some time now. There is a rumor that they will make some changes to the line this fall so this is a good time to go over the entire line as it exists right now.

One the the biggest movers of this change is the Craftsman 17586 NEXTEC 12.0V Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver 3/8 in. There is only one drill on the market that even comes close for the same price. The SKIL 2415-01 12-Volt Max

I made a few videos using NEXTEC Tools over the last year. Here is one showing a few of these tools and I go into the NEXTEC Right Angle Impact Drive in Detail


Over the last five years lithium-ion battery powered drill/drivers have become very affordable. The Craftsman NEXTEC QuickBoost Charger revolutionized how we charge lithium batteries.

Yes, they cost about $20 more than that cheap drill you bought two years ago but they have advantages you can’t get with your old drill. These new batteries will hold a charge for over a year so you will always have a drill ready to use. The Craftsman NEXTEC cordless drill is the most affordable and best value of all these drills. 

The great thing about a Craftsman NEXTEC is you can buy an affordable drill and the battery and charger will work on a good selection of other cordless tools…tools that will make your home owner tasks much easier. You can buy a drill for a present this year and then have plenty of ideas for additional gifts for other occasions. The NEXTEC line uses a 12 volt lithium-ion battery.

Craftsman has expanded the NEXTEC 12 volt cordless tools considerably. They have also updated many of the tools to include a battery monitor and add convenience factors like tool-less blade changes on the Multi-tool.  The original tools have all proven to be very good, but if you want all the latest features buy the G2 NEXTEC tools. It is time to review everything that is in the line.

New Craftsman NEXTEC Tools!

Craftsman Nextec G2 12V Drill/Driver

Craftsman Nextec G2 12V Drill/Driver This is the new drill.  It is an upgrade from the 17586 and now has 260 in lbs. of torque!  This is plenty to perform most drilling and driving tasks around the home. Couple this drill with an impact driver and you can tackle just about any task that needs a hole drilled or a fastener installed or removed. This kit includes the drill/driver, battery, Quick-Boost charger and carrying case. Buy Here: Craftsman Nextec 12.0 V Drill/Driver with Best in Class Torque 3/8 in.

Craftsman 17586 NEXTEC 12.0V Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver

Craftsman 17586 NEXTEC 12.0V Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver This is the lithium drill that is becoming the most popular home-owner/hobby drill on the market.  It is 195 in lbs strong, lightweight, and full featured. It come with the a battery and standard lithium charger. (charges in 30 minutes) This 3/8 drill and the G2 have 2 speeds, clutch, reverse and built-in light. I own this drill myself and it is the one I always pick up first. (I own and or test about 20 different drills a year) Craftsman 17586 NEXTEC 12.0V Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver 3/8 in.

Spare NEXTEC Battery

Spare NEXTEC Battery Craftsman 12 Volt Nextec Compact Lithium-Ion battery.  One of the best features of the NEXTEC line is the battery, This lithium battery only cost $25 retail and will drive hundreds of screws per charge.  It charges to 25% capacity with the quick-boost charger or fully in 30 minutes.  It holds a charge for over a year so it is always ready doesn’t self-discharge or develop a memory like the battery in your old drill. 20% More! Craftsman Nextec 12V LED Lighted Battery

Craftsman Nextec Rotary Tool

Craftsman Nextec Rotary Tool I just wrote a review of this new tool. Finally, A great cordless rotary tool! If you have a “Dremel” on your Christmas list seriously look at this new tool. I had a chance to demo one and it is on the top of my wish list for anyone who does hobby or craft projects. Craftsman Nextec Rotary Tool with LED Work Light

Craftsman NEXTEC R.A.I.D.

Craftsman NEXTEC Right Angle Impact Driver You need a drill/driver and you don’t know it yet, but you also need an impact driver.  This NEXTEC R.A.I.D. looks weird and looks different than the other impact drivers out there, but has become my favorite.  It actually has more driving power than all the large 18 and 20 volt drill/drivers on the market. You can buy bits for all the different screws, bolts and fasteners you will find around your home and garage) If you do woodworking, home repairs and small engine repairs buy one…you’ll be glad you did! Craftsman Nextec 12.0 Volt Right Angle Impact Driver 1/4 in.. If you have enough batteries you can get this as a bare tool: Craftsman NEXTEC 12.0 Volt Right Angle Impact Driver 1/4 in.


Craftsman NEXTEC Impact Driver

Craftsman NEXTEC Impact Driver The “regular” version.  Most of the impact drivers on the market look like this one.  Small, powerful and once you use it.. .indispensable. Craftsman 17428 Nextec 12-volt Cordless Compact 1/4″ Impact Driver 1/4 in. Craftsman 61189 Nextec 12-volt Cordless Impact Driver – Tool Only 1/4 in.

Craftsman Nextec Impact Driver Model 61189 Tool Only

Craftsman NEXTEC G2 Hammerhead

Craftsman NEXTEC G2 Hammerhead How do you make the wildly popular cordless electric hammer better?  Make the head so it angles!  If you use nails or just the upper half of a hammer handle 🙂 this is the tool for you. Craftsman NEXTEC 12.0 Volt Hammerhead Auto Hammer with Rotating Head

Craftsman NEXTEC Auto Hammer

The Original Auto-Hammer Model 11818 is gone

Craftsman NEXTEC G2 Multi-Purpose Work Light

Craftsman NEXTEC G2 Multi-Purpose Work Light This light is bright! You can hang it a dozen different ways and if that’s not enough it has a built-in magnet. Craftsman NEXTEC 12.0V Multi-Purpose Work Light Gray

NEXTEC LED Worklight

Craftsman NEXTEC LED Worklight My wife saw this when I got one in a kit last year and the next thing I knew it was on her bedstand.  This little palm-sized light is bright, stands by itself, runs for about 8 hours on a battery charge and the battery will hold a charge, ready to go for over a year. Craftsman NEXTEC 12 volt LED Worklight Gray

Craftsman NEXTEC True Finish Sander

Craftsman NEXTEC True Finish Sander This is a “Mouse” style sander that is cordless and has a built-in counter balancer that makes it a breeze to use.  No more numb hands. I have one of these and it is the FIRST sander I pick up when I am woodworking. Craftsman NEXTEC 12.0V Lithium-Ion True Finish Sander 5 in.

Craftsman NEXTEC G2 VOLT Vacuum

Craftsman NEXTEC G2 VOLT Vacuum “Dust Busters” are so 80’s This powerful little vac comes with attachments so you can pick up litter on the floor, clean the crumbs off the couch and dust the blinds and furnace ducts.  It comes with a hose so it will get where no other household hand vac can go. Craftsman NEXTEC 12.0 VOLT Vacuum

Craftsman NEXTEC G2 Cordless Inflator

Craftsman NEXTEC G2 Cordless Inflator  Blow up balls, balloons, bicycle tires, lawn tractor tires, and basketballs.  It’s cordless so you don’t have to be within 6 feet of your car lighter! It has a neat preset feature.  Set the pressure you want and it automatically shuts off when it gets there. Craftsman NEXTEC 12.0 VOLT Inflator

Craftsman NEXTEC Circular Saw – Tool Only

Craftsman NEXTEC Circular Saw – Tool Only This saw cuts 3/4 inch deep.  It cuts slowly and will use up a battery in about 8 feet.  I have about 20 other hand and powered saws so I don’t have much use for this. If I just did small woodworking hobbies or if I needed a saw to cut modern trim ……… On second thought, don’t buy this. Every tool line has a dud and this is the NEXTEC DUD! If you want a small saw I suggest buying a corded one.


Craftsman Nextec 12V Jigsaw

Craftsman Nextec Jigsaw

How do I get you to need another Sabre Saw? Even if it is better than any of the ones you have? Sears can’t figure this out either.Craftsman Nextec 12V Jigsaw

Craftsman Nextec G2 Multi-Tool

Craftsman Nextec G2 Multi-Tool By now you know if you need one of these or not.  The G2 now features tool-less blade changing and variable speed. It does the work of over $500 worth of tools … jamb saw, grout removal tool, rasp, detail sander, paint scraper, keyhole saw and flush-cut saw.  This new tool comes with a battery, case and Quick-Boost Charger. Craftsman Nextec 12.0V Multi-Tool with Quick Release

Craftsman 17438 Nextec Cordless Multi-Tool

Multi-Tool Attachments:






Multi-Tool 24-pc Sandpaper Kit

Multi-Tool 24-pc Sandpaper Kit



Rough Cut Saw Blade

Rough Cut Saw Blade

 Craftsman NEXTEC Rough Cut Saw Blade – 2 pack


Detail Saw Blade

Detail Saw Blade

 Craftsman NEXTEC Detail Saw Blade – 2 pack










Flush Cut Saw Blade

Flush Cut Saw Blade

 Craftsman Flush Cut Saw Blade – 12 Volt NEXTEC Compact Multi-Tool Accessory


Multi-Tool 24-pc Sandpaper Kit

Multi-Tool 24-pc Sandpaper Kit

 Craftsman 24-pc Sandpaper Kit -12 Volt NEXTEC Compact Multi-Tool Accessory






Scraper Blade

Scraper Blade

 Craftsman Scraper Blade – 12 Volt NEXTEC Compact Multi-Tool Accessory


Circular Saw Blade

Circular Saw Blade

 Craftsman Carbide Circular Blade – 12 Volt NEXTEC Compact Multi-Tool Accessory


Carbide Triangular Rasp

Carbide Triangular Rasp

 Craftsman Carbide Triangular Rasp – 12 Volt NEXTEC Compact Multi-Tool Accessory

Craftsman Circular Saw Blade – 12 Volt NEXTEC Compact Multi-Tool Accessory





Discontinued Tools:

Original Craftsman 17438 Nextec 12-volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Multi-Tool ENERGY STAR Still a good tool. At $79 a great value. I just used mine this morning to clean the underside of my mower deck, sand between rungs on an antique chair and scrape excess dried glue off cutting boards I am making for Christmas presents.

Craftsman Nextec Multi-Saw Model 14299 – Tool Only

Craftsman Nextec Cordless Multi-Saw Model 14299 – Tool Only This is a cordless sabre saw. It works great for cutting drywall etc, but lacks a blower to keep the cut line clean. I use it, but not very often.

Combo Kits:

Here are some NEXTEC combo kits:  These can be great deals if you want multiple tools.

Craftsman NEXTEC Drill and LED Light Combo Kit

Craftsman NEXTEC 12.0 Volt Drill and Impact Combo Kit

Craftsman 17588 4-pc. Nextec 12-volt Cordless Combo

Craftsman Nextec 6-tool Combo Kit with Storage Tool Box


Yard Tools:

Last, but not least.  Craftsman also made a line of cordless yard tools that fit the NEXTEC battery.  I liked each one of them for small yards and gardens.

Nextec 3-In-1 Garden Tool


Nextec Grass Trimmer and Edger


NEXTEC Replacement Flail Pack


Craftsman NEXTEC 2-in-1 Pole Pruner


Nextec Hedge Trimmer


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