Well-made and feature-packed, Craftsman’s C3 1/2-inch Heavy-duty Impact Wrench can go toe-to-toe with big brands like Ryobi and Bosch. It’s cordless, so tripping over air compressor hoses to rotate your tires is a thing of the past.
Armed with the most powerful battery Craftsman makes, it can go anywhere you can, and with convenience features like a non-slip grip and LED lights, it’s a breeze for even the casual user to operate. No garage is complete without the convenience of an impact wrench, and this quality Craftsman may be just the model you’re looking for.
Top Craftsman Impact Wrench Q & A
Q: What’s included with the kit?
A: It comes complete with the impact wrench, a single 4.0 AH 19.2-volt lithium battery and a charger.
Q: Is the battery interchangeable with Craftsman’s other 19.2-volt models?
A: All of Craftsman’s 4.0 AH 19.2-volt batteries are interchangeable; however, they come in more than one size. Using a 2.0 AH 19.2-volt battery can damage the tool and charger.
Q: Is this tool reliable in extreme temperatures?
A: Older lithium batteries have a reputation for failing in harsh weather, but XCP batteries are specially designed to handle any temperature from 5 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit.
Craftsman was once the king of tools, but the brand lost its luster for a few years because of the decline of Sears — its original owner. The good news is it was bought by Stanley Black & Decker, the same company that owns DeWalt, and it’s back and better than ever.
The Craftsman is not the most powerful impact wrench on the market, and if you’re in the small group of professionals that needs big-time torque, its maximum 300 ft./lbs. may not be enough. For the rest of us, it’s powerful and well-appointed with the reliability and features that make it a pleasure to use without breaking the bank.
Craftsman C3 Cordless Impact Wrench Features
The Craftsman C3 impact wrench is popular for its performance and price. Designed for the home market, it’s part of a full line of cordless tools with interchangeable batteries and features to spare.
The half-inch anvil is ideal for almost every need while its maximum 300 ft//lbs. of torque, and up to 3000 impacts per second is plenty for doing brake and suspension work on cars or tackling the odd rusty bolt. The traditional brushed motor produces up to 3000 RPM for a wide range of projects — speed in both forward and reverse are trigger-controlled.
The anvil is equipped with a detent pin — it takes a little more effort to get sockets on, but once they’re in place, they stay put. For safety, the comfort grip is textured and makes the wrench easier to control at high speeds. Triple LED lights are mounted in the front where they can illuminate the work area without casting shadows.
Craftsman’s 19.2-volt lithium battery is among the longest-lasting in the business, offering hours of power and top-notch performance in all weather conditions.
The Craftsman C3 impact wrench requires no lubrication or routine maintenance except to ensure that ventilation screens stay clean — this model features an electronic brake that throws small sparks when it stops. Batteries should be stored in a cool, dry place and recharged every six months for optimal performance.
What’s to Like
This impact wrench has a lot to offer. As a stand-alone tool, it has the same features as others in its class, and it’s similarly priced, but like Ryobi and Milwaukee, the battery pack is interchangeable with other Craftsman products, and that makes it a great value. A single charger and a couple of compatible batteries can run a dozen tools if you’re short on space. No-name brands can’t offer that.
What’s Not to Like
I have mixed feelings about the trigger control. If you’re experienced with an impact wrench, one-finger speed adjustments are convenient — there are no buttons to push like on some models. Inexperienced or occasional users, however, could easily find themselves stripping bolts by overdoing the RPMs.
It’s also heavy. The wrench has a sturdy feel to it, and for some folks, that makes it hard to hold. And compared to similar models, it’s loud, so don’t forget to wear hearing protection. See our Top 7 best impact wrench brands.
The Craftsman C3 Versus the Competition
The Craftsman C3 Impact Wrench Kit faces stiff competition from brands like Ryobi, DeWalt, Milwaukee, Ingersoll Rand and Bosch? How does it compare?
The Craftsman is closest to the Ryobi P1883 and the DeWalt DCF880HM2 in function, price and warranty. Kit configurations vary, and DeWalt tends to offer a few more extras like carrying cases, but each brand is full-featured with enough power for anything you can throw at it around the house. For everyday use, each has similar specifications, but you’ll squeeze a little more torque out of the DeWalt, making it a better choice for pros.
Bosch takes things up a notch with two models — the IDH182-02 impact Wrench and the two-in-GDX18V-1800CB25 driver and wrench combo. Both feature ultra-durable brushless motors that run cool and quiet, offering a minor performance edge over the Craftsman, but I’ll give the C3’s battery system a better grade for longevity. Bosch’s three-year warranty, however, is a plus.
Milwaukee, a professional favorite, and Ingersoll Rand make top-quality pneumatic impact wrenches that leave even the best cordless models in the dust — but they have a price tag to match. Their home-grade versions feature better quality components than the Craftsman, but performance is similar, and the Craftsman is a better overall value for the occasional tire rotation and brake job.
What do users say?
Weekend warriors are impressed with the Craftsman’s performance and battery life. Light truck and SUV lugs and rust-encrusted bolts are no match for its beefy torque. Compared to pro brands like Milwaukee, it can feel underpowered, but it’s plenty tough for a residential garage, and it gets a round of applause for reliability.
The only stand-out complaint about this impact wrench is its weight. It’s among the tallest and heaviest in its class because of the XCP battery pack, and it can be a challenge to maneuver in tight spaces for users with small hands. If a tool’s weight is your top concern, the compact DeWalt DCF880HM2 may be a better choice. If you need long battery life and more raw power, the Craftsman gets it done.
Impact wrenches were once considered pro-only luxury tools — the cost of the wrench, an air compressor and the necessary accessories put them out of financial reach for most home users. But today’s cordless versions like the Craftsman C3 1/2-inch Heavy-duty Impact Wrench are both robust and affordable and a must for any serious do-it-yourselfer.
Compare other Impact Wrench Models:
- Bosch 18V Brushless “Freak 2.0” Impact Wrench Review
- Bosch IDH182-02 Brushless Impact Wrench Review
- DEWALT DCF880HM2 20-volt MAX Impact Wrench
- Ryobi 3-Speed 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench Review
- Ingersoll Rand 1/2″ High-Torque Impact Wrench Review
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- DEWALT 20V MAX 1/2″ High Torque Wrench Review
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