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Craftsman CMCV002B Review

This do it all vacuum excels in wet work and battery life
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $120 List | $109 at Amazon
Pros:  Long runtime, HEPA filter, blower option
Cons:  Awkward hose storage, narrow end of hose diameter, no tool adapter
Manufacturer:   Craftsmen
By Nick Miley and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Aug 5, 2020
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 9
  • Dry Work - 40% 7
  • Wet Work - 30% 7
  • Battery Life - 20% 8
  • Convenience - 10% 6

Our Verdict

There are a lot of wet/dry vacuums out there but the Craftsman CMCV002B tops them all when it comes to general use and in particular, when removing liquids from hard surfaces and carpets. This machine comes with a HEPA filter to prevent the most insidious particles from blowing out the backend and it has a float ball shut-off so you know you won't fry your motor when doing wet clean-ups. Our only gripe about this unit is that its external hose storage makes it awkward to stack — a small price to pay for the performance on offer.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

While there are several high quality wet/dry vacuums on the market, we found that the Craftsman CMCV002B's general performance, wet clean-up capabilities, long battery life, and reasonable cost set it apart from the rest of the class. While we think that the external hose storage is a bit awkward, we were pleased with the stock HEPA filter and the liquid overflow shut-off that protects the electrical components from a short. All in all, this machine proved itself to be a reliable goto when you want quick and easy clean-ups of your home, shop, or auto.

Performance Comparison



This powerful and affordable vacuum left testers with little to complain about save the hose and battery storage as well as the handle  all of which make it a bit bulky.
This powerful and affordable vacuum left testers with little to complain about save the hose and battery storage as well as the handle, all of which make it a bit bulky.

Dry Work


For most folks, vacuums are used for picking up dry debris. Given that canister vacuums are designed to pick up what a standard home vacuum can't, we tested them on the most challenging material to find their limits. The Craftsman CMCV002B did not disappoint. This unit sucked up washers, nuts, and screws without hesitation. Heck, it even gobbled up a 100-gram weight we put in its path. The only difficulty we encountered was with very large items such as a 1 ½" bolts and 1" lag screws. In the Craftsmans' defense, this was not due to lack of suction or airflow but rather to the narrow aperture of the hose end and the hose's spiral interior.


In addition to the heavy hardware tests we looked at loose debris pick-up, crevice penetration, and suction reach. For the loose debris we used 9 cups of sawdust produced by a chop saw. The Craftsman ate-up the pile in 15 secs. While this is not a record-setting time, the machine showed no sign of struggling in the process. As for the crevice test, the vacuum comes with an attachment that allows for 6 ¾" of penetration which is on the shorter side. However, in our built-to-purpose crevice testing apparatus, the vac's focused suction could pull-in rice grains from ⅝" away, a performance that is among the best in the class.

Here we see this leading machine right before it attacks a sawdust pile in the dry work analysis.
Here we see this leading machine right before it attacks a sawdust pile in the dry work analysis.

Wet Work


As the name suggests, the wet work metric is an analysis of the vacuum's ability to clean-up liquid messes. It is in this evaluation that the Craftsman outshined the competition. This model can suck up 2 gallons of water in just 9 seconds! We also performed a puddle on a hard surface test using the floor attachment. Here, too, the vacuum did very well by slurping up 3 cups of water in 27 seconds, the class average was 50 seconds. This swift clean-up was facilitated by a well-designed floor attachment that allows for plenty of airflow through the notched leading edge of the tool.


Conversely, the CMCV002B slowed down a bit when tackling wet sawdust. In this test we laid out 9 cups of sawdust mixed with 6 cups of water and let the vacuum have at it. It took the machine 42 seconds — just below the class average — to eat it up. The real problem that this test revealed was the tendency for the material to stack-up at the intake of the canister. Had we collected more sawdust this could have been a problem.

Here we see the potentially problematic stack-up of wet sawdust beneath the intake.
Here we see the potentially problematic stack-up of wet sawdust beneath the intake.

We also saturated a floorboard mat from a car with 2 cups of water and measured how much the vacuum could pull back out. The Craftsman removed almost 2 cups, leaving behind just the tiniest bit of moisture. Finally, we measured the suction produced by the motor. You might be wondering what this has to do with wet work. Well, suction is measured in inches of water lift. The measurement is standardized and we simply used a gauge attached to the vacuum and it showed the CMCV002B to product 19 inches of water lift. The class average is 22.25. While this is not that impressive, suction is not the whole story when it comes to vacuuming performance.

This gauge measures the suction produced by the vacuum in inches of water lift.
This gauge measures the suction produced by the vacuum in inches of water lift.

Battery


The Craftsman has a high-quality, long-lasting battery. Perhaps you're starting to see a trend here but in case you missed it, this machine kicked butt in almost every test we ran it through. To assess the battery quality of this model we charged the battery and, using a clean filter, ran it without a load (just pulling air) until the unit died. The vacuum ran for 34 minutes 15 seconds or 8.56 minutes per amp/hour. The class average was 5.7 minutes per amp/hour.


Convenience


The convenience metric is a grouping of analyses that focuses on how the user interacts with the vacuum. This is the one area where the Craftsman delivered an average performance. The main issue we had with the vacuum is that its 13" x 18 ¾" x 10 ½" (HxWxD) dimensions are a little bulky and its hose and battery stick out awkwardly making it hard to store.


On the bright side, the unit has a crush-resistance hose that stretches and self retracts from 26 to 94 inches. It is also fairly light at 7 lbs 8 ounces and its noise output is below average at 77 dBa. Finally, the CMCV002B comes standard with a washable HEPA filter, so you can be sure that the air being discharged from the machine is reasonably clean.

HEPA filters are the gold standard for removing particulates from the air. This filter is easy to remove and clean.
HEPA filters are the gold standard for removing particulates from the air. This filter is easy to remove and clean.

Value


We look at value as a ratio of performance to cost. From this perspective, the Craftsman CMCV002B is a good value. It delivers a high level of performance relative to many of the other models in the review and yet it costs less than the products with similar capabilities.

Conclusion


The above review takes a detailed look at the performance of the Craftsman CMCV002B in both wet and dry tasks as well as the battery life and overall convenience. This model performed at the top of the class in all of our tests except convenience (mainly due to the storage of the hose) and in picking up very large hardware. That said, this machine impressed us when tackling both wet and dry cleaning tasks.

Nick Miley and Austin Palmer