The Craftsman CMCD700C1 isn't the most powerful or high-performing cordless drill we have tested so far but we were pleasantly surprised with its performance given its much more affordable price tag when compared to the top-tier models. This drill has a decent amount of power, impressing us with its performance at driving in screws and drilling holes in a steel sheet. It also is fairly convenient and user-friendly to operate, though we did wish that it had a little bit longer battery life and included an additional battery.
Craftsman CMCD700C1 Review
Pros: Impressive drilling power, strong steel drilling performance, good control
Cons: Only includes a single batter, so-so battery life in our tests
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Our Analysis and Test Results
While the CMCD700C1 is a solid bargain option on its own merits, it is worth mentioning that it might not be a great value if you are planning on using this tool as the starting point to your cordless tool collection. We haven't found there to be as many compelling tools that are compatible with this battery system as other models we have tested, so we would suggest you go with one of those options or at least research the tools you potentially would want to buy in the future to make sure you aren't going to have to start over and buy a new battery system if you start with the CMCD700C1.
To rank and score the drilling performance of the CMCD700C1, we conducted three different tests: drilling through a door with a 5" hole saw, making holes in 2x dimensional lumber with a 1" spade bit, and using twist drills in a steel sheet. This trio of evaluations accounts for 35% of the final score for each cordless tool, with the Craftsman scoring quite well, earning a 7 out of 10.
We were quite impressed with the performance of the CMCD700C1 in our hole saw test - especially given its budget nature — powering through to drill a hole the full-depth of the bit in 50-60 seconds. It started strong in its higher gear but eventually started to catch and stall. These struggles went away when we shifted to a lower gear but the air coming out of the vents on the side of the drill was warm enough to burn your hand by the end of the test.
Unfortunately, the performance of this cordless drill dropped a little bit when we tried to use the paddle bit. We had a mixed performance when using the CMCD700C1 in its high gear setting, with it sometimes barely making it through and other times failing completely. It didn't have much of a problem when we shifted to the lower gear, making it through slowly but surely. This would be fine if you just needed it for the occasional heavy-duty task but its lack of speed would become irritating quite quickly if you needed to drill lots of holes with a spade bit in quick succession.
The CMCD700C1 score rebounded a bit when it came to drilling steel sheets, matching the performance of the top-tier drills with the ¼" bit. It quickly and easily drilled a hole through a 16 gauge steel sheet in about a second and a half.
It took a little bit longer than the premium tools with the ½" twist bit but still only took between 5-7 seconds for each hole. However, it would occasionally bind up right at the end as it punched through the sheet.
After ranking and scoring the drilling performance of the Craftsman, our next metric dealt with how proficient it is at putting in fasteners. This set of tests is also accountable for 35% of each drill's final score, with the CMCD700C1 meriting a 6 out of 10 for its results. We determined scores by comparing how well this cordless drill drove in a 5" long, ½" lag bolt and 3" long wood screws.
The CMCD700C1 struggled a bit with the larger lag screw, delivering a so-so result overall. This drill couldn't fully drive in the screw, no matter what we tried. It left about ⅝" of the screw above the surface of the wood and worked very hard just to get it there. We called it quits there when the drill just kept clicking, as we didn't want to damage the tool completely.
The Craftsman handled the smaller wood screw much better, offering plenty of control while countersinking their heads. It has more than enough power to get the job done, even when driving the screw through tougher knots, but it is much slower than the top-tier tools.
Our third metric focused on the battery life of each of these cordless tools, accounting for 20% of the final score for each product. Specifically, we looked at how long each product lasted during a side-by-side comparison of drilling and driving tests, how long it took to charge, and the number of included batteries. Unfortunately, the Craftsman failed to do all that well, earning it a 4 out of 10.
To compare the battery life of the included batteries, we alternated between driving in 16 of the 3" wood screws to their full depth, then drilling a 1" hole with a spade bit in a 2x12 and awarded points based on the number of cycles completed. The CMCD700C1 only completed four cycles of this before calling it quits, though it only was one and a half holes short of finishing the fifth set. The best models completed over 10 cycles before their battery was fully depleted.
The 1.3 amp-hour battery does charge in less than an hour, which is faster than average, but we did wish that a second battery was included.
For our final metric, we rated and scored the overall ease of use and convenience of the CMCD700C1. We looked at the ease of installing/removing the battery, if there is a charge level indicator, how much it weighs, the different operating modes available, the maximum diameter bit that can be held in the chuck, and the quality of the integrated work light — if there is one. The CMCD700C1 did a bit better, earning a 6 out of 10 for its above-average level of convenience.
This drill weighs in at just shy of three and a half pounds, which is about average for the group. It didn't include a belt clip but it does have the option to add one by the battery pack. The CMCD700C1 has both a high and low operating mode and can grab up to a ½" diameter bit when the chuck is fully extended.
The LED light built into the Craftsman isn't our favorite, as we found the light was blocked a bit by the chuck when trying to line up a bit. It also isn't the brightest we've seen and generally found additional lighting to be required when using this product in a dark space.
The battery slides in and out of the CMCD700C1 fairly easily but the release mechanism can be fairly stiff. This battery does have a fuel indicator, so it earns a few points for that.
Overall, the Craftsman CMCD700C1 is a great bargain buy, pairing a very reasonable price tag with a solid, all-around set of results.
This drill packs a surprising amount of power in an affordable package and is a good option if you are shopping on a budget and just planning on getting a drill, rather than starting a tool collection. We have found that Craftsman doesn't seem to have as many tool options as other brands that use the same battery system and they aren't as highly-rated or well-regarded, so we would recommend the CMCD700C1 if you are just planning on getting a cordless drill but not if you are looking to build an entire set of tools with a compatible battery system off of your drill purchase.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer