I would go for the Craftsman 11588. I am more experienced than the majority of tool users on the forum. I have the DeWalt 18V line, the Panasonic 14.4 Li-Ion line and Bosh 10.4 tools.
Attached is a shot of the CR review. They rate it a Best Buy @ a score of 66 where the other cordless drills in the Test ranged from a high of 88 down to a low of 28. These are all from big name brands.
I still have a monster ½" Craftsman corded drill that I bought in 1962. That was when most drills were ¼"
Drifting further from the original post., my very first power tool was a ¼" Craftsman drill that I bought from the Sears catalog while I was a US Army draftee stationed in 1959 Germany that cost me over a week of Army pay.
This was before anybody heard of Vietnam so I was part of the 180,000 US force in Germany waiting for WW III to start. I was a Private about to be promoted to PFC because I had come in first in my Army training as our 155 Artillery Battery's Fire Direction Center (FDC) Specialist. When our unit arrived in Germany in December 1958 we took over the all the 155 self propelled howitzers and the tracked APC armored personnel carriers of the unit that we replaced.
One of the APC's was the FDC's and since we didn't have an FDC Sergeant our First Sergeant had me take over all the responsibility for the APC and related tools and maintenance equipment by signing a 640 item inventory log. That meant that I was responsible for not only for not losing gear but also for all of it passing inspections.
Our little FDC had an APC driver, Two Telephone operators and me. We all had the same FDC training but since I was the Specialist, I was nominally in charge (no rank), although we were all drafted at the same time. We all worked together to pass inspections whose toughest challenge was to keep all the APC maintenance tools free of rust. All the tools, wrenches and sockets were a flat black finish (no shiny chrome) so working in the wet snow they quickly attracted a patina of rust. The only way to get rid of the rust was with gobs of Army issued steel wool. What a drag.
There had to be an easier way. I went over to the PX and checked through their copy of the Sears catalog and found my salvation in a ¼” corded drill with a wire wheel brush and lamb’s wool bonnet attachments. It took three weeks to arrive by ship (this was before jets) but there was no problem with power because we had 120 VAC on Base.
Nobody on the Base had any power tools so there was quite a stir when word got out on my new treasure.
The Machine Gun Sergeant first made a deal with me that he would take over all maintenance and cleaning of my APC’s 50 caliber machine gun to let him borrow the drill with the polishing bonnet for polishing carbine stocks in the Weapons Room. Plus he knew I liked to shoot the 45 caliber M3 grease guns, so he put me on his M3 practice list.
The First Sergeant was also impressed with my initiative he made me exempt from KP and Guard duty after the drill arrived and then made me the first PFC in our group of draftees.
That was a great Drill.
Fist of all thank you for your service. I am also a veteran that was in the Army toward the end of the Vietnam war, although I never went to Vietnam.
You made the above statement I highlighted without really giving any qualifications for doing so. If you are talking about your military experience almost fifty years ago I do not see how that is relevant.
Are you, or were you a professional tradesman? By making such a statement you are implying that you are more qualified than anyone else to give your opinion
. There have only been five of use to reply to this thread. Do you know any of us or what our backgrounds are? You may well have more experience than all five of us put together, (but I doubt it). However I do not see how that makes you more qualified.
Tools have change dramatically in the past ten years not to mention fifty. Fifty years ago Craftsman quality was a top priority. While quality is still somewhat of a concern for Sears, I believe price is more of a concern as they will frequently change suppliers based on low bid.
I have owned a few Craftsman power tools and they are OK, just a minor step above Black and Decker IMHO.
Back to the OP question, are Craftsman power tools any good? - They are alright.
Has anyone owned these? - No, but I have used them and prefer Dewalt or Ridged.
How do they compare to Dewalt? - Already made my OPINION clear.
The OP will have to determine if the extra cost of a professional quality drill is worth it to them. Any drill is OK if you only need it to drill a couple of holes, but if you are planing on using it all day long (such as screwing down deck boards) for more than one or two projects. I would recommend more of a professional model.
That being said, have a nice day.