Craftsman 60V Max Handheld Blower: Product Review
A light weight blower that competes with the big boys.
Available on Amazon
The Craftsman V60 60-Volt Max cordless blower comes from a long line of Craftsman tools.
In 1988, my father gave me the most practical gift ever: a set of Craftsman tools. I still cherish that set of socket wrenches and screwdrivers (minus a couple of pieces that got eaten by the garage during various projects).
Craftsman carries an iconic name that has meant quality and value since 1927. But until recently, I’d never owned a Craftsman power tool. How would the Craftsman name hold up to other power brands in performance? I couldn’t wait to find out.
- Recommended Area: Up to 1/4 acre
- Air Velocity: 110 MPH
- Volume of Air Moved (CFM): 600
- Battery Type: V60 MAX 2.5 AH Lithium-Ion battery (included), compatible with all other Craftsman V60 battery-operated tools
- Optimum Charging Temp.: 65 – 750 F
- Battery Charger: V60 MAX fast-charge charger (included)
- Charging Time: Approximately 75 minutes
- Weight:6 lbs (about 10.2 lbs with battery installed)
- Speed Options: 2 speeds (low and high)
- Run Time: Approximately 90 minutes on LO speed; 11 minutes on HI speed
- Motor: Brushless
- Additional Features: part of the VersaTrack Organization system (tested in a later review)
The tool arrived quickly and in great shape, thanks to the fitted cardboard box holding parts securely in place. Included were the blower, blower tube, battery and charger, and instructions.
Charging the Battery – Do This First
Charging the 60V battery is a simple operation. Plug the unit into the wall socket. Then slide the battery into place. It will take about 75 minutes to fully charge (less for the first charge since the battery comes partially charged).
The light will flash green while charging. When the battery shows a solid green light, it’s fully charged and ready to go.
The instructions state that the Lithium-Ion battery should be charged in temperatures ranging from 65-750 F for the best battery life (in other words, charge it indoors). And do not charge the battery in temperatures below 400 F.
For more information about Li-Ion batteries, see our article covering the frequently asked questions about the Li-Ion batteries used in lawn and garden tools.
Very Simple Assembly
Once I got the battery charging, I turned to assembling the Craftsman blower. As a formality, I scanned the instructions. I needn’t have bothered; it’s designed like a simple puzzle.
Remove the cardboard filler from the motor opening, align the notches on the tube to the blower body, and push until it “clicks.” If you want to further secure the tube, you can add a couple of screws to keep the blower tube in place.
Once the battery is fully charged, slide it into place on the blower until you hear it “click.”
I wish all tools were this simple to set up!
The Craftsman blower is capable of moving air at 110 MPH.
In January, 2017, White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech made news when he threw a 110 mph pitch, a feat once considered unobtainable, during his first workout of the year. If you were hit with a 110 mph fast ball, the impact would make your body explode! Okay, I just made that up. Your body wouldn’t explode, but it would hurt like hell if not outright kill you. I’m not saying that the Craftsman blower can be used to launch fast balls for batting practice, but just know that it will propel anything in its path at an incredible velocity.
So, yes, take precautions when using the blower. Just like in gun safety, don’t point the working end of the blower at anything you don’t intend to kill … or hurt. Protect your feet with close-toed shoes since they will be in the maelstrom of little rocks kicked up. And wear eye protection to keep debris from harming your eyes (such as these stylish safety sunglasses from Wiley-X).
STARTING the Blower
If I handed this blower to a 6-year-old child (which I wouldn’t recommend doing), that child would have no problem figuring out the simple operation.
The unit has two function levers: a trigger for ON/OFF, and a slide for LO/HI. The trigger squeezes easily and naturally by simply picking up the unit, and the power mode switch is in easy reach to change speeds on the go.
The blower also has a “cruise control” feature so you don’t have to constantly squeeze the trigger to keep it blowing air.
Running the Blower
When I headed out to put the blower through its paces, I didn’t notice that the blower didn’t come with a shoulder sling. Then it dawned on me: it doesn’t need one. It weighs a tad more than a 2-liter bottle of soda, but it’s much better balanced and easy to carry.
For comparison, I have tested 120V blowers that weigh as little as 9.5 lbs. to as much as 23 lbs! At 5.6 lbs, this is the lightest full-sized blower I’ve ever held in my hands.
But I wondered if that light weight would compromise performance. The short answer: not a bit!
I tested the Craftsman V60 cordless blower on three blowing applications: over pavement, over brush/grass, and over gravel.
Blowing over pavement
It’s springtime in North Carolina, so instead of leaves I have mulch and debris that runs off my mulch piles during rainstorms. I took a quick pass with the Craftsman blower along my driveway and the frontage road where I had recently used the excellent Craftsman V60 cordless trimmer.
The results speak for themselves.
Blowing over grass/brush
While pavement offers little friction, it’s much more difficult to move leaves over grass, plants, bushes, and brush.
Unfortunately, since I had no leaves and no grass clippings to blow thanks to the Yard Force self-propelled mower with the bag attached, I headed out in the woods to a patch of pine needles and cones.
While my photographer took a break, I had a go at moving pine needles and other debris from a trail in my woods. Wow. Just lowering the tip of the blower towards the ground sent pine needles, pinecones and sweet gum balls flying.
Blowing over gravel/rocks
I have decorative gravel around my koi pond. Unfortunately, I also have multiple pine and sweet gum trees hanging above the gravel. So I spend a lot of time clearing off the gravel so my pond looks less like an abandoned parking lot.
I have other blowers that I bring out about every two weeks to keep up on debris as it falls. But I now have a new favorite. Even my heaviest (and most heavy-duty) blower moves only 540 CFMs; the Craftsman moves 600!
Remember I mentioned that the Craftsman moves air at 110 mph? While mph is important, it’s only half of the picture. You need high airspeed to move heavy objects like rocks, twigs, and wet leaves. CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute), though, reflects how much air a blower blows out in a minute.
I’ve tested blowers that propel air at 140mph, a speed I’ve reached only a couple of times in a car. That’s incredibly fast. But that same unit moves only 540 CFMs. Speed is important, but speed alone doesn’t mean great performance. Look at the CFMs, the other part of the story that tells you how much air volume the blower is pushing.
The important question is, “How did it work over gravel?”
Magic. Seriously. Using a unit with more mph and less CFMs, the debris tended to stay stuck in the crags of the rocks. But the Craftsman moved enough air to displace the debris and clean the gravel surface WITHOUT REMOVING THE GRAVEL!
Should You Get the Craftsman Blower?
The new Craftsman 60V Max Handheld Blower is a compact, lightweight powerhouse that helps you to “cut the cord” from your electric blower or prevent air pollution from your gas burning blower.
Here’s what I loved about the Craftsman Blower:
- Easy set up. If you don’t want to have to read manuals, this is for you. I put it together in seconds, and it was ready as soon as the battery charged.
- Easy to use. There’s no premixing gas or figuring out what all of the features do. Just pop in a battery and squeeze the trigger. If you need more power, slide it from LO to HI. It’s just that simple.
- Light-weight yet powerful. Usually, to get a tool that’s compact and light we have to settle for something that feels like it’s powered by an elderly gerbil. Not so here. This unit moves a lot of air, and it moves it quickly. Just know that, because the tube is round and wide, debris will be blown in all directions; it’s difficult to control exactly where it’ll go.
- Good run time. If you use it on HI power, the battery life will be much shorter, like down to 11 minutes or so. Then again, most blowers I’ve seen will run for only about 8 minutes on HI unless you have a very heavy battery with higher Ah (in which case it’s no longer a light-weight blower). But if your work falls in the majority of projects where the LO speed is adequate, you can run it for 90 minutes, which is nothing short of fantastic. Given the amount of air this thing puts out, I didn’t find myself needing to use the HI setting very often.
- Design prevents it from sucking in your shirt. The axial fan creates a break between the air intake and the back of the unit. I’ve not seen this design before. Most units place the intake in the back or back side, meaning air flow is compromised as it sucks in your shirt! Not with this design. There’s a buffer space between the air intake that keeps your shirt clear of the fan, which will also keep you from burning out the motor.
- Cutting the cord. I’m not tethered by an extension cord or having to inhale gas fumes to get my yard clean. And unlike other cordless blowers I’ve tried, I can use this one all day long thanks to the long-life, lightweight 60V lithium-ion battery (well, as long as I use it on the LO setting).
- VersaTrack system compatible. The Craftsman 60V MAX blower is part of the VersaTrack system, a wall mounted storage system that keeps your tools handy, organized, and ready when the urge to get some yard work done hits! (Don’t worry. I’ll cover this soon!)
If I could make one change, it would be this:
- Make a longer tube as an additional option. The tool is a perfect length for folks with a small and medium build. But the tube is quite short. No, it doesn’t affect the performance of the tool, but I imagine someone above 6’2” would find himself/herself stooping to get the business end close enough to the ground to move much of anything. Heck, I’d buy the longer tube just to have it for the times I don’t want to get too close to the woods.
- And I’d add a metal ring to the tip of that longer tube so it can gently scrape at stubborn matter like wet leaves that have hardened in place. The round plastic tube isn’t all that effective at lifting up or scraping stuff stuck to the ground.
The Craftsman blower comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee. If you buy it and don’t like it, return it to get your money back. On top of that, the Craftsman blower carries a 4-year limited lifetime warranty on defects in materials and workmanship.
This is the lightest cordless blower I’ve tested to date, as well as one of the most powerful. At just over 5 lbs (10 lbs with the battery installed), a 90-minute run time (on the low setting), and 600 CFM blowing at 110 mph, this is one heck of a blower. It doesn’t have a shoulder strap but it simply doesn’t need one; it’s light-weight and well-balanced enough to be easily held with just one hand. The one caveat is that taller people (over 6-foot or so) will probably find the blower tube to be on the short side, making it uncomfortable for extended use.
This year, I’m looking forward to leaf season. No, I don’t really mean that. But given the performance and power of this tool coupled with its light weight, I imagine that I can make quick work of the leaves that will be falling in a few short months.
WHERE TO BUY
The Craftsman brand is now carried by Lowe’s. You can find the Craftsman V60 60-Volt Max Lithium Ion 600-CFM Brushless Cordless Electric Leaf Blower (Battery Included) in some stores, as well as in their online store where it currently sells for $239.
You can also purchase the Craftsman blower on Amazon (where you’ll usually get a better price and free delivery).
Last update on 2020-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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