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johnsorious 06-05-2013 05:52 PM

Porter cable 4 piece set
I saw in the lowes ads that the porter cable 18v 4 piece power tool set was for sale at $120. Is this a good tool set for the DIY'er? Comes with a drill, flashlight, circular saw and sawzall. Any good reviews?

RWolff 06-05-2013 07:36 PM


Originally Posted by johnsorious (Post 1195833)
I saw in the lowes ads that the porter cable 18v 4 piece power tool set was for sale at $120. Is this a good tool set for the DIY'er? Comes with a drill, flashlight, circular saw and sawzall. Any good reviews?

I have to tell you... Porter cable USED to be a good tool, that was untill this happened:


In 2005, the Pentair Tools Group—comprising Porter-Cable, Delta Machinery, DeVilbiss Air Power, and others—was purchased by Black & Decker
Now you get that wonderful Black and Decker "quality": in these Porter Cable tools.
I guess for occasional DIY use for some weekend projects it's probably okay, you can beat the hell out of the tools, drop them off the roof by accident and never be out more than that $120, but tools like everything else are a case of you get what you paid for, MAYBE...
A good 18v tool will cost more than $120 all by itself, so that should offer some idea of the quality when you can get a drill, circular saw, sawzall and flashlight for only $120, that's about $30 each, sorry but I just don't see any quality at all for $30

If you NEED all four of those tools that's one thing, if you NEED only one or two of them and are getting the other 2 thrown in, don't bother with this set.
If you want a good tool that will last and work well for you, you might look at Bosch, maybe Makita, and a few other decent brands others will mention.

We have a couple of Bosch cordless drills and drivers, and they have held up extremely well, the battery is lithium and much smaller than the clunkier cordless Makita drills we have.

We also have this angle drill and love it, but you'll notice this one tool costs $231.99 and that should give you some idea of the $120 deal of four tools and what you can expect from those;

This is a kit with two tools, the shop bought one of these and one of the guys bought one for his personal use, these have been very good and stood up under lots of abuse and use:

I have purchased from this place a few times, it's worth looking at:

Here's a quote that should sum it up:


Is porter cable a good brand?

Some are, I would steer clear of any cordless tools they offer, they are comparable to black and Decker brand tools, which really suck! The Black and Decker Corporation bought Porter Cable a few years ago. I'm guessing because they were competing against Black and Decker's Dewalt Line of tools, which don't suck. A few of my coworkers bought some cordless drills and saws from them. Put it this way, after about a year they were at the bottom of some land fill. The batteries are terrible, they don't last long and have an extremely short life-cycle. I do have some Porter Cable tools, pre buy out. They all have cords, but seem really well built and I have never had a problem.

Lastly, a history on the company and it's multiple buyouts:

In 1960, Rockwell International purchased Porter-Cable. Rockwell mistakenly dropped the Porter-Cable name and the tools became Rockwell tools. Emmons finally retired in 1964. Porter-Cable was truly an innovative company up to this point, no doubt driven in large part by the visions of Art Emmons hired back in 1921. I would add that most of the Company’s products were designed to fulfill a need or unique niche in the market place. Some old-timers might argue that Porter-Cable was never the same Company that it used to be after this point in time.
Under Rockwell, the Company began producing a low-quality brand called the “Green Line.” Rockwell’s product failures hurt the Company’s reputation. Rockwell took note and decided to sell Porter-Cable to Pentair, Inc. in 1981.

in January 2000, the Company “consolidated” with Delta Machinery. They began sharing resources in order to become more efficient. DeVilbiss Air Power Company was also added to the group further adding production efficiencies. And finally, in 2005, Black & Decker purchased Porter-Cable and Delta Machinery from Pentair Inc.

Gymschu 06-05-2013 08:33 PM

I have the 18v NiCd drill and the 18v NiCd impact driver and the circular saw........and I am quite happy with them. No, they're not top of the line.......but, if you don't pound on them daily, you will get a lot of use out of them. In fact, I lost the drill for 3 months. I had left it laying on a roof of a customer of mine......I am a painter and also do small repair work. Anyway, the homeowner returned it and it still works fine! It literally sat out in all kinds of weather.

I love the feel of the drill and impact driver. It's personal preference but they just fit in my hand so well. If there is a downside to the set, it's the circular saw. I only get 2 or 3 cuts with it and the battery runs down. The batteries are fine with the drill and driver.

I actually bought another drill/driver set so I have four batteries and I have the option of adding to the set anytime.

I give these PC tools a 7 out of 10 stars.

forcedreno2012 06-05-2013 11:25 PM

We also were die hard Porter Cable users until they changed ownership. We saw a change and it was not for the good. The older tools are built like tanks and take a licking......The new stuff - not so much.

If you can, save the pennies and get a better brand.


Windows on Wash 06-06-2013 08:25 PM

They hit the wall...big time.

jeffnc 06-06-2013 09:40 PM


Originally Posted by johnsorious (Post 1195833)
I saw in the lowes ads that the porter cable 18v 4 piece power tool set was for sale at $120.

At that price, it must be the NiCd batteries. Those are old technology, the Lithium-Ion are better.

vsheetz 06-06-2013 09:40 PM

I have had Black and Decker, Porter Cable, and Skil. For the past several years have been buying Bosch - way best.

RWolff 06-06-2013 11:29 PM


At that price, it must be the NiCd batteries. Those are old technology, the Lithium-Ion are better.
It sounds like they are trying to "dump" the old NiCad stuff cheap that's still in the warehosues and stockrooms, because it seems it's all going to Lithium now, and the batteries ARE much better, smaller etc

maxwage 06-15-2013 10:15 AM

I bought the set used for 60$ about 2 years ago and it's still kickin'.

It doesn't go to the jobsite often, but around the house it's great. The drill I primarily use as a predrill, recip and circular saw are good for household odds and ends. I use the light the most.

Batteries still old a charge and I make sure I use them and recharge them.

If you want better then a HF cordless set yet not as good as a Bosch or Dewalt, etc. Go with this set.

Rono8582 08-11-2013 06:06 PM

Hi, I'm quite invested in PC as a DIY homeowner. I find they're great , ESP the li ion.

Good to know is that there are 3-4 kinds of 18v drill, like pc1801, pc1801d, pc1801d2, etc.

Get the one with the metal chuck!
Originally I got a 3 piece drill/driver, impact drill, ad xenon flashlight with two small li ion batteries and combo charger for $129 , refurbished from an outlet store for black a decker.

That was a great purchase! From that I expanded with the DustBuster vac, jig saw, and just recently got another drill and circ saw combo with two batteries and charger for $89 at lowes.
So for under 300 I have 7 tools, 4 batteries and two chargers and two carry bags.

I can't complain about that. If they break, I'd definitely buy another.

-Rob Nos

user1007 08-12-2013 09:27 PM

I used them all the time so bought good tools from a tool supplier. Among other things I could count on a loaner if anything ever had to go in for service. My tool store loaned me tools to try too if I was not sure. I guess you can take things back to a box store.

I am going to jump in with a controversial comment here and I do love the concept of cordless tools. I think things like cordless circular saws nothing short of dangerous and scary when they start to run down. I find something comforting about a saw with a sharp bladed running on electricity somewhat comforting. Same with a sawzall if you use it much.

Even my Fein multi-tools were corded and I don't see them working out cordless. Again, I used them a lot.

Cordless drills are another story. But in short, even at $120 for the set make sure they are going to do what you need them to do. And I agree at $30 each you will be getting a tool with lots of plastic.

Realize this post is a couple months old by the way and you may have made choices by now.

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