Few things feel better than drilling in the final screw or hammering the last nail on a DIY project. You, like me, is probably familiar with the sense of accomplishment.
But great projects require great tools—so which one should you choose?
Porter Cable vs DeWalt is a great starting point, as both brands have great reputations and have existed for around 100 years. Whether you’re looking for a power drill or a reliable radial saw, these companies provide excellent quality and prices.
Even with all of this, there are some key differences you should consider that make each one better in certain categories.
Porter Cable vs DeWalt: Brand Reputation And Trust
A product’s reputation is one of the most important things I look for when shopping. Sometimes, the best way to judge a product is by the company producing it.
When it comes to Porter Cable and DeWalt, there’s no denying the presence, experience, and trust linked to their reputations.
Ironically, both companies have very similar stories.
They each were founded as American companies during the earlier years of the 20th century. Over time, their experience was established and they become renowned for unique advancements and inventions.
Porter Cable was founded in 1906, giving it a slight age advantage over DeWalt, which was founded in 1924. In either case, though, it was the creation of two revolutionary tools that earned them the reputation they enjoy today.
DeWalt changed the game with the introduction of the radial arm saw, a tool invented by the company’s founder, Ray DeWalt.
For Porter-Cable, on the other hand, their electric belt sanders were a launching point. As far as reputation is concerned, both companies are deemed reliable, established, and competent at what they do.
Costs and Affordability
Despite having similarly trustworthy backgrounds, there is one essential difference you should consider when making a buying decision: price.
For Porter Cable vs DeWalt, both may be household names today because of their overall affordability, they are nonetheless contrasted by price range.
The price difference is not arbitrary, either.
In some instances, a heftier payment may apply mostly for brand name awareness and not actual quality.
With DeWalt, though, this is simply not the case. Individual circumstances can play a role, and these are not limited, but the overall trend is consistent.
Another consideration is the tendency that exists for these kinds of products to become worn down quicker than most others. This is due, primarily, to the fact that they are used for heavy-duty, demanding projects. Drilling, sawing, cutting, and so many other tasks can naturally impose damage upon tool systems.
Naturally, this is a consideration when looking into any power tools—no matter the brand. However, when it comes to Porter Cable vs DeWalt, the increase in price range is paying for much more than just a recognized brand.
In truth, the company has grown a reputation for being the best of the best in terms of quality.
Such quality, though, does come with its financial costs—a significant distinction from Porter Cable which is categorized in a much more affordable range. This makes it the go-to brand for much smaller projects and casual users. Whereas a professional construction company would use Porter Cable versus DeWalt as its main contrast point, an everyday DIY homeowner could do well with Porter Cable.
A comparison of two similar products: a tool kit with a variety of essentials—will cost you a significant difference depending on the brand. For Porter Cable, a 6-tool combo kit including a power drill, cordless chainsaw, reciprocating saw, and a few others will cost you about 280 bucks.
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The features in this kit are pretty great, especially for the price. In many ways, this is the theme for Porter Cable: a humble price gets you humble products.
You do not have to worry that the items you purchased are somehow low-quality or vulnerable to breaking.
Instead, you are getting affordable products for affordable prices—it’s really that simple.
DeWalt, on the other hand, proves that price is key when balanced with the right level of quality. A similar tool kit—including 5 key components. Rest assured, though: there is much more of a difference here than just a lighter wallet.
The DeWalt package comes with a power drill, chainsaw, reciprocating saw, an impact driver, and more. Although it lacks one less essential item compared to the Porter Cable kit, it makes up for it in the stunning quality. You will find that these products are more durable and ergonomic.
Features like grips and buttons have much more functional designs. Initially, these may seem like superficial features to focus on, but trust me: you’ll begin to notice the difference after working on a DIY project for 8 hours under the sun. Analyzing Porter Cable versus DeWalt reveals many differences.
Related: Best Cordless Drill Under 100 bucks
Battery Power and Life of The Porter Cable vs DeWalt
The use of batteries instead of cord-dependency has advanced for the obvious reasons. Many DIY projects require a level of flexibility and motion that corded appliances fail to match. Still, the sense of freedom felt from battery-powered, cord-free tools could have some setbacks.
Battery life is a necessary factor to consider because no one likes running out of it. This is especially true if you’re working in the middle of a project or if you have a deadline to meet. Professionals in the field must take these factor into consideration.
In truth, the aforementioned “you get what you pay for” theme is still true in regards to battery life. Whether it is the 20V MAX battery in Porter Cable models or the DeWalt MAX, you will likely notice a substantial difference. This factor is unavoidable because of the increased quality you will find when working with the tools.
DeWalt batteries are generally much more reliable and the battery life is simply unmatched. Most of this will become obvious through personal experience, but the cost difference helps explain it.
You will pay more for the longer battery life, but this will probably feel like a totally justified investment—few things are more frustrated than running out of batteries during a project.
Furthermore, there are notions that cannot be underestimated when it comes to the ways in which the tools are used. Battery life is not limited to the range of each tool, but also the ways they are used. Various other conditions, including climate conditions, can affect performance.
Related: 11 Of The Best Oscillating Tools
Tool Maintenance & Life Span
As with any good tool, good maintenance can help extend its life. Better products, though, should require less maintenance to be sustained over the long term.
As a matter of comparison, both Porter Cable and DeWalt require the same general maintenance considerations.
Factors like heat and humidity can also impact product performance. Rusting is unlikely because of the materials that comprise both brands’ tools. Still, keeping them properly maintained is very important.
There are usual considerations, like the potential that exists for individual products to break. High-frequency use, along with overall wear and tear, should be expected.
The key advantage that DeWalt has in this regard is that its products are simply made out of more durable materials—an undeniable benefit.
In all, although the prices are substantially different, one thing you can be sure of is that, in either case, you’re getting what you pay for.
This is the key appeal for these two brands: no matter their differences, what you see is what you get. This is much more than many brands are capable of claiming.
Porter Cable and DeWalt—both have lasted for around 100 years for a reason—they are both excellent companies. Their products are both fairly affordable, though contain enough difference to meet the needs of different consumers.
With DeWalt, you will pay more but can rest assured the quality is the absolute best. On the other hand, an investment in Porter Cable will save you more money. Reputation and quality are undeniable features for both companies.
Have you used any of these brands’ products before? What were they like? Leave a comment below and let others know about these tools’ quality!