porter cable vs dewalt . The best comparison of the power tools 2020

Basic Comparison between porter cable vs dewalt 2020

Porter Cable



When it comes to power tools, the brand you choose matters. While there are plenty of options available on shelves these days, two companies stand out from the rest. We’re talking, of course, about Porter-Cable and DeWalt. If you’re looking for high-quality products and reliable service, both options are excellent.

So, with that in mind, we wanted to take a closer look at these brands to determine how they compare in a variety of categories. In this article, we’ll be breaking down our Porter-Cable vs. DeWalt comparison like this:

Brand History

Tool Quality

Unique Features or Specs


By the end, we should have a good idea of which brand is better for your needs. Regardless of the project you’re working on, choosing the right tool will make all the difference. Let’s begin.

Brand History

One of the best ways to determine the validity and reputation of a company is how long it’s been around. Fortunately, both Porter-Cable and DeWalt have existed for nearly 100 years, although Porter-Cable is a little older. In fact, it’s one of the oldest power tool brands in America, starting in 1906.

Who makes porter cable

The name Porter-Cable comes from its founders. The Porter brothers (R.E. and G.G.) started the business with a friend, F.E. Cable. They merged their name and began the company with a jobbing machine. For those unfamiliar with this device, a jobbing machine is used in letterpress printing. Yes, the brand that would become synonymous with power tools started in the printing industry.

Four years later, in 1910, Porter-Cable would start selling manufactured products to consumers. Some examples of these items included gas lamps, pencil sharpeners, and tire pumps. World War One helped the business build even further, as demand for these items soared, both domestically and for the war effort.

Who owns porter cable

In 1914, the company made its first foray into power tools, starting with a line of lathes. By 1917, Porter-Cable grew big enough to warrant its own manufacturing plant. However, once the 1920s arrived, things would change forever.

When Porter-Cable hired engineer Art Emmons, they would become nationally recognized, all thanks to his inventions. Art pioneered several products that would launch the Porter-Cable name, including an electric sander (the Take-About Sander) and a circular saw. These inventions would revolutionize the tool industry, putting Porter-Cable ahead of the pack.

The 1950s saw some decline in the brand, as it was purchased by Rockwell International, which sought to compete more with Black + Decker. Because of this, Porter-Cable shifted from industrial-grade tools to consumer-grade ones, which meant the quality dipped considerably. Fortunately, after a few decades of lackluster sales, the company was bought out again - this time by Pentair Inc.

Pentair brought the brand back to its roots and restored the original name. Ditching the consumer-focused business model, Porter-Cable once again started making industrial-strength tools. In 1989, the company made waves with its first electric random orbital sander. From there, Porter-Cable has grown substantially, becoming a mainstay of households and job sites the world over.

Ironically, Stanley Black + Decker now owns the company.

Who owns dewalt

Like Porter-Cable, DeWalt was named after the brand’s founder, Raymond DeWalt. The company started in 1924 with the sole purpose of making a modular and customizable wood-working machine. Raymond called it the Wonder Worker, and the idea was that you could configure it in nine different ways, allowing you to handle a wide array of projects without having to buy multiple tools.

who makes dewalt tools

In addition to the Wonder Worker, DeWalt also built and sold mortises and jointers. A mortising machine allows you to cut square or round holes into wood, while a jointer creates a flat surface along the wood’s edge.

World War Two was a boost to DeWalt’s business, as the US Government contracted his company to make tools for the war effort. During the 1940s, DeWalt’s growth was massive, leading to it becoming one of the most well-known and regarded brands in the US.

One thing that we need to point out is that DeWalt is also owned by Stanley Black + Decker. While this fact may make it seem like comparing Porter-Cable to DeWalt is unnecessary, the reality is that both brands still maintain the standards and qualities with which they were founded. Black + Decker bought DeWalt in the late 50s and has held onto the brand since then.

Although DeWalt was created for wood-working (and many of the tools today are focused on that), it further cemented itself as a high-quality power tool company in the 90s. During this decade, DeWalt would introduce a lineup of cordless products that revolutionized the industry. Now, workers didn’t have to rely on outlets, generators, and extension cords to do the job - batteries gave them flexibility and freedom.

Today, DeWalt carries over 200 products and 800 accessories. The brand can be found around the world, and each product has DeWalt’s signature black and yellow color scheme. These colors are designed to help you identify a genuine product so you can feel confident in your purchase.

Tool Quality

Both Porter-Cable and DeWalt have extensive lineups of power tools, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed. However, no matter what you’re buying, you want to make sure that it’s built to last. Here are some comparisons between Porter Cable vs DeWalt to keep in mind.

Price - typically speaking, DeWalt tools are going to cost more than Porter-Cable. Part of this is due to DeWalt having a better reputation among professionals, but it’s mostly due to the reliability of the products. As a rule, a DeWalt power tool will outperform one from Porter-Cable, even if the features are identical.

Materials - another reason for the price difference is that DeWalt tools are made of heavy-duty metals and components. While we’re not saying that a Porter-Cable tool will break easily, you do have to worry a bit more about wear and tear.

Battery Life - as we mentioned, DeWalt became an industry standard when they came out with the first line of cordless power tools. Because DeWalt has been doing this for longer, the company’s batteries are the best. You get longer life and more power compared to Porter-Cable.

Motor - when talking about power tools, the motor is the primary component. Without it, you won’t have a working product. Typically, DeWalt offers brushless motors with all-metal parts. Porter-Cable, on the other hand, uses some plastic or nylon pieces to make it lighter. Brushless motors last a lot longer, though, so you can rely on your DeWalt tool better.

In addition to these general differences between the brands porter cable vs dewalt impact driver, let’s break down some more specific functions of various tools to see how the companies stack up.

Porter cable vs dewalt Saws - Circular, Reciprocating, Jig

When talking about saws, there are a couple of different features you have to pay attention to the most. First is the rpm, or rotations per minute. Typically, DeWalt saws offer higher rpm levels, which enable you to cut faster and more accurately. Not only that, but higher speeds can cut through softer materials, so you have more versatility with a DeWalt.

When talking about reciprocating or jigsaws, DeWalt also has Porter-Cable beat, thanks to a slightly longer stroke length. Because the blade moves back and forth more, you can work much more efficiently. Usually, DeWalt reciprocating saws offer 1 1/8 inches of stroke, while Porter-Cable only does one inch flat. For jigsaws, the difference is one inch vs. 3/4 inch in DeWalt’s favor.

Porter cable cordless drills review vs dewalt cordless drill driver reviews

As with saws, you need to pay attention to the rpm speeds of a handheld drill. Not only that, but you need to look at the overall weight and dimensions of the product, as it can get hard to hold when it’s too heavy.

For the most part, DeWalt drills offer higher rpm, but they weigh more - in some cases, up to half a pound of extra metal. When you’re drilling for extended periods, that small addition can make a huge difference. However, since you’ll likely be working faster and more efficiently, it tends to even out.

Verdict - If you want a reliable power tool that will last years, get a DeWalt. If you’re trying to save money and you only want something to work on projects around the house, get a Porter-Cable.

Unique Features

Because the same corporation owns both companies, it’s easy to assume that they use identical parts and offer the same features. However, when you look closely, you’ll notice that there are some significant differences between these two brands (beyond what we listed above). Here are the top features we’ve found.

Porter cable cordless tools review

porter cable 20v drill  Max Battery System - not only do you get a high-powered porter cable 20v battery, but you can use it on a wide array of tools. Thanks to DeWalt’s interchangeable system, universal batteries have become the industry standard. Don’t waste money on batteries that only work on a specific device.

Lightweight and Ergonomic Design - realistically, Porter-Cable tools are built for hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts. Those who work on job sites or use power tools professionally aren’t going to rely on these products. So, because they are more consumer-friendly, Porter-Cable tools are lighter, and they reduce fatigue while working.

Dewalt cordless drill set reviews

Tool-Connect - this is a more modern feature, as it uses Bluetooth technology to sync your tools together. Tool-connect allows you to track the location and battery life of each product so that you don’t get any surprises later on.

Breakaway Blades - one annoying thing about using a saw is that you have to replace the blade when it starts to get dull. DeWalt enables you to extend the life of your blades with a breakaway system. Break off the used portion and reinsert it to keep on going.

FlexVolt System - interchangeable batteries are convenient, but not if you’re using tools with different voltage requirements. FlexVolt batteries adapt to the job at hand so that you get the right amount of power every time.

20V Max Battery System - while this setup is similar to Porter-Cable, these batteries last much longer and don’t wear down as quickly.

Verdict - overall, if you’re looking for high-tech and high-quality features, DeWalt has you covered. Innovation and attention to detail are par for the course with all of DeWalt’s power tools. On the flip side, if you’re looking for simplicity, then Porter-Cable may be a better option.


When buying power tools, you want to feel confident that you can use them without parts breaking down immediately. A multi-year warranty can provide peace of mind, giving you even more of a reason to move forward with that purchase.

Both Porter-Cable and DeWalt have three-year warranties. These protections cover manufacturing defects or problems, such as if a motor fails or a battery doesn’t hold a charge. This warranty does not include any issue that stems from regular wear and tear.

Although both brands offer this protection, DeWalt tools come standard with a three-year option. Some Porter-Cable products, however, only include a one-year warranty. Again, this difference stems from the customer base for each brand. Because Porter-Cable tools are meant for casual DIYers and homeowners, they don’t have as much protection.

Bottom Line - Which Brand is Better ? Dewalt vs porter cable 

Overall, when talking about Porter Cable vs DeWalt, the answer will depend on your particular needs. As we’ve covered in this article, DeWalt products tend to be better built and more reliable, making them ideal for professional job sites. However, that level of quality does produce more cumbersome tools at a higher price.

So, if you’re a DIY enthusiast who just wants a rugged tool to perform various tasks around the house (or for a particular project), a Porter-Cable product should suffice. You can save money, and you’ll appreciate the lightweight design.

Alternatively, if you’re a professional woodworker, contractor, or handyman, then DeWalt is the better choice. Not only will these tools last longer, but they come with a variety of features that make them easier to use.

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Mary T. White

Hi everyone, I'm a trained AC service technician who uses several tools in my profession. I created this interactive platform to share experiences and vital information. Feel free to share your views and ask any question.

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