Is Porter Cable a Good Brand?

Is Porter Cable a Good Brand? Here’s What You Should Know!

Porter Cable is a common tool brand that offers a wide variety of power tools for any job. Between their woodworking tools, cordless drills, and saws – there isn’t much Porter Cable tools can’t accomplish.

But is Porter Cable a good brand and are their tools worth your money?


Yes, Porter-Cable is a good brand. Their products are made with top-notch materials and they’re designed well. They’re affordable, easy to use, versatile, and functional too. At present, Porter-Cable offers a wide selection of tools, including corded power tools, cordless power tools, hand tools, and stationary tools.

History of Porter Cable Tools

Founded in 1906 by partners R.E. Porter, G.G. Porter, and F.E. Cable, Porter-Cable is an American tool manufacturer, one that specializes in corded and cordless power tools, including band saws, belt sanders, helical-drive, and circular saws.

The original operation was run out of a garage, but after eight years of this the company purchased a plant, and it was here where they started manufacturing lathes, their first line of power tools.

Nearly 20 years after starting the business, they were making a range of power tools, including electric belt sanders, which at the time were called “Take-About Sanders”.

It was in 1929 when they developed the helical-drive circular saw, a saw that’s still used today (though it’s been upgraded and redesigned over the years).

In the 1960s, after the company was purchased by now-defunct manufacturing conglomerate Rockwell International, the Cable-Porter name was phased out and operations were moved to Jackson, Tennessee.

It was in the sixties when Porter-Cable started focusing on low-end power tools to compete with other well-known tool manufacturers, but this would turn out to be an unsuccessful venture.

Twenty years later, Porter-Cable was purchased by Pentair, Inc., and around this time is when they switched from manufacturing consumer tools to professional-grade equipment.

At the end of the 1980s, Porter-Cable would switch back to manufacturing consumer tools, the vast majority being sold at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and other big-box hardware stores.

A few years before the start of a new millennium, a collection of Porter-Cable tools was displayed by the Smithsonian Institution to celebrate the company’s ninety-year history. This was the first time the museum displayed a power tool manufacturer’s collection.

In the early 2000s, Porter-Cable started to make air compressors, pneumatic tools, pressure washers, and generators (in addition to the classic power tools they’d been manufacturing for decades).

Today, the company is a subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker, and most of the manufacturing is done in Mexico and China. However, the company is still headquartered in Jackson, Tennessee.

Wondering about other brands? Check out my Metabo review to see if Metabo is a good brand!

Types of Products Porter Cable Manufactures

Porter Cable Drills

Porter-Cable manufactures a wide range of power tools, most of which are cordless power tools. The following are tools that are currently being sold by this brand:

  • Compressors
  • Hammer drills
  • Dust management equipment
  • Grinders
  • Polishers
  • Nailers
  • Staplers
  • Routers
  • Joiners
  • Planers
  • Laminate trimmers
  • Drywall, orbital & belt sanders
  • Chop, circular, tile & reciprocating saws
  • Jigsaws
  • Impact wrenches
  • Impact drivers

They also manufacturer hand tools, multi-tools, and specialty tools, like grease guns and heat guns.

And to complement their tools, Porter-Cable manufactures numerous accessories, many of which can be integrated into non-PC tools.

For example, you could put a Porter-Cable saw blade in a Dewalt circular saw.

Porter-Cable 20v is their premium line of tools, and these are equipped with patented 20V MAX 4.0Ah Porter-Cable batteries.

Porter-Cable 20V MAX batteries deliver:

  • Four hours of runtime
  • Considerable power thanks to their lithium ion battery cells
  • Superior charge-retention (since they lack a memory and don’t really self-discharge)

Porter Cable Tools Pros & Cons

Porter Cable Tools

Pro: Built to Last

I have a Porter-Cable impact driver that’s almost a decade old, and I also have a cordless drill that’s older than that.

Both of these tools work as well as they did when I took them out of their respective packaging all those years ago, which says to me these tools are built to last.

Their tools are manufactured with high-quality materials, and the workmanship they display is superb.

Plus, they’re not equipped with the unnecessary bells and whistles you’ll find on other modern tools, and I think that’s a really good thing.

They are simple yet effective, and that’s the perfect combination (in my mind). Also, their simplicity makes them easy to maintain.

Pro: Easy to Use

Porter-Cable’s tools are easy to use as well.

I believe this is mainly because they’ve been in the consumer tool manufacturing business for such a long time. They’ve had decades to improve and redesign their tools according to countless feedback.

Speaking from experience, I can attest to the quality of Porter-Cable’s woodworking tools, particularly their ease of use.

In short, you don’t have to spend a lot of time getting used to Porter-Cable tools, which is something I can’t say for many of their competitors.

For example, the drill and impact driver I have are easy to adjust, and equipping them with PC accessories is a breeze.

Granted, I have the combo kits, and these make operation much easier.

I’m even considering getting some metalworking tools from them, as I’ve heard these are high-quality as well.

Pro: Affordable

One of the most attractive things about Porter-Cable tools is they’re affordable.

This quality distinguishes PC tools from those put out by other Stanley Black and Decker subsidiaries.

I’m not exaggerating when I say you could outfit a small tool shop with just Porter-Cable tools and save thousands.

And considering how long these tools last thanks to their quality, they offer fantastic ROI, provided they’re properly maintained.

Compare PC tools with those that are equipped with complicated, lifespan-shortening mechanisms and you’ll see right away which line is more cost-effective.

So if you want bang for your buck, consider adding Porter-Cable tools to your tool belt.

Con: Limited Selection

One area where Porter-Cable doesn’t measure up to its competitors is in heavy-duty tool manufacturing.

For example, they don’t make lawnmowers, chainsaws, and related landscaping equipment, whereas most of their direct competitors do.

They also don’t make a lot of stand-alone sanders and saws.

All things considered, PC really specializes in manufacturing small power tools for DIYers, but their products can be used to great effect by professionals.

So if you’re looking for heavy-duty tools, consider Bosch tools, Dewalt, Makita, Craftsman, Milwaukee, SKIL, etc.

Where Are Porter Cable Tools Made?

In the early days, Porter-Cable’s manufacturing was done exclusively in the United States.

These days, however, it’s much cheaper for American companies to use overseas manufacturing, which is why plants in Mexico and China are manufacturing Porter-Cable tools as I write this.

A negligible amount of manufacturing is still done in the United States.

But Porter-Cable isn’t the only tool company utilizing overseas manufacturing these days. Many of their competitors, like Dewalt and Makita, utilize cheap overseas manufacturing as well.

That said, a lot of their competitors have significantly larger manufacturing footprints in the United States, and these companies are able to stamp “Made in America” on their products, something PC can’t do, even though their main headquarters is still in Tennessee.

Porter Cable Warranty Info

One-Year Limited Warranty

Porter-Cable tools that come with a one-year limited warranty can be repaired by the company for free, provided the issue is a result of defective materials or inadequate workmanship.

The warranty begins at the date of purchase and will be invalidated if you try to repair the item on your own.

When you go to claim your warranty, you’ll need to bring proof of purchase.

Porter-Cable tools sold by authorized dealers are the only ones that come with a warranty. In other words, if you buy a Porter-Cable tool from an unauthorized dealer, it won’t come with any protection.

However, if you live in particular states, you may not be subject to the limitations above.

If you want to know whether or not a seller is authorized before you buy Porter-Cable tools from them, you should ask PC directly via this email:

Three-Year Limited Warranty

The three-year warranty that comes with some Porter-Cable tools is almost identical to the one-year warranty; the only difference is the duration.

But if your tool wears down because of normal wear and tear or abuse, you won’t be able to claim the warranty.

Porter-Cable also offers free service for a year after you purchase one of their power tools, meaning they will maintain your tool and replace worn parts for free during the first year of ownership.

They offer a 90-day money-back guarantee as well. So if you don’t like your tool, you can return it within 90 days and get a full refund—no questions asked.

You can check out their full warranty info here.

Porter-Cable vs Other Tool Brands

When compared to other well-known tool manufacturers, Porter-Cable holds its own.

While they don’t manufacture a lot of heavy-duty and stationary tools, their portable electric power tools are affordable and able to deliver fantastic results consistently.

If you compare Porter-Cable tools to Dewalt tools, for example, you’ll see right away that both brands clearly care about workmanship, ease of use, durability, lifespan, and performance, but many of PC’s tools are sold at lower prices.

Plus, many Porter-Cable cordless tools have been around longer than those made by other brands, which is definitely something to consider if you care about decent quality when shopping for cordless power tools.

Final Thoughts

So is Porter-Cable a good brand overall? Well, their tools are durable, versatile, built-to-last, reliable, affordable, and functional, all qualities you want your power tools to possess.

So I say YES, this IS a good brand.

Plus, it’s a subsidiary of Stanley Black and Decker, the leader in modern tool manufacturing.

So whether you need portable electric power tools, corded tools, hand tools, or other equipment, consider Porter-Cable.