If you are looking to upgrade or build up your arsenal of power tools, you are probably trying to focus on a couple of brands. That said, you probably want all of your tools to be from the same brand, and they should all be of high quality too.
Two very popular ones, especially in the DIY-space, are Black & Decker and Porter-Cable. So, if you had to choose one of these, which should it be?
A Brief History of Black & Decker and Porter-Cable
To start off, Duncan Black and Alonzo Decker are the founders of Black & Decker, hence its name. This company was originally founded in 1910 and was first called the “Black & Decker Manufacturing Company.”
At this time, its headquarters is located just north of Baltimore, in the state of Maryland.
What you need to know is that in 2010, Black & Decker merged with the larger Stanley Works, to become Stanley Black & Decker, and to this day, Black & Decker is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker. What is interesting as well is that Stanley Black & Decker owns several other tool brands including Craftsman and DeWalt as well.
Black & Decker is a very well known brand, one known for manufacturing a very wide variety of power tools, accessories, hardware, home improvement products, and fastening systems. Black & Decker is a true behemoth in the tool world. It has roughly 30,000 employees worldwide with estimated annual revenues totaling nearly 12 billion dollars.
On the other hand, we have Porter-Cable, an American tool company founded by three men, R.E. Porter, G.G. Porter, and F.E. Cable, hence its name. It was founded in 1906 in Syracuse, New York, USA. That said, at one point in its existence, it moved its headquarters to Jackson, Tennessee.
Porter-Cable focuses mainly on power tools and power tool accessories but also makes some mechanic’s tools as well. The most impressive thing to know about this brand is that it was the first in the world to create and market three types of tools including the portable belt sander, the portable band saw, and the helical drive circular saw.
Up until a few years ago, the Pentair Tools Group was the owner of Porter-Cable. However, in 2004, Stanley Black & Decker purchased the Porter-Cable brand, and to this day it still owns it. Yes, that is right, both brands being compared today are owned by the same parent company.
That said, Porter-Cable is the much smaller of the two, with around 3,000 employees, and yearly revenues estimated at 100 million dollars.
Black & Decker vs. Porter-Cable: Which Offers Better Quality?
When it comes to Black & Decker, this brand is known for producing fairly high-quality tools, well above average. Most people appear to be quite pleased with Black & Decker tools, mainly due to the fact that they are functional, comfortable, and lightweight. Moreover, they also seem to have decent durability, and they don’t cost an insane amount of money either.
For the most part, Black & Decker tools are marketed towards homeowners, DIY enthusiasts, and for light work, such as repair jobs around the house. Generally speaking, Black & Decker tools are not seen as being ideal for daily, heavy-duty, and professional use, although some people will still use them for such.
They are technically good enough for heavy-duty use, but maybe not quite as good as some of the higher-end tool brands like DeWalt and Milwaukee.
One reason why Black & Decker can sell decent tools at low prices is that the vast majority of the products are made in China. However, when it comes to Chinese made power tools, Black & Decker does appear to be on the higher end of the spectrum.
On the other hand, we have Porter-Cable, and the story is much the same as Black & Decker. Porter-Cable tools are seen as being about average, maybe a little above average. The general consensus is that Porter-Cable tools are decent. They come in at very low prices, they are fairly comfy and functional, and have decent durability too.
That said, these tools are generally not seen as being quite as durable as Black & Decker tools. Porter-Cable tools are generally seen as being best for lightweight and occasional use, such as small DIY and repair jobs around the home. In all reality, Black & Decker does probably produce higher quality tools
What is interesting to note is that Porter-Cable does make some mechanics tools in the USA, as well as a couple of products in Germany, but just like with Black & Decker, the majority of its tools are Chinese made.
Which Offers a Better Warranty?
Finding Black & Decker warranty information is quite the challenge, but from what we can tell, this brand offers a limited lifetime warranty on some tools, and many power tools are covered by a two-year limited warranty.
In terms of Porter-Cable, this brand offers a one-year limited warranty, with some select tools coming with a three-year limited warranty.
As you can see, Black & Decker does seem to offer the better warranty.
Black & Decker vs. Porter-Cable: Which Has a Better Product Portfolio?
When it comes down to it, Black & Decker is the much larger of the two brands and its product portfolio displays this perfectly.
Porter-Cable produces power tools, power tool accessories, and some mechanics tools. The selection is decent, but not massive.
On the other hand, Black & Decker has a massive selection of all of these product categories, yet also makes a variety of lawn and garden equipment, outdoor power equipment, home cleaning solutions, small appliances, and even pet and car products too.
Which of the Two Brands Should You Choose?
In all reality, if you are looking for affordable and decent tools, Porter-Cable is the brand to go with.
However, if you want a massive selection of all sorts of tools and products, you want fairly high-quality tools, and good warranties too, Black & Decker is probably the safer bet.
At the end of the day, both of these brands are fine to go with.
However, if you are looking for a big selection of reliable tools at fair prices, Black & Decker is probably the better option to go with.