When it comes to purchasing tools, you obviously want the best tools that your money can buy, whether they be decent entry-level tools or high-quality tools for professional use. Every penny you spend should count.
Two of the popular brands that you may be looking into include DeWalt and Porter-Cable. Both are respected and trusted, but if you had to choose just one, which would it be?
Continue reading to find out.
A Brief History of DeWalt and Porter-Cable
DeWalt is a fairly old company, one that was founded by Raymond E. DeWalt in 1923. On an interesting side note, Raymond DeWalt is the man who invented the world’s first radial arm saw, and of course, this revolutionary invention quickly became one of the leading products sold by the company.
The company started out very small, but it quickly expanded, and by 1947 had been incorporated as DeWalt Inc. It had quite a rich history with many owners.
At first, the DeWalt name was sold to the American Machine & Foundry Co. in 1949. However, this company did not own DeWalt for very long, as the brand was purchased by Stanley Black & Decker in 1960. What is also interesting is that Stanley Black & Decker took a unique approach with DeWalt, as DeWalt was and is advertised as the high-end line of tools from the conglomerate.
DeWalt is a very large company and it makes a wide variety of cordless and corded power tools, outdoor lawn and garden equipment, hand tools, and mechanic’s tools too. At this time, according to the latest figures, DeWalt has somewhere around 13,000 employees with estimated yearly revenues somewhere over 4 billion dollars.
On the other hand, we have Porter-Cable, which in terms of age is substantially older than DeWalt. Porter-Cable was first founded in 1906 in Syracuse, New York, although at this time, the company is headquartered in Jackson, Tennessee. It was founded by R.E. Porter, G.G. Porter, and F.E. Cable, hence the name of the company. By 1914, the company had started producing power tools.
Porter-Cable is an American company, and it focuses on producing quite a wide variety of power tools. What is important to note here is that Porter-Cable was the brand that pioneered and introduced various power tools to the market, ones such as the portable belt sander, the portable band saw, and the helical drive circular saw.
Where it gets really interesting is when we talk about who owns the brand, because the same parent company that owns Porter-Cable, also owns DeWalt, which is of course Stanley Black & Decker. Porter-Cable was owned by the Pentair Tools Group until 2004.
At this time, Porter-Cable is an average size company, with roughly 3,000 employees, with somewhere around 100 million dollars in annual revenues.
DeWalt vs. Porter-Cable: Which Offers Better Quality?
First off, we have DeWalt, which is regarded as a manufacturer of fairly high-quality tools and equipment. All in all, this is a highly respected brand that is known for producing tools that are happily used by DIYers, home hobbyists, and professionals alike.
DeWalt does have many production facilities spread out over several countries. These countries include Mexico, Brazil, China, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, and the United States. As far as the factories located in the United States go, locations include Connecticut, Maryland, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
Although DeWalt does make lots of tools overseas, it also makes many in these USA-based factories, as well as in the European locations. Its US-produced tools accounted for 62 million units in 2014. It is also generally said that the highest quality DeWalt products are produced in the USA, with particularly popular ones including drills, impact drivers, reciprocating saws, and grinders. These tools are more than ideal for heavy-duty use.
This is of course a very interesting comparison of brands, due to the fact that both are owned by the same parent company, Stanley Black & Decker. Now, whereas DeWalt is seen as the high-end line of tools from the conglomerate, Porter-Cable is seen as the intermediary between the best and the worst, right smack dab in the middle.
Porter-Cable tools are regarded for their functionality, decent quality, and reasonable prices. That being said, Porter-Cable products are definitely not seen as the best of the best. Whereas DeWalt is fine for daily and professional use, Porter-Cable products may not survive a few months on a fast-paced jobsite.
These tools are best for light repairs, light building, and general home use. Although Porter-Cable tools are not bad, one reason they are not the best in the world may be because they are almost exclusively manufactured in China and Mexico.
Which Offers a Better Warranty?
DeWalt does offer some pretty good warranties on their products. However, the information is a little hard to find, as exactly what kind of warranty you get depends on the exact products. Generally speaking, DeWalt offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, and either three- or seven-year limited warranties. In some cases, a lifetime warranty is offered.
In terms of Porter-Cable, the vast majority of tools feature a simple one-year limited warranty, with some select tools coming with a three-year limited warranty.
As you can see, DeWalt does offer better warranties when compared to Porter-Cable overall. It varies from model to model, though.
DeWalt vs Porter-Cable: Which Has a Better Product Portfolio?
Something that we can say right off the bat is that DeWalt is a much larger company and on average produces a much greater number of tools on a yearly basis.
What can also be said here is that Porter-Cable focuses almost exclusively on power tools and accessories for those tools, whereas DeWalt also produces many hand tools, outdoor tools, lawn and garden equipment, and tons of safety gear, work clothing, ladders, jobsite radios, lighting, and more.
When it comes down to it, DeWalt does have a much wider selection of products to choose from.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Drills?
The fact of the matter is that Porter-Cable, although it produces decent tools, really does not produce many models, as can be seen by the selection of drills available on the website, of which there are just six. This is compared to the dozens upon dozens of drills offered by DeWalt.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Saws?
Porter-Cable also produces a limited number of saws. For instance, it currently has three jigsaws, three reciprocating saws, and two tile saws available for purchase on the site. We could not find any other saws on the Porter-Cable website.
On the other hand, on the DeWalt website, there are 10 jigsaws, 24 reciprocating saws, five tile saws, and a large number of track saws, scroll saws, band saws, table saws, miter saws, circular saws, and more.
Which of the Two Brands Should You Choose?
If you need high-quality tools and are willing to pay a bit extra for them, and you like having a good selection to choose from, as well as good warranties, DeWalt is the way to go.
Porter-Cable is fine for occasional use and its tools don’t cost much either, but they aren’t the best in the world, the selection is not great, and neither are the warranties.
When it comes down to it, both Porter-Cable and DeWalt are fine brands that are coincidentally both owned by Stanley Black & Decker, and both brands produce some good items.
DeWalt is definitely the higher end of the two. That said, in many cases, Porter-Cable will do just fine.