Whether you are a professional or a DIY hobbyist, to get the job done, you need the right tools. That being said, there are tons of brands out there, and this can make life hard.
If you are looking for good tools at good prices, you may be focusing on two brands known for those qualities, Porter-Cable and Craftsman.
If you had to choose only one of them, which one should it be, though?
A Brief History of Porter-Cable and Craftsman
Porter-Cable is a relatively old American company. It was founded in Syracuse, New York, in 1906. The three founding members of this brand are, R.E. Porter, G.G. Porter, and F.E. Cable, which is of course why it has the name it has. Although the company was founded in New York, it is currently headquartered in Jackson, Tennessee.
Porter-Cable is not a massive company, with its focus being mainly on power tools and power tool accessories. One of the most interesting things about this brand is that the first portable belt sander, portable band saw, and helical drive circular saw were all pioneered and introduced to the market by it.
For a very long time, Porter-Cable was owned by the Pentair Tools Group, along with various other subsidiaries. However, in 2004, Stanley Black & Decker purchased the Porter-Cable brand, and it still remains under its ownership to this day. In terms of company size, Porter-Cable has an estimated 3,000 employees, with estimated annual revenues of 100 million dollars.
On the other hand, we have Craftsman which, for a long time, was the house brand of the American retail giant Sears. Craftsman is a direct competitor of Porter-Cable, with Porter-Cable actually having been created in order to compete with Craftsman in the first place. However, Sears has suffered serious problems in the last few years, closing down many stores, particularly in Canada.
For this reason, in 2017, Stanley Black & Decker purchased the Craftsman name and is still the owner to this day. Yes, that is right, both brands being compared here today are in fact owned by the same parent company.
Craftsman is not a huge company either, and at this time, it has roughly around 1,000 employees, with annual estimated revenue of roughly 600 million dollars.
Porter-Cable vs. Craftsman: Which Offers Better Quality?
In terms of overall tool quality, Porter-Cable is known for being average, or maybe slightly above average. Remember that these tools are sold in Lowe’s Home Improvement stores, and while some professionals may use them, they are geared more towards basic and lightweight use. They’re mainly suitable for occasional home repairs or some hobby work.
Yes, Porter-Cable tools are known for being fairly functional, lightweight, and they work just fine. However, they generally are not seen as durable or tough enough to be used for heavy-duty, daily, and professional use.
You may be interested to know that Porter-Cable does make some mechanic’s tools, which are for the most part made in the USA. This brand also makes some of its products in Germany. However, to keep costs low, which is true both for manufacturing and the consumer, the majority of Porter-Cable products are made in Chinese factories.
On the other hand, we have Craftsman, a brand that in terms of quality is seen as being very close to Porter-Cable. Just like Porter-Cable, Craftsman tools are seen as being middle of the road. They aren’t fantastic, but definitely not the worst either.
They are seen as being more than good enough for lightweight and occasional use, such as for DIYers and for small home repairs, yet most professionals would agree that they are probably not durable enough to last for a few years, or even a few months, on a busy jobsite.
Craftsman tools, in part, are made by the Apex Tool Group, a company that produces its products in China and Taiwan, and this is true for many of the power tools and hand tools. Western Forge is a USA based company that also produces many tools for Craftsman, mainly the hand tools and mechanic’s sets, and these are made in the USA.
There are various USA facilities that make Craftsman tools including ones located in Connecticut, Missouri, Mississippi, Illinois, and South Carolina. Due to their decent quality and mid-level prices, many people enjoy Craftsman tools.
Which Offers a Better Warranty?
Porter-Cable offers a one-year limited warranty, with some select tools coming with a three-year limited warranty. Based on the low prices, this is quite acceptable.
Some Craftsman tools feature full lifetime warranties. However, the majority of products from this brand come with either one- or three-year limited warranties.
As it seems, Craftsman offers slightly better warranties.
Porter-Cable vs Craftsman: Which Has a Better Product Portfolio?
In terms of the product portfolios of both brands, when it comes to Porter-Cable, the selection is decent, but not great. Porter-Cable focuses on power tools, accessories, and has some mechanic’s tools too.
On the other hand, Craftsman does also make a wide variety of power tools, power tool accessories, and mechanic’s tools, but also makes plenty of hand tools, tool storage gear, outdoor lawn and garden equipment, and more.
Therefore, as you can see, although Porter-Cable does have a good selection within some categories, Craftsman has way more product categories to choose from.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Drills and Impact Drivers?
At this time, the Porter-Cable website features six drills and four impact drivers, whereas the Craftsman site features seven drills and six impact drivers.
Which of the Two Brands Should You Choose?
When it comes right down to it, both brands are seen fine for basic home use, and quality is almost the same.
However, if you are looking for a wider selection of products across the board, as well as better warranties, then Craftsman is probably the better option.
In terms of comparing these two brands, in the grand scheme of things, besides Craftsman having a better selection, both brands are quite similar.
Therefore, a lot of this is going to come down to personal preference and the selection of specific tools.