Are you looking to outfit your garage or shed with an impressive array of power tools so you can complete any project you want? If this is the case, you may be focusing on some specific brand names.
Chances are that you have come across both Porter-Cable and Ryobi. That said, you probably want to stick to a single brand, just for convenience’s sake. So, between the two, which is the best one for you?
A Brief History of Porter-Cable and Ryobi
Starting with Porter-Cable, this is a relatively old brand of power tools, one that was founded in 1906 in Syracuse, New York, USA. Three men named R.E. Porter, G.G. Porter, and F.E. Cable were the original founders of the company, hence the name, Porter-Cable. At some point in its history, the company moved its headquarters to Jackson, Tennessee, where it remains to this day.
Porter-Cable is not a very large company, and it focuses exclusively on power tools and power tool accessories. What is really cool about this brand, although it is not very large when compared to some of the top competitors, is that it was the brand that pioneered, invented, and introduced to the market the first portable belt sander, the portable band saw, and the helical drive circular saw.
Porter-Cable, up until 2004, along with some other popular brands, was owned by the Pentair Tools Group. However, in 2004, the Pentair Tools Group sold the brand to Stanley Black & Decker. To this day, Stanley Black & Decker is the parent company of Porter-Cable. At this point in time, Porter-Cable has somewhere around 3,000 employees, with estimated annual revenues of 100 million dollars.
On the other hand, we have Ryobi, which is not quite as old as Porter-Cable. Ryobi was founded by Yutaka Urakami in 1943, in Japan, right in the thick of WWII. The company was originally known as Ryobi Seisakusho Co., Ltd.
In its early stages, it did not yet produce power tools but instead was focused on making die-cast products. Notably, it made its first printing press in 1961. However, just a few years later, Ryobi did start producing power tools, in 1968 to be precise.
In 1974, Ryobi Seisakusho Co., Ltd. simplified its name to Ryobi. Once Ryobi had joined the world of power tools, it quickly became an industry leader and one of the world’s leading brands, particularly from Japan. Ryobi is a very diverse brand, and besides power tools, it also produces many other goods including automobile components, electronics, printing equipment, outdoor equipment, and builder’s hardware.
At this time, Ryobi has two main lines you might be familiar with, these being Ryobi Power Tools and Ryobi Outdoor Equipment. Now, it is important to note that both of these product lines are currently licensed to the Hong Kong-based company Techtronic Industries.
Ryobi is a pretty large company, and at this time has around 10,000 employees, with estimated annual revenues totaling roughly 2.25 billion dollars.
Porter-Cable vs. Ryobi: Which Offers Better Quality?
First off, Porter-Cable is quite a popular brand when it comes to homeowners and DIYers. This brand is well known for producing comfortable, functional, and lightweight tools that come in at very reasonable prices. Porter-Cable tools are priced lower than the tools from many of its competitors. However, people do note that Porter-Cable tools are not that high in overall quality or durability.
For the most part, Porter-Cable power tools and accessories are considered to be great for lightweight and occasional use, just for basic tasks, although they are not seen as being ideal for heavy-duty or professional use. However, homeowners really like them due to the great prices, which is why it remains such a popular brand.
Although Porter-Cable tools are not seen as the best in the world, they do still hold their own, and they definitely aren’t the worst either. Keep in mind that Porter-Cable manufactures its tools almost exclusively in China and Mexico.
On the other hand, we have Ryobi, this is a brand that is well known for producing entry-level and mid-range tools that come in at very reasonable prices. In terms of quality, most would say that Ryobi is pretty decent, and about on par with Porter-Cable, although Ryobi may be slightly ahead.
Although Ryobi may not produce the highest quality tools in the world, homeowners and DIYers are still quite happy with them, and these power tools are seen as being ideal for lightweight, basic, and occasional use. Just like Porter-Cable, Ryobi tools are also not seen as being overly ideal for heavy-duty or professional use.
It is worth noting that because Techtronic Industries makes Ryobi’s tools, all or at least most of them are made in China. Yes, Ryobi does have a small manufacturing facility in Indiana, USA, but this location makes accessories only. That said, as far as China-made tools go, Ryobi is seen as being one of the best.
Which Offers a Better 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, this is OK, but not amazing.
When it comes to Ryobi, this brand generally offers two- and three-year warranties on its power tools. Most hand tools have limited lifetime warranties. Most Ryobi outdoor tools feature a five-year warranty.
As you can see, when it comes down to it, Ryobi definitely has the better warranties across the board.
Porter-Cable vs Ryobi: Which Has a Better Product Portfolio?
Something that can be said right off the bat is that Ryobi is the larger company and it does have a better selection of products, and not just in the power tool department. Besides power tools, Ryobi also produces a wide array of outdoor equipment, which Porter-Cable does not.
Across the board, Ryobi does have a larger selection of products.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Drills and Impact Drivers?
When it comes to Porter-Cable, the website currently has six drills and impact drivers available, which is compared to the several dozen options listed on the Ryobi site.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Drill Presses?
As far as we can tell, both Ryobi and Porter-Cable currently feature one single drill press on their respective websites.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Saws?
Porter-Cable has a very limited selection of tile saws, reciprocating saws, and jigsaws. Ryobi produces all of these tools, and also many more types of saws, such as circular saws, miter saws, table saws, and more.
Which of the Two Brands Should You Choose?
When it comes right down to it, both Porter-Cable and Ryobi are ideal brands to go with for simple and basic use, while neither is ideal for heavy-duty use.
That said, Ryobi does probably have a higher level of quality across the board, not to mention that it has better warranties and a better selection too, particularly where outdoor equipment is concerned.
However, Porter-Cable is generally the less expensive of the two.
The bottom line is that both of these brands are totally fine for basic DIY purposes and home repairs.
In our opinion, it really all boils down to the fact that Ryobi has a better selection of products.