If you are looking for the best tools that your money can buy, chances are that you are focusing on some specific brands. Two that you might be interested in are Ridgid and Porter-Cable.
If you just had to choose only one of them, which one should it be?
A Brief History of Ridgid and Porter-Cable
The Ridge Tool Company was first started in Ridgeville, Ohio, hence its name. It has been around since 1923. In 1943, the company officially relocated its headquarters to Elyria, Ohio. In 1966, the major tool maker Emerson Electric purchased the Ridge Tool Company and the Ridgid brand of tools, and it remains its owner to this day.
One of the things that Ridgid is best known for is the invention of the first modern pipe wrench, and indeed, this company does focus heavily on various plumbing tools and equipment. That said, Ridgid does also produce a variety of tools for construction, as well as for the HVAC trade. It offers over 300 different power tools for consumers.
Ridgid is not a massive company. It currently has roughly 1,500 people under its employ, with around 400 million dollars in estimated annual revenues.
On the other hand, we have Porter-Cable, which was founded in 1906 thus making it a couple of decades older than Ridgid. The company was started in Syracuse, New York, but has since relocated its headquarters to Jackson, Tennessee. Porter-Cable was named after the three men that founded it, R.E. Porter, G.G. Porter, and F.E. Cable.
Porter-Cable produces a variety of power tools, power tool accessories, and small quantities of other types of products, such as mechanic’s tools. An interesting thing about Porter-Cable is that it was the brand to pioneer and introduce to the market tools such as the portable belt sander, the portable band saw, and the helical drive circular saw.
For a large portion of its existence, the Porter-Cable brand was owned by the Pentair Tools Group, but in 2004, it was purchased by Stanley Black & Decker. The largest tool maker in the world owns Porter-Cable to this day.
Porter-Cable has somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 employees, with estimated annual revenues of roughly 100 million dollars.
Ridgid vs. Porter-Cable: Which Offers Better Quality?
To start off, Ridgid tools are seen as being pretty decent and high in quality, maybe not the very best in the world, but also far from the worst. What people seem to agree on is that Ridgid tools are more than ideal for home use, basic lightweight use, small repair jobs, and fairly large DIY tasks too.
That said, many also agree that Ridgid tools are not exactly ideal for daily and heavy-duty use, particularly in a workplace setting. However, some professionals do still use them on a daily basis.
What people also seem to agree on about Ridgid tools is that they are, well rigid, or in other words, they are tough and durable. Some of the tools may not be super lightweight or all that functional, but in general, they are long-lasting. These are the kinds of tools you can drop a few times and not have to worry about it.
People are surprised by this level of quality, not only because of the reasonable price that the tools come in at but also because the vast majority of these tools are manufactured in China, which is where Emerson Electric does most of its manufacturing. Even though China is where most Ridgid tools are made, they are still regarded as being pretty decent, not to mention that people seem particularly pleased with this brand’s line of cordless tools.
On the other hand, we have Porter-Cable, which, in terms of quality, is about on par with Ridgid, or maybe just a bit lower on the scale. Overall, Porter-Cable tools are seen as being about average, with some products being slightly above average. Keep in mind that Porter-Cable tools are sold exclusively in Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores and online.
These tools are known for being comfortable to use, functional, and lightweight, although they may not be the most durable tools around. Most people would agree that Porter-Cable products are ideal for lighter work, small DIY tasks, and easy repair jobs, but are likely not suited to last on a fast-paced jobsite.
Porter-Cable does make some of its mechanic’s tools in the USA, and a couple of products are German made, but just like Ridgid, the vast majority of products are produced in Chinese factories. Just like with Ridgid, even though most of the brand’s products are made in China, they still seem to be pretty decent.
Which Offers the Better Warranty?
Ridgid offers limited lifetime warranties on many of their tools. Those tools that don’t come with a lifetime warranty are generally covered by a three-year limited warranty.
On the other hand, Porter-Cable offers a one-year limited warranty on the vast majority of products, with some select tools coming with a three-year limited warranty.
As you can see, Ridgid does offer the better warranty when compared to Porter-Cable.
Ridgid vs. Porter-Cable: Which Has a Better Product Portfolio?
Ridgid does, as mentioned earlier, focus on plumbing. As such, if you are looking for plumbing tools, Ridgid is definitely the brand to go with.
In general, Ridgid does have a fairly good selection of products including wet/dry vacs, hand tools, electrician’s tools, and some power tools too. However, if you are just looking for some reliable power tools, it’s Porter-Cable that you want to go with, as it does seem to have a much larger selection of them.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Drills and Impact Drivers?
As an example, Ridgid currently offers three drills on the website (two corded and one cordless), whereas Porter-Cable has six (two corded and four cordless).
In terms of impact drivers, the Porter-Cable site currently lists four models as available for purchase, whereas Ridgid seems to have only one.
Which of the Two Brands Should You Choose?
The main difference between these two brands is their product selection.
Simply put, if you need power tools, go with Porter-Cable, but if you need plumbing or electrician tools, Ridgid is the better choice.
Both Ridgid and Porter-Cable are fine brands to go with, and although they may not be top of the line tools, they are reasonably good in terms of quality, and very affordable too.
As such, there is no need to sweat too much over which one you go with. Instead, mainly let the tool selection be the factor affecting your decision.