Porter cable or dewalt?

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Sep 27, 2015
Looking for a solid cordless drill for my tool box at my new job as a maintenance tech. Out of 5 coworkers, one swears by porter cable, another milwaukee, and another dewalt. The other two use what ever is on sale. I will mainly be using this drill for nearly everything from drilling metal plates to basic bit driving. The company provided milwaukee drill has been abused for awhile and is built like a tank but the batteries dont last long at all. My interest is in the 20v flavor of either porter cable or dewalt since both are on sale right now for virtually a 20-40 dollar difference at my local lowes. Im not interested in a 5 or more tool combo pack for 3 or 400 bucks. Just a good solid drill that will hold up to machine maintenance and upkeep type of work. What say you bitgoers?
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I have the Dewalt 20v Hammer Drill and Impact driver. Started with those in 2011. Those batteries are the 1.5ah variety and are strong and work well 6 years later. I used the impact driver to build my shed 8*12 all framing done with this impact and to frame my full basement with the 3 batteries that came with the set. Then got other Dewalt 20v tools over the past two years. Ended up getting the Skillsaw, Jigsaw, Grinder, Sawzall, Oscillating tool and SDS rotary hammer on Kijiji for a good price. Keep looking all the time on Kijiji or CL for deals. I even scored another 1.5ah battery and charger for $20 this summer. Also got some upgraded 20v Dewalt batteries 2.0ah and 4.0ah batteries. The 4.0ah battery with the skill saw allows me to cut up a ton of wood before it dies. I'm very happy with the Dewalt. I've heard people say good stuff about Milwaukee, but up here in Canada the DeWalt is more popular and easier to get used stuff at good prices.
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I think Ridgid offer lifetime warranty which includes the battery when it goes bad which will happen especially when you used it for pro works. Not sure if that is under consideration.
Dewalt. Made in the USA. The impact driver has nice features like precision mode. They fit in your hands better. Batteries last and are plentiful/cheap. Ridgid has a lifetime service agreement but no features. I'd rather have the tool that doesn't need the warranty. Made for tiny hands. The only other tool with looking at is Makita. They have everything and it's made very well. Sourced in China though and I can't stand the color. Batteries cost big. Milwaukee is just rebranded ridgid. Made by the same company. Higher price point and quality.
I didn't read anything. I thought Porter Cable and Dewalt are brands owned by the same company, Dewalt being a little more premium.
Ive been very happy with my dewalt made in the USA drill and impact. All the majors have good and pretty similar tools. Marital makes great stuff as an addition to your original list. Made in USA was a discriminator for me, and so I went that route.
For personal use I've had my DeWalt 18v impact, drill, and hammer drill for almost 10 years. Just replaced the original batteries a couple months ago. They aren't abused. Now on all the work trucks we also use DeWalt 18V cordless tools and they get abused daily by the other guys. Never had one fail per-maturely under normal use. Now when they fall off a platform 30'-50' in the air, yea that'll do it (but any other brand). I'm sure their 20v line is just as rugged. Another one to consider is the Ryobi 18V lithium line of tools. We took a gamble and put a set on my work van instead of the DeWalt line. So far so good, although me and one other guy are the only ones to work out of that van so they're not abused as bad as the others. I keep about 12 batteries on hand, but only because if you need to grind or use the reciprocating saw you want fresh batteries! I'm sure if you keep 4-6 you'll be set. They're going to probably send that van to a satellite location, so it'll be interesting to see them perform under heavy abuse.
I have a now large variety of DeWalt 20V Max tools - two different drills, couple saws, impact, etc...and lights....and radio. Why did I start down this path? Price, adequate quality, compatibility. I don't use them a ton year round, but our building season sometimes is short and I don't want down time. I have two chargers and a butload of batteries. I will say it's definitely not all made in USA. China and I think another factory as I recall. I do appreciate they use high quality battery packs that show NO sign of slowing down, and have good low temp performance. I have a few minor, minor gripes. The radio receiver is pretty sucky for the dollars. I guess that is why I have a CCrane if I want real reception. The light is great really for only one reason - hahahaha - because I can use my squad of battery packs in it. Bring on the power outage. Each one lasts a LONG time, so I will have light. But it just has the single trigger switch, no other adjustments. Failure? One, several years ago one of my drill motors had a clutch croak out. Got a brand new one from DeWalt, no questions. Had to send the old one, as I recall it was relatively local (regional). I do think that was a weakness, I had not used it all that much.
My son is a master HVAC installer and service technician for 20 years and uses cordless drills on a daily basis. He has tried nearly every brand and swears by Dewalt.
I see more Milwaukee M18 on job sites and shops around here. Could be that they're still WI based so they still have a following. A lot of auto techs are using M12 for the size/portability in engine bays, interiors, and M18 under cars. No air hoses and the same power.
They are both owned by Stanley Black and Decker but it depends how much you are going to use it. For occasional use the Porter Cable would be good. If you do frequent and heavy use I would go with Dewalt. I do own several PC tools and they are pretty good, then again I'M not using them everyday either. Also, I prefer Milwaukee over Dewalt If I had a choice, but are good but I give edge to Milwaukee.
Too add, Home Depot has the Milwaukee 18V Hammer Drill/Impact Brushless 2 Piece combo for $299. And you get a choice of a tool or batteries under $139 for free. If you wanted just extra batteries you could get Two 3AH batteries with the kit. So you would have Two tools Three 3AH batteries and One 1.5AH battery for $299. Great Deal. They also have a regular drill/impact kit for $179.
Between Porter and Dewalt, pick Dewalt. For cordless I prefer Milwaukee M18 series. Impact, Drill, and Sawzall with heavy usage no problems.
Thanks for all the helpful info guys! I would love to say that my decision is easier now but i have more to consider than before now that you guys have helped me out lol Thanks guys and merry christmas!
I like Milwaukee M18 tools for the most part for cordless. For corded tools I use Dewalt and Porter Cable lots. They are all quality tools. Its stupid to just be blindly brand loyal IMO.
I went with Makita, the deciding factor was the way they fit my hand better. Don't get hung up on 20V, it is just a newer marketing term for the same thing as a 18v lithium pack. I wouldn't have any problem using Porter Cable, I had a coworker that was given a 12v set that worked just fine. I didn't consider Dewalt because we had one at my last job that the pressed on pinion gear in the impact driver spun loose. I have a old set of Ryobi 12v tools at home that are around 10 years old and they just won't die. They don't get used hard or often, but all of the batteries are still going strong. The only brand I would stay away from is Craftsman. I bought a set and my 1/2" impact and drills still work fine, but the charger died, and the screw holds in the impact driver broke where the hammer attaches to the motor. The plastic just deteriorated from being in the covered bed of my Avalanche.
Once in a while I pick up a corded drill or my Milwaukee Saws-all and get reminded why corded tools are still on the market
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