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Porter-Cable just announced their new line of 18V tools.  They’ve built the core of the line from a mixed bunch of lithium and Ni-cad tools — judging from Porter-Cable’s site, the combo kits only include the Ni-cad tools thus far.

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In fact, the drill appears to be the only lithium tool in the launch — the recip, circ, hammer drill, and flashlight are all Ni-cad. There’s nothing wrong with that, as quite a few contractors out there prefer them. It’s just weird to see one Li-ion as the black sheep in a new line rollout with a “next generation of cordless power” vibe.

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Still, the tools look nice, and the hammer drill produces 490 inch-pounds of torque, which is some serious power to have on hand, even if it is Ni-cad.

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8 Responses to Porter-Cable Launches New 18V Line

  1. koba says:

    It mostly looks like the old B&D firestorm crap with a new color scheme. It really is a shame that PC’s good name has been whored out in this manner, they used to have some of the better cordless tools.

  2. bc says:

    Koba said it…

  3. fred says:

    I hope that this is not a harbinger of bad things to come for Porter-Cable. We’ve used their tools in fairly large quantity – since the old days when they were owned by Rockwell International and bore the Rockwell name. I still think that our old PC locomotive (chain-drive) belt sanders are best in class – although they are out of production. We also swear by their door planer and versa-planes – even though we switch to Makita and Mafell when we need something larger. Their 4-1/2 in worm-gear-drive trim saw is also a workhorse for our crews. I also think that their biscuit jointer is a decent tool with a bit more versatility than our Lamello.
    On their cordless tools – they were innovators when the introduced their Magnequench line – but it seems that they let leadership in this area slip away from them for several years now. Maybe their B&D parent is concentrating more on their Dewalt line. In any event, we had moved to Makita for most of our cordless drills and impact drivers with a smattering of Milwaukee cordless saws.

  4. Shopmonger says:

    As fred pointed out …… BnD has been putting a lot of effort into thier dewalt line as the “contractor” style tooling, and seemed to make Porter Cable a stricly ‘woodworker” name. I hoped that they would take some of the tech from dewalt (metal ratcheting chuck that is awsome) and put it in the Porter Line. I would hate to see Porter Cable go the way side since it has such a long distiguished history……

  5. Mark Bickford says:

    Well my Harborfreight 18V drill finally decided to end it all. Jumped off an 8′ ladder on to a concrete floor. Poor little guy will be missed.

    So I spent the good part of the next day going to various stores looking for a replacement. When I bought the HF 4pc combo, I paid $139. I ran across the Porter cable set at Lowes for $159. I have 1 other PC tool, a jig saw, based on its quality, I decided to give this set a try.

    So far, I’m pretty impressed. Much better than the HF set. More torque, better quality of plastic, lighter/stronger. Nice!

  6. OhioHead says:


    I understand from talking to a salesperson @ Lowe’s, these tools are supposed be an “in between” cordless line geared to a value oriented contractor who would normally purchase the Ryobi One Plus line vs. more expensive DeWalt, Milwaukee, etc. They do kinda look like Firestorms, I hope they are built better.

    The lithium battery is available as an option (probably to keep cost down).

    Just my $.02,


  7. R.Morris says:

    To:Mark Bickford
    Wondering how they are holding up? Thinking about buying a set.

  8. Betty Dixon says:

    Just purchased the new 18V Cordless Drill and Circular Saw combo to replace my 15 year old cordless 18 volt (which I would have kept if I could find replacement batteries.) What a piece of c–p! The keyless chuck keeps slipping (something my old one never did) and the batteries don’t last – constantly need recharging, even on small jobs – and I’ve only had it a month – guess they will be going back to Lowes!

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