It looks like the new DeWalt cordless drill design philosophy is making its way into the Porter-Cable line. Note in the picture above some key refinements, direct from the DeWalt drafting board: a thinner handle with TPR molded grip, a much more compact design, and a slide-type battery. Though each such design decision brings a bit of good and a bit of bad, we’re fans of all three.
The new line will include a lithium-ion drill/driver and a good ‘ole NiCd hammerdrill. The li-ion model will deliver “424 in-lb of max torque” and will max out at around 1,500 RPM. It’ll sell at Lowe’s (and online at Amazon) starting at around $150. The NiCd hammerdrill will technically offer similar torque/speed specs (0-350/0-1,500 RPM) with an additional 0-25,500 BPM of masonry-crushing vibration — all for $130 in the same channels. Of course, we have no idea at what speed these torque measurements were taken, so we won’t know much about the actual performance of the tools until we get ’em in our grimy hands.
Still, these are pretty inexpensive drills. And as we mentioned above, we’re fans of the DeWalt ergonomics. True, we suspect the DeWalt is a bit more likely to break in a drop test — look out for actual results of this soon — but we generally buy our tools for use, not drops. (We do realize that that’s not the case for everyone.) Anyway, we’re looking forward to seeing these in person, and we suspect they’ll stack up well against the new Lowe’s store brand models in the same price range.