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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.


6 Responses to Porter-Cable’s New 18V Drills

  1. Stan says:

    Didn’t you mean the Porter Cable is more likely to break than a DeWALT in a drop test? I would certainly hope so considering the price difference. Not to say the PC stuff isn’t well made. I am consistently impressed with the PC cordless stuff I’ve tried. I also just purchased their new oscillating tool (corded version) and am very happy. The thing seems like it’s built like a tank.

    • Brau says:

      “I also just purchased their new oscillating tool (corded version) and am very happy”

      Thanks! Glad to hear that, as I’ve been eyeing that exact model.

  2. TominDC says:

    If you decide a battery-op face-off between the PCs and DeWalts, I hope you will include the similarly priced Milwaukee 18v which has a slimmer battery, and offers enough torque to stir 2 gallons of mortar. I have dropped my drill half a dozen times without a scratch. I love the light weight, and small size without sacrificing performance. The only Milwaukee negative is that it does not come with a built-in bit caddy — you have to order than separately.

  3. mnoswad1 says:

    yeah, the drop test comment has to be way off. I dropped my dewalt impact driver off a ladder…..it bounced against a wall….tumbled down 13 stairs…..and was stopped in its tracks by a wall at the bottom of the stairs.

    I casually walked down and got it. worked fine.

    from a in store hand held test…..the porter cable plastic seems very cheap.

  4. Alex French says:

    Everything that you’ve labeled “Dewalt ergonomics” (slide battery, thinner handle, compact body) has been pretty standard among most quality manufacturers for several years. Dewalt seemed to be the last major hold-out choosing to keep battery compatibility instead of making changes like Makita, Milwaukee, Bosch, and recently Ridgid.

    • Adam says:

      The writers at toolmonger rarely acknowledge products that have been around for years when referencing “new” tools or design ideas. They seem to conveniently forget these things in order to give products favorable reviews.

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