Product Reviews

Porter Cable 20-Volt Lithium Ion Battery Tools

By  Bob Duncan

Porter Cable has created a set of interchangeable tools that use the same battery and charger. The company has kept prices down by selling some tools without chargers, assuming you’ve already bought the charger with another set.

The basic set includes a 1/2″-chuck cordless drill and a 1/4″ hex-shaft impact driver with a charger. The tools are light and powerful, and hold a charge well; with one charge I was able to drill all of the holes and drive all of the screws I needed to make a small storage shed.

I also tested a 6 1/2″-diameter circular saw, an angle-grinder/cut-off tool, a reciprocating saw, and an oscillating tool. The circular saw and reciprocating saw sliced through plywood and hardwood alike. I found the angle grinder and the oscillating tool particularly useful for carving.

I like the fact that I can just grab my project and the angle grinder, step outside my shop, and remove inches of wood in a few minutes using a carbide-point disc, such as King Arthur’s Tools’ Holey Galahad Sander. And there is no cord to get tangled in (or accidentally nick with the carbide-point disc).

The oscillating tool’s saw attachment allows you to saw off extra bits or make deep stop cuts in seconds. The triangle-shaped sander fits into tight areas and speeds up the finishing process.

The basic kit retails for $179 and includes the drill and driver, two batteries, and a charger. A larger kit, which includes the drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw, a flashlight, two batteries, and a charger, is available for $239. The oscillating tool, reciprocating saw, circular saw, and a jigsaw are available separately (with just a battery) for from $49.95 to $69.95. For more information, visit

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