Porter Cable, a still well-known Stanley Black & Decker brand of power tools, air tools, and woodworking tools, hasn’t come out with anything new in quite some time.
Here’s how it all came to mind: I was scoping out new releases and came across a Bosch router template guide set that might or might not actually be new. Then I reminded myself to pop a Porter Cable router into my new Woodpeckers router table and start knocking out tasks from my project to-do list.
And then I asked out loud: What has Porter Cable been up to lately?
The answer: Nothing? I’d say that I’m sure they’re working on some great upcoming releases, but I’m honestly not so sure.
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Dewalt has been cranking out all kinds of new and exciting tools, and there are lots more to come.
To be fair, the power tool teams have a lot on their plate right now. I’m sure there’s a lot of dedication to pushing Dewalt higher and further; and I’m sure their head-to-head competition with Milwaukee has added fuel to the fire.
Then there’s SBD’s acquisition of the Craftsman brand. My hope is that Stanley Black & Decker has a whole team working on new Craftsman cordless power tools and benchtop tools. There are not enough options when it comes to benchtop power tools these days.
Porter Cable makes some great tools. And their power tools are okay. I like their 20V Max drill and impact driver, but that’s about it. The other tools aren’t quite as remarkable.
Kobalt has been doing quite well with their 24V Max power tool lineup. I’ve heard nothing but praise, and despite my initial reservations I can’t really find much to criticize.
Ryobi has been dominating the DIY power tool market. They continue to innovate and have been releasing tools at an impressive rate.
Ridgid has also been pushing forward with strong momentum and great new products.
So why is it all quiet on the Porter Cable front? Has anyone else noticed? Porter Cable has had a difficult time in recent years, not quite finding its place between Black & Decker and Dewalt brands.
What’s in store for Porter Cable? I wish I could tell you. I could form what I hope would be reasonable predictions about Dewalt, and many other Stanley Black & Decker brands. But Porter Cable?
If you ask me, Porter Cable needs to become a woodworking-focused brand again and push into that territory. Why not a router table? A contractor or cabinet saw? A dust extractor and track saw? Premium saw blades? Router bits? Sanders?
SBD should push some of Porter Cable’s products, such as their cordless line, to Craftsman, and have Craftsman be the $99 Father’s Day drill kit brand.
Porter Cable needs to do more innovating, and fast. A few years ago their drill and impact driver were launched as value-priced pro-focused options. The expansion of their 20V Max lineup wasn’t quite up to the same level if you ask me. At the time, Ryobi was considered to be the main competitor. While Porter Cable might have some strong selling points, from a “big picture” standpoint they’ve been left in the dust.
The Porter Cable brand still has a lot to offer. They just have to do more to keep up with the times.