Porter Cable’s new 12V Max compact drill and impact driver were introduced late last year along with a neat compact reciprocating saw. After testing out the drill & impact duo for a few projects, I feel quite comfortable in giving them the thumbs up. Taking their price into account, I highly recommend them.
These tools aren’t the smallest or lightest in their class of compact cordless drill/drivers, nor are they the most feature-rich. On paper, the drill, rated at 220 in-lbs, slightly trails some competing models, and the impact driver looks to be near the head of the pack with a 950 in-lb rating.
Once again, I’m completely impressed with Porter Cable’s engineering. Compared to the other drills and drivers I’ve used or reviewed in the past year, these are by no means my favorites, but I do like them. Subtle features, such as the magnetic bit holder and removable belt hook, are well thought out and appreciated.
What really makes these drivers stand out is how affordable they are: ~$140 for the 2-tool drill and impact combo kit with 2 batteries, and ~$90 for the drill kit.
The surprising thing about this drill and impact driver combo is that there’s no catch. I can point out a few areas where I suspect Porter Cable’s design engineers were able to shave a few dollars off the production cost, but they’re ever so subtle. The tools feel good to use, perform well, and appear to be every bit as durable as drills and drivers can and should be.
Bottom line, Porter Cable’s new 12V Max compact drill and driver offer a good balance between features, performance, and price. These tools are adeptly designed and solidly built, and are unlikely to disappoint.
Porter Cable 12V Max 3/8″ Drill Kit via Amazon
Porter Cable’s 12V Max family of tools have also started popping up at local Lowe’s stores.
Porter Cable provided the sample tools for this review unconditionally.