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Porter Cable 12 Volt Cordless Drill

Volts: 12
Battery: 2 Amp Hours
Price: $180-$300


Buy the Porter-Cable 12 Volt Cordless Drill






Cordless drills are not exactly the most romantic tool in the shop but they are probably one of the most useful. Skimp on this tool and you will be paying for many years. I received a Black and Decker drill from my brother 2 years ago for a gift. It seemed to have all of the features I wanted. Lesson learned: don't buy a drill based on features alone. If they all work poorly, you still don't have a good drill, just one with features. As it turns out my brother, David, purchased this nice Porter Cable drill for himself and swapped me for my Black and Decker since he didn't use it all that often. What a difference.

The 12 volt motor has plenty of power for most drilling tasks. I've never had a problem and I've used some fairly large spade bits. A good 12 volt drill beats a cheap 14.4 any day.

This drill has a low and a high gear. This is an essential feature in a cordless drill. The low gear has plenty of power for screws while the high gear is great for drilling.

The keyless chuck is the most impressive part of this drill. As you begin to tighten the keyless chuck on the drill bit, the mechanism provides some sort of mechanical advantage so the bit is firmly held into place. When you loosen the chuck it removes with ease due to the mechanical advantage. My old drill would require Herculean force to keep bits from spinning in the drill. Nothing is worse than getting a 3/8" bit stuck 3 inches into a piece of wood. That has never happened with this drill, just my old drill.

This drill has very little runout. When I run the drill at high speeds the drill bits seem to effortlessly spin in place. My old Black and Decker drill would wobble. That wobble caused it to drill more slowly, drill larger hoses and burn wood.

The battery and charger are the heart of any good cordless drill. If those don't work well then your drill isn't very useful. These batteries seem to have a decent life to them. I'm a woodworker not a contractor so I don't know how it would do with a few hundred deck screws. The charger works well and is plenty quick to recharge the spare battery while using the main battery. The charger will automatically shut off when the battery is full. This lets you know when you have a full charge and prolongs battery life by avoiding overcharging. My old Black and Decker had a slow charger that didn't turn off so it would overcharge my batteries which lead to very short battery life.

The only flaw I've found in this drill is the balance. This drill is nose heavy. When setting the drill down on its battery even the slightest bump will topple the drill forward. Using larger bits makes it even worse. If the battery was just mounted a few millimeters forward this problem would be solved.

Overall Rating 5 out of 6.

Buy the Porter-Cable 12 Volt Cordless Drill


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