Category Archives: Tools

Product Review | Porter Cable Cordless 4 Tool Combination

Product Review | Porter Cable Cordless 4 Tool Combination

As per the newest FCC regulations requiring notification if an online review is done for payment of any type, I now notify you that I have no ties to the company mentioned in this product review monetarily or otherwise! The only remuneration to either party was my payment in buying the product!

A builder friend of mine once told me that it was almost perverse how he felt about a good, well made tool. Those of you who like to build and work know what he was talking about, and the rest of you probably won’t be reading this article through anyway. A well made tool that functions as intended, is a work of art!

It is not very often that I directly recommend a product, but this one is a little different, and the price was great, so I thought I would share this while the price is still great. I can’t imagine this set being at this price forever.

I recently found myself in need of a new cordless drill, and went to look at the myriad of products available on the market. I wanted to get a professional model, and, and I thought I might also like to get some type of set with more than one tool, so I went shopping. What I found was almost too much to handle. Not having shopped for tools in some time, I was almost bewildered by the selection at every hardware place I visited. I took some notes, and went home to do some comparison before I went in for the kill.

Battery size

The variables are insane, especially when you consider battery size. That is where I started, and after sifting through tons of data, I have come to think that 18 volts is about standard for a professional quality cordless tool. Anything smaller is just not up to the work, and anything larger is more than needed, and probably too heavy and bulky for consistent use. I think it is the battery size that the industry will eventually settle on as standard. So, 18 volts it is.

This greatly decreased the number of choices and the stress level!

Battery type

The battery I chose was the NiCad type, because my experience with them has been pretty good, and the expense of lithium ion batteries puts it a little above where I want to reach.

This reduced the stress level a little more!

Country of origin

I wanted to get something that was American made if plausible, I prefer American made products, but I am not an idiot, a superior product at a better price will tempt me to go foreign. In this case, there was no temptation. I was surprised to find, that in this case, the American made product was both superior and cheaper than it’s European or Asian counterparts.

After a lot of study and handling to check heft and balance, and quite a bit of price checking, I settled on one set, the Porter Cable Cordless 4 tool 18 volt NiCad combination tool kit # PC418C-2

The price

This particular set was only about $70.00 higher than the drill motor alone, and came with a circular saw, a reciprocating saw, a long lasting, high power light, (How many times have you needed one of those on the job?) the drill motor itself, 2 NiCad batteries, a quick charger, and a soft carry case for $159.00 and some change.

The specs

The Porter Cable Cordless 4 tool 18 volt NiCad combination tool kit # PC418C-2 consists of:

  • PC1800D Drill Driver
  • PC186CS Circular Saw
  • PC1800RS Reciprocating Saw
  • PC1800L Flashlight.
  • 2 NiCad batteries
  • 1 charger (quick charge)
  • I carry all soft case

Power

I won’t go into the power details, except to say that after running the system through the ringer, I found it to be more than sufficient for any purpose. A typical day involves a lot of work that drained most of the similar tools I have used in the past. These were comfortable for the entire time, and never seemed to be in a bind for power.

The batteries

The battery power was better than expected, and honestly I never ran them down before I was able to recharge. I am not sure what the duration of the charge is, but it was plenty.

The lithium ion batteries, and the nicad batteries are interchangeable on these tools.

I would love to give the lithium ion batteries a try, so, Porter Cable, if you are reading this…

In all seriousness though, if you have tried the lithium ion batteries on this set, give us a comment to let everybody know what it’s like.

The charger

The charger will give a full charge in about an hour. The rules are a little different, and a partial charge can be done without damaging the power cell. It is not necessary to run the battery all the way down to charge it back up.

I would be interested to try the lithium ion batteries to see if there is an improvement, but the lithium ion pack was a little too pricey for me. If I ever get a chance to try them out, I well let you know about it in an update.

Porter Cable

I noticed that Porter Cable and Delta have now joined forces, and I am not sure how that will change the products, probably little for this type of tool. I do, however expect great things from the merger.

The Porter Cable tools that I remember most are the metal cased tools that were popular when I was a young man, admittedly some time ago. They were always comfortable, powerful,well balanced, and even attractive. These cordless tools make a good addition to an already great line.

See photos of tool kit: Porter Cable 4 Piece Cordless Tool Kit: Pics


Porter Cable 4 Piece Cordless Tool Kit: Pics

Porter Cable 4 Piece Cordless Tool Kit: Pics

Porter Cable 4 piece cordless tool kit pictures:

Cordless Tool Set

Cordless drill motor:

Cordless Drill Motor

Cordless circular saw:

18 Volt Cordless Circular Saw

Cordless reciprocating saw:

18 Volt Cordless Recipricating Saw

18 volt flash light:

18 Volt Work Light

Battery charger and 18 volt battery:

Porter Cable 18 Volt Battery And Charger

Carry all bag for cordless tool kit

Porter Cable Cordless Tool Carry All Bag

For a little more information on the tools pictured here see our: Product Review | Porter Cable 18 Volt Cordless 4 Tool Combination


Hand Tool Care Hand Tool Safety

Hand Tool Care Hand Tool Safety

Most people don’t think about the need to care for and maintain hand tools, but there are things you can do to make them work better and last longer.

Tools with wooden handles

Keep tools dry

Hammers, axes, hatchets and other striking tools with wooden handles should be kept as dry as possible. They should never be stored with the head on a floor. Condensation can soak into the wood fibers and expand the wood fibers against the sides of the metal holes, crushing the fibers. When the fibers dry, the handle will be loose, which is a particularly bad thing with striking tools that are used with high velocity for high impact. A loose head can become separated from it’s handle at high speed, and cause physical injury to the user, or to property.

Keep tools sharp

Striking tools with sharp edges should be kept sharp. You might think that a sharp tool is more dangerous than a dull one, but the opposite is true. A dull tool requires more strength and energy to have the same effect. This extra energy expenditure causes fatigue and frustration, and leads to more accidents, plus, it slows the speed of work. Sharpening these tools is best done with a file in a vice. The file is bust used with long even pushing strokes going in one direction, and only against the blade with the cutting stroke. The reason for this is that pulling the file against the work on the non cutting stroke will dull the file.

Saws

Cutting tools like handsaws should be checked for handle tightness. Sharpening a handsaw can be a little difficult if you are not familiar with the process. It requires setting the teeth, a process of bending the teeth to the proper outward angle, filling all the teeth to the same level across the top, reshaping any teeth that no longer have a sharp tip as a result of such filing, and then sharpening the teeth to the original angle.

Some saws now available in this country are made after the Japanese style, which means that they cut on the pull stroke, and have no “set” on the teeth, which means that there is a more narrow “curf “, that is, the width of the cut made by the blade.

Metal tools

Metal tools like mechanics tools, pliers, and screwdrivers should be kept rust free, and a light coat of oil is great for this. Just be sure to wipe them dry when in use.

Garden tools

Garden tools should be checked for handle tightness, and the same rules as striking tools apply. Keep them clean, and a coating of linseed oil will help to protect them from moisture and rust.

Storing hand tools

An important part of tool care is having a well organized proper place to store them. If you have a lot of hand tools, it would probably be wise to use some of them to build a place to store your tools. Garage storage can be a problem unless you have a specific area sectioned off just for tools,but, no matter where you store them, tools should be kept out of the weather for safety and longevity.

Do you have suggestions for caring for hand tools? We would love to hear from you! Leave your suggestions in the comment area.