Porter Cable vs Ryobi: Which Combo Kit Reigns Supreme?

Whether you’re in the market for your first set of power tools, or you’re looking to replace aging tools you’ve been using for years, you’ll quickly realize that there’s a seemingly endless array of tool manufacturers these days. Each company promises to deliver performance, power, and value.

But, which brands put their money where their mouth is regarding performance and value? Today, we’re going to take a closer look at two major players in the power tool space in our battle of Porter Cable vs Ryobi.

A Step Back: Brand History

Both brands are exceptionally well established with 75 years or more of experience in the power tool industry.

Porter-Cable has been around for over a century. Incorporated initially by R.E. Porter, G.G. Porter, and F.E. Cable, the company came from humble beginnings as a small tool and machine shop in Syracuse, NY.

Over the years, the Porter-Cable company showed a serious pension for innovation, and the company is responsible for inventing many tools we still use today, including the random orbit sander, portable belt sander, and helical drive circular saw.

The company fell on some harder times in the mid-20th century, but since then the brand has grown significantly and re-established its reputation as a premier power tool manufacturer.

The Ryobi company opened its doors in 1943, originally producing die-cast components. A few years later, the company diversified and began producing offset printing presses, and later electric power tools.

Today, Ryobi owns twelve manufacturing facilities in six different countries, and they produce everything from printers and office equipment, to die cast products, to power tools and lawn and garden equipment.

Benefits of These Tools

Both Ryobi and Porter-Cable manufacture a full line of different power tools, including everything from drills and drivers to power saws, sanders, and specialty tools as well.

Each company offers a full line of lithium-ion battery-powered tools as well, so you can effectively tackle any job you have at home with either brand.

Both companies have well-established reputations for producing excellent tools, and both offer a three-year warranty for all their power tools, so whichever brand you choose will offer the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ll be covered should something go wrong with your tools.

Downsides of These Tools

While both brands make quality power tools that are ideal for DIY enthusiasts and home craftspeople alike, if you’re in the market for high-end commercial tools, both Porter-Cable and Ryobi are likely to fall short of your needs and expectations.

However, most people find that the tools provided by each company offer them the features they need and the power to get the job done right.

While both brands also produce corded electric models of many of their tools, their most successful lines are their lithium-ion battery-powered tools. While battery power provides you the freedom to work anywhere without having to worry about cumbersome extension cords or electricity, there are some inherent downsides as well.

With battery-powered tools, you’re at the mercy of the tool’s battery life. If you run out of juice in the middle of a job and don’t have a spare battery that’s ready to go, you’ll need to stop what you’re doing and charge up for at least a half hour before getting back to work.

Porter-Cable vs Ryobi: Combo Kit Showdown

Now that we’ve covered a bit of information about these two power tool heavyweights, we’re going to put their most popular combo kits head to head to see which brand reigns supreme.

Porter-Cable Six Piece Combo Kit

This Porter-Cable combo kit includes six of the most popular tools you’ll want to have at the ready when it comes to tackling jobs around the house and hobby projects.

Included with this kit are an impact driver, hammer drill, reciprocating saw, circular saw, oscillating tool, and an LED flashlight.

Each tool is powered by Porter-Cable’s powerful 20v battery system, and two batteries, as well as a charger, are included with each kit. A bag to store your tools is also included.

Each tool in this kit brings impressive specs to the table. The impact driver offers an impressive 1,450 pounds of torque; the hammer drill features 283 unit watts out, variable speed and a convenient ½” chuck. Both tools feature onboard LED lighting to illuminate your work surface.

The circular saw features a powerful 3,700 RPM motor and a beveling shoe that makes cuts up to 50-degrees. The reciprocating saw delivers 3,000 SPM, tool-free blade change, and compact shape that’s ideal for working in tight quarters.

The powerful oscillating tool features variable speeds between 8,000 and 18,000 SPM, an onboard LED light and tool-free blade clamps that accept any oscillating tool accessory. Also included are a pivoting LED flashlight and a portable USB charger.

Altogether, this kit provides exceptional value for the money, and it’s one of the top performers when it comes to value priced toolkits.

What We Like

  • Impressive power
  • Onboard LED lighting
  • Includes two batteries

What Could Be Better

  • Circular saw is a bit undersized with a 5 ½” blade
  • Flashlight could be brighter

Ryobi ONE+ P883 Six Piece Combo Kit

The P883 kit from Ryobi includes virtually identical tools compared to the Porter-Cable kit above.

Included with the kit are a hammer drill, impact driver, reciprocating saw, oscillating tool, circular saw, and LED job light.

The drill features a 1,600 RPM motor, 24-position clutch, and variable speeds. The impact driver offers a 3,200 RPM motor and 1,600 pounds of torque. Both tools have intuitive features like magnetic bit storage and onboard LED lighting.

The circular saw features a 5 ½” blade, 4,700 RPM motor, and can cut bevels up to 45-degrees. The reciprocating saw features a no-load speed of 3,100 SPM and an over-molded anti-vibration handle which reduces fatigue.

The oscillating tool offers a no-load speed of 20,000 OPM and tool-free accessory changes, and the tool’s head is compatible with all over oscillating accessories from other brands.

Also included is an ultra-bright LED job light, charging station and two 18v Ryobi ONE+ batteries.

What We Like

  • Intuitive storage features
  • Onboard LED lighting
  • Includes two batteries

What Could Be Better

  • Circular saw is small

Final Verdict

When it comes to the battle of Porter-Cable vs Ryobi, choosing a winner is far from easy. Both companies manufacture similar kits that offer similar power and features, and they’re both accompanied by the same 3-year warranty.

But there can only be one winner, and we believe the champion is Ryobi. With both tools brands offering such similar products, it’s the little things that separate them. Features like Ryobi’s magnetic onboard storage, brighter LED lighting and ONE+ battery system that’s compatible with over 100 Ryobi tools help sway the scales in their favor. Which combo kit tops your list? Tell us in the comments.

About Dirk Val

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