A beautiful combo kit (which I don't normally use "beautiful" to describe tools!) Not too heavy, good battery life, well balanced. A great Cordless Combo kit for the homeowner.
Recommend this product?
I had purchased a Porter Cable 12v Drill/Flashlight combo 9 years ago. I still use that drill. So to me, Porter Cable had some weight behind their name. I decided to stick with what works, and purchase the 4 piece combo set.
First off, I have used and am very familiar with DeWalt sets, which are very good and reliable, and durable. I have seen those tools take a beating, and still work fine. However, my biggest complaint with DeWalt is that the Battery slaps in from the bottom with 2 clips on the side to hold the battery in. Works fine at first. But after years of abuse, the battery no longer has a firm seat, and will come disconnected while in use, due to gravity setting in plus vibration and whatever else.
So when I was looking for a tool set, I knew I wanted something with a slide battery that will lock, and gravity will have no effect on it. Porter Cable is one of the makers that has a slide on battery, as opposed to a push from the bottom. Love the design of their battery, as it has a spring which assists in releasing the battery when the lever is depressed, just to aid in pulling the battery out.
I got into doing house maintenance for the banks on all of the Repo's, Foreclosures, etc. We have to board windows up which require drilling through 2x4's and 1/2 & 5/8 plywood, cutting, etc. Our very first job, we didn't know exactly what we were getting into. So I took my powered saw, and my trusty Porter Cable 12v drill. Did great for the first 6 holes. Then, my power was being sucked out of the drill, and I knew I wouldn't be able to finish the rest of the holes (8 more! 16 if I drilled 2x4 separate from plywood.)
Left that job, and went to Lowes, and grabbed the Porter Cable Combo. The house had power still on, so I plugged the charger in. We still had other stuff to do, so I let the battery charge. Less than 30 min. I had a full charge. (Lithium Ion batteries, which the set came with an EX battery and an LX battery. You would think I bought a Honda Civic! The Ex is bigger and extended life. LX is just normal.)
First challenge, the 18v Drill. That sucker plowed through the 2x4 and plywood. Roughly 4 seconds for each hole. (Of course I had a good drill bit!) The drill had plenty of torque and ripped right through. After all my holes were drilled, I could not notice any drop in power, so I am very satisfied with that.
Next challenge was the skill saw. Something I am not use to is the brake. You let off the trigger, that sucker stops, no if, and, or buts! I guess that is a good safety feature. Anyways, Saw cut through plywood just fine. It does not have the torque a powered saw has (obviously) and you can't push through as fast as you would with a powered saw. But I made 3 cuts on the plywood (ripping it) and it took, maybe 15 seconds. It cut fine. I'm sure the new blade helps in that area as well. I cut 2x4 with no problem, and again, no drop in power. (all the same battery, the Lx was still on the charger, probably charged by now, but I'm excited using my new tools, so I didn't go grab the other battery!)
The Sawzal (reciprocating saw) I haven't use much of. I cut through some 2x4 just to see how it would do and it did well. Don't see having much of a problem with it.
The Flashlight is nice in that it uses the battery as the base, so it is very sturdy when set down, and the head of the light adjust, and you can adjust the beam as well, similar to that of a Maglight. Not the brightest of light. I would of liked to see it a LED flashlight. It does the job in regards to shining light on the subject, especially if you are out and about without power, but I find myself using my cordless LED light-bar instead when I'm at home. I like the light output much better.
All of the tools come in nice sturdy bag, which the tools fit very easily into, with room for extra blades, bits, beer, whatever.
All in all, I am very satisfied with this kit. It feels good in your hand, it seems very well balanced where you won't fatigue to easily. It has been great to have a job, grab my bag with everything in it, including charger, batteries, bits, bag of bolts, beer, and whatever else starts with "B", and go, and have everything I need right there. It seems very reliable, no hint of an issue yet, and I don't expect any, as my other Porter Cable tool is going on 10 years strong.