This $400 power tool kit helped me complete several challenging DIY projects during our home renovation

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Porter-Cable 8-piece Tool Kit, $450

  • The Porter-Cable 20V Max Lithium-Ion 8-Tool Combo Kit comes with a drill driver, an impact driver, three saws, a multi-tool, and a grinder, plus all the batteries and accessories you need to complete just about any DIY project you might have at home.
  • I used the power tool kit to complete a wide range of projects while renovating my house, and I was impressed by how easy it was for a beginner like me to use.
  • Porter-Cable's tool kit isn't cheap with an original price tag of $500, but it's currently on sale for $402.92 on Amazon, making it a great buy.

I'm not a handyman by any stretch of the imagination. I couldn't tell you the difference between a sliding bevel and a bradawl. I just knew that as I moved into a big, old house, I was going to have a never-ending list of projects, repairs, and maintenance to keep up on. And, to get any job done, I was going to need the right tools. This is where Porter-Cable's power tool kit came into play.

Porter-Cable was founded in 1906 - the same year my house was built. And, like my house, Porter-Cable is under new ownership as of 2004. Stanley Black & Decker is a parent company that manages some of the biggest brands in the industry, including Porter-Cable, DeWalt, Craftsman, Bostitch, Stanley, Black & Decker, and more.

About four months ago, Porter-Cable sent me the 8-Tool Combo Kit to test, and it sure came in handy during our major home renovation.

The Porter-Cable 8-Tool Combo Kit comes with everything you need, including:

  • ½ inch Drill Driver
  • ¼ inch Hex Impact Driver
  • Jigsaw
  • 6-1/2 inch Circular Saw
  • Reciprocating Tiger Saw
  • Oscillating Multi-Tool
  • Cutoff Tool/Grinder
  • LED Flash Light
  • 2 20V Lithium-Ion Batteries (4Ah and 1.5Ah)
  • Battery Charger
  • 2 Kit Bags

My first experience with the Porter-Cable Power Tools

I was impressed that all of the tools, the batteries, and the charger fit into the two bags.

As a "newb," I was fairly intimidated by the big box of tools. Thanks to the countless warning graphics, I was well aware that an irresponsible person could easily lose a finger, an eyeball, a foot, or other important body parts if he didn't take all of the necessary precautions and read the user manuals from start to finish.

I was overwhelmed by the volumes of reading materials that came with the kit. Each item had its own user manual with about 15 to 20 pages of small print. As someone who has had limited experience with power tools, I appreciated it. Reading the manuals helped me feel confident that I could use the tools safely.

How the Porter-Cable Power Tools performed

I completed a number of household projects using the kit, and once I had a couple of the easier projects under my belt and I'd watched a number of YouTube tutorials, I started to feel more comfortable with the tools.

They were user-friendly for novices, and I let the more seasoned workers remodeling our house use them to get their opinions, and they noted that the drivers and saws were up to snuff.

One of the biggest projects we worked on with the Porter-Cable Power Tools was cutting and installing shelving in our kitchen. We decided we didn't want wall cabinets. Instead, we chose shelves for a more open look.

Using the circular saw, I cut the boards to the right length. Then, I used the drill driver to drill holes for the screws. Next, I attached the brackets to the walls and the shelves to the brackets with the impact driver. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that my wife did a ton of the work on this, too.

Some other projects I completed:

  • I used the oscillating multi-tool to salvage an old cabinet and turn it into a discrete kitty litter area for our bathroom.
  • Before painting our porch, the oscillating multi-tool came in handy for sanding. This was the only time that we were able to use all of the 4Ah battery's juice in a single project. Fortunately, we had the 1.5Ah battery waiting in the wings.
  • I used the jigsaw to cut a hole in the top of a cooler so that I could cook food in it using a sous vide immersion circulator.
  • There were several pieces of furniture that we ordered online that needed to be assembled. The hex impact driver made quick work of those to-do list items.

The flashlight is incredibly helpful when working in dimly-lit corners of our home. I liked that it could point in just about any direction while sitting on the ground, unlike your standard flashlight. It also freed up my hands or child assistant.

I love that the tools are cordless. The lack of a cable made it effortless to get work done just about anywhere in the house, even in areas where we didn't have electricity yet. The battery charged quickly enough for our needs, and if one died, we could just switch it out and use the spare.

Porter-Cable 8-piece Tool Kit, $450

Cordless tools require recharging, and you may need to buy extra bits.

Though I loved that there wasn't a cord in the way, the batteries did make the tools heavier. If you are just using them for a few minutes here and there, it's no big deal. But, for a guy who has skipped "arm day" for decades, driving in dozens of screws starts to tire out the arms after a while.

If you are a professional using power tools all day, you may want to pick up more batteries and chargers so you aren't left twiddling your thumbs when the batteries are recharging. The Porter-Cable Charger Bag is an excellent option.

Lastly, I would have liked it if the kit came with a drill bit set. It did come with a bit for each drill, but the bits did not last long. I prefer all-inclusive kits, and with the Porter-Cable Combo Kit, I still had to purchase bits separately. However, this is a standard practice with tool kits. You have to add to them bit by bit until you have every piece you need.

Bottom line

Overall, this kit is great. Each tool worked as advertised and had little trouble with whatever I threw at it. With a little self-education and reading the manuals, the tools were easy enough for a beginner to use safely. And, the price is comparable to similar kits and much less expensive than buying each tool individually.

I strongly recommend picking up the Porter-Cable 8-Tool Combo Kit if you are interested in taking household projects into your own hands. Additionally, according to the Honey app, the price for the kit has fluctuated significantly in the past couple of months. So, if cost is a concern for you, keep your eye out for deals.

Buy the Porter-Cable PCCK619L8 20V Max Lithium-Ion 8-Tool Combo Kit on Amazon for $402.92 (originally $499.99)

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