Porter Cable vs Dremel: How The Tools Are Different

Last Updated on August 28, 2022 by Barry Gray

A great tool is a great tool no matter what brand may have made it. However, some brands are just better at making certain tools and certain types of tools and do tend to play to those strengths. Porter Cable and Dremel are great examples of this principle. 

Porter Cable makes some outstanding pneumatic tools while Dremel tends to stick with smaller tools that are electric-based. It is helpful to look at the differences between these two brands to better understand the strengths of each. 

Quick Comparison of Porter Cable vs Dremel:

  • Porter-Cable was founded in 1906 as a tool shop and created small products like the pencil sharpener and automatic tire pump as their first product. 
  • Dremel was founded in 1932 and focused mainly on small, handheld grinders and cutters. Their first product was an electric razor blade sharpener. 
  • Porter-Cable has since expanded to hand power tools, pneumatic tools, circular saws, belt sanders and just about any other tool you may need to complete your project. 
  • Dremel has stuck with the handheld cutter and rotary tools making small hand held saws, grinders and more to help you complete your fine tuning and delicate projects. 

The Porter-Cable Brand

porter cable

Porter-Cable was founded in 1906 as a tool shop that completed jobs but that did not create products for the general public. It was not until 1910 that they produced their first products for sale which were a pencil sharpener, an automatic tire pump, and gas lamps. The company began to steadily grow and evolve and by 1926 they created their first belt sander and introduced it to their customer pool. 

The company again began to grow and expand and in 1928 they would introduce the high-speed helical gear drive saw that would help Porter-Cable make a name for themselves as a premier tool company. They would go on to create the portable band saw in 1953, a high-speed small orbit sander in the year 1963, microprocessor technology in 1985 with digital readout, portable joiners in 1987, and more. 

The company is also famous for the introduction of the first palm grip electric orbit sander in 1992, the reciprocating saws that have a tool-free blade change system for changes on the go in 1995 and so much more. Porter-Cable is not limited to one type of variety of tools. 

Porter-Cable sells handheld power tools like drills, handheld saws, and cutters and so much more. They also have a huge range of pneumatic tools like impact drivers, nail guns, and just about any other tool you can think of. They are also not limited to corded tools, Porter-Cable has a range of cordless tools as well that help make your home projects faster and easier without having to deal with tangled cables and cords giving you the ability to move around freely as you work. 

Porter-Cable is currently owned by Black and Decker which does give it the backing of a brand that most people recognize readily even if they are not familiar with Porter-Cable. They produce high-quality tools and are continually improving and changing to offer their customers innovations that work and that are going to help make their work easier. 

Products of Note

There is a range of products that are produced by Porter-Cable and taking a look at a few might help you to better understand the brand and who can benefit from the products that they produce. 

6 AMP Orbital Jig Saw

This saw is a small, orbital jigsaw that is designed with seven different positions and a speed dial that is integrated into the trigger so that you can quickly adjust the speed as needed. You can change the speed setting based on what you are cutting and how comfortable you are with the tool, which is a plus for beginners or those that might not be super comfortable with a saw. You can cut a wide range of materials with this saw, it has a lock that does help you to lock the trigger so that you do not have to hold it down the entire time you are using it. 

For those that are not a fan of blade changes or trying to find the right tool to do so, this does offer a tool-free blade change, as do many Porter-Cable saws. This is a good tool for users that want something simple and straightforward. 

20V MAX Cordless Impact Driver 

In terms of cordless products, Porter-Cable works to provide tools that are still powerful, even if they are not corded. The 20V Cordless impact driver is a great example of this. This impact driver comes with a brushless motor and a battery run time that is going to offer you 50% more time than some other tools. It is still powerful and does help you to get that extra something that will make working a bit easier. 

It has a quick hex change out for heads making it a great tool if you are pressed for time and do not want to fiddle with changing out bits every time you need a new head. 

6 AMP 4-1/2 Inch Angle Grinder

This is another tool that the brand is well known for. This is a small angle grinder that is ideal for users that want something quick but compact and that might not want to deal with a larger, bulkier tool. It runs at 12,000 RPM for fast cutting and does have a very durable motor for a tool that will not stop on you. 

It has a metal gear case for added durability and also has a tool-free guard change. The handle has three different positions so you can adjust as needed to the job that you are doing and it has easy and fast guard removal for even faster wheel changes. 

The Dremel Brand


Dremel was founded in 1932 in Wisconsin the United States by Albert J. Dremel who held a whopping 55 patents at the time he started the company. His patents ranged from an electric eraser to power sanders and everything in between. Dremel worked to make products that were easy to use, that helped to make everyday life simpler and more efficient, and that was the height of innovation. 

The first product that the Dremel company released to the public was an electric razor blade sharpener that was designed to help make sharpening your blades faster and easier. This product was popular for a time until disposable razors became popular and the company had to adjust its product pools. This is where the company started making rotary tools that they are not so well known for. 

The first rotary tool that the company released would become known as the Dremel Multitool and it has since undergone many changes and updates as well as many tools that stemmed from that first tool. The Dremel Multitool was popular with hobby and craft markets and would go on to be a huge part of the company moving forward. 

As the company grew, they began to expand their tool collection with the Dremel moto-saw in 1957, the Dremel electric engraver in 1964, the compact table saw and sander in 1973, and eventually lithium-ion battery for power tools in the early 2000s. In recent years Dremel has grown with the technology that is available and offers 3D printing and educational packs that are great for little scientists. 

The Dremel company is the best know for their handheld rotary tools that make small, detailed work easier and that help make doing small jobs simpler all around. The rotary tools that we all recognize from Dremel are great for working on small projects like hobby projects, fine detail work and so much more. 

Notable Tools

Dremel has not limited itself to rotary tools for cutting and finishing products. They have now come out with a range of tools to make your life easier including cleaning tools, tools to help keep your pet’s nails trimmed, and more. 

Dremel PC10-05 Versa 4-Volt Cordless Lithium-Ion Max Power Scrubber Automotive Cleaning Tool Kit

This is an interesting tool that is offered by the company and that is meant to help make cleaning your car faster and more effective. Though it is marketed as a tool for cleaning your car, you can use it for cleaning at home, cleaning grout, scrubbing carpets, and more. This is a cool tool to have on hand as it helps to make cleaning faster and easier

 It offers high-speed cleaning that helps cut through the toughest messes and is a good tool to have in your arsenal. 

4300 High-Performance Variable Speed Rotary Tool

It wouldn’t be a look at Dremel without looking at one of their rotary tools. This is a very powerful tool that is still very compact and small making it great for small detail work and for tougher jobs as well. This is a tool that has a built-in light, has easy accessory changes, runs quiet, and has improved airflow to other models and more. 

This is a great tool if you want something that is compact but still powerful enough to do tougher jobs. This is one of the more powerful tools that Dremel offers and makes it an easy tool to use for a range of different jobs. 

Dremel Moto-Saw 

This is a very interesting tool in terms of what the brand offers. It is a scroll saw and it does have a few different uses. This tool can be used handheld or it can be clamped to bases, benches or tables to be used as a small table saw. It also comes with a quick-change mechanism that makes swapping out old blades easy and fast and helps you to change out the blade for optimal use. 

It has a variable speed control so you can change and adapt it based on the job that you are doing, and it is easy to use and easy to maneuver no matter what job you are doing. This is a good tool if you want something that is versatile and that can do nearly any job you set it out to do. 

The Verdict

When it comes to these two brands, they were both founded by innovative people that wanted to make better tools and better options for their customers. The goal when creating these tools and starting these brands was to create quality tools that would make the lives of those using them easier, more effective and would help to make working easier overall. These tools are high quality, thoughtfully designed, and are fantastic for a range of different users and jobs. 

Both brands have spent their entire existence working to improve, create new and innovative products, and create high-quality tools that are going to work for customers for years after they purchase them. The main difference between the two brands is the actual tools that they create. Porter-Cable works with larger tools, they create tools like impact drills, sanders, and more and do run the gambit when it comes to the type of tools that they make. 

Dremel on the other hand is a bit more specialized when it comes to their product range. They focus on small, handheld rotary tools that are compact and easy to use and that can be used for small detail work. Dremel tools are most often used for hobby work and for smaller, more detailed jobs but they can be used for larger jobs if you choose the right tool. 

Both companies create tools that are going to last and that will be part of your tool kit for years to come. They are high quality, durable, and well made and are designed to do whatever job you need them to do and will be a fantastic addition to your tool kit no matter what tool you ultimately choose or what tool you get to get your jobs done.  

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Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.

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