Porter-Cable’s new 12V MAX Compact Lithium tools definitely have people talking. They seem to be going after the prosumer which means a fairly high quality and full featured tool at a more wallet-friendly price. The 12 Volt MAX Compact Lithium 3/8″ Drill/Driver (PCL120DDC-2) will probably be the first thing that people will look at. This drill features a single sleeve check with spindle lock. The variable speed trigger provides high grip torque for bit retention and a two-speed gearbox with a reported 1,200 rotations per minute.
The battery is located inside of the handle which makes for an unbalanced, but compact, tool. To combat this, Porter-Cable has included a belt clip that can be relocated on either side of the tool to accommodate dominant hands and specific situation (like being crammed up in the rafters or other tight spaces). The small size of the 3/4″ drill (only 7.14″ in length) should make this a fairly flexible tool for DIY warriors.
- Spindle lock
- 1,200 RPM
- Variable speed trigger
- Two-speed gearbox
- Belt clip
- Magnetic bit holder
- LED worklight
- Two batteries, charger, case included
On top of the motor area of the drill is a magnetic bit holder. We like this location better than those that locate the bit holders near the bottom of the handle as we feel it’s more convenient. As will all the new 12 volt tools from Porter-Cable, the 3/4″ PCL120DDC-2 comes with an LED work light, something that you don’t know you’ll need – until you really need it. The PCL120DDC-2 will be available in October, so look for it at Lowe’s and other retailers. The asking price is a wallet-friendly $89.97 (a full $70 less than the 18V offering from Porter-Cable) and includes two Lithium batteries, a 30-minute charger, a soft-sided storage case, a metal belt clip and one Phillips #2 screw bit. You can also get the PCL120DDC-2 packaged with the 1/4-inch 12V MAX Compact Lithium Impact Driver (PCL120IDC-2) in a Two-Tool Kit (PCL212IDC-2) for $139 (suggested retail). The tools separately would run you over $200 so that’s quite a deal.