Customer Reviews: PORTER-CABLE PC180DK-2 18-Volt NiCd Drill/Driver Kit
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on September 13, 2010
I bought the PC180DK-2 at Lowes about a year ago. Honestly, I was really impressed with this drill. I'm a machine tool technician. I use this cordless drill everyday on the job. It's main duty is removing and reinstalling screws, bolts and any kind of screw fastener. I have to say this the strongest "torquest" drill I've ever used. There were a few times when I forgot to turn the torque down (I was in Drill mode) when this thing just about broke my wrist off. The two batteries hold a charge for a long time and recharging is pretty quick.
The environment I work in can get pretty nasty. These machines use coolants and lubricants. This stuff can get all over my drill especially around the hand grip.
What I found after about 9 months was the rubber material they used in manufacturing the grip was starting to come off from getting wet all the time. This is something that happens on a lot of drills not just the PC180. I just peeled off the rubber pieces that were flapping in the wind and moved on.
If you asked me a month ago if I would buy another PC180DK, the answer would have been an absolute YES. But here it comes; in the last week or so the two batteries will not stay locked on to the drill. I examined the drill to see if something had broken off but it looks fine. I'll be using it and suddenly the battery unlocks itself and in some cases it comes right off the drill and hits the floor. It has gotten to the point where I am duct taping the battery to the drill body. It appears that the spring locks on the batteries are giving it up. The spring tension isn't like it use to be. So in conclusion, this drill would be probably ok around the house but I'm not going to buy another for the type of work I do.
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on September 24, 2010
I purchased this at Lowes a few months back for home/weekend warrior use. It's fantastic, tons of torque. As mentioned by others, the light isn't the most useful because it's blocked the chuck. Although it's handy as a quick flashlight as needed (you can squeeze the trigger just enough to turn on the light but not start the chuck turning). For a weekend warrior, no hesitation. Yeah, you're paying less because it's NiCad instead of Lithium Ion, but if you take care of the batteries (do a full discharge/recharge, unlike lithium ion which is meant to be "topped off" regularly) you should be fine.

It was rated very highly, if not #1 in its category, by consumer reports as I recall.
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on May 4, 2010
I'd used this drill on masonry job without problems. Good performance for good price. Would be better if total weight was lower. Good power and torque. Gear box and clutch are decent for this price class. Battery endurance is very good. Best value drill.
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on February 27, 2011
This is an outstanding tool, period. We used it relentlessly on a deck as recently as this weekend, in spite of the fact there was an electric drill nearby. It (and the other three tools in the set) has performed like a trouper for months under heavy household use. No one should expect a professional quality tool at this price that'll perform in all sorts of weather, around solvents, lubricants, coolants and all sorts of environmental nasties -- and then leave a bad review. If you need a bulletproof drill to use every day in all conditions, buy a pro version for two or three times the price. There's no need to criticize a quality item only because it develops problems after 24/7 use for a year. If you want a very nice tool that'll take everything an amateur can throw at it, this is it.
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on March 12, 2011
My old B&D drill /driver batteries gave out and it had served me well for many years. Time for a new drill/driver. I wanted one that would have a better battery life. I reviewed these products on Consumer Reports and the PC unit came recommended. I love having the led light and the unit has worked great and the battery lasts a long time. Not the cheapest unit out there but buying quality pays off in both the long and short term with more productivity and less problems.

Update: 3/4/13 - I've had this drill for well almost 2 and it still works great. I use it a lot in restoration of old cars and it has never let me down. I am buying another one this time for my son in his new home. Highly Recommended.
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on March 27, 2010
I'm really happy with this drill. I only have one quibble: The LED that shows your work area in the dark is partially occluded by the chuck, so there's always a little shadow. Aside from that, it's great.
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VINE VOICEon October 8, 2010
Don't listen to the 1 star reviews complaining about a seller. Buy it from Amazon, and you will have an awesome drill for $100. Lots of torque. Very durable! Cant go wrong at this price point.
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on November 17, 2010
This drill replaced a 5 yr old 12V drill that recently died. Having the two speeds to choose from is great so I can set the drill and torque appropriately. It's a bit heave than my other drill, so that is why I only gave 4 stars. However, I don't plan on using it over my head for extended periods of time. Used it to install an outside dryer vent cover to brick and the it cut through like butter. Also used it to hang curtain rods. Very pleased with my purchase.
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on September 23, 2011
For now, at "three stars" I have many Porter Cable tools, and had their high-end 1/2 inch battery powered drill for many years. Instead of paying $80 for the 19.2 volt battery for my old drill, I decided to pay $99 for a new drill, two batteries, etc.

My problem: my old drill did not have an "automatic" chuck lock; tightening the chuck required two hands. Releasing the trigger did not lock the chuck. This new drill locks the chuck when you release the trigger--and it locks instantly. So, if the drill is winding down when you release the chuck and the lock takes hold, the momentum loosens the chuck. Drill a few holes and the bit falls out. Tighten a few screws and the driver falls out. And I'm no weakling... I tighten this chuck hard. It's just physics.

This is annoying as heck, especially when the drill bit falls out and rolls away. Is it just this one drill, or is this a problem with all of them?
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on January 30, 2013
Buy another drill. This is a homeowner tool at best and not for the professional. I own a sign manufacturing business and use drills EVERY DAY. I have liked Porter Cable tools in the past and they comprise most of my many tool collection. As I stated, I am self employed so I only take the time to write posts if I am extremely satisfied with a product or angry over one. This drill is not junk but I've run into two problems which make it essentially worthless. First the chuck. The chuck does not significantly ratchet the way a Makita or a Milwaukee will--others I've used (done with DeWalt--went through three of their 14V drills). I put up ceiling drywall in my shop and spent half the time picking up the bits that fell from this pathetic chuck, getting down and up on my horses. Secondly, the charger/batteries. I can take a battery directly out of the drill that won't turn the drill and put it in the charger. Seconds later the charger indicates that the battery is fully charged. GIVE ME A BREAK! I've adopted a Makita drill that an employee left me and can't find a single thing wrong with it. It is even better balanced! Spend your money elsewhere, allow this drill to obsolesce, and buy the Makita 18V.
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