Top positive review
310 people found this helpful
Nice tool from Porter Cable
on May 15, 2011
I had to install baseboard hot water into a log home. This required removing (squaring) out a section of the bottom logs so the baseboard would sit flush. I decided I needed a multi-cut tool to help with this project. I looked for alternatives to the expensive Fein and found the Craftsman 2.0 Amp Compact A/C Multi-Tool and the new Porter-Cable PC250MTK 2.5 Amp. These are both corded models which I compare below.
Features: The PC comes with a plastic case and the CR with a bag. I like the case better although too many compartments. I like a case with one area for the tool and another large area for attachments. This makes it much easier to shut the case without having to line everything up. The CR comes with a power indicator on the tool and a small built in light which may come in handy. Both tools have an easy to use variable speed dial. The CR has a vacuum port although I found it pretty useless in practice since the suction does not get close enough to the business end. The PC has a more flexible (rubber) power cord than the CR. I bet it would be less stiff in the cold as well. I really liked the quick change system on the PC compared to the hex key on the CR. Since the PC is relatively new the CR has more attachments options. In addition, I believe the CR is compatible with the Fein which has a very large assortment. Due to the quick change system on the PC other manufacturer's accessories will not fit. Besides the connection point on the blades they seem to be very similar in quality from both manufactures. The blades come marked for identification and depth of cut. These marking are painted and wear off just about on first use. Both manuals had very little useful information once you get past the pages of safety instructions. I liked the fact that the CR manual did not come folded like an old map you pulled from the glove compartment. You can actually lay it flat on a table and read it.
Ergonomics: The CR was smaller and felt good in the hand. You could certainly fit it into tighter spaces than with the PC. Vibration in the tools were about the same with a slight edge to the CR which I imagine can be attributed to smaller motor and less angle of oscillation. Both tools have good balance and seem well made.
Performance: The PC is the clear winner here for several reasons. The angle of oscillation and speed of oscillation is greater with the PC. This allows a similar blade to cut faster and the PC did seem to cut faster. My test was plunge cutting to the stops (1.5-2") into a pine log. Note: as you start to penetrate into an interior piece of wood, use GENTLE pressure which will allow the blade to work. If you try to force the tool the blade will stop oscillating with the energy transferring back into the tool; i.e. the tool with shake and it will not cut. In extended runs the PC does not get has hot at the CR. Changing the blade on the CR after an extended run can be a real pain with the hex nut, receiving housing and blade becoming super hot. In addition it takes time to back the hex nut out, install new blade or change angle, and re-tighten. On the PC you simply squeeze a spring loaded lever, change blade or adjust angle, and release lever to lock in place. Another advantage with the PC's blade change system is the blade stays connected. On the CR, I found the hex nut would loosen with extended use, especially if you try to force the tool to cut faster. I am sure this will lead to over tightening and stripping of that hex nut over time. In the end I kept the PC with the quick change system winning the day. I would have given the CR 3 stars. Hope this helps.