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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Company typeSubsidiary
Founded1906; 118 years ago (1906) in Syracuse, New York
FounderR.E. Porter, G.G. Porter, F.E. Cable
HeadquartersJackson, Tennessee
Key people
Art Emmons
ProductsPower tools, pneumatic tools
ParentStanley Black & Decker

Porter-Cable is an American company that manufactures power tools. Known for pioneering the portable belt sander, helical-drive circular saw, and portable band saw, it is a subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker.


Porter-Cable was founded in 1906 in Syracuse, New York, by R.E. Porter, G.G. Porter, and F.E. Cable, who invested $2,300 in a jobbing machine and tool shop the trio ran out of a garage.

In 1914, the company began to focus on power tools, starting with a line of lathes. Three years later, the company bought a plant on North Salina Street.

In 1926, Porter-Cable began to develop a niche in portable electric power tools when Chief Engineer Art Emmons invented the portable electric belt sander, called the Take-About Sander.

In 1929, Emmons invented the helical drive circular saw, a compact, lightweight design that is still the most widely used circular saw design produced today.

In 1960, the company was sold to Rockwell International. Rockwell made numerous changes, including phasing out the Porter-Cable name, relocating the company's base of operations to Jackson, Tennessee, and creating a lower end of power tools to compete with Black & Decker. These tools had numerous reliability problems and harmed the brand's image.

Porter-Cable nail gun in use

In 1981, Pentair, Inc. acquired Rockwell's power tool group — consisting of Porter-Cable and Delta Machinery — and restored the Porter-Cable name. The company ended production of consumer level tools, and repositioned itself as a manufacturer of professional power tools.

In 1989, it introduced the first electric random orbital sander. Around this time, the company returned to consumer tools, sold via retail outlets which included The Home Depot and Lowe's, greatly expanding its sales.

In 1996, the Smithsonian Institution established a collection of materials from the company's ninety-year history, the first such effort for a power tool company.

In 2000, Porter-Cable consolidated with sister company Delta Machinery, the latter moving its headquarters and distribution center from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Jackson. The same year, Pentair acquired DeVilbiss Air Power Company and, in 2002, Porter-Cable expanded its line-up to include air compressors, air tools, generators, and pressure washers.

In October 2004, the Pentair Tools Group — comprising Porter-Cable, Delta Machinery, DeVilbiss Air Power, and others — was purchased by Black & Decker, now Stanley Black & Decker. Porter-Cable is headquartered in Jackson, Tennessee. Manufacturing in the United States has mostly ceased; tools are now made primarily in Mexico and China.[citation needed]

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