While talking to Chuck Hardin, director of marketing at Delta Machinery and Porter-Cable, last spring I brought up the question of Delta and P-C’s future. The question was spurred by the purchase of the Pentair Tool Group (which included Porter-Cable and Delta) by Black & Decker. I expected a cautious response; after all, Chuck was with the group that had been purchased, as opposed to the one doing the buying. But to my surprise, I received an enthusiastic report that boiled down to, “Just wait until the fourth quarter; I think you will be impressed.”
Well, the fourth quarter is hard upon us, and I have to say Chuck was right.
When you think about it, if you combine the history of Delta and Porter-Cable, they are sneaking up on nearly 200 years of tool making experience. The companies have gone through many variations and weathered the storms of change off and on, but both continue to be bellwethers of quality and innovation in the world of woodworking tools and accessories.
And that’s where their focus will remain. As I was speaking to Chuck again this week, he told me that Porter-Cable and Delta will be developing woodworking tools designed for the professional: those folks who prefer professional quality in their tools. “We’ve even got a brand-new Unisaw design that we will be bringing out early next year. In fact, the next few years, our new product road is full.”
Just recently, at the AWFS show in Las Vegas, Nevada, I got a look at a few of the new tools that Delta and P-C are rolling out. First, they offered a new contractor’s saw in four variations (Check out Joanna Takes’ Tool Preview in this special issue). I recently completed a review of most of the contractor’s saws on the market. These versions were not available for my test, but with features like an onboard mobile base and advanced fences, they likely would have done very well.
Some other tools I saw at the show: their hybrid-style table saw, twin laser miter saws, a new 12-1/2″ planer (at a great price) and that was just Delta. Porter-Cable featured some slick new air compressors for your shop and a new line of nailers and staplers that would help out any woodshop.
As Chuck told me: “Next year we will be bringing out everything from new routers to jointers and even a new Unisaw. We are looking to the future in a big way.” And when I hear him talk like that, I can’t help but think of the line from the pop song by Timbuk 3: “the future’s so bright & I gotta wear shades!”
I’d keep your sunglasses handy, just in case.