Will Black and Decker Batteries Fit Porter Cable Tools?

Will Black and Decker Batteries Fit Porter Cable

While we often use the phrase “the right tool for the right job,” today we have a slight variation of it:  the right battery for the right tool.  The interchangeability and compatibility of batters is a common topic, and finances usually play a part in the discussion.  

Some batteries are cheaper than others, and with prices for tools sometimes high, we all look for ways to economize the inventory of them and their supporting cast whenever we can.  We’ve written about battery compatibility and interchangeability in the past, and you can find a few of the articles here and here.

In this piece, we are considering the compatibility of battery packs between Black & Decker and Porter Cable cordless power tools.  In the first of those past articles, we discussed DEWALT and Porter Cable battery interchangeability, and today we add Black & Decker batteries into the mix.

Who Owns Porter Cable?

Interestingly, Porter Cable and Black & Decker are related and held under the same corporate umbrella.  In fact, so is DEWALT.  Stanley Black & Decker is the parent company that owns DEWALT, Black+Decker, Craftsman, and Porter Cable power tool brands.

Porter Cable was established in 1906, and its first tool was a circular saw.  In 2004, Porter Cable, as a part of Pentair Tools Group, was purchased by Stanley Black & Decker.  Porter tools are manufactured now in Lexington, South Carolina, as well as in China, and the tools are more at the budget end of the power tool price range.  Porter Cable tools use a 20V max battery system.

While Porter Cable power tools are at the lower price range, they are nonetheless suitable for small tasks that require less power.  Their lithium-ion batteries, the 20V max battery system that Porter Cable power tools use, are a bit misleading in their name.  The maximum voltage available for use from the battery pack is the 20V in the name, but the actual output is 18V.  

Who Owns Black & Decker Tools?

Black & Decker was acquired by Stanley Works in 2010, and they became Stanley Black & Decker.  It remains a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker.

Black & Decker chooses to use lower-quality materials and less thorough designs in order to keep the consumer cost of its power tools low.  As with Porter Cable tools, Black & Decker tools are made in both the US and China, using parts from all over the world.

Lithium Ion Batteries

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Lithium Battery 1.3 Amp Hour, 2-Pack (LBXR20B-2)

The lithium-ion battery that is a part of both the Porter Cable power tool line and the Black & Decker power tool line is a recent technological advancement in power tool batteries.  It replaced the nickel-cadmium battery of the past that powered most cordless power tools.  

The advantage of lithium-ion batteries is that they are rechargeable; when the charge gets low, a compatible charger will refill the battery and ready it for use once again without having to be replaced.  

They are comprised of cells with voltage ratings of 1.2 volts, 1.5 volts, and 3.6 volts. They are combined in different configurations of voltage ratings from 3.6 volts all the way to 48 volts.  Obviously, the higher the voltage, the greater the power and the greater the cost per battery.  

The various power tool manufacturers make their own battery packs.  Their packs are manufactured to communicate specifically with the motors of their tools in order to achieve an efficient and effective cordless power tool performance.  

Battery packs are built for specific charges, also.  The slots on each ensure a tight fit for maximum charge efficiency.  This is an important consideration when choosing the battery pack and the charger.

Sometimes there will be adaptors available to help ensure compatibility between batteries from one manufacturer and power tools from another.  These adaptors take into account the differences in the fitting and provide a little something here and another little something there to ensure a snug and full connection.

For instance, the Badaptor tool is one such adaptor.  It is made specifically to allow DEWALT batteries with Ryobi cordless power tools.  It eliminates the need to maintain two sets of battery packs, saving money, storage and charging.  Why would one want to do this?  The difference in the cost of power tools and battery packs is enough to justify mixing and matching when it is possible.

Black & Decker Batteries in Porter Cable Tools?

PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX* Cordless Drill/Driver Kit, 1/2-Inch (PCC601LA)

The question becomes whether Black & Decker batteries can be used in Porter Cable tools.  

  • Both companies are owned by the same parent company, related by common ownership.  
  • Both manufacturers’ power tools use lithium-ion batteries, but there is no specific adaptor that facilitates compatibility.  Thus we must look elsewhere for an answer.
  • Both manufacturers’ power tools require, in many instances, 18 volts of power.
  • Both companies are owned by the same parent company, related by common ownership.  
  • But, each manufacturer’s tools have its own base slots and batteries that are not necessarily compatible, and herein lies the answer.

The answer to the question is a qualified yes.  The qualification has to do with some required modifications of the Black & Decker battery pack and the Porter Cable power tool battery base.  

As a straight-up question, the answer is no, however.  They will not fit without those modifications.

We found two videos to show the modifications needed and offer them to illustrate the point.

And 

As you saw, both the battery and the power tool have 4 slots, and in that sense, they are similar.  However, because of the other-sidedness of the tabs between each, both the tab and the power tool base need to be altered to make room for the battery to fit tightly enough to make adequate contact to power the tool.

The question becomes why, though.  Why would you buy a battery pack or a power tool that you had to modify like that when other options where compatibility is not an issue exist?  

As a rule, we generally recommend you stick with the branded battery packs for your tools – Black & Decker battery packs with Black & Decker tools and Porter Cable battery packs with Porter Cable tools.  

Each comes with its own warranty, and warranty agreements generally say that if you modify the item (battery pack, power tool), you void the warranty.  You must remember that part of the cost of each is for the warranty, so why would you void something you have paid for?

Battery packs and the tools they power are made to be compatible within the brand.  They provide the power and the circuitry that results in the most efficient performance of the tool as designed by the manufacturer, and the power signature from the battery pack to the tool’s motor is aligned for that maximum performance.

If you must, though, those videos will lead the way.  Just be aware of what you are doing.