While the PORTER-CABLE PCC660 appears to be a bargain, the reduction in price comes at the cost of battery life, and ease of use functionality. Specifically, the saw has a difficult to turn twist knob for the bevel adjustment, and the bevel degree markers are hard to read. Moreover, the sightlines are a sixteenth of an inch off on the long side. The 4 amp-hour battery is also an issue — it's one of the shortest-lived power cells that we've tested. The saw will make most cuts, but it often struggles to do so. Ultimately, we see this saw as an introductory tool that restricts users to the most basic cutting applications.
PORTER-CABLE PCC660 Review
Pros: Inexpensive, decent blade changing system, average cutting power
Cons: Limited battery life, poor sightlines, fiddly adjustments
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|Pros||Inexpensive, decent blade changing system, average cutting power||Powerful motor, long-lasting battery, good shoe design||Great adjustment and setting features, decent battery life, cutting light||Super long-lasting battery, easy to adjust shoe, powerful motor||Powerful, great blade changing system, positive bevel stops|
|Cons||Limited battery life, poor sightlines, fiddly adjustments||Heavy, expensive, so-so bevel design||Inconsistent cutting performance, slightly underpowered motor, heavy||No positive stops, imprecise sightlines, so-so blade removal||Limited battery life, heavy, expensive|
|Bottom Line||This inexpensive saw is for light-duty applications only||This saw delivers professional quality cuts without a cord tying you down||This tricked-out saw has every ease of use feature but it lacks a bit in cutting power||Like the energizer bunny, this efficient saw has a battery that just won’t quit||A powerful saw with good adjustment and safety features that lacks battery longevity|
|Rating Categories||PORTER-CABLE PCC660||Milwaukee M18...||Ridgid R8653B||Kobalt KCS 6524B-03||DeWalt 20V MAX...|
|Ease Of Use (50%)|
|Specs||PORTER-CABLE PCC660||Milwaukee M18...||Ridgid R8653B||Kobalt KCS 6524B-03||DeWalt 20V MAX...|
|Blade Size (inches)||6.5 in||7.25 in||7.25 in||6.5 in||7.25 in|
|Bevel Positive Stops?||No||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Linear Feet of 3/4" Plywood Cut per Charge||157 ft||298 ft||304 ft||360 ft||242 ft|
|Measured Weight w/o Battery||5.9 lbs||7.7 lbs||8.4 lbs||6.6 lbs||8.2 lbs|
|Measured Max Depth of Cut w/ Framing Blade (inches)||1.9 in||2.3 in||2.2 in||2.2 in||2.3 in|
|6x12" Cross Cutting Time||6.9 sec||4.2 sec||6.3 sec||4 sec||6.4 sec|
|Battery Used in Testing (Amp-hours)||4 Ah||5 Ah||5 Ah||4 Ah||5 Ah|
Our Analysis and Test Results
What sets the PORTER-CABLE apart from the class of circular saws is its price tag and its low scores in our ease of use and battery tests. The saw would be much improved if it had a longer-lasting battery and some basic user interface features promoting better cuts while easing user frustration. It should be said that the saw will make some reasonably demanding cuts. However, it protests the action with sluggish blade RPMs and a heightening of the motor pitch — not good signs. Finally, the saw's shoe is rather poorly designed, making bevel adjustments and cuts hard to get right.
We definitely like a saw that is priced low enough that those on a tight budget can enter the market. It's also good that it is capable of making crosscuts and rips of common dimensional lumber. After all, what good is an affordable saw if it doesn't work?
What we don't like about the PORTER-CABLE is that the saw will quickly be outgrown if the user puts it to regular use. Our concern here is the old adage buy cheap, buy twice. The saw is indeed substantially better than a hand saw. However, it lacks in so many important features — accurate sightlines, proper bevel adjustments, and decent battery life — that it will quickly become an obsolete item if consistently used.
Additionally, we found the blade changing procedure to be a real pain in the you know what. As this is a common point of frustration for the inexperienced user, we think that PORTER_CABLE could have done better on this aspect of the design. As it is, the blade has to be leveraged into place.
We think that the PORTER-CABLE is an appropriately priced product. However, the saw's value decreases with an increase in use. This means that if you are an infrequent DIYer, this tool's low price is a boon. However, if you plan on using the saw often, then you will likely be shopping for a better product rather quickly because all its shortcomings will become overwhelming and ultimately unbearable.
The PORTER-CABLE PCC660 is an economy saw to be sure. However, it's important to recognize that the decrease in cost is accompanied by a loss in battery life and numerous ease of use features. We think that this saw will best suit those with infrequent light-duty tasks in mind. Those with plans for more intensive work should set their sights on a higher-quality saw.
— Nick Miley and Austin Palmer