PORTER-CABLE PCCK607LB Review
Pros: Good driving power, solid all-around performance, less expensive than premium products
Cons: So-so with the spade bit, slow to charge
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
The PCCK607LB finished just behind the DEWALT DCD771C2 and tied with the Ridgid R86009K. The DEWALT did a bit better in our drilling and driving tests than the PCCK607LB, but we did find that the PORTER-CABLE did do better in the battery life and convenience tests. The Ridgid also did a bit better than the PCCK607LB in our drilling test, but the PCCK607LB came out on top in the driving tests, with both the Ridgid and the PCCK607LB scoring the same when it came to battery life and convenience. In terms of price, the Ridgid has the highest list price, followed by the DEWALT and then the PORTER-CABLE. However, this order can shift depending on which one of these tools is currently on sale, as we have seen their actual prices fluctuate quite a bit.
To pick out which power drills to include in our test, we started off by researching tons and tons of different tools, then selecting all the models that looked like they were incredibly popular or showed a ton of promise to purchase and test out head-to-head to find out for ourselves which is truly the top tool of them all. We tested the performance of each drill in a variety of different tests, with the PCCK607LB results outlined below.
Comprising 35% of the overall score for each drill in our test, drilling performance is - obviously — absolutely critical for a cordless drill. To evaluate this, we tested out the PCCK607LB with a 5" hole saw in a solid door, a 1" spade bit in dimensional lumber, and a pair of twist drills (¼" and ½") in a 16 gauge steel sheet. It did decently well, earning a 7 out of 10 for its performance.
This drill got off to a great start with the 5" hole saw, drilling it to the full depth in the door with only a slight amount of struggling compared to the top-of-the-line tools. It never completely stalled and stopped, but it did take a little more than three times as long as the fastest drills — 50 seconds compared to 17.
It also did very well with the standard twist drills and the steel sheet. It took almost no time at all — 1.8 seconds — to drill a hole with the ¼" drill. The PCCK607LB didn't struggle at all with this, not even binding up when it punched through the sheet into the wood backer board we were using. It did take a little longer with the ½" drill, mainly due to the fact that it took a little time to get the hole started, but it still took less than 10 seconds in total for the PCCK607LB to drill through the steel with the larger bit.
Unfortunately, we weren't quite as enamored with the PCCK607LB's performance when it came to drilling through the 2x12 with a 1" paddle bit. The PCCK607LB seems like it has plenty of power to make it through the board, though we could tell that it was a little underpowered compared to a handful of the others. However, it was the fact that the PORTER-CABLE tended to stall right as you were punching through the last bit of the board and would violently wrench the handle to the side that caused us to lose some enthusiasm for this tool. Despite that, it still offers a solid all-around drilling performance — as long as you are cautious about it catching as it finishes drilling a hole.
Moving on from drilling holes with the PCCK607LB, we next ranked and scored how it did at driving in some screws, which also accounts for 35% of its final score. The PORTER-CABLE did very well, earning an 8 out of 10 for its results at setting a 5" long, ½" lag screw and 3" long, #9 wood screws to join dimensional boards together.
We started off with the easier of these two tests: #9 screws. We used the PCCK607LB to drive tons of these screws into a pair of stacked 2x12s. This drill handled this test with ease, quickly and easily driving the screws with plenty of power to fully set the countersunk screw heads flush with the surface of the board. You can do a gentle controlled drive near the end to ensure you don't set the heads too deep and the PCCK607LB has more than enough power to stop and restart if you don't set the head deep enough at first — it doesn't need the momentum to drive the head in at the end.
The PCCK607LB also did quite well with the 5" lag screw, though there was a significant increase in the amount of protesting to get it to the full depth. We drilled a pilot hole through a 2x4 into a 4x4 for this test, then set the tool to work on the ½" lag screw. This drill had more than enough power for the start and the middle of this test but did begin to stall out and struggle towards the end, when there was about ½"-1" to go. However, we were able to eventually drive the screw to its full depth, it just took a bit of convincing on our part.
After drilling all those holes and driving in all those screws, it was time to assess the battery performance of the PORTER-CABLE. We did this by comparing the effective runtime, the time it took to recharge a dead battery, and the number of batteries included with the drill. Altogether, this trio of evaluations is responsible for 20% of its final score, with the PCCK607LB earning a 6 out of 10.
This cordless drill includes a pair of 1.5 Ah batteries, though we did find they take a little longer than average to recharge. It took around 85 minutes to recharge a completely depleted battery with the included charger in our test.
To compare and score effective runtime, we used each drill with a fully charged battery to drive in 16 of the 3" long, #9 wood screws to their full depth and then to drill a trio of 1" holes using the spade bit. We then repeated this until the battery died, awarding points proportional to the number of sets completed. The best drills made it through 10 or more set, while the PCCK607LB made it through six full sets and a partial set, able to drive in all the screws of the seventh set but died halfway through drilling the first hole.
Our last series of tests focused on the various features, functions, and capabilities of each drill that improve their ease of use and productivity. In total, these all account for 10% of the PCCK607LB's final score, which earned a 7 out of 10.
This drill is about average in weight, weighing in at a little less than 3.5 lbs., and includes a belt clip that is mounted near the back of the battery — quite handy when working on a ladder or scaffolding.
The chuck on the PORTER-CABLE can hold up to a ½" bit or a bit with a ½" shank and this drill has two different speed ranges or gear ratios. It also has an integrated LED light on the bottom of the drill that does an excellent job lighting up your work area. It stays on for about 20 seconds after releasing the trigger and doesn't create any shadows from the drill or your hand to obscure your view of the hole you are trying to drill or the fastener you are trying to drive in.
It's fairly easy to swap the batteries on this drill, with a locking mechanism that engages or disengages quite easily. However, it can take a little force to slide the battery in or out. We also really liked that this drill has a status indicator on the battery so you know how much charge you have remaining.
The PCCK607LB is a decent value overall, striking a good balance between a more affordable price and a top-tier performance.
Overall, we were quite happy with the performance of the PCCK607LB by PORTER-CABLE. It didn't do that much worse than the very best high-end drills, all while maintaining a much lower price. While it still might be a little too expensive for a budget-conscious on a slim budget, it's a great option for anyone who is willing to pay a bit more for better performance but is still looking to save some cash and doesn't want to pay the premium price of the best drills of the bunch.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer