Porter-Cable 20V Max 1/2 In. Drill/Driver Kit PCCK607LB Review
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|Pros||Good driving power, solid all-around performance, less expensive than premium products||Great for driving fasteners, heavy-duty, efficient use of battery life||Powerful, great battery life, fantastic integrated worklight||Impressive drilling power, strong steel drilling performance, good control, great price||Inexpensive, lightweight|
|Cons||So-so with the spade bit, slow to charge||Heavy, takes some force to swap batteries||Expensive, only includes a single battery||Only includes a single batter, so-so battery life in our tests||Weak, minimal features|
|Bottom Line||A good choice if you are looking to save some cash over the premium models but still want plenty of power||If you are looking for a top-tier drill to go with your existing Milwaukee batteries, this is your best bet||The highest scorer in our group, this is a heavy-duty drill that can keep up with all your toughest projects||A decent drill for DIY projects that won't deplete your savings||An okay drill for basic household tasks and assembly projects at a great price|
|Rating Categories||Porter-Cable 20V Ma...||Milwaukee M18 Fuel...||Kobalt 24-volt Max...||Craftsman V20 1/2-I...||Black+Decker 20V Ma...|
|Battery Life (20%)|
|Specs||Porter-Cable 20V Ma...||Milwaukee M18 Fuel...||Kobalt 24-volt Max...||Craftsman V20 1/2-I...||Black+Decker 20V Ma...|
|Included Battery Pack(s)||1.5 Ah||Tested w/ 2 Ah||2 Ah||1.3 Ah||1.5 Ah|
|Drill Model Tested||PCCK607||2803-20||KDD 524B-03||CMCD700||LDX120C|
|Box Model (Kit) Tested||PCCK607LB||Tested tool-only, no kit||672823||CMCD700C1||LDX120C|
|RPM||Low: 0 - 450
High: 0 - 1800
|Low: 0 - 550
High: 0 - 2000
|Low: 0 - 550
High: 0 - 2000
|Low: 0 - 450
High: 0 - 1500
|0 - 650|
|Peak Torque (manu)||270 in-lbs||1,200 in-lbs||650 in-lbs||280 UWO||N/A|
|Measured Weight||3 pounds
|4 pounds 1 ounce||3 pounds
|3 pounds 7 ounces||2 pounds
Our Analysis and Test Results
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 and feels appropriate for all but heavy-duty tasks.
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, setting 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. We tested this model with the 1.5 Ah batteries that came with the package we purchased.
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.
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.
Should You Buy the Porter-Cable 20V Max?
Overall, we were quite happy with the performance of the Porter-Cable 20V Max 1/2 In Drill/Driver Kit PCCK607LB. It didn't do that much worse than the very best high-end drills, all while maintaining a lower price. While it still might be a little too expensive for a budget-conscious, 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. The PCCK607LB is a decent value overall, striking a good balance between a more affordable price and a top-tier performance.
What Other Drill Should You Consider?
There isn't anything wrong with the Porter-Cable, but it isn't a standout and there are likely better options in the bunch depending on your goals. While it is somewhat less expensive than the top-tier, it isn't that much cheaper to make the savings all that worthwhile. For ten dollars less, you can buy the Kobalt 24-volt Max 1/2-in Brushless Drill KDD 1424A-03, which is higher performing. With better drilling and driving abilities, it is hard to see why someone would choose the Porter or the Kobalt unless you already own compatible batteries or other Porter-Cable tools.
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