When we first got a a chance to check out the new 20V impact and drill from Porter Cable we were impressed at what we saw. Now that we have had a chance to check out some more tools in the line up here is what we think. Wait a second step back, let me first talk about the 20V situation. We recently had a tool fight between the 18V Milwaukee and 20V Dewalt hammer drills. Since then we have had a few people email us addressing concerns that the DeWALT edged out the Milwaukee because it had 2 extra volts. This is not true and it is marketing hype. They are both 18V and they peak out around 20 Volts. Since it reaches 20V, some companies just decided to use the 20V number as it looks better on paper. They added the word MAX. Consumers, like the ones that emailed us, are fooled into thinking they are getting a better product. A lot of companies are doing this now. I like to call this the Americans are dumb clause because in Europe it’s called 18V. In Europe it’s 10.8V and in America it’s 12V MAX. What’s next? Some new sort of marketing ploy to replace torque measurements? LOL
Enough sarcasm let’s talk about the 20V tools from Porter Cable. The drill and impact seem to be more of a PRO quality than the other tools in the line up and are the only 2 tools with battery fuel gauges on them. In general the other tools seemed like just a a step above Black and Decker meaning that they are geared for the homeowner or semi pro who occasionally might take them out to a job site. They do compete with the 20V offerings from KOBALT which has a better warranty. A budget conscious handy man would like this line also. They are quite affordable especially since they come in a bare tool version. The compact battery is 1.5 Ah and they are coming out with a 4.0 Ah to complement their Tigersaw and grinder. The tools are covered with a standard 1 year warranty. Here is the run down:
PCCK600LB – 20V MAX Lithium 1/2 in. Drill Driver Kit
One of the stars of the line up this drill is feature packed. Check our PCCK600LB review.
PCCK640LB – 20V MAX 1/4 in. Impact Driver Kit
This impact feels and operates as good as it looks. Check out our PCC640LB review.
PCC650B – 20V MAX Bare Jigsaw
The Jigsaw was about what you would expect. It has 3 orbital settings, a variable speed trigger to control up to 2500 SPM and a beveling shoe that allows you to cut up to a 45 degree bevel cut. Tool free blade change and a dust blower round out the features of this tool.
PCC670B – 20V MAX Bare Reciprocating Tigersaw
This is one of the smallest 18V/20V reciprocating saws I have seen. It is only 14.5″ which will get you into almost any tight spot. A 1″ stroke length combined with 3,000 SPM will give you a fast aggressive cut. The shoe pivots and that is about the only option you are going to get with this saw.
PCC710B – 20V Max Bare Oscillating Tool
This tool has one of the fastest blade accessory changes in the industry. We even gave the corded version an award in 2011. The LED light on the front comes in handy for dark situations. We did find that this tool had a little more vibration than we would like to see. That being said it has a very affordable price point and is feature packed. It comes with 20 accessories. An adjustable speed dial will get you 8000-18000 OPM
PCC761B – 20V MAX Bare Cut Off/Grinder
This grinder produces up to 8,500 RPM for aggressive cutting and material removal operations. We like that it comes with 2 tool free guards and a 3 position handle to give you some versatility.
Overall I feel these tools offer a good value to the consumer and making them available in bare tool form is a great cost savings.