Porter Cable has been around for a long time and they have had their ups and downs just like every other manufacturer. It wasn't too long ago that we tested the Porter Cable 18V Drill model PCL 180CDK-2. The PCL 180CDk is a great drill and has lots of power and great balance, but lacked the “it” factor. However, just like other manufacturers, Porter Cable took this one step further and developed a new platform called the 20V max. The new Porter Cable platform is a huge leap. Currently they offer a drill/driver and impact, but they will have more tools coming in 2013. Check it out on Amazon.
I have to say the Porter Cable PCCK600LB is one of the best feeling drill/drivers I have picked up in a long time. Very compact and fits perfect in your hand, just like a glove. The balance of this tool is also incredible. Just because this drill/driver only weighs 3.5 lbs and is only 7-3/4″ in length, don't think it doesn't have a punch. Porter Cable designed this tool to work and work hard. The drill/driver motor delivers 330 UWO and has a two speed gear box. With the lower speed you can use the variable trigger to spin the 1/2″ metal ratcheting chuck from 0-400 and in high 0-1,600 rpm. A user can select up to 23 clutch settings to match the drill/driver to their need.
Porter Cable included a battery fuel gauge that is located on the base of the drill, instead of the battery to see your battery life of the lithium-ion battery. A couple other features this tool has is an LED light located right under the chuck. The LED light is nice to have, but it does cast a shadow. Porter Cable also designed this tool with rubber bumpers to help protect the tool and protect your work when setting it down on a surface, not to mention help from keeping the tool in place when set on an incline. One of the coolest features is the magnetic bit holder. I never really use the magnetic bit holders on drills primarily because it either never holds the bit in place or it's too tight and a pain to get off. Porter Cable has two magnetic bit holders on top of the drill that are very easy to access. These are strong holders and will keep your bits in place.
While this is a great platform, we would really like to see Porter Cable add a high capacity battery. As the line is new and they will be introducing new tools, we can only imagine they would be adding a high capacity battery. We just hope it steps up to a 4 Ah battery.
Overall, this a huge leap in the right direction for Porter Cable. This new platform is sure to turn heads and is a strong contender. The drill/driver has an incredible fit in your hand and the balance is almost perfect. The compact size makes it easy to get into any spot. While Porter Cable has proven with this new platform they aren't sitting on the sideline, we would really love to see them introduce a high capacity battery. Lots of power in a small package.