Porter Cable 20V Max Drill/Driver – A Huge Step Forward


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.

Porter Cable 20V Max Drill 05I 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.





  1. It looks like Lego puked all over it. All of the little crevices and styled features are going to be completely caked in dirt and grease if it ever gets heavy use. Might be a big leap forward, but PC still has some work to do to if they want to offer a pro user tool.

  2. For some reason it reminds me of a transformer, not the electrical type, the toy. Anyway looks very cool, i’m sure if the price is right i would pick one of these up. I have a set of DeWalt 12v max and i’m sure this one is based off the DeWalt 20v max lineup.

  3. At 330 UWO it has less than 65% of the power of DeWalt’s 20V Max drill. I know manufacturers claim there’s no direct correlation between UWO and torque, and there isn’t – maximum RPM is also part of the equation. If memory serves, torque (in-lbs) is 338 x UWO / RPM (max), so 338 x 330 / 400 = 280 in-lbs. Either way you measure it, it’s a weakling compared to pro-grade tools.

    • It tore through a 4×4 with a 1″ bit, that same bit smoked the Makita 18V. It feels like it has a lot of power for its size.

  4. At 3.5 lbs. this driver stands to be comparable to the Dewalt compact which puts out 350 UWO, meaning they compare very closely. Not really fair to compare it to the overweight (11+ lb.) DCD980L2 that testing indicates puts out 450 UWO rather than the 535 or whatever Dewalt claimed originally.

    The Dewalt compact Drill/driver retail for around $220 with 1.5ah packs. This drill specs out the same, is the same size and weight, and comes with 3.0ah packs. It will almost certainly be cheaper as well making it an option worth considering.

  5. I will never happen, but it would be nice if dewalt batteries worked with Porter Cable tools They are corporate brothers now. I know its a branding and price point issue though. I can’t figure out whats going on with pc I thought it was lowes answer to home depot’s ryobi a tool for diy’ers the pc20v tools are wayyyy better than anything ryobi makes and proably is equal to rigid.

  6. I thought that the oempta magnetic bits were really cool and usefull. I went to oempta’s website and couldn’t find them anywhere. I think that they are discontinued. I was at Sutherlands hardware store and saw a set of 3, there not oempta but they are close to the same thing.The square bit is junk, the magnetic ring will stick when you completely set the screw. Does anybody know where i could find the oempta bits?

  7. I bought this combo this past week. I am not a professional. I am sure there are better options out for a professional. Although for a homeowner this set is pretty decent. Has tons of power. Plus I picked it up for $179 at Lowes. It has a year longer warranty than the Dewalt and was $40 dollars cheaper.

  8. Dewalt has a lot more options than any of it’s competitor out there. Their batteries are pretty good but like all batteries, if you do not use them regularly, they go bad quicker. I have a Makiti that is about five or six years old and the 18V lithium’s still go strong. I was always a PC guy, but Dewalt pretty much owns the market and I do not see anyone jumping out front for a long time to come. Have ten 20V Dewalts, four Makati’s and gave away three brand new Milwaukee 18V full size and compacts because batteries were junk. Milwaukee claims to have a competitive battery, but once bitten twice shy…….I do like the look of the PC, just tired of testing batteries for companies at my expense. As much as I hate to say it, for professional use, for now go with Dewalts

  9. I’ve been using Dewalt for over 15 years now,18 v Nc and 20v Li Max .Won A set of the PCs (drill and I driver} and I love them. prefer them to my Dewalts, just as powerful and feel better in the hand to me. Just my opinion.


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