The Porter-Cable PCC601LA cordless drill is a good option for a household or shop drill and offers some nice features for it’s price. Let’s take a close look at this one.
Drilling Power & Motor
This drill is powered by a brushed motor that generates 283 UWO of maximum power. It has a 2 speed gearbox that can be used to switch between high speed/low torque vs low speed/high torque settings. The high torque gearing has a max speed of 350 RPM and the high speed gearing has a max speed of 1500 RPM. The speeds are fully variable and the speed is determined by how much you depress the trigger. There is a direction button right above the trigger for selecting forward/reverse.
The torque adjustment collar allows you to dial in the right amount of torque for driving fasteners. There is also a drilling setting on the torque collar which is ideal for most drilling applications. The various settings available make this a versatile drill.
The brushed motor could require some maintenance over time if you use this drill a lot, as is tradition with brushed motors. Some people have had issues with the motor cutting out or not turning on with newer units but the warranty period is good enough to help you replace a lemon if you run into that.
Power-wise, this drill has enough power for medium duty home or shop use, but it might come up short for work with higher demands such as working with harder materials and driving larger bits and fasteners that require more torque.
This drill uses a 1/2 inch keyless chuck which makes for quick and easy bit changes. You can hand loosen and hand tighten the chuck just by gripping and turning it and the chuck securely holds the bits. People don’t really have any issues with the chuck on this drill and it works well. Some people who have put more work through this drill notice that the chuck can get a little bit of play in it over time, but it doesn’t seem to affect operation.
This drill features a single LED light that is located just above the trigger. It works well and helps to illuminate the drilling area. It automatically turns on and off when the drill is in use. It’s not overly bright but it can come in handy when you are working underneath things, in tight spaces, or in darker areas.
This drill uses Porter-Cables 20V Max battery system and includes (1) 1.3 AH battery and a 400 MA charger. The battery is the smallest available in the 20V Max line from Porter-Cable.
On this drill, the included 1.3 AH battery doesn’t last overly long but for periodic use it’s sufficient. The charger charges pretty slow, and it can take up to 3.5 hours to charge a fully drained or new battery with the included charger.
The long charging time and low battery capacity could be an issue for people who are going to be using this drill for larger jobs or longer periods of work. If you will be using this drill for more than periodic tasks, you may want to get another battery or two at a minimum so that you can keep some extra charged batteries around.
There are battery and charger upgrades available from Porter-Cable. These are worth taking a look at if you think the included battery and charger will come up short for your needs.
Ergonomics & Handling
This drill is designed to be lighter in weight with a smaller profile. It has a weight of 3.5 lbs with the 1.3 AH battery attached and it has a profile of 8.5 inches. It has a comfortable rubberized grip and it easy to hold and maneuver during use. The speed and direction features are easy to use and there really aren’t any controls that feel awkward to use for either right or left handers.
The ergonomics are one of the stronger positives for this drill. The smaller size helps to fit it into smaller places, so it can be good for working with furniture or cabinets and it can be an affordable options for a secondary smaller drill on job sites or in the shop. The lighter weight helps reduce fatigue when you’re working on longer jobs or doing more vertically challenging work.
This drill is safe to use and with the nature of a drill there really aren’t any outstanding safety features to cover for this one. Most of the safety precautions with a drill like this involve safe practices such as safe handling of the battery packs and making sure the battery is removed during bit changes. Otherwise it’s good to practice typical safety precautions as with any other power tool in your lineup.
This drill feels fairly well built but lightweight with a lot of plastic. There aren’t really any parts that are known for breaking, even with all the plastic. Some people have issues with the motor or the drill powering on but it’s not very common and it usually happens early in the warranty period. The chuck can also get a little sloppy over time with lots of use but it doesn’t seem to affect usability. Overall you should be able to expect good life from from this drill as long as you don’t overly abuse it.
This drill comes with some accessories but nothing out of the ordinary. In addition to the drill, you will also get (1) 1.3 AH battery and charger. As we already touched on, you may want to consider getting additional batteries or an upgraded charger if you think you’ll use this for longer jobs. This drill does include a single bit holder on the bottom of the handle, which is nice, even though it’s a minor feature.
Setup & Assembly
This tool is easy to get up and running, there’s not really any setup involved. New units may need to have the batteries charged, which will create some waiting time when it’s new out of the box since the battery can take a few hours to charge. Other than that it’s pretty much a plug and play tool.
Porter-Cable offers a 3 year warranty on defective parts or workmanship. They also include a 1 year free service contract and a 90 day money back guarantee. This is good enough to help you out if you have quality control issues in that first year of use.
- Adjustable torque
- Lightweight, comfortable and maneuverable
- LED Light
- Keyless chuck
- On-board bit holder
- Not as much power or torque as some larger drills
- Only includes (1) battery
- The included charger charges slowly
- No bag or case included
8.5 in x 3.5 in x 9.5 in
The Porter-Cable PCC601LA cordless drill is an affordable option for a smaller, lightweight drill that can handle medium duty workloads. There aren’t really any major negatives for this drill. The inclusion of a single battery and a charger that takes a while to charge the battery will push some people to upgrade that situation sooner than later. This is a good pick for an affordable drill for use around the home or a smaller drill for your shop.