Porter-Cable Kit Builds More Than a Ramp

Porter Cable Kit

Porter-Cable Kit Makes a Great Father’s Day Gift

The new Porter-Cable kit featuring four 20 volt cordless tools was exactly what I needed to fulfill my Step-dad’s Father’s Day wish. Mom told me he was looking for a cordless drill and circular saw. She had the Home Depot and Lowe’s ads up looking for a good deal, but I’d already caught wind of a kit that also included a recip saw and work light in mind. A few days later, the kit arrived and I told him he could have it early if we had a project to work on together.

Bob (my Step-dad) has been a member of First United Methodist Church for over 2o years and after he retired joined a group called the Tuesday Tigers. This group of men meet on Tuesday mornings to do service projects around the community and in recent years have become very adept at building wheelchair ramps. Bingo! This was the perfect chance to work with my Step-dad and take his new Porter-Cable kit for a spin.

FUMC Tuesday Tigers Group Shot

Florida is a hotbed for for retirement. Many folks find that the homes they purchased here early in retirement are tougher to get around as they age and before they know it, a ramp is needed as they can no longer navigate the steps. In fact, the gentleman that we were helping out on this project had several falls leading up to our intervention.

This is no youth group project though. The Tigers make sure that all the necessary paperwork is taken care of and that all codes are met in the design before starting. They pre-build the pieces that they can and pre-drill the holes for the deck boards helping the project to run much more smoothly in the 90 degree Florida sun. The folks that can afford to pay for the materials do, and often include an additional donation that help the group build ramps for those that can’t afford it.

As we got started, there was a certain amount of oo-ing and ah-ing over the Porter-Cable kit. The other guys brought their own tools, but there was a certain draw to this 20 volt kit that all ran on the same battery packs. The Four Tool Porter-Cable Kit (PCCK614L4) features the PCC601 Drill/Driver, PCC660 Circular Saw, PCC670 Reciprocating Saw, and PCC700 Flashlight. It also comes with one PCC680L 1.5 aH Standard Battery, one PCC685L 4.0 aH Max Pack Battery, charger, large size kit bag, double ended screwdriver bit, 6-1/2″ 18 tooth carbide blade, and 6″ wood cutting recip saw blade.

Let’s take a quick look at the features and performance of each tool.

PCC601 Drill/Driver

  • 2-Speed Gear Box: 0-350, 0-1500 RPM
  • 21 torque settings
  • Built in LED
  • 1/2″ Chuck

Porter Cable Kit

The first tool in the kit that we got the chance to use was the PCC601 Drill/Driver. With 21 torque settings on the collar, we quickly got it dialed in to drive the deck screws in just enough without cam out. In the higher speed setting, screws went in quickly and without damage. We used the 1.5 amp hour battery in this as we were saving the 4.0 amp hour one for the bigger tools. We had no problem completing our work for the day on a single charge, driving roughly 175 three inch deck screws. Even though I’m used to using a high end impact driver for most of my work, I found the Porter-Cable Drill/Driver lightweight and pleasant to use on this project.

PCC660 Circular Saw

  • Blade Diameter: 6-1/2 inches
  • Max Cut Depth: 2-1/8 inches
  • Speed: 4000 RPM
  • Bevel Shoe: 50 degrees

Porter Cable Kit

The PCC660 Circular Saw made its appearance as we attempted to cut a pressure treated 2 x 6 to be flush with the concrete. A smaller cordless circular saw was initially used, but kept binding up ever couple of inches. With consistent pressure placed on it, the Porter-Cable saw did a nice job of working its way through the rest of the cut with little issue. As other circular saw duties came up, this quickly became the go-to tool for the extra power it offered, the convenience of battery power, and the nice, sharp blade.

PCC670 Reciprocating Saw

  • Stroke Length: 1 inch
  • Speed: 3000 strokes per minute

Porter Cable Kit

We had to cut the tops off of several pressure treated 4×4’s that were used as the supports of the ramp. The way that the guys normally handle it is to mark the cut line, make as deep a cut as they can with a circular saw, then finish it off with a hand saw. When the recip saw was suggested, there was some initial skepticism. It was obvious that previous experiences with wobbling blades had left a less than desirable opinion. At first, we just used the PCC670 to finish the cuts that were started with the circular saw, but as it proved its worth, we did the entire cut. The variable speed trigger helped us to maintain control as we started the cut. The 3000 strokes per minute finished the job nicely while the shoe helped maintain stability through the cut.

PCC700 LED Light

  • Light Source: 4 LED
  • Light Output: 120 lumens
  • Pivoting Head
  • Overmolded Handle

Porter Cable Kit

As this was a day time job, we didn’t get a chance to test out the light, but if I know Bob, he’ll find an excuse to use it at night if no other reason than having a 4 LED bulb work light that runs off of a 20V battery pack is cool!

At the end of the day, the 4 Tool Porter Cable Kit is worth your consideration. This is a really nice kit for the person that needs a little bit of everything at a very attractive price. While I’d be hesitant to recommend these for daily heavy duty use, occasional users and homeowners will be hard pressed to find a better kit at this price. The kit is currently $199 at Lowe’s  for Father’s Day this weekend and normally runs $239. The kit is definitely a winner as a Father’s Day gift.

Porter Cable Kit

I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with the Tuesday Tigers and appreciate their putting up with me taking pictures and jumping into their process. These guys have now built over 100 wheelchair ramps for people in Lakeland and surrounding communities. They aren’t limited to just building ramps. They’re pretty handy at tackling all kinds of service projects and I, for one, am excited to see the way they extend love beyond the borders of their own church and membership body. I’d also like to thank Porter-Cable for being a part of this project with us. I’m pretty sure that a couple of these guys might be suggesting the very same kit as their Father’s Day gift this year.

Porter Cable Kit

This was also a great chance for me to spend some time with my Step-dad. There’s always a certain amount of bonding that happens when guys get together to put some sweat equity into building something. When you’re finished with the project and all cleaned up, you realize that it’s not just a ramp you’ve been building, but also your relationship.

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