Porter-Cable PCC660B Circular Saw
PROS
Strong motor for the price of the unit
Cuts a lot bigger than it costs
Not junk, and at the price point there's more garbage than not out there
CONS
Battery powered instead of AC powered, so it doesn't have a lot of power
Batteries run on 18v, not 20v like many other tools
Low-to-middle grade build quality
8.3

So this Porter-Cable PCC660B is the sort of ”budget pick” of the guide in a lot of ways. It costs about the same as the Ryobi one place up in our guide, but unlike the Ryobi it has a 6.5inch blade. It does live in the Ryobi’s weight class; it weighs in at only 6.5 lbs.  The handle is a contoured, ”overmolded” style.

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And speaking about weight classes and such, there are many stories online about this saw chomping up a bunch of stuff that it theoretically shouldn’t be able to cut. One guy said it ripped up a 2×4 pretty much right out of the box. (I’m assuming here that when the guy said ”ripped up” he meant it in a positive way.) No, it doesn’t have a laser guide on it. No, it doesn’t have a fancy housing or crazy graphics on the side of it. Yes, it has batteries instead of a cord. But this is one tough little sucker, especially for the money. Basically, this machine is good to purchase if you have an old 10 or 20-year-old circular saw and you need a replacement. Or you don’t own a saw at all, and you think you might want to cut stuff occasionally but you don’t have much money. Hey, we’ve all been there; I’ve bought the cheap bread and the ”store-brand” food at the supermarket. You don’t buy that stuff because you genuinely prefer it; you buy it because you’re literally trying to save every dollar. When you’re on that type of budget restriction (and again, we’ve all been there) you still want to get stuff that works well and is an honest product. This Porter-Cable circular saw is that product; it’s low-priced, but it’s not junk. A lot of the stuff out there is junk…and we want to keep you away from those things.

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Brand and Model History

Porter-Cable was a company that was founded in Syracuse, NY with only about $2000 in seed money and operating capital back in 1906. In the late 20s they invented the portable belt-sander. In around the year 2004 the company was bought by Black and Decker, and production was moved overseas. Nowadays ”Porter-Cable” is a name still used by B&D to place on lower-end models such as this one we’re reviewing. So let’s look at some of those numbers and actually break down the usability and quality of this device…

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Product Features

Pros

  • Strong motor for the size of the unit. Not the greatest piece of machinery in the world, but it will cut 2x4s.
  • Cuts a lot bigger than it costs. This machine is a good bit more powerful and useful than the Ryobi, and their prices are the same.

Cons

  • Low-to-middle-grade build quality. Yes, there’s some complaints about the shoe being a bit easy to bend and warp. The machine gets a little hot. It isn’t really meant for jobsite use or long/prolonged periods of high exertion. It’s a $50 saw.
  • Battery powered instead of AC powered, so it doesn’t have a lot of power. In a lot of ways honestly this is a positive. A guy online talked about how he bought this to shape and cut the tops of thin boards he nailed up to make a picket fence. That’s exactly the type of stuff this thing was designed to do.
  • Batteries run on 18v, not 20v like many other tools. To their credit, they actually seem to work pretty well, and for a fairly long time!

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Final Verdict

You know, it’s great for trim work. It’s great for cutting holes in Sheetrock to install things like alarms or utility boxes. It’s great to take on a ladder when you don’t want to walk an expensive device with a cord up onto something precarious. The batteries run for awhile, and if you’re cutting soft things like plywood you probably won’t overheat the little sucker.

A good move is to buy the big battery for this guy instead of the 1.5 Amp one. if you just keep a sharp sawblade in it and keep the battery juiced up, this thing will do most of the work that you would want a circular saw to do around your house. A special tip: buy the ”fancy” blades for these that cost the extra buck or two at the shop (i.e. Diablo blades) and this thing turns into a little beast! You can’t buy a better saw for $50, and that’s how we recommend this device.