Back in April Porter Cable announced a new Heavy Duty 15 Amp 7-1/4in Circular Saw. We were lucky enough to have one sent to us for testing and over the last month we have used it on several basic projects. The unit is intended for serious DIY and professional use with many nice features at a reasonable price.
Out of the Box
First impression, it was nice to have the handle for the case exposed and usable while still in the cardboard packaging. Once you take away the packaging the case itself is fairly well constructed for an economically priced tool. Inside the case we were happy to see it included the basic accessories, a rip fence and wrench as well as nice storage built into the case.
The saw itself is designed to be lightweight which initially was a concern because our though was this could be a nice way to say cheaply made. This was not the case, at least from our initial impressions it feels well constructed and some of the lighter feel comes from better balancing as well as the magnesium components which shave a little weight without sacrificing durability. The 10’ cord is also a nice feature for when the extension cord magically disappears. Thank goodness there were no lasers on this model. See more pictures in this album.
Making the Cut
Our first use for the saw came several weeks ago when we had to build some additional lengths of track for the Tool Races as well as make supports for the whole 75’ track. With a brand new 24T carbide blade (included) this saw easily handled 2×4” and a nice job with ripping plywood. The first impressions are it definitely feels like a solid saw. It is hard to say long term how it will hold up but it seems like a well built circular saw.
All About the Benjamins
This circular saw is a step in the right direction for Porter Cable however in the Porter Cable press release it said under $100 price range (we were hoping $79 or $89) however online it is difficult to find the PC15TCSMK ($109, Amazon) at all, much less for under $100. As you start creeping up there in price you start getting very close to the price of various Bosch, DeWalt, Makita & Milwaukee circular saws which have the proven professional toughness. It is a fine line dancing between “cost” and “value”. If the promise is just as good for less better make sure it actually costs less, as a Bosch CS5 ($108, Ohio Power Tool) is currently less expensive.