Porter-Cable 15″ Floor 12-Speed Drill Press Review – Model PCB660DP

By Todd Fratzel on Power Tools, Product Reviews

Porter-Cable 15″ Drill Press – Model PCB660DP

Porter Cable 15 Inch Drill Press Model PCB660DP Porter Cable 15 Floor 12 Speed Drill Press Review   Model PCB660DPSeveral months ago Porter-Cable sent us one of their new drill presses, the Porter-Cable 15″ Floor Drill Press, Model PCB660DP. As I mentioned in an earlier post last month we’ve been testing several different size drill presses in preparation for a drill press feature article. The Porter-Cable 15″ Floor model fits well in the mid-size range so we were glad to give it a test drive.

Before we dive into the review I want to share some of the basic features, specifications and description from Porter-Cable.

The Basics

Featuring first-class 4” spindle travel and X-Y axial projecting laser guidelines, the new PCB660DP delivers extra drilling capacity and accurate pre-alignment for precision and performance that woodworkers demand in the woodshop. In addition, a depth adjustment gauge enables precise drilling of repetitive-depth holes with a 5/8” chuck.

The PCB660DP includes a durable 13-15/64” by 13-15/64” cast iron table that tilts 45° right or left and rotates out of the way when the drill press base (20-3/8” by 11”) functions as a work surface. A quick-belt tension release knob allows woodworkers to quickly change between 12 operating speeds (300-3,100 RPM), and dual hubs provide left or right side handle locations for even greater ease of use and convenience.

An adjustable work light provides better illumination of work area is included and the rack and pinion table elevating allows for quick and easy adjustment of the work table.

Features

  • X-Y axial projecting laser guides provide accurate pre-alignment of drilling location
  • Twelve operating speeds (300-3100RPM) allows for drilling in metals or wood and sanding operations
  • Dual left and right hubs allow for placement of crank handles on either side of drill head
  • Cast Iron work Table designed for wood or metal drilling, tilts up to 45 degrees for bevel drilling
  • Spindle travel up to 4″ provides extra depth capacity
  • Adjustment depth gauge allows for accurate repetitive drilling
  • Porter Cable Drill Press Porter Cable 15 Floor 12 Speed Drill Press Review   Model PCB660DPAdjustable gooseneck work light for better illumination of work area

Specifications

  • Motor: 8.0 Amps
  • Motor Control: On/Off Toggle
  • Speeds: 12 (300; 390; 450; 560; 640; 700; 990; 1550; 1620; 1900; 2620; 3100 RPM)
  • Table Size: 13-15/64 x 13-15/64 “
  • Table Tilt: L and R: 45 °
  • Table Insert: No
  • Column Diameter: 2-7/8 “
  • Spindle Taper: MT2
  • Chuck Taper: JT3
  • Quill Diameter: 1.85 “
  • Quill Stroke: 4 “
  • Key Chuck Capacity: 5/8 “
  • Chuck to Table Capacity: 24-3/4 “
  • Chuck to Base Capacity: 44-3/8 “
  • Height: 64 “
  • Width: 16 “
  • Depth: 26 “
  • Weight: 151.10 lbs

Porter-Cable PCB660DP Review

I’ve had this drill press set up in my shop for several months now so it’s been used for a variety of drill tasks. This review covers the general operation and performance of the PCB660DP during some of our standard uses in the shop.

Drill Press Size

This is a 15 inch drill press where the 15 inches refers to the swing (swing is defined as twice the distance from the center of the spindle to the front face of the column). Obviously the bigger the swing the bigger the work piece that can be drilled. In simpler terms it means that you can drill a hole a maximum of 7-1/2″ from the work piece edge with a 15″ drill press.

Weighing in at over 150 lbs this is certainly a drill press that wants and needs some dedicated floor space. I’ve seen and heard of people using mobile bases but I don’t recommend that as most all drill presses are VERY top heavy. You’re much better off picking some dedicated space and setting it up once and leaving it alone.

As  you can see in the photo above the base is rather small. That won’t matter much if you anchor it to the floor but I want to point out that moving it requires extreme caution.

Porter Cable Drill Press Controls and Work Light Porter Cable 15 Floor 12 Speed Drill Press Review   Model PCB660DP

Controls

The drill press operational controls are located on the front as you can see above. When you step up to the larger drill presses like this one you typically have an electronic laser sight (the smaller bench-tops usually have battery operated ones). So the control panel has an on/off switch for the laser and a nice large toggle on/off switch for the drills motor.

The built-in work light has a standard on/off switch on the back of the lamp. It uses a standard incandescent light bulb which provides nice light at the working surfaces.

Just to the left of the on/off controls is the variable depth control. The depth of drilling can be set for repetitive drilling and controlling the depth of hole. Below is a photo of the right side of the drill press showing the spindle handles.

I found all the controls easy to use and well designed.

Porter Cable Drill Press Spindle Handles Porter Cable 15 Floor 12 Speed Drill Press Review   Model PCB660DP

Variable Speed Adjustments

The Porter-Cable PCB660DP can be operated at 12 different speeds depending on the type of material and type of drill bit being used. To adjust the speed users must adjust the belt/pulley combination under the top housing.

Porter Cable Drill Press Adjustable Speed Pulleys Porter Cable 15 Floor 12 Speed Drill Press Review   Model PCB660DP

Adjusting the belts on the pulleys is easy to do. All that is required is loosening two belt tension lock knobs, pushing or pulling the belt tension handle, and adjusting the belt. On the inside cover of the housing is a detailed chart showing the required belt/pulley configuration for each of the 12 speeds. Changing the belts on the pulleys was easy to understand and perform.

Porter Cable Laser Sight Porter Cable 15 Floor 12 Speed Drill Press Review   Model PCB660DP

Laser Sight

The PCB660DP comes with an X-Y Axis laser sight built-in. As you can see above the laser provides red lines on the work piece for alignment. The laser works quite well but it does require adjustment EACH time the table is moved. Adjusting the laser is straight forward following the directions that are printed on the laser housing. I think it’s a nice feature for repetitive drilling tasks.Porter Cable Drill Press Table Porter Cable 15 Floor 12 Speed Drill Press Review   Model PCB660DP

Work Table

The work table on the PCB660DP is a strange circular shape with T-Slots built-in for clamps and fences. The table is a nice heavy cast-iron with a machined surface. The table can be adjusted in several ways as I’ll discuss below.

If I had one small complaint about the table it would be the lack of a wood insert. Drill bits can be VERY expensive and the thought of running an expensive Forstner Bit into the cast-iron makes me sick!

Porter Cable Table Rotate Porter Cable 15 Floor 12 Speed Drill Press Review   Model PCB660DPThe table can be adjusted up and down using the rack and pinion support on the column. The table can also be rotated in the horizontal plane by releasing the clamp below. That feature can be pretty handy when using a fence if you want to turn it 90 degrees without setting it up again.

The table can also be tilted left and right up to 45 degrees.

Overall Impression

The Porter-Cable 15″ Drill Press (Model PCB660DP) is a very good value priced at just $299. This drill press offers some great features like laser sights, adjustable speed, tilting table and built-in work light. The motor provides quiet, consistent power for drilling different materials and hole types. The chuck and spindle produced accurate, consistent holes in our tests drilling in metal and wood.

If you’re in the market for a mid-sized floor drill press then I recommend you consider this one. The PCB660DP is currently available at Lowe’s.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the author of Tool Box Buzz and Today's Green Construction. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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4 Comments

  1. Frank Rubino says:

    Hi Todd,
    I recently purchased a PCB660DP from Lowes and I basically like it with some reservations:
    1) I have the unit anchored into the concrete floor but really
    now….the base plate is far too thin….the unit can rock.
    2) the ‘t’ slots in the table are hard to buy ‘t’ nuts for; I still
    have not found the correct fit. Have you had any luck?
    3)the lasers are a little hard to line up; because when I get them
    lined up and then tighten them they seem to rotate when I tighten
    the screw and then they are not on center.
    Thanks,
    Frank

    • Todd says:

      Frank,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I keep mine on a mobile base so I can move it around the shop. So I can’t really comment on the stiffness of the base. I’ve only used on device (clamp) that has a T-Bolt and that clamp came from Porter-Cable. Have you checked out the selection of T-Bolts at Rockler? They have all kinds and may have one that will work for that set-up.

      I’ve never been a huge fan of lasers for woodworking. They are ok for ballparking placement but I never rely on them. Until they come out with lasers that shoot off bits I’ll pretty much ignore them.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. TheBigE says:

    Nice press, but I have the same complaint about the table as well. A machinist table for woodworking is not ideal.

    The PCB660DP is made by Rexon Industrial Corp (DP3800RF?) for Porter Cable. I will attempt to see if their is a slotted table alternative, but I’m not very hopeful.

    The woodworking T-bolts and rectangular nuts seem to be a bit small for this table. I’m going to try McMaster-Carr = 94750A582 and 94750A589 T-slot nuts. This will give me 3/8″ and 7/16″ thread options. Being from the machinist side of the house, they seem like they would fit best.

    • Todd says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I certainly can’t disagree. The reality is Porter-Cable is marketing to a wide range of DIY, Homeowner, light contractor users. Not sure this is marketed towards hardcore woodworkers. Having said that, most people that use a drill press much end up building an accessory top which certainly would be a good option for this model. Good luck getting things set up.

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