Porter-Cable PC600JS Jigsaw Review
The Porter-Cable PC600JS is one of the most affordable jigsaws you can currently buy on the market. This jigsaw has a very comprehensive set of features and Porter-Cable is a reputable manufacturer that has earned its reputation over the years. At first sight, this unit looks like an excellent product. But is this Porter-Cable jigsaw really worth the money? To find the answer, let’s get started with this detailed review of the Porter-Cable PC600JS.
Table of Contents
Porter Cable PC600JS Jigsaw Review
#1. Technical Features
Since this is a midrange jigsaw, we did not expect much from it. However, this Porter-Cable jigsaw proved us wrong as it sports a heavy-duty and powerful 6-Amp motor that should be enough to handle almost any type of cutting tasks. To recap it too late, anything above 5-Amp in a jigsaw should be more than adequate for general-purpose cutting in both softwood and hardwood.
With a 6-Amp inductive motor, the Porter-Cable PC600JS will not stall and should be able to cut any type of material, regardless of density like butter. You can comfortably use this electric jigsaw to cut even thin sheets of steel without any problem. Make sure that you fit this jigsaw with the correct metal cutting blade.
We all know the importance of a variable speed control in a jigsaw. Since not all materials are the same, you need to be able to adapt to the material density using the speed. We are glad to note the presence of a variable speed control of 0 – 3,200 SPM in this Porter-Cable jigsaw. This model has 7 speed presets that can quickly and easily be adjusted with a speed lever located to the side of the unit. Unlike other low-profile models, you will need to remove your hand from the handle to adjust the speed setting. Not the most versatile, but it gets the job done. Additionally, you can use your other hand to adjust the speed setting. This is one of the great disadvantages of a top-handle jigsaw, and it is not restricted only to this model.
Further, this model contains a 4-position orbital lever that will allow you to adjust the blade aggressiveness when working with materials of different densities. You will find this function to be very useful especially if you often switch from material to material. Bear in mind that this orbital speed setting is an additional setting that works hand-in-hand with the variable speed and they are not the same thing.
There is no dust collection or duster blue are in this model, and depending on which type of material you normally work with, it can be a disadvantage. Not a big one, but still a noteworthy problem.
We were glad to see that the Porter-Cable PC600JS makes use of the popular and industry-standard T-shank blades that are reputed for their stability and accuracy. Additionally, you will not need any tools to change the blades since this is a tool-free jigsaw. You can change the blades in a matter of seconds. Yes, that quick!
The levers and dials to perform the various speed adjustments are very easy to operate. However, you will need to use your second hand or remove your hand entirely from the handle to make those changes since they are far away from the handle position. Note that this is a major problem with most top-handle jigsaws.
However, the handle itself is extremely comfortable and coated with a very soft rubber material. Additionally, this electric jigsaw has an ergonomic form factor that embraces the hand and helps limit hand fatigue over the long term. All in all, you will love holding this jigsaw in your hand as it is extremely comfortable and maneuverable.
#3. Other Features
LED Light: We were surprised to see the presence of a LED light in this model. While LED light is not a big thing in today’s power tools, this feature is usually restricted to more premium models. But what glad that this midrange and affordable jigsaw has one. It will definitely boost your productivity, especially if you work in a dimly lit workshop.
Bevel Cuts: Another surprise we got is the versatility of the bevel cuts in this model. Indeed, it has bevel detents of 0, 15, 30 and 45 degrees making it one of the best affordable jigsaws for making bevel cuts in the industry. Additionally, you will not need any tools to adjust the angle since it is tool-free. Excellent!
Since the Porter-Cable PC600JS is an entry-level to midrange jigsaw, you get a very basic set of accessories with this purchase. You are only provided with a plastic shoe cover, a user’s manual and a spare blade. Those are simply too basic to get the job done, so we recommend that you get a few extra T-shank blades either online or in your local store.
Price is the Porter-Cable PC600JS biggest advantage. Few jigsaws can compete with it in the price department, especially considering the comprehensive set of features that this Porter-Cable jigsaw has. Despite its lower rated 6-Amp motor, we think that it is a better deal than the Bosch JS365. It has almost the same performance but offered at a significantly lower price point. Bottom line, if you are looking for an entry-level to midrange jigsaw, then it is very difficult to beat this Porter-Cable jigsaw. It is hands down one of the best, at least from a price to performance ratio.
#6. Expert Review
Woodworking expert Paul from YouTube channel Pauls workshop made an excellent review of this Porter-Cable jigsaw a few years ago. He does not describe the product and features in detail, but rather gives you a hands-on demonstration on how he uses this an electric jigsaw. You will be able to see for yourself how easy it is to cut material with it. Hopefully, you should be able to make up your mind whether you need this model in your workshop or not. At the end of the video, Paul highly recommends this jigsaw and says that it is “a very good jigsaw”.
- Excellent price to performance ratio. The 6-Amp motor is more than enough for general-purpose cutting
- Variable speed control of 0 – 3200 SPM with 4-orbital settings. Allows you to adapt and cut any type of material regardless of density
- Very versatile bevel adjustments of 0, 15, 30 and 45 degrees. Helps you to make bevel cuts quickly and easily without tools
- LED light for more visibility in a darkly lit workshop
- No dust blower.
#8. Who Should Buy?
As we have seen, cheap does not necessarily mean low quality. In fact, the Porter-Cable PC600JS has a lot to offer in terms of versatility, performance, and value. It can perform better angular cuts more quickly than even more expensive and premium models, and it also sports better features than other high-end jigsaws. We highly recommend this product to beginners and even semi-professionals who do not perform a lot of heavy-duty cutting using a jigsaw. This jigsaw from Porter-Cable should serve you well for years to come, and despite its low price, it is durable, long lasting and dependable.
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