Review: Porter-Cable PC18ID 18v

PORTER-CABLE Bare-Tool PC18ID 18-Volt Cordless Impact Driver (Tool Only, No Battery)

A well known brand at a rock-bottom price, Porter-Cable’s 18v cordless impact driver is one of the most powerful, with a max torque of 1600 in-lbs. Combining low weight, a comfortable grip, and a 3 year warranty, this should be at the top of anybody’s ‘best value’ list.

At a Glance
List Price $129
Sale price $ (as of 7pm, 12/31/1969)
Voltage 18V
Torque 1600 in-lbs
Drive size 1/4″ hex
Weight (w/o battery) 2.6 lbs
Length 6.5″
Battery NiCad/Li-ion
Impacts/Min 0-2800 ipm
Speed (no load) 0-2900 rpm
Resources Manual
Warranty 3 year limited
Kit part number PCL180IDK-2

The Porter-Cable PC18ID is a powerful driver that will effortlessly drive screws and lags for you in all your projects. Although light weight at only 2.6 lbs, it’s still strong enough for driving masonry screws into concrete or long lags into pressure treated wood – the latter with no pilot holes, if you are so inclined!

At 6.5″, it is longer than its competitors, and in general it is a bit larger in size. Yet, even with it’s larger size, it has kept a low weight – especially considering the 1600 in-lb torque it brings. So while it’s not the most compact and maneuverable cordless driver you can find, it still lets you work for a long time, up on a ladder, or overhead without feeling tired or awkward.

The Porter-Cable performs very well for fastening screws or bolts. Even with large fasteners in tough wood, the impact action means there is little to no back torque on your wrist. This reduces strain, as well as limits the force you need to exert on the screw to keep the bit seated. In fact, you can drive screws overhead, one-handed, and not worry about cam-out or stripping the head. In fact, if you hold on too long it’s quite possible you could over-tighten or shear a screw head off.

A 1/4″ hex chuck makes for quick and secure bit changes, and even allows for drilling with hex-shank drill bits. While drilling isn’t it’s strongest function, it works fine for quick pilot holes or other non-precision drilling tasks.

Porter-Cable PC18ID 18v cordless impact driver


The PC18ID works with both NiCad and Li-ion batteries from Porter-Cable. You will get better performance from the Li-ion, of course, as well as a lower overall weight when you are working. The PC lithium ion batteries will last a decent length of time, although not as long as some competitors.

Additional Features
  • Front facing LED light turns on when you pull the trigger. Very useful for working in dim areas.
  • Variable speed trigger allows custom control of speed and torque
  • Includes a Phillips #2 screw bit

  • Professional, heavy duty users have had mixed results with this tool. It’s not as rugged as the Makita or Milwaukee, and lots of big bolts and nuts will shorten it’s life considerably.
  • Once the brushes wear there’s no replacing them. On the other hand, there is a 3 year limited warranty, 1 year free service, and 90-day money back guarantee.
  • At the low-end of the speed control, it is hard to regulate the speed. For small fasteners or precise control, switch to a drill.
Bottom Line

While not as rugged as some of it’s competitors, a home-handyman should get many years of service out of the Porter-Cable PC18ID.

By searching for a deal, you can nab it at close to $55 (bare-tool), which makes this a no-brainer for those who just want an impact driver for occasional use. Or use one as a backup, knock around tool for when you get a friend to finally come help you put up that fence.

Porter-Cable PC18ID info and prices at Amazon

18v cordless impact driver, bare tool (no battery)
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