Entry-level woodworking is enjoyable if you’re endowed with the right tool. The Porter Cable PCE345 jigsaw is a great option for beginners because of its affordability. But what are the other advantages of this jigsaw aside from its price? In order to avoid the hassle of a lengthy return process, our experts will walk you through a review of this corded tool.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
This 5.4 lbs jigsaw is well-engineered to provide you with an excellent grip with its 6 amps power motor and soft rubber handle. The side of the handle features a lock button to reduce fatigue during prolonged use. Its 7-speed dial and 4 orbital action modes reaching to 3200 spm (strokes per minute) can provide impressive cutting performance.
The speed-setting dial is too close to the trigger which could make you mistakenly switch speed settings while sawing. Our experts advise to be cautious when switching its setting to avoid any hazard. Nevertheless, the jigsaw has a keyless blade clamp, making it easy and fast to change your wood-cutting blade.
Porter Cable PCE345 Features
This Porter Cable PCE345 jigsaw packs a lot of power for clean and precise cuts. The 6 amp powerful motor with a speed of 3,200 spm guarantees fast and accurate cutting performance. It can cut through hardwood as well as light metals when used correctly. This feature minimizes downtime and makes it easy to use.
Speed & Orbital Settings
This jig saw offers a 7-speed orbital setting dial integrated closely to the trigger. This is not something you normally see in a standard and affordable orbital action jigsaw. These different settings allow the user to select a speed for the best results. Its position is a bit tricky, but our team is confident even a newbie would catch on after prolonged use.
This power tool has 4 different orbital jig saw settings which allow you to cut in a circular motion and give you better control and range in different materials. As a result, the orbital settings can get more precise cuts.
A tip from our team is to start with the lowest power and work your way up for safety. Turn the speed dial-up if it stops in the middle of cutting rigid materials.
Cutting Performance & Depth
Our experts found that this jigsaw cuts 4 inches deep (great for woodworking). Coupled with the 6-amp motor, speed, and orbital settings feature, you can cut through a wider range of materials conveniently. This sets the PCE345 above other jigsaws within its price point making it comparable to high-end jigsaws and one of the most important tool for woodworking.
For example, the 6-amp motor PCE345 weighs less than the Dewalt DCS331M1. But, its cutting depth of 4 inches is better than Black and Decker or any other power tool in its price range. Despite not giving optimal cutting, its 7-speed setting and 4 orbital modes give it an edge over the Dewalt DCS331M1 and other power tools in its price range.
Like Dewalt DCS331B power tool, this model comes with an easy blade change feature. It need not require other hand tools to switch the blades. Simply pull out the blade in use and stick in the next blade. This fast and easy blade switching saves you time in the process.
Weight & Ease of Use
The Porter Cable PCE345 is very lightweight with just around 5 pounds. It also has rubber handles and a well-overmolded front. This feature makes lifting and moving it around an easy feat, comparable to top-notch cordless jigsaws. With a grip this comfortable, you could cut with swift and smooth moves.
Other Features of Porter Cable PCE345
This jigsaw has a wide safety shoe plus a protective cover. These safety features provide protection and stability while cutting. On the side, the orbital jigsaw has a lock-on button. The button allows you to use the saw without wearing out your fingers from prolonged use when holding down the trigger.
Most jigsaws such as the Skil-4495-02 we reviewed offer exactly two or three bevel angle adjustments which could be quite limiting for newbies and DIYers. However, this powerful jigsaw offers you multiple angles – 0, 15, 30 & 45 degrees. Our experts found this would create bevel angle cuts clean and precise.
Finally, the Porter Cable PCE345 offers a dial integrated LED light. The light helps you brighten the cutting line and improves visibility. This feature lets you work at any time of the day or night, without compromising efficiency.
This 6 amp motor orbital settings jigsaw comes with functional accessories. The most notable accessory is the extra pair of straight wood-cutting blades. However, the saw doesn’t come with a built-in storage compartment to house any extra cutting blade.
Other accessories include a powerful wrench and an instruction manual which you should read when you buy the saw. Only accessories recommended by Porter Cable should be used with this jigsaw to reduce the risk of injury. A complete list of recommended accessories and where to get them is available on the official Porter Cable website.
Porter Cable orbital jig saw offers a 3-year limited warranty. Any defects due to bad materials or artistry within three years of purchase will be repaired or replaced for free. The manufacturer will replace bad batteries within two years of purchase. However, the warranty does not cover defects from normal wear or tool abuse. Damage to tools and accessories caused by attempted repairs by others are not part of the warranty, too.
After you buy the saw, you also get one year of free maintenance & replacement service for all worn-out tools within the first year from Porter Cable. Likewise, you get a full refund within the first 90 days if you are unsatisfied with the saw.
Most Porter Cable PCE345 reviews online are positive. It is rated 4.7 stars by previous Amazon buyers. Most of them are satisfied with the performance and speed of Porter Cable. It is sturdy, easy to control, and creates precise cuts. When making exact and precise cuts, the Porter Cable PCE345 jigsaw outperforms saber saws, just like any other jigsaw.
(To know how Porter Cable compares with other renowned brands, you can also check our comparison between Porter Cable and DeWalt here.)
Porter Cable PCE345 Review Conclusion
The Porter Cable PCE345 is an impressive tool overall. For a jigsaw and tool of this range, the speed it offers is remarkable. Its all-around specifications, especially the 3,200 spm made possible by the speed dial, puts it in the league of high-end saws. Beginners will value the versatility, sturdiness, and functional features of this solid jigsaw, especially for DIY projects.
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