More than a decade ago, the point pair features (PPFs) were introduced, showing a great potential for 3D object detection and pose estimation under very different conditions. Many modifications have been made to the original PPF, in each case showing varying degrees of improvement for specific datasets. However, to the best of our knowledge, no comprehensive evaluation of these features has been made. In this work, we evaluate PPFs on a large set of 3D scenes. We not only compare PPFs to local point cloud descriptors, but also investigate the internal variations of PPFs (different types of relations between two points). Our comparison is made on 7 publicly available datasets, showing variations on a number of parameters, e.g. acquisition technique, the number of objects/scenes and the amount of occlusion and clutter. We evaluate feature performance both at a point-wise object-scene correspondence level and for overall object detection and pose estimation in a RANSAC pipeline. Additionally, we also present object detection and pose estimation results for the original, voting based, PPF algorithm. Our results show that in general PPF is the top performer, however, there are datasets, which have low resolution data, where local histogram features show a higher performance than PPFs. We also found that PPFs compared to most local histogram features degrade faster under disturbances such as occlusion and clutter, however, PPFs still remain more descriptive on an absolute scale. The main contribution of this paper is a detailed analysis of PPFs, which highlights under which conditions PPFs perform particularly well as well as its main weaknesses.