Should I Buy Porter-Cable 557 Biscuit Joiner ? Read Our Review
The Porter Cable is a well-regarded biscuit joiner that found its way in many professional workshops. Its popularity is largely explained by its powerful motor and accuracy in making biscuit joints. Today, we are going to review this popular biscuit joiner and help you decide if this power tool belongs in your workshop or not.
Table of Contents
Porter-Cable 557 Biscuit Joiner Review
The Porter-Cable 557 sports a powerful 7 Amps motor so that it can deliver the cleanest cut possible. With this power, it can cut rightful softwood as well as hardwood very easily. As always, it is important for a biscuit joiner to have a powerful motor as this provides splinters and allows the power to to go through material in a professional manner. With 7.0 Amps, you are almost always guaranteed a clean and professional cut.
The powerful motor allows the blade to spin at a rate of 10,000 RPM further delivering clean and accurate cut.
The fence in this model tilts from 0 - 135 degrees. The extra tilting compared to other models like the DeWalt DW682K that can only tilt 0-90 degrees provides more versatility and ease of use when doing miter joints. Indeed, performing biscuit joinery both inside and outside of material is very easy with the Porter-Cable 557 biscuit joiner.
In addition, the fence in this model comes with a positive adjustable stop at 90 degrees that allows you to lock the device when cutting biscuit joints at this very popular horizontal angle.
What we like the most about this model, is the rack and pinion system that make fine adjustments very easy. This system promotes accuracy and ease of use when working with a biscuit joiner. Unlike the less performing models like the Triton 90 biscuit joiner, you will come to appreciate the rack and pinion system on this model especially if you have to constantly make adjustments to the device.
Lastly, the Porter-Cable 557 plate jointer has a very accurate fence gauge that show you the fence angle. One brilliant feature is the dual angle mode that makes it easy to work with odd angles of 90 - 135 degrees as well as regular angles of 0 - 90 degrees. Again, we immediately notice how much more versatile this biscuit joiner is compared to the DeWalt DW682K.
We like the ergonomic and streamlined design of this biscuit joiner. The handles are large and coated by a soft plastic that feel comfortable over long hours. This Porter-Cable biscuit joiner can work with all biscuit sizes of #0, #10 and #20. In addition, you can even purchase additional sizes of #10 and #20 for a few more bucks.
The dual rack and pinion system keeps the fence and the 4” blades perfectly aligned for the most accurate cut. In addition, this model comes with a centering plate that provides more stability when working at odd angles easier and accurate.
- Dust Bag: The dust bag stores all your debris like sawdust during the cut. This helps keep your cut area and workshop in general clean.
- Compact Form Factor: The slim and ergonomic form factor of this biscuit joiner makes it easier to handle and maneuver, especially when performing joints at odd angles.
There are a few goodies that come with the model right out of the box. You get: 1x 4-inch blade, A transparent plastic centering plate, One cloth dust bag, A chip deflector, 1x Allen wrench, Carrying case and user manual
It is quite a rich set. It does not come with biscuits but you have the option of purchasing assorted biscuits of #0, #10 and #20 for a few extra bucks. Very convenient if you are short on biscuits. Note that this model also works on simplex, duplex and max (#6) joinery.
Price of DeWalt DW682K Plate Joiner
Compared to other competing products like the DeWalt DW682K , this unit is a little bit on the expensive side. Of course, it provides more versatility and ease of use with its fence angle of 0-135 degrees and dual positive angle stops. Taking into account the versatility of the Porter-Cable 557, we think that it is reasonably priced. Sure, there are cheaper models out there, but few will offer the ease of use and versatility at the same price.
Experts are all over this Porter-Cable biscuit joiner. It is a model used and loved by many so we can expect quite a few “experts” reviewing this product.
The guys over at ThisOldWorkshop compared this product to the DeWalt DW682K a few years ago. ThisOldWorkshop.com is a reference website on woodworking and we like their podcasts. So, their opinions count a lot in our book.
They start with the rack and pinion on both models. The authors note a difference between the way fence adjustments are made on those devices. A point goes to the Porter-Cable 557 for smooth fence adjustment. They note how the 557 uses a knob to adjust the cutter fence, unlike the DeWalt biscuit jointer.
They like the easy readability of the adjustment gauge and particularly appreciate the extra fence angle of 0 - 135 degrees. Both models are given a spin and in general, the authors like both models.
When doing edge biscuiting, the Porter-Cable and DeWalt are almost a close tie. With face biscuiting, the Porter-Cable 557 wins. It also wins when making 135-degree edges, which is expected.
Finally, they end up recommending the Porter-Cable 555 over the DeWalt DW682K because it handles better and provides more versatility to the job.
Pros/Cons of Porter-Cable 555 Biscuit Joiner
- Powerful 7 Amps motor spins the 4 inches blades at 10,000 RPM for fast and accurate cuts in both softwood and hardwood.
- Very versatile fence that can perform positive stops of 0 - 90 degrees and 90 - 135 degrees.
- The large handle is located on top of the fence provide a better grip and better maneuverability.
- Compact form factor and feels well balanced in the hand. Weighs 7.5 lbs which is not excessive and will not cause hand fatigue.
- The price
Who Should Buy?
It is not very hard to recommend this Porter-Cable biscuit joiner. It is more powerful and versatile than most biscuit joiners in its price range. With this model you can work with a wide range of biscuit sizes delivering a result tailored to your liking. It is not limiting in any way. Making accurate miter joints at odd angles, working with porch or deck, amongst others are very easy. Additionally, it feels great in the hand and handles extremely well. What’s not to like? We recommend this model to anyone looking forward to joinery work. If you can afford it, get it!
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