Joining two wooden pieces is an essential task for woodworkers and DIYers. Using screws and nails gives you an untidy result. This is where a plate joiner comes into play. A plate joiner gives a clean and streamlined look. In this article, we will review Porter Cable 557 plate joiner. The Porter Cable 557 Plate Joiner is one of the best plate joiners in the market today. We will look into its design, features, pros, and cons and then develop a verdict based on these factors.
The Porter Cable 557 Plate Joiner has an ergonomic design. It is easy to use. You can work comfortably with large handles. The handles have a coating of soft plastic, which betters the holding ability. The design enables it to work on lots of biscuit sizes. You can work with biscuit sizes of 0, 10, and 20.
The fence and 4inched blades are always aligned perfectly. This is possible due to the dual rack and pinion system. This helps you in making accurate and precise cuts. The product has a centering plate as well. This plate gives more stability while working at odd angles. Thus, you can cut accurately, even at odd angles.
The product has a compact design for easy handling. It is slim, enabling easy maneuvering for the user.
It also has a dust bag that stores all the debris. All the sawdust produced during the cut goes directly into this bag. This leads to a clean, dust-free workspace.
The components of this device- bottom plate, gearbox, etc. are made of metal. This leads to longer life and more stability while working. The transparent plastic plate that you receive with this kit can be mounted over the movable area of the fence. It fits the empty spots and gives a larger surface area to put wood on.
The plate joiner weighs around 7.5 pounds and stands at 7 inches.
1. Motor Power
The Porter-Cable 557 plate joiner has a powerful 7 Amp motor for a clean cut. The power is enough to cut softwood and also hardwood. Very easily. With this powerful motor, the blade spins at 10000RPM, giving accurate and clean cuts. This high power makes it useful for professionals and also DIYers.
The fence in this product can tilt from 0 to 135 degrees. Other products in the market can usually tilt from 0-90 degrees. Thus, this plate joiner is more versatile and provides more ease of use than other products. Therefore, performing plate joinery both outside and inside is comfortable with this Porter-Cable 557.
The fence in this product also has an adjustable stop at 90 degrees. With this stop system, you can lock the cutter while cutting biscuit joints. This is important as it is a very common horizontal angle. The presence of a knob for adjusting the cutter fence is an added advantage.
Another advantage is the rack and pinion system. With this system, you can make fine adjustments without much effort. This increases its accuracy and usability when used with a really good biscuit joiner. This system becomes particularly useful when you have to make many adjustments. This gives this product an edge over others. You can also check some really good benchtop jointers.
The fence gauge of Porter Cable 557 Plate Joiner is very accurate. This leads to a precise fence angle. Another useful feature is the choice between two angle modes. This product has a dual-angle mode. Thus, you can work with the usual popular ones 0 to 90 degrees. Or the odd ones which are 90 to 135 degrees. This denotes the versatility of this device.
3. Markings And Handling
The alignment markings on this Porter 557 device are relatively straightforward. The markings are detailed and precise. The marks denote the thickness of the blade.
The handling of this device is easy. The knobs are large and easy to manipulate. Also, you can easily adjust the dial with a micro depth adjustment system. Check the whole procedure of joining 2 boards.
Pros And Cons
In the box, you get the following items-
- 1x4inched blade
- Cloth dust bag
- Plastic centering plate
- Chip Deflector
- Allen wrench
- Carrying case
- User manual
When compared to its competitors, the Porter Cable 557 Plate Joiner falls on the expensive side. Although the price can be justified for the lots of functionalities it provides. It lets you cut at odd angles, rack, and pinion system; dual positive angle stops, etc. are a trade-off for a bit more money. Surely you can go for cheaper options, but then you will have to compromise on the functionalities.
Without any doubt, The Porter Cable 557 Plate Joiner is one of the best products in the market. It has everything one wishes for: 7 cutting settings, a powerful 7-amp motor, a 4-inched blade, and whatnot. A joiner is always better than a planer.
The compact unit is durable and lets you work without giving much fatigue. The innovative fence design is a standout feature. It makes height adjustment very easy. It is worth a bit higher price that it demands.