As a woodworker, you might come across a project where you’ll need a Porter Cable 557 7 amp Plate Joiner! It's a great tool to join two pieces of wood together. While you could use screws or nails, the hardware isn’t going to give you a streamlined, clean look. You can, however, form those strong bonds by using a biscuit (or plate) joiner. We like the PORTER-CABLE 557 7 Amp Plate Joiner Kit for that kind of job.
As you go through our review, we are going to go look at the features of the PORTER-CABLE 557 7 Amp Plate Joiner Kit, and we are also going to provide you with a summary of what people who have bought and used the biscuit joiner had to say about their overall experience with it. Then, we’re going to give you our opinion on whether or not this joiner tool is something you should consider purchasing for your own workshop!
Over the years, woodworkers have turned to Porter Cable when they are looking for a high quality tool that is going to make their lives easier. The 557 Plate Joiner is no exception. The joiner has a fence assembly that puts the blade over the material where you want the slot cut. There’s a spring loaded motor assembly that pushes the cut and then the springs will return the motor to its standby position.
Notable features of the PORTER-CABLE 557 7 Amp Plate Joiner Kit include:
The components of this joiner, the fence assembly, the bottom plate, and the gear box are made from a sturdy metal. These sturdy construction ensures that the tool doesn’t wiggle while you are making a cut. This means the front face of your joiner will stay aligned with the blade, giving you a perfectly straight cut every time.
With this kit, you will receive a clear plastic plate that can be mounted on the movable part of the fence. The plate will fill in the empty spots in the fence, giving you a larger surface area to put your wood on. When the plate is attached to your tool, it will be easier to position the tool where you need it.
While you are working, the joiner will shoot the dust out of the dust port on the right hand side of the unit. Because the blade is nearly completely enclosed, almost all of the dust will be ejected from this port. There is also a dust collection bag that connects to the dust port as well.
To get a sense of how this unit performs, we looked at what customers had to say about their experience working with this tool. The majority of customers reported that they enjoyed working with the tool and would recommended it to others with no hesitation. One customer said they had been using this same joiner for 10 years and it continues to work like the date they received it.
Customers really like that the Porter Cable 557 Plate Joiner is capable of making slots that vary in size that depends on the depth you set the blade to. They do point out that in order to use size FF biscuits, you will need to purchase a separate 2” blade.
Although this joiner was praised by its customers, there were a few who did not enjoy using this tool. Of these critical reviews, customers had complaints about the stability of the fence. One person said they received a unit where the fence was loose and the hinge pins were too small. They went on to say that even when the fence was clipped into place, it was still lose.
Another common problem customers had was about the blade. One person said that the bolt that was holding the blade in place came out of its hole. Another person said that when they tried to adjust the blade by hand, the blade would scrape the housing, making them afraid to use the tool lest they get hurt during operation.
There is no short supply of biscuit joiners on the market today, and some of them are better than others. Where does the Porter Cable 557 Plate Joiner stand in this spectrum? We believe that it is among one of the best joiners available.
We like this unit because it offers 7 cutting settings and a 4-inch blade, allowing you to do a variety of tasks where you need to join wood together. We like that the unit is compact enough for easy portability, handling, and storing. At 7.5 pounds and standing 7 inches high, we feel that this tool will let you work for several hours without needing to stop and take a break.
What really stands out to us about this tool is its innovative fence design that features a pivot point that will give you an accurate height reading. It also features a fencing plate that will help stabilize, center, and space your blade. There is also a keyhole-slotted blade cover and spindle lock that will make changing the blade less of a hassle and more of a cinch.
It is true that there are many biscuit joiners available on the market today. However, if you’re looking for a high quality tool that is going to last for years to come, then the Porter Cable 557 joiner is definitely worth picking up!