Porter Cable 557 Plate Joiner

By Robert Robillard on Tool Reviews

portercable biscut joiner

Porter-Cable 557 7 Amp Plate Joiner Kit

The folks at Porter Cable recently sent me their  Porter Cable 557 Plate Joiner to evaluate.

A plate joiner is a specialized woodworking tool  that is used to cut specially shaped slots in wood.  Also referred to as a biscuit joiner this tool is basically a mini-saw.  It cuts thin slots into wood that hold a biscuit.  The biscuit helps align and join two boards for gluing.

Biscuits are thin, football-shaped slices of compressed beech wood.  A biscuit is glued into the slot in one edge of a board, and then into a corresponding slot in the adjoining board. Biscuits used in cabinet construction or when gluing up a few individual boards to make larger panels.

First Impression:

The  Porter Cable 557 Plate Joiner comes with a sturdy plastic case the fits the tool and all of it’s accessories well.  No fighting the tool back in when done with it.   It is well balanced and light weight at 7.5 lbs.

The 557 has a nicely designed fence system with a pivot point that provides accurate height settings, as well as a fencing plate for stock porter cable biscut joinerstabilization, centering, and spacing.  The knobs were quality.

The 557 has a powerful 7 amp, 120-volt motor that rotates the blade at 10,000 rpm. The fence tilts from 0 to 135 degrees for east placement of both inside and outside corner registrations. A positive adjustable stop at 90 degrees and a micro-height adjustment knob ensure proper biscuit positioning for precision and versatility.

Using The Porter Cable 557:

I worked with this tool connecting plywood and gluing up door blanks.  I found that the depth adjustments were easy to set and worked great.  The tool did not strain on task even when I tried to get it to.

It worked well, was accurate and was easy to use.  Not much more to say – it’s well built and a nice tool.

 Porter Cable 557 Plate Joiner Kit Features:

  • Plate Joiner kit offers seven cutting settings to handle a variety of joining applications.
  • Includes 4-inch blade for standard-size cuts and a 2-inch blade for cuts as small as 1-1/2 inches.
  • Innovative fence system with pivot point provides accurate height readings.
  • Measures 7 inches high and weighs 7-1/2 pounds.

The 557 offers a two blade option; both standard and face frame biscuits. The 4-inch blade is for standard-size cuts, while the 2-inch blade easily handles cuts as small as 1-1/2 inches.

Additionally, a seven-position rotating depth stop works for standard #0, #10, #20 as well as Simplex, Duplex, and Max (#6) joinery.

Overall Impression:

I think Porter Cable has hit another home run with this tool. I would highly recommend anyone who works with tools to buy this one.

What’s in the Box and How Much?

  • Plate Joiner, #5559 2-Inch Blade,
  • #5558 4-Inch Blade,
  • #888776 Centering Plate,
  •  #883175 Dust Gag,
  •  #886490 Chip Deflector,
  • #891869 Allen Wrench, carrying case, and operating manual.

The Porter Cable Plate Joiner sells for $172.00 here:  Porter-Cable-557-Amp-Plate-Joiner

This review contains my opinion of a product. I take pride in providing my readers with an honest and objective information as well as a practical approach to using a product. I never accept payment in exchange for a positive review. Many of the tools and products are provided to for free by a manufacturer for review.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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