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Porter Cable 557 Plate 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 stabilization, 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:

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?

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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