Porter-Cable Biscuit Joiner

WOOD magazine rating
Average reader rating
4.8
out of 5
Brand:
Porter-Cable
Model:
557
Price:
$225

Description

• 7.0 Amp, 120 V, AC only, 10,000 rpm
• 1" O.D. dust port accepts standard bag or can be connected to a vacuum
• Fence tilts from 0° to 135° with positive adjustable stop at 90° and 45°
• Micro height-adjustment knob
• Lock-on trigger
• Includes 4" diameter blades for standard biscuit cutting
• Height scale accurate at any angle
• Seven-position rotating depth stop for FF, #0, #10, #20, Simplex, Duplex, and Max (#6) biscuits
• Spindle lock feature allows for single wrench bit changes
• Bale handle attached to fence, not motor, for stability during cuts

WOOD magazine review

Best biscuit joiner for face frames and acute-angle miters

Review Summary

With the most comprehensive depth-stop settings, this machine cuts slots for multiple biscuit sizes as well as for metal knockdown fasteners and specialty hinges. It makes accurate cuts whether using the base or the fence for reference, and it’s easy to quickly set the fence angle and height. Coarse sandpaper across the full width of the nose prevents any slippage when making cuts.
If you want to use face-frame biscuits, switching to the smaller blade is a breeze, and there’s a molded storage spot in the case for the blade you’re not using. Because the 557’s fence has no support in its center cutout, you have to clip on a plastic adapter when working with boards narrower than 3-3⁄4". Dust collection proved its only (minor) setback because of a too-small chute that clogged with chips when using the included bag.

Detailed Ratings

5.0
out of 5

Performance

5

Features

5

Ease of Use

5

Value

5

Reader Reviews

Porte-Cable 557

Review Summary

I have owned several diffrent joiners over the last 15 years but the Porter-Cable is my favorite. I like the biscut size adjustment and the fence most of all.

Detailed Ratings

5.0
out of 5

Performance

5

Features

5

Ease of Use

5

Value

5

Porter-Cable 557 Biscuit Joiner

Review Summary

I have used mine several times to make my table tops bigger. A very easy to use product that really does a fantastic job. I can not say anything but positive things about this great job Porter-Cable

Detailed Ratings

5.0
out of 5

Performance

5

Features

5

Ease of Use

5

Value

5

A clear winner in the competition

Review Summary

In my shop my 557 sees approximately 2000 biscuits being used per year. I use it so much that I'm on my second blade (a Freud, available from Amazon). The Type 3 machine that I have includes an arch-shaped casting in center of mass in the fence. While useful for narrow stock, it did admittedly keep the machine from plunging with the fence in an upright position when it was set for FF-sized biscuits. PC apparently saw this and removed that center casting on the new Type 4 machines.
Now you will need the (included!) plastic piece to help register narrow stock against the machine. But the tradeoff is that you can now do plunges with FF-sized slots while the fence is in an upright and folded-against-the-tool position. The 557 is easy to use, is reliable, holds its settings very well and is easy to set. The advantages are legion and I can't honestly think of any down sides to owning this machine vs. any other on the market. If you're going to buy a biscuit jointer the 557 is the one to get in my book.

Detailed Ratings

5.0
out of 5

Performance

5

Features

5

Ease of Use

5

Value

5

Probably the best tool I ever bought

Review Summary

This is my go-to tool for joinery whenever I can use biscuits. I'm glad I bought this, now that I've read reviews of some of the other models. I've had nothing but good luck with my Porter Cable. Its so easy to use without really any need to make practice cuts.

Detailed Ratings

5.0
out of 5

Performance

5

Features

5

Ease of Use

5

Value

5

Don't even mess with other biscuiters -- get this one!

Review Summary

Yeah, this is such a great tool. I used to use a biscuit jointer that was basically an angle grinder with a blade stuck on it. It was so hard to dial in and get accurate cuts. But this Porter Cable is just the opposite. You almost can't mess up! If I'd known it was so easy to cut biscuit slots with this tool, I'd have bought it years ago. It's already paid for itself!

Detailed Ratings

5.0
out of 5

Performance

5

Features

5

Ease of Use

5

Value

5

A Few Issues

Review Summary

I didn't get a good one this time. Mine ended up in the service center a month after I got it when a plastic part on the fence support broke (the repair was covered under warranty). My biggest issue throughout it's life was lack of alignment of glue-ups. I couldn't register off the fence because it wouldn't lock down parallel to the blade consistently (and yes, I could get others to do better). Try as I might, repair as the service center might, it never worked right.
I moved on from this one.

Detailed Ratings

3.3
out of 5

Performance

3

Features

4

Ease of Use

3

Value

3

They got this one right

Review Summary

I sold my DeWalt and bought this one so I could do FF biscuits. The DeWalt was a great tool but the Porter Cable is much more versatile. It's fence has a larger range of motion. Dust collection is good. It feels solid in the hands. I think they are on Type 4 now. If you are buying used or NOS make sure you avoid Type 2. There was a fence redesign to avoid a patent problem that did not turn out well. Type 3 fixed the fence problems.

Detailed Ratings

5.0
out of 5

Performance

5

Features

5

Ease of Use

5

Value

5

Top of the line

Review Summary

This is a great asset for anyone joining boards together. I have had this bisquit joiner for several years and have had only one failure, a plastic piece which I broke (not due to manufacture quality). This joiner is reliable and powerful enough to hand all my joiner needs. Its a under utilized tool that has more potential for projects than I am currently using but will need in the future.

Detailed Ratings

5.0
out of 5

Performance

5

Features

5

Ease of Use

5

Value

5

My Biscuit Joiner

Review Summary

For Biscuits this is the toll you want. It is designed for all of the biscuits out there. I have used it for the FF biscuits as well as the 0 10 and 20. Unlike other joiner this tool has a micro adjustment and scale that permits you to dial in the height to find that sweet spot. With a fence that is part of the vertical setting you do not have to tale apart Scythian to make a T joint. I have been using this two for two years and it has worked with out fail.

Detailed Ratings

5.0
out of 5

Performance

5

Features

5

Ease of Use

5

Value

5

Simply the best!

Review Summary

My friend had a DeWalt that he wasn't happy with. I lent him mine for a project and he bought one and sold his DeWalt. Enough said.

Detailed Ratings

5.0
out of 5

Performance

5

Features

5

Ease of Use

5

Value

5

Flexiable, and easy to use

Review Summary

I have a Porter Cable and two GMT Global Machine Tool biscuit jointers. I got the GMT ones when Lowe's discontinued them-their mistake! One a display model was the machine only with no fence. I use it extensively when cutting biscuits in the (field) sheet where I cant use the fence. The I am able to use the other two at different setting to speed things along. I biscuit joint lots of melamine, and plywood.
The newer Porter cable with the adjustable angle fence was a wonderful change over the old one with 45-90 only! As a woodworking teacher I found this to be one of the better ones to buy and use.

Detailed Ratings

4.5
out of 5

Performance

4

Features

4

Ease of Use

5

Value

5

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