The Porter-Cable 557 Plate Joiner is Powerful Biscuit Joiner Thanks to Its 7 Amp Motor That Rotates 10,000 Times Per Minute
What We Like
- An adjustable fence can move from 0° to 135°
- One four-inch blade for difficult cuts
- Positive stops at 90°
- 7 Amp motor rotates 10,000 per minute
- Dual rack and pinion system
- Compact, lightweight power tool
- Large handle for a more comfortable grip
- A Strong and durable casing
What We Don’t Like
- The motor is a little too noisy
The Porter-Cable 557 Plate Joiner review explains why it is popular among professional woodworkers.
There are seven rotating depth positions on this biscuit joiner, FF, #0, #10, #20, Simplex, Duplex, and Max (#6) biscuits. Many other biscuit joiners have only three biscuit sizes, #0, #10, and #20.
A compact design and powerful motor are two things woodworkers always consider when they want to purchase a handheld biscuit joiner.
Thankfully, the Porter-Cable 557 Plate Joiner has these two features and more. However, you will need more than $200 to buy one Porter Cable 557 Biscuit Joiner from an online retailer like Amazon.
This is on the high side since some other brands sell their products for around $130 and $160. Also, the motor can be a little too noisy for a handheld joiner.
When it comes to making the right biscuit joints, the type of joiner you use will go a long way to influencing the level of precision you’ll get.
Let’s not forget to talk about the time, you’ll save when you use the right biscuit joiner. The Porter-Cable 557 Plate Joiner is used not just by homeowners but by professional woodworkers as well.
This 7 Amp motor is powerful offering you up to 10,000 rotations per minute. As you’ll see from our review, it is strong and stable enough to make biscuit joints on wood.
The fence, blades, and almost every other part of the Porter-Cable 557 Plate Joiner are completely adjustable improving versatility. Thanks to the lightweight, you can use it comfortably without straining your shoulders.
Related article: Powermatic 54A Deluxe Jointer Review
Features of the Porter-Cable 557 Plate Joiner
Tilts From 0 Degrees to 135 Degrees
The tilting capacity of a biscuit joiner is important because it will determine how effectively you can make angled cuts when you want to join two pieces of wood. It has a fence that can tilt from 0° to 135° depending on what you are trying to achieve.
Most plate joiners only tilt from 0 degrees to 90 degrees. So, taking things up a notch provides you with more flexibility. It is just perfect for miter joints.
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to make outside or inside joiner cuts, you’d be just fine with the Porter Cable 557 Plate Joiner. To help you make even more precise cuts, the device has a positive stop at 90 degrees.
This comes in handy when you’re trying to lock in the perfect horizontal more angle.
Rack and Pinion Guide System
Every plate joiner comes with an adjustable fence even if some offer a wider range than others. However, not every biscuit joiner comes with a rack and pinion system.
The Porter-Cable 557 Plate Joiner comes with a dual rack and pinion, not even the regular one. Thanks to this rack and pinion system, the fence is easy to adjust.
The easier it is to adjust, the faster your projects will be completed. The rack and pinion system is that part of the joiner that translates the rotational motion into linear motion.
Since it doesn’t have as many parts as other systems, it is lighter and it allows you to get more accurate cuts from the biscuit joiner. It’s also low maintenance so you should not expect your motor to crash shortly after use.
You will never appreciate how useful this rack and pinion system is until you start working on projects that need a lot of adjustment.
7 Amp Motor Rotates 10,000 Per Minute
The 7 Amp motor offers 10,000 rotations every minute. While this is above the standard RPM, it is still a little too low for a 7 Amp motor. We expected that the 7 Amp motor would rotate at least 12,000 per minute.
Notwithstanding, it still does a great job of powering the blade. You can use the Porter Cable 557 Plate Joiner on hard-wood, and softwood respectively. As long it’s not metal, this biscuit joiner will handle it without stress.
Despite the size and power of the motor, the product is relatively lightweight and compact.
It weighs about 7.5 pounds but the full package is about 11.48 pounds because of the weight of the extra tools and the storage bag. Carrying a power tool that weighs 7.5 pounds is going to be a breeze.
One 4 Inch Blade for Difficult Cuts
For a plate joiner to be useful, it needs a blade. It is the blade that makes the holes (mouths) in the wood you’re trying to cut. The average plate joiner comes with a 2 inch or even a 1½ inch blade.
For even better performance, the Porter-Cable 557 Plate Joiner comes with a 4-inch long blade. You’ll get above-average standard cuts on different forms of wood irrespective of the angle.
Another feature we love about the joiner is the large hand. The large hand allows you to maintain a comfortable grip.
Related reading: PORTER-CABLE PC160JT Benchtop Jointer Review
Porter-Cable 557 Plate Joiner Review The Verdict
From our review, we hope you can understand why it is so popular among woodworkers. The sturdy construction ensures durability and the powerful motor promotes performance.
Everything is sent to you in a beautiful and sturdy roller case. The storage makes it easy for you to move the product from place to place. Even when you don’t want to move it, it also allows you to keep the product safe when you’re not using it. The problem with this device is the noisy motor.
It makes more noise than it should but not so much that you will feel uncomfortable using it. The price of the device is also on the high side.