HELP... Which to Choose... Porter Cable Plate Joiner, Model 556, or newer Model 557...

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Blog entry by Delta356 posted 11-29-2011 10:26 AM 8397 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi all, I come to you for help… I have been wanting to add a Biscuit joiner to my tool collection, and I’m torn between, these two Porter Cable Models… I will only go with Porter Cable. Anyways I want to know what your thoughts and experences with these plate joiners. I Have held and played around with porter Cables new plate joiner (557), but not with its father (556). The 556 is not made any more, but I’m looking at plenty on Ebay. One main reason I’m looking at the older model, is not price, but were its made. I want to buy MADE IN USA tools. I really don’t mind Mexico, but would like that sticker on the tool that says MADE IN USA. The main problem I have read with the 556 is it power….

I have 12h 7m 9s to make my decision…..........

Pros and Cons….


Motor 7.5 AMP (More Power)
Dust collection
Easy fence adjustment…

Plastic Case


Metal case….

No dust collection..
Motor 5 Amp (less Power)
Not easy to adjust fence

Thank you, Michael Frey
Portland, OR


3 comments so far

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


708 posts in 3296 days

#1 posted 11-29-2011 10:30 AM

557 is my vote. Pretty much for the reasons you have noted.

I have found that the lack of a dust collection feature on my biscuit jointer is not a big issue. and there are ways to add dust collection yourself if it is a major issue for you.


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View Delta356's profile


463 posts in 2876 days

#2 posted 11-29-2011 10:36 AM

Thanks, Dust collection is not issue, the more dust the better LOL….

Thanks, Michael Frey
Portland, OR


View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2599 days

#3 posted 11-29-2011 11:57 AM

I’d go for the 557 by far.

That made in usa label doesn’t mean much anymore.
I have three pc 330 sanders; two are made in the usa models which I bought used, not for the sticker, but because the price was right. The other is a newer made in mexico model. In use and appearance, there is no difference. All perform excellently.

On top of that, you’re not supporting any usa companies by buying second hand tools. With something like the new delta unisaw, it’s a different story. Even though delta’s not a usa company any more you’re still supporting usa workers. That’s the only time a made in usa label means anything to me.

That said, the 557 is just a better designed tool for the reasons you mentioned above.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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