Porter Cable PCB222TS - Addressing the odd throat insert plate

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Forum topic by paxorion posted 03-13-2014 04:12 PM 13788 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1090 posts in 1137 days

03-13-2014 04:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw

In my quest to find an acceptable benchtop table saw that I can use for my outdoor shop, I seem to be scouring the big box stores for updates very frequently. Today, I saw that Lowes is listing the Porter Cable PCB222TS as the replacement for the older PCB220TS. Reviews of the PCB220TS tend to be very positive on LumberJocks, but I think the filtering lense for those reviews provide a lot of forgiveness for the saw.

Based on the manual, the new PCB222TS seems to be largely unchanged, sporting a smaller aluminum table and questionable fence. However the big change(s) appears to be:
  1. The throat opening been revised so that there is clearance on both sides of the saw blade (to make ZCI?)
  2. Rip capacity expanded to 30”

I’m curious what others think of this revised saw. The throat plate change does make me pause and rethink my plans to save up for a Dewalt or Bosch, for cabinet making, esp since I plan on getting a track saw, and the thought of spending close to a Grizzly hybrid saw for a benchtop saw doesn’t really jive with me. In my context, I have access to a shop ~20-30 minutes away with a full cabinet saw, so any table saw I get would really be for projects when I opt to stay closer to home.

-- paxorion

12 replies so far

View dbhost's profile


5426 posts in 2324 days

#1 posted 03-13-2014 04:29 PM

Knowing going in that Benchtop table saws have inherent lmitations, there are several good writeups on the subject including one from Popularmechanics… Take a look.

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View MW_Woodworking's profile


37 posts in 782 days

#2 posted 03-14-2014 02:39 AM

I have had the 220 model for about a year and have mostly liked it. I bought it while on sale at lowes, price and the fold up features where the main attraction for me. I work out of my garage and have very little space so being able to store it away was key to me. That being said, it didn’t take long to get really frustrated by the insert plate. It is very difficult to make a zero clearance insert, but I’m glad that they fixed the problem, probably after a lot of complaints. I noticed the new model the other day while at lowes, with a better insert size. I didn’t remove it to see if it still has the funky tabs on the corners, I would guess not since it is now a wider insert. But I would check it out first to see how easy it would be to make your own insert. Also to note, the riving knife inserted fully down makes it near impossible to have a ZCI installed, as it sits against the back of the opening. Check to see if that would be a problem, if you plan to use the stock knife.
Overall I have thought it is a good saw, good enough for occasional home use and a great deal for the price. With the revised insert and increased rip width, it would be even better.

-- Matt ~ "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything.” - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898), author

View bbuck002's profile


1 post in 616 days

#3 posted 03-25-2014 02:44 PM

I bought the 220 in January and just returned it for the 222 because of the throat plate. It is now a rectangular shape and will be much, much easier to make a zci. The throat insert is also a smaller opening on the left side. The 220 had an almost 1/2in gap that wood easily fell into. It’s much safer now. They changed several other things too. The trunions are different for blade adjustment. They are now attached to the top surface. They raised the 90 degree cut clearance to 3.5in from 3in. This also makes for a 2.5in clearance at 45 degrees of bevel. There is a little more space to get your hand in for blade changes and riving knife changes. The saw still only takes a 1/2in max dado set. They also redesigned the stand. I like this one better. It’s much easier to setup and take down. They added a foot pedal to push to assist with lifting the saw. Overall, I’m happy that I switched them out. The main reason was the throat guard. The first iteration was terrible and slightly dangerous. Hope this helps. I don’t think you can find a better saw at the price because of the stand. If you take your time to set it up right the first time, and make a cross cut sled, you get really nice cuts from the saw.
One thing about the fence. It hasn’t given me any problems. I have made it a habit when I set it to lock it and unlock it 2 or 3 times in quick succession and I get straight alignment each time.

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1090 posts in 1137 days

#4 posted 03-26-2014 05:56 PM

Thanks buck. Sounds like there were a lot of changes that makes it a more reasonable buy for someone looking for a saw in that price bracket. All in all, I think there are still sufficient hold-backs on Porter Cable’s part, so as not to encroach on their market with the Dewalt table saw. It does sound like the 3/4” miter slots make the Kobalt saw the only real competitor to the PCB222TS.

I did end up getting a Dewalt DWE7491RS, and am very happy with just how much of an upgrade it is compared to the black friday cheapo special saw when compared to the saw it replaces.

-- paxorion

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1761 posts in 1656 days

#5 posted 03-27-2014 01:17 AM

glad to hear they’ve upgraded the saw. I’ve had the 220 now for 2 years. As much as I like the folding table and portability I think I’d still have prefered the accuracy of the fence on the dewalt jobsite models

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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1090 posts in 1137 days

#6 posted 03-27-2014 12:33 PM

Ben – While I still prefer the heft of the biesemeyer-style fence, the rack-and-pinion fence on the Dewalt has been better than use than I had expected.

-- paxorion

View randman's profile


1 post in 488 days

#7 posted 07-31-2014 01:08 AM

I just purchased the PCB222TS and I am wondering if there is a dado insert for this saw? Do I have to purchase it from Rexon? Some reviews I read stated that Porter Cable tried to recommend the PCB220TS dado insert, but some said it doesn’t fit? Any advice?

View pfleming's profile


16 posts in 306 days

#8 posted 01-29-2015 03:25 PM

I purchased one of the PCB222TS saws a few weeks ago. Sure there are a few things that could be upgraded, but for the price, it seems to be a pretty good saw. Of course, my last saw was a little China made job with the 5/8” slots too. One thing that I’ve noticed is that, even though the fence has some slop in it, if you wax the table top and fence slide areas, and apply a little pressure just under the lock on the fence when sliding the fence, it is actually very accurate and slides smoothly. My question is…..does anyone make an aftermarket ZCI or a better fence for this saw yet? If not, has anyone made a ZCI for it and how difficult was it, given the finger-style hold down in the rear of the blade opening?

-- Patrick, Mississippi

View Dontbestupid's profile


2 posts in 263 days

#9 posted 03-13-2015 01:59 PM

Are you people kidding me? I always make my own inserts! even on my $2000 dollar jet, with a biesemeyer fence. Just trace out the insert plate, then get a piece of 1/2” MDF or other. use your best judgment on size so you don’t have to sand too much…cut it out, Drop it in, mark the side for depth, run it through the barrel sander or other, drop it back in the table top.. Note: keep sanding until the new plate is level with the top, turn the saw on and bring the blade up to cut blade slot. Now make another plate, throw on those old dado blades and do the same. Rub some butchers wax on the top and your ready to go.. Note: if you don’t have a barrel sander use your common sense with the materials you have and make all appropriate notches so the guard and other apparatus’s work! This Porter cable PCB222TS is a great saw for the price. All saws have there draw backs it all hinges on what you want to deal with. Have a great day..

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6371 posts in 2468 days

#10 posted 03-13-2015 02:08 PM

Are you people kidding me? ...
- Dontbestupid

Yes…just practicing for April 1st! ;-)

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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2 posts in 263 days

#11 posted 03-13-2015 02:18 PM


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16 posts in 306 days

#12 posted 03-13-2015 02:35 PM

Yep, Dontbestupid, they are pretty good, IMO, especially for the money. I did make my own ZCI and just set it under the factory insert to fill in the blade gap. I haven’t attached it to the factory insert yet, but I may do that soon. The only drawback to having it as a “filler” instead of a replacement is that I do lose about 1/8” or so of blade height, which is no big deal until I want to rip something that’s 3 1/2” thick. But, the way I have it just sitting under the factory insert, it only takes a few seconds to remove it for the rip. Any ideas on how to enclose the bottom of the saw for dust collection? I really haven’t looked at it too closely, it can’t be too hard. It already has a dust collection port for my shop vac, but it has a trough that cradles the blade too, and I think that thing almost aids the blade in slinging dust by the insert, instead of directing it towards the vacuum.

-- Patrick, Mississippi

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