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Porter Cable PCB222TS - Addressing the odd throat insert plate

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Forum topic by paxorion posted 03-13-2014 04:12 PM 20777 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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paxorion

1100 posts in 1505 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


26 replies so far

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dbhost

5604 posts in 2692 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.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/reviews/power-tools/portable-table-saws-we-test-11-to-find-the-best#slide-1

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

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MW_Woodworking

37 posts in 1150 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

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bbuck002

1 post in 983 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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paxorion

1100 posts in 1505 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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BentheViking

1763 posts in 2024 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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paxorion

1100 posts in 1505 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

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randman

1 post in 856 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?

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pfleming

76 posts in 674 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

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Dontbestupid

2 posts in 630 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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knotscott

7207 posts in 2835 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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Dontbestupid

2 posts in 630 days


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

LMAO. GOOD STUFF!

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pfleming

76 posts in 674 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

View Gus01's profile

Gus01

43 posts in 518 days


#13 posted 01-01-2016 08:53 PM

Pfleming
I too have the Porter Cable PCB222TS and you can help reduce the sawdust spill by doing a couple of things. First HF(yes HF) sells a sawdust bag for around $6. I didn’t use the supplied snap inserts that have to be drilled into the stand. Instead I used rare earth magnets to the back of the snaps on the bag and then placed it on the metal stand. The bag won’t hang completely straight due to the stand design but it works. I also went to a craft store and bought some adhesive backed foam sheets. These are 8-1/2×11 size very thin and only a dollar. You can peel and stick these over the openings in the saw base to seal it up more. I also traced one to fit over the slot in the front that arm for blade height adjustments travels when changing the blade tilt. I cut a slot in this one so the arm could move freely. Together both of these really cut down on dust going everywhere. My only concern would be heat build up but since I am only using my saw for short periods of time and its in my garage I don’t think it’s a problem. On a hot day at a jobstite cutting one piece after another might be different

-- John 3:16

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pfleming

76 posts in 674 days


#14 posted 01-25-2016 02:03 AM

Well, now that we’ve had these saws for a little while, there are a few questions I have for other owners of the PCB222TS. First off, do they all sit at a little bit of an angle when the stand is set up? Mine has a lean to it, which makes it a little difficult to use an aid for ripping larger pieces of plywood and such. Second, when I use a dado blade for box joints, the blade will work itself lower and lower as I make my passes. Am I the only one with this issue, because I can’t seem to find anything about it online anywhere. I can tighten the carriage clamp screws up and get it to hold, but then the blade is very hard to raise and lower, so I loosened the screws back up and just got a small bungee cord that I will hook on the handle and the bottom of the base when I need to use a dado blade. A handle lock of some kind would have been awesome to solve this problem. Lastly, has anyone found an aftermarket fence system that will work with these saws? The factory fence isn’t too bad, after beefing it up with some side boards, but it will still pop out of the near track if I try to use a feather board that’s nice and snug. The far end is in a groove, but the near end just sits in a slot and stays in place from pressure. Do I just need to put more pressure on it? Any ideas on any of these things would be helpful. Overall, I really do like this saw, and it does a great job, but I’ve had it long enough now that if I can find a few cures for these ills, it would be nice to implement them.

-- Patrick, Mississippi

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Gus01

43 posts in 518 days


#15 posted 02-08-2016 03:49 AM

I’m afraid I can’t be of any help regarding the blade dropping on dado cuts. So far I’ve used mine mostly for building small toys for kids. I have ripped some plywood sheets on mine without issue. I used a extendable miter saw stand turned sideways to the table saw to help support the plywood before and after the cut. On rips with smaller pieces I use a Micro Jig Gripper to keep the workpiece against the fence. So far the stock fence has stayed in place. On cross cuts I use a home built sled.

-- John 3:16

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