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  • biscuit jointers

    I know Ridgid doesn't make one of these but...................I'm in the market for a biscuit jointer. I've looked at DeWalt, Freud, Makita, Bosch, and PC. I'm leaning toward the PC model 557. I like the 135 degree capability allowing an "outside in" cut as well as overall construction and features. Anyone care to opine?

    Thanks,
    Wood Dog

  • #2
    I just bought the Dewalt 2 days ago. I guess my buddy was getting sick of me always borrowing his! I too was playing with the idea of buying the PC. To me, even though you are getting the extra 2" blade and the 135 degree capability, it wasn't worth the extra $45 bucks. I am using mine for mostly for edge gluing, and those bells really didn't make that big of deal. It's all what you are going to do with it....
    Hope this helps.
    GaryO

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    • #3
      Hey Dog: go with the 557. More precise, more flexible( can use face frame bisquits), way better customer service. Tried the Dewalt, took it back. Fence doesn't close on on angle joint
      He who dies with the most power tools wins!

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      • #4
        the pc 555 is a good machine!
        Andy B.

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        • #5
          I agree with GaryOW, it depends what you are going to do with it. I bought the Dewalt after borrowing one from a friend. It worked great, and the reviews of the Dewalt that I could find were very favorable. I couldn't justify the extra money for the PC. There are soooo many other tools I could put the money towards.

          Mark
          Mark

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          • #6
            I'd go with the PC 557. When using the fence (such as for edge gluing) the setup is a snap and it works very well. When you want to cut a biscuit slot in a face, the fence folds out of the way in an instant, without losing any of your settings. The machine is powerful, and if you hook a vacuum up to the dust port, you won't see a molecule of sawdust. I love the PC.

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            • #7
              The PC is certainly a fine machine, and I wouldn't blame you for selecting it.

              I use the DW, which I like very well. It is capable of the 135 degree cut you mention; the fence has notch that accomodates this angle a little differently than the PC, but it works.

              Just used mine tonight, with the vac hooked up, without littering my bench or my shirt.

              Either way is good. Good luck.

              JS

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              • #8
                Thanks for all the opinions. It looks like most favor either the DeWalt or the PC. I could really use the 135 degree setting but did not realize DW had a model with this capability. The DW model I saw only opened to 90 (I thought). I hung aroung Big Orange in hopes of getting more information this weekend but after considering past encounters I was pretty sure any inquiries into biscuit jointers would be met with a suggestion to look in the kitchen accessories section down the road at Wally World followed by another one of those "duh" looks which I've gotten before. I have found the PC 557 "on-line" for $200 which beats HD by $20 and Highland Hardware in Atlanta by $30. If I can't find the DW model with the 135 opening to check out I'll probably go with the PC.

                Thanks again for all the suggestions,
                Duh Wood Dog

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                • #9
                  Hello All,
                  What about the Ryobi JM80K? I am new to woodworking and also thinking about biscuit jointer. thanks in advance for the advice.
                  Joe

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                  • #10
                    Joe: I'd pass on the JM 80 unless you intend to use it for face-to-face only. Fence isn't very good, mostly plastic. I have an old JM100k thats all metal, works great, but unfortunately, long discontinued. PC , Dw, or makita are about the only affordable good ones. PC has by far the best fence. JMHO
                    Dawg
                    He who dies with the most power tools wins!

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                    • #11
                      get the PC557. You will have no problems with it. and if you do the Customer service support is even better.

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                      • #12
                        I had decided to buy the PC 557 based on features that I needed. I found a reasonable price on-line as I continued to read reviews from users. Interestingly, I began running across references to a patent dispute with DeWalt followed by an apparent redesign by PC in order to avoid a patent infringement issue. I finally ended up on a web page created by a woodworker club for the sole purpose of discussing and sharing solutions to problems they have with the PC 557. It seems that the redesign resulted in a slight offset of the fence face and the joiner face. They even list several solutions including shims, grinding, and even a third party kit. This must be one great product because almost everyone ends up mentioning that even with the problems they still feel it is the best choice. Other issues are also listed which seems to be related to whether you have a Type I or Type II version. If anyone is interested the website is http://www.huntfamily.com/pc557.cfm

                        I'm sure others have heard about this. Does anyone in this forum have any first hand knowledge to share about this. There appears to be others who are also trying to decide. The offset issue only comes up when making face cuts with the fence is set at 0. I inquired at HD but they were clueless.

                        This whole thing has gotten way more complicated than I ever imagined. I just want to make a decision based on reliable facts. If these issues are true then I admire the owners who make the efforts to make what they consider to be the best machine better but......... I'm not sure I want to buy a product knowing that I will then need to further invest in it to correct a problem which, knowing me, will haunt me until I correct it. The response from PC seems to be inconsistent as to these issues, again, according to some of the posts I've read elsewhere.
                        This just makes me appreciate even more the quick and courteous response I have gotten from Ridgid in the past when I have needed help.

                        Wood Dog

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                        • #13
                          Wood Dog,

                          I just purchased the Dewalt 682K from WoodWorkers Warehouse last Friday. They mentioned the issues regarding the PC557 and recommended the DW. I tried it extensively over the weekend on edge joints, picture framing (both at 45 and 90 degree joints), T-joints, etc. Very accurate and simple to use. The fence is very stable. I didn't try it on any hard woods, but I don't anticipate any issues.
                          It's never too late to return the PC, right? The guy's at Wood Workers Warehouse seem completely impartial when discussing tool brands.

                          Good Luckk
                          Wayno

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                          • #14
                            Wayno,

                            Thanks for the suggestion. I haven't pulled the trigger yet on a purchase so a return is not an issue. Thanks again.

                            Wood Dog

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                            • #15
                              For what it is worth, after examining at great length (just ask my wife) all of the plate joiners, I bought the PC557, fully aware of the infringement issue. As others have noted, the "gap," which in my machine is quite small, only arises when cutting into a face, and as a practical matter, when I do that I have temporarily mounted a cleat 3/8" south of the centerline of the desired slot, and I simply haven't had a problem making perfect cuts. I wouldn't trade my PC for a DeWalt.

                              History is replete with examples of otherwise competent manufacturing companies falling afoul of intellectual property protections owned by others. Quite recently, Continental Cablevision changed its name to MediaOne, without having learned that someone else owned that trademark, and this made mucho headaches for AT&T (which had purchased MediaOne) and its customers. Somewhat further back in history, Samuel Colt, the reputed father of the modern revolver, found that when he tried to convert his product line from cap-and-ball revolvers to metallic cartridge revolvers, a guy name Allen owned the patent on through-boring a revolver cylinder. Colt stated, a bit impetuously, that he'd never pay a royalty to someone else. Horace Smith, on the other hand, promptly paid Allen what Allen demanded for a n assignment of the patent, which he then used to produce Smith & Wesson revolvers. By the time Col. Sam came to his senses, Smith owned the Allen patent and there was no way he was going to license Colt to exploit it. As a result, Colt never recovered. This all happened, by the way, in the 1860s.

                              For my money, I don't care whether PC was dumb this time around; I have a machine that allows me to make perfect cuts every time. Most of my other tools require me to apply some skill, and that limitation means that some of my cuts are good and some are not (no fault of the machine), but my 557 allows a mere mortal to make perfect cuts every time. That, frankly, is all I care about.

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