Need help choosing a plate joiner

I'm looking to but a plate joiner very soon.
I've learned pretty quickly that for the most part with power tools you get what you pay for.
I bought a Sears 'lower end' table 3hp table saw and a 8" 'Tradesman' drill press for less than $250. (I had $150 in gift cards to blow) They do a basic job, but, I wouldn't buy either again.
On the other hand I'm quite satisfied and have gotten a lot of reliable service from my PC drill/driver, Delta compound miter saw and most recently my Bosch 1617 router.
So I'm trying to decide between the PC 557 & Dewalt 682K.
The first project for it will be for some face-frame kitchen cabinets. A bathroom vanity & kitchen breadbox/strorage unit with frameless doors will follow.
The PC goes for about $200, about $50 more than the Delta.
PC also includes a 2" blade though. Would this be the size I would need for 3/4" x 2 1/2 rails & stiles? Does Dewalt even offer a 2" blade? A replacement for PC is ~$40, probably accounting for most of the proce difference. What is the smallest size stock I you can use a 4" blade on?
They both seem to have ample power.
The PC's fence also goes from 0-135 degrees, when/where would I need the capability to go beyond 90?
I don't mind spending the extra $50, but, I don't care to waste it on features I won't need either.
ThankX for any input, Ron
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No contest. Porter-Cable. Has a DeWalt and sold it for a Porter-Cable. It is one heck of a mchine.
On Mon, 13 Oct 2003 02:51:01 GMT, "Ron Angel"

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There seem to be a few complaints about the sloppiness of the fence on the 557, but I own a 557, type3, and have had no problems with it whatsoever.
The two reasons most stated in favor of the PC are the face frame blade, and the 135 degree fence ... neither has been a factor in my use of the tool at all.
However, everywhere I look, I see the DeWalt ... it seems to be the most ubiquitous plate jointer on the planet. Other than budget considerations, I would say pick your favorite color between the two..
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On Mon, 13 Oct 2003 02:51:01 GMT, "Ron Angel"

Congratulations. You won't use it much.
Then one day you realise it's not how much you use the thing, but how much time you've saved instead of other methods.

Not quite so much with biscuiters. It's hard to justify some of the pricetags at the top end.
For the last couple of years I've had an AEG 650, which I still think is one of the best around.
http://www.epinions.com/hmgd-Tools-Hand_Power-Biscuit_Joiners-AEG-AEG_Planer_LF_650_LF_650/display_~full_specs #
But you can also buy Screwfix's Ferm copy of it, for tuppence ! http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp ;jsessionidP4GUJIRPC5VCJO2C3CHPQ?p=bst&id569&slotNameST_SELLER&homeRef=home&ts8616&destination=../cat/pro.jsp%3Fp%3Dbst%26id%3D17569%26slotName%3DBEST_SELLER%26homeRef%3Dhome
There are two sorts of biscuiter out there: Hinge-front and removable ront. If you're making a T jointed carcase (shelves in a box) then you switch between 0 and 90 a lot. The removable fronts are tiresome and some models (the Axminster white) are inaccurate, unless set carefully with a square or jig each time.
Most of the hinge-fronts need a shim for thin stock, a plastic clip-on onto the fence. This is a nuisance, but accurate and fairly quick to use. Again, you have to fit and remove it when swapping between 0 and 90 on thin stock (under 1/2").
I use mine with a dust spout (and face shield !) rather than a bag or dust hose, then sweep the floor afterwards. Bags are too small for a typical biscuiting run and a pain to empty halfway. Hoses are inconvenient. A router is used vertically, but a biscuit jointer is often used vertically and horizontally in turn.
I particularly like the AEG because it gets all the basics right (good adjustments, accurate cut) and it also has good build quality. The motor is small and light, and conveniently sized to be held as a handle (this is often a better grip position than the intended handle). The power switch is particularly good - an important and under-rated aspect. I only wish they fitted such a good switch to their angle grinders. I use a number of AEG products and they're clearly specified and built in two plants; some of good quality, some less. The 650 biscuiter comes from the good place.
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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Ron:
I recently picked up the PC 557 at Lowe's. They do not advertise it, but a rebate form printed out with my receipt. $30 mail-in with Delta. It is valid until 1/1/04.
I used it a few times this weekend (building Norm's new router table), it worked great!
Dave
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I own the Dewalt use it and love it. That being said, I'm sorry I didn't spring for the extra $50 for the PC. Face frame feature alone is worth it. It is also a little more stable to use grip-wise.
Jerry
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I have the DeWalt and it seems to work fine. The only thing I have noticed is ergonomically it is pretty bad. They may all be this way but the straight handle puts my wrist at a bad angle if I use it at work bench height. If I am only shooting a dozen slots or so it isn't a problem but the other day I did about 250 for a butcher block glue up and my wrist is still sore.
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you might want to look into the Makita also. i'm more than satisfied with mine.
TomL
On Mon, 13 Oct 2003 02:51:01 GMT, "Ron Angel"

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In my opinion if the FF biscuit is an issue you should buy the Dewalt and use the $50 savings to buy a Ryobi (or Craftsman) detail joiner (they were about $45 last time I looked at HD but that was a while ago). That way you don't have to change blades when doing face frames, picture frames and other small work. You can also do thinner boards as the detail biscuits are thinner. This all assumes that the 135 degree fence isn't something that you need or want.
Dave Hall
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yep, I have the Ryobi and will be looking for a full size one in the future. I actually use the FF biscuits just as I would the larger ones. Since biscuits are "for allignmernt, not strength" then "size shouldn't matter". :-)
I like the Ryobi
BRuce
David Hall wrote:

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BRuce


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