October 28, 2022

Porter cable dovetail jig 4210 VS 4212

Features of the Porter cable dovetail jig 4210

It includes a 4211 template for half-blind, rabbeted half-blind, and sliding dovetails. The onboard instructions provide clear user guidance for the various applications; the Machined aluminum template provides superior cutting accuracy and long-term durability. 

The PORTER-CABLE Dovetail Jig has various applications like repairing, making it versatile. The versatile design is for building indoor and outdoor projects and making household repairs. It accommodates 12-inch max stock width and; 1-1/8-inch max stock thickness. Below is a summary of the features of the Porter cable dovetail jig 4210.

Template alignment lines and router bit depth gauges

The template alignment lines and router bit depth gauges allow for quick, easy set-up. (Manualzz.com).

Clamps 

Its heavy-duty cam-type clamps with sandpaper-backed locking bars provide a firm grip on the wood. The chances of having your wood move whilst the dovetail machine is in motion are low. Dovetail jig components hold stock in place during the cut and need to be sturdy and reliable.

Router bit depth gauges

Router bit depth gauges allow the user to quickly and accurately set the depth without taking measurements. The tightness of your dovetail joint is controlled by adjusting the depth of the router bit.

Aluminium templates

Machined aluminum templates provide superior cutting accuracy and long-term durability. The ultra-durable CNC-machined aluminum template makes half-blind, rabbeted half-blind, and sliding dovetails, and you can add templates for different joints when needed. 

Steel base

The durable, single-piece steel base design requires no assembly and allows clamping or bolting directly to the workbench.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Accurate
  • Adjustable 
  • Sturdy and reliable 
  • Versatile 

Cons

  • The Porter Cable 4210 range works on boards up to 12″.
  • The offset gauge is inaccurate.

Features of the Porter cable dovetail jig 4212

It includes template 4211 for half-blind, rabbeted half-blind, and sliding dovetails. The onboard instructions provide clear user guidance for the various applications. It cuts through dovetails, box joints, half-blind dovetails, rabbeted half-blind dovetails, and dovetail dados. Porter-Cable 4212 is for users who want to get into more complicated angles while doing woodworking projects. 

It comes with everything in the box for a complete setup. The instructions look complicated, but the moment you familiarise yourself with them, it becomes user-friendly. It has an additional template for additional, small detailed cuts for more money. More detail on the features is below.

Depth gauges

It has template alignment lines and router bit depth gauges for quick and easy set-up. Router bit depth gauges allow the user to quickly and accurately set the depth without taking measurements. The router depth stops, saving time and allowing you to adjust bit depths before you make your first cut.

Aluminum template

The machined aluminum template provides superior cutting accuracy and long-term durability. Its versatility allows you to work on any project of your choice.

Base

The steel base design is durable and comes as a single piece. It requires no assembly and allows for clamping or bolting directly to the workbench (Buildusingsteel.org). 

Clamps

It features heavy-duty cam-type clamps with sandpaper-backed locking bars to provide a firm grip on the wood. That is why it accommodates stock from 1/4 to 1-1/8 inches thick. Its cam-style clamps hold your wood in place, and rough backings ensure the grip stays strong for as long as you need it.

Templates

The Porter-Cable 4212 comes complete with two templates, one for through dovetail joints and box joints and one for half-blind joints, rabbeted half-blind joints, and sliding dovetail joints. It has a 12-inch dovetail jig kit, two router bits, a template, and router guides and clamps for the solid stainless steel base.

Design

It is a bit difficult to get set up, and understandable that any new tool line can be intimidating, especially on tools designed to cut fine curved edges like a jig set. Start by reading the owner’s manual.

Pros

  • The grip on the wood
  • Excels at all joints
  • Affordable
  • Accurate
  • Value for money

Cons

  • No template for some small cuts
  • Parts sometimes flimsy

Main differences

  • The 4212 has another template for through dovetails that the 4210 does not have.

Similarities

  • They have a steel base.
  • Both feature heavy-duty cam-type clamps.
  • They use aluminum templates.
  • They have the same build. 

Price Comparison

If you are working on a slim budget and you can live without through dovetails, you may go for the Porter Cable 4210. If you feel like you would want to change. Buy the other templates later, although that will cost you.  The 4212 model is 189, whereas the 4210 ranges from 100 to 269.

What we like about the Porter cable dovetail jig 4210

It has various applications like repairing, and it is handy. It is an entry-level dovetail jig that comes at an incredible price. It has an easier way to start cutting dovetails.

What could be better

Porter cable dovetail jig 4210

  • The Porter Cable 4210 could have been able to cut materials bigger than 12inches. 

Porter cable dovetail jig 4212

  • All the parts could have been high quality. 

Is the Porter cable dovetail jig 4212 better than the Porter cable dovetail jig 4210

Yes, because the 4212 has another template for through dovetails that the 4210 does not have. You may add the template when the need arises on the 4210, but that will cost you more. 

When to use the Porter cable dovetail jig 4210 instead of the Porter cable dovetail jig 4212

For more stable cuts, you can use the Porter cable dovetail jig 4210 instead of the Porter cable dovetail jig 4212. When you are a beginner, starting with the Porter cable dovetail jig 4210 makes the process easier. 

Verdict

If you only want to cut half blind and sliding dovetails, the Porter Cable 4210 suits your needs. When cutting through dovetails, you need the Porter Cable 4212. The Porter Cable 4212 is one of the best tools. It cuts all the joints apart from miniature dovetails. If you plan to use all the templates to make all the different types of dovetail joints, the Porter Cable 4216 is the most cost-effective way. Whichever one you choose, you can always buy the templates separately later on, although that will cost you more. As you make your decision, choose one that suits your needs. 

David D. Hughes
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