December 16, 2022

Porter Cable Dovetail Jig 4212 VS 4216

When selecting a dovetail jig for your shop, you may struggle to choose between Porter cable dovetail jigs 4212 and 4216. These are two amazing tools, but you need only one which stands unique. The 4212 does all the same things as the 4216, but function matters when it comes to a jig for your woodworking needs. This article will take you through what each tool can do, its strengths, and its weaknesses.

Overview of the Porter cable dovetail jig 4212

It includes template 4211 for half-blind, rabbeted half-blind, and sliding dovetails. The onboard instructions give you 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 more complicated angles while doing woodworking projects. 

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

It is easy to set up, comes with all the parts in the box, and is affordable for beginners. It will hold wood fast, meaning less loss due to frustrating slippage during cuts. It features template alignment lines and router bit depth gauges for quick, easy set-up. Its router bit depth gauges allow the user to set the depth without taking measurements.

The machined aluminium template provides superior cutting accuracy and long-term durability (Britannica.com). Its durable, single-piece steel base design requires no assembly and allows for clamping or bolting directly to the workbench. It accommodates stock from 1/4″ to 1-1/8″ thick, and the heavy-duty cam-type clamps with sandpaper-backed locking bars provide a firm grip of wood.

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

Overview of the Porter cable dovetail jig 4216

What sets the 4216 apart from the 4212 is the additional templates included with the machine, hence the reason it has a slightly higher price tag. It is efficient at handling your woodworking needs with ease and precision.

The 4216 accepts all the same aluminium templates designed for this unit. It has enough within the package that you should not need to purchase more unless intricate beyond the scope of the current templates. It is for a professional woodworker who does not wish to hunt for the template to allow for more detailed work.

It is ideal for woodworking, furniture, and cabinet making. The dovetail jig combination kit cuts a wide variety of joinery for drawers, boxes, and furniture. It features a durable, single-piece steel base design that requires no assembly. It accommodates stock from 1/4 to 1-1/8 in. thick; the jig’s heavy-duty cam-type clamps with sandpaper-backed locking bars provide a firm grip on the wood. 

Onboard instructions make it easy for various applications, and machined aluminium templates provide cutting accuracy and long-term durability. Its router bit depth gauge allows users to set bit depths without measuring, and its durable, single-piece steel base design requires no assembly. Clamps or bolts are attached to the workbench.

Pros

  • More precise angles
  • Locks wood in tight
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Versatile 
  • Efficient

Cons

  • Higher price tag
  • Heavier 

Features of the Porter cable dovetail jig 4212

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.

Aluminium template

The machined aluminium 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.

Features of the Porter cable dovetail jig 4216

Template guides

It has plenty of templates for all sorts of joints and more accurate cuts. It also has a template for small joints. It also has four template guides for supporting nuts and bolts.

Router bit gauges

It comes with router bit gauges, which allow you to cut faster without taking measurements.

Clamps

It features heavy-duty cam-type clamps with sandpaper-backed locking bars to provide a firm grip on the wood.

Base

It has a durable, single-piece steel base design that requires no assembly. That saves your setup time. 

Aluminium template

The machined aluminium template yields accuracy and long-term durability. It allows you to work on any project of your choice.

Main differences between Porter cable dovetail jig 4216 and Porter cable dovetail jig 4212.

  • Porter cable dovetail jig 4216 is heavier than the 4212.
  • The 4216 has additional templates that make it more versatile for performing more intricate and precise cuts than the 4212.
  • Porter Cable 4212 is more affordable than the 4216. 

Similarities

  • Both have metal construction.
  • Both are of the same high-grade steel, and the templates are top-quality aluminum.
  • They have a similar design.
  • They are easy to use.

What could be better

Porter cable dovetail jig 4216

  • It could have been more affordable.

Porter cable dovetail jig 4212

  • All the parts could have been high quality. 

Verdict

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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