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PORTER-CABLE 4216 Dovetail Jig Review

Review of Porter-Cable 4216

Editor Rating: 4.7/5

Build Quality

Review Summary

The Porter-Cable 4216 is basically the Porter-Cable 4212, but with an extra template to make additional small cuts. It comes fully assembled, so you don’t need to hunt for parts, and once up and running does a great job. It holds workpieces fast in place for accurate, quality cuts. Best of all, it’s affordable enough that it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. We’d advise watching the smaller and exposed ends because those can snap off without a whole lot of pressure. It’s also a bit tricky to figure out once you have it pulled out. Once you master it, however, it’ll be a great companion tool for your home workshop.

Porter Cable 4216 – A Quick Look

  • Affordable
  • Comes fully assembled
  • Accurate
  • Holds pieces in place
  • Can be difficult to figure out
  • Parts can be flimsy


Brand name: Porter-Cable

Model: 4216

Tool: Dovetail jig

Power type: Corded

Dimensions: 22.2 x 11.8 x 10.4 inches

Weight: 27 lbs.

All you need is a router

The best thing about the Porter-Cable 4216 is that it comes with everything you need for a jig rig … everything, that is, except the router. Included is a solid, rugged base; four router bits; a template for half-blind, rabbeted half-blind, and sliding dovetail joints; a template for miniature through, half-blind dovetail joints and miniature box joints; a template for box joints and through dovetail joints; and four template guides with assorted supporting nuts and bolts. That’s everything you need to get started.

Warranty coverage for everything

Porter-Cable backs up the 4216 with a three-year warranty for manufacturers defects, which considering the possibility to wear and tear is a serious warranty protection. But they take it a step further and give one-year protection for parts that wear out from normal use. Use it and break it, and if it’s because you just used it so much Porter-Cable will repair it free of charge. Plus, Porter-Cable has a reputation for great customer service. Have a problem? Give them a call and get it sorted out.

Simple set-up and holding fast

Porter-Cable’s patented alignment and holding system permit you to line up workpieces with precision and lock them down so that you can cut accurate joints without a lot of worrying. Plus, it comes with router bit gauges so that you can set up your cuts without spending a lot of time taking measurements. Just line it up, lock it down and get to cutting.


What are the dimensions for the Porter-Cable 4216?

The Porter-Cable 4216’s rig is 22.2 x 11.8 x 10.4 inches. It weighs 27 pounds.

Which make of routers will it accommodate?

Provided you find the proper collet and adapter, the Porter-Cable 4216 is compatible with any router currently on the market.

Is this model good for beginners?

Aside from a basic intimidation factor to using a new tool of any kind, and aside from the fact that cutting precision joints to hold woodworking projects are intimidating in their own right, the biggest trick to success with the Porter-Cable 4216 is the oldest one in the book. Read the instruction manual that comes with it.

What the Users Say

We aren’t going to mess around with it. The Porter-Cable 4216 is flat-out well-liked. Sometimes, it’s useful to talk about how well a tool line does in online reviews in general. Not in this case. It’s just simply a well-received piece of equipment, with most of the reviews clustered right at the top and with a comparatively much smaller number down at the bottom.

In fact, that says a lot more than we can in an online review. There are limits to what people can say in online tool reviews and be persuasive. If the vast majority of people who use it rave about their experiences, however, that’s probably an even more credible experience.

It was popular primarily for its ease of use. It came ready for work and was easy to set up. A few minutes out of the box, people said they were cutting complex joints.

People also liked it because it fast to use — not a lot of time spent setting up measurements — and easy to work with once going. It was easy to adjust and it held wood fast. That means quality cuts. It also means not tossing a lot of expensive wood into the scrap bin because it slipped.

Most of the complaints focused on the fact that it can be difficult to figure out right off the bat. There are a lot of complex pieces that come with it, and cutting complex joints with a router is already a pretty intimidating job. Some people addressed this by suggesting a thorough read of the owners manual first would help. We won’t draw any conclusions either way. Just be advised that if it looks complicated, there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s no reason to be intimidated out of using it.

The general consensus, however, is that this is a great tool and a great addition to someone’s assortment of woodworking tools.


The Porter-Cable 4216 is a versatile, portable dovetail jig set that comes fully equipped to cut just about any kind of specialty joint you need. It’s easy to set-up and get rolling, and is fast to use and holds workpieces in place once you get working. It delivers all this at a reasonable price and comes with a great warranty and excellent customer service to back it up. We do caution you that because the work is pretty technical that it can be especially intimidating if you don’t read the users’ manual, and in those cases, you may be going to break something. Still, once you get past all that, it’s a great, well-liked dovetail jigs set and a great part of your woodworking inventory.

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