December 6, 2022

Porter Cable 4210 Dovetail Jig Review

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Porter-Cable 4210 dovetail jig

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The Porter Cable 4210 12-inch dovetail jig kit is the entry-level dovetail jig in Porter Cable’s excellent 4200 range. It shares the same base as the rest of the range and like all the jigs in the range it has Porter Cable’s patented alignment lines and router bit depth stop which make it incredibly easy to use.

The 4210 includes an ultra-durable CNC-machined aluminum template for creating half-blind, rabbeted half-blind, and sliding dovetails, and you can add additional templates for different joints later as and when you need them. With everything you need to get started the Porter Cable 4210 really is fantastic value and a great way to get into cutting dovetails.

What to look for when buying a Dovetail Jig

There’s no shortage of dovetail jigs on the market, and it’s not always easy to pick out the best one for your needs. To help make your decision a little easier, in this Porter Cable 4210 Dovetail Jig Review we’ll take a look at some of the features that can make the difference between a jig that isn’t bad, and one that makes dovetail joinery the trouble-free experience it ought to be.

Easy to use adjustment features – does the jig make adjustments easy?
The Porter Cable 4210 has patented alignment lines and intuitive router bit depth stop which allow for quick, easy set-up. The tightness of your dovetail joint is controlled by adjusting the depth of the router bit and the Porter cable 4210’s patented router bit depth gauges allows you to quickly and accurately set the depth without taking measurements. In addition the 4210 has on-board instructions which provide clear guidance and mean you won’t have to hunt for the instructions when setting up for the most common cuts. When you do need it, the manual is well written and the instructions are easy to follow and precise.

Quite simply, it’s the best way to get into cutting dovetails at an incredibly low price, and you can always add the other templates later if you need them

Ready to use – does the jig come with everything you need to get started?
The last thing you want to do after you unbox your brand new dovetail jig is to go hunting for equipment that should have been included. The 4210 comes fully assembled and includes a carbide-tipped bit, template guide, lock nuts, and an easy-to-use user guide. The durable, single-piece steel base design requires no assembly and allows for clamping or bolting directly to the work bench so you can be up and running in no time.

Reliability – does the jig keep stock where it needs to be?
If there’s one thing that can wreck an afternoon in the workshop, it’s having to chuck a few expensive pieces of wood into the scrap bin because your jig let them slip in the middle of a cut. Dovetail jig components that hold stock in place during the cut need to be sturdy and reliable and the 4210 has heavy-duty, cam-type clamps with sandpaper-backed locking bars to provide a solid grip on the wood, and is able to accommodate stock from 1/4″ to 1-1/8″ thick.

How much should you expect to pay?
The list price of the Porter cable 4210 is $226.12 but you can easily find it for just over $100

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Porter-Cable 4210 dovetail jig


What’s included?
The kit includes everything you need to cut through, half-blind, rabbeted half-blind and sliding dovetail joints and box joints. You just need to add a router and you’re all set!

  • Easy-to-mount, heavy-duty steel base
  • Template 4211 for half-blind, rabbeted half-blind and sliding dovetails
  • Carbide-tipped dovetail bit
  • Template guide, lock nut and easy-to-use user guide

Comparison with the Porter Cable 4212 and 4216
The 4210 is the entry level dovetail jig in the Porter Cable 4200 series; it is basically the same jig as the 4212 and the 4216 but only supplied with template 4211 for half-blind, rabbeted half-blind and sliding dovetails. With the 4212 you also get template 4213 for through dovetails and box joints and finally the 4216 adds template 4215 for miniature through and half-blind dovetails, and miniature box joints.

This means you can start out with the 4210 and then buy additional templates as you need them – note however that you will end up paying more if you buy the components separately. If you plan on cutting through dovetail joints (and most woodworkers do) then you may want to look at the Porter Cable 4212 which is only about $40 more expensive, compared to paying around $70 to buy template 4213 separately and also having to buy extra dovetail bits. The Porter Cable 4216 is about another $40 again and you get the ability to cut miniature dovetails – not necessarily something that everyone needs. Personally, I think it’s no surprise that the 4212 is the best selling jig in the range and the best value.

What are other people saying?
This dovetail jig has received some good reviews 😀 from users on the web – however you need to bear in mind that this is an entry-level, low-cost jig

  • “Excellent low cost jig”
  • “Great Tool, Great Price, Any Questions?”
  • “Highly recommended”
  • “Glad I bought it and would do it again”
  • “A nice addition to my tools”

Any complaints?
The only minor complaint we could find was from users trying to cut dovetails on boards wider than 12″ which is not what this jig is designed for – in fact the whole of the Porter Cable 4200 range is only meant to be used on boards up to 12″ and beyond that you should consider something like the Leigh D4R or the Porter Cable Omnijig

Porter-Cable 4210 dovetail jig

What kind of warranty is there?
All of Porter Cable’s dovetail jigs come with an excellent warranty package – there is a ninety-day money back guarantee plus a 3 year limited warranty and 1 year free service contract.

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