Have you ever tried making your own furniture at home? Maybe repairing furniture is something you like to do. These can be tasks that require a little thought, effort and can be frustrating at times too. The hardest part of assembling or repairing furniture is joining your wood pieces together and then getting them to line up right as you do it. This woodworking task would go much easier if you had the best biscuit joiner possible to help you out. These are incredibly useful power tools when it comes to joining two pieces of wood together. We will tell you all about them in this article.
We will start out by doing some biscuit joiner review and analysis of the top model biscuit joiners that you will find in the marketplace. Some tips on what to concentrate on when searching for a new biscuit joiner will also be included and some other facts and information about what biscuit joiners can do for you.
Best Biscuit Joiners
Here are some of the best-made biscuit joiners that you will find in the woodworking tool marketplace.
1. Festool 574432 Domino Joiner DF 500 Q Set
Here is a well-designed biscuit joiner from Festool. You can tell much thought went into its design. It works so well that its cutting action even has a patented design. It will add unmatched precision to all of your domino and biscuit cutting needs.
This is a highly portable joiner tool that only weighs 7 pounds despite all that it does. It features 24,300 RMP’s of cutting power. Also included is a pivoting fence and the size of the mortise can be easily adjusted. This joiner design allows you to assemble precise and strong joints in less time than you ever thought possible.
Festool shows a lot of confidence in this woodworking power tool by the amount of time they warrantee it. It comes with a nice 3-Year Limited Warranty. You don’t have to worry about making a mess when using it either. There is a built-in port on it that helps make dust extraction simple.
2. Makita XJP03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Plate Joiner
Here is a very nice biscuit joiner from the reputable tool manufacturer Makita. This is a cordless power tell that offers you maximum freedom during use. It also makes it as portable of a power joiner as you will find in the power tool marketplace.
One of its best features is its rack-and-pinion vertical fence system. This adds a level of accuracy to your cutting that many lower quality biscuit joiners do not have. It also features three different preset cam stops at 0 degrees, 45 degrees, and 90 degrees. The 4” blade can be set to 1 of six different biscuit size settings up to a #20 biscuit.
This product is designed to last you a long time even with heavy use. That’s due to its quality, low heat generating brushless motor design. Be aware that the battery and the charger do not come with it.
3. Porter-Cable 557 7 Amp Plate Joiner Kit
Here is a really easy tool to use when it comes to standard biscuit joint cutting. It’s made by the reputable long-time tool manufacturer Porter-Cable. With its industry-leading 7-amp/10,000 RPM motor, you will be able to effortlessly cut biscuit joint holes in all types of wood.
Its main features include a seven-position rotating depth stop and a micro precision height adjustment knob. The bale handle also uniquely attaches to this tool’s fence and not to its motor as most bale handles do. Its fence will tilt from 0° to 135° and there is a preset stop at 90°.
You don’t have to worry about making a mess when you use this model biscuit joiner either. That’s because it has its own built-in dust collection port and matching dust collection bag. It can conveniently be carried from job to job and kept damage free thanks to its included carrying case.
4. DEWALT DW682K 6.5 Amp Plate Joiner
The DEWALT tool company is known for making excellent power tools and this biscuit joiner from them is no exception. It is highly rated by those that have purchased and used it. Its dual rack-and-pinion fence ensures that you will make accurate and proper depth joint cuts each and every time you need one done.
It comes with a nice 1-piece fence that is adjustable from 0-90°. This biscuit joiner can even make flush cuts without adjusting the fence at all. It even has an aluminum shoe around the bottom of it that enable you to clamp this tool down when doing stationary work.
The 6.5 amp motor that powers this biscuit joiner at 10,000 RPM’s can easily make biscuit joint holes in even the hardest of woods. DEWALT is so confident in this product they even offer those who purchase it a 90-day money back guarantee. It also comes with a generous 3-year limited warranty.
5. Gino Development 01-0102 TruePower Biscuit Plate Joiner
This company has aptly named this biscuit joiner as its TruePower model. The reason for that is because at 8.5 amps and 11,000 RPM’s it’s one of the most powerful biscuit joint cutters on our review list of the best ones. Even hardwoods are no match for it with all the cutting power it has.
Its nice features do not start and end with its power either. The fence on it can be adjusted to up to a 45-degree angle and there is shoe built-in to its base so you can clamp it down when doing stationary joint cutting.
Also included is a very adequate dust collection system that includes its own fast-change dust collection bag. At 7.5 pounds this machine is also very lightweight and portable considering all of the power it has. It’s an excellent model joint cutter for small and regular sized biscuit joint cutting jobs.
6. Makita PJ7000 Plate Joiner
We have already had a nice cordless model biscuit joiner from Makita in our countdown and now we take a look at a well-built corded biscuit joint cutter from them too. This powerful 5.6 amp/11,000 RPM tool makes quick work of cutting biscuit joint holes in even the toughest of woods.
Makita really did a nice job with the design of this power tool. It includes such features as a six pre-set cutting depth settings and an easy to use cam style fence lock. There is also a rack and pinion vertical fence system to ensure accuracy when cutting in your joint holes.
The biscuit joint cutter is built to last too. It features polymer plastic and cast aluminum construction. There is also a built-in dust collection system with easy to attach bag. Makita offers an industry-standard one-year warranty with this model biscuit joiner.
What is a Biscuit Joiner?
Many people do not even know what this powerful tool with the funny name is let alone how to use it. Years ago people wanted a better way to put two pieces of wood together in a sturdy and decorative fashion. This is important when making such things as wood furniture. Screws were not the answer because they left unsightly holes and sometimes split the wood too.
Out of this need, what is known as the ‘biscuit’ was born. This is a small ‘biscuit’ shaped piece of wood that was glued halfway into one piece of wood and then subsequently half into another piece of wood to join them together. This enabled woodworkers to join two pieces of wood together in a strong and decorative fashion.
There was one big problem when using biscuits to join two pieces of wood together, the process to make the slots to put the wood ‘biscuits’ in was time-consuming and hard to do accurately. That’s when someone decided to make a tool that would make this process easier. These became the forerunner to today’s modern and sophisticated biscuit joiners.
A biscuit joiner (sometimes called a plate joiner) works by making crescent-shaped slots in a piece of wood. It makes these slots using a 4” circular saw blade in most cases. These tools also have small adjustable built-in fences that enable them to cut these slots into a piece of wood in a precise manner. Now a person can do many biscuit slots in pieces of wood in the time it used to take them to do one by hand.
Biscuit Joiner Buying Guide
Here are some of the main things to consider when shopping for a new biscuit joiner:
11 Important Biscuit Joiner Features and Specifications
The power a particular biscuit joiner you are thinking about buying is something you definitely have to consider. This is especially true if you will use your new joiner to make biscuit slots in hardwoods. That’s because the more power you have in your biscuit joiner the easier it will make the cuts required to put your joining biscuits in.
What determines a biscuit joiner’s power? You have to look at such things as the number of amps a particular biscuit joiner has and its no-load RPM speed. The higher these numbers are the more power that model of biscuit joiner will have. It’s no secret also that corded biscuit joiners often have much more power than those that are cordless.
Biscuit joints may have to be angled at different times for doing such things as putting tables together and making certain types of frames. You will need a fence that will angle in order to be able to do this. Biscuit joiner fences can angle anywhere from 0-135° depending on the model. Some will only go to 45° while most will angle to at least 90°. So consider this factor if you will be making many joints that angle with your biscuit joiner.
Joining biscuits come in all different sizes and the largest ones (#20) require a pretty deep slot to be cut into the wood to place them in. So you will have to figure out which size joint biscuits you will be using and the depth of the slot they require. Once you know this figure, then you will have to make sure any biscuit joiner you buy has a blade setting able to cut this deep. Most manufacturers will list a max cut depth in millimeters or inches on the packaging.
If you are using your biscuit joiner out in the field, then you have several things to consider as far as its portability. The most important of those is the weight of the tool. You will want a lighter model biscuit joiner in most cases if its portability is important to you. Keep in mind that cordless joiners often weigh much less than corded versions. Make sure a lighter model joiner can do the cuts you need in the types of wood you will be joining together. Some lighter biscuit joiners cannot be used on extremely hardwoods.
Corded vs Cordless Biscuit Joiner
Many people love to use cordless tools and swear by them. That’s understandable considering how far these tools have come in terms of reliability and power. However, the fact remains that in almost any instance no cordless tool is ever as powerful or can run as long as its corded counterpart. It’s no different with biscuit joiners. Corded model joiners will give you a big advantage when cutting through hardwoods.
That does not mean you have to stop considering purchasing a cordless biscuit joiner either. They definitely have their uses such as if you require a super-portable joiner. Most of them have enough power to cut clean and accurate slots in everything but the hardest of woods. They are usually much lighter and easier to handle when using them too as opposed to corded biscuit joiners.
Some people like to use their biscuit joining machines in their workshops instead of in the field. If this is the case they are easier to use when securely fastened to a piece of wood so they can be rested on a benchtop. In order to do this, you will need a biscuit joiner that has what is known as a ‘shoe’ built into the bottom of its frame. A shoe is a metal flat plate that extends out around the bottom of a joiner so it can easily be clamped onto another surface or piece of material.
You are going to be exerting some force on your biscuit joiner as you use it. That means you want it to be built very sturdy. Look for a model joiner that is built using such materials as metals and tough polymer plastics. Even better yet if durable, lightweight and corrosion-resistant cast aluminum is used in your new biscuit joiner’s construction. Power cords should be thick and sealed well at termination points too.
Dust Collection System
Biscuit joiners use cutting blades that are very similar to those that circular saws use. That means these blades are beasts that will throw off a lot of sawdust out the back as you are using them. That’s why a proper dust collection system is a must to have on any biscuit joiner that you buy. Look for one that has a decent-sized dust collection bag and one that has a port you can attach a vacuum too is also nice to have.
Ease of Use
What makes biscuit joiners a big bonus to have available when doing woodworking? It’s if they are easy to set up and use. Otherwise, it just defeats the purpose of having these convenient joint making tools. So look for models where the fence adjusts simply and its settings are clearly marked. Look also at the weight of the model and how its handles are positioned to hang on to it during use.
This certainly is not a deal-breaker by any means when looking to buy a new biscuit joiner but it’s always nice to get a little something extra too when purchasing any product. Look for such things as included adjustment wrenches and spare saw blades. Having an included hardened case to protect your joiner when stored or being transported is always good too.
Biscuit joiners tend to be highly adjustable and well-built precision tools. That means you will have to spend a little money to get a good one. If that’s the case, you will want a decent warranty to come with it. Look for a warranty that has a generous time period and covers the workmanship and materials on the entire product.
What to Consider When Buying a Biscuit Joiner (Questions to Ask)?
Years ago people wanted a better way to put two pieces of wood together in a sturdy
and decorative fashion. This is important when making such things as wood furniture.
Screws were not the answer because they left unsightly holes and sometimes split the
wood too. Out of this need, what is known as the ‘biscuit’ was born.
One thing is for certain is that these are not one size fits all products. There are many of
them to choose from in the marketplace and they are not all the same. So when you are
shopping for a new one, you have to ask a few questions to steer you toward the right
biscuit joiner for your needs. Those questions are:
- How often I will use my biscuit joiner?
- What type of materials will I be joining together and how flawless does that joint have to look.
- How much money am I willing to spend on a biscuit joiner?
- Will I be doing many angle cuts?
- Does my biscuit joiner need to be somewhat portable?
- What size biscuits will I be using the most often and how deep will the cuts need to be for those size biscuits?
- When you combine these questions with our buying guide it will help steer you toward a smart biscuit joiner purchase.
Choosing Between Different Types of Joints
Here are some of the most common ways that people like to join together two pieces of wood. We will discuss why you might choose one type over the other.
Domino Joiner Vs Biscuit Joiner
Let’s start by saying there is much overlap in the types of wood fastening jobs that these two joint processes are used for. Domino joiners make more of a mortise and tenon type joint connection. They tend to combine the best of both dowel jigs and biscuit joiners as they are a newer type wood joining system.
Domino joiners are very fast at what they do. This is especially true if you are doing many of the same size and location of wood joints. They are even slightly more precise at cutting slots than biscuit joiners are.
Biscuit joiners on average are much cheaper to buy than domino joiners are, yet they do many of the same jobs. When using biscuits or tenons for alignment purposes and not for strength, a biscuit joint serves the purpose here much better.
Doweling Jig Vs Biscuit Joiner
These two types of joint making are slightly hard to compare because of how different they are. There is very little overlap between the two in the types of wood joining jobs they are best for. This is often the case for the best jointer products. Wood dowel jigs use rounded pieces of wood that join two pieces of wood together to strengthen the joint and provide structural support too.
Doweled joints tend to be among the strongest wood joints you can make. Doweling is also a simple process that is easy for non-professionals to do. When using dowels the finished product is often very tidy with little mess to clean up.
Why would you choose biscuit joints over dowels? One of the biggest reasons is that biscuit joints have many more uses than dowel joints do. Biscuit joiner tools also will fashion the hole much quicker than you can with a dowel jig. With biscuit joints, it’s also easier to keep the pieces of wood in proper alignment than it is when using dowels.
Pocket Hole Jig Vs Biscuit Joiner
What is a pocket hole jig? It’s basically a guide block that allows you to drill precise holes in a piece of wood for the purpose of joining it with another. These use special screws called appropriately enough ‘pocket hole screws’ to give the finished joint strength.
What are the advantages of using a pocket hole jig over a biscuit joiner system? One of them is they have some flexibility with their joint locations which is not the case with biscuit joints. Pocket hole jigs also allow you to make joints faster than you can with a biscuit joiner.
On the other hand, biscuit joiners are much better at aligning joints than those using a pocket hole jig system are. It’s also easier to make flush joints when joined by biscuits as opposed to pocket hole screws.
The Benefits of Using a Biscuit Jointer
Here are some of the main benefits of using a biscuit joiner:
- They make the biscuit slots quickly and accurately
- They can be used for a variety of different wood joining purposes
- The joints they make are strong and neat
- They help make aligning the two pieces of wood much easier when joining them
Take a look at the 3 uses of a biscuit joiner.
Tips for Making Your Joints as Strong as Possible
There are two main keys to getting your biscuit joints to be as strong as possible. The first is making sure you use the appropriate size biscuit for the job you are doing, the bigger the biscuit the stronger the joint. You also have to use a generous amount of glue in the hole and put some on the biscuit itself too.
Biscuit Joiner FAQ’s
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get on biscuit joiners and how to use them.
- Question: When I glue my biscuits into the slots I have freshly cut using my biscuit joiner, I find that after the glue on the biscuit sets up my joints are still not as strong as I like them to be. Do you have any idea what I am doing wrong?
Answer: This is a common problem that many biscuit joint users experience. Most people that use biscuit joints in their woodworking do not realize that the wood biscuits themselves are made to absorb the glue and expand to help strengthen the joint. So if you add more glue next time you do a biscuit joint, I think you will find you will get a much stronger joint as a result.
- Question: Are biscuit joints the strongest way to join two pieces of wood together?
Answer: The answer here is no. That honor goes to domino or dowel joints. But make no mistake about it; biscuits do make strong wood joints. They also are great for perfectly aligning two pieces of wood when joining them and they don’t make much of a mess when doing gluing them.
- Question: is it necessary to purchase a biscuit joiner with an adjustable fence?
Answer: The answer here is very much yes. Having an adjustable fence on your biscuit joiner makes it a much more versatile wood joining tool. We recommend you buy a biscuit joiner with a fence that angles to at least 45°.
Summing Up What We Think About Biscuit Joiners
There really is no reason to ever join two pieces of wood together in a way that makes them hard to line up and that attachment is strong. The best biscuit joiner will definitely make this task very simple for you. They are by far the most precise and fastest way to get two pieces of wood joined together in a strong way.
These handy power tools also come in a variety of qualities and price ranges. That means anyone that works with wood on a regular basis should never have to painstakingly make biscuit joints by hand again. In order to get the best biscuit joiner for your needs, follow our handy buying guide. Purchasing one of the products found in our biscuit joiner review section is also an excellent alternative. Hopefully, this article has got you pointed in the right direction when it comes to finding the perfect biscuit joiner for your needs.