Best Biscuit Joiners of 2017 – Reviews & Buying Guide

Festool dominoIf you find yourself regularly woodworking then a biscuit joiner is a tool that will likely be of interest. This popular woodworking tool is used to join pieces of wood together. A small, circular saw blade allows you to cut crescent-shaped slots in the opposite edges of two pieces of wood. An oval-shaped biscuit is then placed in the slot with glue to join the two.

There are several reasons to buy the best biscuit joiner. There are many ways to join pieces of wood the biscuit joint makes it quick and easy. What’s more, the joints created are very strong and reliable so you can rest assured that they’re not going to give way! This is a tool that’s great for making drawers, tables and picture frames. As such, the biscuit joiner is a versatile tool that’s a great addition to your workshop!


The Best Biscuit Joiners of 2017

MODELPRODUCT DIMENSIONS
ITEM WEIGHT
USER RATINGPRICE
DeWalt DW682K
DeWalt DW682K
15.8 x 6.4 x 6.8 inches
10.5 pounds
4.7/5
$$$$
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Makita PJ7000
Makita PJ7000
0.1 x 0.2 x 0.1 inches
12.3 pounds
4.6/5
$$$
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Porter-Cable 557
Porter-Cable 557
18 x 13 x 8 inches
11.5 pounds
4.5/5
$$$$$
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TruePower 01-0102
TruePower 01-0102
19 x 6 x 7 inches
8.2 pounds
4.0/5
$
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Chicago Electric Power Tools 4” Plate Joiner
Chicago Electric Power Tools 4” Plate Joiner
16.9 x 6.9 x 6.6 inches
8.2 pounds
3.1/5
$$
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So we’ve established that the biscuit joiner is a very useful tool that can help you create all sorts of things such as furniture. Now it’s time to take a look at our biscuit joiner reviews. Here you’ll learn about the very best products on the market and their various pros and cons. But don’t stop there! There’s also a buying guide which is packed with tips on various features and tips on how to use this tool.

1. DeWalt DW682K – Our Top Pick

DeWalt DW682KThere are many reasons why the DeWalt DW682K is our top pick. The first is that this biscuit joiner has a great 6.5 Amp, 10,000 RPM motor which provides plenty of power, even for the hardest woods. Cuts can be made at a depth of up to 20 millimeters. Another impressive feature is the dual rack and pinion fence which ensures that the blade and fence remain parallel. This ensures that joints are always very accurate. Flexibility is offered through the integral one-piece fence which is quickly and easily adjustable and tilts 0-90 degrees.

One option you have with the DeWalt DW682K is that you can clamp down the non-marring, heavy-duty aluminum shoe which offers more stability when working. Working with this biscuit joiner is easy enough anyway since it weighs just 6.6 lbs and is well-balanced. Handling is therefore comfortable. Another user-friendly feature is the preset depth stops for all common biscuit sizes. For these reasons, this is the best biscuit joiner on the market. What’s more, this product comes with a plate joiner, carbide blade, dust bag and more. Keep in mind that the dust port can clog on occasion and will need regular cleaning. Like most DeWalt products, it comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • 6.5 Amp, 10,000 RPM motor lets you work on any wood

  • Rack and pinion fence offers a great deal of precision

  • The product’s weight and balance make it comfortable to use

Cons

  • The dust port can clog on occasion


2. Porter-Cable 557 – The Runner-Up

Porter-Cable is well known in the power tool industry and have a reputation for manufacturing high-quality products. This is very much the case with the Porter-Cable 557. At 7 Amp, the motor on this product is even more powerful than that of the DeWalt DW682K and it has a 10,000 RPM. Aside from this, one of the standout features of this biscuit joiner is the 7 different cutting settings for working with a wide range of different wood. As with any biscuit joiner, the fence is an important feature and thankfully the Porter-Cable 557 lets you tilt the fence from 0 to 135-degrees. Such flexibility is invaluable for different applications.

We really like the fence of this product as the pivot point allows for accurate readings and the fencing plate provides that all-important stability. Such features make this a very user-friendly tool, no matter the ability of the user. Included with this tool are a 4-inch blade, centering plate, spanner wrench, dust bag and chip deflector. You also have the option of working with a 2-inch blade but this is sold separately. Much like the DeWalt DW682K, the main problem with this product is the dust collection with the chips clogging up the port before reaching the bag. This may vary depending on what type of wood you’re working with. Regardless, this is a great quality product that we very much recommend.

Pros

  • 7 different cutting settings allow you to handle all sorts of wood

  • The fence is excellent, offering flexibility, precision, and stability

  • Easy to use so therefore very user-friendly

Cons

  • Optional 2-inch blade sold separately

  • Dust port is known to clog with chips


3. TruePower 01-0102 – Best for the Money

TruePower 01-0102When budget is of great importance, you want a product that offers the best value for money. You should, therefore, take a look at the TruePower 01-0102 biscuit plate joiner. It has preset depth stops for different biscuit sizes which are 0, 10 and 20. Cutting is nice and easy thanks to the tungsten carbide tipped blade which is included with the product. A nice 1010 Watts motor offers 11,000 RPM which means that you shouldn’t have too much trouble with most woods. The power and value that this product offers make it a great choice for more casual woodworkers who only need to cut biscuits on occasion.

When you pay less for a product, you need to be aware of some of the problems that come with it. The TruePower 01-0102 does have some issues that you’ll have to contend with. The first is that it is quite cheaply constructed and this is evident in the roughness of the cast metal parts and the plastic knobs. It’s also difficult to achieve much in the way of accuracy with the fairly basic height and angle system. Finally, it only comes with a 1-year limited warranty and we would typically suggest finding one of at least 2-3 years for peace of mind. But if your biscuit joining needs are simple, this is a good option to have.

Pros

  • Has a fairly powerful motor for the price

  • Preset depth stops offer a degree of versatility

Cons

  • This product has a relatively cheap construction

  • The warranty is only 1 year

  • Accuracy isn’t great due to the basic height and angle system


4. Makita PJ7000

Makita PJ7000The Makita PJ7000 is advertised as offering accuracy, convenience, speed, and comfort and it’s fair to say that this is true. First of all, let’s look at the power and speed offered. This product features a 5.6 Amp motor which delivers 11,000 RPM. Accuracy is provided via the rack and pinion vertical fence system. In fact, the cast aluminum pivot fence has three positive stops and six depth settings. This allows for fantastic flexibility when working which is a major plus for this product. The cam locks are large and easy-to-operate making fence adjustments very convenient.

This is arguably one of the most comfortable biscuit joiners on the market. This is thanks to the large top grip handle and the body which has a slim and ergonomic design. However, at 12.3 lbs, it’s certainly on the heavy side. One advantage of this heaviness is that it means that the product is strong and durable. If you’re still in doubt, there is a 1-year warranty included. As with the majority of biscuit joiners, the Makita PJ7000 includes various accessories including a carbide-tipped blade and tool case. As with most biscuit joiners, there is an issue with the dust port becoming clogged but this is a minor issue.

Pros

  • Positive stops and depth settings provide user flexibility

  • Comfortable thanks to large handle and ergonomic design

Cons

  • It weighs 12.3 lbs making it heavier than many other models on the market

  • The dust port can become clogged


5. Chicago Electric Power Tools 4” Plate Joiner – Another Budget Option

Chicago Electric Power Tools 4” Plate JoinerAnother budget option for you to take a look at is the Chicago Electric Power Tools 4” Plate Joiner. Even those who are very clued-up on power tools may not know much about this particular product. It has a 6 Amp, 10,000 RPM motor. The fence of this product tilts up to 45-degrees which offers the user some flexibility, albeit not as much as in higher-quality products. Much like the TruePower 01-0102, it has three preset depth stops of 0, 10 and 20. The product is quite easy to use and transport since it weighs only 7 lbs.

As is the case with many budget biscuit joiner options, the adjustments aren’t as intuitive as you’d like. This may lead to some difficulties with accuracy. But if you’re only using this product on occasion and your woodworking needs are simple, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Another issue experienced when using this product is that it can clog up with chips quite easily. This is the case with many biscuit joiners and is not too difficult to solve. For a cheap biscuit joiner that will do the job with no frills, this product is one to look at.

Pros

  • Easily transportable thanks to the light weight

  • The motor is 6 Amp, 10,000 RPM which is good for the price

Cons

  • Adjustments are not as quick and easy as top-of-the-line products

  • Can clog up with woodchips on occasion


Factors to Consider When Buying a Biscuit Joiner

Biscuit joiners have grown in popularity since they were first introduced in the 1960’s. It’s little wonder when you think about how quickly and easily you can fix wood together and create super strong joints. But with so many high-quality products on the market, how do you separate one from another? The answer is simple: read our biscuit joiner buying guide!

What joints can I make with a biscuit joiner?

The different joints you can make with a biscuit joiner is a reflection of the versatility of the tool. It can create a variety of different joints quickly and easily. Here are a few of the most common:

  • 90-degree Corner Joint: This is for joining pieces to be pushed or pulled in a certain direction such as a drawer.

  • Mitre Corner Joint: A mitre corner joint provides a clean finish on items such as furniture and boxes.

  • Butt Joint and Widening Joint: This is the joint to use for table tops as it allows you to join pieces end to end (butt joint) or edge to edge (widening joint).

  • Frame Joint: For the most professional looking joints, the frame joint is what you’re looking for!

  • T-Joint: A T-joint is typically used for joining central areas as well as attaching a shelf to furniture, for example.

What features should I look for in a biscuit joiner?

Before we address some of the key features to look for in a biscuit joiner, we want you to have a little think about your needs. This will help you narrow down your options, particularly when combined with our in-depth reviews and comprehensive buying guide! The best way to do this is to ask yourself questions such as how often you will use the biscuit joiner, what type of work you will need it to do and what sort of precision and quality you require. Also, consider your budget and what you’re willing to stretch to in order to get the right product.

Biscuit Size

In order to get the job done you need to consider which biscuit size is right for your project. There are 3 main sizes of biscuits:

  1. Small (0): 5/8-inch tall and 1 3/4-inch long, the smallest biscuits are ideal for joining small wood pieces and sections without too much stress placed on them. A good example is picture frames.

  1. Medium (10): Medium-sized biscuits are 3/4-inch tall and 2 1/8-inch long. These can be used for a variety of different projects since they offer a compromise between being too small and too big.

  1. Large (20): The biggest biscuits are a size of 1-inch tall and 2 3/8-inch long. They can handle a fair amount of weight and stress. This makes them ideal for woods such as particleboard and plywood.

Types of Biscuit

Biscuits don’t just vary in size. They also vary in type. For example, you can use biscuits of plywood with multiple layers or those from solid beech wood. These expand when they make contact with liquid glue which is what helps form the strong joint. However, there isn’t much in the way of difference between these types so don’t worry about this too much!

Motor

Power is usually priority when it comes to power tools but this isn’t necessarily the case when it comes to the biscuit joiner. A bigger motor can make for a heavier product which means that it can be that little bit more difficult to achieve accuracy. Most good biscuit joiners have motors of about 5 or 6 Amp with 10,000 RPM which is more than enough power for most types of wood. Some of these only weigh 6 or 7 lbs which is the perfect weight for having some stability and durability and also having that ease of use and precision.

Fences

The fence is one of the most important parts of your biscuit joiner. This helps you make the necessary alignments so that you can work with precision. Most fences allow you to make angled cuts as well as straight cuts. A rack and pinion system is the best you can have as this allows you to quickly and easily make changes and still have the accuracy required.

Handle

While not as complex as the motor or fence, the handle is still important when it comes to the biscuit joiner. The best type of handle you can have is one that is ergonomic. This is especially useful when you are using the tool for an extended period of time as otherwise, you can suffer from hand fatigue. Some handles are adjustable which is a nice feature to have if it gets in the way at certain angles.

Dust Removal

The accumulation of dust is pretty normal but it can prove to be problematic. It’s important to have dust clear of your working area when it comes to joining two pieces of wood with a biscuit. Most biscuit joiners come with some sort of dust collection. While this works to an extent, there is a common problem with dust ports becoming blocked with wood shavings. As such, you will need to check this on occasion and ensure that the port is clear for effective cleaning!

Blades

First of all, make sure that the blade is always tightly secured to the biscuit joiner! A loose blade can produce a poor-quality cut. In order to ensure a precise plunge, it’s important to consider the size of the blade. The bigger the blade, the more cutting you can do with it, however, bigger blades can be tougher to control. The most common blade size on standard biscuit joiners is 4-inch which is enough for most tasks. However, for the biggest projects, a 6 to 8-inch blade may be required.

Top Biscuit Joining Tips

We’ve covered just about everything you need to know to be able to find a great quality biscuit joiner. But before we go, here are a few of our top tips for getting the most from your biscuit joiner tool:

  • Apply Glue

You can easily apply glue to the biscuit slot with a glue brush. This allows for a good, even coating on all sides.

  • Highlight Cast-in Marks

Sometimes the cast-in marks on the biscuit joiner can be difficult to see. Using a permanent marker to highlight the marks can make a big difference.

  • Use Double Strength

If you’re concerned that the joint won’t have enough strength, you could cut a double-wide slot and use two biscuits.

  • Repeat Jobs

If you’re making the same cuts time and time again then you can make a set of small blocks with slots at specific height settings.

  • Use the Best Biscuits

The very best biscuits you can use are die-cut beech because they swell at a predictable rate. These are imprinted with a pattern that helps provide moisture absorption.


Conclusion

The bottom line is that there are so many things to consider when you’re buying any power tool such as a biscuit joiner. In this case, you should ask yourself how often you’ll use it and what you’ll use it for. Look at features such as the motor, fence, and blade to get a better idea of what you’ll be getting.

By exploring our reviews of biscuit joiners and using the information in our buying guide, we’re confident you’ll find what you’re looking for. After all, there are so many top-quality biscuit joiners on the market at prices to suit all levels of budget. All that’s left for you to do know is make your final decision. We wish you the best of luck!