A biscuit joiner is a heavy-duty tool to help you join two wood pieces together with the help of circular or oval-shaped wooden blades. Biscuit joiners are great for providing additional strength and durability to woodwork. Their usability is crucial in wood pieces that need a sturdy hold for ensuring better productivity (Source).
Plenty of models are available nowadays. However, the best biscuit joiners are the ones that offer you fence versatility, options for blade sizes, the convenience of enhancements, and depth options for flush cuts.
As for the operation, biscuit joiners include an angle grinder with a saw blade that cuts curved slots in the wood. After that, the biscuit of suitable size is inserted in one of the wooden planks with half biscuit protruding outwards.
This half side is then inserted in the other wooden plank with the slot to attach the two pieces together. For extra durability, a strong adhesive is also applied between the joining surfaces (Source). Some models come with interchangeable blades, allowing the woodworker to cut 4″ and 2″ biscuit slots.
Biscuit joiners offer you various shapes in the biscuit joints. Depending upon your requirements, such as “T” joints, “L” joints, etc., you can use them efficiently. In this guide, we review top-rated biscuit joiners, ones that’ll help you easily join two pieces of wood together.
What is a Biscuit Joiner?
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Biscuit Joiner?
- 2 How Much Does A Biscuit Joiner Cost?
- 3 What Size Biscuit Should I Use?
- 4 Comparing the Best Biscuit Joiners
- 5 1. DEWALT Plate Joiner Kit, 6.5-Amp – The Best Professional Biscuit Joiner
- 6 2. Makita XJP03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Plate Joiner – The Best Cordless Biscuit Joiner
- 7 3. PORTER-CABLE Plate Joiner Kit, 7-Amp – The Best Biscuit Joiner Under $200
- 8 4. Ryobi JM83K AC Biscuit Joiner – The Fastest Biscuit Joiner Option
- 9 5. AOBEN 8.5 Amp Biscuit Cutter Plate Joiner – The Most Affordable Biscuit Joiner
- 10 Biscuit Joiner Brands
- 11 How Do Biscuit Joiners Work?
- 12 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Biscuit Joiner
- 13 How to Use a Biscuit Joiner
- 14 Joining the Two Pieces
- 15 Biscuit Joiner FAQs
- 16 Ready to Use a Biscuit Joiner for Your Next Woodworking Project?
A biscuit joiner (also referred to as a plate joiner) is a type of woodworking tool that is used to piece wooden parts together.
The tool uses a circular saw blade to cut out crescent-shaped holes, commonly referred to as mouths. The holes are normally made within the edges of two wooden pieces or wood composite panels.
The highly dried, an oval-shaped compressed biscuit is then smeared with glue and immediately placed in the mouth slot. The pieces are then clamped together to allow for better bonding.
How Much Does A Biscuit Joiner Cost?
Most biscuit joiners cost between $100 and $150. However, some models cost more than $200. Such tools will give you the comfort of operating them with a variety of features.
If your wood crafting work is frequent, then investing a good-quality biscuit jointer is worth it. Such machines are durable and can be utilized for long-term usage. Their maintenance is also low.
What Size Biscuit Should I Use?
As a rule of thumb, aim to buy the largest biscuit joiner you can, as the tool will allow for ample strength to the joint. You may use #20 biscuits almost every time. However, when working on very narrow material, use smaller biscuits instead.
Comparing the Best Biscuit Joiners
|DEWALT Plate Joiner Kit, 6.5-Amp|
|Makita XJP03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Plate Joiner|
|PORTER-CABLE Plate Joiner Kit, 7-Amp|
|Ryobi JM83K AC Biscuit Joiner Kit|
|AOBEN 8.5 Amp Biscuit Cutter Plate Joiner|
1. DEWALT Plate Joiner Kit, 6.5-Amp – The Best Professional Biscuit Joiner
The model features a pinion fence and a dual rack, allowing for fence and blade parallelism and accurate joints at all times. It is equipped with an integral one-piece fence that is adjustable and can tilt from 0 to 90 degrees.
It will also allow you to make flush cuts at 0 degrees without having to remove the fence. The 45-degree locating notch in its fence allows you to index off the outside surface of a mitered joint as well.
The model comes with a heavy-duty, non-marring aluminum shoe, which makes it possible for the joiner to be clamped for stationary work. The anti-slip, retractable pins will further help you secure your work in place. It will also allow you to preset depth stops for all the commonly used biscuit sizes.
2. Makita XJP03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Plate Joiner – The Best Cordless Biscuit Joiner
The cordless biscuit joiner features a portable and highly versatile design. For enhanced comfort, the model features an ergonomic slim design with a large top grip handle. You will also find the unit to be very durable, thanks to its cast aluminum construction. It comes with six different depth settings and a 4-inch blade. You will also like the one-touch stop functionality of the model.
The XJP03Z couples stable power to enhanced precision for the best professional-grade results. It is also fitted with an assortment of performance features and is relatively easy to use. The unit finds its application in such projects as cabinet construction, furniture making, and fine woodworking applications.
3. PORTER-CABLE Plate Joiner Kit, 7-Amp – The Best Biscuit Joiner Under $200
The kit comes with a 4-inch blade for standard-size cuts as well as an innovative fence system that features a pivot point for accurate height readings. The plate joiner is capable of handling a wide range of joining applications. It is equipped with an industry-best motor, coupled to an adjustment knob for added power and precision.
For optimum stability and control during cuts, its bale handle is attached to the fence rather than the moto. The model is also fitted with a lock-on trigger, allowing for height scale accuracy at any angle you may need to use the joiner. The fence on the unit is capable of tilting between 0 and 135 degrees with positive adjustable stops at 90-degree intervals.
4. Ryobi JM83K AC Biscuit Joiner – The Fastest Biscuit Joiner Option
Based on numerous Ryobi biscuit joiner reviews, this model has one of the most accurate metal fences. It is fired with a carbide-tipped blade for professional-grade results. The faces used on this unit feature pinion adjustment settings and an ergonomic handle. These make it precise and comfortable to handle.
The JM83K biscuit joiner is powered by a 6-amp motor that delivers up to 11,000 rpm, which is faster than some of the costlier units in the industry. This power is enough to work on all wood types, including the hardest of wood varieties.
5. AOBEN 8.5 Amp Biscuit Cutter Plate Joiner – The Most Affordable Biscuit Joiner
For enhanced precision, the unit features an adjustable tilt fence, allowing you to work at your preferred angle. The ergonomic design of the biscuit cutter includes an anti-slip handle for that comfortable and confident handling experience.
While at it, the model allows you to keep your projects clean and neat with a convenient sawdust bag to collect any flying debris. The biscuit cutter comes with a push-on connection for connecting the sawdust bag to the unit. The tool will also allow you to choose biscuit sizes, ranging from 0 to 20 or switch the joiner to Manual mode.
This mode makes it possible for you to produce custom cut depths.
Biscuit Joiner Brands
Biscuit joiners are relatively costly pieces of equipment. As such, due diligence has to be exercised while buying one. To ensure that you invest in nothing short of the best, it is advisable to buy models by the leading biscuit joiner brands, including:
Ryobi Biscuit Joiners
Ryobi is one of the renowned manufacturers of high quality, durable and dependable biscuit joiners in the industry. The manufacturer specializes in making pro-featured power tools as well as outdoor products truly affordable.
RYOBI is one of the world’s largest and most innovative tool manufacturers. Owing to the affordability of its products, the brand is a favorite among millions of DIY homeowners, woodworkers, hobbyists, craftspeople and garden enthusiasts.
Dewalt Biscuit Joiners
Headquartered in Towson, Maryland, Dewalt is a leading tools manufacturer that was established in 1923. Over the years, the company has positioned itself as the manufacture of some of the best designs to optimize professional workhorse solutions.
Dewalt is an American brand of power tools and hand tools for such industries as construction, manufacturing, and woodworking. The brand is known to deliver some of the best tools and accessories, including some of the best biscuit joiners in the industry.
Porter-Cable Biscuit Joiners
Porter-Cable produces a full line of power tools, equipment, and accessories. The various products by this manufacturer are built for enhanced durability and superior performance. The biscuit joiners by Porter-Cable are designed to offer you a versatile cordless platform wherever you are, at the site or in the workshop.
Harbor Freight Biscuit Joiners
Though started as a small family business back in 1977, Harbor Freight is currently a world-class manufacturer of the leading biscuit joiner models. Over the years, the company has been committed to offering great quality tools at affordable price points.
In addition to biscuit joiners, the brand is also famous for a range of other tools and equipment, ranging from hand tools and generators to air and power tools.
Dremel Biscuit Joiners
This band is committed to empowering professionals to accomplish their visions. The provider offers a range of tools that will help you accomplish an array of specialized tasks.
For instance, the various biscuit joiners by Dremel are versatile and highly customizable to suit different applications.
Makita Biscuit Joiners
Based in Anjo, Japan, Makita corporation is the brand behind the renowned Makita biscuit joiners. Tools, equipment, and accessories by Makita are designed to offer unmatched reliability, durability, and performance.
This is why a good number of the Makita biscuit joiner models are backed by extended manufacturer warranties.
Freud Biscuit Joiners
Would you rather buy a biscuit joiner by a reputable American brand? Get one by Freud America, Inc. This brand is an industry-leading manufacturer of premium-quality cutting tools and abrasives.
Freud America manufactures two brands of cutting tools: Freud Tools for the woodworker and Diablo Tools for professional construction and remodelers.
How Do Biscuit Joiners Work?
A Biscuit Joiner works by combining an angle grinder with a saw blade to cut curved slots within wooden planks that can be joined together with the help of biscuits.
While the wood joiner model and design can vary, yet their basic functionality involves creating space for biscuits. These biscuits usually come in three sizes – zero, ten, and twenty.
These sizes can be preferred based on individual wood joint requirements. To operate it, a user first needs to place the fence and configure the tool’s various adjustment features such as cut depth.
The user also needs to mark the area where he’ll create the slots. Once that is configured, the saw blade is pushed in the wood plank manually, which creates the curved slot.
When you insert a biscuit in the slot, you will find that it fits perfectly in it. Similarly, you create a similar slot in the other wood piece. Then, you connect both parts by applying glue to add more strength to the joint.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Biscuit Joiner
It is advisable to go for a biscuit joiner with at least a four-inch circular blade, preferably one that has four to six teeth per inch. The model you choose should also be capable of cutting channels for biscuits of different sizes, particularly 0, 10 and 20 size options.
To ensure that you buy the right biscuit cutter tool, there are several aspects you should consider. Here are some of the important considerations you should make while shopping for the best biscuit joiner:
Blade Size Options
As compared to other blade types, carbide-tipped blades are some of the best as they last long and can withstand the rigors of cutting different tough as well as brittle materials. As compared to steel blades, carbide-tipped blades have also been proven to produce clean cuts. However, steel blades are faster.
Different projects will require you to join pieces at different angles. For enhanced versatility, the pivot on your biscuit joiner fence should allow you to alter the angle. Ensure that the fence in your preferred biscuit joiner is capable of tilting to different angles.
This allows you to do angled and beveled cuts whenever they are required. Most of the leading biscuit joiner models allow you to choose your preferred working angle, often between 0 and 135 degrees.
Room for Extensions and Enhancements
The best plate joiners can do much more than just cutting the inside sections of woodwork sections. To enhance the capabilities of your biscuit joiner, you will need the right enhancement accessories. For instance, fence enhancements will allow you to connect materials of varying sizes.
Such enhancements will also ensure that the outside edges match with each other without any fence shifting. If you lack a micro-height modification feature on your joiner, get one with precise raising and lowering of the device itself.
Cut Depth And Flush Cut Options
Check how the flush cut of the machine behaves as some machines tend to shift slightly when set at 0°. Try to get one that does not show because shifting will impact on the precision of the machine negatively.
Such a problem will eventually cause you to joinery problems. Oversized grooves may also prevent biscuits from fastening the wood sections properly. Therefore, you need to choose the cutting depth in accordance with your biscuit size.
How to Use a Biscuit Joiner
Learning how to use a plate joiner is rather easy, but you will need a considerable amount of practice to perfect the skill. If you are using a biscuit joiner for the first time, here a few tips to guide you.
Prepping the Lumber
To get perfect joints, you should start by squaring the lumber, at least for the first few times as you master the process. First, you should ensure that the two sides that will face each other need to be flat. The slabs also need to be of the same height, allowing the top and bottom to sit flush.
If you cannot square the pieces, just buy the manufacturer’s pieces of wood. In this case, you have to ensure that the manufactured pieces are not warped in any way.
Setting Up the Joiner Station
In addition to having the right materials, you also need ample space for the best results. Get a flat workbench that is not wobbly. The workbench should also be sitting on even ground. On this bench, set up a stable back on which the board will push against while you are cutting the biscuit holes.
Positioning the Biscuits
The number of biscuits will depend on the size of the boards that will be joining. At least, you need to have two biscuits at each end, especially if the pieces are longer than 12 inches. If the pieces are longer than three feet, you should include a third biscuit at the center.
This will ensure that the boards maintain their vertical alignment in the middle of the biscuit joint.
Cutting Out the Biscuit Holes
As you cut out the biscuit holes, ensure that the side of the wooden pieces facing the ground is flush with the work surface. The easiest way to do this would be to clamp the pieces against the workbench. Now place your biscuit joiner against the face of the side that you will be cutting.
You should then line the mark on the biscuit joiner that indicates the center of the blade with the line that you drew on the wooden pieces. While pushing down on the biscuit joiner one hand, you should steadily push the blade into the board. Once the blade is fully extended, proceed to retract the blade with control.
As opposed to a power drill, a plate joiner requires you to keep the button on until the blade has returned to its original position.
Joining the Two Pieces
Before applying any glue, you should first dry-fit the pieces to see how well they fit. Check to see whether each biscuit hole lines up with its respective mate both horizontally and vertically. In the event that any two holes do not line up, you need to relocate the placement of that given biscuit altogether.
Once the boards connect well in the dry fit, you can start applying glue. You need to get small amounts of glue into each of the holes to keep the biscuits in place.
To make the bond as seamless as possible, it is advisable to use at least two clamps to hold the boards together. When adjusting the clamps, try to make them as tight as possible.
Biscuit Joiner FAQs
What is a Biscuit Joiner Used For?
Biscuit joiners are mainly used to join it attach boards side by side, such as joining wood panels to form a tabletop. The tool may also be used to combine furniture corners, such as in a drawer or cabinetry.
What Size Joiner Biscuit to Use?
Use the largest size possible biscuit for enhanced strength, especially when joining a tabletop. In most cases, #20 biscuits are used. If you are working on narrower materials, you should use smaller biscuits.
What is the Minimum Thickness Biscuit Joiner?
Almost all biscuit joiners are 5/32 inches thick. As such, the only thing you will need to alter is the width of the oval mouth. This should be adjusted to suit the needs of the project you are currently working on.
Ready to Use a Biscuit Joiner for Your Next Woodworking Project?
Whether you are a professional woodworker or just a DIY enthusiast, a biscuit joint will help you make the perfect joints between wood pieces.
The right biscuit jointer should have the right power, blade size as well as an adjustable bevel and angle.
With this guide, you should have an easy time buying and using a plate joiner.
We also have guides for more heavy-duty applications, such as post-driving. See our Top Gas-Powered Post Driver Reviews.