A biscuit joiner, biscuit jointer, or plate joiner is a tool that utilizes a small circular saw blade in order to produce crescent-shaped holes. These holes are created in the edges of two pieces of wood where biscuits would be placed to create a bond.
However, unlike the typical bond you get from a regular application of wooden glue, wooden biscuits create an additional support system to wood to you are gluing. This results in a more unbreakable link between two pieces of wood and a tougher structure for your projects. According to Leah Bolden of the Seejanedrill Channel, a biscuit joiner is very ideal if you want to do or reinforce some joints without the use of hardware like nails and screws.
A biscuit joiner is very ideal if you want to do or reinforce some joints without the use of hardware like nails and screws.
All biscuit joiners have the same principle but each model varies a lot when it comes to features. This covers hand style, fence settings, and blades.
With this, it is important to get the model that offers the best set of features like the PORTER-CABLE 557. It boasts a powerful 7-amp motor that gives the blade 10,000 RPM power to rotate. There are units that are more powerful than this model, but its great features are the ones that really put it to the top. This includes the seven-position rotating depth stop that is perfect for FF, #0, #10, #20, Simplex, Duplex, and Max (#6) biscuits. Most of all, it comes with a fence that can be adjusted from 0 to 135 degrees which is somewhat rare for most models available.
However, there are other choices worth considering, especially if your concerns are very different. With this, you might want to check on the models of other brands like AOBEN, Dewalt, Makita, and VonHaus.
That being said, here are some of our other top recommendations for you. For your convenience, we graded and ranked them with the help of professional woodworkers and carpenters for you to easily spot their strengths and weaknesses. Have a closer look at them and do not forget to click on their buttons to get their best deals on Amazon.
1. PORTER-CABLE 557 Plate Joiner Kit
PORTER-CABLE 557 might not have the powerful 8.5-amp motor of the AOBEN biscuit joiner but when it comes to other sections and features meant for complex works, this will certainly impress you.
It boasts a cutting blade with a 4-inch diameter that is utterly sharp and reliable. Very helpful in preventing kickbacks and helps in the delivery of work of its 7-amp motor and 10,000 RPM power. Even when you use the alternative blade (2-inch diameter for 1.5-inch small cuts) that comes with the unit, it is still very capable. With this, it is safe to say that it can still deal with the most vigorous wood materials with ease. When we tried it, we noticed a very, very faint difference between its performance and the high-powered motors of other units. Nonetheless, it still managed to do its job with great precision and power.
Its adjustability features, nonetheless, are the biggest highlight that will overwhelm you. It sports an adjustable fence that tilts from 0 to 135 degrees, with a positive stop at 90 degrees. Using this feature, you can produce angled biscuit joints with less effort on your end. This is far from the features of most units such as Dewalt DW682K and AOBEN’s 8.5-amp biscuit joiner that only offer 90-degree max adjustment.
Further, there are 7 depth stops and accepts 7 biscuit sizes, with 3 of them being the most common sizes and the other 4 being the less common ones. Truly versatile and packed with wide adjustability options.
Just like any other unit, however, the PORTER-CABLE 557 has its own flaws. This includes the absence of the adjustment knob for the cutting depth which makes the creation of manual cuts very challenging. Despite that, its great features really outweigh the negatives which make it a unit worth considering.
2. AOBEN 8.5-Amp Biscuit Cutter Plate Joiner
This AOBEN is one of the compact biscuit joiners available in the market. It only weighs 7.6 pounds and comes with a 4-inch diameter blade. Despite that, it is very capable of handling all sorts of tough wood materials for any of your projects. It can even deal with artificial marble up to 8 mm. So, name the material you need to cut and it’ll work on it like it’s butter.
Furthermore, with its powerful 8.5-amp motor that produces 11,000 RPM and the extremely sharp tungsten carbide blade of the unit, you will experience the smoothest cutting experience possible. The unit is very efficient in minimizing the possibility of the kickbacks and the blade digs into the workpiece without struggles.
It supports the most common biscuit sizes (#0, #10, and #20) and features a preset stop for each of them. The package comes with 30-piece #0 biscuit, 30-piece #10 biscuit, and 50-piece #20 wood. It is not really a groundbreaking addition but it is very handy if you need to use the unit right away for your project.
The adjustable fence allows cutting at any angle between 0 and 90 degrees. It also supports a manual mode setting which lets you customize the depth of the cuts for any special biscuit size. Sweet.
3. DEWALT DW682K Plate Joiner Kit
Dewalt DW682K is a very decent biscuit joiner model that can certainly offer you most of the features you need. It starts with the 6.5 amperage motor that can deliver up to 10,000 RPM blade speed. Very efficient in any kind of wood.
The biscuit joiner also accepts the most common biscuit sizes (#0, #10, and #20) using its 3 preset depth stops. It is also worth mentioning that the unit itself has a dual rack and pinion fence. This ensures that the fence and the blade are constantly parallel at all times which makes it possible to do repeated joints without a fuss.
We also find it very appealing that Dewalt did the effort of putting a non-marring shoe on this joiner. That said, it doesn’t just give you a flawless piece of work, but so as the assurance that scratches will be the least of your concerns.
The adjustable integral one-piece fence can go from 0 to 90 degrees. It has a locating notch in the fence allowing you to index the 45-degree mark with ease. At a 0-degree angle, you can create flush cuts without the need to remove the fence.
We have tried it for #10 and #20 biscuits and it is very intuitive and easy to use. We have joined some boards after studying how the biscuit sizes are registered on rotating adjustment. Lining up and keeping the joiner on the spot on the wood is a breeze. The front handle works really well for holding the joiner for both flush and square. The RPM of the motor, on the other hand, can keep its power stable even for oak and maple woods. No kickbacks. The cuts it creates are nothing but purely accurate and flawlessly clean. The anti-slippage pips located in front of the joiner were very helpful in achieving the precision and slip-free precision we were looking for.
4. Makita PJ7000 Plate Joiner
Sometimes, all you need is a light-duty tool that can aid you in small projects. If that is the case, then Makita PJ7000 is a good fit for you.
Makita PJ7000 has a 5.6 amps and 700 wattage motor. This allows its blade with a 4-inch diameter to work at 11,000 RPM. Given that fact, it is not really meant for an extended time of work. Nonetheless, it can deliver cuts efficiently in just a matter of seconds and can handle even the firmest kind of wood.
Just like most of the items we ranked, its fence can only go from 0 to 90 degrees, with positive stops at 0, 45, and 90 degrees. However, when it comes to depth settings, it if is amazing that it comes with a total of 6 available options which include the most commonly used sizes like the #0, #10, and #20.
It also allows you to do adjustments to the cut height despite not having a specialized knob for this purpose. Nonetheless, using the entire unit is very easy due to the number of ergonomic details integrated. This includes the large top handle which allows a better solid grip. It also comes with a rack and pinion fence is very useful to attain alignment before you perform your cuts.
5. VonHaus 8.5-Amp Wood Biscuit Plate Joiner
This VonHaus 8.5-amp biscuit joiner is one of the most affordable models available right now. Nevertheless, it offers a considerable number of features which is enough to give a decent performance to DIY and hobbyists.
It comes with an 8.5 amperage motor and has a blade with a 4-inch diameter that delivers 10,000 RPM. This is enough to withstand light to a relatively demanding hardwood cutting task such as butt joints, T-joints, miter joints, and corner joints.
The fence has 3 preset depth stops for the most common biscuit sizes. It even supports a manual mode that allows you to achieve the specific depth you need. Further, it has an adjustable fence that offers 0- to 90-degree adjustment and although it has no present angle stops available, it can be locked at any angle.
However, due to its price, the overall quality and durability of the unit might be a concern. For instance, when we tried the blade of the unit, we realized how fast it dulled when used for hardwood materials. It also doesn’t support blades with a 2-inch diameter and the durability of the gauge mount is not really satisfying.
Best Biscuit Joiners - Buyer's Guide
Biscuit joiners come in two forms: corded and cordless. This is an important point to assess if convenience matters to you. Corded ones offer more power in their motor and can cut through the toughest kind of woods. They can also function non-stop as long as they are connected to a power source. However, they limit the things you can do due to the length of their cords. On the other hand, the cordless joiners are more compact and enable you to bring it anywhere as long as they are fully charged. However, keep in mind that they can only work for a number of hours due to their battery capacities.
A solid grip gives you good control over the tool. To do this, you need to have a reliable handle in your biscuit joiner. There are two types of handles in joiners: D-type and barrel-type handles. The latter is the most common one on the market. It lets you hold the handle installed near the fence. You can also get a good grip by holding the fence tip. The power switch of this kind of joiner is often located either on its side or the underside. Conversely, the D-type handles often come with the trigger installed near them which means faster and easier access. To hold the joiner, you have to hold the top of the handle. With this, we suggest assessing the type of handle that will make you more comfortable.
Most of the biscuit joiners come with 4” blades. However, if this doesn’t fit you, you can look for those that can accommodate 2” blades. This will give you a more versatile biscuit joiner that can give you your varying woodwork cut needs. For instance, the PORTER-CABLE 557 allows the use of blades with a 2-inch diameter which is very convenient for your occasional needs in creating small cuts.
Most models of biscuit joiners will give you specific depth stop settings which can be very convenient. These models will give you the most commonly used depths for #0, #10, #20 biscuits. However, it will be better if you can have a wider choice when it comes to depth settings just like what the PORTER-CABLE 557 offers. It comes with 7-position rotating depth stop that is perfect for FF, #0, #10, #20, Simplex, Duplex, and Max (#6) biscuits. Also, consider the units that offer manual settings as it will give you further freedom in customizing the depth of your cuts.
As you know, the higher the cutting speed, the better. Biscuit joiner models mostly come with 10,000 to 11,000 RPM and opting for the latter is much preferable. Besides the fact that it means faster work for you, it can also prevent overheating caused by slower spinning blades.
Make sure that your biscuit joiner has all the crucial features you need from the depth settings to the tilting capacity of the tool. This will let you get the exact cut you need. It is also better if the joiner has a manual setting so you can adjust it easily for a custom cut.
The angle capacity of the fence is also a major consideration to have. Most models can only offer a maximum of 90-degree tit, but it would be better if you can have the one that can tilt from 0 to 135 degrees as it means convenience for your work. This is an essential box to tick, especially if you are planning to use the biscuit joiner for complex professional projects. One specific unit that can offer this is the PORTER-CABLE 557.
Nonetheless, if you are someone who just needs the basics of biscuit joiners, you can have the one with a limited set of features. You don’t want to spend on a tool with all the bells and whistles you won’t be using frequently. Go for the one that will give the best value for your money.
Best Biscuit Joiners - FAQs
Ideally, a biscuit jointer must at least have 9000 RPM to deliver an effective cutting speed. Nonetheless, if there are those that have higher motor power, opt for them.
Biscuit joiners can go as deep as ¾” to allow #20 biscuits to fit snuggly.
To get the strength and firm hold you need for your woodworking project, biscuits should be 6 to 12 inches away from each other. This space is enough to fortify the structure of the wood pieces you are going to glue.
Biscuit joiners can work in a wide variety of wood materials. Some of them include softwoods, hardwoods, plywood, MDF, laminated particleboard, and more.