Beginners Guide to Using a Biscuit Joiner

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Beginners Guide to Using a Biscuit Joiner/A biscuit joiner (or sometimes plate joiner) is a woodworking tool used to join two pieces of wood together. A biscuit joiner uses a small circular saw blade to cut a crescent-shaped hole (called the mouth) in the opposite edges of two pieces of wood or wood composite panels. An oval-shaped, highly dried and compressed wooden biscuit (beech or particle wood) is covered with glue, or glue is applied in the slot. The biscuit is immediately placed in the slot, and the two boards are clamped together. The wet glue expands the biscuit, further improving the bond.

Being an ex-soldier, I don’t believe in calling technicians to do some of those odd jobs in my home like simple repairs. I believe in keeping fit and being active like I was during my days in the army. Of course, age is getting the better of me, and I can’t manually fix some of the things. That’s why I get equipped with the best tools to ensure that I work smoothly. There’s a time I needed to join pieces of wood together, and I realized all the tools I had in my toolbox couldn’t get the work done. That’s when I realized the importance of having a biscuit joiner commonly referred to as a plate joiner. I set out to establish the best biscuit joiner on the market and came across numerous brands.


List Of The Best Biscuit Joiners On The Market In 2020

Chicago Electric Power Tools 4″ Plate Joiner

#7 Chicago Electric Power Tools 4" Plate Joiner

For this Chicago Electric plate joiner, I wouldn’t call it “the best” item on the market. However, it got the job done and proved quite impressive. I have included it in this list of the best biscuit joiners for several reasons. One of the reasons is the fact that it comes with a powerful 6 amp motor which delivers an incredible 10,000 RPM performance.

The 1-1/8’’ fence with a tilt angle of up to 45 degrees guarantees ultimate performance ensuring that you have excellent results. The dust port which comes with preset depth to work on biscuit sizes of 0, 10 and 20 also makes this Chicago plate joiner a must-have item.

Reasons To Buy This
  • It’s quite effective – Inasmuch as it might not give the best performance, this plate joiner is considerably effective compared to most of its competitors.
  • It’s fairly affordable – The price is pocket-friendly making it quite convenient for anyone who wants to have great results without hurting their pockets.

Makita XJP03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Plate Joiner

#6 Makita XJP03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Plate Joiner

Engineered for accurate fence adjustment thanks to the rack-and-pinion fence system, this is another plate joiner I found irresistible. I admit I didn’t have much experience with biscuit joiners at this time, but I could see that this was something worth buying.

The cast aluminum pivot fence which boasts three stops at 0, 45 and 90 degree makes this plate joiner quite reliable and valid. Additionally, I also found the easy centering on ¾ inches quite impressive. With six depth setting and single-touch stops at 0, 10, and 20, you’ll definitely love this tool as well.

Reasons To Buy This
  • It offers a cordless operation – With a cordless operation, this is a conveniently portable biscuit joiner which is ideal for use in the field.
  • It boasts large and easy to use cam locks – These cam locks offer ideal and convenient fence adjustment.

Makita PJ7000 Plate Joiner

#5 Makita PJ7000 Plate Joiner

Makita PJ7000 joiner is another product I’d recommend to anyone looking for top-tier performance. The powerful 5.6 AMP motor which delivers 11,000 RPM performance guarantees a quick and precise cutting ability. It can cut through a variety of wood types with unrivaled precision.

Just like its earlier sibling, the XJP03Z model, this biscuit joiner boasts a rack-and-pinion vertical fencing system which is specially designed to offer accurate fence adjustments. I was also impressed by its cast aluminum pivot fence which boasts three positive stops of 0 degrees, 45 degrees and 90 degrees. You’ll also find the six depth settings with single-touch stops at 0, 10, and 20 sizes incredible.

Reasons To Buy This
  • It comes with great cam locks – The great cam locks which are extremely easy to operate offer accurate fence adjustments.
  • It has an ergonomic handle – The ergonomic top grip handle offers easy handling, thus ensuring that you work comfortably.
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PORTER-CABLE 557 7 Amp Plate Joiner Kit

#4 PORTER-CABLE 557 7 Amp Plate Joiner Kit

Okay, this isn’t a single item but a kit with every required tool. I found this full package ideal for anyone who doesn’t have the time to go around looking for each tool on its own. It offers seven cutting settings and can work on a variety of wood types. I was also extremely keen on the motor.

And yes, with a 7-amp motor which can crank a big 10, 000 RPM blade rotation, this biscuit joiner isn’t one of those cheap flops you see on the market. Its fence can tilt from 0 to 135v degree with a positive adjustable stop at 90 degrees. The numerous depth options also guarantee ultimate performance.

Reasons To Buy This
  • It’s extremely effective – Given its high-grade motor, this is a highly reliable biscuit joiner that guarantees ultimate performance.
  • It’s a full package – This is a full package coming with a blade, spanner wrench, dust bag, centering plate and a chip reflector for ultimate performance.

Lamello Classic X 101600 Biscuit Joiner

#3 Lamello Classic X 101600 Biscuit Joiner

Lamello standard biscuit joiner another great product you need to add to your cart. It features an advanced design that makes it unique. The new base plate with swiveling front-and-stop square for easy positioning at the edges gives it an exemplary performance.

It also introduces a new and advanced 780W motor which cranks exemplary blade rotations. If you want performance on a whole new level, I’d recommend this biscuit joiner for you.

Reasons To Buy This
  • It boasts a long-life guidance system: The long-life guidance system offers accurate parallel grooves, thus delivering a perfect alignment.
  • It comes with CNC high-precision parts: The CNC high precision parts also give this biscuit joiner ultimate performance.

DEWALT DW682K 6.5 Amp Plate Joiner

#2 DEWALT DW682K 6.5 Amp Plate Joiner

I have several DeWALT products, and none of them has disappointed me. From the very first sight, I knew this biscuit joiner was a real bang for my hard-earned bucks. The sturdy and top-grade construction gives this plate joiner unsurpassed durability making it a must-have item for any homeowner who wants to get busy with wood.

The easy to use design adds to its excellent features making it a must-have item while the lightweight and compact design makes it ideal for daily use. If you’re looking for something for a biscuit joiner you can use daily and never complain, I’d advise you to consider this DeWALT plate joiner.

The 45 degrees locating notch on the fence ensures that you get a perfect finish. And yes, the 0-90 degree fence tilting will ensure that you never have to worry about precise cutting. Furthermore, it has a cast aluminum construction to deliver long-term use.

Reasons To Buy This
  • It has a powerful motor – the 6 Amp motor delivers incredible motor rotation making this product quite effective.
  • It boasts a dual rack-and-pinion fence design – The dual rack-and-pinion design ensures that you have great results and top-precision.

TruePower 01-0102 Biscuit Plate Joiner

#1 TruePower 01-0102 Biscuit Plate Joiner

Finally, The TruePower biscuit plate joiner wraps up my list and scoops the top position. As much as I picked this plate joiner for various reasons, I must admit that the selection process wasn’t an easy task. Of course, I chose it based on my personal preferences and requirements.

However, that’s not to imply that the other ones are inferior by any means. One of the reasons why I preferred this biscuit joiner over the rest is the fact that it has a 1010 watt motor which delivers 11000 RPM rotation. Another reason is its maximum cutting depth of 0.55’’ and a cutting angle of 0-45v degree. With stops at 0, 10, and 20 sizes, you’ll love it.

Reasons To Buy This
  • It comes with a tungsten tipped blade – The tipped blade delivers a precise performance and guarantees long-term use.
  • It’s backed by a one-year warranty – With a 1-year warranty, your purchase is secured.

Benefits Of Biscuit Joiner

  • They make the work easier: They make joining of woods easy: Imagine having to do the job done by plate joiners manually? It would take an eternity for you to accomplish what a plate joiner can accomplish in a matter of seconds. It, therefore, follows that biscuit joiners make work easier for you.
  • They’re compact: Unlike those large working tools, biscuit joiners are small and offer easy usage. Given their portable nature, you can easily use them on almost everywhere including on the field.
  • They work on woods of different thicknesses: As you might have noticed from the review above, joiners can work in a customizable manner. You’re given the opportunity to decide on the thickness of the wood as well as the depth you intend to achieve.
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What to consider when buying a biscuit joiner

Type of Handle

You’ve got two main choices with the handles on biscuit joiners:

  • Barrel Grip: You wrap your hand through and hold the body of the tool with this type of grip. Many fans claim you’ll get far better control with a barrel grip. You’ll also be able to get lower down to the blade.
  • D-Grip: This type of grip is a D-shaped handle and works well if you’ll be using your joiner for prolonged unbroken spells.

Others Feature

  • Fence Set-Up – You should look for a fence you can at least set to 45 degrees and 135 degrees. This will stop you needing to flip your workpiece, and you can simply focus on cutting. While more angles give you more choice, it’s not worth obsessing about as long as you have these bases covered.
  • Blades – The vast majority of standard biscuit joiners have 4-inch blades. This will work with 0, 10 and 20 biscuits but you might want scope beyond this. If you need smaller blades, then you’ll need a joiner with a plunger mechanism to hold those blades in place. Think closely about your intended usage and buy accordingly.
  • Power – It’s not only the amp draw you should consider when you’re looking at the power of different biscuit joiners but You should also pay attention to the speed in RPM. Getting the best of both worlds with a great power draw and rapid rotation means you’ll get more work done in less time.
  • Biscuit Size – If you can make bigger biscuits, you can join bigger pieces of wood. For some elements of furniture-making, you’ll need to cut a wide range of grooves. Be sure you look into the sizing, so you don’t make an expensive mistake.
  • Depth Settings – It’s vital that you look for a biscuit joiner with varied depth settings. The more flexibility you have with groove depth, the more ambitious the projects you can carry out.
  • Handle – The handle plays a vital role in the selection of a biscuit joiner. If you are unable to hold the equipment right, you cannot be productive enough! Hence it is important that you try out the tool by holding it and checking the grip. The most common biscuit joiners have two or more types of handles. Some of them have a barrel grip which allows you to hold the body of the joiner. Other types of biscuit joiners have D-handle which is preferred by most of the users.
  • Fence Features – A biscuit joiner must allow you to adjust the fence setting at 45 or 135 degrees. The fence feature allows you to adjust the angle of the joiner so that you can easily work both on the inside and outside of the wooden frame. This feature increases the assembly options. The fence is one of the most important parts of the joiner that guides the saw blade while cutting the slots in the wood. A joiner with multiple settings of various angles is the best choice.
  • Depth setting  You must choose a biscuit joiner that has various groove depth settings. This allows you to cut slots from wood at any depth. The more is flexibility the better is your work quality.
  • Cost – biscuit joiners are available in a wide range of prices. If you are a DIY enthusiast, then you may not want to spend too much on the best biscuit joiner. The higher the prices, the better are the options and features of the joiner. So, for a professional-grade joiner, you may to spend more than a simple joiner. However, if you are on a budget, choose a joiner only the one that has regular features and normal power setup.
  • Ease of use – Without a doubt, the easier are the functions, the better is the biscuit joiner. If the usability is by far complex, then you will not get the desired perfection and evenness in your woodwork. Biscuit joiners with ergonomic design help in working for a longer time without getting tired. Moreover, the machine must be lightweight with rubberized grips to lessen the fatigue.
  • Dust accumulation system – Cutting woods means lots of dust accumulation and flying chips. The biscuit joiner you choose must have a feature for dust accumulation. The tool must have this safety feature and optimal durability.
  • Warranty – A standard biscuit joiner can cost you $100 and more. When you are investing so much money on a tool, it is essential that there must be some warranty. All the biscuit joiners listed below in this article are equipped with at least one year warranty.
  • Durability – The biscuit joiner is an incredible woodworking tool that must work in the harshest of the environment. Hence, it is necessary that the tool has adequate durability and does not break down easily over time. A biscuit joiner comes in contact with dust, oil, dirt, and too many foreign elements. The tool must be durable and maintain its quality of even biscuit slots.
  • Blade – It is important to know the basic blade size before buying a biscuit joiner. The standard size of the blade is 4”. However, it’s not the only size of the blade. If you are working as a DIY enthusiast on small pieces of wood, you might require smaller blades. There are three basic sizes of blades available in the market.
  • Small size (0) – this is the smallest type of blade that is suitable for slotting small pieces of wood.
  • Medium (10) – this blade is usually ¾“ tall and can be used both by DIY and professional woodcutters.
  • Large (20) – this is the biggest size of the blade which is almost 1” tall. This type of blade is used to cut thick wood and carry out strenuous cutting.
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Beginners Guide to Using a Biscuit Joiner

A biscuit joiner is a powerful tool that runs on high power. You need to use it properly to get the accurate cut and not end up with uneven joints.

Here are the steps to use it properly:

  • The sliding parts must be well lubricated before use.
  • Place the two boards simultaneously on the table. Arrange them in a final position.
  • Make sure the boards are aligned properly
  • Mark the joints with a pencil. The marks must be evenly spaced. The marks specify the placement of biscuits that are placed on the board.
  • Use a biscuit joiner and place the plates on the boards. Then line the cuts with a pencil. Carry out this step on each board one by one.
  • Now turn on the saw and insert the blade into the board across the line
  • Repeat the sawing process on each board
  • Once the cut is done, place glue on the boards that are cut.
  • Now insert the biscuits into each slot and slide the other board into the biscuit.
  • Now, using the clamps, you must hold the joints together. This gives the glue a chance to dry. Tightening the clamp hard will squeeze out the glue and leave the board unassembled.
  • The machine is generally equipped with dust accumulator. This is known as extraction.
  • Machines that do not have powerful extraction will leave the unit clogged
  • Biscuits are available in various shapes and sizes. You must use them according to your board.
  • Application of water-based glue is the best suggestion.
  • Using biscuits for joint construction saves you from mistakes. You can easily pull them off and join the boards again.

Final Words

We all look for different things in any tool. Some want the cheapest while others want the most powerful. In the list above, I have included the most affordable as well as the most powerful. Based on what you consider important to you, grab one of these biscuit joiners have excellent working experience.

References

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