When it comes to joining two pieces of wood together for a woodworking project, the best biscuit joiner will be invaluable. This type of tool will allow the user to cut slots in paired pieces of wood quickly. This wood can then be fitted with a biscuit in order to hold them together securely. Using this tool to join wood together allows the woodworker to complete a task in a fraction of the time it would take to manually achieve strong joints. This is what makes it one of the best tools for both pros and hobbyists. But finding a model that’s top of the line, one that can handle regular heavy-duty use, it’s harder than it sounds.
Fortunately, I’ve done all the research for you. I’ve tested out several of the best-selling joiners, narrowing it down to four models that offer the type of quality that all buyers are looking for. I’ve also put together a buyer’s guide that goes over the different features available and discusses exactly what you should look for in a top of the line biscuit joiner. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that lists each of the models that landed on my list, how they rated, and their top features.
Biscuit Joiner Comparison Chart
DEWALT Plate Joiner Kit
This biscuit joiner by DEWALT is packing plenty of power, offering 6.5 amps with a cutting speed that comes in at 10,000 RPMs. The joiner is designed to work with the hardest wood and comes equipped with a pinion fence and dual rack, both of which ensure the fence and blade always remain parallel, for more accurate joints, each and every time. The one-piece fence is highly adjustable, with tilts coming in at zero to ninety-degrees. Even better, the flush cuts can be made at zero degrees, without having to remove the fence. On the fence, you’ll find a forty-five-degree locating notch, which allows you to index off the outside surface for miter joints. The joiner’s heavy-duty, non-marring shoe will allow the tool to be clamped down for any stationary work.
- Preset depth stops
- Pinion fence
- Dual rack
- One-piece fence desig
- Grab handle is attached to the motor
This model comes equipped with a powerful motor and is specifically designed to work with hardwoods. The pinion fence and dual rack will ensure that the fence and blade remain parallel for accurate joints each and every time, while the versatile fence features a simple one-piece design and can be adjusted from zero up to ninety-degrees.
REXBETI Wood Biscuit Plate Joiner Kit
The Rexbeti joiner offers three adjustable fence positions at 90, 45, and 0 degrees. The built-in angle knob will allow you to adjust the angle of the fence, while helping you handle miter to miter, end to edge, and edge to edge work. Adjusting the height and setting the fence is incredibly simple and fast, making this kit a great choice for the beginner. The joiner’s four-inch carbide tipped blade and preset depths will help you cut slots for dozens of biscuit sizes. In terms of power, this model offers a cutting speed of 10,000 RPMs and 1010 watts. The built-in dust extraction port and bag will remove most of the dust out of the air, while minimizing cleanup time, keeping your workpiece highly visible.
- Highly adjustable
- Beginner friendly
- 10,000 RPMs cutting speed
- Dust port and bag included
The four-inch carbide tipped blade is perfect for T-joints, butt joints, corner joints, and miter joints. This model has a cutting depth of fourteen millimeters, and a blade diameter of 100 x 22 x 4 MM. The joiner weighs in at seven pounds, which can make it difficult to use and control for longer periods of time, yet its adjustability and general ease of use makes it one of the most beginner-friendly models on the market.
AOBEN Biscuit Joiner
The Aoben jointer can handle a variety of joint types including center wall, frame, miter, corner, and butt joints. It can also work with hardwoods, plywood, artificial marble, plexiglass, fiberboard, chipboard, and more. The dust collection system comes with a bag and is designed to keep the air clean from flying debris, while making your workpiece highly visible. Equipped with a cutting speed of 11,000 RPMs, 8.5 amps of power, and a four-inch blade diameter, this model is very versatile and designed to take on almost any type of material. The joiner also comes with preset stops for the most common biscuit sizes including 20, 10, and 0. The M setting switches the biscuit joiner into a manual model so you can cut to custom depths.
- Beginner friendly
- Dust collection system
- Faster than average cutting speed
- Can only be used on completely flat surfaces
This beginner friendly tool is convenient and simple to use and is covered by a two-year warranty. The adjustable tilt fence can be locked into positions ranging from zero degrees up to ninety degrees, so you can use it to handle a wide variety of simple and complex woodworking projects. It’s also available at a reasonable price, making it a great choice for the woodworker on a tight budget.
Von Haus Wood Biscuit Plate Joiner
This model by Von Haus allows you to make accurate, quick biscuit cuts, for stronger corners, edge to edge, butt, T, and miter joints. There are also preset depth stops for biscuit sizes that include 20, 10, and 0, which will guarantee cutting accuracy, without the need to measure. The fence is adjustable and allows the joiner to be set at the desired angle making it easy to join mitered pieces. The built-in dust collection system includes a dust bag and port, for fast and easy cleanup. The top grip handle features an ergonomic design for improved user comfort.
- Easy to use
- Preset depth stops
- No rack and pinion height adjustment
The highly adjustable tilt fence can be locked into a variety of positions ranging from zero degrees all the way up to ninety-degrees, making this model perfect for angled biscuit insertion. The joiner is also compatible with all types of wood, so it can be used for any type of carpentry, restoration, DIY, or woodworking project.
Biscuit Joiner Buyer’s Guide
When you’re shopping for a biscuit joiner, there are many factors to consider, such as blade diameter, cutting speed, weight, dimensions, and power. If you’re new to the world of woodworking, then read on to learn more about the benefits of biscuit joiners and why they’re a must-have for a wide range of woodworking tasks.
Benefits of Using a Biscuit Joiner
- The biscuit joiner is one of those important tools that all woodworkers find themselves relying on time and time again. This tool will make securely joining two pieces of wood a cinch. When done manually, fitting a couple of pieces of wood together by cutting your own biscuit slots using a handsaw or a jigsaw, can be a very laborious and time-consuming process. Additionally, manually undertaking this task can be tricky. Fitting the same two pieces of wood together using a joiner can be easily done in a matter of minutes.
- The joiner solves the big problem that comes with cutting a directly perpendicular slot.
- When you use this type of tool, the slots will be exactly the size you need. Additionally, the corresponding boards will match.
- There are few tools that make it as easy to securely join two pieces of wood together than a biscuit joiner. Whereas fitting two pieces of wood together manually, either with a jigsaw or by cutting your own biscuit slots with a hand saw, can be a time-consuming and laborious process that is difficult to get right, fitting the same two pieces of wood together with a biscuit joiner can be done easily in minutes. A biscuit joiner solves the problem of cutting a directly perpendicular slot frequently faced by using routers, while also ensuring that your slots will be the size you need and that the slots on the corresponding boards will match.
- This type of tool is capable of cutting miter corner joints, T-joints, frame joints, widening joints, and cutting butt joints.
As you can see, there are several benefits that come with adding this important tool to your woodworking toolbox.
Below, I’ll start off this buyer’s guide by discussing blade diameter and what features to look for based on your woodworking needs.
The cutting blade diameter is one of the most important features you’ll need to consider before you buy. Models that are four inches in length are by far the most common. However, there are smaller joiners available. These smaller models measure in at two inches in length and they’re a good option if you normally work with smaller pieces of wood or you’re concerned about splitting the wood with a longer cut.
When it comes to power, more is usually better. However, how much power you’re really going to need will depend on the type of wood you cut. If you normally deal with soft woods, then a low powered joiner, such as a battery-powered model, should provide just enough blade and motor speed to easily get the job done. Yet, this same type of motor will definitely struggle if you try to use it to cut through hardwood. A higher powered model will have no problem easily slicing through tough hardwoods. Keep in mind, these higher-powered models are often much heavier than their low-powered counterparts.
Cutting speed is usually linked to motor power, however, this only matters to a point. Cutting speed can be an important factor to consider since faster spinning blades can easily cut through harder wood without any issues, while a slower speed will make the blades more prone to overheating or getting caught on knots. Most corded models will top out at 10,000-11,000 RPMs, which is more than sufficient to smoothly cut through almost any type of hardwood.
The joiner’s dimensions will have an impact on how easy the tool is to fit around oddly shaped or narrow pieces of wood and how comfortable the tool is to use and store. Pros recommend purchasing a model that doesn’t skimp on the features you need in favor of a smaller size. Instead, choose the smallest model you can find, one that offers the type of features you need. Keep in mind, models with a dust collection bag are usually a few inches longer compared to models without one.
Weight will have an impact on how comfortable the tool is to use and how long you’re able to use it. Even a little weight can significantly increase the level of user fatigue that a person can experience from wielding this type of tool for an extended period of time. It’s possible to find a model that’s under seven pounds, which is fairly light for this type of tool. However, keep in mind that the higher motor power will increase the tool’s overall weight.
This tool will allow you to cut slots to a desired depth and usually come with a variety of depth halts that allow the user to repeatedly and precisely cut to the depth needed. The cutting depth required will depend on the size of the biscuit the woodworker is planning to use. This will depend on the wood that’s used and the characteristics of the joint. For more flexibility, search for a model that will allow you to easily and quickly adjust between a variety of depth halts. You can also look for a joiner that offers a manual mode, which allows the user to cut any depth they desire.
Before you choose a model, you should consider what type of applications you’ll be using it for. If you plan on using this tool for small pieces of wood, then you may want a joiner that will allow you to switch out the standard four inch blade for a smaller two-inch blade. If you work on plenty of complex custom woodworking projects, then you may benefit from choosing a model that features customizable cutting depth.
If you normally work mainly with hardwoods, then you’ll need to invest in a model that is capable of a higher cutting speed and a more powerful motor. If your woodworking projects mainly involve the use of softwoods, then a low powered model will work just fine.
Cordless or Corded
Both cordless and corded joiners have their pros and cons, however, you’ll find that most pros prefer the corded models. This is because corded models are more powerful than cordless joiners. The disadvantage is the cord, which can hinder your mobility during use. With a bigger motor, corded models offer a higher cutting speed, not to mention the ability to easily and quickly cut slots into almost any type of wood. Additionally, using a corded model also means you won’t have to worry about running out of juice like you would with a cordless model that can potentially die on you in the middle of a job.
But a cordless model also offers many benefits. Battery-powered joiners are more portable than cordless models. If you’re working offsite, you won’t have to worry about hauling a generator to run it. But when you consider the fact that the battery-powered joiner’s battery doesn’t last very long, you’ll need to consider purchasing some extra battery packs, so you can be prepared when you’re in the field.
Dust Collection Systems
If you’re going to be working in an enclosed space, such as a workshop or garage, then you need a model that comes equipped with a dust collection system that’s built right in. While these joiners aren’t cutting through a huge amount of wood, they can still create quite the mess and a high volume of sawdust residue. Without a built-in dust collection system, you will need to make sure you always wear a pair of goggles while you work, in addition to a dust mask to prevent any sawdust from getting in your mouth or eyes. A dust collection bag can help to drastically reduce the amount of sawdust that’s ejected into the air. It will also help by reducing cleanup time.
This type of tool is a major investment in your woodworking toolkit. Because of this, you’ll want to ensure that the model you purchase is guaranteed to work by the manufacturer. Whether or not the model you’re interested in comes with a warranty should be a factor in your decision, but it shouldn’t be the main one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Biscuit Joiners Worth it?
Most pros can agree that biscuits don’t add much strength. Essentially, they’re designed for alignment, where the dowels will add a significant amount of strength. When done right, a biscuit joint is about as strong as a tenon or mortise joint of the same size and stronger than a dowel joint.
What is the Difference Between a Plate Joiner and Biscuit Joiner?
A plate joiner and a biscuit joiner are different names for the same tool. This tool can cut slots into a couple of work pieces and join them. The slots will accommodate a football-shaped piece of wood that’s referred to as a biscuit, which will help to strengthen the joint and align the boards.
Can I Use a Router as a Biscuit Joiner?
If you want to make a biscuit joint, you don’t necessarily have to purchase a biscuit joiner. There are a couple of situations in which a router isn’t able to substitute for a biscuit joiner. Routers can cut slots only along the edge of a board, but they cannot cut across the face of the wood. Additionally, a router is able to cut along square edges but cannot cut along beveled ones.
Can I use a Table Saw Instead of a Jointer?
Even if you own a jointer, you’ll want to learn how to master this type of woodworking technique. Using a basic shop-made fence, you can edge joint on your table saw, easily. Keep in mind that plywood and other types of man-made materials can be rough on steel jointer knives, but they won’t wear down table saw blades.
Can You Biscuit Joint MDF?
MDF isn’t as strong as plywood and other types of lumber, but when you’re joining together a couple of pieces of MDF, you can use pretty much any type of joint that you’d use with plywood, including dadoed grooves, rabbeted tongues, fully rabbeted edges, splines, biscuits, and screws.
What Can I Use if I don’t Have a Jointer?
For a sled that sets up fast you can use a straightedge clamp. If you don’t have a wide jointer, then you’ll need to rely on your planer sled often, so it’s a good idea to have one that offers a fast and simple setup.
The best biscuit joiner will be durable, versatile, and built tough. It should be chosen based on the type of woodworking projects you find yourself doing often and the type of wood you regularly work with. This buyer’s guide and the products on my top four list are designed to help you find the perfect model for your next woodworking project, and can help to set you on the right path to investing in a joiner that’s easy to use and one that will be a true asset in the workshop.