The Best Biscuit Joiner Reviews For 2017: What You Need To Know Before Buying Or Renting One
Advances in mechanics and technology have seen the rise of several power tools used for everyday construction tasks and chores. Woodwork and Carpentry have had its fair share of the game. Biscuit joiners, often referred to as plate joiners are essential woodworking tools used to join together pieces of wood.
The invention of the biscuit joining system is attributed to the Swiss inventor Hermann Steiner in the mid 1950’s. Biscuit joiners eliminate the need to use screws or nails to join two pieces of lumber together. This article’s main aim is to help you identify the best biscuit joiner models available on the market and what to look out for when buying or renting one.
** Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
How Biscuit Joiners Work
Biscuit joiners make clean professional joints necessary for linking together wood for various reasons such as furniture design and construction. This power tool cuts slots into one piece of the wood while creating “biscuits” on the next. The biscuit then fits into the cut groove on the first piece of wood. Also known as plate joiners, these versatile power tools have a retractable cutting blade that enables the tool to make a cut half oval in shape in one of the lumbar pieces.
The creation of a biscuit on the corresponding lumbar piece makes the joining process a sort of lock and key fit. Glue is added into the slots which then puff up trapping the biscuit in. As far as versatility is concerned, plate joiners are capable of making a variety of invisible joints with impeccable precision. Below are some examples:
- Widening joints and Butt joints: Joins together two lumbar pieces either from one end to another or also from an edge to another.
- 90-degree corner joints: Used to join together pieces of lumbar that are dragged or pulled in a particular direction such as drawers.
- Mitre corner joints: Achieve precise and clean finishes for items such as furniture and wooden boxes.
- T-Joints: Useful in joining a central place area to furniture.
Choosing A Biscut/Plate Joiner; The Basic
Irrespective of the price, design, and brand, most biscuit joiners perform the same basic task. The efficiency and precision are well spread across this entire class. However, there are minor differences that set apart the different brands and models. For inexperienced carpenters and beginners, consulting power equipment dealers may offer some valuable insight into the best biscuit available for different proficiency levels. It is highly advisable to take into consideration power tool reviews prior to making a purchase. Generally, the factors to consider should include;
1. The Motor
The main concern surrounding the motor aspect in plate joiners is how often you intend to use the said tool. Motor size is another aspect, the assumption, as usual, is bigger is always better. This isn’t the case as far as biscuit joiners are concerned. Smaller motors are favored for their ability to make detailed and precise cuts. Plate joiner motors have a power rating ranging between 4 to 7 amperes. At this rating, the average speeds are clocked at around 10,000 rotations per minute. Your choice of plate joiner should provide a blend of power and efficiency.
2. Biscuit Size
The size of the biscuit is an important factor to consider when out shopping for a plate joiner. There are three biscuit sizes;
- Large: These are about one inch tall and 23/8 inches long. These are ideal for the sort of job involves heavy weights and twisting. They provide a stronger hold and are capable of handling impressive levels of stress.
- Medium: They are about ¾ inches tall and 21/8 inches long. These are ideal for projects not too big or small. They are the most common.
- Small: The biscuits are the smallest available. The dimensions are 5/8 inches tall by 13/4 inches long. These type of biscuits are ideal for joining small pieces of lumber that cannot handle weight or stress.
Having the right blade type is as essential as having the right plate joiner. A tight blade delivers precision which is the requirement of any basic biscuit joiner. Loose blades result to sloppy cuts which don't do your project any good. The size of the blade also comes into play when choosing plate joiners. 4-inch blades are by far the most common.
Another crucial feature that you shouldn’t ignore is the fence. This aligns your power tool at the right cutting angle. Fences determine the angle and depth of the cut. This system allows tool rotation and angle locking for increased precision cuts.
5. Dust Removal
Woodwork and carpentry do produce a decent amount of dust which can be harmful to your health. It is advisable to go for the plate joiner brand that incorporates a dust collection feature in its design. Dust accumulation can also hamper the power tool’s efficiency.
6. Handle Ergonomics
How comfortable a biscuit joiner is to operate generally relies on how comfortable the handle grip is during operation? The position of the handle also dictates the ease of operation. Most brands incorporate vibration absorbing materials such as rubber making the tool comfortable to use.
5 Best Biscuit Joiners, What You Should Buy Or Renting
In the segment below, I have sampled and reviewed a compilation of the top biscuit joiners available on the current market.
This particular biscuit joiner boasts a powerful 7-ampere motor that peaks at 10,000 rotations per minute. This model is capable of handling numerous wood materials with precision and efficiency. It features six depth settings making it the ideal tool to cut any number of hardwoods. Fence placement on this model extends to 135 degrees.
The 557 easily allows a use of a smaller 2-inch blade for smaller projects such as picture frames. The robust 4-inch blade at 10,000 rotations per minute cuts smoothly through most types of woods making detailed and precise grooves. The design and finish on this Porter Cable plate joiner are impressive.
- The handle is ergonomically attached to the blade. In essence what this achieves is stable handling and effective vibration cancellation.
- The Micro-height adjustment feature on this model greatly increases precision achieving impeccable results.- Easy blade removal. This reduces the time spent between blade changes.
- This product weighs in at a mere 7.5 pounds. It comes with a user’s carrying case alongside a handy dust collection bag.
- The dust collection feature isn’t as effective as expected.
- The use of plastic fence ports raises serious durability concerns.
The DeWalt brand is world renowned for the quality of power tools produced. In the case of DW682K, the delivery of power and precision is unmatched. This model packs a high-performance motor rated at 6.5 amperes, 700 W and an impressive 10,000 rotations per minute.
The Tungsten-Carbide blade speaks for itself while a dual rack pinion fence ensures the blade remains parallel to the board at all times during operation. The retractable anti-slip pins allow flush cutting eliminating the necessity of removing the fence. During stationary work, an aluminum shoe holds the biscuit joiner in place.
- The specifications on the DeWalt DW682K’s motor qualify it as a professional grade power tool. It is a popular carpentry tool with professionals.
- This product comes in a sturdy carrying case that is essential for storage and transportation.
- The versatile fence has an adjustable tilt range of 0 to 90 degrees. This enables the DW682K to deliver standard and precise cuts.
- This particular model comes with three depth settings; small, medium and large. This conveniently covers most carpentry needs.
- At 10.5 pounds, the DeWalt DW682K is rather heavy. This can have some effect on operation especially with beginners or unexperienced users.
The Makita PJ7000 is a high-performance biscuit joiner designed and built using durable aluminum. The motor on this plate joiner is rated at an impressive 5.6 amperes. The motor peaks at 11,000 rotations per minute. The fence on the PJ7000 is adjustable using a rack and pinion feature. This improves the accuracy and precision of the plate joiner. The blade cover allows for quick and tools less blade change saving time. This model features a non-marring rubber shoe that eliminates slipping during operation. The design delivery and finish on this model score most points. This product also comes with large cam locks which are handy for fence adjustment.
- Materials used on this product’s body are durable. Aluminum prolongs service life.
- The Makita PJ7000 is accompanied by a year’s worth of warranty. The money back guarantees further enforces Makita’s quality.
- This product features six depth settings including the standard small, medium and large.
- Ergonomic handle makes operation easy even for unexperienced users.
- This biscuit cutter weighs a meagre 8 pounds.
- The dust collection feature requires constant attention in terms of periodic bag changing.
The TruePower 01-0102 is a small versatile plate joiner that delivers an impressive blend of power and efficiency. This model is effective in both large and small scale projects. Despite its small size, The TruePower 01-0102 runs on an 8.4-ampere motor, 1010 Watts. This is well above the average range of other top selling models. As reiterated earlier, bigger isn’t always better. This product is designed and built to handle strong miter joints, but joints corner joints as well as edge to edge joints. It offers a maximum cutting depth of 0.55 inches with a cutting angle range of 0 to 45 degrees.
- The size and weight considerations on this plate joiner make it the ideal choice for beginner carpenters and professionals alike.
- This particular model allows adjustments for wood boards of any thickness. There are no restrictions on this biscuit joiner.
- The 8.4-ampere motor peaking at 11,000 rotations per minute is quite powerful. Adding ergonomics on top of that ensures delivery of precise power and control.
- It features the carbide tipped 4-inch blade that is capable of making precise and detailed cuts.
- Let’s face it; the size of the TruePower 01-0102 doesn’t exactly speak volumes for power. It looks like a lightweight plate joiner which isn’t exactly a good thing.
- Dust collection on this model isn’t efficient. This poses serious health risks to the operator.
The Lamello Company has been in the plate joining tools business for a while. They are among the first biscuit joiner manufacturers which go to prove that they do know their craft well. The X 101600’s motor has an impressive power rating of 780 Watts peaking 10,000 rotations per minute. This model weighs in at 10.5 pounds making it ideal for heavy duty projects.
- The new base plate design allows swiveling which makes it easy to stop.
- This model features an onboard guidance system that enhances precision cutting and efficiency.
- The ergonomics on the Lamello X 101600 are top notch. It is comfortable to operate making its usefulness widespread in most types of projects.
- The fence on this model has stops at all the standard positions; 0, 22.5, 67.5 and 90 degrees.
- Slides and locks into the bottom plate position allow the Lamello X 101600 suitable for a variety of wood types.
- This model doesn’t come with a dust collecting bag which is quite a disappointment.- The price tag on this particular model is outrageous. It is ranked among the most expensive biscuit joiners in its class.
Plate or biscuit joiners come in all manner of brands, designs, and sizes. The perfect plate joiner should combine the aspects of power, performance; adaptability to the specific materials being used and safety during operation as far as dust collection and blade changing are concerned. All the biscuit joiners sampled above are excellent choices. They all qualify in their own respects as top sellers. However, the DeWalt DWE682K claims the top spot. It is a plate joiner that effectively gets the job done despite tough competition.
Compared to its competitors, The DeWalt DWE682K scores the most points in performance, design, and versatility. For a biscuit joiner of its specifications, The DeWalt DWE682K offers the best value for your money.
Plate joiners are essential tools any homeowner or professional indulging in any form of carpentry or woodwork should have. This is one of those indispensable power tools that come in handy during home DIY carpentry projects and serious professional purposes. When seeking to buy or rent a biscuit joiner, it is recommended to seek the opinion of experienced power tool dealers before making that important decision to settle for a particular brand.
I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading through this article. It was a fun and learning experience for me as I researched on the very best the market has to offer in terms of plate joiners. Feel free to share your comments, thoughts, and suggestions in the comments section provided below. I wish you good luck choosing the best biscuit joiner. Happy carpentry!