Best Biscuit Joiner for 2020

Making furniture out of wood is one of the oldest ways of people who had household furnishings, a practice that goes way back. There are endless methods and means of making any furniture out of wood. Whether it’s a chair or table or a purely decorative piece to be applied to your walls or roof.

The easiest way to make a sturdy wooden fixture of any kind is, of course, to simply carve the entire piece out of a single piece of wood. This ensures that there will be new scenes in the finished product and that the original consistency, grain, and strength of the wood will be preserved as well. This means of construction allows for seams or weak points to break after repeated use. Additionally, one cannot always find a piece of wood of the appropriate size for the project in question.

Once you have decided to use two separate pieces of wood for your project, the next simplest method to build something out of timber is the notched log method made popular by the toy Lincoln Logs that are sold in so many stores. By creating two corresponding notches and fitting them tightly together, one can often achieve near-complete stability of two pieces of wood with relatively simple tools and little added effort to keep the two pieces in place. While this method is cheap, easy, and in many cases effective, it does not add much strength to the connection and is far less useful when a piece must defy gravity on a daily basis.

The use of nails to hold wood together is so common that it is often seen as a trademark of the carpenter craft. This method puts the third piece of material between the two you are attempting to join together which means that the joint in question is now as strong as the metal holding it. Screws make this connection even stronger by using a thread to embed the metal connection more firmly into the wood. It cannot be dragged straight back out as nails can be, and is even more secure when a nut or bolt is added to make the joint as strong as two pieces of metal instead of one.

For all the advantages that nailing wood together provides, there are some serious disadvantages that have made many professional carpenters shy away from excessive use of either nails or screws. They leave the wood in question with holes throughout that can rust or snap far more easily than wooden joinings, and can actually cause the wood to break due to the forces needed to drive them into the wood for any useful length.

Best Biscuit Joiner Comparison Table

PRODUCT FEATURES LATEST PRICE
1. VonHaus
  • 8.5 amps
  • 4 inch saw blade
  • Suitable for 100 mm biscuits
  • Three preset stops
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2. DEWALT DW682K
  • Six and a half amps
  • 10,000 rpm motor
  • Integrated dust collection system
  • Three preset stops
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3. PORTER-CABLE 557
    • 7 amp motor
    • 10,000 rpm motor
    • Seven distinct preset stops
    • 4” saw blade width

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4. Grizzly PRO T31999
  • Corded electric power supply
  • Six predetermined stops
  • One-inch dust port
  • Four inch blade
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5. Makita XJP03Z
  • Three predetermined stops
  • Four inch blade
  • 18v power supply
  • Unit weighs seven pounds without battery
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6. Ryobi -JM83K-AC
  • 11,000 rpm motor
  • Four predetermined stops
  • Unit weighs ten pounds
  • Four inch blade
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7. Chicago Electric
  • Four inch blade
  • Three predetermined stops
  • 6 amp motor
  • 10,000 rpm cutting speed
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8. REXBETI
  • 4 inch blade
  • Maximum cutting depth 14 millimeters
  • 1010 watt motor
  • Unit weighs roughly 9 pounds
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9. Lamello Top 21 101500
  • 1050 watt motor
  • Unit weighs roughly 8 pounds
  • 125” electrical cord
  • 6 inch blade
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10. AOBEN
  • 8.5 amps
  • Unit weighs 7.5 pounds
  • 11,000 rpm motor
  • 4 inch blade
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11. Festool 574432 Domino Joiner DF 500 Q
  • 24,300 rpm cutting speed
  • 420 watt power consumption
  • Unit weighs 7 pounds
  • Three predetermined stops
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The same problem can be found with the use of power tools as they exert considerably more force on the wood than manual tools do that can easily cause the wood to splinter or break in such a way as to render the entire piece unusable.

Gluing wood together avoids these problems and many more. By using chemical properties, all of the different substances create a joint without damaging the wood in any way. There is no carving or driving of fasteners needed, and the end product can often be as strong as a nail or screw against everyday use. Wood glue is far more powerful than the everyday varieties one might see in a school or office and is designed to create enough of a hold to take the full bodyweight of a person sitting on a chair or a considerable load placed on a table.

As strong as this substance can get, though, it is known to become extremely brittle upon drying, and can often be chipped away by a few sharp blows. Additionally, glue is among the messiest means of joining wood that one could use. While still a liquid, it can spill, leak, or squirt out of position far more easily than a nail or screw can go awry.

In order to meet all of these challenges and more, woodworkers have found hybrid solutions of sorts that combine elements from all of these methods to form a clean, neat, and easy means of joining pieces of timber together without undue hassle or damage to the lumber being processed.

This method is called biscuit joining, and it uses small, strong pieces of wood inserted into predefined notches between two planks to create a solid join without applying unnecessary stress to the wood; The joint is usually strengthened with lumber glue, which runs into the recessed notches and does not flow over to the rest of the project as it would with two plain pieces of timber.

While you could just measure and cut the biscuit notches for yourself, that runs the same risk as any hand project does of the tiny inaccuracies that can ruin a woodworking plan. For most carpenters, the choice usually comes down to a motorized biscuit cutter machine that will cut one biscuit hole after another to the perfect size for your chosen biscuits.

Like any power tool on the commercial market, setting out to buy a biscuit cutter will mean going through endless options for the same piece of equipment, many of which will tend to look the same to the untrained eye. We’ve put together the best of the bunch so you can choose one that will help your project the most.

Our Best Biscuit Joiner Reviews and Comparisons

1. VonHaus

Product Highlights

This biscuit joiner protects the user against the harmful clouds of sawdust that can occur from power tool usage by collecting it all in an integrated bag for easy disposal once you are done working.

Features

  • 8.5 amps
  • 4 inch saw blade
  • Suitable for 100 mm biscuits
  • Three preset stops

What We Like About VonHaus

Von Haus is a manufacturer with a long history of quality tools that help you take care of the minor details of a project no less than the main features. This cutter comes with a handy dust collection bag, multiple predetermined stops, and thickly ribbed grips to make it easier to control the machine from start to finish.

What We Don’t Like About VonHaus

The dust removal system plugs easily and needs frequent clearing to be of any real help. Although the bag being reusable might be better for the environment, it means that it needs to be emptied and reattached. One cannot simply remove it and throw it away as with some models.

PROS

  • Easy to control
  • Trusted manufacturer
  • Amazon’s Choice winner
  • Integrated dust removal system
  • Pre-determined stops at common joiner angles

CONS

  • Blade dulls quickly
  • Dust collections system jams quickly and is tricky to clean properly

2. DEWALT DW682K

Product Highlights

You haven’t really started talking about power tools until you’ve mentioned DeWalt, a company with a long standing reputation for leading the field in power tools of every description.

Features

  • Six and a half amps
  • 10,000 rpm motor
  • Integrated dust collection system
  • Three preset stops

What We Like About DEWALT DW682K

DeWalt tools are known to professionals throughout the trades as the right choice to make absolutely sure that the job will get done how you want it. This one in particular uses a double pinion to keep the fence flush to the wood and a heavier shoe that can be easily clamped in place for stationery work.

What We Don’t Like About DEWALT DW682K

DeWalt is considerably more expensive than most similar models, and tends to wear down blades far faster than other joiners. There are also reports that the double pinion makes it hard to perform a proper parallel cut, making it tricky to judge the real usefulness of this tool for some carpentry projects.

PROS

  • Trusted manufacturer
  • Sturdier parts than other models
  • Stops at common angles for joining wood
  • Easy to fix in place
  • Shoe designed to prevent marring

CONS

  • More expensive than usual
  • Hard to get a proper parallel cut

3. PORTER-CABLE 557

Product Highlights

This biscuit joiner has far more stops than other models, making it easier for you to effect precise cuts at all the most common angles to join wood together.

Features

  • 7 amp motor
  • 10,000 rpm motor
  • Seven distinct preset stops
  • 4” saw blade width

What We Like About PORTER-CABLE 557

Different projects require you to join wood at different angles, and this biscuit joiner makes it easy to do with seven stops at all the most common joining angles between 0 and 135 degrees. This joiner can hold and operate two separate blades, one for larger work and the other for finer detailing.

What We Don’t Like About PORTER-CABLE 557

A number of design flaws make this product awkward to hold and use. The setup is complicated and difficult to get right, which can lead to disastrous consequences without quick and complete correction.

PROS

  • Dust collection mechanism included
  • More predetermined stops than most cutters
  • Two blade sizes for a wider range of work
  • Multiple different cutting modes
  • Lightweight and compact

CONS

  • Setup is complicated and time consuming
  • Does not come aligned right out of the box

4. Grizzly PRO T31999

Product Highlights

This model is exceptionally durable and can handle the wear and tear of an active workshop with no ill effects.

Features

  • Corded electric power supply
  • Six predetermined stops
  • One-inch dust port
  • Four inch blade

What We Like About Grizzly PRO T31999

This tool offers more predetermined stops than most other models, and has a motor that makes short work of even the hardest woods.

What We Don’t Like About Grizzly PRO T31999

This tool tends to run both loud and hot, making it uncomfortable to use for extended periods of time.

PROS

  • Dust bag included
  • Compatible with all blade brands
  • More predetermined stops than usual
  • Rubber-coated grips for secure hold
  • Easy to disassemble and service

CONS

  • Louder than is comfortable for most users
  • Tool heats up quickly

5. Makita XJP03Z

Product Highlights

Another household name wherever power tools are involved, Makita distinguishes itself with its line of universal batteries that let you run your equipment without needing to get new power cells for each item.

Features

  • Three predetermined stops
  • Four inch blade
  • 18v power supply
  • Unit weighs seven pounds without battery

What We Like About Makita XJP03Z

Makita’s signature universal batteries mean you don’t need to get extra equipment when choosing this model – just clip in an existing battery and get to work. This also lets you take advantage of the freedom of a cordless tool, instead of needing to stay near an outlet or lay down extension cords.

What We Don’t Like About Makita XJP03Z

While any Makita battery can be used, only Makita batteries can be used – if you don’t have some already, you will need to invest in Makita batteries and chargers. Cordless tools do not have the same stamina as corded tools; the batteries in this unit begin to run down after roughly 200 cuts and will need to be recharged before you can continue working.

PROS

  • Universal battery
  • Trusted manufacturer
  • Freedom of movement
  • Protected against over-discharge and overheating
  • Adjustable for multiple common biscuit sizes

CONS

  • Uses only Makita accessories
  • Batteries and charger sold separately

6. Ryobi -JM83K-AC

Product Highlights

Ryobi tools are built to look high-tech and deliver appropriately extraordinary results as compared to machines from this century.

Features

  • 11,000 rpm motor
  • Four predetermined stops
  • Unit weighs ten pounds
  • Four inch blade

What We Like About Ryobi -JM83K-AC

This tool is exceptionally robust and requires little maintenance even after hundreds of cuts. The instructions and controls are both exceptionally intuitive, making it a breeze to set up and get started.

What We Don’t Like About [ProductName]

Because this tool works so quickly, it can be easy to overdo a cut and ruin your project. The speed and cutting power make it necessary to practice a few times before one can set to work with confidence.

PROS

  • Highly reliable
  • Four predetermined stops
  • Works extremely quickly
  • Dust collection system
  • Trusted manufacturer

CONS

  • Requires practice to use properly
  • Easy to overshoot a joint

7. Chicago Electric

Product Highlights

This unit provides a noticeable increase in quality over other biscuit joiners of similar price, making it a great value option for those shopping on a tighter budget.

Features

  • Four inch blade
  • Three predetermined stops
  • 6 amp motor
  • 10,000 rpm cutting speed

What We Like About Chicago Electric

This tool gives results comparable to bigger brand names without the accompanying cost, making it the natural choice for those looking to save on budget but preserve work quality. It comes fully aligned and assembled right out of the box, taking a lot of the guesswork out of the first few times using it.

What We Don’t Like About Chicago Electric

The blade does not clear easily and frequently clogs with wood ships. While there is a vacuum hookup, there is neither hose nor dust bag included. You will need to try and find one that fits your machine.

PROS

  • Great value for money
  • Compatible with accessories from other brands
  • Simple to learn
  • Comes ready to use
  • Clear and distinct markings for stops and angles

CONS

  • Vacuum attachments not included
  • Can get jammed or clogged easily

8. REXBETI

Product Highlights

This joiner is built to be easy to operate and maintain, with quick releases and one-outch attachment mechanisms for the blades, angles, and vacuum.

Features

  • 4 inch blade
  • Maximum cutting depth 14 millimeters
  • 1010 watt motor
  • Unit weighs roughly 9 pounds

What We Like About REXBETI

Anything that needs to be adjusted or removed on this model is fitted with a quick release and replace mechanism that minimizes maintenance time and ensures that all pieces will return precisely to their spot, preventing the accidents that can occur from power tools being improperly assembled.

What We Don’t Like About REXBETI

The tool does not come greased or calibrated, and so will require a certain amount of preparation before it is ready to use. It is also on the heavier side, and may be difficult to place and maneuver as you work.

PROS

  • Integrated dust collection system
  • Quick release for all parts
  • Added control knobs for more precise cuts
  • Easy to control
  • Carbide tipped blades outlast ordinary steel

CONS

  • Clunkier than other models
  • Does not come ready to use

9. Lamello Top 21 101500

Product Highlights

This model comes with all the accessories for storage and maintenance, including a rugged hard-shell carrying case.

Features

  • 1050 watt motor
  • Unit weighs roughly 8 pounds
  • 125” electrical cord
  • 6 inch blade

What We Like About Lamello Top 21 101500

Keeping your power tools operational is as much a question of how you store them as how you use them. This set gives you everything you need to keep your biscuit joiner safe and clean between uses.

What We Don’t Like About Lamello Top 21 101500

Getting this kit means a lot of equipment that many people do not use on a regular basis, and may be extraneous if you already have the parts you need to maintain your biscuit joiner.

PROS

  • Simple controls
  • Good value for money
  • Full accessory and maintenance kit
  • Miter up to 135 degrees
  • Rigid protective carrying case

CONS

  • Many maintenance parts are unnecessary for an established carpenter
  • Larger and harder to store than other models

10. AOBEN

Product Highlights

This manufacturer emphasizes a strict level of quality control that keeps their products more reliable than the competition.

Features

  • 8.5 amps
  • Unit weighs 7.5 pounds
  • 11,000 rpm motor
  • 4 inch blade

What We Like About AOBEN

The cutting head and fence on this model are built more solidly than other joiners and with additional treatments to the metal that make it more resistant to damage and corrosion.

What We Don’t Like About AOBEN

The thicker metal on the cutting head makes this model more difficult to adjust quickly, and heavier than one would normally find in a biscuit joiner.

PROS

  • Four preset angles
  • Works with all the most common biscuit sizes
  • Thick, durable cutting head
  • Tungsten blade is pre sharpened
  • Dust collection system and carrying case included

CONS

  • Louder than usual while operating
  • Harder to properly adjust

11. Festool 574432 Domino Joiner DF 500 Q

Product Highlights

This model includes a computerized stabilizer that controls the blade’s speed and tilt for a clean and precise cut every single time.

Features

  • 24,300 rpm cutting speed
  • 420 watt power consumption
  • Unit weighs 7 pounds
  • Three predetermined stops

What We Like About Festool 574432 Domino Joiner DF 500 Q

This system places the shop vacuum behind the cutting head, clearing the dust both from the project and inside the machine itself to prevent clogging or jamming.

What We Don’t Like About Festool 574432 Domino Joiner DF 500 Q

This unit is priced considerably higher than most other biscuit joiners on the market.

PROS

  • Improved sawdust collection system
  • Digital cutting control
  • Exceptional cutting speed
  • Easily switches between multiple biscuit sizes

CONS

  • Incredibly expensive
  • Unusual predetermined stop angles

Final Verdict – Ryobi -JM83K-AC

This model is the best overall choice for its price, combining value for money, a reputable manufacturer, and advanced design to give a solid choice for anyone looking to make good biscuit joints. The integrated sawdust collection system keeps your workplace clear, and the whole thing is covered by a seller and manufacturer warranty.

Frequently Asked Questions

Biscuit joiners seem like a tool quite different from other power tools. Are all the same safety precautions really necessary?

Don’t get complacent just because they look different. These tools include saw blades like many other tools do and are just as capable of causing more damage to flesh and bone. Workplace safety is the number one priority for any carpeting project, arguably more so than actually finishing the work itself. After all, if you can’t work safely, it is in many cases more advisable not to work at all.

The most elementary rules of power saw safety are identical to any tool, whether a big table saw or a smaller biscuit joiner, keep both hands clear of the blade, remove distractions of any kind, and clear the area of anything you wouldn’t want to be sliced. Unlike most tools, you’ll want to take off your gloves before using the biscuit joiner; gloves can give a false impression of where your hands are, a hazardous error with potential for serious injury when working with power saws of any kind.

A biscuit joiner is a handheld tool, so make sure you have a firm grip on it and maintain control of the tool at all times. Use your weight to keep it firmly against the piece of timber being cut, and use the fence to ensure it is staying level and not slipping off at an angle. Power up the biscuit joiner only as long as is needed, and disconnect the tool as soon as possible once you have finished making your cuts.

The blade isn’t the only thing dangerous about a power tool; emissions such as noise, sawdust, and flying wood slivers are all potential health risks and can happen even if the cut itself is being made in a perfectly safe way. Proper personal protective equipment can go a long way towards keeping you safe in the workshop.

Firmly placed earplugs or noise-canceling earmuffs should be donned while power tools are running, and protective glasses kept on in case a piece of wood gets launched or the cutting blade fragments.

Wearing a dust mask is also important, as sawdust can build up in the airways and cause a serious choking hazard. Some carpenters will substitute a shop vacuum for a mask, which draws the sawdust directly from the piece into a hopper without giving it a chance to diffuse into the air; this is a sound practice, but should not be seen as negating the need for a mask.

Biscuit joining is a very particular carpentry technique. How do I know when to use it and when to look for something else?

As mentioned above, biscuit joining is just one of a variety of ways by which you can connect sections of timber. The best way to know when to use it is by checking what else you are or would be doing if you were not using a biscuit joiner. For instance, if the project would be completed with nails or screws, the seamless joints offered by a biscuit joiner are not necessary.

If the project calls for gluing or peg and socket joints, then a biscuit joiner becomes a far more appealing option; this is clearly a project where a smooth joint is required, with minimal damage to the wood around the fastening. Biscuit joiners provide an easy and invisible way to align and fasten joints that need to look good; ask yourself if the project in question needs to look flawless or if being sturdy enough to support itself is enough.