Your biscuit joiner is a serious time-saver, and makes cabinetry, shelves, and just about every major piece of furniture you make that much sturdier.
To build better projects, we thoroughly inspected and reviewed dozens of biscuit jointers, and picked the cream of the crop to share with you.
These biscuit joiners are not only cost-effective, but do the very best job at every project you can imagine.
From power sources to speeds and everything in between, it’s time to upgrade your woodmakers arsenal.
Makita PJ7000 Plate Joiner
Makita usually isn’t the first pick by most woodworkers, but it absolutely blew up our expectations in the best of ways.
With a powerful 11,000 FPM motor, this plate joiner includes a blade cover that locks, and an option to pop it open when you need to quickly swap out your blades.
You get an option to switch between a 45° angle and a 90° angle, as well as six depth sizes that are pre-configured for the most common biscuit sizes.
Makita’s dust vent is designed to extract and catch all of the sawdust that arises during use, but it clogs fairly easily.
It will require constant cleaning, perhaps after every second use or intermittently throughout extended use.
The depth adjustments we mentioned earlier work well, but are not as precise as other models.
For instance, it’s hard to swap between a 1/32” and a 1/16”, but it still gets the job done properly.
Operation is simple with a zero startup, and there’s even an additional blade storage for quick swap-outs.
The case is great and fits just about everything. The only downside to it is that you need to remove the dust collection bag, or it won’t fit inside properly.
It makes it a bit of a hassle, particularly if you didn’t need to empty the dust bag from a small one-off project.
Porter-Cable 557 Plate Joiner Kit
It was a close race, and Porter-Cable’s 557 model might actually suit your needs better than Makita after reading this review.
One of the immediate benefits of the 557 is the massive angle difference, from 0° up to 135°.
That’s nothing to scoff at, but depending on your usual woodworking loadout, it might not be much of a big deal.
Porter-Cable included an oversized dust collection bag, which is a real life-saver when you’re trying to stay consistent in your work.
There are a few accounts of the dust bags not collecting properly, but after plenty of use, our test model worked just fine.
A very small amount of dust was output by the rotation of the blades, but that is to be expected with any model.
The ergonomic handle’s grip will wear down after a few months.
It’s recommended to have cut-resistant gloves strictly for the bit of resistance, because that thin layer of traction padding isn’t going to hold up for too long.
The grip is still ergonomic, just with a little less handling after that point.
Users have compared this unit to thirty-year-old Porter-Cable biscuit joiners, and spot little to no differences in reliability.
One excellent feature is the chip deflector guard.
Even though you should have protective eyewear on, the last thing you want is to fully test it and watch a wood chip fly back and hit you in the face.
With a powerful 10,000 RPM motor, there’s plenty of cutting capability here. Biscuits are cut evenly and with minimal dust remaining in the slot, making for a quick and easy time.
Dewalt DW682K Plate Joiner
Dewalt is one of the first names you hear regardless of what tool you’re shopping for.
They knocked it out of the park with this simple plate joiner, which gives you full range up to a 90° angle, as well as two affixed, pre-set zero and 45° angles.
Being only 6.6 lbs, it’s very lightweight in your hands, and easy to maneuver during use.
Dewalt also offers a three-year warranty with a limited lifetime guarantee, and a one-year no contract warranty on the entire unit.
This unit has been around since 1999, and for good reason: it works and doesn’t give up. Grievances are minor, but not everyone is sold on this model.
The front brace is slightly less durable than we’ve seen with other models.
It’s a bit flimsy during use, which isn’t the best to learn on, but if you’re an experienced woodworker you can compensate for it fairly easily.
While the unit is great, it’s meant specifically to be used in those three preset angles. If you’re trying to get extreme angles or precision with free-handing it, this isn’t the plate joiner for you.
For boards around ¾” in depth, this unit works as expected. Over that, and it’s not as viable.
You can still apply it to thicker boards, but you’ll end up with varying or inconsistent results. Given the price and size, it’s a great investment that will withstand the test of time.
Most woodworkers will be able to use this for 90% of their projects, up until you begin extremely precise and custom work.
Rexbeti Tungsten Carbide 4” Plate Joiner Kit
Looking to get a bang for your buck?
This lightweight unit resembles some of the best features surrounding the Dewalt that we just reviewed, but with a few differences.
For one, the 4” blades are tipped with tungsten carbide for superior cutting action. It doesn’t cover the entirety of the blades, but it adds a nice boost in performance.
Despite its small size, you still get a great deal of power behind the motor.
There’s a 10,000 RPM motor to drive you through dense wood, and match the same durability of more expensive models.
There are trade-offs, of course, and the first one is the dust collection bag. It works, but it’s extremely narrow. It seems like it was an afterthought.
With that being said, they really stepped it up on the warranty game here: you get a full lifetime warranty, and a dedicated customer service team to help you out with it.
This is a lighter grade biscuit joiner, so you will be limited to a maximum of a 90° angle.
Knowing that it’s a smaller model, it’s up to you to decide if the limited biscuit sizes are to be expected, or a downside. You get the options of #20, #10, #0 and M.
When it comes to the user experience and interface, it’s something we wish that other brands took note of.
You get a pistol-grip trigger that isn’t extremely sensitive (which reduces mistakes), and a D-handle that gives you full control and stability over the entire thing.
Vibrations are kept to a minimum, and your plate joiner is kept in place thanks to the metal plate.
Gino Development TruePower Biscuit Plate Joiner
Last but not least, this is the most inexpensive model you can get, and it comes with some restrictions that even the Rexbeti didn’t come with.
Keep in mind that you get what you pay for going into this as we disclose all limitations.
Gino Development’s biscuit joiner only goes down to 0.55” inches at maximum depth, though it includes 4” tungsten carbide blades.
It cuts like a dream thanks to the 11,000 RPM motor, if you are using it for an adequately-sized project.
That being said, the cutting angle also maxes out at 45°.
This is enough to suit the needs of most, but if you’re creating dining tables or coffee tables, you’re going to run into some problems without a 90° cut.
The trigger takes a good amount of pressure to activate, which works well in preventing errors from starting it up too soon.
Out of all these models, the dust bag on this seems to work the best by actually trapping a good amount of sawdust, as well as having a decent capacity.
It’s a good beginner unit, great for specific tasks, but it will not be the last one you ever buy.
Biscuit Joiner FAQ
You’ve seen the best plate joiner for your needs, you might even have a purchase in mind, but before you go through with anything, it’s important to know all the ins and outs of ownership.
We’ve outlined some of the most burning questions surrounding the subject with in-depth answers, giving you everything you need to know.
Preparation is half the battle, so let’s get ready for war.
What to Look for in a Biscuit Cutter?
Angling: Biscuits are usually cut in 45° angles or 90° angles, depending on what the situation calls for.
Alternatively, you may need as much as a 135° angle for certain tasks. There are biscuit cutters available that can do that.
How deep the biscuit cutter goes. There are different sized biscuits, each of which need a different depth in the wood.
Your wood will have to be wide enough to accommodate a biscuit without making the structure flimsy.
RPM stands for revolutions per minute, and is a measurement of how fast something moves in a rotational speed.
Since a biscuit cutter is a blade, this is extremely important when selecting the right model for you. Settle for nothing less than a 10,000 RPM.
This isn’t something that you want just slipping out of your grasp.
An ergonomic grip that conforms to your hand will reduce fatigue during use, and give you a much easier experience when gliding through wood.
Sometimes they try to sneak in two-foot cables, but that means you’ll be lugging along an extension cable and feeling its weight. Try to find six-foot or longer cables.
What is the Difference Between a Plate Joiner and Biscuit Joiner?
Ever heard the term biscuit plate joiner?
They’re the same thing, in and out. If you search for a plate joiner or the top rated biscuit joiner, you’re going to come up with the exact same thing.
They were called plate joiners a while back, when they were primarily used to put—you guessed it—plates inside of wood to connect it. They were metal plates, but they were still plates.
Now you have wooden biscuits, which are just as sturdy in most situations (the metal plates were very small).
You didn’t have a way to make perfect biscuits in a quick and orderly fashion before, but now that we have them, metal plates aren’t used all that often. Either way, they’re the same machine.
What are Biscuit Joints Used for?
You make fantastic furniture, but you don’t want the unsightly screw and nail head to show.
It’s a problem that could ruin the aesthetics of your otherwise excellent project. That’s where a biscuit joiner comes in.
It uses biscuits (differently sized and shaped wood chips) to connect two pieces of wood together.
Commonly used in joints and corners on thicker wood, you use the biscuit joiner to cut precise holes for the biscuits to go into.
You would cut a half-sized hole in each end of the adjoining wood sections.
From there, you wood glue the biscuits into place, and they act as additional support for whatever project you’re working on.
We looked at a ton of plate joiner reviews before deciding which ones to test on our own, and found that one of the biggest issues many people face is getting their biscuit to stick.
You need glue that is specific for the type of wood you’re working on, and it will stick to the biscuit.
One other thing to keep in mind is that if you don’t clear all the sawdust out of the biscuit pocket, it may not stick properly.
Almost all biscuit joiners have small dust collection bags attached to the side of them, but they never get 100% of all the debris.
You’ll see biscuit joints commonly being used in furniture. Bookshelves, coffee tables, and even benches.
You can use a biscuit joiner on larger projects as well, depending on what size biscuits you use.
Are Biscuit Joints Strong?
While looking at some of the biscuit joiner reviews before purchasing and testing the models on this list, we saw a lot of people discrediting biscuits and their place in woodworking.
Biscuits are not meant to be used in place of long and thick bolts for high weight capacity pieces of furniture.
They arguably provide more strength than a dowel of the same size. There are four main different biscuit types, #20, #10, #0 and M.
The higher the number, the thicker the biscuit is. Biscuit joints are oval-shaped, and primarily provide alignment over support.
When you’re working on a project that relies completely on getting the alignment right, these can help you.
Nobody can just eye a spot to attach two pieces of wood and get it perfect. That’s just not possible.
A biscuit joiner helps you use measured and angled cuts in order to guarantee that you’ll be accurately aligning two pieces of wood in the right way.
They are strong, though on very large projects (like bunk beds for example), you’d be better off using thick bolts.
How Deep Does a Biscuit Joiner Cut?
Every biscuit cutter tool is different, but you’ll find that they tend to rest somewhere around 0.5” and 1”.
It’s rare that you need anything higher than that, since you’re using these for stability and alignment first and foremost.
A wood biscuit joiner only needs to cut slightly more than the size of the biscuit in order to be effective.
Since a biscuit is essentially useless without wood glue, there needs to be about 1/16” extras pace around the circumference of the actual biscuit size.
This is enough space for the glue to properly bond to the entire bottom half of the biscuit.
If your biscuit joiner is cutting too much space, double check the presets. Since most only come with four to six different settings, there isn’t much room for error.
The informational packet that came with your purchase might have something about calibrations.
After a while, the vibrations from constant use might start to loosen parts of the hardware.
What Size Biscuit Should I Use?
It all depends on the project. If you’re trying to make a seamless look on a simple shoe caddy, you would want a #0 (1/32” to ⅝”), which is one of the smallest biscuit sizes available.
Building a bookcase? You’ll want to us a #10 (2 ⅛” to ¾”) or perhaps a #20 (2 ⅜” to 1”) if the wood is particularly thick.
After looking at your project, assess your needs and measure the wood that you’re currently using.
Be sure to keep biscuits towards the center of joints, as they won’t do too much to help near the edges.
Scale up depending on what you’re making, but you should be starting with smaller projects, and therefor #0 biscuits.
Can You Use Biscuits for Cabinet Joints?
You should not use biscuits for cabinet joints. You can, but there are better options for kitchen cabinetry.
Cabinet joints are usually made with a circular dowel, lap, miter or tenon joint. Occasionally you will see tongue-and-groove joints, which also hold up fairly well.
Since you have gravity working against you with overhanging cabinets, biscuits might not be the best solution for long-term success.
Can You Biscuit Joint Plywood?
You can, but it had better be thick plywood. If the plywood is ½” thin, you might actually weaken the structural integrity of whatever you’re trying to build.
Whether it’s a shoe rack or a cabinet, biscuit joints will work on plywood that’s ¾” or over.
What Are FF Biscuits?
They’re essentially petite biscuits that are just underneath the #0 mark.
Not all biscuit joiners are designed to cut as low as FF, so inspect the details of your preferred model before purchasing.
FF biscuits are used in smaller construction of wood in the range of 1 ½” or slightly larger, and works up from there until you graduate to #0 biscuits.
You might have furniture in your home with FF biscuits and not even know it.
Are Biscuits Like Dowel Joints?
Not exactly. They take the place of dowels, but they are more of their own thing.
Dowels also align projects together, but since they are cylindrical, they’re usually built to withstand a bit more pressure than biscuits.
They have fewer pressure points that could be manipulated and broken.
Join Almost Anything Together
Joining wood together was an egregious process over seventy years ago, but with the construction of biscuit joiners, everything got easier.
They’re so inexpensive that you could have one right now, and immediately begin making stronger, better furniture that stands the test of time.
You’re not just doing this as a hobby; you’re creating memorable, one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture that could be passed down through the ages.
Make it sturdy, make it right, and take advantage of every opportunity to use your new biscuit joiner.
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