As a professional carpenter who also loves to work on hobby projects at his home shop, I am no stranger to tools. If you are in the market for any woodworking tools or accessories then you have come to the right place. I have a wealth of experience and interest in this subject and it is my goal to pass it on to you! In this blog entry, I will discuss biscuit joiners, the tips to choose them as well as best places to find great deals.
How to Choose the Best Biscuit Joiner
Power is always important, right guys? This stands true when talking about biscuit joiners. The more cutting strength you want, the more power you need. Simple as that. If you only use a biscuit joiner occasionally than choose a smaller amperage unit but if you plan to work with it often or use it for hardwoods or commercial projects then you will need more power.
If you plan to use your unit often then you should also consider looking for one with a double-insulated motor because it will be more durable and less likely to burn out if it were to get overheated.
3. Plunge action
The “plunge” is the initial cut you make and is, therefore, very important. Look at the plunge action on your unit and make sure it is smooth because a jerky plunge action can lead to uneven cuts. If the plunge action is jerky, you can get uneven biscuit cuts.
A tight blade is also important. A loose blade may cause your cuts to be sloppy. If precision matters to you (and it should) then you want a tight blade with very little play.
5. Handle features
If you suffer from arthritis or other issues with your hands then you may want to look for a model with various adjustable handle features. Ergonomic features are important if you will be using it for an extended period of time and will decrease discomfort.
Top 5 Best Biscuit Joiner Reviews
1.DEWALT DW682K 6.5 – Perfect Investment for the Hobbyist
This is a good tool for the money. It works reasonably well and is fine for any hobbyist. It does, however, have some flaws to consider, particularly if you will using it regularly. It has a tendency to clog very quickly because the shaving port has a metal projection running through its center (presumably to keep your fingers safe).
It’s highly annoying to have to clean it out after 10 or less cuts. The fence angle indicator is off… by a lot. This is another disappointment. Last, when edge joining, I have noticed that my cuts are not parallel to the board surface making it sort of inconsistent from cut.
2.Chicago Electric Power Plate Joiner – The Most Affordable for the Hobbyist
Compared to other comparable models by bigger name brands, this is an awesome value. It is certainly not commercial grade but, in my opinion is an awesome model for a hobbyist on a budget. It seems to do just as good of a job as the Dewalt. One small issue is with the adjustment screw to change the depth of the blade.
It is very difficult to adjust. This is a small issue because once it is adjusted, it works well. It’s certainly not a high end tool but will do the job if you are looking for something inexpensive.
3. PORTER-CABLE 557 7 – Perfect For Extensive Usage
This machine is well-built and durable. It is certainly a great buy for someone who will be using it often. It is more expensive than some others but worth it if you want to use it for years and years and on lot of projects. It really is a rugged tool. When testing this out, I found one sort of pesky flaw.
When I had nothing to hold the fence against (when making a slot on the face of a board, for example) the tool moved quite a bit and I had to struggle to keep it still when you turn it on and the blade starts to cut. Overall, however, I would recommend this tool. It gets the job done.
This is a really great machine which is why it is a bit more expensive. The design of it is so simple that if you have much carpentry experience you probably won’t even need the owner’s manual. The fence alignment is very accurate and the cam lock height adjustment is very easy to use.
The only real flaw that I can find with this joiner is that the fence hides biscuit location marks on your project so you have to make your marks about a half inch longer (no big deal, really, but worth mentioning). All in all, a great tool.
5. Lamello Classic X 101600 Buscuit Joiner – Great Choice for the Professional Carpenter
This is among the top of the line when it comes to joiners and the price shows. Its motor strength is powerful, ergonomically designed, and the 780 watts will provide enough power for almost all projects. It is strong enough to stand up to the toughest challenges against harder woods such as Walnut or Oak.
One great feature that I love is that, Lamello’s plate joiner can cut grooves for 12 different biscuits without changing the cutting tool. If you are looking for a Cadillac, this is the model for you. Definitely a great choice for a professional.
When building cabinets, headboards and other more complicated projects, a great biscuit joiner is really a must. I know that from years of experience and using pretty much every tool out there.
It’s that experience that makes me so eager to share and help when I can. I hope that this is has been of some help to you in your search for the right tool for your projects!
For more about biscuit joiners, please check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biscuit_joiner.
Check out some of our other reviews of your Woodworking Shop Must Haves