Building an arsenal of high-quality woodworking tools is essential as you become more advanced in the skill. An essential tool that you should include is the biscuit joiner, otherwise known as a plate joiner. Finding the best biscuit joiner is a vital part of creating the work you hope for as this is responsible for joining two pieces of wood together.
Simply use a biscuit joiner to make internal plunges that will hide the joint while securing the pieces in place. The “biscuit” is a little wooden piece you create to insert into the other side of the wood through a slot. Most often, these handy tools are used to create furniture, work on door panels, finish interior or exterior trim; all without the use of nails or screws. The biscuit joiner is a fast and safe way to combine two pieces of wood together.
Some of the most popular uses for the best biscuit joiner include:
- Working with Beech Wood to create biscuits – Beechwood offers the strength and durability needed to handle this task.
- Creating Tabletops – Whenever you want to attach boards side by side, a biscuit joiner is the best option.
- Working with Corners – If you are working with drawers or cabinetry, you are going to encounter corners. Combining two pieces of wood in the corner isn’t a stable or durable option unless you have support. Using biscuits makes any project involving corners more stable.
After evaluating several of the well-known best biscuit joiners on the market, we’ve determined which would be a good choice for your needs. We’ve read through extensive reviews, researching the pros and cons of each machine and decided if they have the qualities to make for the best biscuit joiner. Save yourself some time and read through our handy guide.
Table of Contents
- Table of Contents
- Best High End Biscuit Joiners
- Best Medium Priced Biscuit Joiners
- Affordable Biscuit Joiners
- How to Choose the Best Biscuit Joiner
Best High End Biscuit Joiners
1. Festool 574432 Domino Joiner DF 500 Q Set
Festool 574432 Domino Joiner DF 500 Q Set
There are few products that can compare to the Festool Domino Joiner. This machine allows the user to access its revolutionary cutting method that creates mortises which accept Beech and Sipo tenons, otherwise referred to as Dominos. This process is easy, accurate and most importantly, fast.
With the Domino, you improve your efficiency by performing highly repeatable work in less time. It also features quick and precise adjustments to create five different mortising depths. This is relative to the size tenon required for your application.
The pivoting fence creates angled mortises which range from 0-90 degrees. There are also positive stops at 22.5 degrees, 45 degrees, 67.5 degrees. With this amount of adjustment available, it is easy to apply the tool to a variety of projects. In addition, the mortise width is also adjustable. This allows for an easier alignment when you join panels together.
Above all, the patented routing principle of the Domino features a spiral cutter which rotates and oscillates. This is used to create perfect, professional mortises.
It is true that this machine is going to cost you more than most other biscuit joiners on the market. If you are a professional woodworker who will utilize this often, it is well worth the expense to have this model. It will be difficult to find another joiner with the same number of features for less money.
What Customers Say:
Overwhelmingly, customers agree that this tool is worth the expense. It is easy to label this unit the best biscuit joiner currently on the market simply from reading the customer responses.
In addition, it seems relatively easy to use even if you’ve never worked with a biscuit joiner before. Several users referred to this tool as a “game changer”.
• Weight 13.3 pounds
• Dimensions: 15.5 x 11.5 x 6.4 inches
• Model Number: 574432
• Wattage: 420 watts
• Warranty: 3-Year Limited
• Inside the box: Domino DF 500-Plus Joiner, cutter D 5mm, Operating Tool, T-LOC Systainer #2 storage container, Support Bracket, Trim Stop, Plug-It Power Cord and Cross Stop
- Fast and accurate way to make strong joints
- Creates five different mortising depths
- Ability to create angled mortises which range from 0-90 degrees
- Features a spiral cutter which rotates and oscillates
- Doesn’t come with Festool vac
- There are no sample tenons with this unit, but you can purchase a tenon box
To see the Festool 574432 Domino Joiner DF 500 Q Set in action, be sure to check out the informative YouTube video by Festool.
2. Lamello Classic X 101600 Biscuit Joiner
Lamello Classic X 101600 Biscuit Joiner
While slightly lower in price than the Festool, the Lamello biscuit joiner is still pricey, but for good reasons. This well-balanced tool is top-notch and made with a plunge mechanism that slides without play. You’ll find that the fixed-height main fence, centers slots in ¾-inch material and locks in at 90-degrees as well as other angles.
To work with other stock thicknesses, use the auxiliary fence and attach it to the main fence. The auxiliary fence also attaches to the base so the machine can be used vertically when needed. Many customers have enjoyed the various joinery options available with the Lamello machine. That includes the ability to use the knockdown Clamex S system with a special blade.
The depth stop is visible from the front of the machine and it is simple to make adjustments. In addition, it features a powerful 780-watt motor for maximum cutting power. This additional motor power makes any wood cutting work easier and faster.
It also features a stop square that’s multifunctional and versatile. The rotating front stop combined with the fixed pivot joint ensures you get the cut you need to form strong, durable joints. This ergonomically designed tool even allows for work on tough woods like Maple and Oak without getting fatigued. That means professionals can work longer without the need of a break.
On top of all the other features, the base plate swivels to create optimal positioning. It features a 0 to 135-degree working angle with 6 depth settings and positive stops at the most common cutting angles: 0, 22.5, 45, 67.5 and 90-degrees. Finally, this joiner works with 14 joining elements instead of 6 or 7 like most other machines.
This tool also cuts grooves for tongue and groove connections, making it a good value for the money.
What Customers Say:
Most of the customers agree that this unit is pricey, but they also agree that it was worth the cost. One user stated that the Lamello offered no comparison to a Freud which burned up a motor and gears. He also compared it to a Porter Cable and stated that any serious woodworker needed to invest in a Lamello.
Another user happily used the words “first-class” and “dream” when describing this tool. Most of the customers who use this tool feel it is the best biscuit joiner on the market.
• Weight: 10.5 pounds
• Dimensions: 16.8 x 12.5 x 6 inches
• Model Number: X 101600
• Wattage: 780 watts
• Warranty: 1-year warranty on manufacturer defects plus guaranteed parts availability for at least 10 years
- Base plate swiveling front stop as well as the stop square are both flush on the sides for easy positioning
- Powerful 780-watt motor
- Ergonomically designed to reduce fatigue
- CNC high-precision machined parts
- Creates accurate parallel grooves and perfect alignment
- Comes in a cardboard box instead of a case
For more on the versatile applications that the Lamello Classic X 101600 Biscuit Joiner can be used for, make sure you watch this helpful YouTube video:
Best Medium Priced Biscuit Joiners
1. PORTER-CABLE 557 7 Amp Plate Joiner Kit
PORTER-CABLE 557 7 Amp Plate Joiner Kit
When looking for a biscuit joiner that has a lower price tag than the models above, you are likely going to come across the PORTER-CABLE 5577. This tool features an extra blade designed for cutting FF mini-biscuit slots. Changing this blade is easier than expected and is described in detail in the manual.
The fence reaches 135-degrees, is versatile plus easy to adjust over 90-degree angles. You might notice that the tool is lightweight compared to many other machines and it features comfortable handles. There is also a dust port that accepts a 1-inch vacuum hose to enable superior dust collection.
The fence system is designed with a pivot point for accurate height settings. It also has a fencing plate geared for stock stabilization, spacing and centering. With a powerful, 7-amp, 120-volt motor, the blade rotates at 10,000 rpm.
Additionally, the seven-position rotating depth stop works with standard #0, #10, #20 as well as Simplex, Duplex, and Max (#6) joinery.
The Plate Joiner comes complete with a sturdy case that holds the machine and its accessories. It appears to be well-built and sturdy; designed for long-term use.
What Customers Say:
It is easy to see that the customers love this joiner. Many of them agree that it is easy to use and one even believes it will last forever.
He might not be too off-track considering another customer said their father has owned the older version for over 30 years!
- Weight: 7.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 18 x 13 x 8 inches
- Model Number: 557
- Warranty: 1-year warranty
- Inside the box: Plate joiner, #888776 centering plate, #5558 4-inch blade, #883175 dust bag, #886490 chip deflector, carrying case, #891869 Allen wrench and operating manual
- Offers seven cutting settings for a variety of joining applications
- Features two blades: a 4-inch blade for standard-size cutting and 2-inch blade for small cuts as tiny as 1 ½-inches
- Fence system that features pivot point to provide accurate height readings
- Measures 7 ½ pounds
- Reasonable cost
- Works better with a dust collection system
- Some people found adjustments to be difficult
To see the PORTER-CABLE 557 7 Amp Plate Joiner Kit in action, you could watch this extensive YouTube review.
2. Makita PJ7000 Plate Joiner
Powerful 5.6 AMP motor delivers 11,000 RPM for quick, precise cutting in a variety of woods
With its 5.6-amp motor and 11,000 RPM, the Makita Plate Joiner offers plenty of power to get the job done but for a relatively low cost. This unit also features a small circumference making it easy for even the smallest of hands to grip it securely. Weighing in at just 5.5 pounds also means that it provides less user fatigue while providing solid control.
The fence system on the Makita consists of two components: a removable angle guide and the fence. Use the angle guide to make height adjustments for the various thicknesses of materials you work with. This is accomplished by moving the angle guide up and down on the rack-and-pinion gear system.
The fence also pivots in a fixed position making it ideal to make angle cut adjustments. There are three detents built in for your 0, 45 and 90-degree angles. It also features six depth settings with one-touch stops for #0, #10, and #20 plus the most common biscuits sizes. The large and easy-to-operate cam locks are ideal for making perfect fence adjustments.
Like many other plate joiners, this unit is easily adjusted. One of the additional adjustments that can be made is the Max (20mm), D (14.7mm) and S (13mm) settings for use with other Lamello fasteners and hinges. In addition, the setup with this unit is simple and it is always easy to read the scales.
With the large top grip handle combined with the slim and ergonomic body design, you’ll find that this plate joiner is comfortable to hold and offers superior handling. For the price of the unit, it is a great option for anyone that needs to use a biscuit joiner on a regular basis.
What Customers Say:
If you need a well-designed and easy to handle machine that makes smooth cuts, you can trust the many reviews that state just that about the Makita. There are rave reviews about the accuracy and precision of this machine. In fact, one user states that every joint he’s created has been right on.
- Weight: 5.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 11.825 x 6.4 x 6-inches
- Model Number: PJ7000
- Wattage: 700 watts
- Warranty: 1-year warranty
- Inside the box: plate joiner, 4 in. carbide tip blade, angle guide, dust bag, set plate, 3 in. x 3/4 in. steel locknut wrench and tool case
- Powerful 5.6-amp motor featuring 11,000 RPM
- Lightweight at 5.5 pounds
- Slim and ergonomic body
- Offers many adjustments for customization
- Dust bag isn’t of the highest quality
If you want to see the highly rated Makita in action, be sure to watch this YouTube video:
3. DEWALT DW682K 6.5 Amp Plate Joiner
6.5 Amp, 10,000 rpm motor provides power for working in the hardest woods
DEWALT is a trusted name with most power tools and that is not different when it comes to this plate joiner. Right away, it is easy to see why this is different from the competition. It includes a dual rack and pinion fence system that allows the blade and the fence to remain parallel at all times.
In addition, the fence is adjustable from 0 to 90 degrees. What is different is that the fence is a one-piece component which is critical for achieving the parallel between blade and fence. It can also be used to make flush cuts at 0 degrees without ever removing the fence.
I think you’ll also find the heavy-duty non-marring aluminum shoe to be something special. It keeps the wood safe from marks that occur during biscuit cutting. This is especially important when working with a wood that will remain in a natural finish. The shoe can also be clamped to a work surface to provide easier completion of stationary assignments.
Many people find the preset depth stops for common biscuit sizes of 0, 10 and 20 to be helpful. It allows the setup to be easy and the job gets done accurately. This is especially important to beginners as there is no guesswork in determining the depth.
The DEWALT features a 6.5-amp motor with 10,000 RPM which can cut at depths of 20mm in the hardest woods. This includes maple, poplar and oak as well. There is also a 45-degree locating notch on the fence. This allows for easy indexing on the outside surface of a mitered joint.
If you are a fan of DEWALT power tools and are looking for a modestly priced biscuit joiner, you really can’t go wrong with the DW628K.
What Customers Say:
DEWALT users are loyal to DEWALT products because they know the quality is top-notch. With this particular unit, many users describe the joiner with words such as, “accurate”, “high-powered” and “reliable”. Any DEWALT user is sure to find that this is the best biscuit joiner for their needs.
- Weight: 10.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 15.8 x 6.4 x 6.8 inches
- Model Number: DW682K
- Warranty: 3-year Limited Warranty
- Inside the box: DeWalt DW682K Plate Joiner, carbide blade, vacuum adapter, dust bag, Torx key, wrench plus a kit box
- Features a dual rack and pinion fence system which allows the blade and the fence to remain parallel at all times
- Easy to handle
- Offers a heavy-duty non-marring aluminum shoe
- Comes with a powerful 6.5-amp motor with 10,000 RPM which can cut at depths of 20mm
- 3-year limited warranty
- Dust bag is small, although adding a larger one might compromise the handling of the joiner
If you want to get a glimpse into what will come in your package, be sure to check out the unboxing of the DEWALT DW682K 6.5 Amp Plate Joiner with this You video:
Affordable Biscuit Joiners
1. Craftsman 17539 6 Amp Corded Plate Joiner
Helical gearing provides smooth power transfer to cutter
When you are in need of a plate joiner that doesn’t cost a lot, the Craftsman 17539 is a great option to consider. The low price doesn’t take away from the power this machine offers. It still features a 6.0-amp motor and 10,000 RPM to create fast, clean cuts just like with a higher priced model.
The removable dust bag reduces clean-up by aiding in chip collection. The lightweight and convenient design also make the Craftsman a breeze to operate.
This model features a trigger switch, contoured rear handle and a front assist handle as well. The adjustable front fence with rack and pinion offers accurate depth adjustment plus bevel scales. There is a three-position depth of cut setting that also features micro-fine adjustment. It is perfect for #0, #10 and #20 biscuits.
The non-slip vertical fence allows for positive contact between the tool and work surface. This prevents unnecessary slippage. It also comes complete with a 10-foot cord and a clip to make jobs easier. The helical gearing provides the user with a smooth power transfer to the cutter.
In addition, the fence tilt ranges from 0 to 135-degrees. While it may not have as many advanced features as a higher priced biscuit joiner, it is ideal for the beginner or occasional user. There really is no reason to spend more if you only have a need for the tool once in a great while.
While there aren’t a lot of customer reviews yet on the joiner, the Craftsman name has been well-regarded as a top brand. Those who have utilized the 17539 have found it to be perfect for their small to mid-sized projects. For the cost, you really can’t go wrong!
What Customers Say:
There aren’t many reviews on this biscuit joiner yet, but all the ones that are available are positive. In fact, one user referred to the Craftsman tool as, “a champ”.
- Weight: 13.2 pounds
- Dimensions: 13.4 x 12.6 x 8.1 inches
- Model Number: 17539
- Warranty: 1-year Limited Warranty
- Inside the box: Craftsman 17539 6 Amp Corded Plate Joiner, dust bag, 10-foot power cord and clip
- Low cost
- Powerful 6.0-amp motor and 10,000 RPM which creates fast, clean cuts
- The fence tilt ranges from 0 to 135-degrees
Easy to use; great for beginners
- Lack of customer reviews
- Doesn’t have advanced features for someone in need of a biscuit joiner on a regular basis
If you want to hear from a user who recommends this product, be sure to check out this YouTube video for more details on what it offers:
2. Gino Development 01-0102 TruePower Biscuit Plate Joiner
TruePower Biscuit Plate Joiner with Carbide Tipped Blade, 4
Many people believe that working on a budget means you need to sacrifice the quality of tools you purchase. That simply isn’t true. Yes, purchasing a lower dollar machine will afford you fewer features and settings, but you can still perform a quality job with ease.
Gino Development isn’t one of your top name brands and you might have never heard of them before. A quick look at the comments from users will tell you that this brand should not be overlooked. They’ve created a quality biscuit joiner that is affordable and works well.
This functional kit includes a 4” Tungsten carbide tipped blade. It also offers a good amount of power with the 8.4 amp motor and 11,000 RPM. This allows for the user to create quick grooves to install biscuit joints in.
It weighs only a little over 8 pounds, so it is relatively easy to handle and maneuver. Despite the low cost, it also features a dust collection system that works better than most higher-priced models do. It is suited best for an individual who has occasional jobs to complete. We wouldn’t recommend this machine to the professional user or contractor.
This machine features a maximum cutting depth of 0.55-inches and also offers cutting angles of 0 to 45 degrees. It is useful in manufacturing miter joints, butt joints, edge-to-edge cuts and T-joints as well. You’ll find that the preset depth stops for biscuit sizes #0, #10 and #20 make it easy for anyone to use.
Don’t let the cost of a biscuit joiner stop you from achieving the quality woodworking you desire! This budget-friendly unit is one of the lowest cost options available that still features high reviews from customers.
What Customers Say:
Despite the low cost, this machine has received rave reviews. One user didn’t think he would use it much so he opted for this budget-friendly option. After receiving the biscuit joiner, he started using it all the time and created multiple pieces of furniture simply because he could.
Many reviews also made comments related to the decent amount of power and solid build. Most customers were happy with choosing this lower cost option for their basic needs.
- Weight: 8.3 pounds
- Dimensions: 19 x 6 x 7 inches
- Model Number: 01-0102
- Wattage: 1010
- Warranty: 1-year Limited Warranty
Inside the box: Gino Development 01-0102 TruePower Biscuit Plate Joiner, 4″ 6T C2 Tungsten Carbide tipped blade and a dust collector
- Low cost
- Powerful 8.4 amp motor and 11,000 RPM to accomplish jobs quickly
- 0 to 45-degree fence tilt
- Dust collection system is included
- There is a lack of advanced options and settings
- There have been some issues with accuracy
If you are new to biscuit or plate joiners, you might want to check out this helpful tutorial we spotted on YouTube:
How to Choose the Best Biscuit Joiner
Many biscuit joiners can also be referred to as plate joiner. That’s why you see our reviews include a mixture of both. What is the difference between a biscuit joiner and a plate joiner? They are essentially the same tool but just called by different names. The term biscuit joiner comes from the thin, oval-shaped slices of wood you are using.
They are generally made from compressed beechwood and you glue them into a slot on the edge of a board that corresponds to the slot of another board. This tool is helpful in making table tops, cabinets and more.
Features to Look for in a Biscuit Joiner
Here are the criteria to use when deciding which joiner is right for your needs.
As you saw in the reviews, biscuit joiners come in a variety of price ranges. When you are searching for the best biscuit joiner, it is easier if you have a little extra money to spend. The more you spend on a power tool, the higher quality you can assume it is plus there will be additional features offered.
If you are on a budget and still want to afford the higher quality models, then watch for a sale where you can often save a little extra.
No matter which tool you decide is the best biscuit joiner for your needs, make sure you review the power. Without adequate amounts of power, you won’t be able to get the job done properly.
Don’t just look at the amp draw but also the RPM’s of the model. The higher amp draw generates additional power. When that is combined with a high RMP speed, you’ll be able to cut biscuit grooves into the pieces of wood faster. More power means a quicker job.
The fence is one of the most important pieces on your biscuit joiner. It is the guide for the saw blade while cutting grooves into the wood. A high-quality fence allows you to adjust the settings to multiple positions and various angles. The more options you have with your fence, the more groove types you’ll be able to create.
The depth of grooves you cut is an important factor in choosing the right equipment for your needs. It is important that you choose a model which features various groove depth so you have the flexibility you need while working.
For the most part, the larger sized biscuit groove you can create with a joiner, the larger pieces of wood you can join. If you are planning to make large pieces of furniture, you need a model that allows you to cut grooves in an assortment of sizes.
Ease of use
Nobody wants to use a machine that is overly complicated. That’s why it is important that the model you choose is easy to setup and produce materials with. An ergonomic shape will make it even easier when you are working for long periods of time. You’ll experience less fatigue if the machine is lightweight and also features some rubberized grips for your hands.
Dust collection system
The biscuit joiner is going to cut wood that leaves you with dust and chips flying in a backward direction. For optimal safety and durability of your machine, it is important to have a dust collection system. As you noticed above, all the reviews provided offered this system, even the budget-friendly models.
Once you use the dust collection system, cleanup can be a breeze; simply empty the bag when you are finished.
It’s no surprise that we are hard on our woodworking tools. They perform in some of the harshest environments and we sure do push them to the limits. Expect that your tool is going to come in contact with oils, dirt, dust and other foreign objects that can break down your machine over time.
If you find the best biscuit joiner model made from high-quality materials, this won’t be as much of a concern. Look for materials such as polymer plastics or corrosion resistant metal as your optimal choices. Then, you can ensure that your joiner has a better chance of lasting for years to come.
None of the biscuit joiners we reviewed features less than a one year warranty. That is the minimum you should look for when researching a power tool. You deserve protection in case the machine fails in an unreasonable amount of time. Companies that are willing to stand by their product in the form of a warranty normally make the durable equipment you can rely on.
It is also important that you look for a warranty which covers the entire machine, not just a few select parts. This will give you peace of mind knowing you are covered if something should go wrong.
Functions of the Biscuit Joiner
Once you’ve picked out the best biscuit joiner you can find, you’ll want to know how to use it. Thankfully, it doesn’t take a lot of skill or practice before you can consider yourself a professional with the plate joiner.
There are a number of steps you’ll want to follow in order to have success with your biscuit joiner. Here are some instructions to get you started.
- Place your two boards on the work table in the final position. Be sure they are properly aligned.
- Pencil your markings across the joint in even spaces. This will be where each biscuit on the board should fit.
- Using your biscuit joiner, place the guide fence flat on top of a board’s surface. Then, line the cutting guide with your pencil. Do this on one board at a time.
- Turn on your saw and insert the blade into the board up to the stop line.
- Repeat this with each pencil mark.
- Once all the cuts are complete, place glue on the slots of one board. Then, insert the biscuit into each and slide the second board onto your biscuit.
- Using clamps, hold the joints together while the glue has a chance to dry. Be sure you don’t tighten the clamps too hard and squeeze out the glue.
There is also an online tutorial that could help get you started. For a video demonstration, head to YouTube:
Basic Safety Tips
Using a biscuit joiner is considered safer than many traditional tools. The cutting occurs inside the casing of the machine, so isn’t likely that you will cut your hand. With that in mind, the plate joiner is still a powerful tool and needs to be regarded as dangerous. Here are some tips to help you remain safe.
Always Use Appropriate Safety Equipment
You should consider wearing eyeglasses and other protective gear whenever you are working with power tools. It is also wise to wear short sleeve shirts and remove any jewelry that could get caught in the blades.
Secure the Wood
It’s important that your wood is held tightly using a vise or clamp whenever you work on a slot. Make sure you always choose the appropriate kind of wood for your project. Most joiners have a minimum thickness guideline which can often restrict the type of wood you want to use.
When the joiner and wood are both secured, you can feel confident that you are operating safely. You still want to avoid putting your hands close to the blade at any time during the operation. Any small flaw in the wood could cause that blade to move or shift.
For an illustrated guide on how to maintain optimal safety procedures while working with the best biscuit joiner, be sure to check out this YouTube video:
You are now fully equipped to find the best biscuit joiner for your woodworking needs. There is a vast selection to choose from and a model that works for everybody. Whether you are working with small pieces of wood or looking to build your own furniture, a biscuit joiner will make the task easier.
Don’t allow the various features and settings to overwhelm you at first. Write out a list of the features that are important to you. This can be your guideline on which machine will work for your needs.
Make sure you think ahead to the future and determine what you might need in a few years as you become more experienced using the tool. You always want to purchase a power tool with the future in sight. This helps you to avoid having to upgrade later.
Even if your budget will only allow the lower cost models, you are sure to receive maximum benefits from your investment.
Take the time to learn all the ways in which the best biscuit joiner tool you choose functions. By becoming informed, you equip yourself to perform a high-quality woodworking job every time. Make sure you also pay attention to the safety precautions of your power tool and always operate with care.
Soon, you’ll be creating magnificent pieces of woodwork. Others will look at you with amazement as you operate this tool with ease. Join with the many other woodworking craftsmen who have come to find that investing in the best biscuit joiner is a wise decision.