Best Biscuit Joiner – Reviews of Our Top 5 Picks
If you’re looking for the best biscuit joiner, you’re not alone as it’s an indispensable tool for carpenters and DIY enthusiasts. Also known as a plate joiner, it’s the ideal tool for joining wood, cutting grooves and other woodworking tasks. There are different types of biscuit joiners, but they all generally rely on a circular saw blade to slice a mouth (a hole shaped like a crescent) in the woods’ opposing edges.
While the general function is the same, the qualities and dependability vary significantly, but there’s no need to go over each review as we’ve gone through the field and narrowed it down to the top 5.
|DeWalt DW682K 6.5||$$||5.0||Check Availability|
|Chicago Electric Power Plate Joiner||$||4.2||Check Availability|
|Porter-Cable 557 7||$$||5.0||Check Availability|
|Makita PJ7000 Plate Joiner||$$||5.0||Check Availability|
|Lamello Classic X 101600 Biscuit Joiner||$$$||5.0||Check Availability|
If you’ve been studying how to use a biscuit joiner, then the DeWalt DW682K is a good choice. With 6.5 amps and 10,000 RPM it’s more than capable of handling the needs of a hobbyist or a DIYer who needs a reliable tool. The DW682K offers good value for your money and there’s more than enough power here to work on different types of wood.
The DeWalt also comes with dual rack and pinion fence that helps keep the fence and blade in the right position (i.e. parallel) so joints always come out accurate. The DeWalt also comes with an adjustable one piece fence that can tit 90 degrees. The tool is easy to use and you can even make cuts at 0 degrees without the need to take the fence out.
In addition, the DeWalt DW682K 6.5 fence has a 45 degree locating notch that enables indexing of a mitered joint’s outer surface. The motor is a bit loud but that’s to be expected from these tools, and if you’re looking for a power tool to make precision cuts, the DeWalt will do just fine. The DeWalt comes with a heavy-duty, non-marring aluminum shoe so the tool can be set quickly for steady work.
- Amps: 6.5
- Tool Height 6.75”
- Tool Weight: 6.6 lbs.
- Dust Collection: bag
- Depth Adjustment: true
- Warranty: 3 years
- Offers good value for your money
- Easy to use
- Does an outstanding job creating slots
- The unit is a bit loud
One of the best biscuit joiners for its price, the Chicago Joiner is an excellent option for the hobbyist. This is not a tool you will want to use for commercial grade work, but if you’re into DIY stuff or a hobbyist, this will more than suffice especially if you’re on a budget.
This joiner tool works well on different types of wood, though the adjustment blade can be tricky to adjust. Once you’ve made the adjustment however and the tool has been calibrated, it’s a breeze to use the Chicago. While some people may be quick to dismiss this tool because it’s not that well-known, this is actually a pretty good plate joiner.
The Chicago plate joiner is not the most advanced available, but if you don’t need a powerful tool and just need one for hobby projects, this will be enough, and you cannot argue with the low cost and efficiency.
- Amperage (amps): 8.5
- Width: 6 in.
- Weight: 7.49 lbs.
- Height: 6 in.
- Blade size: 4 in.
- Maximum speed (rpm): 11000 RPM
- UL Certification: yes
- Offers good value for the money
- Ideal for hobbyists
- The adjustment screw is a bit tight
One of the top biscuit joiner for the money, the Porter Cable is equipped with a 10,000 rpm, 120V motor, and this allows the 7 amp joiner to spin the blade rapidly and perform a variety of tasks. For your convenience, the fence can tilt from 0 to 135 degrees, so whether it’s outside or inside corner registrations, it’s going to be easy.
The plate joiner also comes with a 90 degree positive adjustable stop and a height adjuster so you can position it accurately. Another thing you’ll notice here is the bale handle is connected to the fence instead of the motor: this is a deliberate choice because it ensures each cut is stable and under control.
The unit is also notable for its lock-on trigger and a unique fence system with pivot point that leads to precise height readings, and also a fencing plate for spacing, centering and stabilization. Changing or removing the blade is easy too thanks to the spindle lock and a blade cover, and there are numerous cutting configurations for fastening accessories and assorted biscuit sizes.
The 557 also comes with a unique system that allows it to accept face frame and standard biscuits. It can accept the 4 inch standard as well as the 2 inch blade for handling small cuts in the 1 ½ inch range. Furthermore it comes with a multi position rotating stop for Max (#6), duplex, Simplex, #20, #10 and #0 joinery.
- Height: 7″
- Weight (lbs.): 7-1/2
- Biscuits Accepted: Duplex, #6, Simplex, #20, #0, #10, FF
- Blade Size: 2″ & 4
- Blade Type: 6-Tooth (CT)
- Speed: 10,000
- Amps: 7.0
- Power: 120 VAC, 25-60 HZ
- Comes with a carry case
- Provides precision control when cutting
- Only sold in 240v, no 220v available
The Makita is often considered one of the best biscuit joiners owing to its superior features. Powered by an 11,000 RPM, the 5.6 amp plate joiner was designed for accurate cutting of different types of wood, and it’s equipped with a rack and pinion fence so you can make pinpoint adjustments.
The pivot fence is cast aluminum and has three stops, at 90, 45 and 0 degrees, and you get half a dozen settings for depth and stops for the most popular biscuit sizes like #0, #10, and #20.
Design wise the joiner has a sizeable top grip handle so you won’t have any trouble handing it, and the body is fully ergonomic for additional comfort. Taking everything into consideration, the Makita is an outstanding plate joiner and really worth the extra price. The design has been simplified so it’s easy to use especially if you’ve had experience using one before.
The fence alignment is top notch as far as accuracy is concerned and the cam height adjustment is one of the easiest to use. One thing you do have to keep in mind is this plate joiner’s fence requires you to make the marks around half an inch longer than usual, but it’s not a huge issue.
- Shipping Weight: 8 lbs.
- Net Weight: 5.5 lbs.
- Overall Length: 11-7/8″
- AMPS: 5.6
- Speed: 11,000 RPM
- Max. Cutting Depth: 3/4″
- Blade Diameter: 4”
- Changing the blade is easy
- Made in the US
- A bit more expensive than others
Biscuit joiner reviews for the Classic X are mostly positive, and among the reasons are its stop square and base plate swiveling front stop: they are precisely flushed on the sides so edge positioning is easy. The 780 watt motor is ergonomically designed and the components are CNC machined for pinpoint accuracy. The price tag is higher than most, but it’s money well spent as most carpenters and DIY enthusiasts consider it the best.
One of the most notable features of the Classic X is the multi-function stop square, fence and slide shoe are constructed from a single piece of milled metal that’s been machined to precision. Lamello plate joiners are the only ones built like this and in terms of accuracy is hard to match.
The reason the Classic X is regarded as one of, if not the top biscuit joiner is the result is always accurate: no matter what wood you’re working on the joints should come out flush, and the Classic X is capable of cutting grooves for a dozen types of biscuits without the need to change the tool.
The tool has a swiveling fence style with a beveled edge for angle scales and measuring. The Classic X also comes with positive stops for the most widely used cutting angles (90, 67.5, 45, 22.5 and 0 degrees). The Style Multi-function stop square is also flushed to the sides so you can reference them on work surfaces.
The Classic X can handle 135 degree angle settings for referencing 45 degree miter joint outside surfaces. In addition, the tool locks and slides on the slide shoe bottom so you can use it vertically.
Bottom line: the Lamello is packed with power and features that few joiners can match. The motor has power and with 780 watts has sufficient power to handle just about anything you can throw at it.
- Weight: 3.1 kg
- Max. cutting depth: 20 mm
- Teeth: 6 alternate teeth
- Cutter: 100 x 4 x 22 mm (carbide-tipped cutter)
- RPM: 10,000
- Voltage: 230 V -120 V
- Power: 780 W
- Very accurate
- Well built
- Easy to use
- Doesn’t come with a carry case
Tips for Buying a Biscuit Joiner
If you’re a hobbyist or does DIY tasks only on occasion, a basic plate joiner will suffice. The standard plate joiner has a 4 inch blade with 4 to 6 teeth, and at the very least the tool should be able to cut channels for #20, #10 and #0 biscuit sizes. The more advanced joiners have support for other biscuit sizes, but for beginners these will be enough. There are also some biscuit joiners that swap the standard 4 inch with the 2 inch blade, which can be useful if you’re going to work on small biscuits and grooves.
As the reviews above indicate, there are different biscuit sizes and the ones you’ll use depend on the type of work you do. The most popular plate joiners are capable of cutting slit shapes for a variety of sizes. However if your needs are precise you’ll need another tool like a detail joiner to finish off the job.
One of the most important features of a plate joiner is the blade so make sure it’s of high quality, i.e. carbide tipped or made by a reputable manufacturer. You should also check the tool’s fence and how it pivots at various angles: the placement of the fence is parallel to the blade, and you should be able to center the blade halfway along the board’s threshold.
The joiner fence tilt determines how well easily you can do precision cuts with beveled ends and angles. The majority of fences tilt at 45 degrees, but others are capable of cutting at other angles. If you’re new to biscuit joining you don’t need to worry about this, but if you’re going to work with complicated sections, you’ll have to get a plate joiner with a fence that can handle micro angles.
Pivots is something you’ll often come across when shopping for these tools, and while there are a lot of options, the most popular is 90 degrees as it allows for miter cuts. There are also plate joiners that have fences capable of shifting up to 135 degrees, and with this you’ll be able to create cuts on the piece’s outer edge rather than just the interior section.
Fence enhancements is not for everyone, but if your tool has that feature you’ll be able to attach all kinds of materials of varying sizes while making sure the outer edges matches, all without making any tweaks to the fence. Depending on your needs, it might be a good idea to buy a joiner with a fencing system that can lower or raise the tool with precision.
The flush cut is another important feature that you’ll want to look at, as some of these tools make a slight shift when the setting is at zero degrees. Avoid these plate joiners because fitting in the slot might cause problems.
So which is the best biscuit joiner? Any of the ones we reviewed here qualify, and it’s really up to you to decide. The point is you cannot go wrong with any of the top five here, as there are reasons why they’re considered the cream of the crop.