Retiring from military service- among the most honorable tasks on earth- meant that I needed to do a hobby-job. My father had taught me carpentry from a young age. I loved to make basic furniture. Today, I endeavor to make home repairs and produce furniture for commercial purposes. Certainly, I cannot afford to miss out having the best biscuit joiners- and other advanced tools in my workshop. My simple –but comprehensive- guide below make your woodwork easier, and enjoyable!
When you are starting a workshop for your home or professional purposes, it’s wise to select tools that will help you in the woodworking journey. Hacksaws, electric screwdrivers, hammers, and G-clamps are all part of the paraphernalia you’ll need. Also, a plate joiner- also known as a biscuit joiner- should be top of your list if you want to glue pieces of wood together with minimal effort.
New to woodworking?
A biscuit joiner is a tool that drills precisely cut holes into the wood to join different pieces. Two pieces of wood are “pierced,” and wood-glue is brushed into them. Then, biscuits (cookie-sized pecks of timber) are put in the holes, and the pieces of wood are mated. But it doesn’t have to be wood alone- you can use this machine on PVC and other synthetic materials, too. For a comprehensive explanation on how the biscuit joiners work, check out the video below.
Why You Need Biscuit Joiners
The best plate joiners will make the lives of woodworkers better in different ways.
Woodworking gets easy!
Doing carpentry without the right tools and skills can be frustrating. Picture this: you want to mate two pieces of wood, but you only have a chisel. Can you already feel the exhaustion the manual work would give you? I’m sure you can! That’s why it’s crucial to find a tool that will make the holes and help you join wood pieces in seconds!
Applicable across different types of wood.
What’s the size of the wood you are working with? How thick is it? Wood girth can be frustrating especially when dealing with hardwoods. The rule of the thumb is to use sturdy customizable tools to peck out a joint. Most plate joiners allow you to change the angle and blades, which works well on different types of wood.
Compact and portable
Most workshop-based tools are bulky, but; the plate joiner is just but a tiny hand-held device. The small size and light nature allow you to use the tool anywhere- including outdoors and tight spaces.
Top 5 Best Biscuit Joiners Review
Pros of the Festool 574447 XL DF 700 Domino
- Pivoting fences support tight angles
- It has indexing pins for quick and accurate alignment
- The machine is clean
- DF 700 Domino is powerful and hits 21000 rounds at 720 watts
Cons of the Festool 574447 XL DF 700 Domino
- It is larger and heavier than most joiners
- It is not cheap
There’re average plate joining machines in the market, and then, there is the Festool 574447 XL DF 700 Domino! Think of class, performance, durability, and comfort- and then, the picture of this tool will come to your mind! It’s our favorite wood-joining equipment on our list, and it’s for a deserved reason.
Features of the Festool 574447 XL DF 700 Domino
Most plate joiners have fences that do not allow versatility when it comes to the pivoting feature. They often stop at 45 degrees and nothing more or less. But, Festool 574447 goes a step further and lets you make even tighter angled mortises ranging from zero to ninety. So, instead of stopping at 45 degrees only, the pivoting feature bisects at 22.5 degrees, 45 degrees as well as 67.5 degrees and lastly, 90.
Dust poses a major setback for most workshop operators. The idea of having to clean the table and the entire room every day is not the most appealing. But, you can dodge that bullet by finding tools that are clean and hygienic. Festool 574447 has an advanced cleanup system that ensures your working place is clean. And yes- dust extraction is necessary if you want to breathe in fresh air in the store. Also, it saves your time and keeps your clients happy- who wants to shop in a dusty place anyway?!
You can adjust the mortising depths to suit your job. There are five options to help you do this. The cutter can be adjusted to 8 mm, 10 mm, 12 mm and 14 mm respectively. These options will let you make the exact holes needed in your job.
There are times when you will need to make exotic shapes. We’re sorry but most conventional machines will not achieve this. Festool 574447’s spiral cutting blades rotate and oscillate and this helps you to create a set of perfect mortises. You can adjust the mortise width to achieve the ideal position of joining your plates.
The spindle’s rpm can hit up to 21,000 a 720 watts of power consumption. That kind of a motor occupies the high end of the biscuit joining device’s spectrum.
Maybe, the only thumbs down this device might gain due to its size. With all the features of the Festool 574447, it can’t be lightweight. It measures 16.5 by 11.5 by 11.5 inches. The whole unit is around 23.8 pounds.
Pros of DEWALT DW682K
- It supports biscuits of 0, 10 and 20 sizes.
- 7/8″ Arbor
- Ergonomic design
- 5 Amp and 10,000 rpm motor
Cons of DEWALT DW682K
- Perfectionist professionals might note that the blade is not perfectly
Anyone who has worked with DeWALT tools might agree with me that they seldom disappoint. The company takes care of customers’ satisfaction with high quality planners, table saws, sanders and now, the biscuit joiner. However, like every other tool, DEWALT DW682K has its flaws. Have a close look at this review.
The Features of DEWALT DW682K
The Chinese-made joiner has a robust, reliable motor. The 6.5 Amp and 10,000 rpm motor produce sufficient power to make quick, accurate cuts whose depth can get to about 20 millimeters for hardwoods. A motor with such high power is essential in increasing the safety of the tool as it doesn’t wobble away.
The fence is adjustable for accuracy. You can set your cuts easily at 45 degrees fence locating notch with zero to ninety-degree tilting potential. The blade and fence are aligned to a near-parallel position. What this means to you is that the kit delivers meticulous joints.
The DEWALT DW682K is simple to use and has an ergonomic design. The simplicity makes it the ideal biscuit joiner for beginners. This machine comes with a non-marring, heavy-duty shoe that allows it to be clamped for stable work. The anti-slip pin ensures that the item is held tightly onto the board for a seamless cut.
DEWALT DW682K is both sturdy and compact. It weighs just about 6.6 pounds and measures 15.8 by 6.4 by 6.8 inches. So, it easily fits in your hands and you don’t have to spend calories unnecessarily. Such lightweight tools allow you to make proper cuts without getting tired.
Pros of the Makita PJ7000
- The joiner has an ergonomic handle
- It is light and compact
- The cast aluminum is sturdy and durable
- The powerful 5.6 AMP and 11,000 RPM motor guarantees performance
- The adjustable fence ensures precision and accuracy
- Astonishingly affordable!
Cons of the Makita PJ7000
- The dust collection system is wanting
Makita is a company that requires little introduction, really. It’s one of the most significant manufacturers of power farm tools. We’ve covered the best Makita chainsaws, and you may want to check that out. As expected, the PJ7000 is Amazon’s top choice for the best Makita biscuit joiners- and, as you’ll see in this review, it’s for a reason!
Features of Makita PJ7000
If you are looking for deluxe features on a cheap unit, you should try out the Makita PJ7000. It comes with a powerful 5.6 AMP motor that reaches up to 11,000 RPM. Such a speed is necessary for cutting biscuit joints fast and also for seamless work. Fast motors often give machines a higher safety rating.
Makita PJ7000 has a durable cast aluminum casing. Cast aluminum is a fortified material which makes tools that are light and resilient. The construction ensures that your joiner survives harsh conditions, falls and rust. Of course, aluminum never rusts, so that’s a thumb up, too.
The fence is quite flexible and accommodative. You can use the pivot fence to switch to 0, 45 or 90 degrees. This lets you make accurate cuts which, in the long run, results in boundless designs of furniture.
Ergonomic tools are safe and comfortable to use- and Makita PJ7000 is no difference. The joiner has a large grip handle. The joint-maker also has a non-marring rubber wall to ensure that the shoe doesn’t let the material slip away while you are working.
This Makita plate joiner is compact and lightweight. The double insulated tool with a rack-and-pinion fence system measures 7.9 by 19.5 by 10.2 inches and weighs 6.5 lb.
Pros of TruePower 01-0102 by Gino Development
- It is compact and lightweight
- The motor is powerful
- The tool is ergonomic, safe and hygienic.
- TruePower 01-0102’s cutting blade is tough and sharp
- The fence bends to about 45 degrees
Cons of TruePower 01-0102 by Gino Development
- The dust collection system easily clogs with the shavings.
When you are looking for a strong but lightweight biscuit joiner, you should consider TruePower 01-0102 by Gino Development. From the motor to the construction and ergonomic features, this plate joiner worth the consideration as one of the best tools you can have in a wood workshop.
Features of TruePower 01-0102 by Gino Development
As mentioned above, the TruePower 01-0102 is compact. The motor is rated at 11,000 RPM, 1010 watts and 120 V. A motor that can hit 10,000+ rounds per minute are not only fast but also safe to use.
Then, the fence allows four angles- 0, 45, 90 and 145 degrees. In simple terms, it can accommodate 45-degree bending which you can use to your advantage to make the other angles. Acute angle-capability of the joiner makes it useful when you’re making creative designs.
In terms of inches, the cutting blade can go as deep as 0.55”. This means you can fit in biscuits of different sizes such as 0, 10 and 20.
TruePower 01-0102 is clean and comes with a dust bag. This lets you dispose of dust and other waste products safely and hygienically. At least, the specks will not get their way into your eyes.
The sharp blade is made of sturdy tungsten carbide material. It neither rusts nor breaks under high pressure or when cutting sturdy materials.
TruePower 01-0102 is also compact and measures 19 by 6 by 7 inches and weighs 8.3 pounds.
Pros of the Rockwell RK3440K
- The laser pointer allows you to make accurate cuts
- The dust collection system makes it hygienic
- It is light and compact
- It has an ergonomic handle
- The anti-accidental start feature keeps you safe.
Cons of the Rockwell RK3440K
- The motor is slower and less potent than most brands in the market.
If you are looking for a small, lightweight and simple plate joiner, then it’s got to be Rockwell RK3440K. Designed to give you a comfortable and ergonomic experience, the joiner has straightforward features.
Features of the Rockwell RK3440K
Rockwell RK3440K features a 3500 rpm, 4.0 AMP motor that runs the circular saw. It is not the most significant motor you can get, but it’s supposed to have a minimalist design anyway, right? The circular saw cuts nearly anything. Use it on sheet metal, wood, tiles, and synthetic fibers or any other workshop material!
As expected, the joiner is built for comfort. The ergonomic handle design enhances grip and easy control of the machine. It’s slim enough to use with one hand only.
Probably, Rockwell RK3440K’s unique feature is the laser guide. The bright light points to the line on which you cut. The laser technology lets you cut straight lines.
The device also comes with a guide fence slot. The 45 degrees pivoting metal guard ensures safety and accuracy when cutting tight angles.
For safety’s sake, the Rockwell RK3440K has a lock-off switch which deters unexpected starting. Remember, if the machine was to start accidentally, it could injure you or destroy your work materials. So, it is crucial to prevent it from starting without your consent.
Rockwell RK3440K comes with a built-in dust collection adapter for a hygienic experience. The adapter plays several roles in making your work better. First, it keeps your workshop clean. Second, the dust collection system prevents specks from hitting delicate parts of your body such as your eyes.
Then, the machine has a 120-inch cord which is ideal for a typical workshop. Of course, you can work outdoors by using a power-source extension cable.
Rockwell RK3440K is not an elephant in your shop at all- it only measures 18.4 by 9.3 by 4.3 inches and weighs 3.4 pounds.
Considerations to Make When Buying Best Plate Joiners
Thousands of biscuit joiners are available in the market, and this might easily confuse you. Choosing the best equipment calls for you to consider several factors. One of the things I always do is write down what I need and then set a budget.
By noting why I require the machine, it gives me an easy time finding out the features. For instance, if I need a device to join large pieces of hardwood, then I’d need a big machine. The size goes with the performance, strength, and price of the joiner.
Then, when I want a biscuit joiner to make small boards, sitting stools or other minor woodworking tasks, I’ll look for the diminutive varieties. In this case, I’d go for a portable biscuit joiner.
After determining the purpose that drives me to buy a wood-gluing machine, you need to understand there are different models in the market. Most models work similarly, but certain features make them different. See some of them below.
Handle Grip Design
Needless to state (but I will anyway), every hand-held tool needs to be ergonomic. A plate joiner might bruise your hands or slip off of it doesn’t have a properly designed handle. Also, a good handle design will help you make precise cuts. Remember, if the handle keeps slipping, you might make the inaccurate cuts and end up damaging the wood pieces.
Usually, there are two types of handles: the D-grip and the barrel. The D grip handle- just as it sounds- is an extension that forms a D shape from the machine. Then, the barrel grip is part of the machine’s body. It’s ordinarily cylindrical and lets you hold the device in your hands.
Now, to enhance the joiner’s grip, the handle needs to be contoured or have a rubber layer. The rubber increases the friction, and the handle doesn’t get slippery even when you sweat. On the other hand, contours are ergonomic to take the shape of your palm. This reduces the risk of getting blisters.
Size of the Blades
Earlier, I explained how the work you do dictates the kind of tool you require. And, when choosing a plate joiner, pay attention to the size of the blades. Large blades are ideal for big cuts, and the small cuts require small blades. Thus, whenever you set out to purchase a joiner, make sure its blade is adjustable. With a flexible blade system, you can make the cuts accurately with different blades without changing the entire unit.
At what angle do you want to join the pieces of wood? Is it 45, 135, or just 90? Any answer you give requires calculations. Angles are essential considerations when making a stable piece of art. So, you should make sure that the wood joiner has a pivot that accommodates the angle that you want to set the wood.