The biscuit joining system was invented in Switzerland in 1956 by Hermann Steiner, who was looking for a simple means of joining wood.
The biscuit joiner, sometimes referred to as a plate joiner, is a very useful woodworking tool that can be used to join two pieces of wood together efficiently. The joiner works by using a small circular saw blade to cut a crescent-shaped hole (this hole is referred to as ‘the mouth’) in the opposite edges of the two pieces of wood.
An oval-shaped, compressed wooden ‘biscuit’ will then be covered with glue and inserted into the slot, clamping the two boards together. The wet glue will help to expand the biscuit and subsequently strengthen the bond further.
Joining wood together with a biscuit takes considerably less time than it would take to achieve strong joints manually, making it a very popular and useful tool for both hobbyists and professionals alike.
Using biscuits to join wood is often considered to be much easier than alternative methods, such as using a dowel, so it’s easy to see why they’ve become such a popular choice.
There are numerous different models and versions available which should each do the job nicely, but it can be difficult to know which biscuit joiner is best for your needs. We’ve researched all there is to know about this power tool to help you make the best choice.
There are a couple of factors you’ll want to think about before making a purchase, including the blade size, handle style, fence features, and power source. We will outline all of these considerations and more in our handy buyer’s guide so you can make an informed choice, and will also address some frequently asked questions that may be on your mind.
In a hurry to find the perfect biscuit joiner for you?
Why not consider our top choice the Porter-Cable Plate Joiner?
This versatile biscuit joiner has been developed to feature a powerful and robust 7-amp motor which should be able to easily cut through very tough hardwood. The model is incredibly adaptable and is packed with helpful design features including an innovative fence system and seven different cutting settings.
Affordably priced and easy to operate, the Porter 557 makes a good choice for anyone looking for a simple way to join wood.
Top 5 Best Biscuit Joiners
OUR TOP PICK
Our first choice and best buy is the Porter-Cable Plate joiner, which has a super powerful 7-amp motor.
This one is a surprisingly affordable choice and is a powerful and robust biscuit joiner which should really help the woodworker tackle complex joining jobs. The powerful motor on this biscuit joiner means that the blades can spin at up 10,000 rpm, which is very fast indeed, and means that the users often find that this joiner can easily cut through tough hardwood effectively.
It can handle a wide variety of wood and offers users seven different cutting settings, allowing you to work at your own pace and in a way that works best for you.
This model comes with two blades, one four-inch blade which makes standard-size cuts effectively, and another two-inch blade which should be able to easily tackle cuts as fine as 1 - ½ inches.
The design features an innovative fence system with a pivot point to provide accurate height readings, which can tilt from 0 to 135 degrees with a positive adjustable stop at 90 degrees. The bale handle is also attached to the fence rather than the motor to allow for optimum control and stability during cuts, which is a very practical feature.
This model comes with a centering plate, spanner wrench, dust bag, chip deflector, carrying case and operating manual.
The dust bag and chip deflector are both particularly useful features to have on a biscuit joiner as they reduce the possibility of dust or debris shooting up at you while you work.
Overall, the Porter 557 is a versatile and practical choice that will help you tackle a wide range of joining applications safely and easily. Designed for maximum control and stability, this model is compact in size and allows for easy transport and storage, unlike other biscuit joiners which can be very heavy and therefore difficult to maneuver or operate.
Super powerful 7-amp motor
Powerful and robust design
Can handle a wide variety of wood
Comes with 2 blades
Seven different cutting settings
Innovative fence system
Features a centering plate, spanner wrench, dust bag, chip deflector, and carrying case
Designed for maximum control and stability
Some users found that this model was a little difficult to set-up
Next up we have the DEWALT DW682K biscuit joiner, which is a practical and lightweight joiner that would be an ideal choice for anyone working in a professional setting that’s looking for a high-quality joiner which has been built to last.
The 6.5-amp and 10,000 rpm motor will offer you more than enough power to work on even the hardest woods and is on par with many of the best biscuit joiners on the market. The dual rack and adjustable pinion fence on this model serve to ensure that the blade and fence are always parallel to allow for accurate joints every time.
The integral one-piece fence is also completely adjustable and tilts 0 to 90 degrees. One great thing about the DW682K is that users can make flush cuts at 0 degrees without having to remove the fence, which can be a real time saver.
The design features preset depth stops for all common biscuit sizes and the non-marring, heavy-duty aluminum shoe allows the joiner to be clamped securely into position for any stationary work.
The retractable, anti-slip pins also work really well to hold the work in place so you can feel confident in your work. You also won’t have to worry about dust with the DW682K as the joiner features a fully covered blade and dust collector, so any sawdust and wood chips can be ejected into the dust bag and vacuumed up using the handy vacuum adapter.
Users can rest assured that this biscuit joiner is a high-quality product which is backed by a three-year limited warranty, which is always good to have.
High-quality biscuit joiner that has been built to last
Powerful 6.5-amp and 10,000 rpm motor
Users can make flush cuts at 0 degrees without having to remove the fence
Retractable, anti-slip pins help to hold work in place
Dust collector and vacuum adapter
Three-year limited warranty
Practical and lightweight design
This model does not accept 2-inch blades - the smallest blade that can be used is the 3-inch blade
Our next choice, the Lamello Classic x 101600, has been designed to incorporate many innovative features.
The Lamello brand is known for its high-quality biscuit joiners and is often described as ‘the Cadillac of plate joiners’, so you know you’re in safe hands with this one. This is one of the more expensive biscuit joiners on the market and is consequently often a popular choice for professionals as it is may not be within reach for hobbyists.
It offers a very efficient, simple and accurate joining system for wood panels. This particular model features a new powerful, ergonomically designed 780-watt motor that performs well and should help you achieve the best results.
The Lamello’s slide shoe, fence and multi-function stop square are all made from the same piece of milled metal to maximize durability. The Lamello biscuit joiner will enable you to cut grooves for 12 different biscuits without having to change the cutting tool, which can be really helpful.
What makes this model so practical to use is its precise design; everything has been put together in such a way that it is easy for the user to ensure their work is accurate as possible.
The multi-functional stop square is always parallel to the front plate thanks to the precision dovetail design, which means that joints should always line up perfectly flush, which will save you a great deal of time and effort in the long run.
Every detail of this model has been considered carefully to allow for maximum precision and accuracy, and the central locking system offers quick removal of the cassette base with a thumbscrew so that users can easily maintain and access the cutter.
Lamello brand known for its high-quality biscuit joiners
Popular choice for professionals
Efficient, simple and accurate joining system
Powerful, ergonomically designed 780-watt motor
System allows for precision and accuracy
Expensive model which may be better suited to professionals
The Makita PJ7000 Plate Joiner is another great option.
The Makita is designed for making strong plate joints with efficiency, accuracy and speed. This is a versatile tool for strong and accurate biscuit joints that may be needed for furniture making, cabinet construction and many other woodworking applications. Its powerful 5.6-amp motor delivers 11,000 rpm, to facilitate quick and precise work.
There are six depth settings with one-touch stops that should work for all the most common biscuit sizes. It also features useful non-marking rubber inserts that help to prevent material from slipping out of place while you work. The Makita is quick and easy to adjust thanks to the large and easy-to-operate cam locks which allow for accurate fence adjustments.
It is really easy to achieve different cuts with the Angle Guide, which can be raised or lowered using the rack and pinion mechanism. Arguably one of the best features of the PJ17000 is its lightweight and compact design, which allows for easy handling and makes it easy to store and carry.
The top handle has a flat shape on the side surface which gives you improved stability and control as you work. It is also quick and easy to change blades as and when they are needed; the blade cover can be flipped open with clamp screws for easy access.
The slim, ergonomic body design also means that this one should be very comfortable to work with. You will also find a dust port that can be connected to a vacuum system for easy cleaning. The Makita PJ17000 also comes with a 1-year warranty so customers can buy with confidence.
Designed for making strong plate joints with efficiency, accuracy and speed
Powerful 5.6-amp motor delivers 11,000 rpm
Lightweight and compact design
Six depth settings
Non-marking rubber inserts to prevent material slipping
Quick and easy to adjust
Easy to change blades
Slim and ergonomic body design for maximum comfort
Some reviewers commented that they had found that the dust port can get clogged up when working on bigger projects
Our final choice, the Gino Development TruePower biscuit joiner, is a great choice if you’re looking for something that will help you achieve good results without spending too much.
This is a very budget-friendly choice which would be ideal for hobbyists but may not be the best option for professionals looking to do larger-scale wood projects. It can be used to achieve strong miter joints, t-joints, butt joints and edge-to-edge cuts. The model features a 1010 watt motor which produces 11,000 rpm, so is very powerful considering its inexpensive price tag.
You can expect to find all the key features that you’d see on the more expensive models, including an adjustable fence, a dust port with dust bag for easy clean-up, and preset depth stops for commonly used biscuit sizes.
You won’t have to compromise on cutting abilities with this one either, as the Gino Development model can cut wood to a depth of up to 0.55” and should be able to get through tougher wood.
This is a lightweight design that is compact in size and very portable. The handle is designed to be comfortable, soft, and non-slip to prevent shock and ensure the user has control while working. This is an increasingly popular biscuit joiner, with many customers commenting that it is high-quality and offers excellent value for money.
Can be used to achieve strong miter joints, t-joints, butt joint and edge-to-edge cuts
Cuts wood to a depth of 0.55”
lightweight and portable design
Comfortable non-slip handle for maximum control
1010 watt motor produces 11,000 rpm
Dust port and dust bag
Popular biscuit joiner
May be more suitable for hobbyists
Best Biscuit Joiners Buying Guide
Many biscuit joiners are fitted with a standard 4” blade. This blade size will allow you to cut standard slots quickly and effectively.
However, it can be really useful to select a biscuit joiner that will allow you to change blades and swap to a smaller 2” blade so that you can tackle smaller slots and use small biscuits.
Some biscuit joiners are not compatible with this smaller 2” blade so it is something to look out for to ensure your work is not limited unnecessarily.
Choosing a biscuit joiner with adjustable fence settings can be really useful for your work.
Having the ability to adjust the angle will mean that you can essentially work on either the inside or the outside face of the joint, which gives you more scope and more options for your projects.
If you can, select a biscuit joiner that will allow you to raise or lower it while staying parallel to the blade, as this will allow for flexibility without compromising on accuracy or precision. A rack and pinion mechanism, for example, can be very handy, as well as a large angle scale and locking knobs.
It’s important to pick a biscuit joiner with a comfortable or ergonomically designed handle to ensure that you can be as productive as possible.
Biscuit joiners are often available with two different handle styles; commonly a barrel grip that requires the user to hold the body of the tool, or a D-handle. The barrel grip is often regarded to be a little easier to handle as you will have a better grip on the joiner, which will give you more control as you cut.
It’s always worth thinking about the power source of your chosen biscuit joiner.
Keep in mind that corded joiners will require you to remain close to an outlet or an extension cord, which could prove difficult if your work requires more flexibility. Cordless options can give you more freedom but will require regular battery charging or replacement, depending on the type of model you have.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I invest in a biscuit joiner?
Biscuit joiners can be a very useful tool to have when working with wood.
Other methods can be very time-consuming and may not be as effective. Biscuit joiners can help you to accurately line up and cut slots that you can then insert a biscuit into for a strong and secure joint.
Try to choose a high-quality biscuit joiner to ensure that your slots line up evenly and you can achieve a strong joint.