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Biscuit joiner vs router.

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Forum topic by 716 posted 11-30-2015 07:54 PM 1105 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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716

502 posts in 381 days


11-30-2015 07:54 PM

Then why would pick one over the other ?
Price wise I see that a good biscuit joint router bit costs as much as a good biscuit joiner.

-- It's nice!


21 replies so far

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1731 posts in 1434 days


#1 posted 11-30-2015 08:01 PM

But a router can do so much more. The router is my favorite tool in the shop. Sure if you are just edge glueing boards and doing miters a biscuit jointer will make things very nice indeed. But if I had to pick, I would take a router hands down over anything. Not sure where you are located but there are routers that aren’t too expensive that you could pick up and start making some amazing profiles, grooves, panels, and the biscuit joint. Hope this helps

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

651 posts in 405 days


#2 posted 11-30-2015 08:03 PM

Router has many more uses. I only purchased a biscuit joiner because we were doing a lot of closet builds (shelving, shoe racks, etc) and it help things move along quickly. Haven’t used it since. You’ll get more use from a router.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4858 posts in 2278 days


#3 posted 11-30-2015 08:04 PM

Not really an either-or debate. Routers create edge profiles, flush trim, pattern rout, dovetail, and inlay among other things. I use my biscuit joiner for attaching corbels, or to align and strengthen end-grain glue joints. A biscuit joiner is also very handy for attaching hardwood edging to plywood.

Sure you can buy a slot cutting bit for your router and use it as a biscuit slot cutter if you want. I think the biscuit joiner does a better job of making accurate biscuit slots, but the router is much more versatile.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3942 posts in 1958 days


#4 posted 11-30-2015 08:17 PM

What he said^^^^^. These tools aren’t comparable in the normal sense of the word. While I like and use a BJ, the router does so much more…and is my favorite tool in the shop also.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Glastron's profile

Glastron

14 posts in 470 days


#5 posted 11-30-2015 08:38 PM

I’m not sure why anyone would even compare the two? I have two router tables among several hand routers and a Ryobi Biscuit cutter which isn’t very expensive and it’s one of the few disposable tools I have left in my shop, only for the past 5 years it’s still going and cutting like butter.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7215 posts in 2840 days


#6 posted 11-30-2015 08:59 PM


Then why would pick one over the other ?
Price wise I see that a good biscuit joint router bit costs as much as a good biscuit joiner.

- 716

If my math is correct, the cost difference is more like 10x for a biscuit cutter over a slot cutting bit. A good biscuit cutter will run in the $150-$200 range….a cheap one runs $75-$100. You can find decent router bits that will cut slots for about $15, plus they can be used for other things.

I had a DW biscuit cutter for a couple of years. I used it a fair amount at first, but the more I used it, the more I realized biscuits aren’t usually needed if the joint mates properly. The few times that biscuits seemed feasible, it’s pretty easy to cut them with a router. I sold my biscuit cutter years ago and never looked back. There are so many other places to spend that money that it makes more of a difference IMO.

I learned the simple single slot trick shown below from Norm:

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2532 days


#7 posted 11-30-2015 09:32 PM

I owned one once (from my norm days). Sold it and never really missed it. A router on the other hand is used the heck of most jobs due to profiles, grooves, rabbits(rebate what ever).

A biscuit gives not structural integrity, only purpose is to align boards on long grain glue ups, and if you take time thats not an issue either. Adds additional steps and time.

The two are not in the same ball park in value as the router does so much, and the biscuit jointer is a one trick pony.

Thats my opinion but that and a buck fifty will get you a cup of coffee.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 695 days


#8 posted 11-30-2015 10:20 PM

I have a PC bizkut jointer. Hold the applause, yall.

I wouldn’t throw it at my ex…yes I would but that’s a different story. I absolutely hate dem bizkuts. The joint sucks. Invest in a good doweling jig and get the router. In what experience I have, I have never seen a pro use one.

[Cough] Norm was sponsored by the bizkut company so he used it everywhere [cough]. Of course, correct me if I am wrong. I don’t think I am. But I am a capitalist like norm and on my show I would hold the bread on my sandwiches with bizkut joints. I would set my son’s broken leg with them if the cash was right. Ever bizkut jointed two cats together?—“next week on this old workshop….” If the cash is right, that is. Meow.

In summary:
I hate the joint.
Norm and I are capitalists.
I don’t really have a PBS show, but if I did….

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View teejk02's profile

teejk02

424 posts in 590 days


#9 posted 11-30-2015 11:47 PM



I have a PC bizkut jointer. I wouldn t throw it at my ex.
Good thing! It would land on that vulnerable part and cost you a ton of money to repair. I have one that I use strictly for alignment on wide glue-ups.

View 716's profile

716

502 posts in 381 days


#10 posted 12-10-2015 10:14 PM

OK, So trying to answer my question myself ( not from my experience though as I do not have a biscuit joiner).
1. Biscuits are most useful when gluing boards edge to edge. If you need to glue only two boards once in a while you can simply clump them from all four sides using two planks and two clamps on the wide side at each spot. However if you need to glue more you run out of clumps very fast. In that case use biscuits.
2. Dowels as someone suggested above really do not work here. How do you align them on a 10’ board ?
3. You can use a router if you are willing to live with the following limitations: a). Works much slower than a joiner. b). The slots will be larger than needed and will not be of the same shape as biscuits. Due to b the joint will be weaker.

So it looks like a biscuit joiner does have its place, not in a hobby shop though.

-- It's nice!

View jbay's profile

jbay

816 posts in 364 days


#11 posted 12-10-2015 10:48 PM

Biscuits definitely have there place and I use them depending on the job. Face Frames are a lot quicker to biscuit but dowels are stronger, but the frames are glued to a carcass sooo, just depends on the mood and how much the job pays. Dowels on a 10’ board aren’t hard to line up. Put the boards together and mark them both then put your jig on the line and drill. I biscuit long boards to keep them level when gluing. I think it’s pretty easy with them, of course cauls work as well. Biscuit joiners, you just grab and use, every time, no set up time involved, but for the hobby shop it may not be that important, but it’s nice to just go grab it when you do need it. Maybe it’s all about convenience.

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1185 days


#12 posted 12-10-2015 10:51 PM

I too use my biscuit jointer just for wide panel glue ups. The router wouldn’t be my choice for this application but the other things that it does so well are why many people prefer to have more than one.

View nerdbot's profile

nerdbot

97 posts in 826 days


#13 posted 12-11-2015 05:38 AM

One of my first woodworkings projects, was a small tool cabinet/cubby using a cheap doweling jig from HF and it wasn’t very user friendly. I bought a Dewalt biscuit joiner not long after, and now that I think back, it was a Norm video using biscuits that made me think “Wow, those are so useful and way better than my doweling jig!”

My first project with the biscuit joiner was a mobile planer stand entirely with biscuit joints instead of glue and screws, and it did not go together as smoothly as I had hoped. It didn’t magically make all my sides come together perfectly square, and it didn’t feel any more “fool proof” or any quicker than the doweling jig. Granted, it was my first project with the biscuit joiner, so I’ve gotten better at using it, but my next two shop cabinets were made with pocket screws. I’ve used the biscuit joiner on 3 other projects after that, and that was the last I touched it over a year ago. I’ll probably hold on to it, for helping with alignment on glue ups. But it defintely wasn’t the multi-tasker I thought it would be. As everyone else has pointed out, a router is definitely a multi tasker.

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

1061 posts in 3078 days


#14 posted 12-11-2015 12:37 PM

Anyone who has watched the Norm Abram show knows that biscuits can be used for a helluva lot more than just “gluing boards edge to edge”. You can watch Norm fasten face frames, shelves without dadoes and a host of other applications. To my way of thinking this method of joinery beats the hell out of pocket screws, appearance-wise.

That being said, I don’t own a biscuit joiner, either. As somebody else pointed out here, the biscuit joiner is a “one-trick pony” and I don’t have room for that in my shop. I have used biscuits in the way that Knotscott showed in his post but more often I will just cut a spline out of thin plywood and run it the length of the slot.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 695 days


#15 posted 12-11-2015 12:56 PM

I have tried the bizkut face frame jointing method and hate it.
Norm was sponsored by one of the Bizkut jointers if I remember correct. That kinda forced him to find ways to use it.

Having work in a production environment I would take a solid pocket screw cutter over a bizkut jointer for face frames 10 times out of 10. Heck, in the first shop I worked in we used a Newton B100 and doweled the face frames. I loved that method so much I just got a Newton B600.
I digress.

All that to say that maybe you have found a place to use a Bizkut jointer, good. But I humbly submit that there are many better options for joints than bizkuts.


Anyone who has watched the Norm Abram show knows that biscuits can be used for a helluva lot more than just “gluing boards edge to edge”. You can watch Norm fasten face frames, shelves without dadoes and a host of other applications. To my way of thinking this method of joinery beats the hell out of pocket screws, appearance-wise.

That being said, I don t own a biscuit joiner, either. As somebody else pointed out here, the biscuit joiner is a “one-trick pony” and I don t have room for that in my shop. I have used biscuits in the way that Knotscott showed in his post but more often I will just cut a spline out of thin plywood and run it the length of the slot.

- EEngineer

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

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