Just bought a new biscuit joiner and Kreg jig

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Forum topic by Blakep posted 12-03-2010 06:44 PM 6294 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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232 posts in 2919 days

12-03-2010 06:44 PM

Well I just went to home depot and took the plunge on a new porter-cable biscuit joiner and a kreg pocket hole jig. My head is still hurting from the purchase as it does everytime I buy something no matter how much I can justify it and know I will use it. I had a cheap thrift store type biscuit joiner but it was horrible so it will either go to the trash or be given away. I hope this turns out to be a good purchase as I use the the biscuit joiner all of the time and was always wishing I had the kreg jig on certain projects. The festool domino joiner makes me drool but I wouldn’t be typing right now if I would have bought it because I would have been so sick from spending that much. I am sure I will feel better once I get home tonight and use them but in the mean time I will be sitting here reasuring myself that they are both worth what they cost : )

15 replies so far

View Kevin's profile


466 posts in 3323 days

#1 posted 12-03-2010 06:53 PM

Congrats on the new purchase. If a new tool will make my work go faster, more efficient and use it more than a few times then I say i’ve got the money out of it. I bought the Kreg pocket hole jig for $39.00 at Lowes 2 Christmas ago and used it a lot. Last Christmas I got the upgraded version (100.00) at Lowes and I enjoy it even more. I use the Kreg on a lot of projects since it’s easy and holds a good joint.

Needless to say i’ve moved away from my biscuit jointer though. I rip and glue boards together then take a belt sander for a few passes to make sure any uneven spots are gone. A lot of people like the biscuit jointers, but I find it easier for myself to just glue without any biscuits.

Again, grats on the new tools, i’m sure you’ll get plenty of use out of them.


-- Williamsburg, KY

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5048 posts in 4078 days

#2 posted 12-03-2010 08:58 PM

I use my DeWalt joiner quite often. I don’t feel that that effort is without merit.
The Kreg jig that I bought years ago (the alloy model) has been a good investment, well used, and really makes certain joinery easy.


View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3192 days

#3 posted 12-03-2010 09:35 PM

I’m a big fan of Kreg whenever I am doing a joint where I can hide the pocket holes. It’s fast, easy and it provides a strong joint.

However, whenever I am working on a joint where I cannot hide the pockets I like to switch to my mortise pal. It’s a little more work, but it is a relatively easy way to do a good mortise and (loose) tenon joint.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View ducky911's profile


237 posts in 2907 days

#4 posted 12-04-2010 03:21 AM

Love that kreg jig

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 2948 days

#5 posted 12-04-2010 03:54 AM

These are both very good “go to” tools. The kreg jig can save alot of time on many different things, along with the added strength. After having the jig and drilling hundreds of pocket holes I finally took the plunge and bought a Kreg Foreman. Put this on your drool list. It is sweet and fast.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View Kevin's profile


466 posts in 3323 days

#6 posted 12-04-2010 05:15 AM

Now that foreman is sweet. I don’t do enough to warrant buying one for that price, but if I did, I would :)


-- Williamsburg, KY

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3168 days

#7 posted 12-04-2010 05:24 AM

Although I haven’t used my Kreg Jig in a few projects, it is a handy tool to have in certain situations. Although they say you don’t need glue on the joint, I would recommend using glue when you can.

With that being said, I literally used no other joinery other than pocketholes, and didn’t even use glue on the joints for this bench…(I did use glue for the pockethole plugs):

I have seen much more complex projects put together than my bench using the Kreg Jig.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Kevin's profile


466 posts in 3323 days

#8 posted 12-04-2010 08:31 AM

Nice bench there Jonathan. Here is my last major project that I did. All was done with pocket hole except building the top of the desk. Can’t say enough about how easy it is for pocket hole joinery. At first I was going to use mortise and tenon, but a buddy of mine recommended the pocket hole instead.



-- Williamsburg, KY

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 3051 days

#9 posted 12-04-2010 08:43 AM

Both are very usefull. I own the dewalt biuit joiner and the kreg pocket hole 3. I have used both many times over.

congratulation on your purchase.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View canadianchips's profile


2602 posts in 3114 days

#10 posted 12-04-2010 02:02 PM

I must think like you. I pickup the kreg tool kit, look it over, pet it and set it back down thinking I do not do enough to justify the cost. Last week in our NEW Lowe’s store in London, I picked up the kreg in individual pieces, (Drill bit, 1 hole jig, package of screws) walked around store looking at other stuff, set these back down and left. As far as biscuits, I use a dedicated “little router” with blade for this.
I am a dowel and pin person ! (More measuring, stronger joint, I THINK)

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Suobs's profile


26 posts in 2893 days

#11 posted 12-04-2010 05:06 PM

I’ve joined just about everything using pocket holes, including some demanding applications – like butt joints supporting heavy-duty 2×3 and 2×4 shop shelves (holding at least several hundred pounds on 55” wide shelves held by cross-supports attached only with pocket screws); treated 2×8 crossbars and the 2×4 top rail on an exterior porch; and a 2×4 torsion box frame top of a much-abused and pounded-on shop/cutting table, and these projects have stood up for years with no complaints, apparent weaknesses, or failures (on all of these because of the 2x material I was able to use 2-1/2” Kreg washer head exterior screws, except for the porch which uses standard 3” coated deck screws with small washers to let them hold in the hole). If you’re painting, flush pocket joints can be made almost invisible using filler and some sanding after assembly, and really careful assembly lets you do finished joints for clear-finish work.

If you build stuff regularly and don’t want to mess around with fancy joinery in applications where you can hide or fill the pocket holes, I think you’ll find endless uses for the Kreg jig. I have one of the “master” systems mounted on a bench. One bit of advice: you want to do very solid clamping before installing the screws, and make sure you have all the clamps you need, as it can be difficult to keep things aligned as you drive the screws if you can’t clamp down directly to a table. Having to reposition a screw after a first try will definitely compromise joint strength because of the nearby abandoned hole.

Note that pocket screws were found to make a considerably stronger joint than both biscuits and “Domino” biscuits in a failure test by Fine Woodworking (article called “Joinery Shootout” available at their website). However, biscuits do have applications where you couldn’t use pocket screws.

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 2948 days

#12 posted 12-04-2010 06:40 PM

I’ll add the same as others have said, use glue also. I have never pocket screwed anything without also using glue. With the mechanical fastening of the screws and glue you’ll have an incredibly strong joint. Clamping the work so nothing moves as you set the screw is also important. Don’t rely on the screws to “set” the joint. It will tend to walk and you’ll end up with unsatisfactory joint, not aligned, etc. The Kreg videos show them setting screws with minimal or no clamps but this is not very precise.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View Crystalini's profile


9 posts in 3075 days

#13 posted 12-05-2010 06:41 AM

Nothing beats pocket holes (when you don’t care that the hole will be seen or hidden). My advice, to make the Kreg jig work flawlessly, get their right angle clamp (I know, sticker shock hasn’t worn off just yet from the original purchase). It took me 2 years and hundreds of pocket holes to figure out that if you don’t use the right angle clamp with the standard clamp provided with the Master set, there is a large chance that the two boards will off-set just a little bit, causing a step in the joint.

Definitely put the Festool Domino on your Xmas list!!! You’ll never use that new biscuit joiner :) I used mine just tonight…

-- "You should have seen the size of the splinter!!"

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3168 days

#14 posted 12-05-2010 05:09 PM

I completely agree with Gary about making sure you’ve got everything clamped because if you don’t, the joint is almost guaranteed to move on you as the screw enters the second piece. And if you watch the video of them not using clamps, you can see it happen there as well. They didn’t even attempt to edit that part out, which, I suppose, is a good thing, as it brings the reality of the situation to light; they don’t mention it, but if you’re paying attention, you’ll see it.

I do not yet have a biscuit joiner, but have considered bumping it up on my list as it sure would make stock alignment easier!

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Beeguy's profile


179 posts in 3754 days

#15 posted 12-11-2010 10:11 PM

I think you got enough comments telling you that the tools are worthwhile. They are and I have the PC joiner and Kreg Jig. I use them a lot.

No one seemed to comment on your being upset about spending the money. Well unless you used money that was for bills, food or your kids clothes don’t feel guilty. 30+ years ago I picked up a hammer and started remodeling our first home. Since then I have bought a large assortment of tools and have done many many jobs around our house and my kids houses too. For every major project I would try and buy one new tool to use on that job. In the beginning it was a circular and a scroll saw. I remember hesitation over a $13 B&D corded drill. That was a lot of money back then. I used that drill a lot and it still around here somewhere and still works.

The PC joiner was bought when we put down hardwood flooring throughout the house. I bought the flooring at a sawmill. Since there was no T&Gs on the ends I used biscuits. Probably overkill but I did not want any movement on the end. I also bought a pneumatic flooring stapler at Harbor Freight. It worked great. By doing it myself I saved five times the cost of the tools.

I was always taught you do it yourself. It has been very few times I have paid someone so the amount of money I saved well exceeded what I spent on tools. I am sure most on this list have similar thoughts. Now woodworking is a little different because I do it more for enjoyment although I saved a lot of money making as opposed to buying, but that is somewhat limited.

In my case I don’t play golf, or go to expensive events (except woodworking shows – cheap to get in but not to get out) or do other things that cost a lot of money for fun. Not that there is anything wrong with any of that, but I choose to spend my money in the shop.

So don’t feel guilty and enjoy your purchases. Make something that will last and leave a legacy. I don’t know too many golfers that can do that.

-- Ron, Kutztown, PA "The reward is in the journey."

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