Biscuit joiner. Which one?

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Forum topic by Charlie posted 06-13-2012 02:10 PM 7313 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2252 days

06-13-2012 02:10 PM

I’m going to be edge joining some walnut. I just don’t see a good way to do this without a biscuit joiner.
I can get a Dewalt DW682K for $149 or the PC 557 for $219. Quite a difference in price. Checked Craigslist. Nada. Neither comes with the 2 inch blade for face frames if I decide to go that route in a later project. And I’m assuming neither comes with any biscuits.

Not sure how much use it will get after this kitchen project, but…. I know there’s some things you use more once you have them.

Which way would you go? And please don’t tell me to get a Domino. I’m not shelling out that kind of cash. I just need a biscuit joiner that is accurate and will get this job done.

Making a small counter top. About 24×33. Using Walnut that’s about an inch and a quarter.


26 replies so far

View Ken Fitzpatrick's profile

Ken Fitzpatrick

376 posts in 3989 days

#1 posted 06-13-2012 02:17 PM

I’ve had the DeWalt for a long time and it has served me well. PC makes tremendous products so I guess you do have a delima lol. Isn’t it great buying new tools!

-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

View AJLastra's profile


87 posts in 2194 days

#2 posted 06-13-2012 02:23 PM

DeWalt. I actually have the Craftsman model which is an exact copy of the DeWalt, made by DeWalt…...go figure. I’ve used it for years with no problems at all. One other thing to consider and thats the biscuits you buy. No kidding. some of these little pieces of wood will drive you nuts because they are not uniformly manufactured so a number 10 or a number 20 isnt truly a number 10 or 20. they will warp and swell just from the air they’re stored in. Porter Cable makes good biscuits and they’re not expensive.

View Fuzzy's profile


298 posts in 3954 days

#3 posted 06-13-2012 02:26 PM

I just know you’re going to get a flood of totally unrelated opinions about how worthless the biscuit cutter is, and how it’s just a toy, not suitable for anything of any quality … ... ...


I have the DeWalt … use it on every project in some way or fashion, and wouldn’t be without it. If the Porter Cable feature of the auxiliary blade suits you, your decision is made. Both are fine products, and should serve you well.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View Mosquito's profile


9278 posts in 2258 days

#4 posted 06-13-2012 02:33 PM

I’ve got the PC 557 and it works quite well. I picked mine up for $189 new plus an 11% off rebate on top of it.

Only comment I have for its use is to not even bother with the dust/chip collection bag that comes with it. It’s useless. It stops most of the chips right at the opening, and so it clogs it up and after about 2 biscuits the sawdust starts coming out around the blade instead. I just use it with out the bag and angle the bag mounting plastic elbow away from me and let it shoot out and away (when I’m working outside).

AJLastra has a good point about the biscuits, I always dry fit and often end up trying about 50% more biscuits than I use, just to get ones with good fits

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View TheDane's profile


5399 posts in 3629 days

#5 posted 06-13-2012 02:33 PM

+1 for the DeWalt … I have had one for about six years. Built like a tank, easy to use, and produces repeatable results.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2252 days

#6 posted 06-13-2012 02:34 PM

OK well I guess I should ask…. for a counter top this small, do I even NEED biscuits?
Or can I just glue it (Titebond II)?
I can see where biscuits would help with alignment, but…. this is kinda small. And an inch and a quarter thick.
Just one of those things I don’t have experience with… (normal)


View Tennessee's profile


2860 posts in 2480 days

#7 posted 06-13-2012 02:35 PM

I’ve had my PC for about ten years. Works great every time. If it’s any consideration, I see Dewalt units in pawn shops. Might be a great way to pick up one on the cheap.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Ken Fitzpatrick's profile

Ken Fitzpatrick

376 posts in 3989 days

#8 posted 06-13-2012 02:42 PM


You don’t really need the BC for what you are doing. Glue should hold it just fine. A belt sander, plane or scraper could clean up the top nice and smooth. The BC would help in alignment , minimizing cleanup but will you use it again? Tools are my toys. I would use one, but that’s me. Your the one who has to be happy.

Glued joints by themselves worked just fine for hundreds of years. Your choice. Good luck.

-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2936 days

#9 posted 06-13-2012 02:46 PM

Pc and Dewalt are the industry standard machines. About a year ago one of the woodworking magazines did a comparison of about 8 machines and those two came out on top. They found the Porter Cable to be the only machine able to correctly joint certain miter joints due to the way its fence is made and it could use the mini size biscuits. Otherwise PC and Dewalt were even.

View knotscott's profile


7980 posts in 3341 days

#10 posted 06-13-2012 02:52 PM

I owned the DW for several years….it’s a good tool, but largely unnecessary IMO. Biscuits aren’t a necessity for most glue hardwood ups if the edges are flat and tight. (The PC has the advantage of be able to cut face frame size biscuits that the DW doesn’t do the last I knew). A router is capable of cutting most biscuit slots for the few occasions I deem them necessary, but there are almost always other methods that are equally good, easier, stronger, or all of the above. Pocket holes aren’t completely interchangeable with biscuits, but I find a good pocket hole jig to be a more useful tool than the biscuit cutter in general.

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

View knothead's profile


163 posts in 3914 days

#11 posted 06-13-2012 03:32 PM

Don’t forget to check Ebay!

I bought the Dewalt (I’m at work now so I can’t remember the model number – but it is current) used from a contractor that bought it then said it didn’t fit his needs like he thought it would. I gave $40.00 plus shipping. It was almost pristine in the case when it arrived and I have been very happy. I rarely use biscuits other than for large panels so it sits idle allot, but for $40.00 it has been a bang up tool.

Shop carefully and Ebay can be your friend



-- So Much Wood - So Little Time! --

View Mike's profile


60 posts in 2175 days

#12 posted 06-13-2012 03:37 PM

What about Makita? I’ve looked at one at HD a few times, seems like a really nice tool. For your intended project, will pocket hole screw work?

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2891 days

#13 posted 06-13-2012 03:51 PM

I have the Dewalt, used it for years without a problem.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2917 days

#14 posted 06-13-2012 04:03 PM

if you’re mostly concerned about the alignment of boards for the top, I’d just drill a couple of holes and use dowels instead. I’d only buy a biscuit jointer if you see a lot of uses for the type of projects you have in mind.

On a side note, I have a Freud biscuit jointer that was given to me. Seems like a decent machine, but I don’t use it all that often.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6851 posts in 3945 days

#15 posted 06-13-2012 04:14 PM

I have a couple Porter Cable machines that hve seena great deal of use. They’ve worked very well for me. I’ve used the Dewalt and the Frued, but like the PC the best.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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