Where has biscuit joinery gone to? Has it died on us?

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Forum topic by SCOTSMAN posted 12-31-2013 06:06 PM 2853 views 0 times favorited 69 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5849 posts in 3607 days

12-31-2013 06:06 PM

Is it just me or does the great biscuit fad seems to have died? When biscuit joinery first came out magazines were simply advertising loads and loads of deals on biscuit joiners, and biscuits .It seemed then we all needed this new technology now we never here of them so were have all the biscuits gone. I personally disliked them and sold my biscuit joiner and biscuits a long time ago in preference of dowels which I think are much better just my 2 cents. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

69 replies so far

View hokieman's profile


185 posts in 3775 days

#1 posted 12-31-2013 06:19 PM

I bought a biscuit cutter, used it about twice and haven’t used it since. I exclusively edge joint panels and don’t see a need for biscuits. Don’t trust biscuits for other joinery. It is just taking up space in the shop.

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1735 posts in 2830 days

#2 posted 12-31-2013 06:26 PM

Alive and well here !

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Don Niermann

219 posts in 3994 days

#3 posted 12-31-2013 06:31 PM

I use it a lot

-- WOOD/DON ( has the right to ones opinion but not the right to ones own facts...)

View SteveL's profile


167 posts in 3790 days

#4 posted 12-31-2013 06:40 PM

I have the Porter Cable biscuit joiner and I use it all the time, but I don’t carry on about it. I find it much easier to use than dowels because the alignment is critical in two directions not three, as it is with dowels. This way, when I’m edge joining two or more boards to make a large panel I can use the biscuits to get good alignment without having to use dowel points or careful measurements. Also I have the feeling (though not the data to back it up) that the biscuit joint is stronger because the glue surface area is larger and the biscuits expand as they soak up the glue providing a very tight interior joint surface. I’ve seen commercial dowel furniture fail at the dowel joint as they age over time. Of course, this never happens to my furniture because I use neither biscuits nor dowels as a substitute for the traditional mortise & tenon joint, (though these are usually pinned with a dowel or two through the tenon when I don’t wedge them.) Some of the hoopla over biscuits may have also moved to the Festool domino joiner. There was an article in FW about biscuit joiners in August.

-- SteveL

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418 posts in 1749 days

#5 posted 12-31-2013 06:44 PM

I use them all the time, there is a time and place for them – just got to know when that is.

View bowedcurly's profile


519 posts in 1751 days

#6 posted 12-31-2013 06:44 PM

Dowels, biscuits, sawstop, chicken, hamburger steak, grizzly, peanut butter, grapes, quater sawn white oak, jungle juice, fabreeze, john deere, JOHN UNERTL, Night FORCE, Hart Barrels, 6mm 284, UK basketball, Colt plunge, Veritas, quilted maple, KREG JIG, comic books, My dog, My blind tabby cat, I like them all

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

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519 posts in 1751 days

#7 posted 12-31-2013 06:45 PM

Happy New Year to all my fellow Jocks

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

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16274 posts in 4240 days

#8 posted 12-31-2013 07:06 PM

I bought my biscuit joiner mainly because I thought it would make my panel glue-ups easier and better, but I found out that wasn’t really the case. I still use it in certain situations, but not all that often.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4996 posts in 2515 days

#9 posted 12-31-2013 07:09 PM

I always suspected the biscuit joiner was a tool that wouldn’t be the most used in the shop, maybe not even earn it’s keep. I bought one anyway, and find it useful in some situations….not so useful for others. Still, I’ve kept it and still use it semi regularly.

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

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

970 posts in 2256 days

#10 posted 12-31-2013 07:11 PM

Once I learned how to use cauls and clamps correctly I have never again used it. I’m not even sure where the cutter is anymore.

-- Jerry

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Bill White

4947 posts in 3982 days

#11 posted 12-31-2013 07:18 PM

Ya can’t have mine. :)


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519 posts in 1751 days

#12 posted 12-31-2013 07:18 PM

really no biscuits here, just with gravy

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View C_PLUS_Woodworker's profile


601 posts in 2929 days

#13 posted 12-31-2013 07:23 PM

Hey Alistair Buddy….........

As you know, I am relatively new here

But, I have noticed (often and a lot) the same trend you have seen about biscuit cutters

And have been glad I never bought one.

Came REAL CLOSE a couple of times…...

And watching Norm with his purple Lammello…........well, if Norm had one …........then I certainly needed and HAD to have one….

As it turns out, I have never needed one on any of the rudimentary pieces I have made.

That is probably out of my ignorance as to when to use the proper tool for that specific task. Highly Probable.

I have been successful with other joinery methods and router bits and glue-line blades and now my new MortisePal.

To directly respond….........Yes, I have seen less advertising, less interest, less articles on biscuit work.

But, then I also see articles in which having a biscuit cutter is considered a given… one the other day that just assumed the reader had a biscuit cutter.

But, all in all, I think your premise is correct…..........

Being new to woodworking I was (and still am) paying HUGE attention to tools…so from my limited perspective

I do think there has been a diminishing of emphasis or mention about biscuit cutters over the last few years that I have been around.

Maybe a cutter would be one of those tools that if I bought and used…......I would wonder how I ever got along without one

Actually, I would love some guidance from other LJ’s as to if a cutter would become a tool that I would kick myself for waiting so long to get.

Very best to ya.

PS….....I am selling my next new-born grand kid to buy a 15 inch drum sander.

View Loren's profile (online now)


10476 posts in 3669 days

#14 posted 12-31-2013 07:25 PM

It was overused in magazine articles and I think some
of the woodworkers (pros especially) discovered that
it really wasn’t that strong in many applications.

I still use it. Only the Domino, plate joiner, and the
Mafell dd40 style dowelers allow you to take
a plunging joinery tool to the work and accurately
make a cut in a face that lacks a perpendicular
reference face.

I don’t use biscuits for aligning glue ups very often
but in applications where one needs a spline to
glue a thicker piece to a thinner piece with a
specific reveal, the biscuit gets the job done

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4861 posts in 3070 days

#15 posted 12-31-2013 08:31 PM

I bought a Freud on clearance sale at Lowes for $50.00.
I played with it once or twice and I never touched it again.

-- Bert

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