Router to cut biscuit slots?

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Forum topic by Steve Kreins posted 03-05-2014 02:28 PM 3406 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Steve Kreins

358 posts in 1626 days

03-05-2014 02:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: biscuit joint router question

I’m not going to go out and buy a biscuit joiner because, 1. I’m broke, 2. I don’t see myself using one enough to justify the expense anyway.

I just read a post on another forum where the fellow said he got rid of his biscuit joiner and simply uses his router for the occasional need to use a biscuit joint.


-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

8 replies so far

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2442 days

#1 posted 03-05-2014 02:38 PM

I have used a router with Biscuit Joint Slot Cutter in the past,you’ll need to set it up in a router table of course but it was easy to use,I stopped using biscuits after I bought a doweling jig.

Here is a similar bit I found on ebay:

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View firefighterontheside's profile


18159 posts in 1852 days

#2 posted 03-05-2014 02:39 PM

My advice is do it very carefully. I cut a nice biscuit slot in my finger with my actual biscuit cutter. I was working on a small piece that wasn’t easy to hold onto then I made the mistake of plunging the tool before I squeezed the trigger. This caused the the piece to shoot out of my hand and then my hand was all that was left in the way. The biscuit cutter is designed to do this operation. It has spiked nubs that are meant to keep the piece from slipping and it has a plunge feature that helps with guiding the blade into the wood. I’m not saying you can’t do it safely with a router, just be careful. I know people do it. I’ve seen numerous cutters on craigslist for $50 or less. I would think even the cheapest biscuit cutters would be better than a router at this operation. One of the things a cutter has depth of cut stops and indicators to locate the hole. You will have a little more difficulty doing that. I guess if you only use one size of biscuit it won’t be so important. Good luck.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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Fred Hargis

4984 posts in 2489 days

#3 posted 03-05-2014 02:46 PM

Make sure you get the right size slot cutter with the bit. It works well. If you saw the kitchen cabinet build series that Norm did, he used just such a cutter. His approach was a little more production oriented with it… he used the slot cutter to cut slots the full length of the cabinet carcase as well as the face frame. Then he put biscuits wherever he wanted along the length of the slot. Point being: you don’t have to worry to much about the length of the slot (as long as it’s not too short).

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

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3659 days

#4 posted 03-05-2014 02:47 PM

Steve—Ken from Ontario nailed it. I have the same cutter he provided the link to … used it to attach the face frames to cabinets in a bathroom remodel I did at the old old house. I routed the frame components (before they were assembled) on my router table, then transferred the bit to a handheld router, set the height, and cut a biscuit slot every 8 inches or so.

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

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29222 posts in 2334 days

#5 posted 03-05-2014 02:56 PM

I have a biscuit cutter, but I could easily use my router instead. Same principle, mark and cut.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View RockyTopScott's profile


1186 posts in 3474 days

#6 posted 03-05-2014 03:25 PM


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View dbhost's profile


5710 posts in 3228 days

#7 posted 03-05-2014 09:11 PM

Man these guys are quick…

I have a slot cutting bit that came with a set from MLCS years ago…

My router table is fancy compared to the barebones necessity. You need a platform to hold the router up, a hole to pass the bit through, and something flat, and straight that can be clamped in place to act as a fence to maintain distance… Pretty simple right? Mark your workpiece where you wan to start and stop the deep part, mark your fence dead center, Carefully guide the work piece into the bit and route out the material from mark A to Mark B on the workpiece. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

MLCS has a video showing this bit in use as part of the mitered door frame set, in the linked video, you can see they start describing it at 3:49 in..

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View BenI's profile


332 posts in 2174 days

#8 posted 03-05-2014 11:52 PM

I actually just purchased a Whiteside biscuit slot cutter for my router off Amazon for a panel glue up and it worked fantastic! Because of the difference between routing and using a biscuit joiner, you do have to move the router a little farther than the width of the bit to make the slot long enough for the biscuit but it’s very easy and I quickly learned the right amount by referencing it off the bit itself.

Just a note, I did mine freehand, without a router table and they turned out just fine.

I’d look into a biscuit set so that you have the ability to do any size biscuit by just swapping out the bearings. The Whiteside one I got off Amazon was a great value and comes with the wrench and the other 2 bearings for only $28.08 from here:

They also have a 1/4” shank version for the same price. Good luck!

-- Ben from IL

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