Do you still use a biscuit jointer?

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Forum topic by distrbd posted 06-21-2014 06:22 PM 1762 views 0 times favorited 53 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1832 posts in 1535 days

06-21-2014 06:22 PM

I always looked at biscuit jointers as a tool that if I had one I would probably use sometimes but could definitely do without,there is one for sale locally(Freud Model JS100A) for $30 USD.and again I ask myself if I buy it,will it sit in a drawer for months or years or will I use it.
I wonder how many of you bought one and still use it regularly,I find my Dowelmax do the job of a biscuit jointer and more,even if I occasionally needed a biscuit jointer I used a router with a biscuit cutter bit.

Do you still consider your biscuit jointer a good tool to have or have you forgotten you had one?

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

53 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


4571 posts in 2752 days

#1 posted 06-21-2014 06:27 PM

I have DeWalt DW682K that I got used about 8 or 9 years ago. I was buying a used DW733 planer from an elderly gent who had given up woodworking and he threw in the biscuit joiner. Otherwise I doubt I would have bought one.

It doesn’t get much use, but when I need it, it sure comes in handy. I use it exclusively for alignment purposes and on face frames.

I have a biscuit cutter for a router, but it is still NIB … never have had a chance to try it.

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

View mahdee's profile


3008 posts in 857 days

#2 posted 06-21-2014 06:37 PM

I love my biscuit joiner. It makes attaching table top, or any top glue up a piece of cake. There seem to be a lot of myth going around in regards to biscuits swell up the wood which I have never experienced. I do like the fact that the biscuits expand and make a very tight bond. I don’t think dowels do that. $30 is a reasonable price for a that tool (if it is in good condition).


View syenefarmer's profile


402 posts in 2169 days

#3 posted 06-21-2014 06:53 PM

Years ago I purchased the Porter Cable 557 and I consider it the worst return on investment purchase of my life. I know that I only have myself and Norm to blame for the purchase but I doubt if I’ve used it a dozen times since I got it. I gotta hand it to Norm though, he did an excellent job of selling the biscuit concept to the masses.

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2737 days

#4 posted 06-21-2014 06:55 PM

I don’t recommend that Freud. I had one and the fence wouldn’t
stay parallel.

I do use a Porter Cable now, which has a reliably parallel rack
and pinion fence which also tilts. The tool is useful for
odd-angle joinery.

My normal shop frame joinery is dowels. Alignment is very positive
with them. Drilling dowel holes for odd angles is sometimes
more trouble than it’s worth and that’s when I break out
the plate joiner.


View felkadelic's profile


208 posts in 1629 days

#5 posted 06-21-2014 06:58 PM

I have a P-C biscuit joiner but since getting a Domino I haven’t used it once.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2397 days

#6 posted 06-21-2014 07:00 PM

I never use mine…I would have to search the shop to find it.

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 638 days

#7 posted 06-21-2014 07:01 PM

I have a Porter Cable I bought new in the 90’s because of Norm as well. I occasionally use it to help with alignment. My Son uses it a lot building speaker boxes for his buddies.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4021 posts in 3049 days

#8 posted 06-21-2014 07:07 PM

Yep! Use mine. Works for what I need as alignment.


View whitebeast88's profile


3969 posts in 1279 days

#9 posted 06-21-2014 07:20 PM

i’ve used mine several times since i ought it a couple years ago.its a pc i just haven’t built anything lately that i could use it.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View exelectrician's profile


2304 posts in 1516 days

#10 posted 06-21-2014 07:33 PM

I find that the combination of alternating biscuit with pocket hole attachments eliminates the need for large clamps when building plywood boxes. The biscuits provide alignment, and the pocket hole screws pull the whole thing together.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View knotscott's profile


6368 posts in 2465 days

#11 posted 06-21-2014 08:24 PM

I had a DW682k for a few years, but the more wwing I did, the less I was using biscuits. You can cut a biscuit slot with a router too. $30 is a good price for the Freud, but the necessity of it, or lack thereof is what it is. YMMV.

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

View HillbillyShooter's profile (online now)


5542 posts in 1381 days

#12 posted 06-21-2014 08:29 PM

Definitely. I love mine and use it a lot on sheet goods.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2737 days

#13 posted 06-21-2014 08:39 PM

Before I got a confirmat screw drilling machine, I would put
together accurate cabinet cases by using a biscuit cutter
with no fence.

Set the “side” piece on a table or bench. Set the top/bottom
on top, set back by the thickness of the material. Clamp them
down firmly. The side slot is cut with the plate joiner held
vertically, the slot on the cabinet top or deck cut with it
held horizontally.

Then I would drill and countersink screw holes on the sides.

Since I used prefinished ply a lot, I would put glue in the
biscuit slots. The screws pulled everything up tight and then
I’d flip the cabinet on its open back, check for square and
make corrections as needed with a diagonal bar clamp.
After the glue had some time to set I would attach the back.


View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3062 posts in 1582 days

#14 posted 06-21-2014 08:41 PM

I use mine quite a bit, and think the poo-pooing is misguided. they can be useful in some situations. I don’t believe mine (A PC) earns it’s keep, but I have it and I’ll keep it.

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

View MrRon's profile


3475 posts in 2332 days

#15 posted 06-21-2014 09:09 PM

I’ve had a PC biscuit jointer for 25 years and used it maybe 10 times. Should you get a biscuit jointer? That would depend on the type of woodworking you do. In my case, my woodworking seldom requires biscuit joinery.

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