10 Best Biscuit Joiners of 2021 – Top Picks & Reviews
Once you really get into woodworking, it’s the details that matter. Sure, you could join any two pieces of wood by simply nailing them together. But if you want to make a beautiful finished product that’s free from nail holes, wood filler, and blemishes, then a biscuit joiner is a must-have for your workshop.
These tools allow you to cleanly join any two pieces of wood without the need for any nails by using biscuits of compressed wood set in small cuts made to the touching sides of the boards. A good joiner will even allow for joining boards at an angle or using biscuits of different sizes.
While upgrading our workshop recently, we realized it was time for a new biscuit joiner. Naturally, this meant it was the perfect time to put some joiners to the test and see which ones were the best. Everything we learned along the way will be shared in the following 10 reviews.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Ryobi -JM83K-AC Biscuit Joiner Kit||
|Best Value||VonHaus Wood Biscuit Plate Joiner||
|Premium Choice||PORTER-CABLE 557 Plate Joiner Kit||
|Makita PJ7000 Plate Joiner||
|DEWALT DW682K Plate Joiner Kit||
The 10 Best Biscuit Joiners – Reviews 2021
1. Ryobi -JM83K-AC Biscuit Joiner Kit – Best Overall
With a compact form factor and a cutting speed of 11,000 revolutions per minute (RPM), the Ryobi -JM83K-AC Biscuit Joiner Kit was our favorite of them all. It’s loaded with features that set it apart from other models, starting with the fence that’s adjustable from 0°-135°. Luckily, there are stops at 0°, 45°, 90°, and 135°, allowing you to cut holes for your biscuits at the most commonly used angles.
Compared to other biscuit joiners, this one is small, making it easy to work with. It’s got plenty of power though, thanks to the stout 6-amp motor. Even with all these great features, it’s still priced reasonably compared to other brands.
This joiner has a dust port to suck the sawdust from your work. It does a good job at this, though the dust port tends to clog up. That’s the worst complaint we have about this joiner though, which is why it’s at the very top of our list.
2. VonHaus Wood Biscuit Plate Joiner – Best Value
The hallmark of a great value is excellent performance for a reasonable price. Offering precisely that, we think the VonHaus Wood Biscuit Plate Joiner is one of the best biscuit joiners for the money. It’s priced affordably, yet still packs in plenty of power and necessary features.
With a powerful 8.5-amp motor turning the blade at 10,000 RPM, you’ll be able to make clean cuts easily in any type of wood. You can preset the depth to work with common biscuit sizes, like 0, 10, and 20.
This joiner has an adjustable fence that can be tightened in any position. However, it doesn’t have stops at the most common positions, which is a noticeable drawback. But the whole machine is pretty light at just 7.4 pounds, making it easy to use vertically for cutting holes in the faces of boards.
3. PORTER-CABLE 557 Plate Joiner Kit – Premium Choice
Over the years, we’ve been impressed by many PORTER-CABLE tools, so we weren’t surprised at the great performance from the 557 Plate Joiner Kit. To be fair, it’s definitely one of the more expensive options. But with such great features, we think the price is warranted.
Unlike other joiners we tested, this one can use 4-inch or 2-inch blades for standard-sized and fine cuts. The fence tilts from 0°-135° so you can cut for your biscuits at any angle. There’s even a stop at 90°, so you can always be sure that 90° is correct.
Most of the joiners we tested offered 3 preset depths, but the PORTER-CABLE offers 7 different stops for biscuits of all sizes. At just 7.5 pounds, it’s a lightweight and manageable machine, which comes in handy when using it vertically. We also liked the dust port with vacuum attachment that kept our workspace tidy so we could always properly line up our cuts.
4. Makita PJ7000 Plate Joiner
We usually like tools from Makita. They tend to be of good quality, and the PJ7000 Plate Joiner is no exception. However, it’s a bit pricey compared to similar products and has raised lettering on the depth gauge that makes it hard to set the proper depth for your biscuits. At least you get 6 depths to set it to!
Despite these flaws, we found a lot of greats in this joiner. For instance, it has a cutting speed of 11,000 RPM, making flawless cuts easily in any wood. It’s equipped with a cast aluminum fence that has stops at 0°, 45°, and 90°. You can even make your adjustments and change the blade without the need for tools.
Altogether, this is a great tool. But the high price and difficult depth stop gauge are going to prevent it from cracking the top three.
5. DEWALT DW682K Plate Joiner Kit
We usually expect DEWALT tools to be top performers, but the DW682K Plate Joiner Kit offered middle-of-the-pack performance instead. It’s lacking in some key areas that hold it back. At nearly 10 pounds, it’s a pretty stout machine that’s difficult to use vertically for cutting into board faces. And you only get 3 depth stops for 0, 10, and 20 biscuits, unlike other brands that offered 6 or 7 depth stops.
Still, there are plenty of things to like about this joiner. For instance, it’s got a fence that adjusts from 0°-90° with a stop at 45° for joining mitered edges. When doing stationary work, this joiner clamps down to the bench for improved stability. There’s even a dust port you can attach your vacuum to in order to keep your area free of sawdust and completely visible.
6. REXBETI Wood Biscuit Plate Joiner Kit
We’ve used REXBETI tools before, but they’re not a well-known manufacturer like DEWALT or Makita. Still, their Wood Biscuit Plate Joiner Kit has a lot to offer. To start, the fence adjusts from 0°-90° with stops at 0°, 45°, and 90° for accurate angles.
We weren’t thrilled with the trigger, though. The way the safety is set up, it’s difficult to activate while managing the trigger. The adjustment screws are also poorly made. They tend to loosen during use, causing your angles to be off after a few cuts.
We like the affordable price of the REXBETI joiner, but with loosening parts and a poorly designed trigger, it’s not going to be a favorite of ours anytime soon. At least they include 100 biscuits with the purchase!
7. Festool 574332 Joining System
Festool makes premium power tools, and you can tell by the price that they’re for professionals only. Few hobbyists will be willing to shell out so much when there are many comparable joiners available for a fraction of the price. In fact, you could purchase 10 joiners from different brands for less than this one joining system.
What sets this joiner apart is its efficiency. It uses just 420 watts of power, though it has plenty of power for cutting biscuit slots in hardwoods. There’s also a pivoting fence that adjusts from 0°-90° with stops at 0°, 22.5°, 45°, 67.5°, and 90°, allowing for complete versatility in the angles at which you join boards. Still, that’s not enough to justify this outrageous price, which is why this otherwise acceptable tool ranks so low on our list.
8. AOBEN 8.5 Amp Biscuit Cutter Plate Joiner
The AOBEN Biscuit Cutter Plate Joiner isn’t one of the best joiners we tested, but it’s far from the worst. It has some great features like an 11,000 RPM cutting speed and an adjustable fence. It weighs just over 7.5 pounds and is even covered by a 2-year warranty.
But there were too many things we didn’t like about this tool. The worst is that the blade isn’t square. This means your cuts aren’t straight or accurate. Because of this, your boards won’t join together straight or flush, ruining your finished product.
This joiner comes with a wide selection of biscuits to get you started. But you won’t be able to adjust the height of the machine, making it very difficult to use with woods of different thicknesses. It’s affordably priced, but we think there are much better options at the same price point.
9. Lamello Classic x 101600 Biscuit Joiner
The Lamello Classic x 101600 Biscuit Joiner is another great tool held back by an exorbitant price. It offers excellent build quality and highly accurate cuts, but that’s not enough to justify this insane price. You could get several joiners from the likes of Makita or DEWALT for the price of a single joiner from Lamello.
This fence is adjustable, but only has stops at 22.5° and 45°. On most joiners, this would be acceptable, but not at this price. Likewise, the lack of a carrying case is another frustration at this premium price. If you’re going to charge this much for a tool that’s available for a fraction of the price, you at least have to offer more to improve its value.
10. Gino Development 01-0102 TruePower Biscuit Plate Joiner
We like the affordable price of the Gino Development TruePower Biscuit Plate Joiner. Likewise, the 11,000 RPM cutting speed is better than some of the other models we tested. But that’s the end of our praise for this tool. Despite the extra speed, this machine doesn’t cut well, lacking the power necessary for cutting biscuit slots in hardwoods.
The included blade with this joiner is garbage. Instead of making nice, clean cuts, it just burned the wood. When you need to make a depth adjustment, there’s no precision, and you’ll have a hard time getting it set to the right depth. This joiner also has a dust port with a bag on it that’s supposed to contain the mess. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. With far more flaws than upsides, we recommend staying away from this poor-quality joiner.
You know that you need a biscuit joiner to cleanly attach two pieces of wood without any visible markings. But if you’ve never used one of these tools before, then you might now know how to pick one for your projects.
If that sounds like you, then this short buyer’s guide is what you need. In it, we’re going to briefly discuss the most important parts of a biscuit joiner and what they do. But first, let’s talk about biscuits and how they work.
How do Biscuits Work?
Biscuits are small football-shaped discs of compressed, dried wood chips. You can think of them as compressed sawdust. These are extremely dried out so that they’ll be super absorptive.
Using the biscuit joiner, you’ll create slits in your boards where they’re going to be joined. The slits will be just a little larger than your biscuits to allow room for expansion.
Once your holes are cut, you’ll cover the biscuits with glue and insert them into their slots, attaching the second board to the first by the biscuit. The biscuits will absorb the glue and expand until they firmly fill the slots and provide a strong hold.
Biscuits come in a lot of different sizes so that you can join together different sized boards. However, for woodworking, the three most common sizes are 0, 10, and 20. Because of this, most of the joiners on the market offer three depth stops that are set to these sizes.
But there are far more than just three sizes of biscuits, even though those three are the most common. When you need to use special-sized biscuits, you’ll need special-sized holes to match. For this, you’ll need a joiner with more than just three depth stops.
While three depth stops is the standard, some of the tools we tested offered six or even seven different depth stops, opening up the possibilities for use of different biscuits.
When using a biscuit joiner, the fence is one of the most important parts. The fence allows you to ensure that you’re set at the right height and angle. Most joiners have an adjustable fence that can be set to multiple angles, so you aren’t limited to joining boards that are straight or 90°.
However, many fences make it prohibitively difficult to set them to certain angles. Good fences have stops set at the most common angles, like 0°, 45°, and 90°. But fences with no stops make it very difficult to dial in a precise angle. Especially if you want to repeat that angle in the future.
We’ve seen fences that offer many stops, including angles like 22.5° or 67.5°. Similarly, some fences offer more adjustability, spanning from 0°-135° degrees, instead of 0°-90° degrees like most standard joiners.
Adjusting for Wood Thickness
Most joiners are set to a standard depth of ¾ inches. This is great for one particular size of wood, but if you want to use wood that’s not ¾ inches thick, then you need some adjustability. Luckily, most joiners offer an adjustment knob that lets you raise or lower the cutting height of the machine so you can work with woods of varying thickness and still create your cuts in the very center of the edge.
Cutting in the Face
If you’re going to join two boards at 90°, then you’ll be cutting biscuit slots into the edge of one board and the face of the other. But to cut your slots into the face of the board, you’ll have to be able to change the angle of your joiner.
This means lifting the joiner and using it vertically, with the blade facing down into the face of your wood. Some joiners make this easy with stout handles and light bodies that aren’t difficult to maneuver in such a position. But others are heavy and cumbersome, which can make it much harder to work with them vertically.
Even though all joiners perform the same basic function, the prices can fluctuate wildly. We’ve seen some very affordable joiners that offer excellent performance. But we’ve also seen some very expensive joiners. They might offer good performance as well, but at ten times the cost of other joiners, how much performance must they provide to warrant the price?
There’s no better way of joining two pieces of wood without the use of fasteners than by using biscuits. To use biscuits, you’ll need a reliable and accurate biscuit joiner to cut the slots the biscuits will fit in. After reading our reviews, you might already know which joiner will fit your needs, but if not, we’re going to re-summarize our findings once more.
Our favorite overall was the Ryobi JM83K-AC Biscuit Joiner Kit. It’s compact, has a cutting speed of 11,000 RPM, and the fence stops at 0°, 45°, 90°, and 135°.
Looking for the best value in an affordable tool? Then check out the VonHaus Wood Biscuit Plate Joiner. It’s much cheaper than other options, but still has a powerful 8.5-amp motor for easy cuts in hardwoods. Plus, at just 7.4 pounds, it’s easy to use vertically.
If you need a premium tool with no compromises, try the PORTER-CABLE Plate Joiner Kit. It’s got seven depth stops for different sized biscuits, it can use 2-inch and 4-inch blades, has a fence that’s adjustable from 0°-135° degrees, and even includes a built-in dust port that you can attach a vacuum to.
For further reading:
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Biscuit Joiners – Reviews 2021
- 1. Ryobi -JM83K-AC Biscuit Joiner Kit – Best Overall
- 2. VonHaus Wood Biscuit Plate Joiner – Best Value
- 3. PORTER-CABLE 557 Plate Joiner Kit – Premium Choice
- 4. Makita PJ7000 Plate Joiner
- 5. DEWALT DW682K Plate Joiner Kit
- 6. REXBETI Wood Biscuit Plate Joiner Kit
- 7. Festool 574332 Joining System
- 8. AOBEN 8.5 Amp Biscuit Cutter Plate Joiner
- 9. Lamello Classic x 101600 Biscuit Joiner
- 10. Gino Development 01-0102 TruePower Biscuit Plate Joiner
- Buyer’s Guide