A biscuit joiner, sometimes called a biscuit jointer or a plate joiner, is a tool to join two pieces of wood to create a biscuit joint. A biscuit joint involves inserting a compressed wood chip, the biscuit, in slots cut in the corresponding piece of wood.
How it works
A biscuit joiner uses a small circular blade to cut a football-shaped hole in the opposite edge of two pieces of wood. The highly-dried biscuit is then covered with glue, or glue is applied in the slot. The biscuit is immediately placed in the slot, the boards are clamped together, and the wet glue expands the biscuit and strengthens the bond.
How to use
After marking the wood where you want the biscuits to be placed, it’s time to put your biscuit joiner to work. Next, place the joiner firmly on the pencil markings. Then, turn the joiner on and push it forward to create the crescent-shaped cut in the wood. It’s essential to apply pressure to release the blade and allow it to cut the wood. Typically, the joiner’s cutting blade will retract when it’s idle. Clean your joiner according to the user manual before storing it to increase the lifespan of your tool.
Why a biscuit joint?
Biscuit joints are a quick and easy way to keep glued parts in alignment. They also add pull-apart strength to joints that wouldn’t be able to stand on their own. What type of joint you will need is primarily based on your project. Biscuits are inexpensive and pre-made, making them easier to work with and increase your project’s turnover time. Due to how the joint is created, they make flawless seams which is ideal when joining two pieces of wood.
A Domino joiner is a type of biscuit joiner with a few key differences. The Domino joiner works similarly; it cuts slots in two pieces of wood and uses a piece to connect them. The first key difference is that the domino biscuit is rectangular-shaped, unlike the traditional biscuit, which is oval-shaped. Another significant difference is the biscuit material. Domino biscuits are typically made from beech or mahogany, while traditional biscuits are made from composite wood.
How it works
It works like a biscuit joiner, except the domino joiner uses a sharp router bit that sweeps from side to side to create a square-shaped cut, and the operator controls the depth of the cut. You also use a domino joiner the same as a biscuit joiner; Mark the wood, place the joiner on the marks and apply pressure to create the cut. Remember, one of the differences between these machines is that the user controls the depth of the cut with a domino joiner, so be mindful of that when applying pressure to your equipment.
Why a Domino joiner?
You can use a domino joiner for any project where you would generally use a biscuit joiner. However, domino joiners are ideal for making furniture like tables, chairs, doors, and cabinets as they make a more solid joint. Domino joiners also allow for wood joints in round or curved material, such as handrails, which is not possible with the biscuit joiner.
After reading this, if you’ve decided you want to pick up a biscuit joiner for your woodworking needs, below are some suggestions:
Cordless biscuit joiners are ideal for projects that require you to be outside the shop. One example is kitchen remodels, where you need to join two countertop sections and don’t want to find an extension cord.
If you’re looking for a cordless biscuit joiner, the 18V Cordless Plate Joiner from Makita is an excellent option for many reasons. The lightweight joiner is designed for portability, so you can easily take it anywhere. The tool has six depth settings with stops for the most common biscuit sizes. Makita ensures quick and easy blade change with their toolless blade cover and shaft lock.
Most biscuit joiners are corded since a majority of woodworking projects take place in the workshop and typically have readily available power. The DEWALT Biscuit Joiner Heavy Duty Kit is a great choice if you’re looking for a corded joiner. The kit has everything you’ll need to start your woodworking journey, including the joiner, carbide blade, dust bag, vacuum adapter, Torx key, wrench, and kit box.
There is only one domino joiner to choose from: The Festool Domino Joiner. The domino joiner can create mortises 4-10mm wide and 50mm deep. It also boasts easy and quick stops that increase accuracy and allow fast adjustments. Change between tenons and cutters in seconds for quicker joining and increased productivity.
While the Festool Domino Joiner comes with a hefty price tag, it’s worth the cost if you’re doing or planning on doing a lot of woodworking projects. However, if you plan on using it less or aren’t ready to commit to the cost of the joiner, biscuit joiners are a great alternative.
Check out joiner options at Acme Tools.