The Best Biscuit Joiner – Complete Buying Guide & Reviews

Biscuit joiner – a funny name for a seriously imperative tool for your woodworking needs, especially when it comes to fencing jobs. If you’re looking for a beautiful, well-maintained, durable fence, you’re going to want to check one of these out.

A good biscuit joiner is going to make your job a whole lot easier and it’s going to create a stronger connection than a dowel rod would, offering convenience and efficiency in place of other less desirable alternatives.

With a biscuit joiner, you are going to have a whole lot more versatility. These biscuit holders are much more forgiving than a dowel, so if you don’t get the slot just right, you’ll still be able to get the pieces in the right place and get a secure hold.

So, if you’re looking for a higher quality finish to that backyard fence you’ve been stressing over, or if that woodworking project that needs the perfect touch, a biscuit joiner is the way to go. Let’s take a look at some of your best options here. 

​Quick Overview: Our Best Biscuit Joiners Choices

Dewalt DW682K Plate Joiner

This 6.5 amp joiner gives you 10,000 RPM and can be used even on hardwood surfaces. It has a dual rack and pinion fence that keeps the blade and fence parallel at all times and the one piece fence is integral to the machine. It’s also adjustable and can be tilted between 0 and 90 degrees, even making flush cuts without having to remove the fence itself. The locating notch in the fence lets you index the 45-degree mark easily, especially since it’s such a commonly used one.

The non-marring aluminum shoe is heavy duty but still lightweight and lets you clamp the joiner as needed for more stationary style projects. This electric joiner uses the metric system and comes with a 3-year warranty and 90-day money back guarantee. It also has preset depth stops for all of the common biscuit sizes so you can set it and forget it while you work. There are even anti-slip pins to hold your wood piece still while you cut, whether it’s clamped or free-moving and a dust bag to keep your workstation much cleaner.

Things we like:

  • 3-year warranty, 90-day money back guarantee
  • Dual rack and pinion fence, making for more accurate joints
  • 10,000 RPM 6.5 amp motor
  • Dust bag and vacuum adapter included

Things we don’t like:

  • The front base can be difficult to configure
  • May take some trial and error if you are inexperienced with this tool

Porter-Cable 557 Plate Joiner Kit

This plate joiner gives you 7 different cutting settings, with a 7 amp motor and a maximum rotation of 10,000 RPM. It’s moderately priced and even has its own dust collection bag to keep your workspace neat and ready to go anytime you need it.

The fence tilts from 0 degrees all the way to 135 degrees and even has a positive adjustable stop at 90 degrees to give you the versatility that you need for different projects. You’ll get the 4” blade, dust bag, centering plate, spanner wrench and a chip deflector included in the kit.

The lock on trigger makes it easier to keep going along and the micro height adjustment knob makes sure that your projects come out just the way you want them. You can connect it directly to a vacuum or use the dust bag included with the 1” dust port and you can get the perfect amount of control on the system because of the bale handle over the fence. It’s lightweight, small and adapts for a 2” blade as needed.

Things we like:

  • 7 cutting settings
  • Fence tilt from 0 – 135 degrees
  • Adaptable for 2” blade
  • Includes dust bag or vacuum port

Things we don’t like:

  • Requires some setup and is not as intuitive as others of it’s kind
  • Reported difficulties with blade change and holder

Makita PJ7000 Plate Joiner

This moderately priced tool offers a 5.6 amp motor with up to 11,000 RPM to provide you with precise cuts every time. It uses a rack and pinion vertical fence that keeps everything lined up and ready to go each time you make an adjustment and has a cast aluminum pivot fence that has stops at 0, 45 and 90 degrees.

There are also 6 different depth settings where all you need to do is touch one button and you’ll be ready with the ideal biscuit size.

The slim design of the system makes it easier to hold, especially since the handle itself is more ergonomic. It also has easy-to-use cam locks that help with fence adjustments and the grip handle at the top is oversized.

There are a tool-less blade cover and a shaft lock that makes it easy for you to swap out blades and there are rubber inserts on the shoe that keep it from slipping. The front body is made with cast aluminum and the blade is carbide tipped for durability.

Things we like:

  • 11,000 RPM
  • 6 depth settings for normal biscuit sizes
  • Ergonomic style handle, easy to hold
  • Extremely precise, even with small jobs
  • More affordable than other options

Things we don’t like:

  • Height adjustment not as precise as other models
  • Dust port can sometimes clog

Makita XJP03Z Cordless Plate Joiner

Here you’re getting a rack and pinion vertical fence that keeps the fence and the blade parallel to one another no matter how you adjust it. You’re also getting 3 positive stops on the cast aluminum fence, including 0 degrees, 45 degrees, and 90 degrees.

It’s even able to center easily over ¾” materials. There are 6 different depth settings for the most common sizes of biscuits and the fact that it’s a cordless machine means that it’s easier for you to take anywhere you want to go.

The easy-to-use cam locks help you make fence adjustments quickly and easily and if you have other tools from this company you can interchange batteries to get more versatility. With just a single charge to a lithium-ion battery (bought separately), you can get up to 320 cuts or 160 joints. Lightweight and protected against overload, overheating and over-discharge, it can take care of just about any woodworking needs.

Things we like:

  • Uses lithium ion batteries
  • 160 joints or 320 cuts per single charge
  • Cordless system for versatility

Things we don’t like:

  • Battery and charger are sold separately
  • Much pricier than other options

Gino Development 01-0102 TruePower Biscuit Plate Joiner

This inexpensive option is small and lightweight enough that you won’t have a problem taking it with you anywhere. It runs at 11,000 RPM and can cut through as much as 0.55” with angles between 0 and 45 degrees for added versatility. It even comes with a 4” carbide tipped blade that’s designed to be strong enough to get through just about any type of wood. It creates miter joints, T-joints, butt joints and edge-to-edge cuts with ease and even includes a dust bag to keep things cleaned up.

There are presets built right into the unit for 3 of the most common biscuit sizes, #0, #10 and #20. The adjustable fence is simple to operate and there’s a dust port where you can connect a vacuum if you prefer to really keep things neat and organized. At about 8.4 amps it’s a powerful option that can definitely get the job done and you can swap out the blades and other pieces as needed.

Things we like:

  • Extremely lightweight
  • 8.4 amps of power
  • Extremely affordable for smaller jobs
  • Creates a range of different joints and cuts

Things we don’t like:

  • Only cuts at angles up to 45 degrees
  • Not as ideal for bigger projects

Features to Consider

Biscuit Joiners vs. Dowel Rods

Dowel rods are one of the most common methods of joining pieces of furniture if you don’t have a biscuit joiner. Unfortunately, dowel rods are pretty temperamental. You have to cut them just right and then you have to drill them just right and then you have to align them just right.

They don’t have the same durability or efficiency that a biscuit joiner does. All in all, you’re spending a whole lot of time and effort to get the job done and after you’ve finally got all the pieces you’re spending more time and effort trying to get them assembled. An important matter at hand is figuring out whether which of the two would work better for you.

Handle Style

There are two different handle styles when it comes to operating a biscuit joiner. These are the barrel grip and the D-Handle. A barrel grip has a larger grip that you wrap your hand around in order to hold and maneuver the tool. You actually hold directly onto the body of the tool itself.

These can give a little more control (or at least common users believe it does) and you can get down closer to the blade itself (safely). When it comes to a D-style you’ll have an actual handle on the back of the system that you can hold. This is an added piece on the tool (it’s integrated but doesn’t have any of the body pieces built through it) but is generally more ergonomic and easier to hold for extended periods.

Fence Settings

You want a fence that can be set to 45 degrees as well as 135 degrees because it’s going to make things easier on you while you’re working. No one really wants to flip that board over and over again to get all the joints right?

Well, if you only have a 45-degree fence you’ll have to flip the board in order to get anything going the opposite direction. With that extra 135-degree option the joiner will do the flipping for you and you just get the cut you need on the inside or outside face of the joint. Of course, more angles are better, but at least these two are going to be a good start.

On top of the angle settings, you also want the fence to track easily both up and down without changing how it fits in relation to the blade. They should stay parallel to each other. A rack-and-pinion mechanism that helps you adjust the fence makes things easier on you and comfortable knobs make it easier to get the settings that you need.

Blade Versatility

Knowing the basics on blade size is essential for setting up your biscuit joiner. A 4” blade is the standard for most joiners, and it’s great for a good range of biscuits (#0, #10 and #20) but that’s not the only sizes you may need. If you’re possibly going to need something that works smaller you’ll need a biscuit joiner with a plunge mechanism to hold those smaller blades. Make sure you’re taking a look at this closely to make sure you have the right features.

Wrap Up

If you’re going to be doing some woodworking then a biscuit joiner is a great addition to your tool collection. You can pick them up for just about any price range, but keep in mind you’re generally going to get what you pay for. You’ll want something that’s high quality enough to get the job done for you but that isn’t going to break the budget.

Just take a few minutes to look through our favorite options and we’re sure you’re going to find something you really like, that fits everything you’re going to need.

When it comes to an all-encompassing, durable biscuit joiner, our top pick is the Dewalt DW628K Plate Joiner, a prime choice for your fencing and woodworking needs. If we’ve peaked your interest, you can go ahead and check one out here.

About Gus Donaldson

I built houses for over 30 years and recently retired. I've made lots of mistakes and hopefully teach you not to make the same ones. I still love to build and have a garage workshop that I use for hobby projects like the walnut bookshelf I made for my wife. I like to write and let people know that working with your hands and tools does not need to be intimidating.

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