A biscuit joiner is a woodworking tool used to join two pieces of wood together. It is a miniature saw which cuts thin slots onto the edges of a wood board, which is then used to hold two pieces of wood boards together. It is also called a plate joiner.
Even though biscuit joiners have little to no use beyond the job that they are made for, it can be a valuable tool, especially for woodworkers who are making specialized furniture, cabinetry or unique wood crafts.
What is a biscuit?
A “biscuit” may sound appetizing, but this biscuit is far from being edible! A biscuit in woodworking is a thin, oval-shaped, highly dried, and compressed piece of wood that is made primarily of beechwood or particle wood. A biscuit is usually covered with glue and immediately placed in the slot (which has been cut by the biscuit joiner) on the edge of one board and in the corresponding slot on the other board, clamping two boards together.
Sometimes, the glue is applied to the slots before the biscuits are placed inside them.
Joining the two wooden boards together via biscuits is especially useful when making tables tops, chairs, and cabinets.
Why should you use a biscuit joiner?
Using a biscuit joiner is a quick, easy, and simple way to join two pieces of wood boards together. Just cut slots in the mating stocks, apply glue, place the biscuits in the slots, assemble, clamp, and you’re done.
Using a biscuit joiner does away the problems which are usually associated with using a slot-cutting router since it is mostly impossible to continuously insert router bits into the edge of the board at a perfect perpendicular angle. A biscuit joiner’s blades can spin at speeds of up to 10,000 RPM and are embedded within the guard of the saw, before being quickly plunged into the edge of the wood board.
In addition, a biscuit joiner has guiding features that effectively ensure perpendicular cuts to a wood board’s edge, resulting to a perfectly snug fit.
While the biscuit joiner looks like a complicated and intimidating machine, it is, in fact, so simple and easy to use. It allows you to make quick and accurate joints, and you can use it to join both hardwoods and softwoods, plywood, composition boards, etc.
What are the features of a biscuit joiner?
We highlight the most important features of a biscuit joiner. There’s a depth scale that’s fully adjustable. There’s also the bevel which can cut slots at a maximum of 45 degrees. It also has a sawdust port for collecting dusts after cutting the slots.
How to use a biscuit joiner?
Place the two boards on in their final positions. Make sure that they are correctly aligned.
- Using a pencil, make even spaced-out markings across the joint, where every biscuit of the board will fit in.
- Put the biscuit joiner’s guide fence flat atop one of the board’s surface, and line the cutting guide using a pencil. You should do this one board at a time.
- Turn on the biscuit joiner’s saw, inserting the blade into the board up to the stop line.
- Remove the biscuit joiner and repeat this process at every pencil mark.
- Once you have completed all the cuts, apply glue on the slots of one of the boards.
- Insert a biscuit in each glued board.
- Slide the second board onto the biscuit.
- To ensure that these two boards are securely joined together as the glue dries, use clamps. However, make sure not to clamp too tightly. Doing so will force the glue out, and you don’t want that to happen.
The following lists essential tools for making wood joints using biscuits and a biscuit joiner:
For the complete woodworking package using biscuits, you won’t want to miss this offering by Rexbeti! Like many biscuit joiners, this device features three adjustable fence positions – 0°, 45°, and 90°. The blade is tipped with carbide coating which prevents it from pitting and rusting. This bundled deal also includes 100-piece packed wooden biscuits. If you are new to making biscuit joints, this tool is incredibly easy to use because it allows you to set a fence angle and height effortlessly.
This highly durable but easy-to-use biscuit joiner can still look and work as good as new. It runs on a 6.5-amp and 10,000 RPM motor which enables this machine to cut slots for biscuits quickly and effortlessly. Like many biscuit joiners, this device features three adjustable fence positions, from 0° to 90°. It also features a dual rack and pinion fence which guarantee that the fence and the blade are always parallel for precise joints each time.
As standard with biscuit joiners, the Aoben biscuit joiner features three adjustable fence positions – 0°, 45° and 90°. The blade is tipped with tungsten carbide to ensure long-lasting and razor-sharp cutting performance. It also includes an anti-slip handle which takes out the worry of slipping out of your hand while cutting slots for your biscuit joinery. It also comes with a sawdust bag that collects debris, preventing them from flying and cluttering your work space.
If you already own and use a biscuit joiner as a regular tool in your woodworking, but are in need of biscuits, these #10 biscuits from Porter-Cable would be a good option. This standard size of this biscuit will fit all biscuit and plate joiners, and these biscuits are made from high-quality wood to ensure a good fit, strength and stability. It comes in a container that you can re-use to store new biscuits or other smaller parts and accessories.
For reference, a biscuit designated as “#10” measures 2-1/8” x 3/4” x 19/128” (length x width x thickness)
These high-quality R3 biscuits tend to expand, especially when used with water glues, which can create a strong bond when they’re joined by another stock. Ideal for making cabinets, trims, special woodworking crafts and projects as well as medium-sized furniture pieces.
For reference, a biscuit designated as “R3” measures 1” x 1/2” x 3/32” (l x w x t)
Applying glue on biscuit slots can be a literally sticky job, but thankfully this glue bottle kit from Wolcraft will make the work easier and less messy. This special glue bottle comes with a roller applicator which applies and spreads glue smoothly and evenly, especially over bigger and broader surface areas. Its grooved biscuit-shaped head allows the bottle to get into the slot and apply as much as glue as needed. With this glue bottle kit, you can use any type of woodworking glue – white, yellow or liquid hide glue.