Makita XJP03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Plate Joiner
Cordless but powerful
With six depth settings, an integrated dust bag, and the flexibility of being cordless, you couldn’t ask for more from a biscuit joiner.
1 Makita XJP03Z Review
This cordless biscuit joiner offers much more flexibility than corded versions, and the power output is impressive considering it is battery powered. The 18V lithium-ion battery powers through ¾” material without a problem and charges in under 45 minutes. So whether you’re building a cabinet carcass or prepping drawers, you’ll have plenty of run time.
The Makita XJP03Z plate joiner has six depth settings for better accuracy, as well as a three-position pivot fence to make awkward angles easier. But our favorite feature is the integrated dust collection bag. It collects a good deal of dust but isn’t too big to become cumbersome when holding the joiner.
With a great ergonomic handle and one-touch settings, the Makita XJP03Z is the best biscuit joiner for professionals and beginners.
DEWALT DW682K 6.5 Amp Plate Joiner with DEWALT DW6805 6 Tooth Carbide Plate Joiner Blade
If you don’t like dealing with batteries, the 6.5-amp motor and robust carbide plate are designed for large, tough jobs.
2 DeWALT DW682K Review
Unlike our best in class pick, the DEWALT DW682K is corded, giving you unlimited run time but the restriction of a cord. Although you get less flexibility, the 6.5-amp motor can slice through the hardest wood with ease which is great for chunky furniture like oak tables or benches.
The joiner comes with a DeWALT 4-inch carbide plate joiner blade, making this bundle good value for money. But the downside of this biscuit joiner is the lack of depth adjustment that our best-in-class pick has.
Even so, if you’re looking for the reliability and power output of a corded plate joiner for cabinetry or more heavy-duty woodwork, the DeWALT DW682K is the best affordable plate joiner on the market.
PORTER-CABLE 557 7-Amp Plate Joiner Kit
Great biscuit joiner bundle
This handy kit includes the joiner, two blades, a dust bag, chip deflector, wrench, and a sturdy carry case for transport and storage.
3 PORTER-CABLE 557 Review
If you’ve never owned a plate joiner before, the PORTER-CABLE 557 is a great kit with everything you need. It includes the joiner, two blades, dust bag, spanner wrench, chip deflector, and solid carry case to store it all.
The functionality of the PORTER-CABLE 557 is also impressive. The fence tilts from 0 to 135 degrees and has 7 height adjustment settings. While the 7-amp motor is powerful enough for any type of wood you’re working on. The dust bag does leave something to be desired and tends to come loose, but is it fairly easy to reattach.
For beginners or hobbyists looking to try out a biscuit joiner for the first time for making boxes, drawers, or even edge banding, this a great kit.
REXBETI REX031 Wood Biscuit Plate Joiner Kit
Budget-friendly biscuit joiner
For the budget price, the 8.5-amp motor and height adjustment settings are impressive and great for beginners.
4 REXBETI REX031 Review
If you’re looking for the best budget plate joiner, the REXBETI REX031 is a great budget option. And even though this isn’t a high-end model, it still features an impressive 8.5-amp motor which will slice through hard wood easily.
This plate joiner only has 4 depth settings, but it can tilt up to 90 degrees which is enough for cabinetry, face frames, and miters. We also like the longer shaft on the REXBETI REX031 which is easier to grip and control but is still lightweight.
The overall build isn’t as sturdy as our other picks, but for the budget price, this biscuit plate joiner is a great choice for beginners and is a lightweight substitute if you don’t have the tools for mortise and tenon joinery.
Best Biscuit Joiner 2021 Buying Guide
What is a biscuit joiner?
A biscuit joiner (also known as a plate joiner) is a woodworking power tool that joins two pieces of wood together. The small circular blade (usually 4 inches wide) cuts a crescent shape out of the two pieces of wood, then an oval-shaped piece of wood (known as a biscuit) is covered in glue and inserted into the slot, giving a solid join.
What’s the difference between a plate joiner and biscuit joiner?
A biscuit joiner and plate joiner are the same thing. These are just different names used for the same tool. You’ll often see them used interchangeably since a biscuit joiner has a metal plate as a base.
Types of biscuit joiner
There are actually three types of joiner that all give slightly different results:
- Biscuit joiner: This is the standard tool that creates 4-inch ‘biscuit’ shape holes in wood. The blades are 2 or 4 inches, and the tool can be corded or cordless.
- Detail joiner: This creates smaller grooves in the wood and is designed specifically to create mini biscuits. Whereas the standard biscuit joiner can have either 2 or 4-inch blades, the blade cannot be switched out in a detail joiner.
- Domino joiner: This is a relatively new type of joiner that creates domino-shaped biscuits. This gives the convenience of a joiner but the exactness and strength of a dowel.
Best biscuit joiner brands
There are several great brands of biscuit joiners on the market. Here are some of our favorite brands to help you choose the best plate joiner:
- DeWALT biscuit joiners: DeWALT is a popular choice for corded biscuit joiners. They are well-made and a good choice for professional woodworkers who need a biscuit joiner that can live up to heavy-duty use. DeWALT biscuit joiners are in the mid to high price range but are worth the investment for the reliability.
- Lamello biscuit joiners: Lamello is one of the most expensive options when it comes to biscuit joiners. This is because they are extremely well built and give the exact precision needed for professional use. If you’re a DIYer or beginner, Lemello is probably overkill, but they are one of the best choices for professional woodworkers.
- Makita biscuit joiners: These are another great option for professionals and avid hobbyists. Makita is most known for cordless biscuit joiners which give great flexibility as well as impressive power output. These are in the high price range, but Makita offers a great range of functions such as decent height and fence adjustments that make their tools versatile.
- Porter-Cable biscuit joiners: Porter-Cable is a mid-range but popular brand for DIYers and hobbyists. They have had some issues with alignment when it comes to their biscuit joiners, but they do have a good range of corded plate joiners that are powerful enough for tough jobs.
- Craftsman biscuit joiners: Craftsman is a popular brand for a full range of power tools from drills to lawn mowers. Craftsman is affordable but still offer quality in the construction of their plate joiners, and since they are a household name, they are a trusted option.
- REXBETI biscuit joiners: This is a budget option for DIYers or beginners. REXBETI is known for corded biscuit joiners that are powerful but not as well-made as more expensive alternatives. Even so, they are a good choice for anyone on a tight budget looking to get to grips with creating biscuit joints.
Bosch, Festool, VonHaus, and Silverstorm are also excellent brands for biscuit joiners, so don’t forget to keep these in mind too.
Can a router be used to make plate joints?
Although specialized router bits can be used to create biscuit joints, there are several instances where they will not work. A router can cut slots along the edges of a board but not across its face. Also, it can only cut along square edges, not bevelled edges.
If you plan on making biscuit slots regularly, your best option is to buy a biscuit joiner. This will save you a lot of time and effort.
When should you use a biscuit joiner?
A plate joiner is a versatile tool that can help to secure almost any joint in wood. They are most commonly used when working with large wood panels that need good accuracy and strength because of the wide surface area.
For example, if you’re adding a solid wood boarded to a plywood board to create a desk, biscuit joints will help align the wood pieces, give a better joint, and reduce the need to sand the edges.
How to use a biscuit joiner
Biscuit joiners do not need pinpoint precision and a little variance from slot to slot is acceptable. However, never position a biscuit joint too close to the edge of the wood to avoid splintering of the joint breaking through.
The biscuit joiner can be used both vertically and horizontally. It is then pushed into the wood to create a small crescent cut out. The more powerful the joiner, the less pressure is needed to get this cut.
You then need to coat a biscuit in wood glue and insert it into the cut. Clamp the wood and allow the glue to dry to give the best result.
Biscuit joints vs doweling: which is best?
Biscuit joints are quicker and easier than doweling but are not as strong. Dowels add a good deal of strength but don’t offer the accuracy of alignment that biscuit joints do, they also take longer to achieve.
Which you need will depend on the job. Dowels are usually needed when building cabinets and other pieces of furniture. Biscuit joints are used more on large pieces such as desks, tables, or pieces that need high precision.
Features to look for when choosing the best biscuit joiner
Not all biscuit joiners are created equal. If you buy a budget joiner, you won’t get as much accuracy as the high-end models. That said, whatever price bracket you’re in, there are some important features you should look for to get the best results with your tool:
- Plate joiner grip style – Biscuit joiners either have barrel grip or a D handle. A barrel grip means you’re holding the body of the tool, whereas a D handle sticks out over the top of the tool. Most people prefer barrel grip since it gives more control.
- Fence adjustment – It’s important to be able to adjust the fence to give the most functionality. The best biscuit joiners tilt from 0 to 135 degrees, however, most go from 0 to 90. Being able to adjust the angle means you can easily work on both the inside and outside of a mitered joint.
- Blade Size – Standard biscuit joiners have a 4-inch blade that allows you to cut standard slots. However, you can also get 2-inch blades for smaller projects and some biscuit joiners are designed to take different size blades.
- Corded vs cordless – Corded biscuit joiners give unlimited runtime and more powerful output but are more restrictive because of the cord. Whereas a cordless biscuit joiner is more flexible but will need the battery charged regularly.