Biscuit joiners aren’t the most versatile tool in the shop, but if you need one, there’s no going around it. No other tool is quite like it, which is why it is so important that you get a good one.
We have taken a look at the top biscuit joiners on the market to help you choose the best option for your shop. Let’s look at the five best choices that we found.
Table of Contents
3 Best Biscuit Joiners – Comparison
|Chicago Pneumatic 4″ Plate Joiner|
|Makita XJP03Z 18V LXT|
|DEWALT DW682K 6.5 Amp|
5 Best Biscuit Joiners – Review
1. Festool 574432 Domino Joiner DF 500 Q Set
This first tool also happens to be our favorite unit on the list. It’s made to be both durable and powerful which means that even contractors will find that it makes an appropriate addition to their arsenal.
What we immediately noticed about this unit is how clean the mortices are—this tool utilizes a unique combination of oscillations and rotations to create the cleanest, purest mortices possible every time.
While biscuit joiners are not often associated with their power, the importance of this attribute is unquestionable—with more juice, you will be able to work with harder materials ensuring that you come to every job prepared.
Power aside, a biscuit joiners’ ability to make clean cuts is what gives it its edge over other products. It’s pretty simple really, you want clean, visually appealing work, and the Festool will help you get it. It is also versatile—the design makes it easy to adjust your angles, and subsequently produce angled mortices with relatively simple manipulations of the tool. The pivoting fence features an angled range of 0-90° with positive stops at 22.5°, 45°, 67.5° for an even wider set of options.
The biggest drawback of the Festool is that it does fall on the higher end of the price spectrum, meaning if you don’t plan on using the tool extensively, this might not be the best buy for you. However, professionals and high-volume hobbyists should still get their money’s worth.
If you only need your biscuit joiner for casual use, I recommend that you look at one of the other high-quality options on this list. But if money is no object, it would be hard to beat this tool, which is exactly what earned it the distinction of being our top choice.
- Clean cuts
- Dust extraction
- Angled mortices
- High price point
2. Chicago Pneumatic 4″ Plate Joiner
If you thought that the Festool biscuit joiner was too expensive but still wanted something that was full of solid features made with a quality build, the Chicago Pneumatic is a great option to consider. This one is the most affordable tool that we will be looking at by a pretty significant margin.
But price aside, we are really dealing with a great tool here. This biscuit joiner benefits from a high-quality, powerful 6-amp, 10,000 RPM motor that will let you use it with a wide range of materials for an even wider range of jobs.
It also utilizes an adjustable fence that adjusts to a maximum depth of 1-1/8 ” tilts up to 45 °, which further increases the versatility of the tool. And finally, the Chicago Pneumatic features a dust port with a connectable bag that will help to keep the mortice holes free of debris for the purest cuts possible.
One of the things that I am not so crazy about in regards to this tool is that it doesn’t have a slow-start component, making it a bit jumpy when you first turn it on. Despite the power of the unit, the blade tends to struggle with harder woods, which somewhat limits what you will be able to use this biscuit joiner on. Mind you, these setbacks are to be expected in a tool of this price range, but it is still sort of a drag to see them here.
Overall, the Festool is a great biscuit joiner, and it will make an excellent buying option for the casual user that is looking for a trustworthy tool. It is exactly for that reason that this unit was chosen as our value pick in the first place!
- Most affordable tool on the list
- Good dust collection system
- Blade struggles with hard woods
- No slow-start option
3. Makita XJP03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Plate Joiner
One of the things most users will appreciate about this unit is that it is adjustable—the Makita features six depth settings with one-touch stops for #0, #10, and #20, and most common biscuits sizes to ensure that the tool is appropriately equipped for most standard tasks.
It comes with an adjustable cast aluminum fence that is durable, lightweight, and versatile, featuring stops at 0, 45, and 90 degrees. The fence has large lam locks that are easy to use so that you can enjoy simple and quick adjustments whenever you need them.
Cast aluminum is a great material because it adds to the durability to the tool while still maintaining a light weight. The lam locks are also nice for the fact that they make the operation of the tool more streamlined. Finally, this unit features a simple rack and pinion system to help ensure that your fence adjustments are accurate.
There is not very much in way of cons for the Makita, but there are a few things worth mentioning. For one, the battery and charger aren’t included in the purchase, so it’s an additional expense you are going to have to incur before you can get this tool up and running. It might not sound like that big of a deal, but the charger and battery will cost an extra $30-50—which may very reasonably be a deal-breaker for some people.
I have also noticed that the unit does clog a little bit easier than you might expect—of course, clogs can be avoided simply by regularly emptying your dust bag. This issue is fairly typical of biscuit joiners, but it is something to look out for.
- Rack and pinion adjustment
- Cast aluminum fence
- Very adjustable
- Six depth settings
- Batteries not included
- Unit tends to clog quickly
4. DEWALT DW682K 6.5 Amp Plate Joiner
One of the first things I noticed about the Dewalt is that it is made to be very user-friendly. The controls are streamlined so even beginners shouldn’t have any trouble picking up this tool and using it right away.
Moreover, this tool is also very durable. The fence itself is lightweight but strong, and the body of the unit is well-built which should equate to a long life span—something which high-volume users are sure to appreciate.
This unit features an excellent, 6.5 Amp, 10,000 RPM motor that will provide enough power to make clean cuts on even the hardest woods, a rack and pinion system that will ensure you have an easy time making adjustments, as well as a one-piece fence that can be tilted between 0-90 degrees. And lastly, you will even be able to make 0-degree flush cuts without removing the fence.
Like all of the other tools featured on this list, this one is not without its flaws either, though once again they are fairly minimal. The biggest drawback that I have noticed is that the blade is not completely parallel to the bottom plate which can create problems with consistency for some users. Realistically, this is an issue that casual users will probably never notice, but contractors and more experienced hobbyists may find it frustrating.
- Easy to use
- Great motor
- Blade is not completely parallel
5. PORTER-CABLE 557 7 Amp Plate Joiner Kit
For our final set, we will be looking at the Porter-Cable 557—another set that boasts high-quality features for a relatively reasonable price, making it a great option for experienced wood workers on a moderate budget.
Something that will stand out to you about this joiner is that with a 7-amp motor that rotates its blade at 10,000 RPM, this tool is the most powerful unit on our list. In reality, the capabilities of this 7-amp motor are quite similar to those of the 6-amp motors, but for those looking for the most power possible, every bit counts, right?
The Porter Cable also features seven cutting settings that will make it easy to accommodate a wider variety of tasks, and features an adjustable fence that can be moved from 0-135 degrees. It’s all pretty simple stuff, but when it comes to biscuit joiners, simple is all we’re really looking for. This unit has all the features you could ask for, and they are executed very well, making it a great buying opportunity.
One thing to keep an eye on with this unit is that the dust collection bag it comes with leaves a lot to be desired—you’ll either need to find an alternative dust collection method or make sure to empty it frequently to avoid clogs.
- Excellent motor
- Seven cutting settings
- Adjustable fence
- Dust collection bag is ineffective
So, what’s the verdict here? Which of these tools is right for the needs of your home shop? Ultimately, it depends entirely on what you are looking for. Do you want the very best of the best? Is money no object to you? If these things describe your situation then you are probably going to find your ideal biscuit joiner in the Festool. If, on the other hand, you prefer a tool that a little bit simpler and more economical, the Chicago Pneumatic is a great option to consider.
Of course, there are plenty of other great products out there. The good news is that if you choose from this list, there really is no going wrong. Just pick the biscuit joiner that you like the best, and trust that you are getting the perfect product for your needs!