A biscuit joiner is a handy tool in any wood shop, whether you simply need to join two pieces of wood together or make an intricate piece of furniture. While screws will always be an option, the best biscuit joiner techniques can take your game to a new level.
If you’ve been looking for a few tricks of the trade, you’re at the right place. Our guide will show you all the basics, and our team of experts has put together a quick guide featuring some of the top joiners on the market.
Setting Up For Best Biscuit Joiner Techniques
Biscuit Joiners seem complicated to beginners, but the best biscuit joiner is a simple tool to use. As well, the best biscuit joiner techniques and the advanced techniques are easy to master. We will explore some of the best biscuit joiner techniques, tips and tricks but first let’s focus on setting up your new tool properly. It’s an overlooked area of importance when you’re dealing with any bladed power tool.
For the most part, your biscuit joiner should come ready to use; aside from some small adjustments. That means you need some areas on which to focus. As with any power tool of this nature, new or old, you will want to check and make sure the screws are tight. Feel free to use lubrication if things feel a little bit tight initially. The best biscuit joiner techniques encourage smooth movement but don’t overdo it with lube and make a mess.
Adjustments Are Key To best Biscuit Joiner Techniques
Regardless of the price point, every biscuit joiner has a fence and allows you to set a depth stop. You will adjust both as needed depending on your project and they are two components you will come to know well. Before making any cut, always check to see if your depth is set for the wood you plan to work with.
Mistakes made with a biscuit joiner can be just as costly as ones made with a power saw or any bladed tool. With that in mind, you will want to keep a close eye on your blade. The ones that come with biscuit joiners are usually not top of line blades and tend to dull quicker than a premium option. When using the best biscuit joiner techniques you start to notice variances from perfection. The rough edges on the back of your cuts say it’s time to sharpen or change your blade.
Tools of the Trade
A biscuit joiner is only one part of the equation when you need to lock two pieces of wood together. Before you can cut those biscuits, you need to have a few supplies on hand. Most of these are commonly found in any wood shop or garage. While you may have to pick up a few of the accessories, you can make several of these from scrap.
- Clamps – If you plan on using your biscuit joiner and you don’t have any clamps on hand, it’s time to order a set. You can head to the hardware store for those. You need a solid bench clamp to keep your work in place while you cut, and you also need them to clamp your pieces together while the glue dries. Without a good set of clamps, you won’t get a strong joint, so they are a “must have” in any shop.
- Jigs – While not a necessity, a good biscuit joiner jig can make your life a whole lot easier. It can also speed up projects, and it’s something you can build yourself. We won’t walk you through that process today, but this guide will have you set up in a matter of minutes as long as you have some scrap wood on hand.
- Biscuit Joiner Gauge – A biscuit joiner gauge allows you to center your marks with ease and figure you the size you need before every firing up your tool. It’s another implement you can make yourself.
In addition to those tools, you’ll want to have a pencil and safety glasses by your side at all times. Again, these are all common items, and something you will always want to have on hand regardless of the size of your project.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
This is a tip that’s common sense, but something easily forgotten when you get excited or in a rush. No matter what biscuit joiner techniques you decide to use, remember to take your time and keep things steady.
Your work should always be firmly clamped in place – don’t try to make a quick cut without clamps. That is a surefire recipe for disaster. As the old saying goes, “measure twice, cut once,” which are words to live by in the woodworking world.
As annoying as that bag may be on your machine, we highly advise you to leave the dust collection bag attached. On some models, the placement can be bothersome, but it will keep your area clean while you work. That’s key for safety and if you want to make quick, accurate cuts.
The last tip we want to mention involves the biscuits themselves. Whether you buy or create your biscuits in bulk, you need to consider the climate and how you plan to store them. What fits in the slot today, may not fit next week – something that can quickly bring your project to a halt. The best biscuit joiner techniques come from using dry good quality biscuits.
Humidity and moisture can swell biscuits more than you’d think. The easiest way to avoid this is to store them properly in an airtight container and put a few silica bags in for good measure. If you do find yourself stuck with oversized biscuits, you can use a microwave for a few seconds to quickly bring them back down to size.
Glue is another item you’ll want to keep handy, but don’t overdo it. It can be tempting to lay down a heavy bead or fill the slot with loads of glue, and it’s something you should resist. If you’re using quality wood glue and have clamps in place, a little can go a long way. You also have to take moisture into account due to the nature of glue itself.
We’ve already discussed how moisture can wreak havoc on your biscuits, and glue can do the same. One tip towards getting to the best biscuit joiner techniques is to just a little less glue. If you use too much glue, it’s going to get messy, and the excess moisture can cause swelling in the wood around the biscuit. That can be a disaster, so go easy with the glue and give your project ample time to dry in the clamps.
The Best Biscuit Joiners To Buy
Now that we’ve given you some of the best biscuit joiner techniques to help keep your joints tight and your project running smoothly, it’s time to touch on the best biscuit joiners. While there are dozens of models available at any given time, we feel these three biscuit joiners stand out from the rest.
If you liked our Lamello Classic X review but want something with a larger motor and more features, prepare to meet the Zeta P2 101402S. It’s an amped up version of that Classic X biscuit joiner, but with some new features that elevate it into the Pro class.
The new Lamello P2 can zip a slot into your stock in seconds and utilizes the company’s P-system. The motor is rated at 1050-watts so it’s considerably more powerful than the Classic X. This machine can be used as a regular biscuit joiner with a 4mm cutter and has dual depth adjusters to boot. It also comes with an array of accessories including a square stop, distance plates and a drill jig for the Clamex-P connectors.
This one won’t be for everyone (due to the price) although it’s well worth your time if you want a professional quality tool that performs as advertised. It comes with a sturdy case that houses the aforementioned accessories and a 2-year warranty out of the box.
Not everyone needs a tool that’s the price of a used car, and the mid-range of the biscuit joiner world is a great place to find bargains. The DeWalt DW682K definitely fits that bill and is ideal for consumers looking for a quality tool with a very nice price tag.
While it may not have the same features or extras, the DW682K is as accurate as they come. The sturdy fence helps in that regard and allows you to go from 0 to 90-degrees in seconds. You can also make a flush cut without removing the fence or use preset stops of 0, 10 and 20. We think you will appreciate the power this joiner brings to the table as well; considering it has a 6.5-amp motor capable of hitting 10,000 RPMs.
There’s really no downside to this joiner as it has all the bells & whistles you could ask for, and won’t break the bank. It has plenty of power, and you will get the company’s outstanding warranty as well. That includes a 3-year limited warranty to go along with 1-year of free service and 90-day money back guarantee.
Looking for a budget-friendly joiner that simply gets the job done? The Gino Development TruePower 01-0102 isn’t at the top of the food chain, but it certainly won’t let you down on the job. It’s also hard to argue with the price tag given how powerful the motor is.
You won’t need to know any biscuit joiner techniques to use this one – it’s as simple as it gets. The 1010-watt motor is almost as powerful as our top choice, and the top speed is listed at 11,000 RPM. That’s fast, so hardwoods won’t stand a chance against the 01-0102 TruePower. As you’d expect it comes with a dust collection bag, and while you can set an angle, it can only handle 45-degrees.
This biscuit joiner comes with a 4” 6T Tungsten Carbide tipped blade, and preset depth stops for 0, 10 and 20. It’s also available in “job packs” of two to five if you run need an affordable solution for your wood shop. With these tools getting the best biscuit joiner techniques is going to be a lot easier.