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Biscuit joiner or router with biscuit bit

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Forum topic by BFamous posted 03-29-2019 11:58 PM 620 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BFamous

315 posts in 479 days


03-29-2019 11:58 PM

So I already have a woodriver biscuit bit for my router (with table). Though I was debating to buy a biscuit joiner just for the dedicated tool so I don’t have to set up the router table every time I need biscuits. Other than convenience, and the ability to set the blade at an angle easily, is there really any other reason for the dedicated biscuit joiner?

And do I really need $200 Freud or is the $99 Ryobi good enough for the once to twice a month usage?

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC :: http://www.FamousArtisan.com


22 replies so far

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Madmark2

452 posts in 946 days


#1 posted 03-30-2019 12:35 AM

Sometimes you want to bring the tool to the work instead of bringing the work to the tool. Being able to do both is best.

Buy the cheap one at first and buy better if it fails. <—good advice for most tools …

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BFamous

315 posts in 479 days


#2 posted 03-30-2019 12:45 AM



Sometimes you want to bring the tool to the work instead of bringing the work to the tool. Being able to do both is best.

Buy the cheap one and if you use it to death buy better when it fails. <—>


Two very good points… Though I’m not certain if I’d ever have use for the tool outside of my garage shop…
And I do like the philosophy of wearing out the cheap one before spending the extra on top of the line…

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC :: http://www.FamousArtisan.com

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pottz

4987 posts in 1342 days


#3 posted 03-30-2019 01:22 AM

well ill tell ya if i had to set up my router everytime i wanted to do bisquits,i probably would never do bisquits!.i love the bisquit joiner and use it a lot but i have other tools like the domino and kreg jig for pocket screws,they all have their purpose.if youll hardley ever use one dont bother or get a cheapy,but if it’s a tool thats gonna get used buy quality or youll just spend more later.i started with a dewalt which was good but then i got a porter cable that i think is better.just my opinion for my needs,and wants-LOL.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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EugdOT

283 posts in 913 days


#4 posted 03-30-2019 01:45 AM

I got the VonHaus 8.5 Amp Wood Biscuit Plate Joiner for around $69 off amazon and quite happy with it. Originally was kicking around like you and never looked back. I don’t use it often but when I do it’s a breeze to Mark a line and cut a a lot. Like the other guys said so much easier to bring a tool to the work than the work to the tool.

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BFamous

315 posts in 479 days


#5 posted 03-30-2019 01:56 AM



well ill tell ya if i had to set up my router everytime i wanted to do bisquits,i probably would never do bisquits!.i love the bisquit joiner and use it a lot but i have other tools like the domino and kreg jig for pocket screws,they all have their purpose.if youll hardley ever use one dont bother or get a cheapy,but if it s a tool thats gonna get used buy quality or youll just spend more later.i started with a dewalt which was good but then i got a porter cable that i think is better.just my opinion for my needs,and wants-LOL.

- pottz


Yeah, that’s kind of where I’m at… I don’t mind doing biscuits when I left the bit in the router, in the table so I don’t have to set it up.. But when I don’t it’s a pain…i also have a jessem mortise mill for loose tenons, and a keg jog, so I have options but sometimes biscuits are just the way to go.

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC :: http://www.FamousArtisan.com

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WoodenDreams

577 posts in 269 days


#6 posted 03-30-2019 02:15 AM

I got a whiteside #1945 router bit to do #20 biscuit cuts, used it once. Found it so much quicker to pull out a biscuit plate joiner that I got from HF for $40 with a super coupon. Still use the whiteside bit, but to cut slots into small boxes.

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knotscott

8277 posts in 3734 days


#7 posted 03-30-2019 02:52 AM

I sold my DW biscuit joiner years ago because I hardly ever needed to use it. On the rare occasions I do use biscuits, a router works fine, plus can do a whole lot of other tasks.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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Lazyman

3323 posts in 1745 days


#8 posted 03-30-2019 03:01 AM

I don’t use my biscuit jointer often but when I do it is so simple. It is about as close to fool proof as you can get from a power tool. I bought a basic old Feud at a garage sale for $25 several years ago and after using it I cannot imagine using a router to do it. I have not tried any of the others but it is such a simple tool, I cannot imagine needing an expensive one but maybe there are options or features that I am not aware of.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Rich's profile

Rich

4390 posts in 947 days


#9 posted 03-30-2019 04:21 AM

My Porter Cable 557 performs well in my face frame fixture. I’ve designed several other fixtures for it as well, however they’re proprietary and I don’t post photos.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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Woodknack

12771 posts in 2738 days


#10 posted 03-30-2019 07:20 AM

I have the PC, 557 I think, and it’s a good machine. I’ve never used a cheap biscuit joiner but I’ve heard so many complaints about them over the years that I would never waste the money. Buy once cry once.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1219 posts in 1852 days


#11 posted 03-30-2019 09:31 AM

Used router method for a few years. Easy enough, it works, just requires lots of set up and adjustments every time.
Once I broke down and bought a separate joiner, kicked myself for not doing it sooner. If you use biscuit joinery, buy a dedicated machine.

IME – Cheaper versions are just that cheap. The cheap ones have cheap fences, and many times more likely to create dimensional errors. Started with Ryobi picked up at garage sale, worked, but hated fence & accuracy, gave it away.

If all you want to spend is $100, shop used market. Lots of barely used Dewalt and PC joiners on CL.
Used a Dewalt 682 working on some theater set building at commercial shop, it did the job. Borrowed a friends idle Feud, it worked well enough to suggest buying. Took me awhile to get something I could afford, but I found a used PC 557 for $75 (and returned the Feud to it’s owner).

+1 Rich – If you use biscuit joinery often, using the joiner as stationary tool makes it less prone to ‘old man’s hand strength’ issues and improve joint cutting accuracy. TBH if you put a cheap Ryobi in stationary jig, it’s still noisy, but some of the fence issues would diminish?

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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Fred Hargis

5499 posts in 2851 days


#12 posted 03-30-2019 10:48 AM

I find biscuits useful, and I’m on my second joiner. The first was a Ryobi and I disliked it so much I opted for the PC 557 many years ago. It probably still doesn’t earn it’s keep in the shop…but when I need biscuits it works extremely well. A big use it gets is on mitered joints, so I guess I think that’s an important feature. But you don’t need to spend $200 (did you mean PC instead of Freud?) , many used PC (and Dewalt) model show up in the $100 range. If you find a PC (which is a little better than the Dewalt) be sure to check that it has the FF blade. That’s a small blade for cutting slots for the face frame biscuits.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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BlueRidgeDog

485 posts in 137 days


#13 posted 03-30-2019 10:50 AM

When using them, I am typically putting biscuits in large parts for glue up. My old old old biscuit joiner is just the thing.

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BFamous

315 posts in 479 days


#14 posted 03-30-2019 11:42 AM

Thank you all for the responses and insights. It really is most helpful in making a decision. I think maybe I’ll casually look for a used PC557 to pop up in my local market. I’m in no hurry to add one as I have nothing pressing the need, but sounds like it would make a solid addition to make some of my builds easier.

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC :: http://www.FamousArtisan.com

View Rich's profile

Rich

4390 posts in 947 days


#15 posted 03-30-2019 02:51 PM

The 2” FF blade doesn’t come standard with the PC 557 joiner. That was the one thing about the it that left a bad taste in my mouth — that little blade is only available from PC and they rip you off for around $65 for it. The standard 4” blades are made by many companies and can be had if you need replacement for around $20.

I find the FF blade very useful though and am happy with it, just not the price.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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