Biscuit Joiner Comparisons

Besides the quality and price issues, not all biscuit joiners work the same way. Here's a closer look. April 9, 2008

I need a new biscuit joiner. Any recommendations?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor W:
I personally would buy the Festool Domino jointer if was to replace my Porter Cable. Kinda pricy, though.

From contributor Z:
I posted a question about biscuit jointers about a month ago. Good comments. I bought the Lamello. It is really accurate and clears chips great. I had the Dewalt; it was not too accurate.

From contributor B:
I recommend purchasing the Porter Cable biscuit jointer. I have found this jointer to be more than accurate enough for face frame construction as well as face frame to box applications. In the last four years, I have only had to replace one.

From contributor L:
We've used the Lamello machines for years, tried the Dewalts, no comparison. The Domino machines look very interesting; I'm going to try one. Hoffmann also makes a double dowel machine that looks good.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the replies. I got the Porter Cable; can't beat the price and I really don't use it all that often. If I was going to spring for the Lamello, I think I would just go ahead and get a Domino. Next job that will justify it, I'll probably get one.

From contributor S:
I have used a Festool Domino Joiner recently and would like to make a few clarifications. Do not make the mistake of believing that a Domino joiner is a replacement for a biscuit joiner. The cutting action is considerably slower. Also changes must be made to the oscillation in multiple cuts because the joints are perfect mates without the play of biscuits. My advice is to only use dominos where biscuits cannot be used. Essentially this means where the material is too thin to take multiple biscuits (single biscuits tend to twist a bit on glue up). I think the domino is a natural for face frames and reinforcing glass panel doors, etc.

A word about the Top 20 biscuit joiner. In the fall we had a job that required the installation of anodized aluminum T molding into long countertops. A 3mm slot had to be cut dead centre in a chamfer. A Top 20 was purchased because it is the only joiner that once it was locked in a jig would allow us to move the height of the blade up and down. However, the price for this is that the blade is proprietary as it attaches to the arbor with 4 set screws rather than a nut. So you will only be able to use Lamello blades. A small drawback for an incredibly robust machine.

From contributor L:
Really good info. Very useful. Thanks!