What Is A Biscuit Joiner Used For? (Using Process, Challenges, Advantage And Disadvantages)

A Biscuit Joiner and a scale

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Biscuit joiners are useful for joining together two different types of wood. The circular blade of this tool is ideal for cutting the crescent-shaped sockets required at the ends of each hardwood panel. You can use a biscuit joiner to cut slots in the wood you’re working with, then insert a biscuit and glue it into place to form a strong joint.

The thickness and breadth of the wood pieces determine the size of the biscuit required for use with a biscuit joiner.

The more surface area the biscuit provides, the better the glue will adhere to it. 

What is a biscuit joiner used for? This article will go through the benefits and drawbacks of biscuit joints, the challenges, and the many biscuit joint options.

What is a Biscuit Joiner Used for?

Biscuit joiners are used for most sheet goods, including particle board, plywood, and medium-density fiberboard. It is occasionally utilized to substitute mortise and tenon joints with biscuit joints when working with solid wood since they are less complicated to construct and almost as durable.

Joiners that use biscuits also feature depth adjustments for various biscuit sizes. The operator adjusts the knob to the desired depth (often specified on the biscuit jointer), and the machine stops the blade’s movement for a perfect fit and sturdy joint.

The height of the slot is controlled by a set of adjustable gates on biscuit jointers that press on the board. The height can be adjusted by turning a dial, allowing the operator to make clean cuts in materials of uniform thickness. When more power is required, the user can cut multiple cookies using this method.

How Does Biscuit Joiner Work?

The biscuit joiner consists of a motorized, miniature “saw blade” that cuts a round hole in the wood and a fence that can be adjusted for pinpoint accuracy. The biscuit is placed in the hole, glue is applied, and the connection is strengthened till the glue sets.

After being exposed to the glue’s wetness, the biscuit’s compressed wood expands, resulting in a rock-solid joint. One advantage of using a biscuit cutter rather than dowels is that the biscuit joint can be tweaked slightly; unlike dowels, the holes do not have to be perfectly aligned.

How to Cut Using a Biscuit Joiner?

The following is an overview of the basics required to set the biscuit joiner to cut the standard point.

Step 1: Locate the biscuit slots across the joint between the boards and make a mark. Make your marks on the first board, then go on to the next.

Step 2: Alter the depth of the dive until it is suitable for the size of the biscuits. Use the biggest biscuit that will fit in your joint for optimum support.

Step 3: Locate the markers for centering the slots, then place them on your layout line. Similar marks can be found on the underside of the base, allowing you to stand it on end.

Step 4: Slots are often cut in wood in the middle. When the joiner is installed on a level surface, the base is already positioned to center the cut-in material up to 3/4 inches thick precisely.

Step 5: The last step is to hold the joiner by its bale and barrel (or handle), turn it on, and plunge the blade into the wood.

Step 6: After cutting mating holes in each workpiece, apply glue and biscuits and clamp the joint.

What Are Some of the Challenges of Using a Biscuit Joiner?

Although biscuit joiners are a standard fixture tool in many workshops, they are not without drawbacks.

An excellent example of a job where a biscuit joiner can be useful is constructing a new tabletop out of many pieces of dimensional timber. Because you can always square up the ends once the glue dries, you can afford to be slightly off on the running dimension measurements.

However, measuring along the running dimension becomes essential for precise alignment if your project can’t afford that margin of error. If you’ve taken accurate measurements, biscuits can aid in proper alignment. So, the biscuit joiner cuts must be exact To make it happen.

Pocket screw joinery, unlike biscuit joinery, does not need pinpoint precision in measuring to produce a properly aligned junction. The screws themselves cannot be seen until the joint has been finished. Dado’s joints are commonly used on the inside joints of boxes, tables, and other enclosed wood structures despite the necessity for precise proportions.

Mortise and tenon joints are the strongest conceivable connection in woodworking, and to say they are more robust than biscuit joints would be an understatement. Still, biscuit joinery has its uses in the garage workshop.

General Considerations When Using a Biscuit Joiner

  • Even though a biscuit joiner is one of the less dangerous power tools, you should still use caution when using it. Except while making a slot, you should never force the blade out. Do not start cutting until the tool is turned on. Using common sense and thinking about potential dangers will go a long way.
  • If you want perfectly aligned slots in your woodwork, you’ll need a sturdy, level workbench to use your biscuit cutter.
  • Straight and clean sawed edges are required for a strong joint. Always use a high-quality, freshly sharpened blade on your circular saw. Although sandpaper for smoothing edges is likely already part of your home tool kit, you may still need to select clamps and other accessories.
  • An eye is more valuable than a strong joint or faster work. Always use protective gear, especially goggles, for your eyes’ sake.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Biscuit Joiner

Using a biscuit joiner has its advantages and disadvantages. These are given below: 


1. Get a variety of sizes

When working with wood, the size of your project is of no concern when using a biscuit joiner. Biscuit joiners come in various sizes, the smallest of which is roughly one-fourteenth inch in diameter. There is a wide range of sizes to choose from, so you can accomplish any task expertly. 

2. Enhancing strength

One of the goals you should have when dealing with wood is to make something that will last a long time. A well-made, long-lasting building is an asset in and of itself, but it also verifies that its inhabitants are safe.

3. Cut with confidence

The instruments you choose to utilize will always influence your project’s outcome. Your confidence will undoubtedly increase due to biscuit joiners because they flawlessly provide the size and shape you desire. Additionally, since there is no wood waste, utilizing this equipment is pretty simple.

4. Provides professional outlook

Wood is one of the few viable options for giving your project a more natural look and feel. But you can only do it if you have the right equipment. Using biscuit joiners, it’s possible to create a basic and distinctive joint without detracting from the work’s overall aesthetic.


  • If your wood is thinner than 0.25 inches, you won’t get good results using a wood joiner. There is a tendency for the biscuits to be visible, which goes against the idea of a polished, flawless final product.
  • Even with the help of a biscuit joiner, you may still have alignment problems owing to lurching. The biscuit jointer’s mortar could press on a piece of wood and create a hole if it starts operating while it is on the wood.

Common Types of Biscuit Joints and Uses

Here are a few of the many uses where biscuit joints are ideal:

1. Miter Joints

Because a biscuits cutter does an excellent job of cutting slots between the two mitered pieces and provides a larger surface area for the glue to adhere to than a standard mitered joint, biscuits are an excellent choice for use in miter joints.

This is suitable for window and door casings and other woodworking jobs, including constructing picture frames, typical frame-and-panel cabinet doors, and other similar items.

2. Offset Joints

Many woodworkers like to use an offset joint to produce a reveal to give their creations depth and uniqueness. The term “reveal” refers to the intentional offset of two pieces of wood, such as the tiny inset of a table’s apron from its legs. Biscuit joints are a great way to succeed in this endeavor.

The user can get uniform and straight reveals in all four corners without resorting to measurement by cutting all holes in the aprons with the biscuit jointer and fixing the fence for the slots in the legs.

3. Joining Edge Grain to Grain

When assembling a tabletop from separate pieces of wood, a biscuit joint is typically used to attach the boards along their edges. The biscuits aid in board alignment during glue-up since the biscuit jointer cuts the gaps at uniform heights. They also provide some lateral play that is lacking in tenons and dowels.

4. Double Joints

A double biscuit joint might be the solution for a particularly challenging construction job that requires more support. The slot is cut twice, once with the biscuit joiner set and once with the biscuits removed. This permit using two biscuits to double the joint’s strength and increase the glue’s potential for holding.

5. End-to-Edge Joints

The end grain of solid wood is notoriously difficult to bond because it absorbs the glue and dries brittle. A biscuit can enhance the bonded surface area and reinforce the end-to-edge connection. This method comes in handy for constructing drawers, benches, and tables, in addition to wainscoting.


Are biscuit joiners worth it?

Yes, a biscuit joiner is worthwhile if a polished appearance and precise alignment are priorities. But cheaper alternatives to the biscuit joiner can get the job done if you only want sturdy joints.

When using a biscuit joiner, what thickness of wood is ideal?

In most cases, the slot must be positioned dead center in the piece of wood. When the joiner is placed on a flat surface, the base is adjusted to center the cut-in material up to 3/4 inches thick precisely.

Why is it called a biscuit joint?

A biscuit joint is a kind of joinery in which a crushed wood chip (also called a biscuit) is used to unite two pieces of wood that have been prepared with corresponding slots. The biscuit, which is oval and somewhat similar to a football, is pushed into a junction filled with glue, where it expands to cover the space and fixes the connection.

Can you use a biscuit joiner on plywood?

Biscuits in plywood work are perfectly great. To register the biscuit joiner, however, I prefer to use the base rather than the fence. When working with material that is 1/2″ thick, you will need to lift the material by around 1/8 inch so that the slot is centered on the edge of the material.

Do biscuit joiners work on 45-degree angles?

Most biscuit joiners come with several different fence settings; for a 45-degree miter, the fence must be placed in the 45-degree position. After the initial test cuts, the procedure can be completed very quickly.

Are biscuit joints stronger than dowels?

Whenever you need to connect two pieces of wood together, a dowel and biscuit joiner is your best bet. A biscuit joint is not as strong as a mortise and tenon joint of the same size, but it is much sturdier than a dowel joint if properly installed.

Is a biscuit joiner necessary?

Biscuits can be used to secure the face frames of cabinets to the perimeters of a plywood unit. However, their use in this context is minimal at best.

Final Verdict

Whether you’re looking to improve the longevity of your project or give it a more professional appearance, biscuit joiners will get the job done. What biscuit joiner is used for, and other related topics, have been thoroughly discussed above.

I hope you’ll be able to put the information in this article to good use while working with a biscuit joiner on your next DIY project.

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