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Image of Biscuit joiner or Plate joiner

Biscuit Joiner Q&A

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What is a biscuit joiner?
A biscuit joiner sometimes called a plate joiner or bisquit jointer is a woodworking tool used to cut semi-circular slots in two pieces of wood which are to be joined together. The slots are cut in the wood and a biscuit is glued into the slots then the two pieces of wood are clamped together, the glue will expand the compressed biscuit and make for a tight secure invisible joint.

What is a biscuit?
A biscuit is a flat football shaped plate which is usually made from compressed beech wood shavings. Beech is a very strong wood and the orientation of the pressed fibers in the biscuit makes it even stronger yet.

When would a biscuit joiner be used?
You can use a biscuit joiner for a variety of projects including picture frames, table tops, book shelves, boxes, drawers etc. Biscuits can be used in place of wooden dowels and other mechanical joints. Biscuits are useful for alignment as well as for structural strength.

Are there different size biscuits?
Yes, biscuits come in several sizes and generally you should use the largest biscuit that will fit your particular project. Biscuit sizes include #0, #10, and # 20 with the #20 biscuits being the largest of the three sizes, slots for these biscuits can all be cut using a joiner with a 4" blade. There is also a mini biscuit #FF but a special smaller diameter cutting blade is required to use these.

Are there any special recommendations to consider?
You should always test fit your wood project before gluing the biscuits in, and it's usually best to apply the glue to the slots instead of directly on the biscuit. Keep your biscuits in an airtight container or it's possible they could absorb moisture from the air and expand before you can use them.

Are biscuit joiners expensive?
The prices of biscuit joiners can vary greatly and can range up to several hundred dollars for an industrial quality machine. You can get a good quality biscuit jointer from this website right now for $49.00 delivered to your door. These biscuit joiners will work great for the average weekend woodworker and for those who may not want to spend the hundreds of dollars more for a big name brand model. These joiners are very popular with the do-it-yourselfers.

I hope this has been helpful for those of you who have ever wondered what all the fuss was about with these handy power tools known as biscuit joiners.


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