Biscuit Joiner vs Circular Saw

A biscuit joiner, sometimes referred to as a Biscuit Jointer or sometimes as a Plate Joiner, is a tool used in woodworking which helps you join 2 pieces of wood together, usually to make tables and cabinets. A biscuit joiner is a small, specialized circular saw which can cut thin slots in both pieces of wood to hold a biscuit which joins them together. A Circular Saw is a more widely-used work tool in woodworking used to cut wood of varying depths by adjusting its lever.                            

What Is a Biscuit?

Biscuits are small pieces of oval wood used to join two pieces of wood together. They are usually made of compressed and highly dried beech wood, and absorb water from the air. When using biscuits, ensure that there is enough room in the slot for them to fit loosely, as they expand after absorbing water. Biscuits are usually 1/8 inch thick and are available in varying lengths.

Biscuit Joinery

Biscuit Joinery is used to ensure a smooth and clean finish in woodworks, without using screws. It is usually used to join perpendicular pieces of wood, like in cabinets to make the face frames, or joining boards next to each other, as in table tops. Sometimes it is also to join wooden boards on top of the other to increase the thickness of wooden blocks.

To join 2 pieces of wood, first align the pieces as you want to join them and make two corresponding marks on both wood pieces. If you’re using a biscuit joiner your marks need to be close to each other, but not exact; if you’re using any other kind of circular saw your markings need to be more precise. The biscuit joiner and circular saw cut semi-circle slots in both pieces of wood. The slots are bigger than the biscuit for easy adjustment. You need to apply sufficient amount of glue in the slots as well as on the biscuit. After that, insert the biscuit into the corresponding slots in the wooden boards to join them together.

Why Use a Biscuit Joiner?

Circular Saws are saws with metal discs and teethed edges, and are available in different sizes based on the diameter of the blade. They are powerful tools, and can cut through most materials. You can usually adjust the blade to cut varying depths. The saw can be used to cut straight through wood, in a circular way, or any other way that you want.

A Biscuit Joiner is a specialized circular saw designed to perform only one task: saw wood to fit biscuits for joining. It can rarely be used for anything else, except to join wood using biscuits. The saw has a center indicator which helps in alignment. Other circular saws can also be used to make the slots for biscuits, but they are heavier and more powerful tools making it inconvenient to use for this task. Alternatively Biscuit Joiners or Plate Joiners are easier to use compared to other joiners. They are also more economical and offer a faster way of joining two pieces of wood together.