Quick Poll

They are a relatively new joinery method, invented in the 1950’s and used extensively in post-war European cabinet shops.  It crossed The Pond in the 1970’s and was adopted in North American production shops shortly after.

And, once Norm Abram started using one in the New Yankee Workshop, well, everyone wanted to get their hands on one.

The biscuit – or plate – jointer did speed the process of joining two boards together.  Whether connecting two pieces of plywood, solid wood, MDF… or whatever other material you may be working with… the biscuit joint has proven to be a versatile way of connecting boards.

However, joint test data suggests that for nearly all joints, the biscuit is probably one of the weakest joinery methods available.

So, this week, how do you feel about the biscuit joint?  Super strong and versatile shop hero, or gimmicky joint with little more strength than a butt joint?

[poll id=”96″]

7 thoughts on “Quick Poll”

  1. Tom,
    I voted “Something Else . . .” I feel biscuits are fast, easy and usually strong enough. Not nearly as strong as a mortise and tenon, but a little stronger and much easier than a but joint.

    I’ve used them extensively with MDF and special MDF conformat screws and they’ve been fantastic. While I can appreciate not using them in “Fine” woodworking, I think the relatively low cost of a biscuit jointer easily pays for itself, even if used for nothing more then alignment in panel glue up, shop furniture & jigs.

  2. Isn’t this a case of misguided expectations? Do people actually expect those tiny wafers to be strong, or do they just get knocked because they aren’t? I’ve always thought of biscuits as being great for alignment and adding a little extra to what would otherwise just be a butt joint. In that role, they excel.

  3. Tough to beat for panel joints in box lids and thing that won’t have to stand a ton of stress.
    Done just right, I can get them to look like one piece of wood with no seams.
    Funny too, I have two biscuit joiners and I do better with the cheaper priced one!

    Thanks Tom.

  4. I note that opinion (They are terrible….) has got no votes yet registers as 1%.
    Is there something amiss with your maths model sorry math (I am Australian)

  5. Alas, it’s a quirk of the polling software.. I’ve seen some polls where no votes equals a negative percentage…. :-/

  6. Interesting . . . I’ve seen studies that say they are just as strong as M&T.

    I’ve only built one piece with biscuit joints. It has been fine and I see a lot of advantages to biscuit joints. Currently I am focusing on other joints, but suspect I’ll do biscuit joints again.

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