A biscuit or plate joiner is an essential tool for both seasoned professionals and DIYers.
This versatile tool allows you to create joints quickly and easily, which can hold two materials together for added strength.
Although using a biscuit joiner may be the most reliable way to get strong joints, they also come with their fair share of drawbacks – expensive price tags being one of them.
Luckily, alternatives are available that still produce quality results without breaking the bank. Read on to learn more about some of today’s best biscuit jointer alternatives.
The Best Alternatives to a Biscuit Joiner
A biscuit joiner is essentially a power tool that helps join two pieces of wood or other material together strongly.
It is widely used for DIY projects at home and is considered quite beneficial since it provides a strong joint and increases the strength of the wooden piece to an extent.
A biscuit joiner has an angled blade attached to its bottom that spins around rapidly when switched on.
This blade creates fine kerfs along the edges of two boards that are set to be joined together.
The size of these kerfs is just enough for fitting in biscuits, which are thin pieces made from compressed wood fitted into those grooves to provide resistance against any pressure exerted by them once the joint is held tightly in place using clamps.
This way, the joint becomes stronger and ridged, making it nearly impossible to pull apart later.
There are various other advantages of using a biscuit joiner in addition to its strength-providing ability.
One such advantage is that while creating a biscuit joint, less material is wasted than if nails were used instead.
Moreover, the biscuits used can easily be cut before use as per the necessary dimensions of the wooden piece to fit them perfectly into the narrow kerfs created by the tool for properly holding the pieces together; thus, even more, the material is saved during this process.
In addition, because of its ability to provide strong joints between two flat surfaces without any gap left, one can be more accurate while working with this tool.
In short, the biscuit joiner is a handy tool to have around at home if you like doing DIY work or any other activities involving joining two pieces of wooden material together to form something strong and sturdy.
It is easy to use and provides good results without wasting time or effort. However, if you’d like to try something else, scroll down to see our list of the best biscuit joiner substitutes for your next project.
1. Dowel joint
A dowel joint is perhaps the best biscuit joiner alternative, as it is so easy to create. The joint’s design makes it ideal for use with a dowel screw, and for many projects, it can be pretty sufficient in terms of functionality.
The joints are very popular in woodworking circles as they are easy enough to make but strong and effective simultaneously.
In addition, they require very little precision during the creation process; therefore, even beginners can quickly learn how to make them.
For those who want their projects to look beautiful, dowel joints may not be the best option, as they require you to use chisels to remove any excess wood protruding from the sides of the joint.
That said, many prefer them for their simplicity, ease of use, and ability to come out looking beautiful despite being relatively simple in design.
Many argue that dowel joints may even result in a better-finished look than that which might otherwise be achieved with a biscuit joiner.
If you’re looking for an effective alternative to biscuit joiners, it would be worth considering trying out dowel joints in your next project.
2. Screwed joint
A screwed joint is used to join two pieces of wood together. It is made by screwing together the two pieces, usually with an accompanying washer, locknut, or bushing.
Screwed joints are often found in decks and outdoor structures where lumber must be joined to handle expansion and contraction due to temperature changes.
There are many advantages to screwed joints over other types of wooden joints, including their ease of assembly, strength, resistance to movement, water tightness, and aesthetic appeal.
However, there can also be disadvantages depending on the application. For example, screwed joints may require additional materials for complete waterproofing or improved structural support (such as matching metal washers), in addition to being more difficult to hide or conceal (such as when used for decks or other outdoor structures).
One of the most common uses of screwed joints is in deck construction. These joints are often used as an alternative to biscuit joiners, which do not provide enough structural support for heavy loads.
Screwed joints also offer several advantages over biscuit joints, such as easier assembly and disassembly, the ability to handle expansion and contraction from temperature changes, increased strength, resistance to water leaks, improved waterproofing, and better aesthetics.
Overall, screwed joints are a popular choice for joining lumber due to their ease of use and ability to handle loads that would otherwise damage other types of wooden joints.
However, selecting the correct screw and washer combination that matches your specific application needs is essential to take full advantage of all these benefits.
3. Nailed joint
A nailed joint is a woodworking joinery that uses nails to hold two pieces of wood together. It is often used as an alternative to the biscuit joiner, which can be difficult and frustrating for beginners.
Nailed joints are commonly used in furniture-making and construction projects, where the finished product needs to be sturdy and durable.
They involve driving nails through two overlapping pieces of wood to create a tight fit and keep the materials secure over time.
There are several different nail joints depending on the size of lumber you’re working with, such as mending or butt joints, edge joints, bridle joints, halving joints, boxwood joints (also called corner bridles), dovetail joints, and more.
Ensure you wear appropriate protective gear such as glasses, masks, or respirators when working with wood and power tools, especially if you will be cutting the material yourself.
It is also essential to always use sharp nails that are fully compressed before hammering them into place; this helps prevent the splitting of the wood once the nail has been driven in entirely.
Overall, nailed joints effectively create sturdy structures for furniture or building projects without requiring specialized equipment like a biscuit joiner.
If you’re considering making your furniture or other objects at home, it may be worth learning how to use a nailed joint as an alternative to the biscuit joiner.
4. Miter joint
A miter joint is made of two pieces of wood cut at a 45-degree angle. This is one of the easiest and most common ways to connect two planks.
The process is relatively easy and requires only a few essential tools, but most importantly, a table or miter saw. A miter box can also help steady your board while cutting it at an angle and create uniform joints.
This joint should only be used when there are no internal changes in either piece, as this could cause problems with strength/stability.
Miter joints also have little space for glue, so they aren’t always effective for a very tight fit. However, despite these drawbacks, using miter joints has some advantages:
Keep in mind that miter joints are easy to make and are inexpensive (if you already have a miter saw). Also, they’re pretty versatile, as the wood of different shapes can be cut to fit together.
For these reasons, some choose to use a miter joint as an alternative to a biscuit joiner. A biscuit joiner is more efficient when the pieces to be connected will stay in one piece while being glued and clamped together.
However, if your project involves many individual pieces with unique angles or intricate curves, cutting with a miter joint may be easier than setting up and clamping multiple biscuits at precise angles.
When using a miter joint, we recommend starting by marking where the joint will go. Then you’ll need to cut the boards at a 45-degree angle (you can use your existing miter box, or you may want to purchase one if you don’t already have one).
Once our pieces are cut, we join them together by gluing and clamping them tightly.
How to choose a biscuit joiner alternative
Thinking about your goals and preferences when choosing an alternative to a Lamello biscuit joiner or another type of biscuit joiner is essential.
If the aesthetic aspect of your project is your main concern, a dowel joint may not be the best choice, even though it is one of the best biscuit joiner alternatives for overall strength and durability.
On the other hand, a miter joint is a good option if you have multiple pieces with different curves that you need to join.
Screwed joints may be the best solution when building a deck, whereas nailed joints are most commonly used for furniture pieces.