Biscuit cutters

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I am looking for a biscuit slot cutter and noticed a price range from $88.00 up to over $300.00 The 88 dollar one must be Chinese and is sold under the name "Superior" Is there any reason not to get this cheap one , I will only be using it a few times per year. What can a 300 dollar one do that the 88 dollar one can't? Thanks
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I have a $200 plate joiner, PC 557. When I checked them out, this one had the best features and ease of operation. They are no different from anything else, "you get what you pay for".
The PC 557 comes with two blades and can cut face frame slots, used for narrow stiles & rails. The way you hold and use this tool is different from the rest I saw. The handle is attached to the frame instead of the plunging mechanism which allows for better control. It also has a fence that cuts slots at 135 degrees so that mitered corners will match at the outside edge instead of the inside edge like other cut.
Was it worth it? To me yes. http://www.porter-cable.com/index.asp?eT7&p (52
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Hi habbi:
I second the Porter Cable unit. For me, it had the best combination of features, ergonomics, quality and price. I've probably used it to make about 150 biscuit slots since I bought it a year ago.
"Buy good tools and cry only once."
Regards, John.
habbi wrote:

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I just got the Dewalt refurb from Amazon ($100). I haven't found any problems so far. The motor seems a little noisy but it is a universal and it a 1 year warranty anyhow. When I looked for them I wanted the PC557 but just couldn't warrant the $100 difference and the dewalt was my second choice and did very well in all of the reviews. Wyatt
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I have the dewalt and like it very much.....Brian
www.members.cox.net/bsnikitas
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Regardless of how often you use it, DO you want good results? If so get a better brand one. I prefer the PC 557.
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I've used the PC, DeWalt, (which i own) and one made by Freud. The DW and PC are fine machines. The Freud, IMO was a PITA. The fence was not a rack and pinion like the other two, and i had difficulty adjusting it easily. Just my $.02 --dave

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Leon,
Isn't it time to move up to a Lamello?
--
Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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C Rap Rumpy.. I just used min for the first time in ages a couple of months ago... I would not trade it but am not using it as much as I used to. I literally wore a PC 556 out before upgrading to the 557.
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The whole point of a biscuit joiner is to put the slot in precisely the same place on both faces.
I haven't tried the $88 one, but I have used other cheap tools, and I doubt it will perform properly. Certainly it will cut slots and allow you to put in biscuits, but heaven only know where they will be.
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I had pretty much made up my mind about a PC 557 to replace a Lamello which was stolen some time back,..until a generous gift made up my mind for me; a Lamello Classic. Me happy man. (well SWMBO got the watch she wanted..*G*) I have used the econo style bisquit cutters, just not accurate enough when you're dealing with edge-joining laminated panels, either veneered ones or 'formica'-style HPL... you just can't sand your way out of trouble with those types of joints. There's some serious wobble in the sled on some of those, as well as floppy fences.
Magic words: Sled wobble Fence floppyness.
<G> There is also a serious difference between bisquits. I always buy Lamello ones.
0.02 CAN$
Rob
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I agree, Lamello is the only choice. Where are you buying your biscuits from and how much?????
--
Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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wrote:

After learning what to do and not to do, I got the Craftsman/Dewalt and found out what the Biscuit jointer was SUPPOSED to be.. accurate..
Differences: plastic fence / steel fence
adjust height with 2 allan bolts / adjust height with self squaring rack & pinion knob
Plastic base / aluminum base
reverse plastic fence for 45 degree angle / adjustable metal fence with degree markings
I could go on and on, but I'm sure that you get the point... the retail prices of the jointers were $60 and $180... IMHO, the Dewalt is much more than 3 times as good..
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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Precision, ease of use, reliabilty and longevity.
I have the DeWalt and was lucky enough to pay $99 for it new. It certainly meets my needs.
Before I'd pay $88 for a Superior one, I'd try the Ryobi for $99, IIRC. Keep your receipt in case you want to return it to Home Depot.
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Well, unfortunately you missed some of the discounts. I bought a PC 557, while thinking long and hard about the Lamello. In the end I had to remind myself that I'm not running a production cabinet shop. I got the PC557 for $114 new with all shipping included from Amazon. That was $85 worth of discounts and rebates. I applied for an Amazon Visa card and got a $30 coupon with it. PC had a $30 rebate through december (that's gone). Amazon had $25 off PC tools totalling $199 or more. This includes a kit with 1000 biscuits.
Check amazon.com and see what you can still get.
By the way, some of the things I read in customer reviews concerned problems with the dust collection bag. They must have re-engineered it because the one that came with mine works really, really well. In fact, this unit represents many, many refinements and tweaks over the problems they had a few years back. I am really impressed with it.
Lamello is the best. But if it rates a 100%, the PC must be at least 90% or better. For my purposes its 100%. FWW editors actually liked the PC better than the Lamello, but the readers voted the Lamello as the best.
Bob
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I hate to be the black sheep here, everyone seems bent on the better models. But I was in the same position as the original poster here. Knowing I was only going to be using the BJ pretty infrequently, and knowing that there were so many other tool that I wanted on a limited budget, I hemmed and hawed and finally took a chance on the Harbor Freight "higher end" model. It is an exact knock off on the Dewalt (at least the entire fence mechanism.) I've only used one other biscuit joiner, the Frued, the the Harbor Freight is unquestionably better. It is fully adjustable and plenty powerful. I did some crude accuracy tests on it, and found the the runout on the blade was acceptable. I've used the joiner on many occasions, some requiring pretty exacting tolerances, and feel like I've pulled a fast one: I got this thing for under 70 bucks. I'm not sure why this isn't posting in as an active link, but here is the web site:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumberG377
habbi wrote:

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I see in the description that it even comes with an extra set of carbide brushes!
(I would think if it really had carbide brushes, it should come with an extra commutator instead?)
Bert
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<-http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumberG377>
I see in the description that it even comes with an extra set of carbide brushes!
(I would think if it really had carbide brushes, it should come with an extra commutator instead?)
Bert
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wrote:

I read all the previous replies and noticed a point has been missed. You mention that you will only use it "a few times per year". Before I bought the DeWalt unit, I got by quite well with a slot cutting bit mounted in my router. Less than $20 and very accurate.
Note that a slot cutting bits cannot cut slots for shelves (mid panel) but you can use dowels or dados instead.
$300 will get an excellent router or trimmer, a slot cutter and some other useful bits for other purposes. If you already own a router then the cost is minimal.
cheers,
Greg
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For me, the value of biscuits is speed for aligning and doing quick joints that are strong enough for many purposes. A slot cutter does not give the advantage of speed and certainly cannot be used in as many situations. A biscuit cutter is a luxury unless you run a high volume production shop.
Bob
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