biscuit joiners

is there any reason to pay $150 for a new brand name biscuit joiner versus just getting a $50 cheap version online or something? they only do one job, right? anyone have bad experiences getting the cheaper tool in this instance? with most tools i can understand the need for spending more money, but does that hold true with this tool as well? thanks, chris
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On Sun, 14 Sep 2003 01:19:53 -0700, "Chris Miller"

Only if you want accuracy. FWIW, _top quality_ biscuit cutters are more like $400-500, as in the Lamello versions. I feel that I bought a mid-level, but plenty usable DeWalt @ $150.
Since biscuit joiners are all about repeatability, I'd thoroughly inspect a cheap one before buying. If you're really not sure you'd get your money's worth out of a good one, do it on a router table with a biscuit slot cutter, use dowels, etc...
Those who see your finished work do not know about the cash you saved. <G>
Barry
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Why would this tool be different?
What do you mean by only one job? It does it at various depth settings for different biscuits, it does it at different height setting depending on the wood thickness or the particular requirements, it does it at different angles also. Many variations of the "one" job.
So, maybe coming back to a true 90 degrees every time is not important to you. Maybe changing from a #0 to a #20 does not have to be accurate.
Buy what makes you happy. Ed
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depends on what you are building, I have an old one that only does FF biscuits and it was cheap. Does it work, absolutely. would I use it on a piece that I am selling, maybe. setup time to make it accurate cuts into the profit. I like dowels and dowels are still a viable substitute. just delivered a CPU isolation cabinet to a customer and he was thrilled. Doweled the top to the sides and the bottom to the sides. Could I have used biscuits, yep but setup time would have been excessive.
BRuce Holly Woods Woodcrafts
Chris Miller wrote:

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BRuce


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You can pay for a good quality tool once or buy the same cheap tool many times over.
BRuce wrote:

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wrote:

Don't know if it's been said here - I learned it from someone in my bike mechanic days : Cheap tools are a luxury few can afford.
Mike
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Chris Miller wrote:

I decided to try the $40 Harbor Freight joiner after getting some products from them that worked OK. I figured, as long as the cutter was sharp and didn't have play in the bearing, it would work. I was wrong. It made a nice enough slot, but the flexible plastic fence meant you were never sure where the slot would end up. Worse, the mechanism for adjusting the fence was a difficult-to-use kludge and in spite of my best alignment efforts it was making slots at a noticeable angle.
Fortunately, HF has a good return policy. I still didn't want to shell out $200 for the PC (probably the best of the popular models, given its versatility and all-aroud good construction) so I paid $100 for the fixed-fence Freud. It has a rigid, stable fence assembly and I am happy with it.
--Martin McCrorey
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