Biscuit Jointer...which one.... ?

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I think this is a first for me..actually being undecided on which brand to buy. I'm not at all concerned with price... But my problemn is that I have never ever really "needed" one...always got by with dowels IF I needed anything at all...and I have been a serious woodworkeing hobbiest for over 40 years...I just do not think the jointer will get heavy use....
Frued DeWalt or PC.... my normal tendency would be to buy the PC based on price and past experience BUT "most" DeWalt products I have purchased held up well... The Frued is a low end tool that maybe would work for me IF I use it sparingly like I think I will.. BUT I am somewhat afraid that I will all of a sudden develope a "need" to use a jointer (if you get my drift)...and I will end up kicking myself for even thinking about saving a few bucks...
Bob Griffiths
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I've heard various reports of 'issues' with the DeWalt and only good things (mostly) about the PC. I've got a Ryobi which is budget and works well, but the PC would have been my preference if money was not an option.
Once you get one, you will probably find you grow into using it and will use it more and more.
-- Regards,
Dean Bielanowski Editor, Online Tool Reviews http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com ------------------------------------------------------------ Latest 5 Reviews: - Woodworking Techniques & Projects - Kreg Right Angle Clamp - Bosch 3912 (GCM12) 12" Compound Miter Saw - Dowelmax Doweling System - Ryobi CDL1802D Pro Series 18v Cordless Drill ------------------------------------------------------------
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I have the Dewalt. It's my first experience with biscuits but it seems to work OK. You are right tho. I am shooting biscuits into everything now. Of course I seem to be that way with whatever new gadget I buy. At least it is not as noisy as my Remington shot pin gun. My neighgbors were so used to the sound of "gunfire" for that month that I could have had the Valentine's Day massacre here and nobody would have said anything.
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I like my PC 557.
I have had no problems with it whatsoever. My father has a Ryobi and seems good for the price. I think DeWalt is good too but there are a couple things I don't like about it. First - you can't use the face frame biscuits with the DeWalt. Second - the handle is on the body of the tool. With the PC, the handle is on the fence. You hold the body and push into the fence. Makes more sense to me.
Rob

use....
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I bought the frued about 1 1/2 yrs ago and was very unhappy with it, especially the fence. Last december I got the Dewalt and have been very pleased with it, good fence, easy height adjustment. I use it almost every week. Whether your a PC or Dewalt fan, you won't go wrong with either choice.
--
Mike S.
snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net
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I've been quite happy with my Porter-Cable 557. Plus right now PC has a $25 on order over $150. My only complaint would be that it is kind of loud, but I don't know if other biscuit joiners are any quieter -- I haven't used any others for quite some time and have never used (or even touched) anything super spendy like the Lamello joiner....

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Rob,
Would you mind telling me about some applications where FF biscuits will work and a 0 size will not? You can use a #3 on FF's no problem if your working with 3/4" material and it's better.
Gene
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work
working
The FF slots are cut with a smaller diameter blade. 2" diameter IIRC. This enables you to cut a slot in the end of narrow stock with out fear of the blade coming out the sides of the narrow stock. A #0 ciscuit is cut with the much larger blade which produces a much wider slot.
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First - you can't use the face frame biscuits

Could you expound more on this? Are face frame biscuits different? What? I have made a couple sets of cabinets with biscuits, and don' understand. -- Jim in NC
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FF and or Face Frame biscuits are shorter and narrower than the smallest of the regular sized biscuits. The PC uses a smaller blade for FF biscuits. This makes a narrower and a shallower slot. You can cut FF slots in narrower stock with out the blade cutting out the sides of the frame.

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I have the DeWalt and like it. But I've not tried any of the others. Your in MA aren't you? If not too far (I'm in ne CT), you can try mine to see if you like it. Ed
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Unless you want to go all the way and spend $600 on the Lamello, the Porter-Cable is really the best choice. If there's any doubt, you really should go down to the Borg and compare the PC and DeWalt (and any others you can find) side-by-side. In particular, the design of the fence on the PC is head and shoulders above the rest.
BTW, I own a Ryobi that was bequeathed unto me, and my buddy owns the PC. The Ryobi works ok, but it ain't no Porter-Cable!
Bob G wrote:

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The
I didn't even consider the Ryobi I got to work ok -- slots were too big (this was only 1-2 months ago). Two slots, and back to the store it went. Got the PC instead, decided to cry once and be done with it.
Should you go that route, print out the price from TylerTool.com and bring it to the price-matching store of your choice.
--randy
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Of the 3 I would suggest the PC. I bought my first PC PJ in 1989. It was the odd ball style that was belt driven and a real PIA to use. I cut thousands of slots with that machine. Right after the new style PC came out 5 or so years ago I got that one and have been very happy with it. That said, I find myself not using it as much as the old one. Not because it does not work as well but because I think I was over using biscuits years ago. I would not want to be with out one and I would again buy the PC but you have been able to get by this long with out one and may realize that there are better methods of attaching wood in most cases. I use it mostly when I use plywood in a project.
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Bob,
The PC557 has the FF (face-frame) biscuits which I think you will probably use more than any other size if you're making picture frames and the like. Do you need it? no... Will you use it?....yes.
Bob S.
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Bob S. wrote:

was not a problem....
But I honestly figured I might as get the one which I may find the most uses for... Already went out in the shop and painted it "Blue"...gota do that because its the only way I keep "my" tools in my shop...otherwise they end up in one of the Boys' shops...and I'll never get it back...
Bob Griffiths
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The Lamello which is the undisputed best doesn't even offer FF biscuits. I use "0" size in picture frames, easy fit! am I missing something?
Gene
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I own the DeWalt and use the PC the shop owner has. Not much difference but the PC is a better working tool. Smoother action, better fence and adjustments, better DC.
That said, I've used the Dewalt quite a bit, it works fine and I will use it again any day but if I have a choice it's the PC.
BW

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Your point is well taken, I just have never had the ocasion to use them that often. And the times that I have the biscuit was undersize for the slot and really did nothing for the joint whatsoever. The fitup was poor at best. I think they are more of a sales gimmick than a practical application. I've made a lot of picture frames from chair molding which is handled easily with an 0 size. Same with face frame cabinets, attaching the face frames to the carcass, you can use any size you want. If your using FF biscuits to make the face frame, your using the wrong joint anyway, make a lap and put a dowel through it. I think a lot of people buy the 557 for that exact feature but I'll go out on the limb and say most experienced users don't use them. A better way of doing it is to use a 5/32 slot cutter on a router table if you have a need for FF biscuits.
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wide.
board.
that
and
Did you actually use a PC to cut the slots for the FF biscuits? If not, that may explain the poor fit and or oversized slot for the FF biscuit. While you use the same sized blade to cut slots for the #0, #10, and #20 biscuits, you actually remove the blade in the PC and put in a 2" blade and flip a lever to change plunge travel that is specifically for the FF buisuit. The FF fits quite nicely in that slot.
.
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