When it comes to tools in a woodworking shop, many tools can serve more than one purpose and this is a very good thing, however, when it comes to a biscuit joiner, this rule certainly does not apply. A joiner like this one only serves only one purpose, but it does so with such skill and precision that it you should always have one on hand.
Before going any further, it is important to understand what a biscuit joiner is and what it does. When creating something like a tabletop, you will often need to glue multiple pieces of wood together to create a tabletop. While you can simply glue the wood together and clamp it together, the strength of such bonding simply will not last. That is why, in combination with glue, a biscuit is normally inserted. This gives added strength to the boding and allows the table to last as long as you want it too without the wood pieces coming apart.
A biscuit joiner is rather simple to use. You simply cut a slot into one piece of wood. Once the cut is complete, you will repeat the cut on the second piece of wood. Once both cuts are done, you will pour a small amount of glue in the cuts and insert a small football shaped piece of wood called a biscuit. This biscuit is normally made of beech wood. This type of connection along with wood glue makes a connections that will last throughout the years. This type of bonding is very popular in cabinet making.
If you need to adjoin two pieces of wood for any purpose, whether it is a tabletop, a wood cabinet, or a drawer of any kind, a biscuit joiner is the right tool for the job. If you are looking to make a business of woodworking then you will need to construct quality pieces of woodwork that is both pleasant to look at and rugged enough to outlive the people that own them. If you are just a serious weekend woodworking warrior, you still want to make the best woodworking pieces possible. In any event, a biscuit joiner is an absolute must for any shop, professional or not.
Some brands to consider are Lamello, Freud, Vermont American, Virutex, Dewalt, and Porter Cable. You can looks for reviews online and compare features to see which is best for you. You can sometimes find good prices on reconditioned units. One other option, if you know what you are doing is to use a router as a biscuit joiner. There are some good articles online that explain how to do that. Take the time to do a thorough comparison of your different options.