Domino Joiner vs Biscuit
The domino joiner has many uses in the industry. But, which one do you need? The answer might be surprising to someone that is not familiar with woodworking. A biscuit joiner and a domino joiner share some similarities but are very different machines. Both cut slots for inserting pliable wood splines (biscuits) or splined dowels (dominoes). However, the construction of these two machines goes in opposite directions. Biscuit joiners usually have vertical fences whereas domino joiners have horizontal fences. Also, the tables on most biscuit joiners are fixed while most domino joiners have folding tables to allow users access underneath the machine during operation. These extra features make biscuit joiners a very specific tool for cabinets and house production work. However, some domino joiners can do more than simply cut slots for splines. They can also be used as mortising machines and trim routers with certain attachments.
What is a Biscuit Joint?
A biscuit joint is an interlocking structure for two pieces of wood. A “biscuit” (also known as a wedge-shaped wooden ‘plug’) is cut into the edge of one board such that it sits below the surface and, when combined with another similarly prepared board, fits into a slot cut into the second board to join the two boards together tightly.
Biscuit joints allow the matching of timber edges in an engineered lumber process and they are often used in modern woodworking. The biscuit is a small, thin disk with a circular or oval-shaped cross-section. The biscuit is cut from a scrap piece of lumber approximately the same width as the thickness of the material to be joined. It has a diameter somewhat larger than its thickness and it will swell when the glue is applied causing it to fill the slot entirely.
A biscuit joiner sometimes called a plate joiner or simply a biscuit jointer is an electric woodworking tool used to cut slots for inserting pliable dowel “biscuits” into slots cut into two workpieces being glued together to form a butt joint that will be strong and resistant to stress. The working end of a typical design consists of a ram with a downwards-pointing metal pin. These pins fit through one or more circular saw kerf cuts in a flat steel plate. The slot in the biscuit is slightly offset from the center of its diameter so that when it swells after being impregnated with glue, it pulls against both surfaces. This transfers clamping force directly to each of the pieces being glued together rather than allowing any downward deformation.
Biscuit joiners are similar to dowel joiners in their use and performance (although not in appearance), but they typically have several small saw blades which cut kerfs for inserting biscuits in two workpieces, instead of one dowel rod for fastening two workpieces at a time as most dowel joiners do.
What is a Domino Joint?
A domino joint is a self-contained mechanical connection that joins two members at an angle of 90°. It consists of a tenon (male part) and mortise (female part). The tenon can be rectangular, circular, or oval in shape with one to twelve flattened sides. This allows for great versatility in joineries such as T-junctions, L-junctions, and cross joints. Dominoes are intended to be glued into the female half once the correct depth has been obtained. The domino tenon’s irregular profile enables it to lock tightly into place and makes it very difficult to pull out when compared to dowels and biscuits.
Dominoes come in three different shapes: Mini, Midi, and Maxi. The most common domino is the midi, which is approximately 10 mm wide x 50 mm long with 4–6 flattened sides. Mini dominoes are also available which have a width of only 7.5mm x 34mm with 3–4 flattened sides. Maximum length can vary depending on material thickness but usually, maxi domino joints are around 130–150 mm in length
Domino joiner vs Biscuit: Key Differences
A biscuit joiner is a small electric tool used for the precise cutting of wood. It cuts slots into two pieces being glued together to form a butt joint. A domino joiner is larger than a biscuit joiner and cuts mortise holes in any size piece of wood to join them into an angle. The main difference between the domino jointer vs the biscuit jointer is that it does not have one straight blade but instead has two blades that cut kerfs for inserting dominoes, rather than only one dowel rod for fastening two workpieces at a time as most dowel joiners do.
Domino Joiner vs Biscuit Joints: strength, easy to use, quality of finished piece, durability
Since the biscuit is pushed against both surfaces, it transfers clamping force directly to each of the pieces being glued together. This allows for a stronger joint than most dowel joiners offer. Dominoes are very easy to use and can be cut to almost any length so there will be no need to go buy pre-cut dominoes which saves you time and money. The quality of the finished piece is excellent because it leaves an extra-strong bond between boards with virtually no visible seams from the outside. Neither tool requires much skill or effort in use them so they are perfect for beginner woodworkers. Once these tools are used, they last for a long time and can be passed down through generations.
Domino Joiner vs Biscuit Joints: price, design, size, amount of space needed
Biscuit joiners are less expensive than domino joiners because they have a straight blade instead of two blades that cut kerfs for inserting dominoes. They also have somewhat different designs, with a biscuit joiner being shaped like a small power tool and a domino jointer having a handle in the shape of a pistol grip. The size is another difference between the two tools since a biscuit jointer is smaller and lighter which makes it easier to carry around if needed whereas a domino jointer is larger and requires more room to store in your workshop or garage when not in use.
A biscuit joiner has one straight blade while a domino joiner comes with two blades. The two blades that a domino joiner has enables it to cut kerfs for inserting dominoes, rather than only one dowel rod for fastening two workpieces at a time as most dowel joiners do.
Biscuit Joiner Features
A biscuit joiner allows for great versatility in joinery. It has one straight blade which makes it only useful for cutting one dowel rod at a time. The biscuit joiner is much smaller than the domino jointer and this allows for more flexibility when using it. A biscuit jointer can cut approximately 4 biscuits per second, while the domino jointer can cut over 10 mortise holes per second.
Domino Joiner Features
The domino joint is used to make strong precise angle joints without any gaps or seams where glue might show through. Its strength is derived from both its design (mortise + tenon) as well as its mechanical connection (domino). Dominoes allow for great versatility and can be used to make T-junctions, L-junctions, and cross joints. They fit together like a puzzle and there is no need for dowels or biscuits. The domino jointer makes very precise mortise holes in any size piece of wood while the biscuit jointer only has one straight blade which limits its use to cutting dowel rods in certain sizes. The domino joiner allows you to cut 10 mortise holes at a time where the biscuit joiner can cut approximately 4 biscuits per second making it much slower than the domino joiner.
Biscuit Joiner Pros And Cons
Pros of a biscuit joiner:
- Quick & fast to cut biscuits
- Allows for great versatility in joinery
- Small and lightweight
Cons of a biscuit joiner:
- Only useful for one dowel rod at a time
- Can only cut up to 4 biscuits per second, need more than one tool to achieve desired results
- Requires plywood or man-made boards to use as base material
Domino Joiner Pros And Cons
Pros Of A Domino Jointer
- Can be used with any type of wood without the need for a base material
- Creates a strong joint that is difficult to pull apart if glued correctly, can be used on thicker boards as well
- Allows for great versatility in joinery where biscuits fall short
- Easier to see your starting line since it has two blades instead of one
- Safer & easier to use than a biscuit joiner where blade height cannot be adjusted as easily causing some safety hazards.
Cons Of A Domino Jointer:
- More expensive than some other types of jointers such as the biscuit jointer
- Heavier and bigger due to having two blades, not as easy to transport from one job site to another or store away after using it.
- Requires more time to cut mortise holes than a biscuit jointer
Domino Joiners vs Biscuit Joiners: The Bottom Line
The key difference between the domino joiner vs the biscuit joiner is that it does not have one straight blade but instead has two blades that cut kerfs for inserting dominoes, rather than only one dowel rod for fastening two workpieces at a time as most dowel joiners do.
This results in greater speed and more versatility when cutting mortise holes in various types of wood without having to switch tools in order to make all types of joints.
The best choice between these heavy-duty power tools would ultimately be the dom jointer because of its ability to cut 10 mortise holes at a time, unlike the biscuit joiner which can only cut up to 4 biscuits per second and need more than one tool to achieve desired results.
It is easier to see your starting line since it has two blades instead of one and requires less time to cut the mortise holes as well as is safer and easier to use than a biscuit jointer where blade height cannot be adjusted as easily causing some safety hazards.
The domino joiner vs biscuit joiner comparison leaves no doubt that there is no comparison; go with the domino joiner if you want speed, versatility, and accuracy in making mortise joints without any gaps or seams where glue might show through!