i am pretty unhappy in this regard. my first biscuit joiner was the makita. that quickly got replaced when the knob on the back of the plate vibrated loose and the plate opened exposing my hand to the blade. terrible design so it had to go. after some research i replaced it with the freud js-102. i am not happy with this unit, it is not very accurate. the layout lines on the tool are not in line. that was pretty easy to learn to compensate for, but above and beyond that, the fence is not very user friendly and not the most accurate thing itself.
i am at a dilema right now. makita and freud are out of the question. milwaukee doesnt make one (if they did i would be all over it),
so that leaves dewalt, porter cable, black and decker, many "junk brands" those available from harbor freight, etc, and, what appears to be the caddilac of biscuit joiners, the lamello.
now the lamello is big dollars...considerably more expensive than its peers. i could be wrong but i can not see spending over 500 on a biscuit jointer. what the hell else does this thing do?
so that leaves dewalt, b&d, porter cable, and of course craftsman.
i shy away from craftsman power tools, not much for quality as a rule in my opinion
b&d is out too
so we have a decision between dewalt and porter cable?
all the research i havd done puts the porter cable on the top?
i guess my other question is, is it worth upgrading, or will there be no signifigant difference between porter cable and my current freud?
thanks guys and gals
While in many categories of power tools it is hard to tell one brand from another, that isn't the case with plate joiners: the PC-557 stands out. I've had one for years, used it for hundreds of different applications, and never had either a failure or an inability to use it because of design limitations. Great tool.
The only "change" I have made to mine (and it really isn't a change, per se) is that I don't use the dust bag. Rather, I plug a shop vac into the dust port via a 1-1/4" adapter. Not a spec of dust, either on the bench or in the machine.
I went through the same grief trying to compare brands and justify the $200 to buy these tools. I ended up buying a 9/16" slot cutter bit for my router. I use it to make all my biscuit joints on a router table. The bit and arbor with 3 bearings (one for #10, #20 and #30 biscuits) cost about $40.
“I ended up buying a 9/16" slot cutter bit for my router”
Those must be some “outrageously” sloppy joints; I believe the correct size slot for a biscuit is 5/32”.
I use about a half a bottle of glue in each joint!! :D You're right about the slot size. Why I typed 9/16" is a mystery. Thanks for catching my goof.
I will not knock the PC or Lamelo but the cost :eek: I bought a biscuit jointer attachment from Sears that fits on a 4 1/2" angle grinder. Since I already had the grinder the cost was about $50 CDN on sale. Yes it is a plactic fence and you have to mess with Allen screws to set the depth of cut but it has the same 'saw' blade as a real biscuit jointer and once setup it cuts perfect slots. I have used it for years and it is still working perfectly. If you look at most of the jointers they are all based on an angle grinder drive and motor with varing degrees of fancy heads and fences
The PC-557 is the hands on favorite on just about any site where this topic comes up. When I picked up my biscuit joiner, I wasn't willing to shell out $200 so I went with the Dewalt for $138. It doesn't offer all the features the PC does, but I'm pleased with it and it does a good job.
I've had the PC557 for about a year and have realy been satisfied. It is a very versatile tool and the face frame feature is tops IMHO.
Add another vote for the PC. I've had mine for a few years and have had no problems with it.
anyone want to buy a gently used freud js102? [img]smile.gif[/img]
by the way, with regard to the lamello, what the hell does this thing do that makes it worth near 600 bucks that any of the others dont that cost 200 or less??