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Biscuit Joiner, Domino Joiner or Pocket Holes?

We take a look at some of the tools you can use for joinery that not only enhance the finish on projects, but also make them far easier to assemble.


Modern Joinery Techniques

There are many new methods for joining wood, some of these only recently introduced, while others have been around for a while, but the tools required to make these joints were too expensive for the average home DIY enthusiast. We take a look at some of the tools you can use for joinery that not only enhance the finish on projects, but also make them far easier to assemble.





Modern joinery tools such as the Biscuit Joiner, Pocket Hole Jig and Domino Joiner are fantastic tools that allow any beginner DIY enthusiast to make their own furniture with strong joints – without the need for complicated joints and the tools required. We discuss these types of joinery machines below and all these modern tools are available locally in South Africa.

- Biscuit Joiner

While not a new tool, with the introduction of the Tork Craft Biscuit Joiner and the affordable cost of this machine as opposed to more branded-name tools, is that it allows beginner DIY enthusiasts access to a tool that woodworkers and carpenters have been using for many years with great success.

For more advanced DIY enthusiasts, cabinet makers and carpenters, the biscuit joiner has been replaced by the Domino Joiner, which is a more advanced method of joinery. However, being more on the pricey side, domino joiners are unaffordable for most beginner DIYers.







Whether you use a biscuit joiner or a domino joiner, these two tools are similar in that they can be used to register or align boards with a fair amount of precision.

A biscuit joiner has a blade that cuts a half-moon shaped slot that is adjustable in depth depending on the size of biscuit you will use. When the slot is cut in two adjoining pieces it allows a biscuit to be placed between the two, and with the addition of wood glue, the biscuit swells and locks the two pieces in position.

The biscuits used for joining wood come in three sizes, ‘0’ being the smallest, ‘10’ the medium size, and ‘20’ the largest size biscuit. You simply decide on the right biscuit size depending on whatever project you are assembling, or ‘0’ being for decorative or non-stress bearing joints and ‘20’ being for joints that need to be able to take a fair amount of stress.

When would you use a Biscuit Joiner?

You can use a biscuit joiner when working with timber or wood-veneered board products where you want to assemble your pieces with no visible screws. This is especially important as visible screws must either be covered with screw caps or disguised with wood filler, and both options do not give a professional finish.

A biscuit joiner is also a handy tool to invest in if you laminate or glue a lot of planks together on a regular basis, such as when making tabletops (as was used to create the dining table shown above).

- Pocket Hole Jig

Pocket hole joinery is a technique whereby angled holes are drilled into a board to join it to another board using a method that is considered one of the easiest and fastest methods of creating strong joints. While this method has been around since the 1980s. The design of the first pocket hole jig was invented by Craig Sommerfield, who wanted to design a joinery system that was easier and stronger than other time-consuming methods. The development and design of Craig’s jig eventually became Kreg Jig, a name that is now associated with pocket hole joinery.





Using the Kreg jig method allows the user to drill a single or series of pocket holes as a method of joining pieces together. The precise angle of drilling at a 15-degree angle in the edge or face of a board creates a neat, strong joint.

For almost invisible joinery, Kreg offer a selection of pre-cut wood plugs that can be used to disguise pocket holes, as well as a Kreg Plug Cutter that lets you make your own plugs using the same material as that used for your projects.

When would you use a Pocket Hole Jig?

Versatile and easy to use, you can use pocket hole joinery for a wide range of applications, but particularly for awkward or difficult joints such as angles, curves and beveled corners, as well as for when you want to create joints where no screw or fastenings are visible on the front, face or outer sides of a project. You will find a selection of easy DIY projects using a Kreg Pocket Hole jig on www.Home-Dzine in the Beginners DIY section.

- Domino Joiner

Having already discussed a Biscuit Joiner, the Domino Joiner works on a similar principle, but with quite a few benefits to the user. While the biscuit joiner cuts a slot in the adjoining pieces, the domino joiner has a drill bit that rotates and oscillates from side to side to cut a hole based on the settings and size of ‘domino’ that you will use.

Additionally, whereas both a biscuit joiner and domino joiner are great when laminating or joining boards together, the domino method creates a much stronger joint, due in the main to the dominoes used in the joinery. The joint created by using a domino joiner is very similar to a ‘loose’ mortise and tenon joint, which itself is an extremely strong joint and by using a domino joiner you can easily make mortise and tenon joints easily and far quicker.



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