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I'm new the the pocket screw joint but have used the biscuit joiner for years.   Is there a time where one is better than the other?



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I still use my biscuit joiner {ELUE] for joining true raised panel center pieces.Sometimes I don't want the pocket screw to show.That being said,I totally agree with Phillip's take,using pocket holes.I now only use my biscuit joiner for center panels. Dave
For me, pocket holes are far faster. Since you're only drilling into one workpiece and not two, you don't have to worry about potential alignment issues.

Pocket holes are also more forgiving. If you need to undo the joint and start over, you can do that with pocket holes, but not with a glued biscuit.

Pocket holes don't need glue.

Pocket holes require less expensive tools.

Pocket holes are much stronger in my opinion. (depends on many variables)

Pocket holes are easier to work with... you don't need to plan things out as far in advance, etc.

The only reason I'd ever use a biscuit is if I absolutely couldn't have holes because the joint would be in the open, and I didn't want to take the time to build a M&T joint. And even then, I'd probably go with dowels because they are stronger.

I used to like biscuits... but not after getting my Kreg JIg.
Good information. Looks like I need to do a couple practice joints because I have a few face frames to build. One area I thought where the pocket is better would be face frames where the sthile or rail is not wide enough for a biscuit. Finished the base for the Kreg Master, now I need to use it! Thanks for the input.

You are so right Bob. Sometimes a person just cannot use the pocket hole jig because the joint would be open. Somehow my extended family seems to think that I should build a cutting board for each person/family. Biscuits are, in my mind, the only way to go. As for expensive machinery, I don't even own a plate joiner, saving a couple of hundred dollars. I cut my biscuits slots on my router table. Beyond the cutting boards, Kreg is the answer!
Biscuits are better for alignment then the pocketscrews. I have used BOTH on occasion when I want things to line up nice but want the strength of the pocket screws.
I gave biscuits a try, several years ago, they left me unimpressed. If pocket screws are not appropriate, I'll use dowels or mortise and tenon. Seems to me that biscuits were invented to sell biscuit joiners, they are both unnecessary. On the other hand, biscuits and gravy makes an excellent breakfast.
In all my years of woodworking I have yet to have a joint fail (Knock on wood, which should be easy to find). I have had the biscuit joiner KICK back a few times and open the hole to twice the size of the biscuit. But, am I asking a FORD CHEVY question on a Chevy site? Good discussion.

Mark Alward said:
In all my years of woodworking I have yet to have a joint fail (Knock on wood, which should be easy to find). I have had the biscuit joiner KICK back a few times and open the hole to twice the size of the biscuit. But, am I asking a FORD CHEVY question on a Chevy site? Good discussion.


Good point, Mark. This is a site which could be biased. Things that people are measuring like the 'ease of use', etc. might be biased, but there are certain facts which can not be disputed. For example... pocket holes will always only require machining one workpiece, not two. This simplifies the alignment process a great deal and offers flexibility to change your project at a whim. Pocket holes also don't require glue, which biscuits always do. Because of this, you can work much faster with pocket holes and always have the option of unscrewing your project to make adjustments. Things like strength as well, I don't know if that can be argued. I've seen test after test in woodworking magazines and pocket holes are always considerably stronger than biscuits... They're usually stronger than dowels too. the only thing that consistently beats them is some form of M&T. In addition, biscuit jointers are expensive, heavy, and comparably difficult to use (opinion).

Like I said before, I used to use biscuits a lot, because they're much faster than M&T and even dowels. But the Kreg Jig puts it to shame. Assuming you can hide the holes, I don't think there's a single situation where I'd choose a biscuit over a pocket hole for speed, strength, ease of use, and for keeping my sanity.

Just my $0.02
Well I my not be as smart as everyone here but I got a K2 and it cost about $ 100 and what are Biscuit jointer’s going for $200 or $300 and then $ 20 for a bag of Biscuits . As for me I get 3 boxes of screws and that’s about $ 12 to $ 13 and some wood glue and I drill some hole’s and then I glue and screw and then I can move on to the next step but if you use biscuits you got 6 to 12 hour’s before you can move on . But as they say to each there own way.
Are we comparing candle light,to a light bulb? If availability to electricty doesn't eist,a lit candle is better than sitting in the dark. Technology changes the way we live,hopefully making life easier,safer,more comfortable and in this case,faster and easier. Pocket holes have been in use for a long time,not readily available to the average consumer,until recently. I remember ,when I was a young boy, no one in the neighborhood had an air conditioned car.Now days it may be difficult to find one without a/c.The Model A was a good car n it's time. Beats the ole horse n buggy. In a high school shop class,I edged joined to pieces of pine together,used Elmers glue and old fashioned clamps. No biscuits,dowls,screws,pocket holes,etc. It still holds books today.Enough said. Dave
I've used just about every jointing method you can think of and the Kreg joint is superior to many of them. The only application I use the biscuits jointer for is edge gluing. The biscuits do a great job of aligning the faces of the individual planks.
If you have lots of time on your hands watching glue dry then bicuit joint
What else can I say

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