DeWalt DW734 vs Ridgid R4331 which is the right portable planer to choose?
Brand wise there are a few offerings from both manufacturers from DeWalt the DW734, DW735 and DW735X. From Rigid there is the R4330 and R4331.
The DW734 from DeWalt is powered by a 15 Amp motor giving a max speed of 20,000 RPM. At the cutting head that translates to 10,000 RPM maximum.
It has a variable cutting depth from between 0 and 1/8 of an inch and can accept boards of 12.5 inches wide and a maximum thickness of 6 inches.
DeWalt claim a 30% increase in the life of the cutter heads as they are reversible. The cutter head is a three knife design.
The infeed and outfeed tables at on an extra 33.5 inches of board support helping to reduce snipe on longer lumber lengths.
To further help reduce snipe and keep lateral movement to a minimum there is a four column carriage lock that can be manually adjusted to ensure a true and square feed.
You can see how the DW734 compares against the newer DW735 also from Dewalt here DW734 vs DW735.
The R4331 planer from Rigid is also referred to as the Rigid 13 inch planer just to avoid any confusion you may have.
The R3441 is powered by a 15 Amp motor and has a maximum speed of 9,000 RPM.
Has uses a three blade cutter head that gives a maximum 96 cuts per inch giving 27,000 cuts per minute at a feed rate of 23.5 feet per minute. It has a maximum depth of cut of 1/8 of an inch.
The blades are also reversible so you can expect to prolong the cutting life of them once switched around. However, nothing beats a fresh blade.
The Rigid comes with an infeed and an outfeed table to help reduce snipe on your longer pieces.
It uses a chip impeller system to help remove waste material away from the cutting head which should result in a cleaner cut.
There are 8 depth stops and a top handle that can make an adjustment of 1/16 of an inch per full turn of the handle.
DeWalt DW734 vs Ridgid R4331 which is the right one to buy ?
When looking at DeWalt vs Ridgid planers they both are of a similar spec. Price wise the DeWalts range from 400 up to 600 dollars depending on where you purchase them from and the Rigid planers tend to hover around the $500 to $600 mark.
For us the winner is the DeWalt. With a slightly higher blade speed and the greater chance of getting it at a discount online it just about beats out the Rigid.
Wondering which planer to choose the Wen 6550 vs 6552 ?
Lets take a brief look at both models and then see where the differences arise.
The Wen 6550 is a 12.5 inch thickness planer that is powered by a 15 Amp motor giving a cutting speed of 18,000 cuts at a feed rate of 26 feet per minute.
It has a dual blade design and can plane boards up to 6 inches thick. The blades can be reversed to help extend their operational life.
A smooth granite table is virtually warp free and the base is made from heavy cast iron for added sturdiness.
There are height adjustable infeed and outfeed tables that can help to eliminate snipe during usage. There is also a tri-roller system to keep the feed as smooth as possible.
For each pass at the blades a depth knob adjuster enables you to strip off up to 3/32 of an inch per round.
The 6550 can be mounted on either a planer table or bolted down to a work bench for a more permanent solution.
The Wen 6552 is a 13 inch table top planer that has a cutting speed of 25,500 cuts per minute at a feed rate of 26 feet per minute.
It has virtually all of the same specifications as the Wen 6550 apart from the larger feed width and the lower number of cuts per minute.
Wen 6550 vs 6552 which do you choose?
Well clearly they practically the same machine the decision you have to make is do you need the slightly wider board size of 13 inches ?
If you are on a budget the Wen regardless of the width certainly makes sense however if you are looking for something from one of the bigger brands then the DeWalt DW734 or DW735 may be more suitable.
Looking at the both orbital sanders it's plain to see that they share a lot of very basic design elements. DeWalt D26453K vs DWE6423K so which oe should you buy?
Each sander gives a fairly good finish and is built to a high quality.
Before we pick a winner lets have a quick look below at each sander and see how they look.
It is powered by a variable speed 3 Amp motor. With an operating range of between 7,000 and 12,000 OPM(Oscillations per minute) it offers a pretty versatile operating speed range so that you can match the sanding speed to the specific hardness of wood you are sanding.
The pads that the D26453K accept are the standard 5 inch eight hole and use a hook and loop system for less lateral slippage.
DeWalt have integrated their CFS(Controlled Finishing System) into the D26453K. CFS helps to reduce the gouging and marring of the wood surface as you start up the sander.
Holding a sander on the surface to be finished is not a good idea so you are much better off allowing it to hit peak speed before you press it onto the surface.
It has a nice ergonomic design and is easy to hold and maneuver for long periods of time. The main handle on the top is coated in a non-slip rubber like material that is easy to grip for just about anyone.
Included with the D26453K is a quality dust bag that can help reduce the amount of dust in your work shop by a large margin. It is also capable of connecting to any standard shop vacuum to further help reduce dust.
The DeWalt DWE6423K is the newer version of the D26453K. It has virtually the same motor and sanding performance.
It has a 3 Amp variable speed motor that runs between 8,000 and 12,000 OM. There is also a singe speed model available called the DWE6421K.
It has a lower profile than it's predecessor. It also has less vibrations getting through to the users hands thanks to better internal vibration dampening. It is achieved thanks to a separate counterweight inside the main body of the sander.
Comes with dust bag and carrying bag just like the D26453K.
So what the difference between DeWalt D26453K vs DWE6423K ?
Well the DWE6423K is the newer model in the range. It has a slightly lower profile than the D26453K and DeWalt claim that it will transfer slightly less vibrations through to the operators hands.
So the DWE6423K will probably be a little more comfortable to hold over longer periods of time.
The only real distinguishable thing between either is the variable speed range. On the D26453K the range is 7,000 to 12,000 and on the DWE6423K it is 8,000 to 12,000. That difference shouldn't really matter to most people.
That's pretty much the only difference between the two models.
Personally I would buy which ever is on sale or the one you can get the cheapest. Why? Because performance wise they are effectively the same sander. Same motor, control, same accessories and the same finish.
So choose the cheaper of the two depending on where you are shopping.
The two best mid-range biscuit joiners available head to head its the Porter Cable 557 vs DeWalt DW682K biscuit joiner face-off.
If you are looking for a new biscuit joiner and are not looking to spend a fortune on a Lamello or even try Festool's Domino joiner(that is also a small fortune) then the Porter Cable vs DeWalt biscuit joiners are the top two choices on the market right now.
They both come in at a mid-range price point and both are very capable and quality built tools. So which is best, well let's take a quick look at each ones features first.
The Porter Cable 557 has very powerful 7 Amp motor. With it's high end motor can tackle pretty much any hardwood you can throw at it. The rpm tops out at an impressive 10,000 rpm.
The biggest advantages the Porter Cable has over it's competitors are it's versatility and quality.
The 557 has an industry leading fence adjustment. It's fence can be adjusted to a max setting of 135 degrees with the usual adjustable stops at 90 degrees. The majority of other biscuit joiners are only adjustable to 90 degrees maximum.
The fence also features a micro-height adjustment knob that enables correct positioning leading to greater precision and more versatility. The fence also boasts a lock on trigger and has a specially designed pivot point that gives more accurate height reading than other plate joiners.
For the price the Porter Cable 775 is one of the most accurate and reliable biscuit. It is even a match more the extremely expensive Lamello biscuit joiner if you take price into consideration.
Comes with 4 inch blade, blade wrench, centering plate and a dust bag.
The DeWalt DWS779 is powered by a 6.5 Amp motor with a top speed of 10,000 rpm also.
It's design is a one piece fence that can be adjusted from 0 through 90 degrees. The accuracy of the cut is mostly about ensuring that the fence and the blade are parallel this is assured via a twin rack-and-pinion system for adjusting the fence.
Although the fence is limited to 90 degrees you can still use the DeWalt on mitered edges of more than 90 degrees thanks to a notch cut out of the bottom of the fence.
Keeping the fence and your wood surface firmly connected during cutting are anti-slip pins which can help greatly with keeping your alignment true and accurate.
Just like the DeWalt it comes with a dust collecting bag that can be hooked up to a shop vacuum.
Included in the box is a carbide blade, vacuum adapter, dust bag, wrench and Torx key plus a kit box to store and transport it in.
Although both models perform very admirably and are also incredibly popular choices for the average woodworker there can only be one winner.
The Porter Cable 557 is a clear winner over the DeWalt biscuit joiner.
It has a slightly more powerful motor 7.0 Amp versus the DeWalt's 6.5 Amp. The fence is adjustable from 0 to 135 degrees against the DeWalt's standard 90. It can also accept a smaller 2 inch blade that allows for even smaller biscuits to be used which is quite useful on smaller form factor pieces.
And ergonomically it is slightly nicer to use and more intuitive than the DeWalt.
However the DeWalt is still a solid performer and if you are on a strict budget or only need to make the occasional biscuit join it might be the better option .
Two planners that have gained a great reputation with woodworkers. We compare the Makita 2012NB vs Dewalt DW735 to see which is best.
Both planners are well respected in the woodworking world and both DeWalt and Makita are highly regarded brands.
Before we pit each planner against one another lets first have a quick look at the features of each machine and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
The Makita 2012NB is a 12 inch planer. Powered by a 15 Amp motor it has a no load rating of 8500 rpm. It is capable of handling the majority of woods and with that kind of power should be sufficient for just about anyone.
It can handle a fairly substantial load over the course of an hour and has a feed rate of 28 foot per minute.
It has built a reputation as one tirelessly durable machine. Most people that own one tend to do so for many many years and it should last a long time provided you do some routine maintenance once or twice a year.
Cleaning out the rollers and internal body of dust and checking the blade for any deformities are all that is really needed on most modern planners.
The 2012NB features Makita's "Interna-Lok" automated head clamp for improved planning performance and less chances of snipe it also comes with infeed and outfeed tables to further help reduce snipe.
Saying that the major complaint with the Makita is the risk of snipe. Even with the Interna-Lok system it has been known to produce somewhat deeper cuts on the board edges, but with careful alignment of the board height on entry/exit you may avoid this.
The DeWalt DW735 is available in two models the DW735 and DW735x. The "x" stands for extra. They are virtually the same machine. However the DW735x comes with an additional set of blades and infeed and outfeed tables.
The DW735 thickness planer is powered by a 120 Volt 15 Amp motor. It has a max no load speed of 20,000 rpm and at the head 10,000 rpm.
It is capable of cutting boards of up to 12.5 inches wide and a max depth of 6 inches. Thanks to a two speed gearbox you can vary the cutting speed depending on your chosen material.
For a cleaner work space it has a "Chip Ejection System" instead of just having a dust hood for collection the chips and dust is blown into the hood/shroud and deposits them on the floor beside the planer.
It also features an auto lock feature on the carriage which can speed up performance if you need to get through a lot of wood quickly as there is less manual intervention in the setting up process for each pass.
Ultimately there can only be one winner among the two planners.
On the one hand you have the reliable Makita that although is extremely well built it does still suffer from the posibility of snipe on the edges of the lumber.
And the DeWalt has the superior cutting performance and precision, however you must pay extra for the infeed and outfeed tables if you purchase the DW735, if you buy the DW735x however they are included along with extra blades.
The DeWalt also has a more modern intuitive layout than the Makita something which is often over looked.
For us the winner is the DeWalt it just gives a better end product than the Makita, it also has a slightly wider table at 12.5 inches versus the Makita's 12. A high possibility of snipe is just not good enough to risk with the 2012NB plus you get a 3 year limited warranty over the Makita's one year.
Two plunge kit routers head to head it's the Bosch 1617EVSPK vs DeWalt DW618PK.
If you are new to wood routing and you are unsure if you will need either a fixed base router or a plunge router then my advice would be to go for both in the form of a mixed kit.
Having the option to use your router in either configuration is generally the best value for money.
Fixed base routers are great for trimming edges and they are used extensively when making high quality joints.
A fixed based router is generally preferred when using a dovetail jig. The fixed base router is considered more accurate than a plunge router. As it easy much easier to mount on a router table and generally can be adjusted in much smaller increments.
A plunge router really comes into it's own when you need to cut into the middle or away from the edge of a piece of board.
The plunge enables you to place the router over the board and then lower the bit accurately and perpendicularly to the board. It is perfectly suited to making cuts using a template or making mortices and flutes.
Let's take a brief look at each router kit before we decide on which one is the best. Both have there strengths and weaknesses and price wise are roughly the same.
The Bosch 1617EVSPK is a 2.5HP 12 Amp variable speed plunge and fixed-base router kit. The 12 Amp motor is more than capable of cutting through hardwood boards and edges.
It features a soft start; which means it raises the rpm slowly until it hits peak rpm. A slow start helps to ensure that you don't damage the surface material surrounding your cut. Plunging a router too quickly onto wood a max speed can result in small nicks and tears around the cut.
The constant response circuitry gives a smooth and consistent power and torque delivery at your desired rpm.
It is compatible with both a Bosch router lift and numerous router tables such as the Bosch RA1171 and RA1181. For added reliability there is a definite click when it is secured in either. On the third click the router is properly affixed to the table/lift.
It's variable speed of between 8,000-25,000 rpm allows you to match the bit speed to the materials you are cutting. Matching the speed means better cleaner cuts and certain router bits perform at their best only a specific rpm when used on certain types of wood.
As stated above this is a fixed/plunge router kit which means you have the option to do both.
The DeWalt DW618PK is a 2.25 HP 12 amp variable speed plunge and fixed base wood router kit. With variable speed from 8,000 to 24,000 it has a versatile cutting range suitable for a variety of different wood strengths.
Like most router in the smaller range settings of the rpm it will perform best on larger type cuts and hardwoods. When set to the higher end of the rpm range it is more suited to smaller sized cuts and softer woods
It comes with 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch collets included. It has a through-the-column dust collection system which should accept a standard shop vacuum keeping your work space clear ad clean from dust.
For fixed base use there is a micro-fine depth-adjustment ring enabling precision adjustment of the router bit in 1/64 of an inch increments.
For the plunge base there is an adjustable turret on the right hand side that has five different positions. Each position allows for a change of 1/32 inch incremental adjustments.
Who is the winner in the Bosch 1617EVSPK vs DeWalt618PK head to head ?
The clear winner is the Bosch 1617EVSPK. It has a more accurate plunger, better motor locking mechanism and is a better built power tool than the DeWalt.
Reliability wise there have been numerous reports online of the Dewalt's variable speed control failing. And the occasional motor burning out after a few months. Although it has a three year warranty versus the Bosch's one year, it is apparent that is the less reliable of the two.
Cost wise they are priced at roughly the same depending on where you purchase the units from. Value wise however we feel that for the money the Bosch unit is the better option.
Confused by the choice between the DeWalt DW734 vs DW735 vs DW735X thickness planers? Which one is right for you?
No doubt about it benchtop planers have bridged the gap between handheld and cabinet style thickness planer. They offer a near perfect finish for short to medium sized boards with the added convenience of portability.
They vary slightly terms of size, cutting ability and features. Lets take a look at each one individually before comparing.
The DeWalt DW734 thickness planer is the older brother of the DW735. It is powered by a 120 Volt 15 Amp motor. The motor has a max speed of 20,000 rpm(10,000 at the cutting head).
It can accept boards of up to 12.5 inches in width and 6 inches in depth. The cutting depth is variable from 0 to 1/8 of an inch and can do 96 cuts per inch.
Like all DeWalt planers it features a three knife cutter head. The knifes are reversible and DeWalt claims that they deliver a 30 percent knife life.
The DeWalt DW734 also comes with an infeed and outfeed table. The two combined add an extra 33.5 inches in length to further support the board on the way in and out and drastically reduce the chance of sniping of the boards described below in the DeWalt735x review.
It also has a manually operated 4 column carriage lock that helps keep unwanted movement of boards during cutting, which will also help to reduce snipe.
The DW743 weighs in at 80 pounds so it does have a bit of weight in it to get it firmly rooted on your benchtop or table.
Now that we have seen the DeWalt DW734 review it's time to discuss the newer and slightly larger DW735.
The DeWalt DW735 has the same power as the DW734 above. It can accept slightly wider boards at 13 inches and has the same cutting depth of 1/8 inch per pass.
However, if has a 2 speed gear box that allows the user to vary the cuts per inch depending on the hardness of the material. The speed can be set to either 96 or 179 cuts per inch.
Whereas the DW734 only has an attachable dust hood to help with dust collection the DW735 has a "Fan-Assisted Chip Ejection System". Basically it blows the chips away from the cutting head and into a shroud the targets the wood chips onto the floor beside the planer. A shop vacuum can also be attached to the shroud.
As opposed to the manual carriage lock on DW734 the DW735 has a auto lock feature so you may be able to plane a little bit quicker without the manual intervention.
The DW735 also weighs in at a rather beefy 92 pounds which is twelve pounds over the smaller DeWalt.
The DW735x has the exact same specifications and performance as seen in the DeWalt DW735 review above.
The 'x' in the DeWalt DW735x stands for extras. The extras that are included are an additional set of blades and an infeed and outfeed table.
The infeed and outfeed tables help to greatly reduce the chance of "snipe" when you are using longer boards(this rarely applies to shorter length boards that flex less along their length).
Snipe is when you get a deeper cut on either the leading or trailing end of the board as it is past through the thickness planer. The main cause is a height mismatch on either end between the board and the in/out feed rollers or the cutting head.
Using infeed/outfeed tables that are supplied from the manufacturer should help to reduce the chances of snipe. Otherwise you will need to ensure that you have setup how the boards will be fed in to the planer and how they will exit.
The decision for most people will probably come down to cost at the end of the day. The DW735 is almost 50% more expensive than the DW734 if bought with the extra tables and blades.
Performance wise the DW735 is capable of cutting 13 inch wide boards versus the DW734's 12.5. It also has a two speed gearbox meaning you can vary the cuts per inch to suit the type of material you are working with.
The DW735 also has an auto carriage lock versus the manual on the DW734.
At 12 pounds in the difference the DW735 is pretty heavy. If you are concerned about just how easy it will be to transport then the DW734 might be a better bet.
For the pro of regular user the DW735 or DW735x wins. If you are an occasional user or are on a strict budget then the DW743 is still a fine thickness planer and it has the tables included in the price.
Well the decision between the DW735 vs DW735x all boils down to whether you need the infeed and outfeed tables. If you are only planning on putting short pieces through the planer then the extra tables may not be worth the added expense.
However, if you are using longer board sections the only way to help prevent snipe is to purchase the additional tables, or be very careful about how you setup your input and output of the pieces.
Having to buy lots of power tools can be a pain especially if they are cordless, you can end up with countless different batteries and chargers. In our Porter Cable 8 Tool Combo kit review we'll take you through what's in this combo kit and who it's right for.
The main benefits to buying your tools as combo kits are:
Contractors, hobbyists and maintenance men/women make up the majority of people who buy their power tools as combo kits. Especially those that are just starting out and would rather not splash out on a range of more expensive individual tools.
Buying as a kit can save you a significant amount of money. As you skills grow you may need to buy more specialist tools. However the 8 tool combo kit from Porter Cable has pretty much everything you might need.
They also make ideal gifts for woodworkers if you are thinking of purchasing something for your loved one.
With 8 different cordless tools you can cover a fairly wide range of DIY jobs about the house or in your garage. There are two batteries, one charger and two durable kit bags for easy transportation included in the kit.
Porter Cable 8 Tool Combo Kit
What you get:
The PCC601 is a small form lightweight drill driver from Porter Cable. It has a 2 speed gear box and 21 different adjustable torque settings. A great little drill for light work.
On the high setting you can get up to about 1500 rpm's which is fairly standard for drilling holes. On the lower setting it max's out at about 350 rpm's which is just about right for a cordless screw driver.
The PCC601 also includes an LED light to help illuminate your immediate work space just in front of the drill.
Just like the driver/drill above the PDD641 Impact Driver is great for small tasks, saying that the battery will last much longer than it takes to re-charge so it's certainly convenient.
An impact driver can really take the pain out of tightening bolts and driving screws into wood. Where these tools really excel is when you need to drive many screws or bolts repeatedly. Doing this by hand would be a royal pain.
If you are in need of a light weight cordless circular saw then the PCC660 is more than capable of handling most small jobs and light commercial work.
It has a max speed of 4000 rpm and has a maximum cutting depth of roughly 2-1/8 inches. Although it may never be a powerful as a corded circular saw it can still get the job done despite it's small size.
The PCC670 is Porter Cables cordless reciprocating saw. It is perfect for small jobs especially that are in awkward places.
A variable trigger controlled motor allows you to match the speed of the saw to the materials you are cutting. A light and compact design means that cutting overhead or in small confined space is much easier than with a heavier corded model.
If has a very easy to use tool free blade changing system. Simply twist and insert the blade no tightening necessary or small tool to lose.
The PCC650 is a variable speed cordless jigsaw. It can run at up to 2500 strokes per minute.
It has 3 different random orbital action settings. Each orbital setting changes the action of the blade stroke ever so slightly. Depending on the density of the material you need to cut, you can select the correct one for that material giving a better cutting finish overall.
Porters cordless oscillating multi-tool can tackle a host of jobs about the house. It has a quick tool blade change system that is very simple to use.
Note: you will need to buy the various different blades and tool head separately.
The PCC761 is a high revving cordless grinder that can be used for light/medium grinding jobs, finishing and removal depending on the disc used. It has a cast metal gear housing. The metal gear housing helps to cool the grinder as it dissipates the heat from the grinding head and the internal gears.
With a 3 position side handle it can be used comfortably and safely in a variety of ways, which is quite important if you are attempting some awkward grinding jobs or are forced to work in a tight spot.
A nice little addition to the kit is a pistol grip LED work light. With 4 LED's and outputting 120 Lumens is more than adequate for most indoor work sites.
It has a pivoting head so can easily be adjusted to suit your needs and stands upright quite well on the battery pack.
Supplied with the kit is one charger, one 4.0Ah Lithium ion battery and one 1.5Ah Lithium ion battery. You can purchase additional batteries if required.
The 20V battery series that Porter Cable use is capable of holding a charge for long periods. Battery technology has really progressed in recent years and cordless power tools have seen a massive benefit as a result.
The Porter Cable 8 Tool Combo Kit is ideal for home DIY'ers that are not looking to use the tools under heavy load for long periods of time.
If you are looking for a more heavyweight combo kit then the tools in the Dewalt 9 Tool Combo Kit are capable of much higher workloads and abuse.
The Porter Cable 20v Combo kit for the money however is excellent value if you are looking for an all in one power tool kit for light jobs about the house.
Choosing the best random orbital sander can help greatly to get the wood finish you require for your next project. A random orbital sander differs greatly from a belt sander in how the action of the sander applies the friction from the sanding disk to the surface of the material.
A Random orbital sander as the name suggests moves the disk in a circular fashion that is adjusted slightly as it spins to give a some what random disk action. The randomness is said to help increase the smoothness and evenness of the sanded finish.
Random orbital sander allow you to cover a lot of surface area in a short space of time. The pad runs in a random elliptical motion that can give a much smoother finish than regular orbital sander.
One of the main advantages of using a random orbital sander is that you do not have to religiously stick to sanding with the wood grain. Other sanders require that you do not cross the grain or otherwise you can leave sanding spots that look bad.
Due to the fact that you do not need to sand with the grain a random orbital sander can be used by just about anyone regardless of their skill level.
The D26453k from Dewalt is the best random orbital sander available to buy on the market right now.
It combines an array of excellent features, top notch quality and best in class build quality.
The Dewalt orbital sander has a 3-Amp variable speed motor that can run in a range between 7,000 and 12,000 OPM. It takes a standard 5-inch 8 hole sanding pad using a hook and loop system, meaning switching out different sanding disks is quick and easy.
The higher OPM is generally required for wood types from hardwood species. The variable speed control is perfect for getting the correct power required for either soft or hardwood and allows you to use the sander for both very fine finishing work or removing heavy material depending on your needs.
This orbital sander features Dewalt's proprietary Controlled Finishing System(CFS) that helps to reduce gouging during startup - something that can ruin an almost complete surface as you attempt to add the finishing touches.
It's random-orbit motion that has a 3/32 inch orbit. The smaller the orbit the less likely you are to create unsightly swirls especially on heavily cross grained wood. Yet at the same time with the correct grit sanding paper it can still remove heavy material, thanks in part to the max power 12,000 OPM.
The design of the D26453K features an ergonomic handle that helps reduce grip fatigue. The handle and top is coated in an anti-slip material that which helps to keep your grip comfortable when used for extended periods. The fan is a dual-plane counter balanced one that helps to reduce the strain on the wrist that can otherwise be associated with a single fan design.
The amount of dust that the Dewalt produces is minimized by the addition of a high capacity dust bag. For added convenience the dust bag comes with a vacuum adapter that should fit any standard shop vac or extractor.
The best orbital sander for the money it won't let you down!
The Matika is a close run second to the Dewalt above. It is equipped with a similar 3 Amp motor that has a over-sized sealed ball bearing for greater durability.
yet is adjustable from 4,000 to 12,000 OPM so there is a greater range that you can adjust to find the best finish on your project.
The speed range is greater but so too is the random orbit action at 1/8 inch. The smaller the action the finer the finish, so the Dewalt has the Makita beat here. Of course the smaller orbital action does not always guarantee a finer finish. The grade of sandpaper you use and your skill and care and attention can usually be the main deciding factors.
The Makita uses a through-the-pad dust management system that can help reduce the chances of fine dust entering the air. It also has a high capacity dust collection bag that is as you would expect capable of being used with a shop vac.
To reduce the potential of start up gouging Makita use a "Pad Control System" to control the speed of start up helping to eliminate potential marks.
For those on a budget or just in need of an orbital sander for a one off job then the Black and Decker is a smart choice.
It is a fraction of the price of the others in our list of best random orbital sanders yet can still deliver a pretty decent finish if used properly.
It is slightly under powered compared to the rest with a 2 Amp motor but still spins up to 12,000 OPM. The Black & Decker has a pretty simple no frills design. There is a well coated anti-slip grip on the main handle that is easy to grip.
Dust collection is by a small canister and to help keep the dust out of the electronics the main switch is sealed to help extend the usage life.
A great mid range choice this sander from Bosch is capable of keeping up with some of the more expensive orbital sanders out there.
Priced roughly between the Black & Decker and the Dewalt(if you choose the soft bag) it is perfect for the occasional woodworking or those in need of something a bit more robust than a cheap sander that won't last too long.
Capable of operating from 7,500 to 12,000 OPM the disk on the Bosch uses a pad dampening system that should help reduce swirl marks.
A built in microfilter system helps to filter out dust particles down to 1/2 micron in diameter. It has a simple to twist off dust canister so emptying is quick and easy. The sander is also capable of being used with a standard 1-1/4 inch or 1-1/2 inch shop vacuum or Bosch vacuum hose.
The internals are further shielded from dust via a sealed switch.
It has the usual soft grip top and main body that you would come to expect from a random orbital sander.
Another great mid-ranged orbital sander the Porter Cable 382 is actually the lowest powered in this line up at 1.9 Amps.
It still spins up to 12,000 OPM and is a fairly light sander at just 3 pounds. A solid choice for the occasional user as Porter Cable are a brand known for their build quality.
The durability is backed by a sealed main switch and sealed ball bearings both helping to reduce the chances of dust clogging and damaging the electronics and the main motor.
It features the same dual blade counterbalanced fan design as the DeWalt to help reduce vibration and torque from the fan so you can have a less stressful grip and reduce hand fatigue.
The majority of manufacturers will quote their sander based on a rating called orbits per minute(OPM) and the motors power is usually expressed in Amp's.
What features to look for in a random orbital sander:
Ideally you would base your decision on your usage needs. If you are looking for a no frills sander for a one off job or the occasional project then you don't need to buy the best.
However if you are using your sander for all of your projects quite regularly then making the decision to buy the best tool for the job is a wise decision. The best random orbital sander for your need swill balance both features and price.
Clearly any powered sander is going to be a fairly simple tool to operate that requires little training. However, to get the best possible finish from your sander then there are a few key points that need to observed.
The first is how you use the sander to get the best possible performance from it. Secondly is safety. Like any power tool a sander does need to be operated within a few safety guidelines to help keep you safe and those around you.
A random orbit sander works by oscillating the sanding disk in a fairly random manner. As opposed to a belt sander that just rotates the sand paper as a belt in one direction. They're main advantage is that you do not have to strictly stick to sanding with the grain.
Because they are not required to stick to sanding with the grain you can cover a large area very quickly and can be a little bit more aggressive in how you use the sander.
Be aware that random orbit sander can suffer from leaving swirl marks on start up. Some of the models listed above have built in features to help reduce this. Care and attention should be taken to not pres too hard on the sander until it is up to full working speed.
Always try to sand a sample area of your surface first. Preferably an area that is not easily seen on the finished article. Doing so allows you to gauge the correct speed of the sander and the correct grit of sanding paper to use on it.
Overtime you will become more familiar with what speed/paper works best for each specific material you wish to sand.
As a general rule sand paper grit rated 30 to 100 are more useful for stripping multiple layers of paint or for some slight leveling and shaping of wood.
Paper of grit 100 to 180 can be used for finer finishing work or for smoothing out slight scratches on a flat surface.
A higher speed combined with a higher rated sand paper will deliver the best results for fine finishing works. Conversely a slower speed and lower rated grit paper will be better for stripping of heavier paint or smoothing out more pronounced scratches or uneven parts of a piece of wood.
When ever you are using any kind of tool in your workshop whether it is a power tool you need to be aware of some basic safety precautions when using that tool. All power tools carry some degree of risk due to the electric current running through the tool.
There are many different joints and techniques used to join two bits of wood together. Using a biscuit joint hides the join from view. If you are looking for a very professional, flush and strong finish to your projects then choosing the best biscuit joiner can help make that process much easier.
There are a variety of models to choose from. Some are suitable for those on a budget and others that are many times the price of the average biscuit joiner.
One thing is for certain if you intend on using a lot of biscuit joints regularly in your projects then you need to be sure that the biscuit joiner that you choose is not only reliable but will give you the flush and more importantly accurate joins that you require.
Confused by which is the right biscuit joiners for you?
Below we have profiled the top 5 biscuit joiners available. For the averagely busy woodworker the Porter Cable and the Dewalt are more than suitable. They both offer a perfect blend of both features and affordability.
What are the top biscuit joiners?
Looking for a suitable biscuit joiner if you are just starting out or need one for a one off simple job then the TruePower is easily the cheapest joiner here.
On the other end of the spectrum the Lamello is the leading high end established brand for biscuit joiners and have a very solid reputation for quality. Below we have a number of biscuit joiner reviews that should help you in your decision.
Best Biscuit Joiner
The 557 Plate Joiner Kit from Porter-Cable feature an industry leading 7 Amp motor.
This powerful motor spins up to 10,000 at max rpm; meaning even the hardest of woods can be cut with ease.
The Porter Cable 557 is one of the most versatile plate joiners available. It has an adjustable fence that can pivot from 0 to 135 degrees and includes adjustable stops at the standard 90 degrees.
At 7.5 lbs it is one of the lighter models in this list of biscuit joiner reviews. Weight may not be a big factor to consider in these types of tools. However, if you are using the biscuit joiner off the workbench and holding it at various awkward angles then it is something to consider.
The 557 has a whopping seven different cutting settings help you to cover a large range of biscuit sizes and shapes.
It comes with a standard 4 inch blade and there is also a 2 inch blade available(sold separately). Switching the blades out is pretty simple thanks to a keyhole-slotted blade cover and spindle lock mechanism.
If you are looking for a great quality biscuit joiner than can give you reliable precision and versatility every time then the Porter Cable is just the tool for you.
It's versatility is thanks to the large number of adjustment options, meaning you can configure it to just about any angle and wood thickness that you require, quickly and easily every time.
Suitable for both pro and home shop enthusiast you'll be making perfect joins with ease.
The Porter Cable 557 is the perfect blend of features, quality and price. Undoubtedly the best biscuit joiner for the money available today.
Coming in a close second to the Porter Cable is the Dewalt DW682K.
Housing a 6.5 Amp motor the Dewalt is just as capable on the cutting front as the Porter.
Spinning it's carbide blade at 10,000 rpm means pretty much any hardwood is easily dealt with.
A highly durable biscuit joiner for any hardworking wood shop.
The Dewalt has a one piece adjustable fence that can be tilted to the standard 90 degrees that you will find on most models(with the exception of the Porter's 135 degrees above). The fence is one of the most accurate available thanks in part to its twin rack-and-pinion adjustment system.
You will also find preset stops for all the standard biscuit sizes that you will find in any home or commercial woodworking shop.
Depending on whether you have it clamped to you workbench or free-moving for more awkward pieces of wood you can rest assured that the anti-slip pins keep the Dewalt and your work-piece lined up reliably.
If you are on a very tight budget and are wondering which one Porter Cable vs DeWalt biscuit joiner then the DeWalt might be the better option as it is cheaper and performs almost as well.
The Matika PJ7000 plate joiner has a smaller 5.6 motor. However it does spin up to a slightly higher 11,000 rpm.
A well designed extremely durable construction thanks in part to a cast aluminum front body.
With six different depth setting you can handle just about any biscuits.
The fence is adjustable from 0 through 90 degrees. It has positive stops at 0, 45 and 90 degrees which are the most common angles used in biscuit joins.
The shoe features non-marring rubber inserts(unique to the Matika) which help with any potential material slippage.
Lamello are considered one of the oldest and most respected brands in the biscuit joiner sphere. They pride themselves on being known as the "Cadillac of plate joiners" and are known for being the best plate joiner brand.
The Classic X features a slide shoe, fence and multi-function stop square all made from one piece precision machined milled metal, something that only Lamello can boast. This construction method ensures virtually no side to side play on the fence that can be found on really cheap joiners.
It can handle a broad range of different stock thicknesses due to the auxiliary fence that attaches to the main fence. For vertical work you can also attach the auxiliary upright so it is an ease to use it in a vertical position.
The creme de la creme of biscuit joiners it is easily the most expensive plate joiner reviewed here, they are reserved only for the most expensive of woodworking shops.
The TruePower comes in as the cheapest option in out list or top 5 biscuit joiners.
It is a pretty no frills fairly reliable option for those that are looking to do the occasional bit of plate joining.
An entry level plate joiner that offers 0 to 45 degrees cutting angle. This model is best for those on a tight budget or those that are starting out woodworking as a beginner.
A biscuit joint is a means of joining two pieces of wood together with out any kind of metal fastener such as a nail or screw. They are usually invisible. A cut is made on the edge of both pieces of wood that you wish to join.
These cuts are commonly referred to a plunges. A small pieces of compressed wood known as a biscuit is then placed into the plunge in either piece of wood and glued into place.
This joint is both strong and usually completely hidden from view unlike a dovetail joint for example. They are commonly used in furniture and other decorative pieces that do not require much stronger joints or important load bearing joints.
A biscuit joiner at its simplest is a power tool that allows you to make precision cuts into the edge of boards. They are used to cut the plunges described above.
You could make these plunges without using a biscuit joiner. For example you could clamp or configure a wood router or carve out by hand using a chisel. This might be suitable for a one off join if you are already suitably skilled.
However, if you are looking to reliably make multiple joints then a dedicated tool is required.
A biscuit joiner gives you the ability to make the plunges at varying angles to the wood. Where it really excels is that you can make these plunges the exact same way time and time again. Accurate plunges are necessary, without the plunge angle and depth being easily repeatable you will end up with a finished piece that is not aligned properly and in many cases not fit for purpose.
There are a number of important features to consider when choosing which biscuit joiner to choose:
Cutting plunges into hardwood requires a sharp cutting blade and a motor that is capable of spinning up to a high rpm.
Ideally you should be looking for a joiner that has a motor with the following specifications:
The sharpest blades in the world are no good if you have a weak motor.
The fences primary function is to ensure that the biscuit joiner is properly aligned at the correct angle to the piece of wood that you wish to cut. On cheaper tools the fence can be easier to secure in a misaligned manner.
At a minimum you would expect all biscuit joiners to be adjustable from 0 to 90 degrees. Some models such as the Porter Cable are capable of 135 degree adjustment.
If you are cutting your plunges at an awkward angle then the weight of the joiner may become a consideration. Too heavy and it may become tiresome to use. Too light and it is probably an indication of a lower quality tool.
The standard blade size is usually 4 inches. There are smaller and larger blades available should you need them.
How easily it is to change a blade is also an important consideration to take into account. There should be a simple blade guard that has an easy to use release mechanism should you need to change your blades regularly.
Confused by the use if the terms plate joiner and biscuit joiner?
Don't worry they are the same thing and you will hear people use the terms interchangeably. It's one of those unfortunate things that can cause a little confusion if you are just starting out learning woodworking.
You may also hear them referred to as biscuit cutter, biscuit jointer(not to be confused with a table jointer), plate cutter and biscuit cutter.