I realize biscuit joiners aren’t as popular as they once were. In fact, I don’t even use mine very often. I bought this Craftsman joiner a few years ago (2012?), and only just now feel as if I’ve used it enough to write a competent review. I originally bought it to help align a glue-up for a coffee table. I was pretty close to buying a Porter Cable joiner from a local pawn shop. Its was a solid looking tool, and seemed to be very well built. However, they wanted $ 175 for it. Since I wasn’t sure I’d use it enough to justify the expense, a looked for less expensive alternatives.
After some research, the Craftsman 17539 seemed to be a reasonable blend of price and quality. It happened to be on sale for $ 84.99. I was also able to apply a $ 10 coupon to the online sale and I also got 6% cash back from fatwallet.com. I figured it was worth a chance since I could return the tool to my local Sears if it sucked. However, after using it, I feel its worth the regular $ 90-100 asking price (although less is always better, and Sears is habitually running sales).
Anyway, my initial impression of the Craftsman was good. The Porter Cable was clearly a nicer, more solid tool; but the nothing about the craftsman seemed particularly ‘cheap’ either. The metal fence is pretty good and the depth/angle adjustments works well enough. It got me through the glue-up with no trouble. Easy to use, even for a dolt like me that had never used a biscuit joiner before.
I used the joiner to make a couple of picture frames last xmas, and just finished a half dozen more this year. The tool has never disappointed me. The included blade is still producing clean slots, and the 10 foot cord was a nice extra touch (too many tools come with a chintzy 6ft cord that is never long enough). Oh….and the molded carrying case is actually useful as the tool, cord, and accessories actually fit back into it with minimal fuss (its a miracle as most cases are too small and end up in my trashcan).
Only real knock is the dust collection bag……..which is basically worthless. Hooking the dust port up to a shopvac might help, but I’ve never tried it. I usually use my portable tools (like this) in my driveway, and let the wind take care of the mess.
Anyway, this would be a good tool for someone that only has the occasional need for a biscuit joiner and doesn’t want to make a large investment. I enjoy using mine and wish I had more projects that called for it.Read more