Review of the Ryobi JM82 Biscuit Joiner

Is this Value-Priced Biscuit Joiner A Good Addition to Your Shop?

Ryobi JM82 Biscuit Joiner
Ryobi JM82 Biscuit Joiner. (c) 2007 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

A Biscuit Joiner is a relatively simple tool to operate, as it is really designed to do one primary task: cutting slots for biscuits. While the Ryobi JM82 Biscuit Joiner is one of the least expensive biscuit joiners on the market, it has some very thoughtful features. When compared to similar tools that cost twice the price, the Ryobi JM82 Biscuit Joiner stacks up very nicely. It does have a couple of quirks, but once you get the hang of adjusting the tool, it does a very nice job.

All in all, the Ryobi JM82 Biscuit Joiner is a very good value.

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Pros

  • Adjustable angle cuts from 0 - 135 degrees & height between 0" - 2"
  • Cuts Biscuits of sizes #0, 10 and 20
  • Very well-written documentation

Cons

  • Height adjustment and locking mechanism are on opposite sides of same rod
  • Adjusting angle of cut can alter height

Description

  • See-through centerline indicator makes lining up for cut very easy.
  • Easily adjusts cut to accommodate #0, 10 or 20 biscuits with twist of a knob.
  • 10' Power cord, hard plastic case, and dust bag are all very nice touches.
  • 4" blade turns at 10,000 RPM (no load) from its 6-amp motor
  • Well-written manual not only covers tool but also butt joints, offset but joints, T-joints, miter joints, and more.
  • Markings of biscuit widths and centerline on bottom of tool makes upside-down cuts much easier.

Review of the Ryobi JM82 Biscuit Joiner

Using the Ryobi JM82 Biscuit Joiner is pretty straight-forward.

It has pre-set depth adjustments for cutting #0, 10 or 20 biscuits. If the depth needs to be fine-tuned, the knob can be removed and the depth adjusted with an open-end wrench.

Once you have set the desired biscuit size, adjust the angle and height of cut. This is the only real tricky part of using this biscuit joiner.

The problem stems from the fact that the same adjustment mechanism that alters the height of the cut has the angle locking mechanism on the opposite side of the same bolt.

After releasing the angle lock, tipping the angle of the adjustable fence can alter the height of the cut. This forces the user to hold the height adjustment knob in place with one hand while adjusting the fence or tightening the angle locking knob (or vice versa). Once you get the hang of it, you'll find that it isn't much of a problem, just a bit of an inconvenience.

The non-skid bottom surface of the tool also has markings to denote the centerline and actual sizes of the #0, 10 and 20 biscuits. As such, cutting slots when the tool is upside down is a simple task.

The documentation is very thorough, and covers not only the features and safety recommendations of the tool but also shows step-by-step instructions for cutting biscuit slots for butt joints, offset butt joints, T-joints, cutting vertical boards, miter joints, and edge miter joints.

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