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Tool review: Biscuit Joiners

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Craftsman 17539/ Ryobi JM82K

These tools are nearly identical except for the shape and position of the front bale (handle) on the fence. Both models performed about equally in all aspects. Plastic inserts in the center of the fences have helpful alignment markings, but these inserts seem flimsy and could easily break. Both machines feature a vertical motor that places the pistol-grip trigger about 4" above the blade--elevating the point where you control the tool--and makes plunging the blade awkward. It's too easy to tilt the machine when plunging and accidentally widen the slot. And the 8-tooth blades prove a little harder to plunge into wood than the 6-tooth blades on the other models. They're also the heaviest tools in the test at nearly 8-1/2 pounds. Dust collection proved among the best with both models.

Buy the Craftsman 17539 biscuit joiner

Buy the Ryobi JM82K biscuit joiner

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