Makita Biscuit Joiner

WOOD magazine rating
Average reader rating
2.0
out of 5
Brand:
Makita
Model:
3901
Price:
$220

Description

• Rack-and-pinion vertical fence adjustment of angle guide
• One-touch depth settings for #0, #10 and #20 biscuits
• Shaft lock for easy blade changes
• Easy-to-operate cam locks
• Blade cover opens easily by loosening a single knob
• Cast aluminum pivot fence with positive stops at 0°, 45° and 90°
• Designed for making strong plate joints in a minimum amount of time
• Large top grip handle
• Non-marring rubber strip insert prevents slipping of material
• Double insulated

WOOD magazine review

A joiner in serious need of an update

Review Summary

This lightweight, nimble tool works great for cutting slots when referencing from its base, and it has a smooth plunge action. But the fence’s cam-action locking lever moves the fence out of parallel with the blade when you lock it down. As a result, we had a tough time making accurate cuts when referencing from the fence, regardless of the angle.
The turret depth stop spins so loosely we accidentally bumped it to the “max” setting when making a vertical cut, and cut slots through our test board and into the benchtop. You’ll get better dust collection using a shop vacuum than the bag. Finally, the slide-style power switch proves less comfortable than triggers on the other barrel-grip machines.

Detailed Ratings

2.0
out of 5

Performance

2

Features

2

Ease of Use

2

Value

2

Reader Reviews

There are better choices out there

Review Summary

I performed the head-to-head reviews of the recent biscuit jointer shootout. When I did my initial tests the Makita was all kinds of difficult. As stated, dogging down the cam-activated lever to set the fence knocks the fence out of being parallel with the edge of the board. That lead to some spectacularly ugly joints in my testing. And that turret stop really IS loose. I could easily spin it with just my little finger. It was MY bench that suffered the overcuts as mentioned above.
I'd bumped the spinning turret stop without realizing it and instead of cutting for a #20 biscuit slot it was accidentally set for MAX. That blew the slots through the entire thickness of a 3/4" piece of wood. When you consider the price for exotics and even dress veneer plywood these days that exposure to blow out the dress side of a board (without realizing it) makes the Makita a danger in the shop. It was also one of the messiest tools in the test. Dust doesn't collect down the exit chute unless you've got a vacuum attached to the tool. Be prepared to sweep a lot if you use this tool. All in all, it sounds like it *should* be a winner just based on the reputation of the brand name. But in practice this machine was a dog. Definitely put this tool on the SKIP IT list.

Detailed Ratings

2.0
out of 5

Performance

2

Features

2

Ease of Use

2

Value

2

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