Craftsman 17539 Biscuit Joiner Review

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  • JSUPreston
    Veteran Member
    • Dec 2005
    • 1189
    • Montgomery, AL.
    • Delta 36-979 w/Biesemyere fence kit making it a 36-982. Previous saw was BT3100-1.

    Craftsman 17539 Biscuit Joiner Review

    This review should also apply to the Ryobi JM82K, since other than color they are basically the same unit. I believe this is also my first review of a tool here on BT3, so please forgive me if I offend. I'm just trying to offer my honest opinion of a tool purchase.

    I recently noticed that since I am a Craftsman Club member, I could get a discount on this unit. Also, by cashing in a bunch of rewards points and by ordering online, I was able to walk out the door with the unit for less than $48. Normally, the unit retails for $99.99. I got the last one at the store.

    I decided to try this joiner since I had seen a lot of good user reviews on line. I have an older Craftsman joiner (17501)that isn't very good at all. Plastic fence with a lot of slop and deflection. I've ruined quite a few pieces of wood (and projects) trying to use it. I know that biscuits are not very strong structurally. I try to use them to help me line up panels and joints.

    Before buying, I was at the HD and looked at the display model of the Ryobi JM82K. The locking nut for the fence was missing, so I wasn't able to really look at the fence to make sure it worked properly, but decided that since the fence was made of metal instead of plastic like my old joiner, I would probably be fine.

    I got my order in less than 5 minutes from the pickup area at Sears. Less than 15 minutes later, I have it out of the box at home in my shop. Less than 17 minutes later, I've decided that I am going to return it and buy a PC 557 when finances allow.

    I found in the unit I purchased that there is a lot of vertical movement in the motor housing when pushing the motor forward in the horizontal plane. I didn't measure it, but there was enough movement that it was visually noticeable. This could cause panels not to line up flat, and would cause issues similar to those I have with my old unit and its fence deflection.

    The other issue I had was with the fence locking mechanism. I appears that the angle of the fence would lock in fine, but there were issues with the height. For example, when I would set the fence height to 1", the fence would move significantly when tightening down the locking nut. Usually the fence would climb as much as 1/8." I did try holding the height adjustment knob while tightening the lock, but this didn't help much.

    It should be noted that I at this point I placed everything back in the box and locked it in my truck. I never plugged it in to even test the cut quality. Since Sears is just 5 minutes from work I will be returning it during lunch. I don't use a joiner much, but would rather have no joiner as opposed to one that I'm not happy with and have to fight with to adjust settings.

    This joiner comes with a case, dust bag, and sample biscuits just like the Ryobi from HD. The Ryobi has a 2 year warranty, the Craftsman model only comes with a 1 year warranty. If it didn't have the problems I ran into, I would consider it a great value, especially considering all the discounts I got.
    "It's a dog eat dog world out there, and I'm wearing Milk-Bone underwear."- Norm (from Cheers)

    Eat beef-because the west wasn't won on salad.