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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Ryobi biscuit joiner

    Hi there,
    I just purchased my first biscuit joiner, and went by a recommendation from AWR last year, a Ryobi EBJ720. No I know its not a top of the market job, but over twice the price of their entry level ones, and I got it for last years price, $165. The review admitted it wasn't the best, but good value for money.
    Had my first play with it just now, on some offcuts before attacking the job I'd bought it for...and I hate to say it, but pretty abysmal really. The actual adjustments, fence etc and motor seem pretty good, but there is so much slop in the plastic tracks that the body slides along! And I don't just mean side to side play (which it has), wouldn't really matter, but also slop up and down. I tried to just apply pressure to keep it in one plane, but still moves about. The first biscuit (supplied with the machine) I got a tight fit, even used pliers to remove it, but from then on all the biscuits were sloppy, and the resulting joint, with double biscuits, was not secure. At first I thought the plastic slides were actually getting worse the more cuts I made, but then measured the biscuits themselves. You guessed it, huge variation in them, 4.15mm to 3.70mm!
    Regardless of the biscuit though, I'm not impressed with the build quality and will seek repair/replacement from Ryobi. Surely there is something adjustable with the plastic track? Shame I'm in the middle of a bl**dy job with it!
    I should have had a good play with it in the shop, but had the young fella with me, pulling stuff of shelves...and I blindly went by the review!

    Cheers,
    Andy Mac
    Change is inevitable, growth is optional.

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  3. #2
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    I've got an EBJ900K.

    I haven't used it that much, but I'm pretty happy with it. The only thing wrong with it is that the depth setting screw loosens itself with use. I still need to get a locking nut for it. The guides themselves are good, its just that the springs are too strong!

    I don't normally use the fence, I just have the piece flat on the workbench, and that is the height the biscuit goes in.


    I would have though that the next level up BJ (how's that for an abbreviation?) would have been at least as good...


    I'm not complaining too loudly; it was only $90...
    Matthew


    Be alert; Australia needs lerts.

  4. #3
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    Andy I read that review of the Ryobi EBJ720 and, like you, thought Wow - what value for money.
    Perhaps you just got a Friday afternoon special, and were unlucky.
    If the replacement is the same, it would be time to get your money back.
    I have a GMC, which is, surprisingly good.
    Good luck.
    SG
    .... some old things are lovely
    Warm still with the life of forgotten men who made them.

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scribbly Gum View Post
    Andy I read that review of the Ryobi EBJ720 and, like you, thought Wow - what value for money.
    Perhaps you just got a Friday afternoon special, and were unlucky.
    If the replacement is the same, it would be time to get your money back.
    I have a GMC, which is, surprisingly good.
    Good luck.
    SG
    Seems silly to say this, but the GMC in this case is a much better built machine. I hve the Powercraft (Aldi) equivalent, same machine different label and only $69.95. It works very well, have now made several projects with it, including the cabinets and drawers for my router table. I like it.

    But all that doesn't help you.

    Depending how long you have had it, I would take it back to the store and at the very least ask to change it for the GMC one, or get my money back and go elsewhere.

  6. #5
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    I bought a Ryobi recently. But the cheap model. Under $100. It is what it is I suppose. I'm kinda relieved that biscuit joints have a bit more tolerance for inaccuracy, or else I'd toss it. I don't use it much.

    You probably know, but if you've got a router table, you can make biscuit cuts that way too. You know how there's 3 biscuit sizes.....0, 10, 20 (?)...and how they go with the 100mm blade in the biscuit jointer...well I found, you can cut slots using a 50mm slot cutter in the router table the same way, using the bearing as a stop (or clamping a stop off the fence)

    There's special smaller biscuits you can buy to fit the 50mm cut....(forgotten what there called)

    Anyway, what I'm trying to say is,,,,,I found the router table approach much better, especially for small work.

    I reakon you'd like better a horizontal mortiser setup so you can make floating tenon joints. Can make small width tenons that go much deeper than biscuits. Good for small frames where a biscuit cut is just too wide. Far more options. Can make your own tenons instead of having to buy biscuits.

    You can make one by mounting a normal router horizontal. Maybe setup an adjustable table for height (piano hinge maybe). I've been thinking of making one instead of my shopsmith.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by apricotripper View Post
    There's special smaller biscuits you can buy to fit the 50mm cut....(forgotten what there called).
    Just a # 00, Jake. Really small. Takes a smaller cutter in the BJ, but the router table idea sounds good.
    Cheers,

    Bob



  8. #7
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    I have a Ryobi CJM100 biscuit joiner which does #0 #10 #20 biscuits. I've had it about 18 months and I paid $139.00 for it. I have used it quite a bit and am very happy with it. I have also used Triton Biscuits with it.
    Regards Bazza

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    The views expressed by the poster are general in nature and any advice should be taken in this vein. The poster accepts no responsibility if this advice is used. When undertaking any work personal professional advice should be sought from suitably qualified persons in the field of work being undertaken.


  9. #8
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    In the days before I knew that this forum existed I forked out a heap of money to buy the Makita 3901 while it is very nice to use and I'm very happy with it. I've since seen so many different ways to accomplish the same end result at a fraction of the cost and can't quite justify what I spent.
    Cheers
    Max

  10. #9
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    I too have a Ryobi BJ. Paid $90 from memory......it's a fairly rattly old thing but way better than the first thing I used (the $65 angle grinder attachment). Fence is a shocker for adjusting - the depth guide numbers are purely for show. But in general it works.

    Main thing was that I binned the stock slot cutter (forced to really as the hardwood took two teeth off very quickly) and bought a new one - cost me half as much again as the BJ. Instant revelation - suddenly a terrible machine is transformed and it works a treat.

    Since then the only failures have been due to the user (mostly misinterpreting the damn guide) rather than the machine.
    Ours is not to reason why.....only to point and giggle.

  11. #10
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    Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. I still haven't had a reply email from Ryobi Aust., but took it back to BMS for them to have a look. Sure enough no others in stock, but had a play with the more standard Ryobi, shaped like a grinder body, and it had a great deal of slop too! Probably worse in that the tracks are parent metal, no plastic insert to swap or fiddle with. I didn't try to get my money back- yet! Depends what Ryobi have to say. The main problem lies in not being able to get a repeatable cut, a major flaw in my books.
    You have to admire the salesman's hide! He first tried telling me to hold the handle/body firmly in one direction, so the slop is limited; then moved towards different biscuits; finally tried selling me some new type of Selleys expanding glue to fill in the slack left by the wandering cutter!!

    Cheers for now.
    Andy Mac
    Change is inevitable, growth is optional.

  12. #11
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    I bought an EBJ900K last year for less that $100, it too has a fair amount of slack in the guides and like you I took ill to the very hard springs. In the end I took one of the springs out and found it a lot simpler to eliminate the play in the guides by hand. The down side is how much is shuffles around on the bench when your trying to make a slot by eye

    I've made a few projects with it and never took much issue with it's short-comings. Works well enough for a sub-$100 unit.
    "Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."
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  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Shed View Post
    Seems silly to say this, but the GMC in this case is a much better built machine. I hve the Powercraft (Aldi) equivalent, same machine different label and only $69.95. It works very well, have now made several projects with it,
    Thats the one I bought too and it work quite well, had no problems with it. Great little machine for the money.
    Reality is no background music.
    Cheers John

  14. #13
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    Andy I hope you can get an exchange or your money back as it sounds as though the ryobi is a terrible machine.

    If you do I recommend the archer biscuit jointer from carbatec Brisbane. I bought one 2nd hand from a forum member and I am very happy with the result.

    Otherwise, take Jakes' advice and use a slot cutter. I use a cmt cutter as an alternative, and when joining long boards I have cut slots the full length and then bought the 4mm thick tas oak strips (Porta brand) from bunnings and used them as fillets/biscuits. It gives a strong joint.

    I hope Ryobi give you a satisfactory resolution.

  15. #14
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    This is called "non-mechantable quality" (that is, not fit for its intended purpose) under the Trade Practices Act, Section 74D. Take it back and demand a refund, to which you are entitled.

    I guarantee that once you start mentioning specific sections of the TPA at them they will start jumping.

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