Types of Wood Joints: Different Types & Their Uses

There are numerous types of wood joints existing right now, and you can develop a new one from the basics as well.

There is nothing hard about making wood joinery. The critical part is to know the purpose of each joinery and when to use it.

You can’t end all the types of wood joinery in a single article. So, let’s have some ingenious ideas regarding the typical, strong, and weak one.

types of wood joints

​Learn more about different types of wood joints

​Let’s start with a secure method.

Butt joint:

Let’s start with the simplest and the beginner-friendly kind of joint. A butt joint is the most common joint of all. It consists of two wooden pieces placed one on another, i.e., perpendicularly using nails or with screws.

The structure is pretty much good but doesn’t have any structural integrity itself.

When to use: When you are on a rustic project or the work where speed matters more, the appearance, butt joint is the one to prefer. You need to be sure that the butt joint is the one for your work. A metal bracket for the corner will help you providing the structure some extra strength.

Also Read: Ways to repair wood repair

​Pocket joint:

The pocket joint is a fast and comparatively stable technique, but you may need a drill bit & a special jig. The screws in the pocket screw method are toe-nailed into the wood at an angle.

When to use: When you are attaching wooden stuff having different types of grain orientations or providing a face frame, the pocket joint should pop-up in your mind though it is complicated and more robust than the typical joinery, not pretty. So, people try to hide it with design.

​Biscuit joint:

Biscuit joinery is a method to glue the wooden pieces or so-called biscuits into cut-slot of the other wood. It is such a fantastic wood art of joining plywood pieces or any other engineered parts. The stuff must have ample space for gluing and more strength.

When-to-use: If you encounter any reinforcing & lining up the edge joints or any casework, then the biscuit joint would be incredible. Though the layout can be confusing, it will be okay once you get the hang of the woodwork.

Learn More: About removing mold from wood

​Miter joint:

Miter joints have larger spaces for adding glue than any typical butt joint- this is a winning point. But it has its drawback. The joint is a bit grain, and so the glue doesn’t stick well.

But people won’t step back from using such a useful joint. Any small-box made by with the help of the miter joint can stand just fine. So, people are using the new glues with intense strength.

Moreover, some workers add spline for excellent output in appearance. The joints with spline become design to the wood-art.

It would help if you spent extra effort & time filling the empty gap to enhance the wooden stuff’s strength.

When-to-use: You must have known the answer as I mentioned an example regarding a small box. You are right. The joinery is used to place two board or wood pieces at an angle, or you can say at a compound angle. It is one of the most reliable joints supported by the modern intense glue.

Now, let’s roll into some complicated kind of joinery.

Read Also: how to make wood waterproof

​Edge joint:

Have you ever thought of joining the edges of two wood boards side-by-side? People who have never done it take it as a useless or weakest joint. But, hold on, you don’t have any idea how strong the wood board would be.

The board surface around the glue can break due to excess before the glue attaching wood surface dispatch.

When-to-use: Side-to-side. For example, you need a wide panel of 8-inch, but what you have is 6-inches; now, the edge joint will be useful.

But, avoid this joinery for lengthening the wood by joining end-to-end as it will cause the joint to be weakening.

Learn More: About how many types of wood flooring available

​Dovetail joint:

Dovetail is famous worldly joinery for both strengthening and decoration as well- double win. The pieces-end of woods, namely tails and pins, grabs and interlocks each other forming solid joinery. The grabbing of the tails & pins forms a trapezoidal shape.

It’s not that simple as just interlocking. Only a great woodworker can show his art of tight-fitting dovetails.

When-to-use: It has many uses for its resistance (tensile strength). As an example, you can think of the drawer sides attaching the front part of the woodwork involving interlocking.

​Sliding Dovetail:

Take sliding dovetail as a locking dado. There are many other dovetail joinery, and sliding is one of them. Others are Half-blind dovetail, Through dovetail, Dovetail jigs, Box joints.

Sliding dovetail joinery is not a usual one to use. It comes to use when your project needs such sliding features.

This joinery has a long angled-sided groove that serves as a tail for the joinery sliding. There is a corresponding pin that is long and cut at the very end of the complementing board.

When-to-use: Take your drawer sliding portion as an example if it doesn’t have any rolling object in between. Take a look; it is in such a way that the drawer slides smoothly to the inner and outer motion without any upper or lower action.

​Dado joint:

Dado’s joint is such a square-grooved slot of a wooden board where another wooden board would fit.

Or you can say two wooden pieces having groove cut joins with another board through this process.

When-to-use: Take shelves as the most common use. You can use the method to connect plywood for something like building cabinetry.

​Half-lap joint:

In this joint, cut half of each wooden piece’s thickness down to fit one another like a puzzle piece when you glue them. You will find it easy if the woods have the same kind of depth.

When-to-use: Half-lap is excellent for storage furniture or anything like desks. There are variations in the half-lap joinery. They are like- Mitered lap, cross lap, dovetail cross lap, etc.

Mitered- For mitered-edges, create a 45-degree angle on both the wooden pieces. You can develop corners with this joinery. But remember that this the weakest kind of lap joinery.

Cross lap- When you place the joinery in the middle of the wooden pieces, then the lap joinery will become cross lap joinery. Such a method of joinery is for the frames of the internal cabinet.

Dovetail-crossed lap- Place a cut at the connecting-stem piece & the housing slot having double angled-edges to form a trapezoid. This joinery becomes dovetail-crossed lap joinery. The method is adhesive, and it will be hard to detach the stem from the housing.

​Tongue-&-groove joint:

If you ever saw a join where two square wooden boards are joining one-another along the long-edge, then that is the tongue-&-groove joinery. It is such a fantastic and intensely energetic joinery, especially when it has the effect of glue.

When-to-use: If you are going to turn a narrow panel to a broader board like- making tabletops, architectural paneling, or doors, you will need tongue-&-groove joinery. The joinery is well-known for widely used in strip flooring. It is an old times method. In the then time, people used this method to register the edges of the vertical panel and to align them as well.

​Rabbet joint:

The rabbet is usually a dado cutting along the edge. For the rabbet joint, you need a mating surface.

When-to-use: Commonly used in at backside in cabinetry. Or, for joining the back of any box, this rabbet is given. Rabbet cut provides considerable strength to the assembling wooden parts.

​Mortise-Tenon joint:

The appearance will remind you of the butt joint. But the hidden truth is something else. Where butt joint is the most unaffected joints, there Mortise-Tenon is just the opposite- the strongest one.

A projecting wooden piece- Tenon fitting on a Mortise (recess) of another wooden piece locks the woods together.

With an expanding glue space, the joinery is capable of intense strength. This strengthening joinery has its varieties.

When-to-use: As the strongest one, this joinery is a mandatory technique where strength is a must. For example- frame construction, our table & chairs, most of the furniture of mission style.


The info. on the article engages your mind to know about the wood joints and their uses as well. These are the essential study that you must know before you work with wooden stuff.

You can’t master the art of wooden things within a single article; there is, even more, to know about the wood I already mentioned above. So, make your base of knowledge firm with the basics first.

As summarizing info: Mortise-Tenon is capable of holding maximum the force of 1005 lbs., biscuit miter can hold maximum power of 220 lbs., and a reinforced dado with screws can do the job of keeping maximum of strength 559 lbs.

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