Different Types of Wood Joints | Which Wood Joints Should You Use?

No matter the size of the furniture or the wood material used, the type of joints used in production determines the strength and durability of the furniture or any other item you are constructing. To understand the types of wood joints, you need to understand some basics of joinery. This will help you understand the importance of using joints when constructing any kind of furniture.

Joinery refers to a part of woodworking whereby two pieces of timber are joined together to form more complex equipment. There are quite a number of wood joints, some employ glues, fasteners, bindings while others use only wood elements. Thus, joinery is a broad technique that employs a variety of styles to meet different requirements. The main features of a wood joint include flexibility, strength, tightness, appearance among others.


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Different joints are fit for different materials and also the intended use of the joint. So, in joinery, different concepts are applied when making different items.

However, you will find that most concepts overlap since certain structures apply a wide range of woodworking joints. In this article, we are going to put our main focus in discussing the different kinds of wood joints.

Mortise And Tenon Joint

This refers to a joint whereby a stub or the tenon fits tightly into a hole cut specifically for it, the mortise. This joint is commonly used in mission style furniture. It is also applicable in the traditional method of joining for the frame and panel of a door. It is also used in the same way in windows and cabinets.

This type of joint is incredibly strong and is preferred when dealing with long-lasting furniture, doors and window panels.

The Bird’s Mouth Joint

The name sounds funny but very suggestive. In this joint, we have a V-shaped cut in the rafter which connects to a wall plate. This is mostly applicable in roofing designs. It is also referred to as the bird’s beak cut wood joints. It is also very strong and ensures that the roof remains rigid for a long time.

Cross Lap Joints

This is one of the easiest joints to make. In this case, two members are joined together simply by removing material from each focusing on the point of intersection. At the end of the process, the two members overlap to create a strong and unnoticeable joint.

Torque And Groove Joint

This is also a common woodworking joint. It looks elegant but requires some ultimate care when constructing in this joint, each member will have a groove that is cut along its edge and leaving a thin ridge usually referred to as the tongue. When tongue is unattached, it is referred to as the spline.

Dado Joint

Another name for the joint is trench joint. The two pieces meet perpendicularly. One piece is cut at the surface for the other piece to be placed in the slot. For this one, a slot is cut across the grain for another member to set into. This type of joint is common in bookshelves.

Finger Joint

This is also known as box joint. As the name implies, it is common in boxes and other similar wood items. It is simply a corner joint with multiple fingers and the joint receives pressure from both sides to make it strong.

Dowel Joint

This is a unique type of joint whereby one piece of the wood is butted against another member. After the intersection, dowel pins are used to add some reinforcement to make it stronger. It is mostly made using certain machinery and hence widely applicable in factor made furniture.


This is another widely used joint and is similar to butt joint only that both pieces must be beveled. The usual angle, in this case, is 45 degrees.

Birdle Joints

It is also known as open mortise and tenon, tongue joints or fork joints. For this particular joint, the mortise is open on one side and hence forms fork shape. On the other hand, the other member features a neck joint. The types of joints are applicable in joining rafter tops that are mostly applicable in scuff joints.

Butt Joint

This is known as the weakest joint of all. One piece of wood is butted against the other piece. There are different kinds of butt joints. They include T butt, end to end butt and T lap and edge to edge butt.

Dovetail Joint

This is similar to finger joints only that the fingers are locked together using diagonal cuts, it is an upgrade of the finger joint since it is more secure.

Lap Joints

This type of joint is also not that strong. It involves one end of a piece of wood being laid over the other. It is fast and easy to make but too weak compared to other complex joints.

Biscuit Joint

This is one of the most preferred nontraditional woodworking joints. Wood plants are stuck together in an end-to-end style. Then, there is an oval and slim piece called the best biscuit joiner which is put into the slots and glue or hidden screw is used to supplement the joint. And while the glue sets, a clamp will be used to keep the two pieces together.

Stitch And Glue Joint

This is one of the good examples of traditional wood joints. For this case, the wood panels are stitched together with a strong wire usually copper, and then they are glued together using an epoxy resin.

Rabbet Joints

For these modern woodworking joints, a step like a groove is made on one member while the other one has an edge s placed inside the groove. But, instead of using glue, the joint is reinforced using a hidden screw, nails or dowels.

Pocket Hole Wood Joints

This one involves drilling holes at a certain angle into one work piece and joining the second one using a self-tapping screw. The benefits of this joint are that it requires less mathematical calculations and requires only a single hole to be drilled.

Final Verdict

There are plenty of woodworking joints than you may think. When you see that luxurious furniture in your house, you need to appreciate the skeleton part of it as much as you enjoy its beauty. We have discussed the various wood joints. As you have seen, they vary in terms of strength and this affects the durability of equipment. Now you know, there are quite a number of wood joints.