We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Butt Joint?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
AboutMechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At AboutMechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A butt joint is a type of woodworking joint. It is the easiest of all joints to make, but is also quite weak. In addition to being used in woodworking, butt joints can be seen in other types of construction where it is necessary to join two structural members, as in welding. People often learn the butt joint first when they start learning about joints, because it is easy to learn and it can be a building block for more complex joinery techniques.

In a butt joint, two pieces of wood are simply butted together. One piece is cut flat, with the end grain meeting the side grain of the other piece of wood. Butt joints can be used to make corners, or to attach pieces of wood at a horizontal midpoint on another piece of wood. In the most basic butt joint, the joint is glued to hold the pieces of wood together, and the joint may be put under tension by the surrounding structural members to keep it in place.

Glue alone is not always enough to reinforce a butt joint. A biscuit or dowel may be used to reinforce the inside of the joint, to ensure that it stays snug. Nails and screws can also be used for attachment, although they will be visible on the end piece. Internal hidden metal fasteners of other types can also be used. If a butt joint is still weak, a small triangular piece known as a gusset may be fastened over the side of the joint to stabilize it and hold it in place.

The big disadvantage to a butt joint is that it is relatively weak. The joint can easily separate under pressure, which can be a problem if it is used on a moving part, as a joint for a container designed to carry something heavy, or in other situations in which the joint may be subjected to stress. The advantage is that it is a joint which can be quickly and efficiently made, which may be beneficial when the desire is to get a project finished. Butt joints can also be used as a form of temporary joinery while a project is underway, and removed later.

Understanding the butt joint also lays the groundwork for learning about other types of joinery. The process of cutting the pieces down and securing the joint familiarizes people with the process of using tools, while the obvious weak points of the joint can become an incentive for learning other, stronger joints which may be more suitable for applications in which the joint will be stressed.

AboutMechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a AboutMechanics researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By Ruggercat68 — On Jun 13, 2014

If the glue at the joint is strong enough and you use biscuits, a butt joint is good enough for decorative projects. I've made custom picture frames using butt joints and a butt joint fastener, something along the lines of a large staple.

By Reminiscence — On Jun 13, 2014

When I worked on sets at my college theater department, I definitely learned how to make a butt joint. Since the sets were only intended to last a few weeks anyway, there really wasn't much of a reason to make more intricate kinds of joints. If the scene called for a room with picture frames and a window or two, we just glued pieces of wood together to form boxes. I think we may have used biscuits on a few props that the actors had to handle during the show.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Read more
AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.