Festool Domino Dominates or Don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful

  • Advertise with us
Review by gizmodyne posted 01-20-2008 07:39 AM 21692 views 0 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Festool Domino Dominates or Don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful Festool Domino Dominates or Don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful Festool Domino Dominates or Don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful Click the pictures to enlarge them

This is an amazing tool. It does one thing very well. Loose tenons!

It works as advertised. Accurate mortises in a tight hand-held machine. I consider it a biscuit jointer on steroids. In fact, I have to decide if my biscuit joiner is going away.

The tool must be used in conjunction with dust collection.

To use the tool:
1. Pick a tenon size. For example 6×40 mm
2. Install the correct bit: 6mm in this case.
3. Set the depth to half the length of the tenon. 20 mm in example.
4. Plunge away.

Feature Babble:
You can also create over sized mortises that allow for side to side play.

The fence allows for angle work and with an add on you can cut on very narrow stock (chair parts). The fence has accurate stops for offsetting workpieces. Think table leg to apron.

Built in layout pins allow for mortises with no marking.

The tenons fit precisely and add strength/alignment to any project. A very easy to use tool.

$700 U.S. with one bit and power cord. $750 with cross stop and trip stop accessories. Pricey, but the tool is incredibly well built. Heavy plastic and accurately machined and etched metal.

I love this tool.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View gizmodyne's profile


1785 posts in 5100 days

28 comments so far

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4885 days

#1 posted 01-20-2008 11:36 AM

Thanks for the review Giz. I wish I could justify that level of expense, but I can’t.

View gizmodyne's profile


1785 posts in 5100 days

#2 posted 01-20-2008 05:32 PM

Mine was a gift from my wife and her parents.

For me the justification was some windows I will be making. Loose tenons will greatly speed the construction of 13 of them. The speed and accuracy of this thing is amazing. I am looking forward to having time to use it for furniture projects.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Noodles's profile


7 posts in 4790 days

#3 posted 01-20-2008 06:09 PM

I have to agree with Rikkor. I don’t mind paying a premium for a good tool but Festool, although they may be great, are not three or four times price wise better. The Domino for example: makes quality mortises ONLY, costs $700 plus the nominal wooden domino (tenon). Compare that to my Powermatic Mortise machine, $150 (Craigs list used) $35 for new chisels, makes quality mortises. Ridgid 3650 Table saw, $389 (on sale) Forrest Blade $60 makes quality tenons amongst other things ;-). All my cost under $700 with an end product that is equal or better and a machine (saw) that is the center of my shop.
In my opinion I cannot and will not spend the kind of money Festool is asking for their products when high quality tools (Porter Cable, DeWalt, Makita,etc. are available at less then half the price.

-- Noodles

View gizmodyne's profile


1785 posts in 5100 days

#4 posted 01-20-2008 06:17 PM

You make a good point Noodles. The Domino however, is extremely tiny and green.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5047 days

#5 posted 01-20-2008 08:13 PM

Festool does conjure up some pretty emotional replies. Sure there are a lot of things that do hidden joinery just as well and for less money. However, using this tool produces an amazing versatility that I am, otherwise, unable to duplicate in my shop. I have lots of different ways of cutting a mortise, and I use them all. I have, just recently, come across a project that the Domino was not only the best way, but it was the only way. Plus it’s extremely tiny, and green. Nice review, Giz. I love mine. After I used it once, I not only forgot what it cost, but no longer cared. I do appreciate that others may not be in the boat that allows them to indulge in a tool like this, but after reading comments and reviews from extremely skilled woodworkers and seeing their work and how it was facilitated by this tool, I was sold.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View dalec's profile


612 posts in 4899 days

#6 posted 01-21-2008 12:44 AM

My first reaction on seeing the Festool products and their pricing, was, “I can’t justify spending that much.” Yet, I can see a lot that the Festool Domino can do and their tools are very well designed.


View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 5032 days

#7 posted 01-21-2008 01:54 AM

The price of most things depends on whose “OX you are goring”.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14189 posts in 4993 days

#8 posted 01-21-2008 04:24 AM

will have one …. someday ... first a used scroll same …

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Noodles's profile


7 posts in 4790 days

#9 posted 01-21-2008 06:21 PM

Guys, I am not saying that the Domino is not a useful tool. It is. What I am saying is , in reality it’s simply a portable mortise maker. If you feel spending $700+ for that, great. My point, in general, is more an indictment against the over-pricing of the Festool line. As a tool junkie I would love to own some of their tools. But to my mind they are ridiculously over priced and on principle will not buy them. Keep in mind that their manufacturing cost cannot be much more than say, Porter Cable etc, if at all. Remember it’s just a motor and a casting not unlike a good Biscuit Joiner. My guess is that their manufacturing cost is about $70. That’s a ten times markup when the mainstream of the manufactures of tools of equal quality are going with a 3 or 4 times markup. So what’s happening here? Festool’s Marketing Dept. has decided that they will create a market with an impression of “high prices will mean high quality” They will sell less product at the higher markup where they then will meet or exceed their profit goals. So please go buy their products and I am positive you will be happy. I. on the other hand, will spend my tool money more wisely. I bet if more of us took this approach they would have to revisit their policy and bring their pricing more in line with the rest of the industry.

-- Noodles

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 5032 days

#10 posted 01-21-2008 08:10 PM

I love those tools as much as the next guy but I have to agree with Noodles.
There is an obvious disconnect between the consumer and the companies demanding high returns on investment that exceed the value of their wares. I not talking about how well they are made or how well they work but I’m addressing my concern that perhaps patents protect the product whilst marketing stuff their pockets.
Woodworking tools are just one of these areas that have built in protection for their vertical markets.
I’m not suggesting a change in the legislation but it would be nice if the consumer were a bit more prudent .

$75,000.00 for a pickme up truck! Give me strength! Arrrrgh.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5076 days

#11 posted 01-28-2008 04:53 AM

Bob, the Festool products are great – or so I’ve heard. I think that you and Noodles have hit the nail on the head – the Festool company cannot be blamed for “overpricing” their products – it’s us, the consumers, that enable them to charge the prices that they do. I can afford to buy a Domino now, (and I will someday) but I choose to wait awhile. Sooner or later they will hit the used market and I’ll strike like a coiled cobra.

I personally don’t fault anyone who is lucky enough to have needed/wanted one and took the plunge. Good for them :-)). Having said all of that, it is an incredible machine.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View FloridaUFGator's profile


39 posts in 5024 days

#12 posted 02-01-2008 10:07 PM

In woodworking there are a million ways to do the same thing. That is why we love it. I could argue that a $150 mortiser is too much money because I can buy a $20 chisel and mallet and produce the same mortise. To me it comes down to time and preference. Unless you are doing this as a hobby, time is money. You can produce 10-fold mortise/tenons on a domino than you can produce on a benchtop mortiser and table saw. Thus, if you can deliver a product to a customer at a fixed cost the domino could pay for itself on a single job. However, if I was doing this as a hobby I would prefer the bench top mortiser and chisel method (or maybe just the chisel method). It just a lot funner. I too agree that the Festool domino is VERY expensive but if you are the only player in town you have a captive audience. I own a few Festool tools and in quality and operation they are heads and tails better than anything out there (just my opinion). Can I make an argument that they are 5-times better. I guess that depends on the tool. If you value your lungs I wouldn’t settle for anything less than their Sander/CT dust collector lines. I’ve used many sanders and so-called collectors and NOTHING compares.

Good review Giz. Also liked your review of the SS. I was in the same boat a while back and settled for the PM2000. Extremely happy with my purchase but would love saftey feature of the SS. The riving knife helps significantly though.

-- ...and remember this: there is no more important safety rule than to wear these — safety glasses - Norm Abram

View Bob B.'s profile

Bob B.

3 posts in 4770 days

#13 posted 02-10-2008 01:03 AM

I thought the same thing about Festool…until I used their products. They make things easy and accurate. I have the circular saw, jig saw, router, and MFT. I plan on buying a domino this year. All I can tell you is that I’m sold on them. You can buy other tools for less but once you buy these your others will sit on the shelf collecting dust. My Dad has been woodworking for about 40 years. He thought Festool products were over-priced and not worth it. He equated them to buying a BMW instead of a Ford. Then he came to my house and used them. Now he’s thinking about buying the circular saw and the router, even though he already has a shop full of quality tools.

Festool products are made in Germany, not China like many other tools. That accounts for some of the price. The rest of the price comes from smart engineering, accuracy, and darned good marketing.

-- Bob B., Arizona

View Loogie's profile


100 posts in 4790 days

#14 posted 02-29-2008 05:11 PM

I’ve used the Domino along with other Festool products at an organized demonstration and they are awesome. The engineering is spectacular. Are they pricey? You bet! Do you get what you pay for? That’s for each person to decide independently. Bashing Festool for it’s prices makes no more sense than bashing BMW or Mercedes for their pricing. I have owned a BMW (I bought it used) and their engineering was also top notch-but I, personally, decided that it was not worth the price premium. The bottom line is that we are here to objectively review products. It’s up to each person to decide if that product is worth what the company is asking for it. The Festool products are excellent products by anyones measure and I’m glad they are doing well in this country because I think it will force the other big name tool suppliers to step up their game a bit. We’re already starting to see that with the plunge/rail guided/riving knife circular saws that Dewalt and Makita are introducing. They’re aimed squarely at the Festool product.

-- Mark

View Fireball's profile


71 posts in 5078 days

#15 posted 03-24-2008 06:38 AM

Hi Giz,

Did you end up buying all the different cutterheads or have you been able to get by with D5 that comes with it?

I’m going to order the set which comes with the cross and trim stop and have also been looking at the domino assortment systainer which comes with all the cutterheads and a bevy of the domino tenons.

THanks for your insight.

showing 1 through 15 of 28 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics