Festool Domino Joiner

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Forum topic by GLaLonde posted 01-15-2018 03:04 PM 2084 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 905 days

01-15-2018 03:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: festool domino joiner

Thinking of buying a Festool Domino Joiner. Any comments out there. Pros – Cons.

23 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30551 posts in 3112 days

#1 posted 01-15-2018 03:06 PM

Expense is always the first con. However, very good unit if you can afford it.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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Monte Pittman

30551 posts in 3112 days

#2 posted 01-15-2018 03:07 PM

Welcome to Lumberjocks

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View splintergroup's profile


3782 posts in 1996 days

#3 posted 01-15-2018 03:20 PM

I always admired it’s capability but could not justify the cost. Recently I had a project that needed lots of M/T joints and I had my $50 voucher from the sander promotion so I “bit the big one” as they say and bought the kit.

A truly wonderful machine. Accuracy is exceptional and the speed of making accurate joints is fenominal, especially if you previously did it with a router and jig.

I don’t use it on every project so I still can’t fully justify the price, but the more I use it, the more I respect all that it can do.

I recently bought a round nose edging router bit so I can make my own tenons. This saves some money over the pre-made tenons (dominoes) and helps me use up my scraps.

If you see yourself doing much M/T work, it will save you some serious time.

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2769 days

#4 posted 01-15-2018 03:32 PM

I got one last year. The smaller one. It is the second most expensive machine in my shop after the TS. But it saves so much time….I mean so much time. Thatt us how I justified it in my head. My hobby time is very limited and I save a lot of time on joinery this way. It is faster than even pocket screws I some respects.

The cost was tough but the tax return was good that year. I still feel a little guilty.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View buckbuster31's profile


256 posts in 1289 days

#5 posted 01-15-2018 04:26 PM

I always thought that, heck, I can save money and spend more time hand cutting. Let me tell you, last year I splurged and bought one and my time is more valuable than the money it cost. It saves so much time it is unreal. Of all the tools in my shop, I believe I love it the most.

View Mike_D_S's profile


605 posts in 2988 days

#6 posted 01-15-2018 04:31 PM

I have the Domino 500 and I agree, the big con to this is the expense of it. However, if you look around a bit, you can get a fairly decent deal with some of the accessories. I got mine used in a package deal with the extra systainer of dominos and some of the accessory stops and while I paid about 80% of the cost of a new domino, all the extras made the deal pretty good at the end.

I have two main uses for mine that are about 50/50. First is normal loose tenon joinery as a standard M&T alternative.

The second use is for simple alignment. With the adjustable height fence and cross stops, I can place the domino is a very wide range of locations repeatably. Since the dominos are a tight fit, I find I use them almost like a third hand.

If you are an imperial guys like me, one thing I recommend is this replacement thickness gauge.

Since getting the domino, I stopped using my biscuit joiner and eventually sold it.

Like splinter group, I sometimes make my own dominos which are normal thickness but undersize in width by about 1mm which helps when I’m placing dominos along a wide length. When you’re only using one, it adds a little play, but if you put 5 in a row across a board on the smallest hole setting on the machine that 1mm results in a very tight fit and good alignment but without the need to be absolutely perfect about the alignment when making the mortises.

If this one died, I’d buy another one (used).


-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View JerM's profile


3 posts in 2735 days

#7 posted 01-15-2018 04:44 PM

I also have the Domino 500, and echo what others have already said. Its expensive, but so far worth it for me for the time it saves. Its accurate and efficient at making strong floating tenon joints.

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 3841 days

#8 posted 01-15-2018 05:29 PM

I bought the smaller unit when it first came out. Used it a lot and its a cool tool. Expensive, but if you have any other festool (I do) you are acustomed to that.

I used it for several years and made some big pieces. I will perform as advertised, but if you have a lot of smaller work to do i.e. glass doors or rail n stile, then it will work but you have to come up with some workarounds and jigs to make it efficient.

I sold mine for not much less than I paid and bought a floor standing M&T machine from Powermatic (714T) and find it more versitile. I would every now and then like to have one, but they ain’t cheap. They are a reall winner for anybody needing to be mobile with your shop.

Thats my 2cw but that and a buck fifty will get you a cup of coffee

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6243 posts in 3267 days

#9 posted 01-15-2018 06:06 PM

I bought a (well) used one last year (from someone here on LJ) for what i considered a fair price. I see the exorbitant cost as the only con.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View John_'s profile


251 posts in 2480 days

#10 posted 01-15-2018 06:21 PM

I don’t have one but like a lot of woodworkers, I have thought about buying one over the years.

The reason why I haven’t – I can’t justify the cost and I hate how much they charge for the ‘dominoes’ (Highway Robbery comes to mind) keep in mind that the Dominoe also requires a ‘dust extractor’ to work properly. I always find it kind of funny – someone will buy a Domino and then to justify the cost, they end up using Dominoes in all kinds of things that simply are not needed or there are other ways to do it better/easier/cheaper

I own a Lamello Top 20 biscuit jointer along with both dowelling jigs from Jessem. These are not your Grandfather’s dowelling jig – they have come a loooong way. Simple to use, reasonably priced and you can get dowels really cheap

This is their 08350 JessEm Dowelling Jig

This is their 08300 Paralign™ Dowelling Jig

Another option is the Leigh FMT Pro. Although very expensive when purchased new, you can find used ones being sold in great condition for half the price (just bought one off of a Craiglist and paid $550 including shipping)

Leigh also makes the “Super FMT” that is made out of steel instead of aluminum and is a lot cheaper

View waho6o9's profile


8908 posts in 3351 days

#11 posted 01-15-2018 06:21 PM

A domino is good investment, to enhance it’s performance you’ll need a dust extractor.

When funds allow get the domiplate and the domino accessory kit.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4422 days

#12 posted 01-15-2018 06:27 PM

View John_'s profile


251 posts in 2480 days

#13 posted 01-15-2018 06:34 PM

- Loren

Good point

I forgot about the Mafell Duo Doweler and I would buy one of those before I bought the Domino. Although equally expensive, I am tired of Festool with their yearly price increases, failure to honor the warranty because someone was using a non Festool jig saw bland in their Festool jigsaw and other fiascos like the Kapex failures

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4422 days

#14 posted 01-15-2018 06:40 PM

I have a Hoffman duo-doweler. I also have
the alignment tracks for 32mm drilling. I
got it used at a very friendly price so I’m
not in a position where I had to make a retail
decision. That said, the dowels are cheap,
the tool is precise and the 32mm tracks are cool.

Domino joints have their benefits for sure. I’m
not at all persuaded by the argument that dowels
are inherently terrible and weak though.

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2769 days

#15 posted 01-15-2018 06:44 PM

I just use my shop vac and Rockler dust hose system with my domino. Works fine and I already had it so it was ‘free’.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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