Festool Domino Jointer worth the $800?

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Forum topic by agallant posted 04-20-2011 09:02 PM 17131 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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551 posts in 3493 days

04-20-2011 09:02 PM

Only reply if you have one, had one or have used one. What are your thoughts? Is it worth the $800?

20 replies so far

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3798 days

#1 posted 04-20-2011 09:05 PM

Assuming you do work that needs strong joints with near-perfect alignment, then yes, absolutely. It will change the way you work.

-- The Wood Nerd --

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551 posts in 3493 days

#2 posted 04-20-2011 09:07 PM

Will it do joints strong enough for say an entrance door?

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#3 posted 04-20-2011 09:21 PM

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3877 days

#4 posted 04-20-2011 10:08 PM

I have one – I bought mine used but I would have purchased new also.

This is an excellent machine. Easy to set up and use (no harder then a bisquit jointer). The domino is stronger by far then bisquits….and more stable then round dowels. I use mine alot for mitre alignments and lining up coopering (glueing up several boards for a top or seat). There is nothing as good on the market…and nothing cheaper that does the same thing as well.

I have tested the strength of the joints and find them very strong and very stable. Certainly nothing is as strong as a joint using the material itself, whereas loose tenon joinery – dominos, dowels and biscuits not being part of either the two joining woods will not be as strong….but the domino is more than adequate and stronger by far then biscuits and dowels.

I used mine to put together redwood outside furniture (using sipo dominos (made for outside use))...these items have taken alot of abuse – temperature from 110 degrees down to 8 degrees…had a tree branch fall in the middle of them (crushed a table)....none of the joints have failed though, even after being crushed by the branch.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3533 days

#5 posted 04-21-2011 12:06 AM

Have one, use it and like it. Worth the money.

As the WN states above, it will change the way you look at joinery and opens up options not available without it.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

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Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4732 days

#6 posted 04-21-2011 01:43 PM

I have one. I think it’s worth it.

I’m not so sure about an entry door, as the only person I know who makes them goes for through tenons. As deke suggests, do you think 4 50mm loose tenons is sufficient for an entry door? Probably.

As everyone else said, it changed how I thought about and used joinery. However, everybody’s preferred style and use pattern and economic situation is different. How do you currently do joints? Do you enjoy carving mortises? Do you have a backlog of projects you’d really like to get done, or are you in the shop to enjoy the process of shaping wood?

For me, it’s fantastic for the “I need to stick this piece to that piece, how do I…?”, Domino is almost always the strongest fastest easiest answer.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 3493 days

#7 posted 04-21-2011 05:36 PM

Well I guess they hold their value pretty well so if I don’t like it I can always put it on ebay but from everything I have heard they are great. I think I am going to pick one up this weekend.

Thanks for the input guys.

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3798 days

#8 posted 04-21-2011 06:12 PM

Remember, you have 30 days to try it out and return it with no questions.

-- The Wood Nerd --

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291 posts in 3798 days

#9 posted 04-21-2011 06:14 PM

Oh, one other thing to remember. You MUST have some kind of dust extractor. I used a shop vac with a makeshift adapter for a while, but a Festool DE is so much nicer.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 4598 days

#10 posted 04-21-2011 06:23 PM

I do not own one but had the opportunity to borrow one while building a bookcase recently. After a short learning curve I found it very useful for the case assembly and for the fixed shelves. I was VERY impressed with how it allowed me to apply the face frame to the case flawlessly.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View doorslammer's profile


108 posts in 4176 days

#11 posted 04-21-2011 07:28 PM

I’ve used one before, but don’t own one. Wish I did, but I opted for a Mortise Pal as a cheaper alternative for loose tennon joinery which I love. Probably not as fast as the Domino, but effective.

-- Aaron in TN -

View DrDirt's profile


4600 posts in 4349 days

#12 posted 04-21-2011 08:52 PM

I’m like doorslammer. I have used one and think it works awesome. But I don’t/wouldn’t use it enough to push me over the edge to buy it. I end up using a plunge router and a jig from Fine Woodworking with loose tennons, or the true square mortising route (drill press and chisel for me) when I do some Arts and Crafts.

I see it as a hybrid between dowels and a biscuit joiner. It does alighnment but also has (very) real strength unlike biscuits. and the joint cannot rotate.
If it fits the kind or projects you do…go for it and don’t look back.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Domer's profile


252 posts in 3973 days

#13 posted 04-21-2011 10:38 PM

I have had mine for close to two years. It is a great tool. Quick accurate. Works really well with large pieces and end joints on long pieces as you take the Domino to the wood instead of vice versa.

If you value your time at anything, It is well worth the cost.


View extremehobbiest's profile


42 posts in 3593 days

#14 posted 04-21-2011 11:58 PM

Have had mine since it was introduced. It is my primary go-to tool for joinery and what it does, it does extremely well. It is well worth the $800 to me.

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 3736 days

#15 posted 04-22-2011 05:04 PM

Like Deke I’m not a Festool can do no wrong type. But the domino is unique technology and no else has anything like it. I’ve had one for years. Let me give you some pluses and minuses. On the plus side it is very quick and accurate. You can knock out plywood cases of high strength with great speed. But, if you use it in solid wood I would recommend that you make your own tenon stock and skip the dominos. Smooth sided tenons seem to hold solid wood much better than the rough-sided dominos. This is actually good news since you can both save money and produce furniture quality joints by using your own tenon stock. Another trick is to join your mortises into one longer mortise. In this way you can really do more with this machine than the book would lead you to think. One other thing I should add, don’t imitate the festool demo nonsense where the reps give the domino a quick dip in glue and put into the joint. You need to take the time to glue up both the tenon and the mortise like any other tenon joint. The only real downside and one that addresses your second question is that the Domino only cuts a mortise 1” deep. This is the major limitation to my mind. Many joints are fine at 1”, but a door is not one of them. I admit nothing is absolute. I once made a bathroom door using multiple biscuits and its still fine after years. However, its in a house with no kids or teenagers. If it were I would be more concerned. When I build doors now I use the $160.00 Mortise Pal with a 4”x1/2” bit to get a deeper wider mortise. You could certainly make a door with the Dominio , but its certainly not the best choice, just the easiest. So the domino is a great addition to any shop and makes many joints quickly and well. The depth is the only real limitation. Its ease and accuracy for the vast majority of work makes it well worth $800.00

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