Festool Domino

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Forum topic by reggiek posted 07-11-2009 07:24 PM 5335 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2240 posts in 3806 days

07-11-2009 07:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question bisquit jointer domino festool

Could anyone with one of these share their thoughts on this. I have a chance of acquiring a used one at a good price because the guy selling it does not find it useful? I have a bisquit jointer (porter-cable) that is getting a bit of an antique…but even a new bisquit is cheaper than a slightly used domino? What do you think?

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

35 replies so far

View Timbot's profile


25 posts in 3777 days

#1 posted 07-11-2009 07:46 PM

From the looks of it, the Festool Domino seems like a fantastic luxury tool. As long as the price isn’t as extravagant as it is brand new, I’d probably go for it. The way I weigh the benefit of a tool that I might purchase is to think about how often it’ll be out of it’s case.

-- Timbot, So Cal

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4635 days

#2 posted 07-11-2009 07:46 PM

The biscuit joiner and Domino are two machines that seem similar but create distinctly different joints for different purposes.

The Domino machine cuts mortises and the Dominos are floating tenons.

Biscuits are not tenons. They are used for alignment when glueing up panels.

I have the Domino and it is an expensive machine. But I cannot make mortise and tenons as fast with any other tools as the Domino.

The Domino is an accurate, easy, and fast machine for creating joinery. I feel like it helps me make money every time that I use it.

But the most important thing to remember is that biscuits and dominos are two distinctly different types of joinery and should be used appropriately to create projects that will last.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3806 days

#3 posted 07-11-2009 08:02 PM

Good info so far. I had never considered buying a Domino before as the cost for one is rediculous (IMHO). I only recently purchased a festool brand – track saw. I have nothing but praise for the saw so far but I still consider the festool brand way overpriced. I was curious when the guy said that he didn’t find the Domino tool “useful” and I agree that the dominoes appear as small tenons….

I only consider this as he is willing to take a lot less then he paid because he wants to get a table top mortiser. I was thinking that this might be a quicker way to join some items without having to set up a table saw, drill press and chisel set to make a set of mortise and tenons. A lot of projects I consider seem to use these joints….and it seems that I make a lot of them from time to time.

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

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Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4635 days

#4 posted 07-11-2009 08:39 PM

If you build furniture, then you most likely need M&T joinery. This is the ticket!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 4249 days

#5 posted 07-11-2009 08:52 PM

if you don’t need it let me know and i will buy it off you for what you pay for it.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View Chiefk's profile


163 posts in 4307 days

#6 posted 07-11-2009 09:25 PM

I have a domino. I used to use my Kreg Pocket Hole jig a lot, but since I got the domino, I find I use the pocket hole jig much less. I recommend buying it, if you decide you don’t want it, you shouldn’t have any trouble selling it. pkennedy

-- P Kennedy Crossville, TN

View a1Jim's profile


117745 posts in 4113 days

#7 posted 07-12-2009 02:56 AM

I don’t like being a spoil sport but I read a article about what joints were the strongest and domino rated far below M&T and just above dowels which are only a little better than a butt joint. I Know its an innovative tool but if it’s joints are not strong whats the point. Spend your money on a table or free staining mortiser.

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 4017 days

#8 posted 07-12-2009 03:12 AM

The Domino is nice. I don’t know if it justifies the expense of the machine (I didn’t pay for the one at my shop) It works well in a place were a biscuit slot would be to wide and hold quite strong. If I had the choice, I’d have both a Domino and a biscuit joiner. My big issue with the Domino is the expendables, the Dominos them selves seem kind of pricey to me to replace a biscuit joiner, in my opinion.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 4528 days

#9 posted 07-12-2009 03:37 AM

here’s my 2 cents on this i don’t have one but my tool seller loans out tools that you are thinking about buying i also read the article that jim read. imho the tool is ridiculously priced but will save tons and tons of time i do plan on buying one after having it in my shop for only 2 days you can use in place of many places you would use a biscuit making a very strong biscuit joint also i used it in place’s i would have use pocket holes it was faster and much stronger i would say it wont replace all of your M&T’s but in places where you normally wouldn’t bother with a M&T this will be far faster then any other joint you could possibly use this includes butt joints”no fooling around trying to line in up and fussing with the clamp to get it right I’m thinking” just my 2 cents i think in the end the machine will pay for it self. also in terms of price on the domino’s them self i don’t see why with a few set ups on a router table and the chop saw why one couldn’t make their own domino’s.

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

View tomakazi's profile


686 posts in 3819 days

#10 posted 07-12-2009 03:57 AM

I would say that if you are making $ in your shop get it. If it’s just for a hobby, the time you put into a m&t joint is very satisfying.

-- I didn't go to college, I was too busy learning stuff - Ted Nugent

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Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4635 days

#11 posted 07-12-2009 07:20 AM

I read the same article about joint strength and I still would maintain that the Domino has it’s place. I am discerning about what joints I use where. Using the appropriate joint on a project is just like using the appropriate tool to do a particular task.

Are the machine and the dominos expensive? Yes, and personally I am glad that I spent the money. But everyone should understand that I have different parameters for buying tools as a professional. These parameters are not the same for the hobby woodworker.

I have made my own loose or floating tenons and I would rather just buy them. But once again, my perspective comes from that of a business where time is money.

If it is a good price, I would buy it knowing that you could use it some and still turn around and get your money or most back out of it.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View a1Jim's profile


117745 posts in 4113 days

#12 posted 07-12-2009 07:35 AM

Hey Todd
I’m sure you figured out what works and what doesn’t. I thought about a domino and then that joinery test came out and I felt that having a multi router. a tilting head floor model mortiser and a table mount mortiser i was just wanting a new toy. The Domino is more portable but limited to one size were my tools are mostly way to heavy to take any distance but I have not found I need the portability. I’m sure you compensate for the strength issue by carefully selecting what you use the Domino joinery on. Congrats on your new live streaming cast and you resent exposure in wood magazine.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4661 days

#13 posted 07-12-2009 06:04 PM

The Domino is my default “how I put two pieces of wood together” tool, and there’s a lot of stuff I wouldn’t attempt without it.

I don’t know which strength test people are referring to, I’ve seen critiques of the Fine Woodworking one that make sense, but I let my online subscription lapse so I can’t double-check. But if you’re concerned about the strength of a joint, I suggest you check out the contemporary Z chair, especially the picture of the three guys standing on the chair.

People complain about the cost, but if I did furniture and cabinetry for a living and wasn’t trying to reproduce a particular style (ie: through tenons, or whatever), I can’t imagine being without it. If you run a commercial shop it’ll pay for itself right fast. If you do this as a hobby, you have to ask if having it in your shop lets you turn out work that gives you enough pleasure to warrant the tool. For me it’s a no-brainer “yes”.

And, yes, like Todd, I also have a biscuit joiner, and it has its place too, but if I could only have one it’d be the Domino and I’d use it for biscuit jointing like tasks.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4635 days

#14 posted 07-12-2009 10:01 PM

I second Dan’s final comment.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View a1Jim's profile


117745 posts in 4113 days

#15 posted 07-12-2009 11:14 PM

Hey Guys
In all tool discussions it all boils done to what your use to using and possibly what generation your from ,what television or pod cast you watch an like many things weather your economic situations is so that we can afford what that magic tool is, and what kind of projects you make . There are many ways to skin a cat(who would want to) so if it(whatever it is for you) works for you go for it and enjoy. Most of us don’t buy expensive tools and say what an idiot I was to buy this $$$$ tool and it sure is terrible unless that tool is a total failure all the way around. Just for the record I never said that the Domino was a terrible tool only that I had other alternatives.

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