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Thread: Festool Domino Prices & Use

  1. #1

    Festool Domino Prices & Use

    Ok, so I know this type of discussion has been had before, but I still have questions. I can see how useful the domino tool is (I'm looking at the XL since I mostly like large projects) and I'm pretty close to buying one. Then I started looking at the different cutter bits ($65ea) and the tenon stock, and the cost really started to go up.

    Are the bits really going to last 5,000 - 14,000 cuts?

    Is it just me or are the kits with various dominoes really expensive? $300 for the 12/14mm kit that I think contains 129 dominos and a 14mm bit. So a couple dollars per domino?

    Do domino owners tend to jump all-in and get all the cutter and domino sizes available so that you're ready for anything? Or do you find that you can do everything with just one or two sizes?

    Does it make sense to own both the big and small domino tool?

    Is the bit/tool good enough to enlarge a mortise? It will cut a 14x26mm mortise, but let's say I want to make a 28x52mm mortise. Easily done by making 4 plunges, but will the bit wander into the previous cut and mess up the mortise size or break/bend the bit?

    It is hard to believe that there aren't similar competing tools. Is it true that the only reason there aren't competing tools is Festool's patent?

  2. #2
    Buy the dominoes from amazon de. I just paid $152 for the large 12 & 14 mm assortment delivered, compared to $300 from the US.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    CMT domino cutters can be purchased from Holbren for a fraction of the price Festool sells them: https://www.holbren.com/festool-domino-bits

    Per above, Amazon.de is a great source for Dominoes (as well as other Festool consumables). Taylor also carries some generic beech ones for less: https://www.taytools.com/detail-point-tool

    Expensive but the Domino XL is an amazing tool. Totally worth it imo.

  4. #4
    Buy it and you can return it if you don't like it (Festool 30 day policy).

    Buy the Domino kit from Amazon.de

    I don't think you need to worry about replacing the cutters, often (certainly not often enough to consider amortizing the cost of cutters per mortise - they seem to stay quite sharp).

    Yes, I think you could easily make larger mortises, but that defeats the purpose of using the Domino tenons. If you really only want large mortises (and not to use domino tenons), it may not be the best choice of tool.

    Could be the patent, could also just be that this is a very precision tool and presumably it takes quite a bit of good engineering to get it to work right. There are few sanders as impressive as Festool sanders, but it's likely not IP preventing someone else from making one, it's capability.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Another vote for sourcing the disposables from amazon.de. Significantly lower price even including shipping and about a week delivery via DHL.

    I bought the 700XL and got the "kits" with the cutters and dominos. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn't know I could order the latter from over the big puddle. After I bought the Senica adapter so I could use the smaller 500 cutters on the 700XL, I bought that kit from Amazon.de. $193 shipped vs $300 domestic with free shipping.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
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    Sheesh, where were you two a few months ago when i was buying dominoes and bits!?! Those are some incredible sources to bookmark. I needed a 14mm bit last minute to use their knockdown joinery on a commission, and i bought one for $69+/- at a local woodcraft. Holbren has that bit for $25.

    I have experience with both models. I purchased the 500 used from a closing cabinet shop 2ish years ago. Maybe a bit more. Anyways, purchased it for $500ish and it came with an extra systainer of dominoes and all the cutters from 4-10 with a spare 6mm. Used that tool until the winter of this year. The 500 was a huge benefit to making projects faster. Did it solve every joinery need I had? No, i still did plenty of joints using the table saw, bandsaw, router, and hand tools. However, it made the unseen joinery of two morris chairs, two ottomans, a pair of night stands, a small garden gate, an end table, a coffee table, an armoire, and a built in closet 10-20x faster than conventional table saw/router/HCM mortise and tenon joinery. Where the tool really shocked me was in panel glueups. I make a fair number of island/counter tops, and this tool changed the way i work. I eventually sold my 37x2 drum sander, because i stopped using it to dress panels. A few dominoes across a joint will have it within 1/32"+/- across 8'+. 1 minute with a rotex or a few swipes with a hand plane and the panel joint is flat. Big time saver on my workflow and saved my cyclone filters from gallons of sanding flour. Where the 500 isnt so hot is the ergonomics of the handle and the size of the loose tenons. 8-10mm by 40-50mm is really pretty small for any medium to large project. I had to stack up a bunch of them for the morris chair joints, and generally found them borderline undersized compared to how i would have created an integral tenon in the same situation. This isnt to say a few 10mm tenons isnt a strong joint--it is--but it always left me wanting more. I sold the 500 this year and kept the df500 bits i had. I found a NIB 700 for a great price and jumped all over it. The 700 is just about everything i always wanted out of the 500. It is heavier, but the handle ergonomics are vastly superior. The 500 wears greatly on your grip strength over prolonged plunging sessions. The 700's grip transfers that strain to larger muscle groups like your bicep. In addition, i mostly use my hip or leg to plunge the machine. You cant do this with the 500, and it goes a long way towards your comfort if you are hammering out a bunch of joints. The DC placement on the right side of the handle sucks for right-handed users. I was constantly jamming my hand into the hose. Next, i think the weight helps stabilize the machine as you plunge. The 700 has a much better pin registration system than the two paddles on my 500. Finally, the 700 just plain does more. You get more height to the fence adjustment. It has much greater plunge depth. The stop design for plunge depth is much better. The 12-14mm dominoes are respectable enough for decent sized projects like a king size bed frame or a 10' farmhouse dining table, but with the seneca adapter you can still use a 5 or 6mm domino where needed. I never used a 4, so im not quite sure what i would build to utilize that size. The 700 feels exactly like a second generation design. The engineers had a chance to go back and redo things on the 500, and several years of feedback from the field shows through in the 700. I will add that the knockdown joinery system is a nice arrow to have in your quiver. I use the flat connectors on counters a lot, and im in the midst of using the 90° ones on a king size bed. Slick and quick system. It is pricey, so if Peter or Kim have less expensive sources, im all ears!

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Kane View Post
    Sheesh, where were you two a few months ago when i was buying dominoes and bits!?! Those are some incredible sources to bookmark. I needed a 14mm bit last minute to use their knockdown joinery on a commission, and i bought one for $69+/- at a local woodcraft. Holbren has that bit for $25.

    I wrote a long Festool buying strategy thread about a year and a half ago but I didn't find it with a quick search.

    Short version:

    German and UK Amazon are your friend. Each has various things that will and won't ship to the US BUT that keeps changing. For a while the Domino assortments will ship to the US and then for a couple of weeks they won't you have to check back. Change the language to English on Amazon.de, there is a "button" just below and to the left of the yellow search button at the top of the page. If it does not ship to the US it will be in red text just below the price. Shipping is about as quick as UPS ground from the other side of the US. I haven't had a single issue with customs nor paid any duty. Buying more cuts down on shipping costs but they are VERY reasonable.

    For tools keep up with sales and eBay bucks deals on eBay, on the 6th of this month eBay had a sitewide 20% off sale (they make up the difference to merchants) and I bought a TS75 for $100 off (was limited to $100 total) plus 1% back in eBay bucks and used $75 dollars in eBay bucks I won in some contest eBay had a week before, the saw was sold by Hartville who I usually buy from on eBay. I have a wall of Festool and systainers and have never paid retail for a new tool and only for accessories when I needed them quickly.

    PS I realized the detailed post was probably on FOG not here, I think I just mentioned it in several threads here. Also when I need Dominoes I don't buy them separately, I buy an assortment from Germany then sell off the cutters on eBay and get 85% or so of my total cost back for the assortment (after fees) and the dominoes are cheaper than buying them and I get a free Systainer. I have 5 or 6 Systainers I have gotten this way.
    Last edited by Van Huskey; 06-26-2018 at 5:40 PM.
    Of all the laws Brandolini's may be the most universally true.

    Deep thought for the day:

    Your bandsaw weighs more when you leave the spring compressed instead of relieving the tension.

  8. #8
    It's amazing that amazon.de didn't show up in any of the other threads I read through. That makes things more approachable. I think I'm just going to jump in and order a 700 and the full gambit of bits and dominoes.

    A question about ordering from amazon.de: when I went through checkout it wants to charge me about $50 for shipping for 3 sets of dominoes. It also strangely asked if I wanted to try out amazon prime, even though I was already logged in and already have prime. Guessing maybe there is a prime for amazon.de I clicked to try for 30 days but it didn't change the shipping rate at all. Am I missing something?

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    RE Prime and shipping. It asks me the same thing about Prime (It hasn't in the past) even though I am logged in. That said shipping is NOT free to the US which is why I mentioned buying as much as possible at one time to lower shipping costs. The costs go down even though the Festool stuff (in Systainers) is shipped in separate boxes.
    Of all the laws Brandolini's may be the most universally true.

    Deep thought for the day:

    Your bandsaw weighs more when you leave the spring compressed instead of relieving the tension.

  10. #10
    Ok, I got the Festool 574447 DF 700 XL EQ Plus Domino Joiner Set for $1310 shipped on ebay, and I got the 4-10mm, the 8/10mm, and the 12/14mm tenon sets in cases from amazon.de for $506 shipped. So now I'm in over $1800 to do what I was doing when I was 2 years old: putting the right size pegs in the right size holes.

    I did not order the Seneca adapter yet because why is it so damn expensive?

  11. #11
    Also not sure why the shipping isn't free. I guess I assume if you're using Amazon.com and have prime, you probably can't get free international shipping, so this is the same thing.

    But: even for the cheapest shipping option, seems like they ship DHL overnight.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Halsted View Post
    I did not order the Seneca adapter yet because why is it so damn expensive?
    In for a penny in for a pound! PLus what else are you going to do with all those little Dominos?
    Of all the laws Brandolini's may be the most universally true.

    Deep thought for the day:

    Your bandsaw weighs more when you leave the spring compressed instead of relieving the tension.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Providence, RI
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    333
    Agree with all the comments above. I've had a 700 XL for about a year - what a great tool!

    One slight drawback to the 700 is that it won't cut at the center of 3/4" stock. Seneca makes a shim to correct for this, but like most of their products it is pricey. I made a shim from 1/4" phenolic that snaps onto the underside of the fence & allows for shallower cuts.

    I don't know of any alternative to the Seneca adapter, which is probably why it is so expensive. Being able to use the smaller bits & dominos really increases the versatility of the tool, so I would consider it a must have.
    -- Jim

    Mr. Natural sez, "Use the right tool for the job."

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Make sure you check the Domino assortment promptly when you receive it. Mine was missing the cutters. Amazon.de made it right but it was not quite as simple as dealing with Amazon US.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Van Huskey View Post
    In for a penny in for a pound! PLus what else are you going to do with all those little Dominos?
    I'm going to poke at them for a bit, then I'll put them away. Then after passing by and glaring at the box for the suitable number of days, I'll payout for the adapter.

    Maybe I'll come up with a discount code or something to make myself feel better.
    Last edited by John Halsted; 06-27-2018 at 12:35 AM.

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