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Thread: Buyer's regret over Domino XL (DF 700)?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003

    Buyer's regret over Domino XL (DF 700)?

    Just curious if any of you that have purchased a DF 700 have had major buyer's regret (other then the obvious - price!)? I am just a hobbyist but I'm "ramping up" so to speak, have been trying to find the best solution for various projects including a couple of large dining tables, entry doors, a china hutch and sideboard, and coming to terms with the fact that the easiest solution is likely the most expensive solution. I am about to drop $2000 on a Domino XL kit, including extra bits, tenon stock and a couple of aftermarket shims and adapters so that I can do everything from 5 mm to 14 mm tenons. I know pretty much everywhere is backordered right now but I've found one I can get *today*.

    I've looked at all of the other solutions for joinery that I can think of - pantorouter, hand-cut mortises & tenons, benchtop mortisers, beadlock doweling kits, etc. Maybe there's some others I haven't found yet. All of them have a significant cost and none seem to be as easy and painless as the Festool system.

    I know these things keep their value really well, so I'm not worried if I decide to get rid of it. I guess I'm looking for anyone out there to resolve my lingering doubt before I pull the trigger.
    Jon Endres
    Killing Trees Since 1983

  2. #2
    I love my df700. I upgraded from the 500 and it has been a good decision for me.

    My advice is skip the tenon stock and shims and doodads.

    Just get the seneca small bit adapter and make ur own tenon stock.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Western PA
    Same as Prashun, i had a 500 for a year or two and upgraded to the 700.

    Depending on your work, the shims would be handy for plywood. Unlike the 500, the 700 is compromised in that regard. The 700 will put a 5-6mm mortise about 1/32" from the surface of 3/4" material. However, for solid timber furniture, the 700 is superb. Especially if you find yourself joining curved or angled workpieces. Something that would be a real PITA with jigs etc at the table saw becomes a 2 minute process with the domino.

    Sometimes i make my own tenon stock, and sometimes i use the festool tenons i have. I think making your own tenon stock kinda defeats the time savings of the domino, but if you make tons of long blanks at once, then its not so bad. I only buy the small ones, but i make the 12-14mm tenons. Its a good repurpose for offcuts and ripcuts of 4/4 material.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Houston, TX
    I too love my Domino XL. I've used it to build several large projects over the past year including a twin bed, an outdoor two person swing and recently a 150 lb Sapele 6 foot entrance gate. I have a bunch of other M+T joinery tools but this one is quick, easy and accurate if you are working with large items and can live with floating tenons. I also have a domino 500 so I haven't tricked my XL out to do tiny mortises so I'm not sure how great it would be for smaller and more delicate stuff as it is a large device. Can't imaging you will second guess owning one honestly.

    Not to be a fan boy but the only Festool purchases I have regretted (after the wallet burn wears off) were the ones I foolishly sold and subsequently had to buy again (when I discovered I "really needed" them after all).
    Last edited by Richard Link; 05-03-2021 at 1:32 PM.
    Richard Link


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Kansas City
    30 day money back guarantee, and the resell value is so high I don't think you have a lot of risk.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Peoria, IL
    I like the pantorouter more than the Domino 500 I have. The pantorouter is currently at $1849 for the pro kit. Much more accurate in my opinion. When the wood is clamped down, there is no movement. You can't say that when you have to balance the Domino on the fence with that big motor in the air!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Have you seen my horizontal router mortiser? I built the version shown in at that link for less than $100 plus a router. It won't cut mortises in the middle of a wide piece like the Domino will, but it will do a whole bunch of things the Domino can't. Worth a look before you spend $2K.


  8. #8
    I had both and ended up selling the XL. Personally, I found I wasn't making any large enough projects to justify the XL just sitting. I use the heck out of my 500. If I did make larger things, I'd have both 500 and 700, as the 500 is good for smaller things.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    I went full circle. I bought a 500 when it just about when it came out. For some reason I didn't use it enough to justify the investment. Years later I took on the project to build a crib for our granddaughter. I wanted a Domino to attach the slats. I found a slightly used 700 with all the goodies and used this on almost every project. After about 3 years I discovered I never touched any of the 700 tenons so I sold the 700 and picked up the 500 since it fits my size projects much better.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Santa Cruz, CA
    0 regrets on the DF700. Its so darn fast and efficient. I think what's often overlooked is how well thought out the indexing/fence system is on the Domino. There are so many joints that can be made without having to measure. I have other nice mortising machines in the shop that rarely get used.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Edmonton, Canada
    Started with 500 (when doing many things in our house project), then bought 700 with Seneca adapter, sold 500. Wish had bought 700 many years ago...

  12. #12
    My domino XL is one of my favorite tools and I absolutely have no regret. I do not buy Festool bits or tenons, however. I initially has CMT 14mm, 10mm, 8mm, 6mm and 5mm bits and the Seneca adapter for the little ones. But I broke two 14mm bits and now use an Amana. Either the Amana or CMT will be roughly half the price of the Festool. I find the CMT 14 to be brittle but the second one hit a hardened drywall screw and broke. First one just broke in wood. My 12mm Festool has contacted steel several times and still works fine. So I have to say I think they may be better. But twice as much?

    I am a hobbiest as you said you are. Making tenons out of scrap is simple if you have a planner and router table. I cut tenon stock a little oversize on the table saw then plane to final thickness. Rip to width then round the edges. I store it in roughly 3 foot lengths. I cut to length on my bandsaw with a little jig. I don't like having to sand a little bevel on the edges of the tenons but it takes very little time. I also like to use what I consider "normal" size tenons instead of multiple little ones. You have to make those. It doesn't take me as much time as cutting and fitting an integral tenon.

    I would get the domino and bits with the Seneca adapter but hold off on other jigs until you know you want them. I made drawers with my XL using a 5mm and 6mm bits using a wooden jig on the fence of the domino. Simple to make. 5mm underlayment plywood works well. But I made one of mine out of a cherry scrap.

    I made a 10 foot long dining room table earlier this year. All the joints in the base are domino joints. I also used dominos to align the 6 boards that make the 42 inch wide top of cherry. More recently I made myself a 10 drawer dresser. Those drawers are dovetail but I changed the Woodsmith plans from a tongue and groove for the drawer supports to domino tenons. It was a little challenging to keep straight but it worked out great. Last year I made a crib for my most recent grandson, a bed for me (oversize tenons on that one and the crib), and a bunk bed (dominos for the headboard and footboard joints including the integral ladder).

    I have a hollow chisel mortiser and it worked but the domino is so much faster I have not used it since getting the domino. I've also successfully made mortises with a plunge router but it is much slower. The setup time on the domino is quite quick and cutting them is even better. Quick and easy.

    I am NOT a festool fanboy. I do not have a festool sander or track saw. I only have a few other odds and ends from them. But the domino is a one of a kind tool and the best way I've found to do it in my little shop.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Nope. I love my Domino 700XL. It was the right machine for the things I use it for. I rarely have call for the small tenons, but can cut them with the bigger tool if I need to with the Seneca adapter. That said, if I were using the small sizes a lot, I'd surely want the Domino 500 for sure.

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

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Averill Park NY
    I recently purchased the 700XL, for a couple of large projects. I started with the 500, thinking I would never have a use for the bigger’s always my thinking that gets me in trouble. So for the past few weeks I’ve been going back and forth on selling the 500. After reading through this post, I now see no reason to keep it. So I’ll be posting it in the classifieds tomorrow.
    Some Blue Tools
    Some Yellow Tools
    A Grizzly Collection
    Blue and White 50 Watt

  15. #15
    I bought the 700, and itís really great for Big Things, when I donít feel like doing timber framing M&T. But I kept the 500, because IMO the 700 is just plain unwieldy for routine smaller joinery. The 700 is mammoth in comparison to the 500.

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