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Domino Jointers Are they really worth it, or just a gimic

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TRITON

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Oh crumbs, someones having a go at Festool 😲

Im in a spendy mood and what to buy

A tracksaw >, might get some use out of it, but ive a table saw so maybe not
A nice extractor, maybe even one of those festool ones, or at the very least somewhere to attach my festool sander systainer to(Keeps it off the floor)
A small collection of LN planes ? edging, bench rebate, or something specialized
What about a domino jointer ?

But then I thought, I've already got a biscuit jointer(my trusty makita) so do I need another loose tenon joining machine but thought not really. sure I can see some benefits, maybe in narrower stock where the makita is of no use.
But then I thought, is there really that great a difference between a biscuit and a domino to have the luxury of owning both, and my thoughts are well not really.
Both are suitable for adding a bit of strength to an end frame or panel, both are good for small cabinet doors, either can be used to fix lipping on to ply,mdf or other veneered panel. Outwith that, doors, as in the larger type internal.external ? Well not really. I have made big doors using biscuits, but even then felt it wasnt the best idea, a tried and tested m&t would be the best bet.
In thinner stock, as in small cabinet doors, the domino doesnt appear to be the best tool and the biscuit does. They are both lose tenon joints, and in thinner stock, a thin wide tenon is i think better than a narrow.
Then theres the cost of biscuits compared to domino dowels, with the latter being rather expensive.

So overall it does about the same job.

Anyone think its just a bit over the top ?, not just initial cost, you can expect to pay high prices for Festool, but the dowel cost is over 4 times the cost of biscuits so I dont think its offering any great solution. and the two pretty much so the same job are the same strength.
 

Distinterior

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I've had the Festool DF500 for 7 years now and since then, I've never used my Elu biscuit machine ( I keep meaning to sell the Elu..!!).
It can do everything a biscuit machine can do but also joints in narrow stock. The initial cost is forgotten after you've used it a few times and although the cost of the Dominos are not cheap, the scope of sizes does open up a lot of possible jointing that would involve a lot more work if undertaken " traditionally "

Whenever I use mine, it is really satisfying when the project all comes together as accurately as you would expect.
 

TRITON

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I have a Domino Df 700.
Theres another point Two sizes,
Does there need to be two sizes ?, biscuit jointers dont come in 2 sizes. Both expensive, the larger 700 is about £1000, the smaller is £750 ish. Personally I cant see why they couldnt have made one machine,with maybe different sized cutters, or more adjustment, but when they're doing two it appears to be more about coining in as much as possible.
 

dzj

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A biscuit jointer is more for indexing than for making loose tenons.
A slot morticer , (or its younger cousin the Domino) does a better job.
They can also do traditional M&Ts (the mortice part).
Whether or not you need a Domino, that depends on the joints you plan to make.
 

Doug B

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You’ve answered your on question, if you are happy with your biscuit joiner & it accomplishes everything you do woodwork wise plus you can’t see the benefits of a domino why on earth would you consider buying one?
Personally I have both & they’ve both paid for themselves many times over so for me it’s a no brainer, but if it doesn’t suit your type of woodworking then it will be a waste of money.
I really don’t understand this whole buying expensive tools for the fun of it, whilst I’m sure a row of Lie Nielsen planes look pretty what’s the point of owning them if you put all you timber through a planer & then sand it. 🤷‍♂️
 

NormanB

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If you do not earn your living on the tools you do not need a ‘Domino’.
If you are a hobby woodworker and have the money- spend it as you wish.
If you do not understand or appreciate the difference between dominos and biscuits then you should probably not buy a ‘Domino’ or if you do be careful how and what you dunk in your tea.

I am a hobby/general DIY chap and bought the DF500 and have one regret (or is it a yet to be unfulfilled ambition) and that is I have not purchased the big daddy of the ‘Dominos’. Now that is a lot of coin- but my tool accumulating OCD is likely to win out in the end - after all it is only money.😉
 

doctor Bob

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So nearly 2 grand outlay(for both) for something that cuts a mortice :LOL:
As a business, that outlay is peanuts, the expensive part of the domino is the man holding it, quicker he is the cheaper it is overall. I have £300 routers set permanantly to run a 6mm round over, another for a groove, another for a chamfer, etc etc, , it's not about machine cost for me it's about man hours.
 

sometimewoodworker

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Both are suitable for adding a bit of strength to an end frame or panel,
The general consensus is that biscuits add somewhere between little and no strength to a joint.

They are good for alignment but are liable to telegraph due to the construction of the biscuits, specially if you sand the surface too soon.

A loose tenon adds strength and due to the material is much less likely to telegraph.6
Then theres the cost of biscuits compared to domino dowels, with the latter being rather expensive.
Making custom loose tenon stock (not dowels) is trivial, there’s no need to round the edges and if you want additional strength you can make wider tenon stock.

There is one point with the Domino, you can very probably resell for no significant loss if you find you don’t like it.
 

mr rusty

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I bought a 700 specifically to make a load of sash windows - I couldn't face cutting 64 haunched mortise & tenons. It worked perfectly and 3 years on all joints are still tight (in Accoya). Since then I have used it for a few doors - a couple of 14mm dominos makes a good joint, and several other jobs. I won't be parting with it!
 

Ollie78

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So nearly 2 grand outlay(for both) for something that cuts a mortice :LOL:
It cuts a mortice extremely accurately, repeatably and fast. That is why it is good.

You don't really need both, you can get an adaptor for the smaller bits in the big machine.

The initial outlay is soon recovered in a few jobs.
I do not think about the initial outlay of tools so much, it's more about what they can do.
Over the years I have had the domino it has cost less than £100 per year.
This is minimal when compared to spindle tooling or router bits and things like that.

Ollie
 

DiyAddict

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I also bought a 700 recently to aid in restoring a big old, but very dilapidated house. It's a joy to use and has saved so much time. I liked it so much I bought a 500 a month later, which is equally useful. @petermillard has pointed out in one of his videos that they can also effectively be a free tool: they hold their value so well that you can get back what you paid for it If you sell it on in five years. If you decide to go for it, get one of the package deals that includes the domino sets and additional cutters. I don't have any other Festool gear, but I wouldn't be without my dominos. One more thing - they need a shop vac to work (more expense!) I use a Numatic with power takeoff and a couple of hose adaptors.
 

danst96

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I often look longingly at the Domino as I definitely have uses for it where i am currently using dowels with a cheap doweling jig. However I am of the belief that a domino is not justifiable (for me at least) unless I am making money from my woodwork. I favor spending the money on nice timber (ive got a ABW itch which is expensive) and rather take a little more time over the project using cheaper joinery methods.

I do hope to and intend to make money from furniture in the future and I intend to build my own kitchen from scratch in around 1 years time and i think i will get the domino for that because time will become a big factor.
 

Jacob

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There are these things called "morticers" you know. Have they gone out of fashion?
And if you have a thicknesser you can easily make any size of "biscuit" or "domino" from free scrap wood.
 

Alpha-Dave

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Jacob, a morticer is currently £950-£1,800 at Axminster (second hand machines aside), and takes up a large amount of bench or floor space. The domino wins on cost and upkeep, space etc. However, ‘proper joinery’ is best if that is what is needed for the job.

We are looking at a tool that is comparable to both a £2k machine and a £60 biscuit jointer. The purpose/function of the domino is somewhere between the two.

If all you need are biscuits, then a domino is expensive.
If you really need/want mortice&tennon joints then a domino is an ok/poor substitute.
In the middle zone, where you want the speed and convenience of a biscuit, but the strength of a mortice (up to 10 mm with the small domino, 14 with the large, and both can be stacked), then the domino is worth considering.
 

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