Mafell/Triton 'Duo Dowell' versus Festool Domino

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sams93

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I know that the festool domino is tried, tested and well loved, and I would love to have the money for one!

A significantly cheaper option I was looking at is this duo doweller, Mafell do one but so do Triton and the Triton one is only £150 approx (which is much more within my price range).

I wondered if anyone had used one of the duo dowellers and would be able to give their experience of them? What is it that I would not be able to do with the duo-dowellers that I could with the domino?

Thanks,
 
I briefly had the Triton. In theory it should be a great tool but in reality it didnt work for me for 2 reasons.

1, you have to line up the tool precisely with the mark on the wood. There is no lateral adjustment.

2, it's not built accurately enough. On mine, the fence was angled relative to the cutters, and it couldn't be adjusted. This meant the 2 pieces to be joined were not coplaner.

The combination of the above resulted in some terrible joints. I was much better off with a conventional dowel jig.

Edit: I bought (and returned) mine in March 2022.
 
Not used the Triton, but did look into it in the past. From what I could establish, there seems to have be an initial release which had so many issues it was next to useless and then there was a later release with improvements. You would need to establish which version you were getting, but if the budget would stretch to Mafell then I'd expect that would be better in every way!

Sean
 
would a biscuit jointer be a better option-as long as you use the same face for reference then once centred they give you a little wiggle room . I really like the Festool domino but the cost rules it out . I’ve had the Dewalt biscuit jointer for over 20 years and although not used every day I’m still on the same blade .
 
Sam93,
I have a Maffell Duo Doweler (DD40) that I bought some years ago for a particular large job. I have only occasinally used it since then and I will be selling it very soon (down sizing). All I can say that the Maffell worked out of the box and is a superb tool and paid for itself with that one job. I am sure the Triton was not around at that time so the only knowledge I have is the utube video that someone posted previously of comparing the two. I mostly used the 8mm dowels and though mine came with 6mm cutters as well they are still unused. I will be including the guide with its clamps. I will get round to putting it up on this site (only) after photographing it as I would like it to go to someone who would appreciate it.
 
I do wish the domino wouldn't seem just so perfect
Well I have the xl700 domino and it is not perfect and I certainly don't love it, an expensive tool that makes a lovely oblong hole but getting the location spot on is not easy so they give you a sloppy setting to allow for this which I will not use because I like tight joints. I also brough the alignment jigs from FC tools in the hope of finding a solution but that only worked on sheet goods. I brought the 700 in the hope of finding a faster jointing method than my dowelmax but that is on another level when you talk about precision, a double row of 8 dowels and perfect joint closure with the dowels having to be taped home. I have since brought the Jessem dowel jig because that does 6,8,10 and 12mm dowels compared to the dowelmax which can do more sizes but I only have the 10mm guides for it. The Jessem is another precise tool that allows you to place your dowels and get perfect joint closure and is as good as the dowelmax in other ways but still not a fast process but I accept that in exchange for accuracy. Biscuits are ok in the right place but not for all joints, I would avoid the Triton and with dowels you need flexability in laying out the dowel pattern, the DD40 can do two holes quick but what if you need three holes or a pattern that differs from the DD40's drill spacings, you could remove one drill and have a mono doweler. For me I like the dowel jigs because they clamp to the workpiece unlike the DD40 and domino which are more bulky and rely on aligning lines.

Using the DD40 to get something like this is easy

1666970676987.png


but what if you want something like this

1666970735987.png


This is the Jessem

https://woodworkersworkshop.co.uk/jessem-dowelling-jig-with-6-8-10-and-12mm-heads-package/
which is a cheaper option than a dowelmax which no longer has a uk distributor or support but can be got direct.
 
I'm not selling the idea of a domino, but offer a constructive view of its merits, (apart from the price) I have both the 500 & 700, I also have several dowel jigs and thousands of dowels, all of which are pretty much redundant for me, and took to long to set up and use, I know @Spectric has a duff domino but both mine have been faultless, one thing to consider in your decision making, relative to your projects, is you only need one domino in a joint where as you need 2 dowels to stop any rotation, for instance, and with the Mafell duo doweller the holes are centered at 32mm, which may also be a potential issue.

I really can't explain here how easy the domino is to set up and use, & with precision, plus all the other uses and purposes I've found for it, as long as you don't need a round hole.
 
I think festool have got it all wrong with their sloppy settings on the domino. I might like say 0.5 to 1mm of slop to allow for any alignment but 6mm or 10mm is just ridiculous. my approach if needed is to just pare a sliver of each edge of teh domino. If I wanted more adjustment then use the biscuit jointer
 
The triton one sounds like it is hit and miss, and the mafell is the same price as the domino so I suppose I will just have to start saving a bit more!!

Thanks for advice
 
I think festool have got it all wrong with their sloppy settings on the domino. I might like say 0.5 to 1mm of slop to allow for any alignment but 6mm or 10mm is just ridiculous. my approach if needed is to just pare a sliver of each edge of teh domino. If I wanted more adjustment then use the biscuit jointer
I think the adjustment should be more like a dial so you can adjust it to your liking within a tolerance.
I do find the loose setting good when doing long table tops and stuff. It allows you enough wiggle to get the two halves aligned when you have a lot in a row( I have the 700 so only 2 settings) .
A note about the domino is that I use it for making larger mortices and making my own loose tenons from the same wood. It's quick for this and sometimes much easier than doing a 'proper' m and t joint, especially on curved things.

Ollie
 
I have had the triton for about 10 months, use it occasionally and actually love it! Checked for square etc and it's spot on, easy to use and does what it is designed for.
I don't own a domino, would love to but can't justify the cost.
 
Can someone explain what this chap is doing?
 

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I think festool have got it all wrong with their sloppy settings on the domino. I might like say 0.5 to 1mm of slop to allow for any alignment but 6mm or 10mm is just ridiculous. my approach if needed is to just pare a sliver of each edge of teh domino. If I wanted more adjustment then use the biscuit jointer

I think they are needed to ensure joint closure, I have spent hours playing with the 700 and comparing to dowels and starting to draw some conclusions.

The Domino works much better when placing a single domino referenced from the end using the built in pins, once you increase the number of domino's this is where I find it goes wrong. Using the sloppy setting and you get joint closure, using the FC tools alignment jig and you get the joint to close but using the line becomes hit and miss. The problem is an accumulation of errors, each one may only be 0.25mm but over several domino's it adds up.

With dowels then no issues and any pattern you want but why, I have concluded that there are several factors involved here and the biggest difference is the domino is freehand whereas the dowel jigs clamp to the workpiece, plus the 700 is large and bulky and so I will be sticking to my dowel jigs and accepting they are slower.
 
I find both Domino machines excellent, really quick, accurate and easy to use.

I rarely use the widest setting on the df 500 but do sometimes if I want a wider tenon but can't fit two in, obviously have to make your own dominos though which I do anyway.
 
I have a Mafell and a Domino 500. I have to say I would use the Domino as a first choice. The Mafell is surprisingly slow to use. As an alternative have a look at the Beadlock system marketed by Rockler in the US. Cheap and easy to use - a poor man's Domino.;)
 
It is a shame that it only has two drills, had they used three and a quick release method it would have been more versatile and quicker. I wonder how long the toothed drive belt within will last.
 

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