This a copy of an earlier post with a "review" of the tool at the end of it. Hope it helps out anybody that may or may not want to look into the Domino.
"I have been building furniture for quite a while now, and in starting to upgrade my tools, I have decided to start subscribing to the "Save your money and get the best tool" theory, instead of the "This should do for now" theory.
Well, my first purchase was the Domino, by Festool because I make a lot of tables and just don't have a lot of time to hand make the mortise and tenon joints. Sooooo, I saved up and took a shot at buying a Domino.
I have NEVER, in my life, seen a machine as PRECISE as this one, and accurate. I have built 3 tables in the amount of time it would have taken me to build 1, AND, I was able to set up the aprons and legs without making ONE pencil mark to align the machine. My next job was to tackle a bookcase using "Domino Joinery" and the thing went together easier than anything I have ever put together in my life, AND it was 10 times faster that my old Rabbet-and-Dado construction.
On bad thing about the Festool stuff: Make sure you keep a metric-to-fractional conversion chart in your apron/pouch with you. You are going to need it!!!!"
The Domino by Festool is one of the few "new" innovations in handheld power tools that has come along in a long while. For an age old craft, such as woodworking, you wouldn't have thought that they could come up with something new. But, they did.
In it's "basic form" the Domino is a glorified biscuit joiner that uses domino shaped loose tenons to join wood, instead of football shaped biscuit. And, for the most part, that is true. There isn't anything that you can do with a biscuit joiner that you can't do with a Domino. It is the things that you CAN'T do with a biscuit joiner, that makes this tool stand out.
The Domino had two depressible pins that stick out from the front of the machine. These two pins are spaced PRECISELY to the same measurement left and right of the center of the cutter. The advantage to this, that you don't have with a biscuit joiner, is that you can use these pins to reference the edge of a workpiece without ever having to mark the workpieces. For example: you have 4 legs and 4 aprons that you are going to make a table with. You slide the Domino from the top of the leg up to this pin and plunge. Then, you reference the top of the apron from the pin and make that cut. Then, you tap the Domino home (yes, it is so precise that you need to tap it down lightly). When you put the pieces together, your apron and leg are lined up EXACTLY even with each other. It will even hold together without any glue. No measuring, no marking, and you have a strong mortise and loose tenon joint. The biscuit joiner cannot do that because they allow room for play. (The Domino does have a setting to let you make wider mortises if you need them. The only disadvantage to this is: If you are off even 1/32", then you have problems because this machine is that exact. Biscuits have a "slop factor" that allow you to slide the pieces up and down.
For longer runs, like joining boards for a tabletop, you can slip the pin into the previous hole you cut and keep running along the board precisely. (they also have an attachment that you can buy to make much longer runs of holes, as well).
Another advantage that the Domino has over a biscuit joiner is that there is no "jump" or "lunge" to one side when the cutter comes in contact with the wood initially. Actually, in my experience, the Domino seem to "grip" the wood as you depress it and there is no slippage whatsoever. Pretty nice, if I do say so.
The Dominos are actually structural, whereas the biscuits are not.
In all fairness, there are 2 things that I need to point out that I DON'T like about the Domino.
1. It is all in metric. I would have liked to see them convert the markings to the fractional system for the models for sale in America. So, like I mentioned above: If you don't know the metric system, keep a conversion chart handy, you ARE going to need it.
2. The obvious one: THE PRICE. This puppy isn't cheap by any stretch of the imagination. If you build a lot of furniture, or have a little side business where you make cabinets, or furniture, then you can REALLY save a lot of time and money by buying this. But, if you are only going to use it once or twice a year, this machine makes you think twice about spending all that money. The machine and the biscuits together will cost you about $1,000.00 to get it. However, once you use it, you will be LOOKING for reasons to use it again. Trust me on that one.
Well, thanks for taking the time to read this long post. Hope it helps some of you out. Feel free to ask any questions you may have and I will be more than happy to answer them to the best of my ability.
Have a good one!!!!