Festool 500 Vs Festool 700 – which is best?

If you are aware of the Festool Domino Dowel machine then you may be in a quandary! Which Domino should I buy the DF500 or the bigger DF700?

Festool when money is no object!

When you fill your pocket with brass and need to let it fly then may have an urge to spend it on something brilliant. This urge is a primal instinct which we must all fulfil.
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But I can’t afford a Festool

You may have the cheddar but not a decisive decision on which machine you should choose. Yes, the most expensive Festool domino makes the biggest mortices. But this is not a macho thing, the fact that a big machine may seem unwieldy thus uncontrollable so you must need huge muscles and tight jeans to perform? Or that is what my missus may say!

The fact is the opposite Festool has the finesse required to create those exact mortises. If you are wondering? I own the Festool Domino DF700XL and can concur that the machining of this tool is nothing less than superb. This Fess is so smooth you will think of it as the Frank Sinatra of the woodworking machine world. Tommy cooper would be proud of his Domino!
“I’m a peacock, you gotta let me fly!” Other Guys

I use my domino system on a daily basis for large loose tenon mortises. Every time I use it leaves me with a warm fuzzy feeling and a tight-fitting joint not forgetting those Levis 501’s.

Enough of the Festool hormones! But if you are not sure of which machine to choose then you must ask yourself self what your needs are.

These are two obvious questions you need to ask yourself

Do you perform carcase construction?
Do you want to build large projects such as doors?

If either of those questions does not ring a bell or two then sit back in that easy chair and ask a few more.

Check out the spec first

You need to know exactly what you are spending your hard-earned money on. I am not here to prise away your stash but I am happy to share with you my experiences on the Festool domino system. I admit that:

‘if I lost my Domino DF 700 XL today then tomorrow I would buy another.’

My woodworking consists of the construction industry and architectural details. Yours could be very different and focussed on more furniture and cabinetry related. In either case, there is a domino joiner system that should suit you.

Now we have got that out of the way, let’s talk Domino!

I am sure you have some idea of the work you do but I could make the decision for you

Does the Festool Domino DF 700 XL do the job of the Festool Domino DF500?
It may seem that the larger Domino cutters are just too big for fine carpentry but there is an option.

You can install Festool Domino DF500 cutters in the Festool Domino DF 700. That’s no lie. You can actually use a Domino DF700 with cutters of the DF500 with the addition of a simple adapter.

The Festool Domino DF700 to DF500 adapter

Luckily we have a solution to owning just one Festool domino instead of doubling the bank loan on two Festool dominos.

The Festool Domino adapter is a bit pricey

All Festool is expensive but in this case, it does open up the possibility of using all the DF500 cutter in your desired Festool, Domino DF700XL. So the Festool domino adaptor is actually a money saver as you will only need one machine the Festool domino 700.

Which Festool domino must be coming Clear now!

My point is that if you want the best of both worlds then there is a solution to your dilemma. Buy the Festool DF700XL and an adapter and you have the perfect solution.

If you only want to make furniture with your Festool

I know I just harped on about the big daddy of the Festool Dominos but if you are sure that you will not need to build large projects then the smaller machine could be all you need. The Festool Domino DF500 is quite capable with its 10mm diameter cutter and a 28mm depth of cut.

DF500 4 – 10mm mortices of 28 mm depth
DF700 8 – 14mm mortises of 70 mm depth
DF700 with adapter 4-14mm mortises up to 28 mm and 70 mm depth

Festool Domino on a budget

Now that is a hard one when Festool make great but god darn expensive tools. I wonder why they are, but also how they can justify the price tag. If we are referencing the Domino then those Tefal heads in Germany frankly have us over a barrel.

The Festool domino but the dominoes are too expensive!
If I told you that I own a Festool domino DF 700 XL but I have never bought any of the little beech Dominoes of any size. I’ve always made my own Dominoes from scrap wood.

Check out our Festool product pages if your interested in adding the Domino to your ‘Tool Cabinet’

Best prices on the Dominos and accessories in the US

Best prices on the Dominos and accessories in the UK

Meilleurs prix sur les dominos et accessoires en France

I make my Domino’s not just to save money.

I prefer this because I can use the same wood as the project. I know some people think it’s mad to make them but you have to admit they are a little overpriced considering how easy they are to make. I don’t make them as I need them I just make a batch of a size that I know that I’m going to use for instance the most popular size that I use is the 14 mm x 25 mm. I can make these in any length I like.

Is there a Festool Domino Alternative?

Are you sitting firm before I tell you this groundbreaking bombshell? Good, then the answer is “NO”. I see so many half-hearted attempts to recreating the domino concept we love. They all crash and burn.

festool domino joiner and biscuit joiner-1200-678

Festool has the Domino Patent sewn up

Sadly yes they do, it will be a long time before the likes of Makita and Bosch producing more affordable versions of the Domino dowel system

In the meantime, you will just have to wait or save up for a tool you will wonder why you have not already bought.

Machines that are considered an alternative to the Festool domino

There are machines that some people are trying to compare with the Festool domino system but frankly, they don’t really stack up.

Can I build a Festool domino machine?

Will the answer to that is yes. Efficient meaning of stumpy nubs woodworking channel on YouTube you may know that he made a video on his own Festool domino copy. Made from wood and old palm router he managed to make a working tool full under 50 quid. Ingenious though a little bit clunky the makeshift contraption did actually produce quite good domino-like mortises. For occasional use of this device, I could quite easily suffice.

The Domino is probably the only Festool I will ever own!

This is probably a financial fact. The only reason I own the Festool domino is that there is no other machine that comes close to the Dominoes fast and practical solution to an otherwise time-sucking task.

I have owned my Festool domino DF 700 for 2 years

Actually it is now over 4 years so I do think i have some authority in the Festool and I must admit the Domino is probably the only Festool I will ever own. I have written a blog on my experience of living with the Domino DF 700.

My only other Festool is a Branded Pencil

As a poor woodworker in France, I have to be realistic that this great loose tenon solution is probably the only Festool I will only ever own. Sadly the pencil does not stack up to Festools other offerings!

Is Festool just too Expensive?

This is a question I am asked all too often and frankly, I have to agree. “Festool is way overpriced”. If you are a ‘Festool tart’ then you will probably argue the opposite and say they are like gods knickers and shouldn’t be disregarded as unworthy.

festool domino xl df 700 guide pins

Is Festool worth the high price?

“A relative question this is” or that is what YODA would say! Festool is only worth it if the job you have can warrant it. My Festool was bought with a deposit that directly benefited from my new acquisition.

I was fortunate that my customer merited my new investment.

Would I have bought the Festool Domino if I did not have a paid job for it?
Not sure I would of. I am not in a position to buy a machine just because I fancy one! Luckily I do need one for my work and can see the benefit of owning one.

‘if I lost my Domino DF 700 XL today then tomorrow I would buy another.’

Which Festool domino is the best value?

This is a bit of an odd question because each machine has its own unique qualities. The sentinel domino df700 is about 300 more expensive than the df 500. But if I was to be picky I would say that the df700 is actually better value. It’s not just a bigger machine it’s more refined. it also has the ability to use the cutters of the df 500 which makes it more like two machines, not just one.

My conclusion on the Festool Domino DF 700 VS DF500

I hope you have read this blog and have a clearer understanding of the difference between the two machines.

DF500 10mm mortices of 28mm depth
DF700 14mm mortises of 70mm depth
How do I say this without sounding like a bible salesman? If you build cabinetry or any framing on a regular basis then the Festool domino will transform your workflow. You just have to own one as there is no alternative.

I use my Domino on a daily basis, I have found so many applications for this machine which has paid for it over and over. That’s testimony itself.

By Marcus Kett, Woodworking since 1989

head wood malcolm kett memorial

Malcolm the Boat ‘RIP’

Woodworking for me is in my blood as a son of a traditional boatbuilder. My Father Malcolm Kett was highly skilled and inventive individual often referred to as ‘Malcolm The Boat’.

selfie with mortar board

Marcus Kett and my Mortar!

Although I have spent a considerable portion of my life seeking further education and gaining qualifications in woodworking, electrical installations, bricklaying and to top it a degree in photography.

Yes, it is a medley of possible career choices but the one that I felt truly at home with was Woodworking. Woodworking has been my staple career choice that has given my family stability.

Why do I write these guides?

selfie workshop bio

Well that’s Me

We started to write these guides to help our customers. The idea was to provide the information needed to install our made to measure wooden products that we sell on this website and directly to our local customers.

We soon received feedback from people abroad and interested readers not local to us. I like to help people and I am excited that fellow woodworkers or keen DIYers found guidance in my articles. I intend to carry on writing and producing youtube videos for the purpose of providing useful content. Please share our blog with your friends and anyone that could find interest in the magic of working with wood.

Disclosure

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The content in this article is provided for free but we retain all copyright. We do encourage you to borrow this content but only if you cite us as the original content with a link to our site.

About Wallybois

wallybois mascot christmas

Wally is the middle one

We have lived and worked here in the Limousin Nouvelle Aquitaine since 2010, building window shutters and external doors. Our Volet manufacturing business is based at our home property as a ‘Cottage Industry’. We are a small business operating partly (60%) off the grid and try our best to practice our woodworking ethically.

How did we come up with the trading name ‘Wallybois’? Well, it is simple really, my best buddy ‘Wally’ and the fact that ‘Bois’ is French for wood and we live in France.

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By Marcus Kett, Woodworking since 1989

Based in the Nouvelle Aquitaine of France

Tel: +33 7 81 45 32 82