5 Best Domino Joiner Alternatives 2022

March 26, 2022

Domino Joiner Tool

If you’re one of those woodworkers who are looking for stronger Domino joiner alternatives and want to own a Festool Domino Joiner but lack enough budget for such a tool, you could look around for Festool Domino joiner alternatives. Of course, nothing can beat the original Festool Domino Joiner. The real Festool Domino Joiner is excellent in making floating tenons. Moreover, it makes the work easy and quick. Hence, this tool is indeed a highly desirable tool for beginner and professional woodworkers. In fact, it can raise your woodworking skills and level a notch higher. 

The Festool Domino Joiner is a specialized tool conceived to cut mortise and tenon joints. These joints fit well with the proprietary tenons like dominos. Yet, this tool is expensive. So, if you are short of money, you might as well save further to buy one or settle for alternatives to this joiner. 

The fact is that it is hard to emulate what the Festool Domino can do. Thus, it is reasonable to say that there are no real alternatives for this tool. Its precision, speed, and simplicity of usage are beyond emulation. Yet, you can produce similar results even if you are using alternative tools.

Most Recommended Domino Joiner Alternatives Available in the Market Today

Investing in a domino joiner is a worthy investment that you will never regret. As a tool, it was pioneered by the Festool brand, though other brands have also rolled out similar products but could not equal the one rolled out by Festool. Below are five products that you can check out as an alternative to the Domino Joiner manufactured by Festool:

Last update on 2022-10-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


1) PORTER-CABLE Plate Joiner Kit

If you are looking for an excellent alternative to FESTOOL Domino Joiner, you can check out the PORTER-CABLE Plate Joiner Kit. It comes with all the needed requirements for a domino joiner, though it is relatively inexpensive compared to the Festool domino joiners. 

It provides unique flexibility with its seven distinct cutting settings. Its fence features a better tilting capacity that permits smooth movement. Moreover, it features a good grip for better control. 

The PORTER-CABLE Plate Joiner lets you cut accurate biscuit holes. You can tilt its fence from zero to one hundred thirty-five degrees. Besides, it has a positive stop at ninety degrees likewise.

The Porter-Cable 557 comes with seven-position depth stop cuts. It also features a lock-on trigger along with a bale handle that directly affixes to the fence, allowing you excellent control. Its motor is capable of producing a maximum speed of 10,000 RPM. Thus, with such a powerful motor, the Porter-Cable 557 ensures a clean cut every time. 

You can utilize a two-inch blade or a four-inch blade. Moreover, you can easily change the blade with its spindle lock.

You can opt for the Porter-Cable 557 if you’re looking for a tool that can help you make joineries with ease. It also comes with a fence assembly that positions the blade where you want to cut a slot. Besides, it comes with a spring-loaded motor assembly for pushing the cut. Afterward, the spring returns the motor to its original standby position.

This joiner comes with the following components: fence assembly, gearbox, and bottom plate. It features a sturdy construction that ensures longevity and stability when you cut. Thus, you can expect the joiner’s front face to be aligned perfectly with the blade.

Pros:

  • Allows for easy cutting 
  • Enables you to make highly accurate cuts
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive
  • Attachments might be less sturdy
  • Its plastic part might be brittle

2) Triton TDJ600

If you want to form solid and reliable joints, you can check out the Triton TDJ600. You can create precisely spaced joints using this joiner, even on long workpieces. It also features pads to prevent movement or wobbling when you drill. Thus, jointing with this tool becomes fast and reliable. 

You can easily remove its motor housing if you want to replace the carbon brushes. It also has a dust port to connect to your vacuum cleaner to make the cutting process clean and safe. Its components include one dowel jointer, two drill bits (5/16″), a hex key, an adapter for the dust port, and a manual. 

The Triton TDJ600 comes with a precision system (rack and pinion) for accurate adjustments relative to the material thickness. It also features a variable drill depth setting to address the joint requirement. It allows for double drilling for accurate jointing. Moreover, it features jig teeth for precise, repetitive drilling of holes. Its dust port likewise is ideal for a safe and healthy working environment. 

The Triton as a brand got established in 1976. It manufactures various power tools for use by expert woodworkers. It also has a long history of rolling out innovative products that address professional woodworkers’ present needs. 

The Triton TDJ600, of course, is one such innovative product. It features a double dowel drilling capacity and is equipped with a 710W motor. With this tool, you can simplify the construction of shelves and furniture. It also comes with an adjustable fence (0-90°) and a fast drill depth setting from 0 to 38 mm. 

You can make accurate height adjustments with its precision rack and pinion system. Moreover, it features an insulated handle and hex key storage. It also comes with a carry bag and two 8mm drill bits.

Pros:

  • Offers accurate drilling with no vibration from its motor
  • Easy to assemble and use
  • Drill bit changes are easy

Cons:

  • Its angle plate lock is a bit flimsy
  • the rack and pinion knob looks the same as the angle plate knob, which can be quite confusing

3) Makita XJP03Z

The Makita XJPo3Z is run by a battery (18V Lithium-ion), and you can make 160 joints in a single charge. It is portable, and you can bring this anywhere you would like to make joints. It is capable of 12,000 maximum RPM. Moreover, it offers a higher depth limit for the extended cutting control. It features six distinct biscuit depth settings that allow better adjustment and precision cutting. 

This Makita XJPo3Z is easy to handle and use. Sans a cord, this tool is quite flexible. You can make solid and precise biscuit joints for your cabinets, furniture, and other woodworking endeavors. However, you need to buy the charger and the battery separately when you buy this joiner. 

You can make up to 320 cuts and 160 joints using this joiner on one charge. Its fence system allows for precise adjustments of the fence. Besides, its pivot fence, likewise, features three distinct positive stops. Its blade cover is also toothless. 

The Makita XJPo3Z features a shaft lock for easy changing of blade. Its rubber inserts also prevent your workpiece from slipping. Moreover, it features a top grip handle that is large enough for enhanced handling. Lastly, it features an ergonomic design that you would surely appreciate.

Pros:

  • Easy to use and provides enhanced safety level of usage
  • Flexible and portable enough without a cord
  • Allows for quick blade changes
  • Ergonomically designed

Cons:

  • Quite noisy to operate
  • Dust port might clog

4) DEWALT DW682K

Another excellent alternative to the Festool Domino joiner is the DEWALT DW682K. This joiner can easily burrow through thick woods because of its powerful motor. Its motor is capable of 10,000 RPM. It makes sure that you can make perfect biscuit joints using its dual rack and pinion fence.

It also features an aluminum shoe which keeps the workpiece scratches free. The fence stays parallel to the blade to ensure precise joints. Moreover, you can adjust this built-in fence from 0 to 90 degrees. You can cut slots for your biscuits with precision using this joiner.

Moreover, this joiner comes with a quick adjusting fence and a non-marring shoe. It also features preset stops for the standard biscuit sizes. You can clamp this joiner to the workpiece or worktable for excellent stability. You can also use it as a freely moving unit. 

The DEWALT DW682K comes with pins that you can retract. These anti-slip pins hold the workpiece firmly in place for precise cuts. This joiner is relatively easy to use and around 6.6 lbs., making it very light. It also comes with preset depth stops for standard biscuit sizes. 

It also comes with a reasonable warranty package of a three-year limited warranty. Moreover, it comes with a one-year free service and a ninety-day moneyback guarantee. 

The DEWALT DW682K delivers remarkable accuracy. With its fence and blade consistently parallel with each other. This integrated fence allows for convenience and accuracy of usage. 

Pros:

  • Features a well-constructed tool
  • Exhibits excellent balance
  • Easy to adjust and set up

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a built-in fan for pushing the dust onto the dust bag
  • The grab handle comes attached to the motor instead of being attached to the platen, which makes the control of platen necessary to keep it flush.

5) VonHaus Biscuit Plate Joiner

The VonHaus 8.5 Amp joiner is an inexpensive option of domino joiners out there. Nevertheless, it has all the requirements of an excellent joiner. It is capable of 10,000 maximum RPM. It also comes with an adjustable fence. 

Its motor is a massive eight-and-a-half-amp motor that allows you to run this joiner at a tremendous 10,000 RPM. It also has two locks on its fence at 0 and 90 degrees. Moreover, it features a four-inch diameter blade that is standard for wood joining. Its depth is adjustable. 

The good thing about this joiner is that it comes with a dust collection port along with a dust collection bag to minimize billows of dust. It is slightly heavier than the DEWALT DW682K at 7.4 lbs. Moreover, it comes with a one-year warranty. 

You can use this joiner to create firm biscuit and dowel connections. It can accurately cut holes for T-joints and other joints. You’ll gain excellent control of this tool because of its sizeable top grip. It also comes with an ergonomic design for easy and comfortable operation. It also has a manual mode setting to make cuts at custom depth. 

Pros:

  • It comes with a powerful motor
  • Inexpensive than the other options
  • Allows for manual mode

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a rack and pinion fence
  • Can be noisy during operation

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Joiner That Can Substitute Domino Joiner

One of the most innovative tools you can invest in is the domino joiner. Yet, the best ones are costly. So, if you want to zero in on the best alternative to the expensive Festool domino joiner, you should be cognizant of the following crucial factors to consider when buying a domino joiner:

Depth Control

When making joints, you need to use a joiner with depth control. It will be good to have a tool that provides you with varying ranges of depths. With such a depth control feature, you can make multiple mortises for enhanced alignment and ease of assembly. With different depths of holes, you can ensure greater strength for joints. Moreover, this feature allows for greater versatility when drilling holes.

Type of Blade and Mechanism

You can create the mortise hole with the joiner blade. So, when choosing a joiner, you should check the blade type and mechanism. It should have an adjustable blade height. It will help if you prefer something with a better edge and more comfortable use. Some joiners also feature a drilling blade. You should go for those with blades that exhibit side-to-side motions and oscillate. These blades will provide you with a better finish. 

Angle and Height Adjustment

When choosing a joiner, you should go for something that offers height and angle adjustment. With these features, you can easily make mortise at whatever location on your workpiece. 

Dust Extraction

Another factor to consider is the dust collection system of the joiner. When making the mortise, the joiner will make billows of dust that can pose a safety hazard to you and those around you. Hence, it will be best to look for something with an excellent dust extraction mechanism.

Price

Another factor that may dictate your choice would be the price of the joiner. The best joiners are the most expensive ones. Hence, if you go for domino joiners like the FESTOOL Domino joiner, you will need to shell out more than a thousand dollars. In a way, you need to consider your budget when choosing a domino joiner alternative.


Alternative Wood Joining Methods Without Using Festool Domino Joiner

If you don’t own a Festool Domino, you should not sulk or wallow in misery. You can still produce similar results to what the Festool Domino does. All you need to do is be creative with what you have.

There are several ways of joining wood pieces, such as using a biscuit, a dowel, spline, and many other ways. Yet, nothing binds better than the domino joiner. Of course, the domino joiner takes the sterling features of biscuit joinery and dowel joinery and combines them to create the perfect woodworking equipment. As such, its use is the golden standard for joinery.

Below are the following alternatives you can resort to if you don’t have a Festool Domino Joiner:

1) Using Dowels

One reasonable alternative to the floating tenons is the dowel joints. You will find the dowel joints somewhat like the loose tenons. They necessitate a cut in both wood pieces. Yet, they differ in the shape of the wooden bit. The wooden dowel bit is cylindrical. This means you can use the drill to cut the slots for the wooden bit. You won’t need any specialized tool to achieve such a cylindrical cut. 

Aside from the Dowel, you will want to invest in a doweling jig. When drilling, of course, you need accuracy. You don’t want any misalignment in the slots, which can weaken the joint. Thus, you will need a doweling jig. This jig can serve as the guide for your drill when drilling those slots. 

The doweling jigs, of course, are not expensive. Aside from the doweling jigs, you might as well invest in a drill stop. This drill stop can help you cut with precise depth on both wood pieces. 

One tool you can invest in is the Triton TDJ600 Duo Doweling Jointer. This tool is not that expensive as compared to the Festool Domino Joiner, which may perch at around $1,000. You will only spend around $100 on this tool. 

This dowelling jointer can create joints that are spaced to specification. It also comes with anti-slipping pads for keeping this jointer firmly in place when you use it. Moreover, it features a dust port for quick extraction of dust. 

The package comes with a Dowel Jointer and a hex key. Additionally, it comes with two 5/16″ drill bits and a manual. This tool is perfect for miter joints and edge-to-edge joints.  

2) Pocket Hole for Cabinet

The most recommended alternative to Festool Domino is the pocket hole. The pocket hole is perfect for cabinet construction. You will find the pocket hole often used in different types of joineries. So, you might think that it is relatively common. Yet, it is an excellent alternative to having a Festool Domino Joiner. With the pocket hole, you can quickly join wood for cabinets. You can also join plywood for cabinet construction. 

Buying pocket hole jigs, however, is not difficult. You will find numerous manufacturers of pocket hole jigs. The range of sizes, moreover, is broad. 

You can check out, for example, the Kreg K4 Pocket Hole System, for this is one of your best options. If you are frequently making cabinets, it will be best to use a pocket hole cutter if you can’t afford a Festool domino. In this way, you can save on time and money without sacrificing the quality of joinery.

As mentioned above, you should go for something like the Kreg Pocket Hole Jig. This jig comes with a Docking Station. Thus, you’ll get enhanced support, storage, and stability with this jig. It also comes with two wings support for the material and an adjustable stop that can come in handy when you drill. Plus, it comes with a jig clamp for securing it to the workstation.

3) Biscuit Joiner

Another well-mentioned alternative to the Festool Domino Joiner is the biscuit joiner. If you look at the plate joiners and Domino joiners, you will find them somewhat similar. Yet, they are different. Biscuit joiners are for biscuit joints, while domino joiners are for loose tenons. 

Moreover, you can never compare them based on strength, for floating tenons made by Festool Domino are way more durable and more robust. Yet, the biscuit joiner is a good alternative to the Festool Domino Joiner. 

If you often engage in making cabinets, you will find the biscuit joiner a good alternative. The joints of cabinets may not require the strength of the Domino joints. 

So, the biscuit joiner is perfect for such a task. Moreover, you can make plenty of joints using the biscuit joiner, and biscuits are not expensive. 

The joiner itself is not that expensive. The biscuit joint may not be recommended for structural joints that need more durable joinery techniques. So, you might as well confine the use of biscuit joinery to small projects.

4) Using a Router

If you don’t want to make mortise and tenon joints manually without using any specialized tool, you might as well go for the use of a router. You can opt for a plunge router which is another excellent alternative to the use of Festool Domino Joiner. 

The plunge router allows you to lower its bit from the top, letting you cut the necessary slots. When cutting slots, make sure that you use the right bit size. The trick in making a durable joint is to make the mortise fit perfectly the tenon. It will also help if you use a round nose bit which may work well when making slots. 

The use of routers comes with several benefits. First, you won’t be needing Festool tenons. Instead, you can use less expensive alternatives. You can also make your tenons. Moreover, the router is quite easy to set up. Yet, if you cut many mortises, it will be best to use a mortise jig to quicken the cutting process. 

Likewise, the plunge router is a good investment because you can use it for other woodworking tasks. Besides, it is far less expensive than the Festool Domino Joiner. 

The downsides of using a router include being slower than the Festool Domino Joiner when making mortise and tenon joints. Moreover, it necessitates additional setup. Besides, there is a learning curve in the use of a router that you need to undergo.


Frequently Asked Questions

Aside from knowing the most recommended alternative to Festool domino joiner and the factors to consider when choosing, it will be helpful if you are familiar with the FAQs about the domino joiner alternatives:

Does the dowel joint offer better structural strength than a biscuit joint?

At first look, the domino and the biscuit joiners would look the same. Yet, you’ll see the difference between the two upon closer look. On the one hand, the domino joiner is used for making loose tenons. Biscuit joiners, on the other hand, are used for biscuit joints. 

The biscuit joints are less robust than the floating tenons regarding structural strength. If you don’t need quite strong joints, you should go for the biscuit joints. Moreover, the biscuit joiner is less expensive. It is also perfect for small projects.

Is the mortise tenon the most robust joint you can make?

For hundreds of years, woodworkers have been using mortise tenons. It is indeed a fact that the strongest joint you can ever make is the mortise tenon joint. 

Can you customize the setup of your workbench for joinery?

Yes, you can customize your setup to make it conducive for making different joints. With a customize table setup, you can facilitate the creation of joints. 

Which is better between the dowel joint and biscuit joint?

Most woodworkers will readily tell you that the answer to this question is relative to what you want to achieve. Biscuits, for example, are okay for making splines, but dowels offer a stronger joint in most cases. Moreover, the biscuit is best for alignment but offers less strength than dowel joints.

Aside from knowing the alternatives for Festool Domino Joiner, it will also help if you are familiar with the following FAQs about Festool Domino Joiner and its alternatives:

Is Festool Domino a Good Buy?

Festool Domino is undoubtedly an excellent investment. If you are more often engaged in projects that require strong joineries, then you should not hesitate to spend on a tool like the Festool Domino Joiner. 

Which is Stronger, Pocket Holes or Domino Joints?

The pocket hole joints rely heavily on glue and screws to make joints. However, the Domino Joint makes use of mortises and tenons that don’t depend on such factors. Its joints are designed to provide superior strength and rigidity. It makes use of an oval-like tenon that you insert into the slots to form the joint. Thus, this connection is very secure, and even without glue, the joint is already very strong. But with glue, it can be super strong. 

Can Dowels or Biscuit Joints Offer the Strongest Joints?

The strength of the Dowel and biscuit joints is dependent on the quality of glue and the surface area you want to join. Dowels, of course, are drilled, and thus, it is a stronger joint. The biscuit joint, on the other hand, provides initial stability. Yet, it has a shallow groove which makes it less robust than the dowel joints.


Conclusion

The domino joiners, of course, are the most innovative joiners and a game-changer when it comes to tools used for making joints. Yet, these tools are still expensive, costing more than a thousand dollars. Yet, these joiners are worth investing in because these tools can make the creation of joints a lot easier for you. 

At this point, it is difficult to think of another tool that could compete with the Festool Domino Joiner. It has no competitor so far. Yet, a time will come when other manufacturers will roll out similar products as that of the Festool Domino Joiner. By then, we will have other options that could drive the price of the Festool Domino Joiner lower. Competitions, of course, might lead to better prices of products. 

But at this point, Festool Domino lords it over other tools when it comes to joinery. So, if you would like to raise your level of making joinery, it will be best to invest in something like the Festool Domino Joiner.

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