4 Top Domino Joiner Alternatives

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.

Alternatives Tools to 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. 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.


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

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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