Author Topic: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?  (Read 1681 times)

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Offline blueridgeaudio

  • Posts: 2
Hi all. So I’m finally looking at getting a domino after looking at one for sometime. I know they have been around for about 10 years now and see some that are a few years old every now and again on Facebook marketplace for sale. Have there been any major improvements or changes since the introduction of the domino that I should consider before buying one? Thanks in advance

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Offline PeterJJames13

  • Posts: 241
Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2021, 10:27 PM »
Actually, if you can get an older version with the pins on the fence and not the paddles, consider yourself lucky!

Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 474
Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2021, 12:53 AM »
Older than 3 years there’s no warranty. So you need to ask yourself how much are you saving over a new domino? Festool did have a promo mid 2020 on the emerald edition with 2 extra cutters and some dominoes? That was actually a good deal. All things considered.

 I would look for one with low hours, clean condition if buying used. Deals do come up, you just need to be patient, someone retiring, estate sale, need cash future purchase, used for a specific job, etc?

Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2021, 01:07 AM »
Mine was from the first batch, with the pin fence. You'll lose the warranty, so take that into account for the price, but it's solid and frankly, I prefer the pin model (though I did get a paddle fence later in case I'd find a use).
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Online Bohdan

  • Posts: 1003
Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2021, 01:12 AM »
The pin model's pins can be adjusted to be exactly equal distance from the cutter while with the paddle model there are a set of positions fixed by the paddle sizes and if you want greater accuracy you have to file the paddles to size.

Possible but a real PITA.

Offline shed9

  • Posts: 499
Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2021, 05:31 AM »
I repurchased a DF500 after regretting selling my old one some time ago (thought the XL alone would do me).

I had no idea the fence had changed, bought the replacement a few weeks back but not had it out of the box yet but just checked now and yup plastic paddles. Why did Festool do that? The metal pins on the old fence were superb and screamed quality, now my eagerly returned friend screams plastic. I'm really confused by this design change. Whenever the conversation comes up re: Festool in woodworking and professional circles you always have your naysayers but even they almost always point to the Domino as a tool to have. Why would you change the design of a tool that clearly worked, especially replacing that design element for plastic on a metal fence?

Am I missing something here? Why the shift to paddles which to most people (based on comments I've read so far) appear to reduce functionality? Am I being dumb harking back nostalgically and missing the point the of the upgrade?

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1897
Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2021, 05:38 AM »
I bought the 700 years ago. I made that my first choice of the two because I needed the larger dominos for a project I was on. Then in 2019 I bought the 500 and noticed the difference the change from pins to paddles.

I wonder it is possible to retrofit the pins to the newer model DF500. I'm guessing that would require changing out the whole fence.
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Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2393
Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2021, 09:31 AM »
I heard that the pins ran into some patent infringement issue (with Mafell?). Someone here might be able to confirm this. That's partly why the pins on the XL flip, not retract. And old fences themselves are no longer made or available.

Yes, the pins are better than the paddles in two aspects as far as I know:

1. You can make a series of mortises by registering against the previous milled mortises with no marking

2. You can make louvres by registering the strips with the two pins at an angle.

I've never come across the old fence/pins, and was told that you couldn't do 4mm dominoes with it. Some filing could be needed. True? What I heard about this could be misinformation.

As for accuracy, as I showed in another thread with my test cuts, my paddles (at the factory settings) are as precise and accurate as they can be. Zero calibration needed. This is what I expect from a premium tool manufacturer like SawStop, Jessem, Veritas, etc. though I know some found their DF500 off upon receipt.

My DF500 is 6 or 7 years old...never banged or dropped (I've seen that happen!). All its settings are as good and reliable as they were on day 1.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2021, 09:47 AM by ChuckM »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8129
Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2021, 09:43 AM »
I wonder it is possible to retrofit the pins to the newer model DF500. I'm guessing that would require changing out the whole fence.

I believe I checked a few years back and found out that several of the parts needed for the conversion were no longer available.  [sad]

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8129
Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2021, 09:53 AM »
I repurchased a DF500 after regretting selling my old one some time ago (thought the XL alone would do me).

I had no idea the fence had changed, bought the replacement a few weeks back but not had it out of the box yet but just checked now and yup plastic paddles. Why did Festool do that? The metal pins on the old fence were superb and screamed quality, now my eagerly returned friend screams plastic. I'm really confused by this design change. Whenever the conversation comes up re: Festool in woodworking and professional circles you always have your naysayers but even they almost always point to the Domino as a tool to have. Why would you change the design of a tool that clearly worked, especially replacing that design element for plastic on a metal fence?


Am I missing something here? Why the shift to paddles which to most people (based on comments I've read so far) appear to reduce functionality? Am I being dumb harking back nostalgically and missing the point the of the upgrade?

Here's an earlier thread about the issues. Glue entering the pins seems to be the reason for the change.

https://festoolownersgroup.com/index.php?pretty;board=festool-tools-accessories;topic=domino-700-or-500.msg313526#msg313526

Offline ghjaxman

  • Posts: 128
Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2021, 10:09 AM »
I have an early one with the pins and it still works great.  The issue with the pins was a patent with Mafell.  You can use the 4mm dominos on this version.  I'm glad I have the earlier version in 2006.

Offline shed9

  • Posts: 499
Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2021, 10:46 AM »
The issue with the pins was a patent with Mafell.
That makes sense. Shame the alternative 'upgrade' isn't metal and a little more refined. Either way it's pants overall.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8129
Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2021, 10:57 AM »
According to Shane Holland:

"The design was not changed due to a patent infringement, for what it's worth. If that were the case, the DF 700 wouldn't have pins...

The pin design was changed for a few reasons. One reason was because glue was getting into the pin mechanism and making it stick. I would say that it's incorrect that most people prefer the pin-style. It seems fairly equally divided from my experiences. I personally have the pin model and rarely use the pins for indexing. But, that's just how I use it. I rarely use the default distance between mortises provided by the pins. The cross stops have pins if you prefer indexing in that way."

Shane

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3352
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2021, 11:10 AM »
If you are buying used, I’d look at the overall appearance. If it’s dinged up, run.

Running should produce an even noise without excessive vibration and very little heat build up

Cut a few test mortises. Are the mortises all the same distance from the reference surface? Do tenons fit snuggly in the mortises. Loose tenons indicate a problem. Mortises that creep down indicate a fence problem.

Take two boards about 10” long that you know to be flat and straight. Cut a mortise in each board at 5” using the narrow setting. Insert a tenon and press the boards together. If the boards are canted from each other, this is trouble.

 Be sure all the accessories are in the Systainer and are functional. Be sure the power cord doesn’t have burned prongs especially in the connector that attaches to the tool.
Birdhunter

Offline serge0n

  • Posts: 140
Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2021, 11:32 AM »
According to Shane Holland:

"One reason was because glue was getting into the pin mechanism and making it stick."

 [eek]
That makes zero sense. Why would you dip your Domino in glue? If you do dip it in glue, are sticking pins the only issue? Why would you use any power tool on a piece with wet glue?
There is a logical order in any build where you cut your joinery, do a test DRY fit first and then you glue the piece up. I can't imagine a scenario where someone has to cut a fresh mortise in a glued up piece when glue is still wet and somehow get glue inside the pins.

It was a patent infringement issue with Mafell, I've seen comments from reps of Festool Germany and Festool Russia confirming it.
Pins on DF700 are different enough not to cause any patent PITA.

On the subject, I have the older version with pins and I love it, use it for positioning all the time. I haven't used the version with pads, but I don't think the absence of pins would be a deal breaker.

Offline shed9

  • Posts: 499
Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2021, 11:36 AM »
According to Shane Holland:

"The design was not changed due to a patent infringement, for what it's worth. If that were the case, the DF 700 wouldn't have pins...

The pin design was changed for a few reasons. One reason was because glue was getting into the pin mechanism and making it stick. I would say that it's incorrect that most people prefer the pin-style. It seems fairly equally divided from my experiences. I personally have the pin model and rarely use the pins for indexing. But, that's just how I use it. I rarely use the default distance between mortises provided by the pins. The cross stops have pins if you prefer indexing in that way."

Shane
Interesting on the patent issue.

I've yet to see any online comments of people preferring the paddles to pins, that said and as above that's based on what I have read so far. I would ask though, what scenario would people use the domino to cut mortises with glue on the work piece or indeed get glue on the fence?


Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2393
Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2021, 12:08 PM »

There is a logical order in any build where you cut your joinery, do a test DRY fit first and then you glue the piece up. I can't imagine a scenario where someone has to cut a fresh mortise in a glued up piece when glue is still wet and somehow get glue inside the pins.

In a normal operation, the pins or paddles or cutter should not get in contact with any glue. But I know a couple of fellows who were lazy on dry-fitting did have to remortise a board already applied with glue. But that's not a widespread practice among experienced or skilled woodworkers, and for Festool to redesign the machine to cater for that reason is hard to believe. Has Mafell moved away from its pins?

So, unless someone from Festool now comes up here and confirms the reason for dropping the pins, I still trust what I saw before -- that the pins are no longer used because of patent infringement.  The XL pins are completely different as I said in my last post. They don't retract by themselves, like the Mafell's.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3352
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2021, 12:27 PM »
I’m not sure why Festool removed the pins is important.
Birdhunter

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2393
Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2021, 12:33 PM »
It's not so important to me. But if I had an option to get a spare fence with the pins, I'd get one so I could switch between a paddled and a pinned fence. I would probably make more louvred doors or screens. (With the paddles, I have to use a jig.)

The only slight advantage of paddles over pins I can think of is that the paddles won't get into a milled mortise unintentionally.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2021, 12:43 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3352
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Buying domino used, are the older ones as good as the newest models?
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2021, 01:20 PM »
I have the Mafell DD40F dowel machine with the pins. They are amazingly accurate. I get dead on perfect joints every time.

 I very seldom use the paddles on my 500. But, I almost always use the narrow-wide mortise technique so a little slop doesn’t matter.
Birdhunter