Author Topic: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?  (Read 2945 times)

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Offline mbs

  • Posts: 63
cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« on: July 15, 2020, 08:31 PM »
CMT makes a 5mm cutter for the domino DF500 but the ratings are bad.  Is there another alternative besides the $44 festool cutter?

Thanks,

Marty

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Offline ear3

  • Posts: 4201
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2020, 11:17 PM »
CMT is the only aftermarket option for the cutters.  It can be hit and miss with them.  I have an 8mm CMT cutter that works just fine, but the 10mm one for the XL I got makes the mortises a bit too loose.

I don't know how they compare to Festool cutters in terms of longevity, but CMT otherwise makes quality router bits.
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Offline Spandex

  • Posts: 170
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2020, 06:29 AM »
Trend also make Domino cutters, although I have no idea if they’re any good, and no idea if they’re available in the US:

https://www.trenddirectuk.com/dom-04-domino-bit-5mm-diameter-for-for-festool-df500-domino

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 792
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2020, 06:52 AM »
This may not apply to your country, but over here in the Netherlands big stores that service pro’s sometimes have clearance sales and offer original Festool accessories with nice discounts (they call it an ‘inventory clearance’). Recently I bought a couple of Domino cutters at half price.
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3450
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2020, 07:03 AM »
I am a heavy Domino user although far from being a professional. I've cut thousands of Domino mortises over many years. I seem to remember having broken the original 5mm Festool cutter cutting into end grain oak. I have broken a 4mm cutter as well, but no others. All my Festool cutters produce tight mortises.

I look at the cutter price as how many holes per dollar and the Festool price seems more reasonable. I also know that my Festool dealer would replace a cutter that suffered infant mortality (like in the first dozen holes).
Birdhunter

Offline TwelvebyTwenty

  • Posts: 107
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2020, 07:44 AM »
I think the Festool cutters are already cheap enough, certainly not excessively expensive. For comparison a Trend version is about £23 and the Festool one is about £29. For the sake of £6 I'd rather have the original. I personally don't see the point of spending all that money on such an expensive machine, the cost of the dominos themselves and then skimp on the drilling bit where the 'rubber meets the road'. Like buying a Ferrari and not putting the proper tyres on it.

Offline Spandex

  • Posts: 170
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2020, 08:52 AM »
Surely you don’t only ever use Festool drill bits, or router bits?

But regardless, without knowing if the Trend bits are better or worse than the Festool bits, how can you know which one would be classed as ‘skimping’?

Offline mbs

  • Posts: 63
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2020, 09:36 AM »
This may not apply to your country, but over here in the Netherlands big stores that service pro’s sometimes have clearance sales and offer original Festool accessories with nice discounts (they call it an ‘inventory clearance’). Recently I bought a couple of Domino cutters at half price.

I don't see festool sales often in the US.  Thanks!

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 1276
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2020, 10:09 AM »
Amana Tools make 5 mm and some more
Mario

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3450
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2020, 11:48 AM »
My experience with Amana router bits has been positive. The blurb says the bits are solid carbide. However, the picture looks like the tip is braised onto the shaft as is the bit from Festool.

I don't think this a negative as a solid carbide bit would be more brittle than a tool steel bit and probably more expensive.
Birdhunter

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 1276
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2020, 11:51 AM »
My experience with Amana router bits has been positive. The blurb says the bits are solid carbide. However, the picture looks like the tip is braised onto the shaft as is the bit from Festool.

I don't think this a negative as a solid carbide bit would be more brittle than a tool steel bit and probably more expensive.

I agree, you never know unless you have one in hand. I bought a replacement bit for the LR32 kit, the bit is identical to the Festool one beside the name printed on it.

Amana Tools is my favorite brand. Would like to try out some WhiteSide bits but each time I look for one specific, they are out of price. Often double $$ compare to Amana Tools bits. Infinity tools also provide some specialty bits I like, like the flush trim double bearing bits.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2020, 11:58 AM by Mario Turcot »
Mario

Offline yetihunter

  • Posts: 759
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2020, 12:38 PM »
Hartville sells Whiteside bits.  Use coupon code: WN15 at checkout.
I used to only have Whiteside bits early on.  They cut great.  My only issue is that when I left my router bits stored for a year, Whiteside was the only make that developed rust on the shanks.
Freud, Amana,  Leitz/Festo, CMT, Lee Valley were all fine.   You can also buy Whiteside rebranded from Klingspor Woodworking shop and Eagle America (prices are generally the same).

For the Domino cutters, there are a lot of offerings in Germany but I don’t live in Europe so I never kept track of who, what and where.  As already mentioned, in North America, you can get Amana (no real feedback but probably great) and CMT (mostly only poor feedback).  I remember there’s an error in one of Amanda’s domino cutter lengths in either their catalog or spec sheet that gets repeated at retailers but you can likely deduce which ones are for the 500 vs the 700 based on the way their grouped on the chart.

Offline mbs

  • Posts: 63
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2020, 03:12 PM »
I am a heavy Domino user although far from being a professional. I've cut thousands of Domino mortises over many years. I seem to remember having broken the original 5mm Festool cutter cutting into end grain oak. I have broken a 4mm cutter as well, but no others. All my Festool cutters produce tight mortises.

I look at the cutter price as how many holes per dollar and the Festool price seems more reasonable. I also know that my Festool dealer would replace a cutter that suffered infant mortality (like in the first dozen holes).

I'm cutting a wood similar to IPE.  It's more than twice as hard as oak.  I have a couple of 5mm bits and I don't know how many mortises I cut before it broke. 

Offline mbs

  • Posts: 63
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2020, 03:17 PM »
Hartville sells Whiteside bits.  Use coupon code: WN15 at checkout.
I used to only have Whiteside bits early on.  They cut great.  My only issue is that when I left my router bits stored for a year, Whiteside was the only make that developed rust on the shanks.
Freud, Amana,  Leitz/Festo, CMT, Lee Valley were all fine.   You can also buy Whiteside rebranded from Klingspor Woodworking shop and Eagle America (prices are generally the same).

For the Domino cutters, there are a lot of offerings in Germany but I don’t live in Europe so I never kept track of who, what and where.  As already mentioned, in North America, you can get Amana (no real feedback but probably great) and CMT (mostly only poor feedback).  I remember there’s an error in one of Amanda’s domino cutter lengths in either their catalog or spec sheet that gets repeated at retailers but you can likely deduce which ones are for the 500 vs the 700 based on the way their grouped on the chart.

Hartville only sells Festool domino cutters from what I can tell. 

Thanks

Offline mbs

  • Posts: 63
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2020, 03:26 PM »
My experience with Amana router bits has been positive. The blurb says the bits are solid carbide. However, the picture looks like the tip is braised onto the shaft as is the bit from Festool.

I don't think this a negative as a solid carbide bit would be more brittle than a tool steel bit and probably more expensive.

I agree, you never know unless you have one in hand. I bought a replacement bit for the LR32 kit, the bit is identical to the Festool one beside the name printed on it.

Amana Tools is my favorite brand. Would like to try out some WhiteSide bits but each time I look for one specific, they are out of price. Often double $$ compare to Amana Tools bits. Infinity tools also provide some specialty bits I like, like the flush trim double bearing bits.

I ordered a festool cutter and an amana cutter.  I've always had good luck with Amana too.  Thanks!

Offline TwelvebyTwenty

  • Posts: 107
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2020, 03:55 PM »
Surely you don’t only ever use Festool drill bits, or router bits?

But regardless, without knowing if the Trend bits are better or worse than the Festool bits, how can you know which one would be classed as ‘skimping’?

Of course not. But that's not an apples to apples comparison. The domino cutter is a proprietary product unlike generic drill or router bits, so we can dismiss that point as moot.

The OEM bits do the job perfectly, and for a £6 saving I have no desire to find out if a third party product can (at best) equal the performance, but possibly do worse. It's not like it is £6 every few days and so would add up to a material saving over time, the price difference is completely immaterial so not worth the risk of possibly finding out it doesn't cut as well, or is more prone to snapping.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2020, 05:13 PM by TwelvebyTwenty »

Offline Spandex

  • Posts: 170
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2020, 05:28 PM »
So you would spend £6 more on bits even if they were identical in function and reliability? Each to their own, I guess.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3450
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2020, 05:50 PM »
“ I'm cutting a wood similar to IPE.  It's more than twice as hard as oak. “

What is the wood?

I made 10 park benches out of Ipe. Lots of Domino mortises. Had to be super careful cutting into end grain. Also had to clean the mortises before glueing up.
Birdhunter

Offline TwelvebyTwenty

  • Posts: 107
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2020, 06:05 PM »
So you would spend £6 more on bits even if they were identical in function and reliability? Each to their own, I guess.

Whether they are identical in function and reliability is clearly unknown at this stage. As it is unknown, for the sake of a mere £6, I do not care to find out.

Offline Spandex

  • Posts: 170
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2020, 06:27 PM »
Well, it’s not unknown, it’s just unknown by you (and me). Presumably Trend haven’t sold absolutely none of these, so people do know if they do the job. Now that the OP knows they exist they can have a look for reviews, or even choose to find out for themselves.

Surely that’s better than telling them it’s not worth it for a few quid, just because it’s not worth it to you, right?

Offline TwelvebyTwenty

  • Posts: 107
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2020, 06:34 PM »
Well, it’s not unknown, it’s just unknown by you (and me). Presumably Trend haven’t sold absolutely none of these, so people do know if they do the job. Now that the OP knows they exist they can have a look for reviews, or even choose to find out for themselves.

Surely that’s better than telling them it’s not worth it for a few quid, just because it’s not worth it to you, right?

It's not widely known for me, you, or the OP to make an informed decision, therefore for the purpose of this conversation it is 'unknown'.

If the OP is in the position where for the sake of £6 he wants to find out, possibly to his detriment, then your advice is top-notch.

If he doesn't want to run the risk of down time where he can't use his tool, possibly damaging the piece he is working on if the cutter turns out to be more prone to failure, or needs replacing sooner, and all it costs him is £6, then I stand by my advice.

 

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2636
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2020, 06:47 PM »
Both arguments or approaches -- saving a few bucks (or pounds) and not saving any for peace of mind -- are right. No more different from whether white or black is a better color for a handle of something. Just personal preference. 

My preference is that I'll look into the alternatives if the savings are potentially material enough for my time and effort. For the same reason, I'd rather buy new if the saving from a used tool or object is less than 30% to 60% of the retail price, depending on the condition.

It's never wrong to go either way AS LONG AS it suits you.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2020, 06:49 PM by ChuckM »

Offline TwelvebyTwenty

  • Posts: 107
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2020, 06:56 PM »
Both arguments or approaches -- saving a few bucks (or pounds) and not saving any for peace of mind -- are right. No more different from whether white or black is a better color for a handle of something. Just personal preference. 

My preference is that I'll look into the alternatives if the savings are potentially material enough for my time and effort. For the same reason, I'd rather buy new if the saving from a used tool or object is less than 30% to 60% of the retail price, depending on the condition.

It's never wrong to go either way AS LONG AS it suits you.

Agree mostly, although there's the old adage that spending more on a quality tools hurts once, spending less on a cheaper tool may hurt each time you use it.

Offline mbs

  • Posts: 63
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2020, 07:33 PM »
“ I'm cutting a wood similar to IPE.  It's more than twice as hard as oak. “

What is the wood?

I made 10 park benches out of Ipe. Lots of Domino mortises. Had to be super careful cutting into end grain. Also had to clean the mortises before glueing up.

Masaranduba

Offline yetihunter

  • Posts: 759
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2020, 11:03 PM »
No amount of price difference would motivate me to try a Trend brand domino cutter. However, here in the US, the Amana domino cutters are roughly half the price of the Festool (Leitz?) version.   [big grin] 

Offline jcrowe1950

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Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #25 on: July 18, 2020, 02:25 PM »
“ I'm cutting a wood similar to IPE.  It's more than twice as hard as oak. “

What is the wood?

I made 10 park benches out of Ipe. Lots of Domino mortises. Had to be super careful cutting into end grain. Also had to clean the mortises before glueing up.
   The cleanup on ipe, was it done with something like acetone? I have heard of people using either epoxy adhesive, or a urea-formaldehyde glue. It seems that once the the pieces are together, ipe is a very durable wood.
Festool Specialist at Woodcraft, Chattanooga, TN

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Offline jbmhs220

  • Posts: 5
Re: Are domino cutters left or right hand?
« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2020, 02:40 AM »
I am am looking at CMT domino cutters and they offer left and right hand. Which one is used on the domino?

Offline jobsworth

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  • Festool Baby.....
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2020, 09:35 AM »
Hammer and chisel are pretty inexpensive

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8450
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2020, 11:08 AM »
My experience with Amana router bits has been positive. The blurb says the bits are solid carbide. However, the picture looks like the tip is braised onto the shaft as is the bit from Festool.

I don't think this a negative as a solid carbide bit would be more brittle than a tool steel bit and probably more expensive.

FWIW...I took a look at the Amana Domino bits and they are NOT solid carbide. You can tell by the surface finish of the bit. It is a braised insert like the Festool bits.

Besides, the price is also a tip off...solid carbide would be in the $100+ region.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2020, 08:58 AM by Cheese »

Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 194
Re: cheaper alternative to domino 5mm cutter?
« Reply #29 on: November 14, 2020, 06:33 PM »
Just as an aside, while the smaller cutters are understandably more susceptible to breaking, technique matters. The risk of breakage goes up considerably if one tries to cut the mortises too quickly because that puts a lot of stress on the tooling. Remember, it's not just spinning around, it's also moving back and forth laterally as you plunge it into the material. Slower plunging and even slower than that while working hard material is a good practice to reduce the need to find affordable replacement cutters. :) :D 
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