Author Topic: DF700 vs. DF500  (Read 3087 times)

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Offline feichtpa

  • Posts: 1
DF700 vs. DF500
« on: January 25, 2021, 12:04 PM »
I've been using the DF500 for several years and it's has been a solid machine.  I added a Seneca Domino Plate and that helps with cabinet construction.

I'm considering upgrading to the DF700 but I'm concerned that it is not optimized for 3/4" Stock work like the DF500.

If you've made the change, I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Thanks,

Paul

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Offline PeterJJames13

  • Posts: 244
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2021, 12:29 PM »
I'm sure others with more experience will chime in here. But for me - the DF700 is a compliment to the DF500. Not an upgrade.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8385
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2021, 12:51 PM »
But for me - the DF700 is a compliment to the DF500. Not an upgrade.

+1  [big grin]

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2567
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2021, 01:48 PM »
I haven't upgraded to the DF700, but have used both machines (and I disagree that the DF700 is as easy to handle as the DF500 which is lighter given my physical size and age, and the large number of mortises I mill on average). The thickness of the work isn't an issue; both can handle 3/4" well. It's the desired depths of the mortises that matter.

For big projects that require deep mortises, heavy doors or big tables, for example, you'll need the DF700. If your plan is to keep on working with 3/4" stock, the switch to a larger joiner won't bring you any added benefits -- unless you aren't happy with the DF500 in certain aspects.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 01:51 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Mike35x95x1

  • Posts: 63
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2021, 02:14 PM »
I haven't upgraded to the DF700, but have used both machines (and I disagree that the DF700 is as easy to handle as the DF500 which is lighter given my physical size and age, and the large number of mortises I mill on average). The thickness of the work isn't an issue; both can handle 3/4" well. It's the desired depths of the mortises that matter.

For big projects that require deep mortises, heavy doors or big tables, for example, you'll need the DF700. If your plan is to keep on working with 3/4" stock, the switch to a larger joiner won't bring you any added benefits -- unless you aren't happy with the DF500 in certain aspects.
100% agree. I own only DF500 and wonder if it’s really possible to mortise thinner materials (18mm or less) with XL domino? I’ve read many disapproving claims...

Sometimes it would be great to have DF700, but for just rare occasions it’s too expensive.


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Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 474
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2021, 02:49 PM »
I agree it’s too expensive, but if a project or a remodel justifies the cost then it’s worth the outlay of $NAP (North American Pesos). A lightly used 1-2 year old D700 would probably fetch $1,000 or more. It’s one of the tools that’s on the Festool Bucket List. 🪣

I just got my d500 not too long ago, so it will be in (mid) year 2021 that I get a D700
As others have said they compliment each other.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 11:40 PM by mkasdin »

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3423
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2021, 04:01 PM »
I’m fortunate to have both machines. I use the 500 the most by far. The 700 comes out for tables, bed frames, other big stuff. I like the ergonomics of the 700 far better than the 500. I also prefer the 700s connectors over those of the 500. Just my opinion.

If you buy the 700, I recommend buying the full set of cutters and tenons.

Birdhunter

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 352
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2021, 06:08 PM »
I agree that they compliment each other, but for a percentage of users, only one might be needed.
I see them as DF500 for sheet goods and cabinets, and the DF700 for larger solid wood projects like doors and table/apron joints.
If you do both, you need both, otherwise stick with the one in for your needs.
I have had a DF500 for 6 years and would like to have a DF700, but I have really only "needed it" 2 or 3 times in that amount of time. I worked-around it with a few more of the smaller tenons, but it wasn't ideal.
As I have said several times, I work in a big cabinet shop, so I don't get to choose what I build, as a hobbyist would. In general, I have to be equipped for nearly any unknown project and big solid wood things just don't happen that often.....still want one though.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75

Offline Blues

  • Posts: 110
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2021, 06:37 PM »
Unlike you i got the DF700 first. Just loved it. I also got the rts seneca adapter so i could use it for 3/4 stock.. even 1/2 stock. This was the 1st Festool I purchased. I will never part with it ever. Having said that almost a year ago i picked up the Mafell ddf40 that uses dowels. I must say it is a fantastic tool, extremely precise and is ideally suited for sheet goods. Dowels are cheaper than dominos and you can source them from any where. So these days in my build, i use a combination. I use the domino connectors and dowels for knock down construction. These two machines perfectly compliment each other and address all my joinery needs. I have to say the 700 is very well balanced and the handle is so unique that i don't feel the weight at all. It can be used for fine work for example to build drawers from 1/2" sheet goods using 4mm domino. I believe in spending the least money but having the most option at my disposal. I think ddf40 wins over the 500. The 700 is the ultimate tool.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 06:41 PM by Blues »

Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 474
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2021, 11:46 PM »
I think for most the D500 is a better machine for starters since it’s less money. The D700 with the Seneca is a nice option, but I felt the heft of the tool was better for dimensional lumber, furniture, doors, gates, outdoor decks, tables, etc. @Blues What was your opinion of the Lamello zeta? I think there process is very nice and it would be a toss up between the DD40 and the Zeta for me?
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 11:50 PM by mkasdin »

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 2048
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2021, 10:49 AM »
I agree that the 500 and 700XL are two different tools with different intended uses; the XL being the tool for larger jobs like beds, large tables, and large media centers. I'm sure that those who have bought adapters for the 700XL and use it for smaller jobs are probably satisfied with its performance for those jobs as well as larger jobs. I personally would never use the 700XL for smaller jobs, adapter or not, especially for 1/2"/12 mm (even for use in 3/4" stock). It's cumbersome and more difficult to hold in place for joints where the area you rest the fence on is small.

I actually do own both but have rarely used the 700XL. I intended on building a very large media storage unit that my wife wanted but have never gotten to it. I've use the 700XL for 2 other projects, but really could have found a way to use the 500 for those also. I would never consider the 700XL an upgrade to the 500. The 500 is an amazing tool all on its own, which has allowed me to create projects which I may never have attempted otherwise because of the difficulty of making joints. I think the 700 XL is also an amazing tool, but it is not intended to replace the 500, but made to do the same job as the 500, just in larger projects. Unless you intend to migrate to larger jobs, I think the money you would spend on a 700XL could be put to other, more productive uses.
Randy

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 352
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2021, 05:35 PM »
I think for most the D500 is a better machine for starters since it’s less money. The D700 with the Seneca is a nice option, but I felt the heft of the tool was better for dimensional lumber, furniture, doors, gates, outdoor decks, tables, etc. @Blues What was your opinion of the Lamello zeta? I think there process is very nice and it would be a toss up between the DD40 and the Zeta for me?
The Lamello Zeta P2 is a fabulous tool too. I use it in many situations along with the DF500. They work great in situations were clamping is difficult. Large assemblies, wall panels etc.  I use the Clamex and the Tenso, depending on the situation. Dominos are great for alignment, but they won't pull an assembly together like they can.
I'm in a bit of a unique case though. Many of the things I build have to be disassembled for shipping to a jobsite. Then they get reassembled by someone else. It is rare that I go out to do the install, but I try to make them as easy to put back together as possible.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3423
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2021, 05:47 PM »
The obvious answer to this endless debate on 500 vs 700 is to buy both. That’s what my Festool dealer told me.
Birdhunter

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2567
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2021, 06:20 PM »
The obvious answer to this endless debate on 500 vs 700 is to buy both. That’s what my Festool dealer told me.

Hahaha. It always feels good when we can convince someone to spend their money away. Getting both should work for most Festool fans where budget is not a hurdle. But I must say I'm one of the exceptions while I can afford to have both as a hobbyist.

The only reason I'm not having two DFs is that I hate to see a good tool sitting idle in my shop. May be 5% of my furniture builds, if not less, could justify the use of an XL, but I feared that soon I'd resell it. (For the record, I made a small profit when I sold my TS75 and CT26.)

This tool philosophy of mine is why I keep looking around in my shop, trying to find and sell dormant or surplus tools that see little use -- especially when I get a new tool that duplicates some of the functions of an existing one.

Cases in point: Once I got skilled in the DF500, I immediately sold my Delta benchtop mortiser and biscuit joiner. My Dewalt miter saw was gone as soon as the Kapex was set up and tuned. And after building a planing jig for use with my thickness planer, I sold my jointer, too.

I also find that if I have just enough tools, I tend to develop expertise in each one of them because of constant use, while finding new uses of them, too. I'm pretty sure if I had had a DF700 around when I built my nook table, I wouldn't have bothered to learn about twin tenons and how they could help in my projects.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2021, 09:02 PM by ChuckM »

Offline SoonerFan

  • Posts: 482
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2021, 10:23 PM »
I have the DF500 and like it a great deal. I have had it for about five trouble free year now.  I have had a few occasions I needed the 700 but found another option given the cost.  I have a good use case for the 700 coming later this year (large 8/4 oak desk build).  I am temped to order a 700.  I sort of think if I had it more uses would come along. 

Offline shed9

  • Posts: 499
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2021, 07:32 AM »
I was kind of on the opposite end of this situation, having the XL700 and then getting the DF500 although it's not as simple as that. I originally bought both machines a number of years back but went on to sell the DF as I figured the XL was suffice for my needs. I regretted selling the DF as soon as it went out the door and recently repurchased a new DF.

As others have pointed out above, I found I reached for the DF more than the XL even if they were both a relevant fit to the job. The XL feels like a better machine but when you're cutting a lot of mortises then the DF is probably easier on your arms. I also wouldn't consider the XL an upgrade to the DF either, it is suitable for different jobs and different ways of working. If you don't build larger items then the DF is perfect, but if you do a mix of mortising sheet / cabinetry and large project then both probably makes sense. You can get a Domiplate for the XL which will handle sheet but then you ned the RTS adapter and you could argue that that eats into the budget of owning both machines as opposed to one.

Long story short - if the DF does what you want, there is no merit in 'upgrading' to the XL. If you want the convenience of the DF but feel you would benefit from the additional capacity of the XL then buy an XL as well, not instead.


Offline gunnyr

  • Posts: 281
    • Compass Custom Creations
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2021, 07:49 AM »
Happy Friday!

I have both a trim hammer and a framing hammer.  I tend to use my trim hammer the most....... [big grin]

I have had the DF500 for several years, there have been times when I might have liked the DF700 but not often enough to justify the purchase.  I appreciate those that have pointed out that they are complementary tools, the 700 is not an 'upgrade'.  Much like my trim hammer was not an upgrade from my framing hammer; different sizes of the same tool.
Semper Fi,
Jeff

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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8385
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2021, 10:00 AM »

I have both a trim hammer and a framing hammer.  I tend to use my trim hammer the most....... [big grin]


Great analogy...so easy to understand.  [big grin]

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2567
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2021, 10:46 AM »

I have both a trim hammer and a framing hammer.  I tend to use my trim hammer the most....... [big grin]


Great analogy...so easy to understand.  [big grin]

I've seen people use big half-ton trucks and small SUVs for comparing the two joiners, but as woodworkers, we certainly can relate better with this hammer illustration!

Offline zachjowi

  • Posts: 37
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2021, 10:12 AM »
had the 500 but needed to add the 700 for making a bed. Can't be bad to have both!

Offline Ebuwan

  • Posts: 15
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2021, 11:26 PM »
I have only the 700 (was I think my second Festool tool?)

I bought the Seneca Woodworking RTS-500 cutting adapter for the 700, and it allows me to cut the smaller mortises with the bits for the 500 no problem. Did a whole bunch of spindles that were less than 3/4" thick for a stair railing.

I haven't run into anything that needed a 500 size domino that the 700 gave me hassle for; maybe there are some specific use cases you would have to use a 500, but i've never run into one yet.

Offline Getmaverick

  • Posts: 186
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2021, 09:22 AM »
I skipped the 500 all together and bought the 700. I went with the lamello zeta p2 to compliment it. Now i have the best of both worlds. [big grin]

Offline jussi

  • Posts: 376
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2021, 01:02 PM »
If I can use the 500 I almost always opt to using it over the 700. Especially if it’s a smaller piece.  I usually only resort to the 700 if I need the extra depth or larger tenons

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1412
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2021, 02:35 PM »
How about a different path, buy a Mafell DDF40 to go with it.  If you need something bigger than the DF500 dominos, you can go to a 12mm dowels on the DDF40, plus you have a tool for doing 32mm cabinets. There is also a DD40P which can do 16mm dowels.

Offline Blues

  • Posts: 110
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2021, 03:35 PM »
How about a different path, buy a Mafell DDF40 to go with it.  If you need something bigger than the DF500 dominos, you can go to a 12mm dowels on the DDF40, plus you have a tool for doing 32mm cabinets. There is also a DD40P which can do 16mm dowels.

Exactly what i did.  King of the hill is 700. I use it with the connectors. For all other smaller builds it's the very accurate ddf40. Dowels are cheap.. i also use pre glued dowels. At times i use 23 gauge pins to secure the build.  Just perfect and quick. 

Offline pettyconstruction

  • Posts: 660
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2021, 04:01 PM »
I think for most the D500 is a better machine for starters since it’s less money. The D700 with the Seneca is a nice option, but I felt the heft of the tool was better for dimensional lumber, furniture, doors, gates, outdoor decks, tables, etc. @Blues What was your opinion of the Lamello zeta? I think there process is very nice and it would be a toss up between the DD40 and the Zeta for me?
I think the two machines are very different in they’re application ,
The DD40 ,like the Domino,is a alignment tool,where as the Zeta is a clamping / alignment tool.
I really like the Zeta and want to get one,but I think the combo of the DD40 and 700 Domino is a great choice.

I currently have a 500 Domino and would like to add a Lamello Zeta to the mix.
Charlie


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Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 194
Re: DF700 vs. DF500
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2021, 05:50 PM »
ADDING the Domino 700XL to do the heavier work isn't a horrible thing IF you have the work for it.

For me, I only have the 700XL and have never really used the smaller sub-8mm Dominos to-date, although I have the means to do so with the Seneca adapter and Festool cutters. I use the system for heavier/bigger jobs as I rarely do cabinetry and when I do, I'm perfectly happy with screws and glue.
----
ETS 150/3, Rotex 150, OF1010, OF1400, Trion PS 300, TDK-12, CT-22, MFT 1080, TS55, Domino XL DF 700, 8' track, (2) 55" tracks

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