Festool Saw Product Reviews

using festool saw products

As a modern brand, Festool is world-renowned for their high-quality power tools, primarily aimed at the professional woodworking, painting and automotive industries. The brand developed an aura of being the best power tools that money can buy. And they also tend to be the most expensive tools in the market, with an unrelenting commitment to quality. Use our quick navigation below to go directly to the Festool saw review you are looking for.

Festool Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter Saw Review

When it comes to professional woodworking equipment, Festool is a brand that stands for the pinnacle of engineering, precision, and of course cost. The Kapex 120 is a professional grade piece of equipment. For woodworking professionals who require the utmost accuracy and precision on a daily basis, there is simply no better saw out there. But for everybody else, that high price tag might be a reasonable deterrent. Regarding sheer quality of performance though, we feel that Festool has no equal.

The Festool Kapex KS 120 is a dream machine for many professional woodworkers out there, and for a good reason. No other miter saw comes close to the Kapex regarding cut quality and precision. Nonetheless to be completely honest, Festool products in general, and the Kapex KS 120, in particular, tends to draw contrasting reactions from the woodworking circles.

While the saw has its fair share of fans, many rant against its price tag. Costing almost twice or thrice as much as other popular brand saws like Makita or DeWalt, there is a real question regarding its actual utility. Is this saw worth that extra dough? We will try to answer that million-dollar question as objectively as possible in this in-depth review of the Festool Kapex.

Festool Kapex – The Basics

This is a high-quality, dual-bevel, compound miter saw with a 10-inch blade on a highly mobile swing arm carriage. In a market filled with 12-inch miter saws, Festool has opted for a smaller 10-inch saw blade for multiple reasons which we will elaborate on in the next section. The saw comes with dual lasers, a hold-down clamp, angle transfer device, and a wrench.

10-inch Blade with a 12-inch Cut

​​​Festool opted for a 10-inch blade for a multitude of reasons. Chief among them was improved precision on cuts, with much less chance of wobbles. This is a common issue with larger 12-inch blades, mainly due to an increase in the run out on the bearings. The 60-toothed high-quality carbide blade installed on the Festool Kapex has none of those issues, delivering the smoothest cut possible.

And to compensate for the smaller size of the blade during vertical cuts, Festool has an ingenious system which utilizes the back portion of the blade. With the press of a button, the blade housing hitches up a couple of inches, increasing the vertical cut-depth of the blade to almost 4-and-5/8 inches, which is almost comparable to a 12-inch blade.

Lightweight, Ultra-Portable Design

The smaller blade also results in an ultra-portable miter saw weighing in at just 47lbs. The aluminum base has handy slots on both sides which can be used to grip the machine. Yes, we found the miter-saw to be a tad cumbersome while carrying by hand. But still, it is one of the more portable designs around for easy workplace transport.

Miter Slides, Angles & Bevel Adjustment

The carriage on the Festool Kapex 120 can slide backward and forwards, pull up and down, twist for those bevel cuts, and tilt both ways for angled cuts. All the movements and motions were smooth and flawless. The mechanism is spring-loaded for extra stability. The angles are very clearly marked and precisely measured, right down to degree fractions for extra precision. All adjustments to the blade can be locked down using the miter lock easily for maximum accuracy.

Dual Lasers

Unlike regular miter saws, the Kapex is armed with dual lasers on both sides of the blade for maximum precision. These lasers are bright, and the factory settings are so accurate, we feel that they should work out of the box for 99% of all situations. And if they do require adjustments, the design allows for modifications by the user. The lasers are not battery powered and use the power from the plug in the outlet.

Powerful Motor with Variable Speed

The Kapex 120 has a 1,600 watt, 120-volt direct drive motor, capable of attaining speeds between 1400-3400 RPM. The variable speeds can be controlled using a knob at the top of the blade head. Though quite uncommon in miter saws, the variable speeds help the Kapex 120 handle multiple materials like PVC and aluminum better. With slower speed settings, we found that the blade could avoid heating up/melting these materials, for a smoother cut.

Feature Packed Design

The main thing that stands out from a design perspective is the color coding used by Festool on this miter saw. All the movable pieces, like knobs, levers, and buttons are shaded bright green, which stands out starkly in the black background. This provides useful visual cues to quickly identify the controls. We did find two minor inconsistencies, with a level or two mission the green treatment. That seems like a small oversight on the part of Festool.

Advanced Safety Features

Subject to strict EU regulations, the safety features on the Festool saw goes beyond what we find on other major brands, which can be a bit of a bother at least initially. Pressing the trigger doesn't automatically fire up the blade, and this can take some time to get used to. It will slow down experienced workers, but workplace safety is always an important issue, and the Kapex is indeed safer than almost all other miter saws out there.

Best Dust Collection Figures

Festool promises 91% efficiency in dust collection with their design and more or less delivers on that front. Dust can be a major hassle for on-site cleanup, especially when handling work-sites that are also living areas. And in the long-term, exposure to wood dust can also contribute towards lung ailments. Festool offers maximum safety against dust, and also makes cleanup that much easier.

There is an integrated dust hood and swiveling port which takes away almost all the dust from the blade. For best results, this model requires a 36mm hose on the dust extractor used, although 27mm hoses will also work.

Available Accessories & Add-ons

The following are some of the top accessories for the Kapex 120. They add to the functionality of the miter saw in a myriad of ways:


Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Delivers the best cut among all miter saws
  • Best dust extraction
  • Most precise and accurate compound miter saw
  • Very portable and lightweight design
  • Dual lasers

Cons:

  • Most expensive compound miter saw
  • Minor build quality issues

Festool 495387 Fine Tooth Cross Cut Saw Blade Review

The Kapex Compound Miter Saw comes armed with a 60-tooth durable carbide blade. Since the saw has a proprietary design, branded Festool replacement blades are essential for safety and optimum results. This is a replacement blade for the Kapex 120, made by the manufacturer in Germany. Since that miter saw uses 10-inch blades, this blade is also around 10-inches in size.

Ideal for a cleaner cut

When it comes to saw blades, tooth number determines how smooth and clean the cut is, providing all else is the same. The larger the number of teeth in the blade, the cleaner the cut will be. This fine-tooth blade from Festool is armed with 80 teeth, which is 20 more than the standard blade the miter saw comes with.

The standard blade is a decent all-rounder, but if you are facing issues related to tear out, this blade might be a better choice. This blade is best suited for both hard and soft kinds of wood, as well as veneered plywood, sheet goods, and melamine.


Oversized Arbor (30mm)

Saw blades need to be securely anchored to the saw for the best results while cutting. Loose blades will result in rough and imprecise cuts, with a higher chance of wobbles and chattering. A larger arbor on this Festool blade allows for a firmer grip within the saw, which reduces the chance of vibrations or chatter. The end result is a much smoother cut and precise finish.


Thin Kerf & Offset Tooth Design

With a higher number of teeth, a saw blade will encounter increased resistance from the material being cut. To compensate for this tendency, this blade has been designed with a thinner 2.5mm kerf. A kerf of a saw blade is the slot or channel it leaves in the material as it is being cut. With thinner kerf, there is less resistance on the blade. It also results in less wastage, as less amount of the material is being removed by the blade.

The blade also incorporates a unique offset design, called Alternating Top Bevel (ATB). This design enables the blade to make alternate cuts, first to the left and then the right side of the target material. The result is a more efficient and cleaner cut, regardless of the type of material.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Provides a really smooth finish
  • Thin kerfed for less wastage
  • Oversized arbor for increased stability
  • Efficient cutting with ATB design
  • 3-year warranty

Cons:

  • Not suitable for thicker vertical cuts on tougher materials
  • Proprietary design for the Kapex Saw

Verdict

The Kapex 120 from Festool is an outstanding saw. The standard 60-tooth blade it is equipped with is an all-rounder, capable of delivering good results on all woods and materials. But in those instances where a smoother cut is needed, the 80-tooth blade will offer a better finish. And since it is a quality product from the manufacturer, the original warranty on the Kapex 120 saw is in no danger of being voided either.

Festool 497454 UG-KA-Set Kapex Portable Stand Review

The Kapex 120 Miter Saw is a very lightweight and portable product in its right. In worksite situations where a more mobile miter saw solution is required, this portable stand with extensions provides a great option. This is an accessory for the Kapex 120 KS Saw, sold separately by Festool. We will provide an in-depth review, including its pros and cons in the coming sections.

A Mobile Base

This stand can be used on worksites where a suitable workbench or table surface is not available for the Kapex Miter Saw. In its collapsed configuration, the stand works like a secure cart with two wheels for the Kapex saw. In fact, this cart can be used to securely transport the Miter saw, once it is strapped onboard. The whole thing is very easy to move around when collapsed, thanks to the roller wheels on the cart. Setting up the stand is incredibly easy, just a matter of a minute's work or less. The entire process can be completed by hand, without the aid of any special tools.

Stable Extensions

When packed, the left and right extensions are encased together in plastic caps and sit snugly on the cart/stand. Once unpacked, they can be slid into place and secured to the Kapex saw mounted on the stand. This process does not require any tools, either. For best results, we recommend that the stand and extensions be placed on a level surface. The adjustable legs on the extensions should provide extra stability on slightly uneven surfaces, but there is, of course, a limit to that. The extensions will not provide adequate stability on surfaces that are really rough or uneven.

Best for smaller moldings

Even though the extensions can be expanded from the standard 58 inches to over 94 inches if needed, the stand is best suited for smaller, shorter moldings. For the longer workpieces, the extensions should have been a little wider for better performance and support.

Minor Shortcomings

The lack of crown stops can be an issue for some users. Even more serious though, is the use of the metric system on the extension markers. US users would surely want something more familiar, in the form of the established imperial system they use and prefer. The tires on the stand could also have been a bit larger, along with the lines of comparable products manufactured by rival brands.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Very compact footprint
  • Easy way to transport the Festool miter saw
  • Stable and convenient work platform
  • Excellent fit and finish
  • Requires no tools to set up
  • Three-year manufacturer warranty

Cons:

  • Uses the metric system
  • Not suitable for longer moldings/running trim
  • Wheels are a bit small

Verdict

The Kapex portable stand could have been designed better, and there is no hiding from that fact. But that does not mean that this is an inferior product. It is a great accessory for the high-performance product that is the Kapex 120 miter saw from Festool. The main strength of this stand is the mobile work platform it provides. For that alone, it is well worth the asking price. The extensions are a minor disappointment because we have come to expect more from the Festool brand. On their own, they are good, but not Festool great.

Festool 584174 CT SYS Dust Extractor Review

Dust extraction is an important process at work-sites. Woodworking can generate considerable amounts of dust, which can cause long term health issues for exposed workers. The OSHA has strict guidelines regarding respiratory protection in such work environments. The Festool CT SYS dust extractor is an interesting little product, compatible with OSHA standards, but being a bit on the smaller side, it does have its limitations. We will address these concerns in our in-depth review.

Compact Package

The CT SYS is not designed for heavy-duty tasks that generate a lot of dust. It could never handle large volumes of particles efficiently with its smaller bag capacity. Festool intends this to be an ultra-portable model, ideal for smaller tasks that generate less dust. It is designed for those situations where woodworkers, painters or re-modelers need a highly mobile dust extractor that they can carry around the work-site for small tasks.

Systainer Advantage

Weighing in at just 15 lbs or thereabouts, this Festool dust extractor packs into two Systainer boxes that stack together, one on top of the other. The bottom box houses the motor, filter, bag, and hose tools. The hose itself is housed in the top box, along with the power cord.

The boxes come with a convenient carry handle as well as a shoulder strap. We found the carry handle to be more than adequate for on-site movement. And being a Systainer, it integrates extremely well with any other Festool product that comes with the system, both for storage as well as transportation. For instance, this Festool dust extractor can be stacked onto a Festool Systainer cart for extra mobility.

HEPA Filter

This is one of the few tools in its size category to come armed with a high-quality HEPA filter. This filtration system works to a higher standard of efficiency than regular filters and can remove 99.99% of dust and minute particles. It will get rid of any particle larger than 3 microns in size. On the downside, the filters are much more expensive than regular filters, which can be found three times cheaper at around $20.

Loud but not too loud

The noise rating at 67 decibels is not ear splitting, but it is not too silent either. We would definitely recommend some ear protection, especially since this extractor will be working in conjunction with other noisy power tools.

High CFM from a small motor

Due to size considerations, this model has a modestly powerful 8.3 Amp motor at its core. But despite its petite dimensions, the engine can really punch above its weight. The airflow rating for this dust extractor is quite high at close to 110 CFM. Though it is quite less than the 130+ CFM ratings on the larger Festool dust extractor models, it is still adequate for smaller tasks.

Efficient Automatic Tool Start

The CT SYS has an onboard 'auto start' outlet and a dedicated AUTO setting. All we had to do was plug in a tool into this outlet. Once the tool is powered with its trigger, the extractor also powers on. We did notice a delay of just a few seconds before the automatic start kicks in, but it was not a letdown in any way. In fact, the start mechanism is quite smooth and jerk-free.

Faultless Performance

The stated efficiency figures are no gimmick. This extractor worked extremely well when used for small scale projects. The dust collection bags are what pegs this machine back. In reality, it could very easily handle larger tasks involving more dust, but the small bags will get filled pretty quickly. But for small scale sanding and other power tool related tasks, this is a great extractor with excellent suction and a great set of features. It also integrates well with power tools from Festool as well as any other brand. The only limiting factor is the power drawn by the tool; it should not exceed 12 Amps. That should include many of the Festool tools, though the Kapex 120 Miter Saw is sadly not one of them due to its higher power rating.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Extremely compact and easy to carry around
  • HEPA filter
  • Relatively less noise
  • Uses the Systainer system
  • Auto Start functionality

Cons:

  • Price
  • Cord storage is rather messy
  • Small capacity collection bag

Verdict

The Festool CT SYS is certainly a product that offers excellent value, despite or because of a rather steep price tag. It is a specialized product. For regular shop-work, Festool has dust extractors in larger sizes. The CT SYS is specifically designed to handle low-intensity work at different locations on-site. It is extremely lightweight, easy to carry, and integrates well with other Systainer based Festool power tools. The HEPA filters offer significantly more protection than other similar sized products. It is an excellent choice, all the more so if the buyer already has other Festool products in their workshop/garage.

Festool 494369 Kapex Miter Saw Crown Stop Review


Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Excellent fit and finish
  • Works well with the Miter Saw
  • Improves the functionality of the saw
  • Easy to mount
  • Provides extra functionality options

Cons

  • Will have to buy two pieces separately for maximum benefit
  • Expensive
  • Festool extension tables for the Miter Saw are incompatible with this product

Verdict

We found the Crown Stop and base extension to be a vital add-on for crown molding jobs. In a perfect world, Festool would have provided these along with the Miter Saw. But we cannot fault them for monetizing on accessories in this way, especially since they are optional extras that add value to the saw. However, we do wish that they had provided two crown stops and base extensions in a single package. That would have helped buyers avoid the hassle of buying two separately.

Also, the fact that these do not work in tandem with the extension tables sold by Festool for the same Miter saw comes as a bit of a surprise. If that was an oversight from Festool, they really should look at that in the future. Barring these issues, the Crown Stop+Base Extension is a worthy add-on to the Festool Miter Saw.

Festool TS 55 REQ Track Saw Review

A track saw, or a "plunge saw" as some people call them, is a great alternative to regular table saws and circular saws on jobs that need long and accurate straight cuts on sheet goods. Festool was the company responsible for the original design for the first ever track saw nearly four decades ago. So, they have more experience and expertise than any other brand in this particular field. With a host of useful improvements and tweaks over its predecessor, the TS 55 REQ is a testament to the way Festool evolves their products. In this in-depth review, we will check the features and capabilities that make the Festool track saw such a coveted product in the market.

Improved Depth Control

Since we can use a track saw with or without its guide rails, the dual depth controls offer extra precision. There are two separate settings and scales, one for use when the saw is on the guide rails, and another without the rail offset designed for use when the saw is used on its own. This system ensures that the saw will cut only the precise depth as required by the operator. Though the measurements are in the metric system by default, the track saw does have the option to stick an imperial scale on top of the metric system, ideal for US customers. The scales allowed us to cut to the accurate fractions of an inch.

Comes in a Systainer

It is said that a lot of Festool customers buy this brand for their Systainer system, and we can't blame them. The Systainer system is a real masterpiece of utilitarian design. These containers make storage, management, and transport of power tools and equipment a real breeze. The TS 55 REQ is designed to fit into a single Systainer with all its parts except the guide rails. The package comes with a standard 55" rail which will have to be transported separately. The Systainer box offers excellent value, and can be stacked on top of other Festool Systainers, or even onto the Systainer cart.

Clean and Accurate Cuts that Stay Flush

The built-in splinter guard ensures that the sheet material does not splinter during the cutting process. This feature is provided on the side of the cut line. Though it works extremely well, we did wish that it was transparent, as this would allow a clearer view of the actual cutting edge. The potential for kickbacks is kept to a minimum by the inclusion of a riving knife. This knife is spring loaded and descends before the actual blade. The design allowed us to stay on top of existing cuts with a high degree of accuracy. With just half an inch of offset left by the housing of the saw on the cutting face, this saw can be used easily on edges and close to walls.

Best In Class Dust Management

Festool has added a unique dust port with a swiveling action. Dust hoses can often get in the way of power tools, especially track saws in motion. The swiveling port helped us have an easier time dodging the hose or simply keeping it out of the way. As with most modern power tools, the Festool track saw is designed to work with a dust extraction system. Festool themselves have some excellent dust extractors in their product range, and this saw is designed to work with them, as well as any other compatible saw out there. We found the system to be extremely efficient, with almost 90% of the dust removed.

Powerful Motor with Variable Speed

The 10 Amp motor is rated at 1200 watts. It has a variable speed setting option, with power output ranging from 2,000 to 5,200 RPM on the high-quality carbide blade. Variable settings allow this track saw to work well on a wide range of sheet materials, ranging from hard and soft woods to melamine, plastics, and much more. Matching a material with its optimal blade speed minimizes the chances of splintering or melting, and ensures a smoother and cleaner cut.

Optional Accessories

Festool makes it a point to bundle their power tools with many optional extras and accessories that add to the utility and functionality of their tools. One of the more notable options includes a Parallel Guide Extension Set (model P00108), which helps speed up the process of creating consistent rip cuts. The set contains the following pieces:

  • Parallel guides
  • Parallel guide extensions

Another great option that might be useful is the Accessory kit, which includes a lot of really useful parts, and comes in its very own Systainer box. The components provided in the box include:

  • an Angle Unit protractor for cutting at angles
  • a Limit Stop to attach to the track rail
  • Guide Rail Connector Set to connect rails for longer cuts
  • Clamps (2) to hold the rails
  • Deflector to help the hose and cable stay clear of the saw blade
  • a replacement Splinter Guard

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Clean and accurate cuts
  • Works with different materials equally well
  • Systainer packing
  • Lots of accessories
  • Excellent dust management
  • Accurate depth cutting

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Has a shallower cut than some competitors
  • Power cord is a minor inconvenience at times

Verdict

Festool is the creators of the original track saw, and their experience shows in the way this track saw is designed. It delivers consistently smooth cuts and comes with a host of great tweaks and upgrades. All Festool tools are expensive but deliver excellent value for money. And the Festool track saw is no exception. This is a great tool for professionals as well as the discerning amateur for tasks involving sheet materials and thinner wood panels.

Check Price


There are mainly two different Festool circular saw models out there. One is the extremely popular TS 55 REQ, a plunge saw ideal for dealing with sheet materials. However, for carpenters and woodworkers who need something more powerful, something that can deal with sheets and thicker woods equal aplomb, the TS 75 EQ is the tool of choice. It is larger, has more power, and has a bigger blade than the TS 55, but it also shares many of the critically acclaimed features found in its smaller sibling. In this review, we will put the TS 75 through its paces to figure out if all that extra power and size is worth the extra cost.

A Bigger Motor

The 13 Amp motor at the heart of this circular saw gives it a serious power bump over the 10 Amp motor found on the TS 55. The TS 75 is capable of hitting a peak blade speed of 3550 RPM. This is slower than the TS 55, but understandable given the larger blade size on the TS 75. It also has variable speeds, with the RPM ranging between 1350 and 3550. This means that like the TS 55, the TS 75 is also capable of delivering consistent results with a broad range of materials, both soft and hard.

A Bigger Blade and a Deeper Cut

The blade on this circular saw is larger than its sibling, and delivers a maximum cutting depth that is three-quarters of an inch deeper. Instead of cutting individual sheets, the TS 75 can be used to cut stacks and even thicker pieces of hardwood with that 8.25" carbide blade. The standard blade provided as part of the package has 36 teeth. Changing the blades is an easy and swift process, and Festool has several different types of blades with varying numbers of teeth to fit different purposes. The maximum cutting depth without a rail is 2-3/4 inches, which is rather low when compared to other brands. The TS 55 also faced this same issue.

Systainer Compatibility

Despite its larger size, the TS 75 is also packaged in a Systainer box, which only serves to increase its desirability. Systainers are one of the main hallmarks of Festool power tools, a feature that many buyers look forward to. It allows for easy storage and transportation of this Festool circular saw, and it also integrates smoothly with other Systainer based Festool products.

Smooth and Straight Cuts

The TS 75 comes armed with a plastic splinter guard on the cutting side. It helps reduce the chance of potential splintering by clamping down on the workpiece surface as the saw blade cuts through it. This removable piece is in addition to the rubber guards built into the guide rails. The combination of these two helps to eliminate tear outs on the sides of the cut line.

The 75-inch guide rail bundled with the saw assures perfectly straight lines on all the cuts. There is less risk of material waste, which is an important consideration when dealing with precious woods. The smooth and unburnt cuts also ensure that less time is wasted on prepping the parts before glue can be applied.

Reduced Risk of Kickbacks

The Festool saw uses several features to reduce the danger of kickbacks. There is a riving knife at the bottom, with a spring-loaded mechanism. This knife stays ahead of the cutting blade, keeping the kerf open. This helps avoid the chance of the two sides of the material pinching the blade, leading to vicious kickback. In the off chance of a pinched blade, the advanced slip clutch kicks in to prevent kickback, adding an extra layer of safety. This clutch is also designed to reduce the wear on the mechanicals.

Depth Cut Accuracy

The adjustable settings for the blade depth ensured that we got the most precise cuts at exactly the depth we wanted. The scale on the saw has large and easily visible figures, though unfortunately, they use the metric system. The scale allowed us to set the depth down to fractions of an inch. For precise woodworking, this saw is an excellent choice.

Heavier Saw

If there is one notable negative aspect which we feel we need to highlight, and it is the extra weight on this TS 75, when compared to the TS 55 REQ. At around 13.6 lbs, the TS 75 is four pounds heavier than the smaller TS 55 REQ, and it can have an impact during tasks. Young and healthy operators should have no issues using this saw, but the older ones may start feeling the pinch pretty soon. Even with good fitness levels, extended work sessions with the TS 75 may prove to be quite challenging.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Powerful saw with a deep cut
  • Comes in a Systainer
  • Can cut any kind of wood, up to a max thickness of 3 inches
  • Advanced protection from kickback
  • FastFix system for easy change of blades
  • Delivers a smooth cut with zero splintering

Cons:

  • Larger and heavier
  • More Expensive
  • Other brands deliver deeper cuts

Verdict

When it comes to picking a Festool circular saw, the contest is between the TS 55 and the TS 75. We feel that the TS 75 is a solid choice when the situation calls for a versatile and powerful plunge saw that can handle pretty much anything, be it sheet materials or thicker wood planks. It has an excellent feature list and boasts a good selection of accessories to choose from. For light duty tasks that involve only sheet materials, the faster TS 55 REQ may be a more economical choice. For everything else, the TS 75 wins quite convincingly.

Festool 574432 Domino Joiner Review

The Festool domino joiner uses a pivoting fence face plate to deal with angles between 0 – 90 degrees. The angle is adjusted using a lever on the left side of the face plate. There are stops at 22.5, 45, and 67,5-degree angles. Setting the angle is deceptively simple. The face plate can even be raised and lowered, depending on the situation, using another knob on the right side. The measurements are in the metric system, which can be a bit of a hassle for US consumers.

Multiple Width Options

Though the tenons are only available in single width configuration, the joiner drill bit is capable of creating mortises of varying widths. This is useful in situations where some wiggle room is required for the tenons. The width can be adjusted easily using a green knob on the joiner. There are three settings to choose from.

Excellent precision and speed

The drill bits make short work of mortises that would otherwise take hours to handle with other traditional tools. And since the joiner creates accurate mortises consistently, this can help save a lot of time.

Available in a Systainer

The DF 500 is sold as part of a Systainer package. This allows for seamless integration with other Festool power tools that use the system. Systainers are great for storage as well as transportation. They work extremely when used in conjunction with other similar Festool products.

Outstanding dust control

Dust eradication is one area where Festool has always excelled, and the Domino Joiner is no exception. The dust extraction port design is highly optimized and does a good job of removing at least 90% or more of the dust from the work site. Though Festool manufactures their own range of shop-vacs and portable dust extractors, the Domino joiner is not restricted to these options alone. It should work seamlessly with any dust extractor option with a compatible hose.

Essential Accessories

As is the case with all products from Festool, the Domino Joiner also comes with a slew of available add-ons and accessories. Among these, the following are the more important choices:

  • Trim stop: a plastic accessory that helps align the piece accurately; extremely useful when dealing with rails and stiles; it sits on the Domino fence.
  • Cross Stop: ideal for panel glue ups, and situations which require identical mortises on two work pieces
  • Cutter & Domino Assortment Kit: probably the most important accessory of them all; it includes all the different drill bits, as well an assortment of all the available tenon sizes sold by Festool; package arrives with its own Systainer

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Unique product
  • Extremely fast
  • Easy to use controls
  • Different settings to tweak
  • High-quality tenons available
  • Comes with a Systainer
  • Excellent dust collection

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Tenons are not super cheap

Verdict

The Domino Joiner is a unique tool. It is aimed mainly at professionals and Festool enthusiasts. If used on a daily basis, that price tag is well worth the benefits. The machine is capable of speeding up a time consuming and repetitive job like no other. No other machine replicates this, making the Domino Joiner the only option for woodworkers who need to speed up the creation of mortise and tenon joints. Coupled with the Systainer system and the fit and finish levels maintained by Festool, the Domino Joiner is a tool that is very easy to recommend.

Festool: Company History & Brand Overview

Festool Company Logo

Festool is German brand with a history that stretches back to over 90 years. The company was established by Gottlieb Stoll and Albert Fezer as a family business in 1925 under the name Fezer & Stoll. They are currently based in Wedlingen, Germany, as a subsidiary of the TTS ToolTechnic Systems.

Though they are not the most affordable products, to the discerning customer, Festool power tools remain the pinnacle of power tool engineering. Festool saws, sanders, drillers, and shop-vacs remain on the top of the inventory wish lists of both professionals and amateurs alike. When the job demands the perfect cut or finish, Festool power tools are often the only choice.

Innovation & Evolution

The brand is well known for their innovations and breakthroughs in the field of power tools. From the first mobile chainsaw designed in the 1920s to the vibrating sander in the 1950s to the first ever circular plunge saw (1960s), Festool has been at the forefront of R&D in power tools. Their recent achievements include the first ever mortising machine and the first compound miter saw, designed in 2006-07. The brand holds over 300 patents and have received 80+ awards in its history.

Trademark Design With A Cult Following

All Festool power tools are instantly recognizable due to their unique design philosophy. Rather than distinct standalone products, Festool tools are designed to work as part of a system. Power cords are interchangeable, and Festool shop-vacs will work with a broad range of compatible power tools. Modern Festool products also follow a distinct color-coded design that is more functional than aesthetic. All movable dials, buttons, knobs, and levers on their tools are shaded green, for easy identification and access.

However, the Systainer system is the embodiment of this philosophy, and one of the factors responsible for the cult-like loyalty the brand inspires among its users. This innovative storage system involves specially designed containers or boxes. These boxes are used to store the power tools, their accessories as well as other essential items. The boxes can be stacked securely on top of each other with latches securing them in place. They help with storage as well as easy transport of tools and accessories. The Systainer patent is held by Tanos, which is a sister company of the Festool brand, owned by TTS Tooltechnic Systems.

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