From our UK Distributor after attending the Harrowgate Woodworking Show in the UK, November 18, 2016
We did the Harrogate show, lots of interest and a few sales, which is what I anticipated. I have always felt that we are not in competition with other doweling jigs but with mortising systems i.e. Domino, chisel mortisers, router jigs etc. with the main one being the Domino so I took the opportunity to try it out on the Festool stand. I tried the larger machine which sells for £850 over here which although expensive looked quite good on the videos I have seen and it is certainly a big seller.
What an eye opener. I used it with the 10mm bit to cut mortises 25mm deep and was totally unimpressed with its handling and performance. Heavy, cumbersome, not fast and needing quite a lot of force to penetrate the material. This quite apart from the fact that the joints have to be marked out and the machine set up for depth, width and height of cut which is also time consuming. Making the stools I sell using Dowelmax I can cut about 50 joints an hour with no great effort. Using the Domino I doubt if I could do half this and would be exhausted at the end of it.
For speed of use, ease of use, speed of set up and accuracy the Dowelmax out performs the Domino every time. As for joint strength we already know that dowels are stronger and for larger projects it is easy to simply increase the number and length of the dowels. In fact with the smaller Domino the depth of cut is fairly limited thus limiting its use on heavier projects and requiring people to trade up to the larger machine. The success of the Domino is a testament to good marketing rather than good performance.
I have never been in favour of knocking other peoples products but if you were to shoot some videos of comparisons between Dowelmax and Domino illustrating the above points and also throw in some router mortise and chisel mortise examples I think it would go a long way to disabusing peoples positive view of the Domino compared to the Dowelmax.
Regards to All