Author Topic: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation  (Read 1343 times)

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Offline Alan B

  • Posts: 4
Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« on: January 29, 2019, 02:56 PM »
I am new to the Forum because I've recently "converted" to Festool.  I bought the DF500 Domino about a month ago and used it successfully to make a kitchen dresser for my son and daughter-in-law.  Everything works well except when trying to "lock on" the switch.  The switch moves ok initially and the motor operates as expected but when I try to push the switch further to lock the switch in the locked-on position, there is so much resistance that when the tool is in the vertical position, the tool moves on the work piece.  This didn't seem correct so I sent it back to the supplier and they sent it onto a UK Festool repair centre.  When I spoke to the technician at Festool, he agreed that the switch was difficult to use but told me it was similar to the other domino he had in the workshop. When it was returned back to me today, it is no different to when I sent it for repair.
My question is how is it that a quality tool like a Festool Domino can have such a switch that is so difficult to use?
Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

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Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1220
Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2019, 03:08 PM »
IIRC the trick is to push that type of switch somewhat downward at the front end to lock it to 'on' - trying to push it from the middle (as one could suspect by the finger resting nicely there) dosn't work that well and results in it not locking.

Offline jjowen

  • Posts: 118
Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2019, 08:40 PM »
It is not a good design; you can push the bit into the material as you are trying to lock the switch on. Sometimes I switch and lock the DF500 on before approaching the material. You will find with more practice it will become easier to manage.
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Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 857
Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2019, 09:34 PM »
Having used the DF500 vertically many times, I agree the switch design is unnecessarily bad. Can't it be made just like any of the (any brand) router switches? Why is the hard push needed to engage the motor?

Offline Matty04

  • Posts: 33
Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2019, 12:20 AM »
Second that

Offline usernumber1

  • Posts: 29
Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2019, 02:46 AM »
i'd give $50 to festool just for a better part; something that fits that cavity and is a simple on/off switch. i'll install it myself

Offline Alan B

  • Posts: 4
Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2019, 04:53 AM »
Thankyou to all who replied.  It sounds like the switch is not a good design.  I did contact another Domino user (an online user) and he hasn't had this issue with the switch but he had heard that others had experienced similar issues.  He suggested a bit of lubrication under the button to help the button slide.
My workaround was to start and lock the switch before I presented the machine to the work but this is not a particularly nice way of working.  I have tried all sorts to alternative finger positions but it still feels wrong to apply so much pressure to lock-on the switch.

Because I've had it for only a few weeks, I'm going to try for an exchange machine and hope it's a better one.  If enough people raise the issue with Festool, they may consider a better design.  It's such a shame because the results are great.  I'm sure you all know that.

I'm also trying to find someone local who has a Domino so I can compare the two machines.

I'll keep you posted.

Offline NL-mikkla

  • Posts: 294
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Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2019, 05:52 AM »
I have the same, as stated earlier, with more practice it will become more easier

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 800
Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2019, 07:04 AM »
I think we all agree that the switch is not user friendly. Here are the steps I use when working with the DF-500;

1- Mark your board, set up the depth/fence and cutter to be used,
2- Hold vertically the DF-500 away from the board and move forward the switch (make sure you apply force ONLY on the tip of your thumb),
3- Align the machine against your mark and hold firmly on the board,
4- Push gently* on the machine (I have my hand midway on the plug-it cord),
5- Push back slowly** and give a 2 seconds to the CT-Vac to evacuate the dust,
6- Leave the machine running between mortises.

Compare to a biscuit jointer, this is a precision tool. To reach a maximum of precision, take your time.

*With a harder wood, slow the penetration movement.
**More or less but give the vac the time to suck that saw dust.

The DF-500 is a fantastic tool and like any tool it requires practice.

Good luck
Mario

Offline mcooley

  • Posts: 234
Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2019, 11:03 AM »
Imagine if all we had to do was push a button! And maybe a couple locations of buttons given the tool is used in different hand positions. If the 500 ever gets updated this must be on their list. Along with a light or at least high visibility plastic for the cross-hair. Can't tell you how many times a shadow blocks out the line etc. Why they never came out with a $15 retrofit for the plastic cross-hair seems strange. A simple enough fix.

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 732
Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2019, 11:29 AM »
I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who has trouble with the switch on the DF500.  I kinda thought it was just me because I have small hands so it's a little hard for me to reach the button while trying to hold the tool at the same time.
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Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1641
Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2019, 11:51 AM »
Like many others I also dislike this type of switches. I have the same on my angle grinder, equally awful.

Offline travisj

  • Posts: 325
Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2019, 11:56 AM »
I wish the orientation of the switch was the opposite (switch would slide away from the workpiece to turn on).  I realize this would cause people to have issues with turning the Domino off accidentally when they were plunging.  Maybe a sideways oriented switch would have been better.


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Offline mcooley

  • Posts: 234
Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2019, 01:40 PM »
Or maybe the plunging motion itself would turn it On/Off. Seems quite possible. But an actual switch could be for telling it to either stay On or Off after each plunge. In general, more AI on all of their tools seems in order. Machine learning could also tell the user if it is level or not. Or simply an analogue level for doing thin stock. Putting it near the cross-hair would be ideal.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5596
Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2019, 02:53 PM »
I learned the hard way, when I first used the 500 I presented it to the board and then tried to actuate the switch. I had to push so hard that the switch activated and I also plunged at the same time...not good.
Sometimes the switch lever will actually flip out at a 90 degree angle and then I have to reinstall the item.

I now just turn it on before I’m ready to plunge and do all of the alignment while it’s running. It’s a lot easier to deal with.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 857
Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2019, 04:15 PM »
I don't think it is a good idea to turn on the machine before positioning the machine at least on two occasions: milling mortises on the vertical boards for fixed shelves, and using the intersecting lines technique. The vibrations from the machine will make positioning or fine adjustments unnecessarily harder.

Offline Alan B

  • Posts: 4
Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2019, 05:55 PM »
Thanks for all the comments.  It sounds like there is an issue with the switch but you use a workaround to overcome the shortcomings.  I have contacted Festool in Germany about the stiff switch plus the vibration I am experiencing with the new TS55 and they have been very helpful.  I sent them videos of the issues and they have arranged for a UK-based rep to visit me to help resolve the issues I have experienced.  I'll update the forum with a further update hopefully within a week.

Offline Dick Mahany

  • Posts: 421
Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2019, 07:28 PM »
I recently saw one of Sedge's Instagram tips where when in the vertical position he "pinched" the switch on.  He even made note of that in the video.  I tried it recently and indeed it makes it easier to turn on the machine without causing the DF500 to move out of position.   

I really dislike that switch very much and I thought I was the only one, but looks like I'm in good company.

Domino tip
« Last Edit: March 10, 2019, 07:46 PM by Dick Mahany »

Offline jonnyrocket

  • Posts: 15
Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2019, 12:03 AM »
@Dick Mahany
Thanks for linking to that video. I wouldn’t have understood what you meant by “pinch” without it. 
But more importantly, that Fj40 has left me speechless...mainly because I’m too busy drooling.

Offline Dick Mahany

  • Posts: 421
Re: Domino DF500 Stiff Switch Operation
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2019, 10:26 AM »
@Dick Mahany
Thanks for linking to that video. I wouldn’t have understood what you meant by “pinch” without it. 
But more importantly, that Fj40 has left me speechless...mainly because I’m too busy drooling.

Glad that Sedge's tip was informative.  He's a wealth of quick and useful information on the Domino.

As far as the FJ40.....good eye, its a 1975 fitted with a 6.2L Chevy stroker and TH400 trans.  Most fun ride ever.