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Author Topic: Domino cutter life  (Read 3653 times)

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Offline Jasonj888

  • Posts: 105
    • Blog about woodworking and family life.
Domino cutter life
« on: April 19, 2018, 05:06 PM »
I have a Domino 500 that I love - it streamlines my building process. I mostly use 5X30 dominos. I'm a part-time pro, so I go through about 600-1000 dominos per year. Festool says that the cutters last for 5,000-14,000 joints. I'm on my fourth bit since I purchased the machine. The first one was definitely my fault - I had to learn to use less pressure and a slower feed rate when cutting pockets, but since then I have went through less than 2,000 dominos (that would be 4,000 pockets, one for each side) and have burned up three bits. Usually the hardened tip breaks off the bit. I work primarily with red oak, a little hickory and veneer core plywood.

Anyone else have this problem? At $42 per cutter, it's costing me more than 3 cents to cut each domino pocket, plus the cost of the individual domino at about 8.5 cents. Is there a way to make the cutter last longer? Is anyone getting more life out of the cutters than I am? If not, the life of the cutter should be revised on the website and catalog.

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Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Domino cutter life
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2018, 06:11 AM »
Hi Jason

I have used a lot of 5 mm and 6 mm dominos but probably under 5,000 of each. I have had no issues with cutters despite hitting a brad with the 6 mm cutter a while ago.

Is there a chance that you might, as a busy professional, be plunging a dash too fast? This can put an extra strain on the cutter.

Peter

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2250
Re: Domino cutter life
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2018, 06:57 AM »
I've been using CMT cutters as I feel, like you that the Festool cutters are way too expensive.  CMTs are half the price so I always keep extras on hand.

Re: Domino cutter life
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2018, 10:26 AM »
RST: I find I get around the same amount of holes out of my 5mm bit as you do, maybe even less. I haven't kept track of exactly how many 5x30's I have use up but I guess it is no more than five packets (300 each) that I have used up over the last three years.

That is still 3000 holes. But, I think I just wore out the second bit (maybe even the third) in those 3000 holes. I mostly do mdf and oak, some of the oak is tough but for the most part I am gentle with the machine.

Last project consumed about two to three hundred of them and the last twenty plunges were a bit frayed around the hole perimeter. It was teak veneer on mdf so I would say it does eat away on the bit even though it is a thin veneer.

But five thousand to fourteen thousand joints??! No way.

Out of the sizes I find that the 5mm bit is the one that is the weakest of them all in terms of longevity and most prone to chip/crack.
I think they all dull a little fast in oak but replacing the bits is so far between that I hardly remember and that is a good sign for sure. Or bad, considering my memory...   

My plunging technique has been refined over the years, it is a little different in different materials but I don't rush the plunges. Some materials are fast to plunge by nature and some materials benefit from a slightly slower plunge, but not too slow. 

I am sure you have the plunging worked in to your muscle memory by now if you go through a thousand plus a year.

I would be content with 3000 plunges for a bit if I knew for a fact it would cut well up until the last fifty or so. Though I can't say for sure as it hasn't been a highly debated topic for discussion among my fellow carpenters I think most think the bits dull a little too fast - but not to the point that they are too expensive.

I might look into CMT bits, don't mind a few extra 5mm bits.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2018, 10:35 AM by Henrik R / Pingvinlakrits »
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Offline Jasonj888

  • Posts: 105
    • Blog about woodworking and family life.
Re: Domino cutter life
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2018, 01:36 PM »
RST:

Out of the sizes I find that the 5mm bit is the one that is the weakest of them all in terms of longevity and most prone to chip/crack.
I think they all dull a little fast in oak but replacing the bits is so far between that I hardly remember and that is a good sign for sure. Or bad, considering my memory...   

 
I might look into CMT bits, don't mind a few extra 5mm bits.

I'm right with you Henrick - the other cutters seems to hold up really well. The 4 mm is more like a drill bit and I've never had a problem with it or an of the others.

Good thought from a couple of you on looking into the CMT cutters. I was stopped mid-project the other night due to a chipped 5 mm, I should just order a 5 mm CMT and keep it on hand.

I do hope that Festool checks into this and at least addresses how the bits are advertised. It sounds funny, but spending 3 cents to cut a domino pocket is too much.

Thanks!

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6098
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Domino cutter life
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2018, 06:06 PM »
I’ve gotten as many as 8000 plunges out of a 5mm bit and as few as 3. On average I’d be in the 2500 plunge range.

Had one month we went through 11 bits and 45,000 Dominios. I run 3 Dominos, they all perform the same.

Tom

Offline Jasonj888

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    • Blog about woodworking and family life.
Re: Domino cutter life
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2018, 07:03 PM »
Wow, that’s a lot of dominos! Have you tried the CMT bits? Wondering how they compare to the Festool bits. Thank you, I appreciate your insight.

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6098
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Domino cutter life
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2018, 08:59 PM »
Yep, a lot of Dominos, Tom was shipping me 5 boxes a week.

I find the CMT 5mm bit holds up better than the Festool. I’ve found no difference on the other sizes, they dull before they break.

Tom

Online dicktill

  • Posts: 321
Re: Domino cutter life
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2018, 09:21 PM »
Yep, a lot of Dominos, Tom was shipping me 5 boxes a week.

I find the CMT 5mm bit holds up better than the Festool. I’ve found no difference on the other sizes, they dull before they break.

Tom

Hi Tom,

Can either brand be resharpened? If so, is it worth the cost?

Thanks, Dick

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6098
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Domino cutter life
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2018, 10:59 PM »
I have heard they can be resharpened, I’be never had one sharpened.

Tom

Re: Domino cutter life
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2018, 11:22 AM »
Thanks for the insight Tom!

I am not too sure about sharpening Domino bits unless they stay true to size. My 5x30's are snug enough already.

If I end up around the 1000 connection region (2000 holes) I can swing a new bit and find it decent value for the money and if the CMT 5mm bits last a while longer and are cheaper I am happy with that as a benchmark.

I do find the "up to 14000 holes" claim ludicrous. Unless you are connecting clouds or meringue. ;)
 
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Offline Peter Parfitt

  • Magazine/Blog Author
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  • Posts: 4194
    • New Brit Workshop on YouTube
Re: Domino cutter life
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2018, 11:48 AM »
Thanks for the insight Tom!

I am not too sure about sharpening Domino bits unless they stay true to size. My 5x30's are snug enough already.

If I end up around the 1000 connection region (2000 holes) I can swing a new bit and find it decent value for the money and if the CMT 5mm bits last a while longer and are cheaper I am happy with that as a benchmark.

I do find the "up to 14000 holes" claim ludicrous. Unless you are connecting clouds or meringue. ;)

The cutter should be end sharpened only. When the DF500 cuts a slot it already allows about 2 mm for glue space. So, you can afford to loose up to 1 mm which should be 3 or 4 re-sharpenings. The slot width might get about 0.1 mm narrower and the height should remain the same.

Peter

Re: Domino cutter life
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2018, 01:03 PM »
Sounds reasonable Peter.

In my case it would be a case of an hour drive (return) to hand them in for sharpening plus the actual cost of sharpening whereas the bits are available five minutes from home. The CMT bits I can get ten minutes from home, twelve minutes if I stop at the redlights. ;)

But I guess saving up a few dull bits would make it worth the trip for resharpening.

I do have a Tormek T-4 but no experience sharpening bits.  [unsure]
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Offline Jasonj888

  • Posts: 105
    • Blog about woodworking and family life.
Re: Domino cutter life
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2018, 10:08 AM »
Excellent info all, I feel better knowing that my experiences are similar to others. I think I will order a CMT and have it in hand for the next failure.

Thanks!