Do you often build projects that require a large number of strong joints, such as dowel joints? If you are looking for a tool that automates the process and increases your efficiency, then you might have bumped into this tool, the Triton Duo Doweling Jointer. This tool is one of a kind, chance is none of your acquaintances own one. That’s why I decided to do the job for you and write this review.
So, is the Triton dowel jointer worth your money? Quick answer here: in my opinion, yes. For a good price, you’ll get a tool that will speed up your projects, by a lot. Its main qualities are its accuracy and versatility.
In this article, we are going to learn how it works, its main characteristics, the pros, and the cons (if any). Finally, we will draw conclusions and decide whether it’s worth buying or not. I will also give a couple of alternatives you might want to keep into consideration.
Alright, let’s get to it!
Triton Dowel Jointer Review
The tool I’ll be reviewing is the Triton TDJ600 Duo Dowelling Jointer.
This tool work in a similar way to biscuit joiners, if you are familiar with those. The TDJ600 exploits a plunge mechanism to cut two slots for dowel at the same time. It comes with a 5.9A, 710 W motor. Plenty of power for the job it has to do. No-load speed is 17000 rpm.
The package comes with two 5/16 and two 3/8 drill bits, manual, dust port adapter, and a hex key.
When cutting slots for dowels, precision is key for getting a reliable joint. With biscuits, for example, there’s some room for error. In this case, you need the holes to be perfectly perpendicular to the joining surface. On top of that, the slots on both pieces must be perfectly aligned. Here are some features of the Triton that guarantee a high level of accuracy:
- As I said before, alignment is key. the TDJ600 comes with a 3 line viewer that allows you to align the dowels correctly. For example, you can mark the center on both pieces to be joined, and align that to the central line.
- The base is perfectly square when the fence is at 90 degrees. Thanks to that, the tool delivers perpendicular cuts every time;
- To guarantee stable positioning, the base of the tool is equipped with rubber bumpers that prevent the tool from sliding. The bumpers are spring-loaded so that they don’t compromise the precision of the cuts.
- The fence can be moved with a rack and pinion system. That allows you to position the slots accordingly, based on the material thickness.
Another important area to evaluate is a tool’s versatility. Does the TDJ600 allow the required adjustments for different tasks?
- First of all, the dimension of the bits. The tool comes out of the box with a couple of 5/16 bits and two 3/8. Obviously, you can use different sizes if the project requires them;
- What about depth? It can be set at different levels, ranging from 0 to 1-1/2 inches. Matching the dowel’s length is very important to obtain a reliable joint. If the cut is too deep, you risk the dowel sliding in further than needed when joining the second piece, this resulting in an imbalanced and weaker connection.
- The standard spacing between cuts is 1-1/4 inches. Unluckily, that’s not adjustable. If you need to take smaller or bigger steps, you can simply cut 1 slot at a time. The standard spacing is usually good for most applications, though.
- Another great addition to the tool’s versatility is the adjustable fence. It has a range of movement from 0 to 90°. It allows you to cut angle joints easily.
The Triton TDJ600 is very safe to use. All the action is “hidden” if you want to use that word. That makes it very hard for things to go wrong. On top of that:
- A dust port makes it possible to connect the tool to a shop vac or a simple bag. That’s good to have since working in a clean shop is safer and also nicer;
- I’ve mentioned the rubber bumpers on the tool’s base before. Considering that they prevent the tool from moving while operating, they also contribute to the tool’s safety;
- Both handles are covered in rubber, offering a solid grip when cutting.
Finally, a couple of words on the tool’s ergonomics/user-friendliness:
- The TDJ600 is a pretty compact tool, and it only weighs around 6 lbs. That makes it easy to handle, even for extended usage;
- As mentioned before, the tool has a handle on top of it that allows you better control. To be honest, most of the time you’ll want to place your hand on the fence for additional stability. The handle comes in handy (you’ll pardon the pun) when using the tool vertically.
Finally, some considerations on the price. For a TDJ600 duo dowelling jointer, you’ll basically spend the same amount you would spend on a valid biscuit joiner. A very honest price for what the tool provides.
Triton Dowel Jointer Alternatives
As I mentioned before, this tool is pretty unique. There are a few alternatives, though. For example, Freud manufactures a similar dowel jointer, the FDW710K. It has similar features to the Triton version. For example, the adjustable fence to get angled joints, and the additional handle for improved stability. The price is also similar. Overall, a solid tool. The only downside is that it might be hard to get one since it’s out of stock most of the time. At least that’s my experience.
Another solid choice would be a Festool Domino Joiner. This tool is used to cut loose tenon joints, which are comparable to dowels in strength, plus they are also resistant to torque. Festool products are top-notch quality, and the Domino joiner is no exception. It’s a flawless tool that can be used for a variety of projects. Unfortunately, it’s way more expensive than Triton Jointer, about 5 times more. So it’s not suitable for every pocket.
If you need more ideas, I wrote an article about Domino Joiner alternatives, which also work pretty well for the Triton jointer. You might want to give it a read here.
After all these considerations, it’s time to wrap it up. In my opinion, this tool is a solid addition to make to a woodworking shop if you often use dowel joints in your projects. You’ll spare a lot of time since the TDJ600 is way easier and quicker to set up when compared to doweling jigs.
So what’s about all the negative reviews that can be found online? I was actually almost convinced not to get it after reading them. Then, I looked at the dates and noticed they were all from 2018 and prior years. The most recent reviews are almost all positives. I think Triton fixed the problems the tool had. For example, a common point against it was that the rubber bumpers on the base of the tool made it unstable and not square. That has been solved in recent models since the pins are now spring-loaded and retracts inside the body when you plunge the tool. Another thing many noticed was that the sliding movement was hard and kinda jerky. That’s also been solved, newer models are way smoother than before.
At the moment, there is no reason why you shouldn’t get a Triton duo dowelling jointer. Obviously, it would be unfair to compare it to a Festool domino, which costs way more. For what it gives, it’s worth the money. Check its price on Amazon.
That it’s for this Triton joiner review. I hope you learned something while you were here. See you in the next article!