If you are in the woodwork field, you will understand the importance of improved productivity. The competition is real and severe, and for you to remain at the top, then you must engage your skills and brains at best. People are nowadays so particular with getting fabulous items that those who remain with the traditional methods are finding it tough. You can even call it quits unless you have the best tools.
The dowel jigs are some of the tools that you cannot do without if you must remain relevant in this field. The dowels are useful and discreet in the strengthening of joints where regular nails can’t be used. However, if done manually, dowelling can be both difficult and time-consuming. You may not have all the time and patience for such tasks, and there is, therefore, the need for the right tools. With the best dowel jigs, it will not only be easy, but you will also get to enjoy what you do. We thought about you, and that’s why we are here to guide you. READ this guide and choose what suits your situation:
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Dowel Jigs
Several factors influence the type of tool that you select, and it is, therefore, necessary to know what to look for. Before embarking on the selection process, you need to know where to start from to save on time and avoid the wrong items that you may not need. The following factors are worth considering.
- Personal preferences
As with all other tools, your personal preference and purpose play a significant role when choosing the right dowel jig. Since various models are suitable for specific needs, you need to pick the tool according to your job. Most of these devices have more than one bushing size, and you should select the number of bushings according to what you do,
When choosing a dowel jig, it is vital to look at some aspects that make them accurate. The tool needs to have the right clamp system that ensures its stability and safety when in use. The model that you pick should also have a self-centering system that helps to make it easy and automatic aligning your device. The build construction of the tool can also not be left behind when it comes to accuracy. The metal sides and center block are usually machine-polished to make them perfectly flat hence provide you with high precision when working with any kind of edges, including those that are unevenly flat.
There are different sizes and shapes of dowel jigs that make the tools versatile. You should select a model that is capable of performing a wide range of dowelling tasks such as edge to edge, edge to the corner, or even T-joints. The versatility of these tools makes them perfect for working with furniture that needs joinery of different sizes typically.
- The Ease of Use
It is necessary to also look for a device that is easy to use while performing the dowelling tasks. The tool should not be too complicated that using it gives you stress. It should be user-friendly and ensure the safety of the user. The clamp system should not be difficult to handle, and it should have metal-reinforced bushings for drill bit as well as a self-centering system.
- The bushing size
The bushing size determines the size of the hole you to be drilled. If you are making large holes, then you need a more extensive tool for better performance. The number of bushings also determines the size of the device, and the choice you make will depend on what you do.
- The strength of the bushing material
The bushing of the dowel jig should be reinforced to prevent it from damages. It should be reinforced using a sturdy metallic material such as steel. The content should be long-lasting and should not be easily damaged.
Top 6 Dowel Jigs in 2020 (Best Picks)
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Summary of the Best 6 Dowel Jigs
Do you know that working with the best tools can give you perfect results that will promote your skills? It is, therefore, appropriate to do everything possible to purchase the most suitable. Selecting the best dowel jig may, however, take a lot of time and resources since there are several in the market. You may have to test a number of them or even spend time reading reviews on the internet, which may end up becoming tedious. Do you feel like it is too much? Relax! We have already done that for you and come up with a list of the top 6 tools that will help achieve your goal. READ on to get the detailed description of each machine and choose the perfect one:
KMA3200 Shelf Pin Drilling Jig by KREG
Ideal drill guide for shelving Provides hardened steel drill guides for accuracy A locating pin that helps you to reference the same mark with ease all the time Dual-position and flexible 1-inc and 2-inch fence with an ordinary hole spacing
KHI-SLIDE Drawer Slide Jig by Kreg
Installs drawer slides easily and fast Accurate slide position with in-built indexing tabs Versatile for use in cases, cabinets, and others Reversible to mount slides to drawer box and cabinet
1319 Joint-Mate – Handheld Dowel Jig by Milescraft
Allows for the fast and accurately dowelled corner, surface joints or edges
Has a self-centering jig and adjustable fence for accurate dowel alignment and maximum strength Metal bushings for precise alignment when drilling Minimum setup with no exposed or covered mechanical fasteners
DowelJIgKIt by Milescraft
Complete kit with dowel pins and bits Allows for a fast and precise dowelled edge, corner, and surface joints
Includes metal bushings for accurate alignment when drilling Steel dowel/Tenon centers for long-lasting and correct location marking of dowel holes
Fluted hardwood dowel pins with chamfered ends for adding strength and endurance
1323 pocket Jig200 Kit by Milescraft
Complete pocket hole kit with jig, screws, drivers and bit Built-in imperial and metric scales for you to easily measure the thickness
Includes a clamping magnet for easy securing of the jig Natural flip fence for setting the dance for any repairs
K5 Pocket – Hole Jig
Comes with a convenient front-mounted clamping grip
Connected to a ratcheting clamp mechanism that adjusts without lock or lock nuts A quick-release pin that holds drill blocks in position
Storage wings that provide built-in storage for bits, screws, and accessories
Stop-collar setting block that makes drill bit setup easy
a). KMA3200 Shelf Pin Drilling Jig by KREG
With the shelf pin jig, you can build custom shelves from scratch or add shelf pin holes to an existing piece of furniture. The tool has a hardened steel drill guides that deliver precise and straight drilling. It also has a dual-position flexible fence for placing custom holes as well as a locating pin for fast and accurate reference. You can quickly join multiple shelf pin jigs for high rate production work.
The backside of the jig has handy and safe storage space for the locating pin and the drill bit. You can add extra shelf pin holes to existing furniture or build tasks from scratch due to the tool’s compact size. If you need the added length for high speed, it is possible to connect multiple shelf pin jigs. It is also easy to see your pinholes 1-inch or 2-inches from the edges of the project by use of the built-in quick-switch fence.
- Tool-free quick-switch fence for easy viewing of pinholes
- Ordinary hole size and spacing
- Ideal for adding holes to existing furniture or building
- Hardened steel guide for accuracy
- In-built storage for locating pin, depth collar, and drill bit
- Removable dual-position fence
- 6-hardened steel drill guides
- Item weight: 10.9 ounces
- Product dimension: 4.2 x 2 x 8 inches
- Style: drilling Jig
- Material: steel and plastic
- Warranty Description: life warranty
Perfect for adding pinholes to shelves!
b). KHI-SLIDE Drawer Slide Jig by Kreg
The Kreg drawer slide jig is a perfect tool that helps you to install drawer slides fast and easily. The drawers slide smoothly and ideally all the time.The tool makes it possible for you to slides that are level, properly positioned, and also straight, thus causing them to operate well. The sliding jig can index with the cabinet frame for ideal alignment, hence taking the guesswork out of the process.
This tool makes it possible for you to install the cabinet correctly as it supports the drawer slide level and straight. It also clamps on while protruding from the office, thus offering support as you drive screws into the drawer box. The tool is suitable for both beginners and professionals since it is both intuitive and robust. You can either install a single or several drawers with fast and consistent results.
- A precise sliding position with built-in indexing tabs
- Repeatable results without measuring and marking
- Flexible for use in cabinets and cases
- Reversible to mount slides to the cabinet and drawer box
- Secure for holding slides in place while you work
- Item weight: 1.15 pounds
- Product dimensions: 16 x 5.8 x 4 inches
- Item model: KHI-SLIDE
- Style: drawer slide jig
- Material: plastic
c). 1319 JointMate – handheld Dowel Jig
The JointMate – handheld dowel jig helps you to perform a single handheld alignment and avoid measuring and marking. You can drill corners or edge joints without any hassle, thus complete your work faster. The tool also allows for a fast and precisely dowelled corner, surface joints, or edges, and you will hence complete your tasks within a short period. You will also achieve maximum strength due to the self-centering jig and adjustable fence that allow for accurate dowel alignment.
The device has metal bushings that ensure accurate alignment whenever you are drilling for ideal positioned dowels. There is also a minimal setup that does not have exposed or covered mechanical fasteners. You will thus have a flawless outcome on your drawers. The tool is compatible with ½-inch to 1-1/2-inch thick lumber.
- Self-centering jig and adjustable fence for accurate dowel alignment
- Metal bushings for accurate alignment when drilling
- Minimal setup with no exposed or covered mechanical fasteners
- Compatible with ½-inch to 1-1/2- inch thick lumber
- Item weight: 8 ounces
- Product dimensions: 10 x 4 x 2 inches
- Item model number: 1309
- Size: 1 pack
Ideal for all drilling!
d). DowelJigKit by Milescraft
DowelJigKit by Milescraft is a complete doweling kit that contains pins and bits. The tools kit allows you to make an accurately dowelled edge, corner, or surface joints quickly. It also includes metal bushings that help to ensure precise alignment when drilling to provide perfectly positioned dowels all the time. You also get steel dowel/Tenon centers for long-lasting and accurate location marking of dowel holes or in the second board being joined.
It is possible to add strength and endurance to your joined surfaces by use of the fluted hardwood dowel pins that have chamfered ends. You will have a variety of brad point drill bits from the 3-different sizes included i.e., 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch, or 3/8-inch. With all the bits and pins, you will achieve pinpoint accuracy and durable performance.
- Item weight: 1.8 pounds
- Product dimensions: 8.4 x 2.4 x 10.2 inches
- Color: the original version
- Material: polyethylene
- Item model number: 1309
Ideal for all doweling, whether you are a beginner or professional!
e). 1323 Pocket Jig 200 Kit by Milescraft
The pocket jig 200 kits are complete with dance, screws, bit, and drivers. It has built-in imperial and metric scales that allow you to measure the thickness of your workpiece with ease. It also has four standard board thickness settings that are built into the jig i.e., 1/2 – inch, 3/4 – inch, 1-inch, and 1-1/2- inch. It also contains an easy readout arrow that helps define the thickness of your board settings as well as to adjust it easily.
The kit includes a clamping magnet that enables you to secure the jig to your workpiece quickly. You can use any ordinary metal clamp for accuracy and speed. The jig kit is designed to simplify repairs with a secure flip fence that allows the jig to be set for repairs of any nature either at home or in your shop. The hardened steel drill bushings allow for accurate pocket holes whenever you are using the pocket bit.
- Built-in metric and imperial scales for easy measurement of thickness
- Four board thickness settings built into the jig
- Has a clamping magnet that allows you to secure the jig easily
- Designed with an easy flip fence for setting it to do repairs
- Hardened steel drill bushings for accurate pocket holes
- Item weight: 1.5 pounds
- Product dimensions: 2.2 x 1.5 x 7 inches
- Style: pocket Jig200 – old version
- Size: 1
- Item model number: 1323
- Color: black/red
- Material: metal and plastic
- Warranty Description: 3-year limited
Ideal jig kit for all doweling purposes!
f). K5 Pocket-Hole Jig by Kreg tool
The pocket-hole jig by Kreg tool is a dowel jig that makes it simple for you when you are ready to get started building. The device has the most straightforward workpiece clamping system with a ratcheting clamp that slides smoothly into place against the workpiece. It also has two large support wings that are attachable to both sides of the tool’s base, thus offering substantial support to long workpieces hence preventing them from tipping. There is also a large storage compartment under the lid in every wing for keeping the drill bits, accessories, and screws.
It is possible to keep your working area free from debris and chips by use of a removable dust port that swivels from side to side. You will position the dust port where you desire and attach it to a standard vacuum hose. The dust port also helps to prolong the life of the drill bit by reducing heat.
- Easy and quick setup setup
- Simple thickness adjustment
- Support with built-in storage
- Swiveling dust collection
- Adjustable workpiece stop that mounts on either side for simple repeat drilling
- Ratcheting clamp mechanism that adjusts without tools
- Storage wings for bits and accessories
- Front-mounted handle for easy clamping
- Item weight: 4.5 pounds
- Product dimensions: 23.5 x 9.5 x 5 inches
- Item model number: K5
- Style: Jig
- Color: blue and black
- Material: plastic
Simple and convenient tool for all pieces of work!
Frequently Asked Questions about Dowel Jigs
Using the best tools can be so fulfilling as you get to work efficiently and fast, hence enjoying what you do and getting a great outcome. Several questions, therefore, arise concerning dowel jigs that give the best result. Below is a sample of the FAQs and their answers:
Q. What is a dowel jig?
It is a device used for joining boards with dowel joints. They act as drill guides, and therefore they have metal bushings or sleeves for inserting the drill bits. The bushings help to hold the bit in the right place, both at the center of the workpiece and in the square of the edge you drilling.
Q. Is there any difference between a fixture and a jig?
Yes. A jig is a tool that controls the location or motion of another tool for accurate results. A fixture on the other hand, is a device that supports or holds you work in place.
Q. What are the benefits of using a jig?
A Jig helps to eliminate the setting time needed before machining hence making your work easy and fast. It also helps to increase the accuracy of machining as well as the production capacity. You do not need to have any skills to operate the device, and it thus reduces the production cost. You will increase machine and labor utilization, hence improve your productivity,
Q. What is a template jig?
It is the simplest type of jig that is a plate with several holes positioned in a pre-determined location. It aids in the manufacture of drilled parts quickly. It has a simple contour that is simply followed with first hand or power devices.
Q. What is a test jig?
Populated printed circuit boards (PCB) test jigs are devices customized to facilitate the probes of defined test points. They help to determine the anticipated outputs and inputs of the PCB. A test fixture is also used to secure the PCB in a solid grip for you to execute the probe.
Q. What are the functions of bushings in a jig?
Bushes are used to guide drills, boring tools, reamers, and other cutting tools. They also give support to devices that are delicate and slender, thus preventing them from breaking. They are hardened to RC 60-64 to reduce wear due to contact with hard rotating tools.
How to Use Dowel Centers
Choosing the best dowel jigs is a significant step towards working smarter and producing magnificent furniture and cabinets. The tools make it easy for you to drill screws where nails cannot work hence leaving your surface smooth and flawless. It is, therefore, necessary to be keen when selecting these devices to get the most suitable for your job. Before embarking on a journey of choosing these tools, you need first to know what you will be using them for as well as the budget set aside.
The tools come in different sizes and with varying numbers of bushings. You must select the size that matches your projects to use them efficiently. The device should be comfortable and safe to use, and one that enables you to mark locations simply. It should also be easy and fast to align the center lines and drills to give a better and improved outcome.
Do not be left behind; pick the best from our list that is ideal for your job and experience the joy of working smoothly! Take your skills a notch higher!