A good dowel jig is an indispensable tool if you are a woodworker. This tool will help you to make dowels easily since they are the best method to join pieces of wood together without needing to use screws or nails. Here are a few tips and reviews to help you find the best dowel jig for your needs.
Comparison Table – Dowel Jig
Top 10 Dowel Jigs
General Tools 850 Jig Kit – Best Heavy-Duty Dowel Jig
Full of features, the General Tools 850 Jig Kit is a heavy-duty aluminum pocket hole jig kit that includes 76 pieces and a case. Easy to use, this kit includes an integrated clamp, a drill step, a 3/8-inch bit, and a six-inch square drive bit. Perfect for constructing a cabinet or placing screws into a tight spot.
This precise tool creates accurate angle and corner pocket hole joints. The versatile General Tools 850 Jig Kit can be bench mounted or used as a portable tool thanks to its integrated clamping system.
- It has good alignment and clamps well
- This is an easy to use and versatile product
- The kit is perfect for professionals and DIYers
- It’s can break easily
- It doesn’t come with a sharp bit
Milescraft 1309 Dowel Jig Kit – Best Alignment
This complete kit includes dowel bits and pins giving you all that you need to begin creating accurate and strong dowelled joints. The Milescraft 1309 Dowel Jig Kit allows you to repair or build furniture that ensures accurate and fast surface joints, dowelled corners, and edges. This kit includes three different size brad point drill bits including 3/8-inch, 5/16-inch, and ¼-inch.
The Milescraft 1309 Dowel Jig Kit also includes metal bushing that makes sure you have precise alignment while the steel dowel center provides accurate and durable location markings of dowel holes. The fluted hardwood dowel pins include chamfered ends that add endurance and strength to joined surfaces.
- This is a lightweight and very affordable set
- It includes a carrying case and other accessories
- The kit is easy to use and repeat across a whole board
- You are limited on maximum and minimum sizes
- There isn’t any way to clamp down and drill
Milescraft JointMate Handheld Dowel Jig – Best Design
Accurate and fast, the Milescraft JointMate is a universal dowel jig that lets you make surface and edge joints easily. Offering one-handed alignment, you can skip all the hassle of making and measuring when you need to drill edge or corner joints. It requires little setup and does not have any covered or exposed mechanical fasteners.
Adjustable and Precise
The Milescraft JointMate self-centering posts allow you to center the workpieces based on the corresponding busing. The adjustable guide fence allows you to adjust the depth of the board easily allowing every hole to precise.
- This is an easy to set up and use drill
- It has a solid and fast design
- This jig is a great value for the price
- It only comes with one preset
- The plastic handle isn’t very solid
Wolfcraft Dowel Pro Jig Kit – Easiest to Use Dowel Jig
Featuring a compact design that is combined with strong construction, the Wolfcraft Dowel Pro is made out of cast aluminum. It is perfect when you want to create T-joints and edge-to-edge or edge to corner joints. This jig kit works well with materials between ½ and 1 ¼-inch thick.
Equipped with hardened steel bushings, the Wolfcraft Dowel Pro Jig Kit makes precisions drilling easy and fast thanks to the pre-aligned hole guides. It also includes clamps that will allow both of the boards that are joined together to be drilled at the same time.
- It’s a good choice for routine work
- This jig is reasonably priced
- The instructions aren’t accurate and can cause the holes to be off-center
- It isn’t a very precise machine
Waricaca Self Centering Dowel Jig Kit – Best Self-Centering Dowel Jig
This is a self-centering dowel that is easy to use and gives you a professional quality product. The Waricaca Self-Centering Dowel Jig Kit offers three different drill sizes and features accurate positioning. This kit is best used for creating different pin joints and can work with material two inches thick.
Stable and Convenient to Use
The Waricaca Self Centering Dowel Jig Kit is made with an aluminum alloy material that is stable and corrosion resistant. The included fixture bolts give you really good threads, and the kit also provides different sized bushes making drilling simple, precise, and convenient. The kit’s patented action assures that you will get accurate centering each time you use it, even on objects that are round.
- It is corrosion-resistant and very stable
- You get three drill sizes to choose from
- It is handy, simple to use, and precise
- It needs ACME threads on the clamp
- It isn’t marked very clearly
Sywan Dowel Jig Kit – Most Impact-Resistant Dowel Jig
Using accurate and fast positioning joints, the Sywan Dowel Jig Kit can make edge to corner, edge to edge, and T joints. Constructed out of impact-resistant plastic, this jig kit can be used on materials up to 31mm thick. The Syman Dowel Jig Kit can be used for wood dowel drilling and comes with six, eight, and 10mm drill bits.
The included fluted hardwood dowel pins feature chamfered ends that add endurance and strength to joined surfaces. The Sywan Dowel Jig Kit comes with a steel dowel center that helps with accurate and durable location markings. The included metal bushings also help to ensure you get an accurate alignment when you drill to create seamlessly positioned dowels.
Adjustable and Strong
With this kit, you get all that you need to start creating accurate and strong dowel joints. The adjustable fence will let you create accurate dowel alignment to create maximum joint strength. This fence is easy to adjust its distance from the end and can fit boards up to 1 ¼-inches thick.
- This is an accurate and adjustable jig
- It creates strong joined surfaces
- Made with impact-resistant plastic
- You need to have two to work on a large project
- Each time you use it you have to adjust the guide
Eagle America Professional Self-Centering Dowel Jig – Best Professional Level Dowel Jig
Quick and accurate, the Eagle America Professional Self-Centering Dowel Jig is perfect for edge, miter, and butt joints, plus it works well when used as a mortising guide. It also easily creates offset holes by just adding a spacer block.
Anodized Aluminum Body
Featuring an anodized aluminum body, the Eagle America Professional Self-Centering Dowel Jig includes hardened steel guides and can handle material from ¼ to six inches thick. Equipped with two very accurate guide holes, this precise dowel jib includes bushings that let you drill three-hole sizes with just one clamping.
- This is a durable and strong tool
- You can make offset holes pretty easily
- It allows you to do a lot with just one clamping
- It is centered at an angle
- You can’t see the top of the reference lines on the top of the tool
Woodstock D4116 Doweling Jig – Most Versatile Dowel Jig
Capable of handling pieces up to two inches thick, the Woodstock D4115 Doweling Jig will automatically center on square, round, or shapes that are irregular. It includes six steel bushing and five drill hole sizes to choose from. And this easy-to-use jig allows you to drill identical holes without having to move the job.
- This is an easy to use tool
- It automatically centers on any type of shape
- It works on a lot of different material thicknesses
- The indexing centerline is hard to use and coarse
- It’s not great for drilling into the face of boards
BIG HORN Dowel Drilling Jig Kit – Best Basic Dowel Jig
Affordable and easy to use, the Big Horn Dowel Drilling Jig Kit is ideal for the woodworker who likes to have a simple tool. Made of acrylic plastic, this jig kit is perfect if you only need to set two pieces together. This is a durable roll that includes hardened steel drill guides that are easy to use.
- It’s a great product for the price
- This is a durable and simple tool to use
- It’s a great basic tool for anyone that doesn’t want to deal with a lot of features
- It can’t be used for every job
- It’s difficult to line things up when you have multiple holes
Jessem Dowel Jig Master Kit – Most Durable Dowel Jig
A great choice when you need to create multiple hole configurations, the Jessem Dowel Jig Master Kit can create 1/2, ¼, and 3/8-inch dowel holes either on the face or end of the board. You can pre-set 1/8-inch increments while the integrated alignment slot will let you match up the dowel holes which are spaced out further apart to align the dowel holes perfectly.
Durable and Precise
Made out of precision machined aluminum, the Jessem Dowel Jig is anodized for durability as well as laser engraved to make setups quick. for fast setups. It also includes stainless steel indexing pins and guide bushing carriers that include guide bushings.
- This is a durable and quick to set up jig
- It gives you perfect dowel hole alignment
- You can create many different hole configurations
- It needs a place to store the wrench
- You are limited on how you can position the board
Buyer’s Guide – Considerations When Choosing a Dowel Jig
Types of Dowel Jigs
The basic dowel jig is meant for a beginner who plans on using it for DIY projects. This type of dowel jig will have fewer features, and you won’t always be ensured of durability since many of them aren’t built very solidly.
An intermediate tool can be used by both a beginner and a professional. At an affordable price, intermediate dowel jigs offer good performance that can meet pretty much all of your needs no matter what your woodworking experience has been.
An advanced dowel jig is meant only for a professional since they come with high-end features and are very durable. An advanced jig will have a metallic body construction with several options that can join together different types of wood.
The reason you would use a dowel jig is to have the ability to drill an accurate hole in a piece of wood. You can then fit a dowel into this hole and glue the entire project together. Typically, the hole you are drilling should be approx. 1/3 to ½ the workpiece’s thickness. If it is any larger, the hole will then weaken the joint.
To give a dowel jig needed versatility, a manufacturer may offer several different bushes, which is the right name for a drill guide, along with the jig. A basic dowel jig will usually include one to two bushes while a more advanced dowel jig giving you up to six. Typical bush sizes include ½, 7/16/, 3/8, 5/16, ¼, and 3/16-inch, which will match the most common dowels that are available in an economy pack of 100 or more.
If you purchase a low-cost dowel jig, the bushes can be made of easy-to-produce and low-cost aluminum. Just remember that the hard steel of the drill bit will wear off at some point. This may not be a problem for someone that uses their dowel jig occasionally, but a regular user will find that a jig that has longer-lasting hardened steel bushes will be a better investment.
Clamping Accuracy and Performance
A handheld dowel jig can offer high productivity, but the possibility that it will move always exists as you drill, which may cause your work to be inaccurate and ruin the project. That’s why there are many dowel jigs that clamp down securely to stop movement from happening. This clamping method, in addition to capacity, will vary depending on the type of jig.
While an entry-level dowel jig may require clamping, the clamps may not be included. Higher-end dowel jigs will clamp to either side of the workpiece making them easier to operate, but they often will center themselves improving the accuracy and speed of the jig.
Ease of Use
Basically, a dowel joint will function in a pretty straightforward process. After the jig has been clamped together securely, each of the dowel holes is created by drilling into the workpiece. Basically, ease of use is referring to how fast you can set up the jig and be ready to drill.
Self-centering is one of those bonus features for some users as well as the choice of different bushes. But users that work with workpieces that are similar in size may not need to accommodate multiple widths or change bushes, so they may not require a higher-end model. A precise clamping jig may be really important for some projects while a low-cost handheld dowel jig can be perfect for others.
Each dowel jig has different uses and features. There isn’t one product that will meet all your needs. Plus, the accuracy level of each tool will differ as well, which can be important to a beginner who will need exact accuracy. Professionals will not, since they can adjust the tool’s accuracy based on their working needs.
When you check the accuracy of the tool, make sure you consider your skill level as well. Remember that the accuracy of each dowel jig will differ, so you will need to know what accuracy level you need based on the projects you have planned. For example, a tougher task will need a more accurate dowel jig than other types of tasks.
Versatility is also important in a good dowel jib, especially if you are investing in the tool. If your dowel jig can’t perform a range of tasks, then you can’t expect much of a return on investment from the tool. When checking the versatility of your dowel jig, you should ensure that you can join different types of surfaces and edges. Some tools are not able to join the center of workpieces while there are others that have problems with the corners, so it’s important that you choose a dowel jig that is able to reach all of the workpiece easily.
It possible that a dowel jib is able to set the alignment automatically, so you shouldn’t have to manually set the jib. It’s actually pretty complicated to center the jig manually, which also takes some time as well. If the jig doesn’t have a self-centering feature, then it’s important to check the manual process to see how much trouble it can cause you.
Ease of Adjustment
You will also need to check the jig’s alignment. If you have a firm clamp, then the jig will stay tightly in position. But if it is too loose and not available, you will need to find an alternative, which can take up a lot of vital work time.
When you can easily adjust the jib, it’s possible to complete your work efficiently. Remember that only the clamping feature of a jib can allow you to make changes in your working capacity. It’s important to ensure that your dowel jib has the capacity to hole the surface of your workpiece using a strong clamp, so that you end up with a great result.
Body construction is another thing you need to think about since many jigs are constructed with a weak body. This results in the users having trouble with the tool’s durability. Look for a dowel jig made out of aluminum or stainless steel to ensure a long-lasting tool.
If the dowel jig doesn’t have metallic or steel construction, it won’t perform well. You may have good performance at first, but you will start to notice that it reduces gradually. When your jig has a body made with metal, then you will have better performance and a longer-lasting product.
What is a self-centering dowel jig?
A dowel jig is considered self-centering if it doesn’t need any manual adjustments, but will sit on the surface or center of the wood automatically. This will make any woodworking projects go faster and also give you a more comfortable experience.
Is have more bushing holes better?
You should have between five and six bushings at the very least. More than that will help you perform different types of drilling.
How do you join wood pieces together?
It’s actually a pretty simple process. First, you will want to mark the points where the joints will be made and then you will need to drill the positions in before putting the joints together using the preset.
It shouldn’t be difficult choosing the best dowel jig as long as you consider your needs first. It’s important to remember that there are several types of dowel jigs, so you will need to choose the one that is best for your skill set. If you can, check reviews to ensure you are getting the best dowel jig for you and the projects that you have planned.