Best Dowel Jig – Reviews And Buying Guide 2019

 

PreviewNameAwardsPurchase

Micro Jig

Best Overall

Task

Best for the Money

Rockler

Best on a Budget

For many years, the dowel has been an integral part of woodworking. It’s a discreet and effective way to strengthen the joints where nails can’t go. This task is often time-consuming and difficult without the use of a dowel jig. That’s why it’s important for every woodworker to have access to the best dowel jig. We’ve put together our complete best dowel jig reviews to help you find the product which best suits you.

You’ll find many options with versatile function and the self-centering feature you need to complete your job quickly. Even a beginner can utilize the best dowel jig to perform a job well done. There’s virtually no learning curve, so you don’t need any training.

Look through our dowel jig reviews to find the model that fits your budget and your needs. It will change the way you produce dowels.


Best Dowel Jig Reviews


 

Best High-End Dowel Jig (Over $70)

If you want the best dowel jig, and money is not an issue for you, then these two products would be the ones you want to look at. They have all the features you would hope for when doing professional woodworking and they promise superior results over budget options.

 

1. MicroJig Tapering Jig for Table Saw

MicroJig Tapering Jig for Table Saw

Cut up to 8-sided tapered legs together with the GRR-RIPPER 3D Pushblock

If you plan to use your dowel jig regularly and repeatedly, this is the best dowel jig for you. It’s durable, strong and capable of handling lots of abuse. The highlight of its features includes the micro-dial tapers which are cutting edge technology. Not only does this make your work easier to engage and more effective, but it also provides complete control and safety over your workpiece.

This dowel jig also memorizes recent maneuvers and tasks. This allows it to automatically retrieve the movement without any input from you. Not only will this save you extra effort and energy, but it’s also a time-saving feature.

This dowel jig also features two-sided tapering. This allows you to double the cut angle of your task. Because this factors in the eliminated materials, your operation time is cut in half. If you are new at using a dowel jig, you’ll also appreciate the full instructional DVD included. If you need more project ideas, there are plenty of bonus projects supplied for inspiration.

Despite all the benefits of this dowel jig, some considerations might steer you away from this purchase. First of all, it’s costly. This is the second most expensive on the list. Unless you are a professional, you probably don’t need something so feature-rich. In addition, this dowel jig is cumbersome to utilize and assemble. You’ll want to have experience before purchasing this option.

MicroJig even uploaded a video on YouTube highlighting this amazing piece of equipment:

What Customers Say:

Most people that purchase this dowel jig are loyal to the brand. Just read what this user had to say, “Why didn’t I get one of these years ago?! All of the Micro Jig stuff I have is very well built and works great. I build custom & semi-custom beer tap handles, and this jig makes my table saw work easier. You can’t go wrong with anything Micro Jig makes.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 25 x 8.2 x 3.5 inches
  • Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Included in the package: MicroJig tool, Instructional DVD, manual, project log and warranty registration
  • Warranty: 3-year limited
PROS:
  • Provides precise and accurate tapers
  • Cut 8-sided tapered legs with tool
  • Remembers angles for future work
  • Comes with a DVD to help you get started
  • Has a reliable warranty

CONS:
  • Expensive
  • Cumbersome to use and assemble


 

2. Kreg K4MS Jig Master System

Kreg K4MS

Patented 3-hole drill guide allows you to make perfectly placed pocket-holes in a wide variety of material widths and thicknesses

When you work in a shop with lots of dust, you find yourself at risk for respiratory infections and other illnesses. Thanks to this high-end dowel jig, you’ll achieve exceptional dust collection which further keeps you protected.

The 3-hole design allows you to perfectly place your holes. In addition, they are simple to use among many materials. It’s easy to adjust the 1/8-inch incremental settings to suit your customized work perfectly. This allows you to accommodate anything from ½-inch to 1-1/2-inch thick.

The most important trait of this jig is that you’ll have the room to accommodate the large surfaces as well. You’ll also be able to work with a variety of clamps.

With this system, there’s plenty of versatility. In fact, there are many different combinations of features you can purchase. If you need an organizer or screw kit to go with it, you can easily buy that with your master system. Before you balk at the high price, keep in mind that you also get a lifetime warranty. That means you should never need to purchase another system again.

The only major downside we can find on this best dowel jig other than the price is the weight. All the features make it weigh slightly more than other tools.

Take a look at this system in action:

What Customers Say:

You’ll have a hard time finding a customer that isn’t thrilled with their purchase. Read what this user said, “This Kreg Jig Master System is a real eye-opener – especially on larger projects. I’ve used the single Kreg jig for years and have been suitably impressed with the quality I’ve been able to achieve, but when it comes to making many repeatable pocket holes, this Master System can get the job done quickly and with good form.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 12.4 x 9 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 5.86 pounds
  • Included in the package: Jig, portable base, face clamp, material support stop, drill guide spacer, dust collection attachment, 3/8″ stepped quick change drill bit, spacer block, 6″ and 3″ quick change square driver, starter plug set, starter screw set, quick-start guide, carrying case and SkillBuilder DVD.
  • Warranty: Lifetime
PROS:
  • Advanced dust collection reduces wood chips
  • Portable and easy to use
  • Provides consistent hole spacing
  • Provides minimal bit deflection
  • Reduction in tear-outs

CONS:
  • Expensive
  • Heavier than most


 

Mid-range Dowel Jig ($50-$70)

While most people want to buy the best dowel jig, not everyone budgeted for it. If you don’t want to pay the maximum amount of money, but still want something high-quality, we have a few options available for you as well.

 

1. Premium Doweling Jig

Task Doweling Jig

Includes 2 each size bushing 1/4, 5/16,and 3/8

When you plan to dowel, you don’t want to fiddle around with your tools; you just want to get the job done. This is even truer if you’re doing work professionally. Time is money, and you want to accomplish your tasks quickly and accurately. This professional dowel jig is a great tool to consider in your endeavors.

With the patented automatic self-centering action, you don’t have to center the jigs. The action provided is accurate and more precise than your manual effort. This means your work looks better than when performed manually. In addition, it eliminates fatigue.

With the large steel clamping screw, your jig tightens up superbly. This is due in part to the rugged sides constructed of aluminum. You won’t have to worry about the durability or life expectancy of this tool. In addition, the drill guides are hardened. This not only strengthens and reduces wear but also helps you to accomplish your work with maximum accuracy.

The large 2″ to 2-7/16″ capacity easily handles most size requirements for maximum versatility. With this tool, you’ll receive a shorter warranty period, but that doesn’t seem to concern most people.

Check out a video review of this tool:

What Customers Say:

It’s nearly impossible to find negative reviews on this product. In fact, read this glowing recommendation from one customer, “This jig may cost a few more dollars than some of the others, but it was well worth every penny. Not only is it made in the USA out of USA materials, but it is accurate and very well built.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 6.3 x 8.6 x 3.2 inches
  • Weight: 2.45 pounds
  • Included in the package: Jig plus two each size bushing 1/4, 5/16 and 3/8
  • Warranty: 1-year
PROS:
  • Self-centering
  • Reduces fatigue
  • Wide capacity
  • Constructed of durable materials
  • Resistant to corrosion

CONS:
  • Still on the expensive side
  • Doesn’t have a long warranty


 

2. Milescraft 1311 JointPro

Milescraft 1311 JointPro

Drill up to six matching holes per setup for stronger joints

You’ll no longer waste your time when working with dowels. This best dowel jig is automated to maximize your time. There’s no reason to put forth manual effort when you want to perform a top-notch job.

Without any human intervention, the jig clamps securely. This not only makes the job easier, but it also reduces the instance of accident and injury.

Milescraft provides interchangeable hardened steel bushings which allow you to drill six matching holes with any setup. This further helps you to save money and precious time. In total, this jig has three holes measuring 1/4, 5/16 and 3/8 inches.

If you are new to dowels, you’ll appreciate the detailed instructions which come included in the package. Of course, this might not be the best option as a newcomer because it’s an advanced tool. We recommend starting with something easier to use at first and then working your way up to this model instead.

Milescraft did post a video about this product to YouTube:

What Customers Say:

Many users appreciated the versatility of this product. Read what this customer had to say, “I have used the device to build a credenza, it takes the guesswork out of the picture. It’s pretty easy to use and modify for dimensions and orientation.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 12.4 x 4.6 x 4.4 inches
  • Weight: 3.86 pounds
  • Included in the package: Jig and detailed instructions
  • Warranty: 1-year
PROS:
  • Clamps both boards simultaneously
  • Precision alignment
  • Drill up to six holes that match
  • Produces strong joints
  • Accurate results

CONS:
  • Still on the expensive side
  • Trouble with customer service reported


 

3. Woodstock D4116 Doweling Jig

Woodstock D4116

Six hardened steel bushings are provided; Two each of 1/4-Inch, 5/16-Inch and 3/8-Inch

If you want to spend as little as possible, but still get the best dowel jig, this is a fabulous option. With this tool, you’ll be able to accomplish multiple tasks at once.

It features six hardened steel bushings that work to fasten your load to the jig. With this tool, you’ll notice less fidgeting which prevents injuries and accidents. It also allows you to operate your machines with confidence which gives you additional peace of mind.

There’s no reason to personally center your work or position it because the tool is self-centered with any shape. It doesn’t matter if you work with a round, square or irregular piece, you’ll still end up with perfect work with less fatigue.

Because it’s multipurpose, you could easily drill two parallel and identical holes without moving your jig around. Talk about a way to save time. It’s also lightweight and comes with a one-year warranty. It does feel a little bulkier than some of the other options but seems to work well for beginners and advanced users alike.

What Customers Say:

Most people agree that this dowel jig is a great value. One customer addressed this by saying, “It’s solidly built and does a good job of aligning dowel holes in the edges of your workpiece. The centerpiece, guide pins and screw are steel, and the side jaws are aluminum. The drill bushings are correctly sized for the indicated drill bit size and guide the bit without binding.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 5.2 x 4.1 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Included in the package: Jig and six hardened steel bushings
  • Warranty: 1-year
PROS:
  • Handles stocks up to two inches thick
  • Produced by a reputable brand
  • Simple to use
  • Reliable
  • Self-centered

CONS:
  • Needs frequent maintenance
  • Sometimes feels bulky


 

4. Eagle America 445-7600 Dowel Jig

Eagle America 445-7600

The jig handles material from 1/4-inch to 6-inch thick

When you have a difficult task at hand, you need equally tough tools. This reliable dowel jig is one of the best on the market. It’s long-lasting and strong enough to take on your biggest jobs.

The durability comes from its anodized aluminum body that remains lightweight. Because of its construction, you don’t have to exert a lot of energy to get your job done. The accuracy is top-notch as well thanks to the perfect guide holes. There are two provided that accommodate the bushings which come in your package. Together, you can drill up to three different hole sizes with one clamping.

The two bushings measure 5/16 and 1/4-inch. Together, you have the ability to work with bulky and large surfaces. Of course, it is on the higher end of the mid-range price scale; almost verging on a high-end model. That’s what makes it great for professional use on a DIY budget. It’s also quite versatile since it handles materials from1/4-inch thick to six inches.

Of course, if you are a new user, you might find this professional model a little difficult to use. It’s going to require a bit more training to use accurately.

What Customers Say:

You’ll want to be careful only to buy this model when Amazon provides it, otherwise, you might purchase a counterfeit. The customers that received the real dowel jig were fond of the product. One customer wrote, “The self-centering dowel jig did a great job lining the holes in the center of the members and keeping the holes straight. I was able to install a 1/2″ threaded rod through a 1/2″ drilled hole (very tight fit) and the holes lined up very well.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 4 x 5 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 3.24 pounds
  • Included in the package: Jig and bushing measuring 1/4-Inch, 5/16-Inch and 3/8-Inch
  • Warranty: 1-year
PROS:
  • Accurate
  • Doesn’t require calculations or measurements
  • Versatile
  • Durable construction
  • Reduces user fatigue

CONS:
  • Costs more than most DIYers want to pay
  • Feels bulky at times


 

Budget Dowel Jig (Under $50)

For most home users that only need this tool once in a while, it makes sense to spend as little as possible. This is doable while still purchasing the best dowel jig. Here are four options that you should consider.

 

1. Dowl-it 1000 Self-centering Doweling Jig

Rockler Dowl-it 1000

This unit has six permanent drill hole sizes: 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16 and 1/2-inch.

Even though this is on the higher end of our price list, it’s still worth taking a look at. Occasionally, it might also go over the $50 price range, but for the most part, it’s right around the price by a few dollars. The center block of this tool is made from precision-hardened and solid steel material. This makes it tough while resisting corrosion, dents, tears, and damage. That’s what makes it reliable for longer-term use.

When you desire to fasten the items you’re working on, this dowel jig comes with a clamping screw that’s large and also made from steel. It’s so tough and strong, that it works much like a vise. With this, you don’t have to worry about fidgeting and movement. That’s what reduces the chance of injury.

When you combine this with the rugged aluminum sides, you see that it has added stability and strength, even for tough surfaces. It will hold your work securely and you won’t need to worry about damaging the wood.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find another dowel jig with these kinds of reviews at this price. It’s a great option for home users that need something on the professional scale.

See this dowel jig in action on YouTube:

What Customers Say:

The home users that reviewed this tool were pleased with the results. Here’s what one customer had to say, “For the cost, this is an excellent jig. It is solidly constructed and has heft. The clamping mechanism is strong and the drill guide block is solid and rests securely on the wood face.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.2 x 2.3 inches
  • Weight: 2.35 pounds
  • Included in the package: Jig
  • Warranty: 1-year
PROS:
  • Contains six drill-hole sizes to choose from
  • Doesn’t have any loose parts that could get lost
  • Minimal maintenance and repairs
  • Reliable construction
  • Easy to use

CONS:
  • Not meant for professional usage
  • Basic construction, no advanced functionality


 

2. Wolfcraft 3751405 Dowel Pro Doweling Kit

Wolfcraft 3751405

Hardened steel bushings in 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch, and 3/8-inch sizes make precision drilling quick and easy

You don’t want to produce subpar work which is why you want the best dowel jig. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to get a kit that works for you. With this option from Wolfcraft, you have access to nine pre-aligned hole guides. Not only does this help you fix your work in place, but it stops fidgeting.

Each of the guide holes comes fitted with hardened steel bushings to prolong its life. It also means there’s less maintenance cost involved for you. This system features a pretty unique clamp system. Unlike ordinary jigs, this allows the ability to drill and join at the same time.

Despite the low price, customers also receive a five-year warranty which is just exceptional. There is also a complete guide included in case you need help getting started. Many people don’t know this brand, but if you’re willing to give them a try, you won’t be disappointed.

Wolfcraft even published a YouTube video for those requiring more information:

What Customers Say:

Many users are fond of the versatility this dowel jig offers. Here’s what one customer said, “There are many doweling jigs out there that perform well; what sets this one apart from the others is that you can align and cut dowels into two boards at the same time.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 3 x 4.3 x 12.3 inches
  • Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Included in the package: Doweling Jig, instruction manual, two clamps, three depth stops, and 60 dowel pins ranging in sizes from 1/4-inch to 3/8-inch
  • Warranty: 5-year
PROS:
  • Compact design
  • Precise drilling
  • Five-year warranty
  • Durable
  • Easy to use

CONS:
  • Not a well-known brand
  • Might not be completely centered


 

3. Milescraft 1309 DowelJigKit

Milescraft 1309 DowelJigKit

Metal bushings included to ensure accurate alignment when drilling for perfectly positioned dowels every time

If you want more than just the best dowel jig, but are also hoping for a kit, you really can’t go wrong with this low-cost option. It provides plenty of endurance and strength to your jobs plus it is simple to use.

Part of the jig includes metal bushings. These are available to offer accurate alignments that are fixed in place during drilling. The steel design of the dowel is better than some other options which use ordinary metals. You have long-term durability with this construction.

The dowel pins also come made from fluted hardwood plus they feature chamfered ends. This adds some perseverance and power to all of the joined surfaces. With three different sizes to pick from, you can accomplish most anything you desire.

You aren’t going to find something so extensive at such a low price, but it does only offer a 90-day warranty. With that in mind, you’re saving a good amount of cash, so it might be worth taking the chance. The other downside is the space it takes up. Carrying the entire case around with you might become cumbersome, but if you plan to leave it one place, you won’t be worried about this.

Check out this video that Milescraft offered on YouTube:

What Customers Say:

Even beginner users felt this was a great tool. Check out what this customer had to say, “The product worked as advertised. Even with my mistakes the dowel holes lined up using the manufacturer’s instruction. As this is my first time using dowels in my project, I would recommend this product to anyone that is going to use dowels for the first time.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 2.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Included in the package: JointMate, case, centers, pins, drill stop, bits, Allen wrench and glue
  • Warranty: 90-day
PROS:
  • Accurate
  • Adjustable and self-centering
  • Provides maximum strength
  • Aligns while drilling
  • Low cost

CONS:
  • Cumbersome to carry
  • Short 90-day warranty


 

4. Rockler 3/8” Dowel Drilling Jig Kit

Rockler 3/8'' Dowel Drilling Jig Kit

Jig Now Includes Drill Bit, Stop Collar, and Stop Collar Wrench for Added Convenience!

If you are low on funds but still need the best dowel jig, this is a great option. It’s durable and cheap plus offers a degree of satisfaction that some of the higher-end jigs don’t provide.

The hardened steel guide doesn’t wear easily. This means you’ll have this tool for a long time and won’t have to spend more money later. It also provides see-through reference lines so you station your item accurately the first time. You won’t have to worry about any inconsistencies.

The drill guide itself is ¾” thick so you’ll find it’s compatible with many materials. The dimensions make this large enough to provide the stability you need as well.

There is no warranty information on this tool from the manufacturer, so we have to assume there isn’t one. We understand this considering the price but wish there would have been some sort of guarantee. In addition, there are simply not enough reviews on it yet to get an accurate representation of how this brand holds up in the long run. The construction leads us to believe it should be reliable, but time will tell.

What Customers Say:

So far, the reviews on this tool have been favorable. Here’s what one customer said, “Just got this item and it is very well built. Packaging was great and it came with a decent bit and collar. Very convenient for dowel joints with very little setup.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: unknown
  • Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Included in the package: carrying case
  • Warranty: none
PROS:
  • Transparent design
  • Simple, easy to use layout
  • Doesn’t require previous skills
  • Comprehensive kit
  • Durable

CONS:
  • Doesn’t feature a lot of reviews
  • No warranty information


 

What are Dowel Jigs?

Dowel jigs are special devices that hold your materials while you dowel them together. Not only does this guide you through the process easier, but it allows for minimal movement. This increases the security and safety for the user while also helping to complete a professional-looking job.

Types of Dowel Jigs

Dowel jigs come with several classifications. They are based on the applicability and complexity. There are three types of dowel jigs.

Basic – these are a simple dowel jig. We recommend these for starters who don’t have a lot of experience in doweling.

Intermediate – perfect for users that mastered doweling basics but aren’t yet considered a professional. Use them to carry out your mild tasks and to sharpen your woodworking skills.

Advanced – these are ideal for finishing advanced projects. They might be complicated to someone that doesn’t understand doweling well. That’s why they aren’t recommended for beginners.

Choosing the Best Dowel Jig

As with any tool, you’re going to evaluate multiple factors before you find the best dowel jig. Don’t just select an item based on price, or you might regret the purchase.

1. Evaluate the Purpose

Before you do anything, you must evaluate the purpose of purchasing a dowel jig. This helps to determine your need and lets you narrow down some of the models. If you work with larger dowels, you might need a bigger model.

2. Look at Accuracy

You want to evaluate multiple aspects of the dowel jig to determine its accuracy. Start with the clamp system. This is the part that secures your dowel jig in place to ensure it doesn’t move while drilling.

You also want to invest in a system that self-centers. With this design, the system automatically aligns your dowel.

Finally, the accuracy relies on a high-quality construction. You want the metal sides and center block to be machine polished for the ultimate precision. This ensures they are perfectly flat so you can work with any edge.

3. Check the Versatility

Because dowel jigs are available in many sizes and shapes, you’ll have to evaluate the versatility of each. You want a model that performs the most amount of tasks. It’s best to pick something that you can do edge to edge work while still leaving room to perform T-joints and edge to corner tasks as well.

4. Assess the Skill Level

Surprisingly, the dowel jig is simple to use. While it might look intimidating, it’s user-friendly and straightforward to utilize. Try not to overcomplicate things when making a purchase. The last thing you want to do is purchase a tool that makes your work harder and more cumbersome.

5. Decide on Bushing Size

Your bushing size determines the size your hole will be; the bigger the size, the larger the dowel. Common formats include 3/16”, 1/4”, 5/16”, 3/8”, 7/16” and 1/2”. If you tend to use the same size, then you don’t need a system that offers multiple.

The biggest advantage to buying a jig with just one size is that they’re easier to use and smaller. Of course, you can’t do this if you need versatility.

6. Estimate Your Bushing Material

Where the drill enters your jig and creates a hole is your bushing. You want this to be reinforced so you don’t damage your piece. Ideally, it should be built with a tough metal. Not only does steel last long, but it isn’t damaged easily.

7. Think about Price

This can’t be your main focus, but you should think about it. Most simple models range in price from $20-$40. You should easily be able to find a basic jig in this price range. If you need more than one dowel size, you’ll have to increase your budget slightly to accommodate the versatility.

8. Value Durability

When choosing any tool, you need to examine the durability of your unit. The longer it lasts, the more use you get out of it. Even if you have to spend a little more to purchase the best dowel jig, you might save money in the long run because you won’t need to buy another one any time soon.

Using the Best Dowel Jig

If you’ve never used a dowel jig before, it doesn’t take a lot of practice to become a pro. Follow these simple steps to get started.

  1. Set your dowel jig accurately. Contract or expand the jig to match your job.
  2. Mark your logs appropriately. Use your pencil and geometric instruments to precisely mark the spots. This is crucial if you want the best outcome.
  3. Drill your holes on the material where marked. Be careful not to cause any damage to the piece.
  4. Insert your dowels into the holes. Take your time and press gently until you have the dowels in place.
  5. Tighten your joints. Use an adhesive like epoxy or glue to make them tighter and firm. You might even need a few small nails.
  6. Test out the joints and make necessary corrections, if needed.

If you like to watch videos to learn from, there’s a great instructional guide on YouTube – https://youtu.be/y_CQ-RBT4rc.

Are Dowel Jigs Safe to Use?

Of course! The materials used in the best dowel jig don’t threaten your safety in any way and the parts are simple to use. In fact, you’re more at risk of injury when you don’t use a dowel jig.

Tricks for Using the Best Dowel Jig

Once you find the best dowel jig, you’ll want some tips to use it right. Follow these steps and you’ll be ready to go.

  1. Take your time while you’re learning. Don’t do anything fast or hasty until you feel comfortable and experienced.
  2. Wear protective gear at all times. Anytime you drill holes, you put yourself at risk with the dust. Wearing safety goggles inhibits the dust from getting into your eyes. You may also want to protect your clothing with an apron.
  3. Keep the dowel jig away from children. They are curious and could harm themselves simply by playing with your tools. You should always lock your gear away when it’s not in use.

Conclusion

With the best dowel jig, you’ll be able to accomplish your work easier and faster. Don’t waste your time trying to achieve dowels without it. For a small investment, you can complete your job professionally and have time left to spare.

Look through our list and evaluate the models that would be the best dowel jig for your needs. Then, start joining things together with ease.

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