Are you a woodworker looking to improve in your woodworking work? If the answer is yes, you are in the right place. This guide is focused on showing the best dowel jigs out there. Dowel jigs are essential tools for every woodworker. Read through this guide to gain more understanding on dowel jigs
WHAT IS A DOWEL JIG
A convenient method of joining boards is a dowel joint. Especially useful when two or more boards are being joined (butted) on the same plane (as for a tabletop, for example), dowel joints are strong and relatively easy to align, drill, and glue. Another alternative is using a caulking gun, it also fastens sealing or gluing.
A purpose-made tool called a doweling jig will guide a drill in making perpendicular holes in the edge, end, or face of aboard. With a good jig, the challenge of layout and a proper alignment is met with ease. However, this challenge is not encountered in a sharpening stone.
A variety of doweling jigs are produced by tool manufacturers; you also can accomplish the same result by using a piece of wood with nails or sharp metal pins positioned in its end.
Since the hole (enters must be located exactly, and the holes should be cut precisely at a ninety-degree angle to the edge of the stock, homemade doweling jigs may not produce the accurate result you desire.
A commercially available doweling jig and drill guide may be a good investment. The adjustable fences allow for presetting them to the width of the stock being used so that each hole will be located precisely from one piece to the next.
Doweling jigs that act as drill guides have metal bushings or sleeves into which the drill bits are inserted. The bushing holds the bit in the correct position, both at the center of the workpiece and square to the edge being drilled.
Most doweling jigs come with several different sleeves for different-sized drill bits. The diameter of the dowel to be used should be roughly half the thickness of the stock being joined.
Tools like welding helmets are not necessarily needed while using a dowel jig, since this tool does not allow wood particles to fly into one’s eye. However, while using a bow saw, you might want to get a face shield, to prevent dust particles from entering into your eye.
DOWEL JIGS BUYER’S GUIDE
The factors to be considered for before getting a dowel jig is different from the factors considered before getting a strap wrench, and kneepads because these three tools all carry out an entirely different task.
It would become a lot easier for a user to use a dowel jig if it has a self-centering feature. By this particular component alone, you can guarantee precision in your work.
You can ensure that you can focus the dowel jig on the hole that you want them. Of course, such a feature is vital, as it provides the correct alignment for the drilling process.
It has a huge impact when you are joining the woods. Even a minuscule deviation can generate unwanted results. So, you might restart your project again. And that is a waste of time and resources on your part.
When looking for a dowel jig, make sure that it can offer you an automatic clamping feature. Of course, such a feat is necessary.
You cannot ensure stability in your project if the dowel wobbles every time. A clamping feature will lock down the dowel to the wood. As a result, it restricts unnecessary movements that could cause errors in drilling.
Some of you might use separate clamping components in your arsenal. But we have to remind you that doing such would somehow cause inconvenience. After all, you can quickly finish a project if there are pieces of clutter around.
Notably, dowel jigs that come with the traditional 3/8 inch size only work in limited applications. They might work on small projects, but they can’t take on any woodworking tasks that require complex joining.
Therefore, itis pretty important that your tool comes with different bushing sizes. In this way, you can have a lot of working mobility and creativity.
The material of the Bushing
Aside from their number, you should also assess the built of each of these bushings. The harder they are, the more reliable and stable they can become on the field. Typically, bushings that have hardened steel construction are the ideal choice. It is due to their maximum rigidity and durability.
Of course, such a feature is important as you will always subject these bushings toa a tremendous amount of stress during the drilling process. If you pick a flimsy one, you can expect that they would chip and break easily.
Moreover, the dowel jig should be able to tackle different types of woodworking applications. Specifically, the dowel jig must cater to different wood dimensions. It should be able to work even in awkward positions and tasks.
This tool is not defined by its power and accuracy alone. You should know that the best dowel jigs are those that are flexible enough to handle multiple projects.
As we mentioned earlier, a slight deviation on the alignment could produce strange results in the joining process. Therefore, the dowel jig that you will get must have accurate alignment.
It should not be flimsy, even handling different stock sizes. That’s the only way you can assure the success of your project.
The other thing you need to consider is the body construction. Many of the jigs come with a weak body. As a result, the users are in trouble because they do not last long. But a body with stainless steel or aluminum can remove your worry. This is another primary task that will help you get the right product.
Without the steel or other metallic construction, the jig will not perform well. Initially, there might be a regular performance, but gradually it will reduce. But when you have the body with metals, you can expect a tough life of the product and better performance.
Fix your budget
The budget also matters in this selection process. Most of the cases, the beginners have no or less idea about the budget of the dowel jigs. So, they get either the most cheaper products or select the most expensive ones. But both types of products are not economical.
If you select a cheap product, you will have troubles within a short time. And if you get the expensive one, you may not use them for your needs as those are for the experts. Thereby, the best idea is to set a budget and accordingly get your product.
BEST DOWEL JIGS
|NAMES||FEATURES||WHERE TO BUY|
|Rockler Dowl-It 1000||Plated to prevent rust
No loose parts to get lost
Many years of trouble-free use with basic care
Opens to a 2 In. wide capacity
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Eagle America 445-7600||Bushing Sizes: 1/4, 5/16, and 3/8 inches
Bushing Material: Aluminum
Weight: 2.45 lbs
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Dowl It 2500||Four tapped holes to accept replaceable bushings
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Wolfcraft Dowel Jig||Doweling Jig Kit that features a compact design coupled with durable construction
Cast aluminum doweling jig ideal for creating edge-to-edge, edge-to-corner, and T-joints
Hardened steel bushings in 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch, and 3/8-inch sizes make precision drilling quick and easy
Works with materials from 1/2-to-1-1/4-inches thick
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Milescraft 13110003 Doweling Jig||Clamp both boards simultaneously for precise hole alignment
Drill up to six matching holes per setup for stronger joints
Up to three 1/4″, 5/16″ or 3/8″ holes using hardened steel bushing blocks
Includes detailed instructions to product corner, edge and surface joints
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Milescraft 1319||Allows for quick and accurately doweled corner, edge or surface joints
The self-centering jig and adjustable fence allow for precise dowel alignment for maximum joint strength
Metal bushings ensure accurate alignment when drilling for perfectly positioned dowels
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Self-centering Doweling Jig by HF tools||Self-Centering Doweling Jig
Five dowel sizes
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Wolfcraft 4641404||The quick doweling jig that self-centers on boards to make quick, accurate dowel joints
Capable of edge-to-edge, T, and edge-to-corner joints
Made of the high impact plastic
Can be used on boards up to 1-1/4-inch thick
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Woodstock D4116||Handles stock up to 2-Inch thick
Drill-hole sizes are 1/4-Inch, 5/16-Inch, 3/8-Inch, 7/16-Inch, and 1/2-Inch
Six hardened steel bushings are provided; Two each of 1/4-Inch, 5/16-Inch, and 3/8-Inch
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Milescraft 1309 Dowel Jig Kit||Metal bushings included ensuring accurate alignment When drilling for perfectly positioned dowels every time
Steel dowel/Tenon centers for durable and accurate location marking of dowel holes or in the second board being joined
Fluted hardwood dowel pins with chamfered ends Add strength and endurance to your joined surfaces (Includes 3 different sizes)
Brad-point drill bits included in 3 different sizes (1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″)
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
Model #1000 is the model that has been so popular over the years. Six permanent drill hole sizes: 3/16 In., 1/4 In., 5/16 In., 3/8 In., 7/16 In., & 1/2 In.. self-centering action – round or square stock. Popular with vocational schools and ChopShop classes because of its ease of use and durability
|Maintains the wood in good condition – rugged aluminum sides||Non-removable bushing guides|
|Accurate drills due to high machine precision||Relatively expensive|
|Trouble-free use with simple care|
|Great versatility – 6 bushing sizes|
The Eagle America 445-7600 is one exceptional dowel jig. It is capable of handling multiple wood sizes, making it a versatile tool. Specifically, it can accommodate 1/4 inch to 6 inches of wood, with a guarantee that it won’t damage them.
One of the things that we like about this dowel jig is its usability. You won’t have any hard time using it. You don’t have to do manual calculations or measurements. It works perfectly on a butt, edge, and miter joints. You could even use it as a guide for mortising. Meanwhile, you can guarantee that the guide holes are accurate.
|It has guides made from hardened steel||Not suitable for large scale works|
|Comes with three different bushings||It is better if it has an installation instruction|
|Durable and rugged construction|
|Can handle different wood sizes|
|It is versatile|
This is one of the most accurate dowel jigs on the market because you are not required to move the product for you to drill a multiple hole combination using different hole sizes.
The product further comes with six removable bushings, where two are of similar sizes; ¼, 5/16, and 3/8 inches. This boosts ease of use, especially when replacing the bushing.
To ensure that the wood you are working on remains in good condition without any damage, this dowel jig comes with rugged aluminum sides. The jig center block and the bushings are precision hardened as well as plated to ensure that product will not rust.
|High accuracy and drill speed due to self-centering system||Slightly expensive|
|Excellent construction boosts durability and quality|
|Replaceable or removable bushing guide holes|
The application of the jig tool is also simple. You need no drills. Instead, you can use the clamp the device on the wood surface and get the joints quickly. The tool is designed to perform various types of joining like edge to corner, edge to edge, among others. If you need a T-butt, you can also have it.
Thickness it can handle is around half inches to over one inch. It comes with a two-part drilling jig. Besides, there are accessories like steel depth stop, dowel pins, dowel clamps. So, you need not get them added as you do with the other ordinary jig tools.
|Nine pre-aligned holes||Accuracy may not be okay all the time|
|Easy marking on wood||Drill holes are not synchronized with the opposite line|
|Precise dowel holes|
This versatile small carpentry tool fits in the criteria. It can make several types of joints, including edge, surface, and even corners. Besides, the performance is speedy and accurate. So, the review of the product is higher too. Most importantly, you can interchange the bushing block, which is not available with the other tools.
For set-up, you can drill around six matching holes with accuracy. Thus, it saves time for professional carpenters. Being a self-clamping tool, you need no additional support to hold it. The device sits firmly in the wood surface in a horizontal or vertical position.
|Versatile application||Centering is difficult|
|Precise hole alignment||Screw adjustment may appear troublesome|
|Quick and safer drilling|
|Interchangeable bushing blocks|
|Self-clamping device for a secure hold|
Here is the dowel jig that you should invest in case you are running on a budget because it is competitively priced and yet features top-notch performance. Therefore, the deal is pocket-friendly to boost affordability while not compromising quality and performance.
This is a hand-held product that features a compact design. Hence, with its minimalistic design, it gives you a comfortable grip and comfort when working. Moreover, its space-saving design ensures that the product can fit in limited spaces during transportation or when not in use.
Milescraft 1319 has metal bushings which boost accurate alignment when making holes for ideally positioned dowels. The product works great with wood that features ½ to 1-1/2 inches thickness.
|No covered or exposed mechanical fasteners||Lacks a clamp system works all fine|
|The competitively priced product boosts affordability|
|The minimalistic design allows easy portability and storage|
|Accurate and quick doweled surface joints, edges and corners|
Five dowel size makes it attractive to many, and even once I took support from this tool to make a joint. I have several dowel jigs in my collection. However, due to the sizes, you will have flexibility – which is a vital advantage of this product. You may need to adjust the alignment manually for perfection in the holes.
The centering adjustment may appear a bit complex, but you can fix that in no time too. The way of adjusting the centering is different than the usual tools.
|Stylish outlook||Hole size may vary|
|Self-centering dowel||Alignment needs manual correction|
|Holes come with drill|
|Complies with a various drill bushing|
|Moderately durable than the price range|
This is a dowel that features a lightweight design as it is made using high-impact plastic material, which allows you to use it easily without having to spend a lot of energy while at it. Additionally, its lightweight design also boosts portability.
This is a jig that features ¼, 5/16, and 3/8 inches diameter pins and you can use it on wood that features 1-1/4 inch thickness. Hence, it is a product that has met all industry standards, making it a great purchase.
The product has great versatility that is mainly facilitated by the hardened steel bushings and plastic fence guide it features. These features enable you to make both edges to corner and edge to edge joints easily and quickly with the ability to adjust the distance.
|High accuracy and precision – self-centering system||Limited edge thickness of 1.25 inches|
|Lightweight design costs ease of use and portability||Requires care when handling to boost durability|
|Great versatility with 3 bushing guides|
|Great product for the price|
Woodstock D4116 is a compact dowel jig that comes with a space-saving design that you will always love, most especially if you have limited space in your store. With the minimalistic design that it features, you can conveniently store and transport it without the need for much space.
This product offers you 6 bushings as you get two for each size including 1/4, 5/16, and 3/8 inches. Therefore, it saves you a lot of time as it allows you to drill a pair of holes on a single piece simultaneously without shifting the workpiece.
|Saves you a lot of time as you can drill identical holes at the same time||Sometimes you might need lubricants in case pieces to get stuck|
|Space-saving design makes it easy to store and transport|
|Easy to use due to ergonomic design|
|Works on pieces of all shapes|
This is a reputed brand that has won the hearts of thousands of professionals and DIYers like me with its unique features. If you need accuracy in jigging, this is the most impressive product. The other important issue is that it comes with a complete package.
You will have all the necessary jigging tools in a single place, and it will save you time and money. The adjustable fence will make the alignment precise and accurate. At the same time, the joint of the wood will be stronger and last for long. With this tool, you can work in a single hand.
Measurement during the jigging process is no more necessary. It joins the edges of other shapes and surfaces smoothly.
|Metal bushing for accurate alignment||Needs positioning fixture manually|
|Joins various surfaces and edges||Cannot draw centerlines|
|Usable with lumbers too|
Reliable dowel jig makes woodwork easier and faster by eliminating the need for making unnecessary measurements. Additionally, it saves you a lot of time and leads to accurately drilled holes. A great thing about dowel jigs is that they feature affordable prices.
With the above comprehensive buying guide and dowel jig reviews, you can simply spot the best that will match your needs, budget, and purpose. Make your order today and experience a whole new dowelling experience.