7 Best Dowel Jig Reviews: Top Jigs to Improve Productivity
Even with the coming of various power tools that make it possible to cut different kinds of joints the traditional dowel joints are still some of the best. These joints provide one of the simplest ways of joining two pieces of wood or boards, and it is because of this reason even professional woodworker will always use them when making some types of chairs and bookshelves.
Although the dowel joint is one of the easiest to make they require a lot of precision and accuracy when making the holes. But with a dowel jig making accurate and consistent holes should never be a problem, and you can do it very fast. A doweling jig can be a homemade block of wood with holes or aluminum/steel jig with self-clamping and self-centering capabilities.
The dowel jig makes it possible to drill straight holes on one or two boards simultaneously. This jig ensures that you always get straight holes fast and with impressive accuracy. With this type of jig, you can make miter joints, edge-to-inside, edge-to-end, rail-to-stile and also the edge-to-edge joints.
Table of Contents
- 7 Best Dowel Jigs - Reviews
- What to Look for When Buying a Dowel Jig
7 Best Dowel Jigs - Reviews
7. Wolfcraft 3751405 Doweling Jig Kit
Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)
The first and also the cheapest dowel jig on our list is the Wolfcraft 3751405. This jig features a compact design that makes it easy to use even on small stocks and a durable construction to ensure that you get to use it for many years. Wolfcraft 3751405 cast aluminum jig is ideal for creating T-joints, edge-to-corner and also for corner-to-corner joints which make it very useful to have in the workshop.
Wolfcraft includes some hardened steel bushings in this dowel jig kit that can withstand frequent drilling. These bushings come in 3/8-inch, 5/16-inch, and 1/4-inch to make it possible to drill different dowel hole sizes and do it with a lot of precision, quick and also effortlessly.
This dowel jig can work with materials that are between 1/2-inch and 1 1/4-inche thick which makes it ideal for almost any project because most hobbyists will rarely need to deal with thicker materials than this. Other features on this jig include the pre-aligned hole guides and some clamps that make it possible to drill the boards that you want to join simultaneously.
Wolfcraft backs this jig with a 5-year warranty to ensure that you can use it without worries.
6. Task Premium Doweling Jig
Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)
Task makes their Premium Dowelling Jig with aircraft grade aluminum to make it one of the strongest and most durable in this list and also on the market. The company also gives it a steel plate to prevent corrosion, and it will be many years before you need to replace this dowel jig.
This self-centering dowel jig assures that you always get precise center drills every time and you do not even need to waste time trying to do any alignment because it does it automatically. The Task Premium also comes with some large steel screws for clamping that tighten it like a vise while the rugged aluminum sides keep the work piece in place and without damaging it.
With this dowel jigs, the possibilities are endless as it comes with 2 each of the 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch and 5/16-inch bushings and it has a capacity of between 2 to 2 7/16 inches. The drill guide centers on this dowel jig are hardened, and it also has some precision drilled guide holes to provide extreme accuracy.
5. Milescraft 13110003 Doweling Jig
Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)
The Milescraft 13110003 is the best dowel jig on our list for a woodworker that wants a to get a precise hole alignment because it clamps both boards to make simultaneous drilling possible. With this dowel jig, it is also possible to drill up to six matching holes in one setup which is an excellent feature because it cuts down on the time you take to make the dowel joints.
Milescraft 13110003 makes it possible to get up to three 3/8-inch, 5/16-inch and 1/4-inch holes using the hardened steel bushing blocks that come with this dowel jig. Also, the hardened steel material makes these bushing long-lasting, and you will not need to replace them for a long time.
This doweling jig is a good pick for individuals without a lot of woodworking experience because it comes with some detailed instructions that make it easy to use to make the joints.
4. Eagle America 445-7600 Wide Capacity Self-Centering Doweling Jig
Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)
The Eagle America 445-7600 is the priciest unit on our list and also one of the most expensive self-centering dowel jig in the market. However, it is worth the cash because it is a simple to use and a very precise dowel jig that will help you make perfect dowel joints without having to do any measurements or calculations.
This dowel jig comes with an aluminum body for durability, and some hardened still guides that will serve you for long and to ensure that you always get accurate holes. Eagle America 445-7600 can handle materials from 1/4 inch up to 6-inches wide making it the best dowel jig on our list for a professional woodworker that deals with wide stock.
With this jig, you get 2 each of the standard 3/8-inch, 5/16-inch and 1/4-inch bushing and it also comes with 2 accurate guide holes that make it possible to drill up to three hole sizes on a 3/4-uinch center. This dowel jig will also work as a mortising guide, and the offset holes are easy as you will only need to add a spacer block.
3. Dowl-it 1000 Self-Center Dowel Jig
Editor's Rating: (4.8 / 5)
Dowel-it 1000 is a self-centering dowel jig that has a maximum capacity of 2-inches. This jig is a perfect choice for hobbyist woodworkers that want something that is easy to use and accurate for small and medium size projects. It features 6 permanent drilling holes whose sizes are 1/2-inch, 7/16-inch, 3/8-inch, 5/16-inch, 1/4-inch, and 3/16-inch.
The center blocks on this jig are hardened steel, and it ensures that you get precision drilling and long lasting service. Dowel-it 1000 also comes with a large steel clamping screw for tightening it and a rugged aluminum side which helps to keep the stock in place without damaging it.
Just like most other top dowel jig kits, it has a self-centering action that works for both round and square stock. This jig is the second most affordable in our list, and it does not have any loose parts that can get lost, and so you can be sure of many years of service provided you do the basic maintenance.
2. Dowl-It 2500 Dowel Self-Centering Dowel Jig
Editor's Rating: (4.8 / 5)
Dowl-It model 2500 dowel jig features four tapped holes that can accommodate the replaceable drill bushings. These replaceable bushings make it possible to drill different hole combinations in hole sizes of your choice. And the best element or aspect about this is that you do not have to remove the jig to do this hence making it very accurate.
The Dowl-It 2500 will come with six removable bushing to make it even more versatile. With these bushings, you get 2 of each of sizes 3/8-inch, 5/16-inch and 1/4-inch. And to make sure that you get to use this jig for many years, both the bushings and center block are hardened and also plated to protect them from rust.
With this jig, you will never have to worry about damaging your woods or boards. Apart from the self-centering feature that ensures you only drill where you want it also has some rugged aluminum sides that hold the stock in place without causing any scratches or damage. And with a total weight of only 2.6 pounds, this dowel jig is very easy to handle and transport.
1. Woodstock D4116 Dowel Jig
Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)
Woodstock D4116 will handle stocks that are up to 2-inches wide and hence making it suitable for most woodworking projects at home. This dowel jig will drill hole sizes 1/2-inch, 7/16-inch, 3/8-inch, 5/16-inch and 1/4-inch which are sufficient for most projects that require the use of dowel joints.
This dowel jig will come with a total of 6 hardened steel bushings that will serve you for a long time. Also, these bushings come in different sizes to give you more drill hole options. You will get 2 of each of the 3/8-inch, 5/16-inch, and 1/4-inch bushings.
The ease of use of the Woodstock D4116 makes it one of the best dowel jigs not only on our list but also out there. It also makes it possible to drill two identical and parallel holes without having to move the dowel jig meaning that you still maintain precision and accuracy. Despite the high-quality construction and material, it is still a lightweight and easy to handle doweling jig as it only weighs 2.5 pounds.
What to Look for When Buying a Dowel Jig
Our dowel jigs reviews above showcase some of the top units from the leading brands in the market and they will make your selection easy. However, when shopping for dowel jigs, it is important to know how to choose from the many options in the market.
Although in most instances how you plan to use it is what determines your choice it is vital always to consider the following qualities.
#1. Self –Centering
A self-centering dowel jig makes your work easy and also helps to ensure that you always get the holes just where you want them. A jig that is self-centering will find the proper alignment for drilling the hole automatically. This feature is vital because when using dowel joints a small deviation is always very noticeable when you finish your project.
The best dowel jigs will always come with a self-clamping feature because it ensures that you never have to stress about it moving when drilling. Also, you will not need to use separate clamps which make things very convenient if you do not have any free clamps in the workshop.
#3. Variety of Bushing Sizes
A doweling jig that limits you to the standard 3/8-inch size will not be very helpful because it has limited uses. And so it is important to go for one that comes with multiple bushing sizes because it gives you many options and you are free to get creative with your joints.
#4. Bushing Material
Apart from coming with numerous bushings, a good dowel jig will also come with high-quality ones. Hardened steel bushings are the best because they are hard to break. It is important to remember that you will be putting the bushings under a lot of stress as the drill bit goes through them and so they are prone to breaking if they are not sturdy enough and high-quality.