9 Best Dowel Jigs: Top Jigs to Improve Productivity

Best Dowel Jig

The dowel has been used in woodworking for hundreds of years. It is a very effective and discreet way of strengthening joints in places where regular nails are not wanted.

However, doweling is a difficult and time-consuming task when done manually. Not everyone has that kind of time or skill level to do it. This is where the dowel jig comes into play. So, what is it?

The dowel jig is basically a doweling template with guiding holes that clamp to your board and allows you to drill very accurately in a matter of seconds.

It comes with different bushing sizes for versatility and most models are self-centering providing you with greater ease of use. In fact, any beginner can use the dowel jig as this tool is very user-friendly. Additionally, it has a very low learning curve for those who have never used this tool before.

If you are looking for a quality model, our dowel jig review below lists some cost-effective units that will literally change the way you make dowels. Let's see how well they perform!

You can also read other product reviews such as dovetail jig, pocket hole jig

9 Best Dowel Jigs - Reviews

Product Name

Bushing Size

Bushing Material

Weight

Rating

Current Price

1. Dowl It 1000 Self-Centering Dowel Jig

3/16", 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 7/16", 1/2"

Solid Steel

2.35 lbs

4.8

2. Task Premium Dowel Jig

1/4", 5/16" and 3/8"

Aluminum

2.45 lbs

4.6

3. Dowl It 2500 Self Centering Dowel Jig

1/4", 5/16" and 3/8"

Aluminum

2.65 lbs

4.4

4. Big Horn 19695 Dowel Jig Kit

1/4"

Hardened Steel

0.55 lb

4.1

5. Milescraft 13090003 Dowel Jig Kit

1/4", 5/16" and 3/8"

Metal

1.8 lbs

4.2

6. Eagle America 445-7600 Professional Dowel Jig

1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 7/16" and 1/2"

Hardened Steel

3.2 lbs

4.1

7. Grizzly G1874 Improved Dowel Jig

1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 7/16" and 1/2"

Hardened Steel

2.5 lbs

4.0

8. Wolfcraft 3751405 Pro Dowel Jig

1/4", 5/16" and 3/8"

Hardened Steel

1.9 lbs

4.0

9. Wolfcraft 4641404 Quick Dowel Jig

1/4", 5/16" and 3/8"

Hardened Steel

0.6 lb

3.6

#1. Dowl It 1000 Self-Centering Dowel Jig

Editor's Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Dowl It 1000 Self-Centering Dowel Jig
  • Bushing Size: 3/16 in, 1/4 in, 5/16 in, 3/8 in, 7/16 in and 1/2 in
  • Bushing Material: Solid Steel
  • Weight: 2.35 lbs

The Dowl It 1000 is an affordable and yet versatile dowel jig that has a lot to offer. This model has one of the widest variety of bushing sizes making it extremely versatile indeed. Furthermore, the bushing is reinforced by steel for durability and the center block is made from a solid piece of steel which is very sturdy. The sides are made from aluminum.

Additionally, the clamping system holds this dowel jig in position for accurate drills. One of the best things about this model is that it has a rugged aluminum side that will not damage the wood even if the clamp is heavily tightened.

All in all, this is a high-quality dowel jig that does not cost a lot of money and still has highly attractive features and a lot of versatility for the price. The only caveat we have is that the bushing guides are not removable.

Pros:

  • Versatile. 6 bushing sizes
  • Machine precision for accurate drills
  • Self-centering dowel jig
  • Rugged aluminum side will not damage the work

Cons:

  • The bushing guides are non-removable

#2. Task Premium Dowel Jig

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Task Premium Dowel Jig
  • Bushing Size: 1/4 in, 5/16 in and 3/8 in
  • Bushing Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 2.45 lbs

In terms of price and build construction, the Task Premium dowel jig is pretty much a king. It is made from an aircraft grade aluminum which is very durable and long-lasting. To make it even more resistant, this product is steel-plated that will prevent it from rusting and make it appear new even after years of use.

This dowel jig uses the traditional clamping system with a center block that contains multiple and industry-standard bushing sizes for making joinery for furniture. What we like about this unit is that it is a small and compact dowel jig that is very easy-to-use.

It will work with edges as large as 2-1/4 in and the distance can easily be adjusted with the clamp system. Basically, this dowel jig will work with almost any type of material thickness that is commonly used for making furniture.

Pros:

  • Relatively affordable. Value for money
  • Easy to use clamp system and self-centering jig
  • Versatile. Contains 3 different types of bushing sizes
  • Machine engineered for precision

Cons:

  • None

#3. Dowl It 2500 Self Centering Dowel Jig

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Dowl It 2500 Self Centering Dowel Jig
  • Bushing Size: 1/4 in, 5/16 in and 3/8 in
  • Bushing Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 2.65 lbs

The Dowl It 2500 is a refreshed and slightly updated version of the Dowl It 1000 we have reviewed above. It sports the same build construction and has almost similar features.

However, unlike the previous model above, this one has removable dowel holes that give you even more ease-of-use especially if you want to replace the bushing. Further, this model comes equipped with only 4 tapped holes while the Dowl It 1000 had 6.

At this point, you will need to choose if you require this versatility and need the ability to change the guide holes in your dowel jig.

Pros:

  • Excellent build construction. Durable and long-lasting
  • Bushing guide holes can be removed and replaced
  • Self-centering system for accuracy and drill speed

Cons:

  • Has fewer guide holes than the Dowl It 1000

#4. Big Horn 19695 Dowel Jig Kit

Editor's Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Big Horn 19695 Dowel Jig Kit
  • Bushing Size: 1/4 in
  • Bushing Material: Hardened Steel
  • Weight: 0.55 lb

The Big Horn 19695 is one of the most affordable dowel jigs in this review. This is a simple unit that contains only 1 bushing size of 1/4 in it is not as versatile as other models we have reviewed so far, but for the price, it is very easy to work with and has a lot of flexibility.

One of the best things about this dowel jig is that it comes with a clear acrylate face that allows you to see your drill hole easily.

Furthermore, the hardened steel drilling guide holes are durable and will not damage the acrylic face. It still remains quite versatile as you can do edge-to-edge or T-joints with its three 1/4 in guide holes.

To make it even easier to work with, there are straight-line markings on this tool. The only caveat is that this Big Horn dowel jig is a purely manual dowel jig that lacks the accuracy of other models in this review. However, for the price, you cannot ask for anything better.

Pros:

  • 3 guide holes for more versatility when doweling
  • Clear acrylic face for ease of use
  • Hardened steel bushing guide protects the acrylic face

Cons:

  • Lacks the accuracy of other dowel jigs as it does not have a clamping system
  • Has only 1 bushing size of 1/4 in

#5. Milescraft 13090003 Dowel Jig Kit

Editor's Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Milescraft 13090003 Dowel Jig Kit
  • Bushing Size: 1/4 in, 5/16 in and 3/8 in
  • Bushing Material: Metal
  • Weight: 1.8 lbs

One of the best things about the Milescraft 13090003 is that it is a complete dowel jig kit. If you do not own any doweling tools, then this is a good model to consider since it allows you to start from scratch and it even comes with hardwood dowel pins of different sizes.

Moreover, what makes this Milescraft tool one of the best dowel jigs on the market is its highly affordable price. You definitely get a lot of worth for your money with this model.

It does not have a clamp system, but a small fence that allows you to accurately align the bushings for drilling. Of course, it isn't as accurate as a dowel jig that comes with a clamp system but in a skilled hand you can definitely dowel and jig faster with this model.

Pros:

  • One of the most affordable dowel jig solution in this review
  • Comes as a complete dowel jig kit including hardwood pins of different sizes
  • Bushing guides can be adjusted with the included fence system

Cons:

  • Lacks a clamping system

#6. Eagle America 445-7600 Professional Dowel Jig

Editor's Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Eagle America 445-7600 Professional Dowel Jig
  • Bushing Size: 1/4 in, 5/16 in, 3/8 in, 7/16 In and 1/2 In
  • Bushing Material: Hardened Steel
  • Weight: 3.2 lbs

If you usually work with thick pieces of material that are more than 2 inches in size, the Eagle America 445-7600 is your dowel jig of choice. This model can work with material from a 1/4 in up to 6 in. This is an excellent versatility as most dowel jigs are limited to only 2 in thickness.

Another advantage of this model is that the bushing guide holes can quickly and easily be replaced. The clamp system is another department where this model shines as it is very easy-to-use. The rugged aluminum side is anti-slip and does not damage the material.

All in all, if you need to perform doweling in large pieces of material, this dowel jig from Eagle America is a good model to consider.

Pros:

  • Allows you to work with very thick material of up to 6 in
  • Clamp system is very easy to use
  • Self-centering system

Cons:

  • Not the most accurate or best quality dowel jig according to its users

#7. Grizzly G1874 Improved Dowel Jig

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Grizzly G1874 Improved Dowel Jig
  • Bushing Size: 1/4 in, 5/16 in, 3/8 in, 7/16 In and 1/2 In
  • Bushing Material: Hardened Steel
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs

The Grizzly G1874 comes with 5 guide holes that are reinforced with hardened steel for durability. This dowel jig allows you to perform a wide variety of doweling tasks when it comes to furniture.

It uses a user-friendly clamp system that is very easy to adjust and offers great accuracy when clamped. As with most dowel jigs, this model can work with material of 2 in thick or less. Not the most flexible, but still industry-standard.

As for the build quality, this Grizzly dowel jig is machine engineered for precision and high accuracy. It is very easy-to-use and even comes with a self-centering system that allows you to easily center this tool on any type of material, even if it is not perfectly flat.

The only caveat we have with this model is that despite the fact that there are alignment markings on his dowel jig for making accurate measurements, it is not clearly visible when seen from above as there is a metal lip that hides it from view.

Pros:

  • Excellent build construction. Durable and long-lasting
  • Clamp system is very easy to use
  • 5 bushing sizes for more versatility

Cons:

  • Alignment markings on this dowel jig is not clearly visible

#8. Wolfcraft 3751405 Pro Dowel Jig

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Wolfcraft 3751405 Pro Dowel Jig
  • Bushing Size: 1/4 in, 5/16 in and 3/8 in
  • Bushing Material: Hardened Steel
  • Weight: 1.9 lbs

The Wolfcraft 3751405 Pro has a different design from your average dowel jig. It comes as a kit with 2 different dowel jigs for the price of 1. Those are compact and highly durable units made from aluminum that due to their shape makes them more versatile when doweling.

There are multiple guide holes in the main model that allow the user to make quick and easy jig holes. A downside is that it has a maximum thickness of 1.25 in which is significantly less than the industry standard of 2 in. Furthermore, this is mostly a manual dowel jig that lacks a self-centering system.

However, if you have marked your holes beforehand and need a cost-effective way for doweling, the Wolfcraft 3751405 is still a good dowel jig for the money.

Pros:

  • Cost-effective
  • Comes with 2 dowel jigs for better ease of use
  • Hardened steel bushing for durability and precision drill

Cons:

  • Not as accurate or easy to use as other models
  • Works only with a maximum of 1.25 in edge thickness

#9. Wolfcraft 4641404 Quick Dowel Jig

Editor's Rating: 3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)

Wolfcraft 4641404 Quick Dowel Jig
  • Bushing Size: 1/4 in, 5/16 in and 3/8 in
  • Bushing Material: Hardened Steel
  • Weight: 0.6 lb

The Wolfcraft 4641404 is mostly made for those looking for a highly affordable dowel jig. It does not have advanced features or the accuracy of more expensive and premium models, but it gets the job done just fine even for semi-professional doweling.

Despite it being made from a high-impact plastic, this unit still has 3 industry-standard bushing sizes that are reinforced by hardened steel for durability.

This Wolfcraft dowel jig also comes with a plastic fence guide that allows it to perform both edge-to-edge and edge-to-corner joints quickly and easily. You can even adjust the distance from the boreholes using this fence making it quite versatile.

All in all, this model from Wolfcraft is a basic and yet surprisingly performing dowel jig for the money.

Pros:

  • The most affordable dowel jig in this review
  • The most lightweight model at only 0.6 lb
  • Self-centering system
  • 3 bushing guides for versatility

Cons:

  • Made of plastic. Not as durable as a metal dowel jig
  • Maximum edge thickness of 1.25 in

How to Buy the Best Dowel Jigs 

How to Buy a Dowel Jig

Before purchasing a wood dowel jig, there are some important aspects to consider because there is a thin line between a useful dowel jig and a useless one.

1. Purpose

First and foremost, the most important aspect is to choose a dowel jig based on your purpose and need. For example, most models have more than 1 bushing size and if you never work with dowels that exceed a certain size, then you do not need to pay extra or get a bigger model with multiple bushings.

2. Accuracy

There are many things that make a dowel jig an accurate tool. The first one is the clamp system. This secures the dowel jig in place so it does not move when drilling.

Moreover, ensure that your preferred model has a self-centering system that will easily and automatically align the dowel jig for you.

Accuracy is also dictated by the build construction of the dowel jig. The metal sides of this tool as well as the center block are usually machine polished so that they are perfectly flat and provides you with the greatest accuracy possible when working with any type of edges, even those that are not perfectly flat.

3. Flexibility

Dowel jigs come in different shapes and sizes, all making them more versatile. It is always a good choice to get a model that can perform a wide variety of doweling tasks like edge to edge, T-joints or edge to corner.

This flexibility will surely come in handy sooner or later especially when working with furniture that usually needs joinery of different sizes.

4. Ease of use

The dowel jig is a surprisingly simple tool. It does look intimidating but it's very user-friendly once you start using it. Consequently, you do not want an overly complex dowel jig that tries to do too many things but eventually accomplish little.

Check if your chosen model has an easy-to-use clamp system, metal reinforced bushings for the drill bit and a self-centering system. All those factors will make the dowel jig straightforward and easy to use.

5. Bushing Size

The bushing size dictates the size of the hole you will drill. In short, the greater the size, the bigger the dowel.

Common bushing sizes in a dowel jig are 3/16 in, 1/4 in, 5/16 in, 3/8 in, 7/16 in and 1/2 in. If you only work with one bushing size only, as is common in making furniture, then you do not need additional sizes.

The main advantage is that a dowel jig with only 1 bushing size is usually smaller and easier to use. Of course, your choice for a dowel jig here will depend on your need.

6. Bushing Material

The bushing is where the drill bit enters the dowel jig and drills a hole. Therefore, it needs to be reinforced if you do not want to damage the bushing.

Ensure that the bushing is reinforced with a tough metal material. Steel is usually the preferred bushing material that does not damage easily and is long-lasting.

Conclusion

As we've seen, the wood dowel jig makes doweling incredibly faster and easier. You do not have to waste precious time making unnecessary measurements and you can drill highly accurate holes for your dowels in a matter of seconds.

Best, they come with standard bushings of various sizes for more versatility and ease of use when making dowels for furniture or for other carpentry work.

Another good thing about the dowel jig is that they are affordable and value for money woodworking tools. Anyone can afford it and you cannot go wrong with them.

If you have still not found a high-quality dowel jig from our list above then we recommend that you go through it one more time.

Last Updated on

Tom Bradly
 

My entrepreneurial journey started in 2006, when I dropped out of university. I wanted to work with my hands, to build things. Now I mix my background with computers with my first-hand experience with woodworking to provide insights into the tools I like best. I love everything about woodworking and have been building stuff for over 20 years of my life. I hope to pass some knowledge and expertise.