What You Will Get Here
- Why Should You Trust Us?
- Dowel Jig - Definition & Types
- Basic Considerations for Buying the Best Dowel Jig
- How Did We Pick the Best?
- Our Top 10 List
- Best Overall: Premium Doweling Jig by Task
- Also Great: Rockler Dowl-it 1000 Self-Centering Doweling Jig
- Best for Professionals: Eagle America 445-7600 Wide Capacity Self-Centering
- Best Dowel Jig Kit: Milescraft 1309 DowelJigKit
- Best Handheld Dowel Jig: Milescraft 1319 JointMate
- A List of 5 Other Dowel Jigs We Reviewed
- Other Tested Products
- Dowel Jig Use: Tips & Tricks
Why Should You Trust Us?
You might be wondering who are we and why we took the responsibility to prepare this review on our shoulders? Well, we were once novice woodworkers and blacksmiths that used to spend a lot of time scouring through hundreds of product reviews online. But we could rarely find any reliable info since most of the reviewers were sponsored by the manufacturers.
This factor encouraged us here at Drillly to test and review the top dowel jigs in order to find the best, eliminating the necessity for you to do the thorough research that we’ve already done for you. We have been in the industry for over 15 years, though our online presence is comparatively new - around 5 years only.
In this platform, we would like to share our user experience with different dowel jig models from different brands. We’re not sponsored by any particular dowel jig manufacturer and we give reviews with the sole intention to help you find your best fit, without having to visit one brick-and-mortar store after another yourself.
Dowel Jig - Definition & Types
Dowel jigs are small tools used for cutting dowel holes that're very common in woodworking. All you have to do is lay the jig on the wood piece and it will create the dowel holes without which the whole process could be problematic and time-consuming.
Irrespective of the many dowel jigs available for sale, they can be classified into three main types - the basic, the intermediate, and the advanced. You may use dowel jigs of all types based on your knowledge of doweling. The more you advance in knowledge, the more you are able to move from one type of dowel jig to another.
1. Basic Dowel Jigs
This is by far the simplest and most common dowel jig known. Being a basic dowling jig, they are mainly used by beginners and apprentices who are yet to grasp the working of more advanced dowel jigs. They are very much easy to understand and safer to use than the other types. If you have never used a dowel tool before then the basic dowel jig is the best for you.
2. Intermediate Dowel Jigs
This type of dowel jigs can be used by both beginners and advanced dowel jig users. It is not so complex in its operation, but very comprehensive in structure. They are best for the simple and less daunting task while you master the art of doweling. They come with instructions that help you while making use of it and also have safety precautions to be followed.
3. Advanced Dowel Jigs
The advanced dowel jigs are being used by professionals who have mastered the art of doweling perfectly well. With the advanced doweling jig, you are able to carry out advanced woodworking tasks. They make the whole process seem easy and ensure you are safe while working with and on them.
It is not enough for you to know the types of dowel jigs, it is also important for you to know how to choose the best dowel jig that best fits your need. Your need or the nature of the work to be done as well as your understanding of using dowel jigs are very essential. They play a major role in deciding the type of dowel jig you should purchase. This and many more is what we shall be examining in this dowel jig review.
Basic Considerations for Buying the Best Dowel Jig
As a user who intends to buy the best dowel jig for the money at hand, and the work to be done, you have to be guided by some basic considerations. These considerations are what makes one person's in a dowel jig differ from that of another. In order to make things easy for you, I will be outlining some of the basic considerations for buying the best dowel jig
1. Intended Use
The first thing you should consider is for the purpose for which the dowel jig is needed. Here you have to ask yourself some basic questions like Do I need this for drilling? Making sharp edges? Or just for working on a plane alone? It is on the strength of the decision that other considerations lie.
The accuracy of every dowel jig differs. So what accuracy level are you seeking to achieve? You should know that this is based on the task to be carried. Tough tasks will require that you consider more accurate dowel jigs than other basic tasks.
As a beginner, the dowel jig you will desire will differ from that which will be required when you eventually master doweling. So considering your understanding of how to operate a dowel jig, you should take into consideration the flexibility or otherwise of such dowel jig.
Self-centering is the ability of the dowel jig to center itself and align well on workpieces without you having to initiate the alignment. Almost all jigs are self-centering dowel jigs but the ability of a dowel jig to self-center itself differs from one jig to the other.
5. Multiple Sizes of Bushings
Also, the sizes of bushings just like the self-centering ability differs from dowel jig to the other. While some dowel jigs allow for just two bushings, others allow for as much as six bushings at a time. Don't mistake the number of bushings to make it suitable for use. The size of bushings required should go in line with the intended use.
6. Clamping Capacity
Clamping capacity is the ability of a dowel jig to hold items and loads firmly. Each and every dowel jig comes with its clamping abilities. You should make sure that the dowel jig you are considering has equal or sufficient clamping capacity to the task it is to be used for.
7. Hardened Steel Bushings
Tougher tasks require hardened steel bushings. So if you are just to carry out a basic task, you can opt for any of the jigsaws with ordinary steal bushings. When the task is a tough one, make sure you are all out for a dowel jig with hardened steel bushings.
8. Ease of Use
This is particularly important for beginners. Some dowel jig can be very complicated. Making use of this kind of doweling joiner will just make you frustrated and exhausted. If you are yet to master dowel, then do yourself some good by considering any of the easy to use dowel jigs.
9. Price to Quality Ratio
Remember that high price doesn't necessarily translate to high quality. So when purchasing the best dowel jig, make sure you draw a comparison between the price and the capacity. Once the price to the quality ratio is impressive, then you're good to go.
How Did We Pick the Best?
We gave our best effort to make this list as comprehensive as possible. Whenever we decide to review a product here on Drillly, whether that's a drill press table or a woodworking drill press, we follow a standard testing procedure that involves several hours of product research, several days or months of product testing by ourselves and our volunteers, and then compiling all the data collected to compare the products and find out the best.
We did the same thing when we reviewed the top doweling jigs on the market. First we made a list of the top 20 after conducting around 22 hours of research online. We then decided to test them one after another but not all of those models were available to us. So, we asked other professional woodworkers and carpenters in our locality to share with us how useful they found those particular models and how much benefited they really were.
We were fortunate enough to get their opinions and feedback right on time before finishing our testing process. From these findings, we were able to know how well each of these dowel jigs performed as we all put them to applications like drilling dowel holes and making joints. This allowed us to make the list shorter with 10 best jigs choices. To double-check that our finalized choices were really what we were claiming to be, we again browsed through different review sites and looked into real-life customer feedback on those shortlisted dowel jigs. As we had expected, people were very positive about their overall performances; ensuring that our hard work ultimately paid off well.
Our Top 10 List
Now, to our top ten best dowel jigs. In arriving at this list, we have categorized these dowel jigs based on types. We have also analyzed them based on the factors provided above in the factors to consider when buying the best dowel jig. This way, you know which to pick, and how you can make the best out of whatever choice you make.