Iit is not easy finding the right array of tools to use especially that wood is quite malleable. Most of the people out there might think that making things out of wood can be achieved without great effort, but the process usually demands a lot more and calls for a mighty arsenal apparatus, as well as a bit of knowledge in the field.

Linking up two wooden planks for your cabinets or cupboard drawers through the help of finely-shaped dowels (or dowel joints) is one of the most prevalent ways of making a simple structure.

The dowel jig is the most common tool used that will make driving these dowels into their designated holes easier. If one can have a dowel jig of high quality, even relatively inexperienced woodworkers can bring about detailed joints quickly and effortlessly.

Be that as it may, the market is swarming with products, and selecting the finest dowel jig for a specific task can give rise to a challenge. Before presenting the top picks for dowel jigs, we might as well learn the necessary things before purchasing one.

What is the best doweling jig kit?

The answer to this depends on the tool fit for a task you are planning to do. If you are planning to make a few holes in the wood, then a simple doweling tool is fine.  Here are some of the best products we can find in the market and their features to help you in choosing a doweling jig.

Our top recommended picks

 Wolfcraft 3751405 dowel pro doweling jig kit

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wolfcraft 3751405 Dowel Pro Doweling Jig Kit
  • 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

Wolfcraft doweling jig kit has a design that stands out from the rest of the dowel jig models.It is simple and can even manage to dowel edge-to-edge, T-joints and edge-to-corner positions.

Best Features:

  • Compact design
  •  Easy to use
  • No measuring and marking required
  • Comes with hardened steel bushings
  •  Allows you to make edge-to-edge, edge-to-corner, and T-joints
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty
  • Made out of cast aluminum
  • Can handle planks and other pieces of wood that are anywhere from 1/2” to 1-1/4” thick

Dowl-it 1000 self-centering doweling jig

Dowl-it 1000 Self-centering Doweling Jig
  • Maximum 2'' capacity
  • Boring sizes: 3/16'', 1/4'', 5/16'', 3/8'', 7/16'' and 1/2''

Dowel-it model 1000 is a model that has not really changed, and retained its original design ever since it was first built in 1949. It is made with aluminum while the central block is constructed from hardened steel. It is reliable that no loose parts can be displaced.

Best Features:

  • Self-centering dowelling jig
  • Allows you to drill six different hole sizes: 3/16”, 1/4”, 5/16”, 3/8”, 7/16”, and the biggest one 1/2”
  • Center block with the holes is made out of high-quality steel
  • The slides are made out of durable aluminum
  • Maximum 2” capacity

Woodstock D4116 doweling jig

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Woodstock D4116 Doweling Jig
  • 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

This model allows you to work with smaller, or rather ‘thinner’, pieces of wood. You can ensure durability and longevity of its bushings as it is made of hardened steel. However, it is not advisable for doweling with greater than 2 inches.

Best Features:

  •  Small working area of only 2 inches
  • Automatically centers itself on the object of drilling
  • Five different hole sizes: 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″, and 1/2″
  • Six steel bushings made of hardened steel: 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″ (two of each size)

Milescraft 1311 JointPro – Professional Doweling Jig

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Milescraft 1311 Joint Pro Professional, Self-Clamping All Steel Doweling Jig - Professional Quality - Includes 4 Guide Bushings for 1/4 in., 5/16 in. and 3/8 in. Dowels
  • 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
  • Please review specifications to ensure this product will meet your project’s dimensional requirements (Imperial or Metric Units)

Made of hardened steel bushings for longevity and reliability, the Milescraft JointPro is a doweling jig that features a somewhat unorthodox build compared to most of the company’s product. If you are a newbie, this is a great option as it comes with an instruction manual.

Best Features:

  •  Clamp both boards simultaneously 
  • Drill up to six matching holes per setup for stronger joints
  • Can clamp down two boards simultaneously

Premium doweling jig from Task

Premium Doweling Jig
  • Self Centering
  • Includes 2 each size bushing 1/4, 5/16,and 3/8
  • 2-3/8 wide capacity
  • Made from aircraft grade aluminum
  • Steel plated for corrosion prevention

The Premium Doweling Jig from the Task company is compact, sturdy and at the same time reliable. It is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum with a steel coating for rust and corrosion resistance.

Best Features:

  • Made out of aircraft grade aluminum
  • Self-centering feature
  • Reinforced the drill guide centers
  • Allows you to drill five different hole sizes ranging from 2 inches all the way to 2-7/16 of an inch.
  • Includes 2 each size bushing 1/4, 5/16,and 3/8
  • Has a steel plating that prevents corrosion

Jessem model 08350 dowelling jig master kit

Jessem Model 08350 Dowelling Jig Master Kit
  • APPLICATION: Create 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2-inch dowel holes on the end or face of your work piece
  • MULTIPLE DOWEL HOLE CONFIGURATION: Locations of dowels can be pre-set in 1/8-inch increments, perfect for creating multiple dowel hole configuration
  • BUILT-IN ALIGNMENT SLOTS: Built-in alignment slot allows you to match up dowel holes that are spaced further apart for perfect aligned dowel holes
  • STURDY CONSTRUCTION: Constructed of precision CNC machined aluminum, anodized for durability and laser engraved for fast set ups
  • INCLUDED GUIDE BUSHING CARRIER: Includes 3/8-inch guide bushing carrier with 5 guide bushings, 1/2-inch guide bushing carrier with 3 guide bushings, and 1/4-inch guide bushing carrier with 7 guide bushings

This model is from a company named JessEm. It is highly-durable as its included accessory guiding parts are constructed through aluminum and anodized after. This is a well-rounded set of tools that is best used for small, dowel-friendly holes.

Best Features:

  • With a maximum edge-to-centre distance of 3.5”
  • Anodized aluminum parts for durability and comes with a built-in alignment shot
  • Allows you to drill three different hole sizes: 1/4”, 3/8”, and 1/2”
  • Has five drilling guides of 3/8” that have been precision-manufactured on a CNC machine and made out of aluminum, as well as the specialized drill bits of the same diameter
  •  Has a stop collar and an indexing pin

Eagle america 445-7600 professional wide capacity self-centering dowel jig

Eagle America 445-7600 Professional Wide Capacity Self-Centering Dowel Jig
  • The jig handles material from 1/4-inch to 6-inch thick
  • Dowling made easy
  • It has precision

This model has a simple-to-use and made easy dowling and clamping contraption to help you drill high-precision holes in wood. It is constructed from aluminum which is then anodized for improved durability, while the guides are from hardened steel.

Best Features:

  • Self-centering capacity
  • Can easily take care of planks ranging from 1/4-inch to 6-inches in thickness.
  • Five different frill holes: 1/4”, 5/16”, 3/8”, as well as two fixed holes measuring in 7/16” and 1/2”

Grizzly G1874 improved dowel jig

Grizzly G1874 Improved Dowel Jig
  • Automatically centers itself on round square or irregular shapes handles stock up to 2-Inch thick drill-hole sizes are 1/4-Inch 5/16-Inch 3/8-Inch 7
  • 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

If you are usually working with wooden planks for furniture use, this is the best choice for you.  Grizzly G1874 Improved Dowel Jig is compact, sturdy, and has a specialized system for stability and alignment.  It has hardened steel bushings and can clump even in irregularly shaped surfaces.

Best Features:       

  • Self-centered features
  • Automatically centers itself on round square or irregular shapes handles
  • Can perform with the thinner pieces of wood, up to 2 inches in width
  • Five different hole sizes: 1/4”, 5/16”, 3/8”, 7/16”, and 1/2″ in diameter

Dowl It 2500 dowel self centering jig , 2-inch capacity with 4 tapped holes

Dowl It 2500 Dowel Self Centering Jig , 2-Inch capacity with 4 tapped holes
  • Four tapped holes to accept replaceable bushings
  • Self-centering
  • 2" capacity

This is another model Dowl-It company, with reinforced aluminum clamp on the sides to minimize moving while in use.

Best Features:

  •  Four tapped holes to accept replaceable bushings
  • Self-centering
  • Has 6 removable bushings
  • bushings and the jig centre constructed from  hardened steel
  • The clamping sides are made out of reinforced aluminum
  • 2-inch width clearance

Self-Centering Dowelling Jig, 6/8/10mm Wood Dowel Hole Drilling Guide Positioner Locator Tool

Woodworking Self Centering Dowelling Jig, 6/8/10mm Wood Dowel Hole Drilling Guide Positioner Locator Precise Drilling Tools
  • GOOD DURABILITY AND NICE APPEARANCE ALUMINUM ALLOY MATERIAL--This Self Centering Dowelling Jig Inch is made of constructed of industrial grade aluminum alloy, which has good strength, high corrosion resistance and long durability ensures long term service
  • OFFERS STURDY AND ACCURATE POSITIONING--The drill bushings of this Self Centering Dowelling Jig adopts with die steel with heat treatment, which is sturdy and accurate for positioning
  • IDEAL Woodworking Self Centering Dowelling Jig FROM 17MM TO 60MM--Large clamping range from 17mm to 60mm
  • EQUIPEED WITH PRECISION POSITIONING SCALE OFFERS ACCURATE POSITIONER--This Metric Dowel Drill Punch Locator is equipped with precision positioning scale, determining the distance between the first hole and the clamp
  • COMES WITH DIFFERENT SIZES BUSHINGS MEET VARIETY NEEDS--This Dowel Hole Drilling Guide comes with 9 drill bushings in 3 sizes, meeting different needs of wood drilling

If you are looking for a dowel that can work with wooden boards from 17 to 50 mm, this is the best model for you. This l comes from a company named Walfront and it has the weirdest-looking doweling contraption. It is constructed from aluminum alloy 6061 which underwent anodic oxidation for longevity.

Best Features:

  • With three sizes for bushings- 6, 8 and 10 mm
  • Precise drilling with inbuilt measuring scale

Classifications of dowel jigs

  It would really be extremely beneficial for us to know the classifications of dowel jigs so that we will know what to purchase based on our level of experience on the tool. Here are the classifications of dowel jigs:

Basic

Basic dowel jigs are designed for beginners. The built of the said dowel jig is for those who want to have DIY activities. However, these tools come with fewer features only and the durability is not guaranteed because most of them are not built firmly.

Intermediate

Intermediate dowel jigs can be used by both beginners and professional users. The price of these jigs are reasonable and their functional abilities are of the required standard. You can make use of the tools for almost all of your needs regardless of the experience that you have on carpentry.

Advanced

This type of dowel jig is advisable for professional use only.  They come with first-rate features and durability. Most of the advanced jigs are made of a metallic body construction that has options to link up different types of woods.

Factors to consider before purchasing a dowelling jig kit

Aside from knowing the classifications of dowel jigs, we also need to know other factors that can affect our decision in purchasing. These factors are as follows:

Purpose

This should be the first factor you need to consider when buying a doweling jig kit. You need to ask yourself first what the intended purpose of the dowel jig is. With this question beforehand, you will be able to save and invest in a particular model that will be perfect for your woodworking needs because jigs have different drilling capacities and bushing sizes.

Bushing material

Dowel bushings, which are commonly called ground hollow dowels or spring alignment dowels, are used to locate components in conjunction with bolts which move through the inside of the dowel after it has been connected. Most dowel bushings are made out of regular steel. For next level dowelling tasks, a stronger set of bushings is required. One example is bushings that are reinforced with steel which are ideal for creating holes in different pieces of wood that are tougher than a regular plywood.

Accuracy and self-centeredness

This factor is probably the most vital factor we need to consider because this determines the success of your dowelling contraption. If your bushings are smaller, too large and not set at the right angle, there could be higher chances of you ruining your own work. That is why we need to keep in mind that it is vital for the doweling jig to be fairly accurate. Meanwhile, self-centeredness is connected to accuracy. Always look for models with ‘self-centering’ features because this aids the holes to be automatically centered in the wood when it is attached to it.

Weight

Another factor you need to consider is how heavy or light your dowel jig is. Make sure to purchase one that can be handled comfortably while you are working in order to avoid getting tired easily, increase productivity, and make your doweling experience enjoyable

Clamping Capacity

The clamp is a vital part of you doweling jig. Make sure that it is steady and firm so that it will not slip away whenever you are using it.

Flexibility

When choosing a doweling jig, it would be better if you opt to those with a higher number of bushing and different hole sizes. Having various hole sizes means it would be easier for you to adjoin various woods compared to having only one size, which can make your options limited.

Convenience

It is highly advisable to purchase the most advanced version of a dowel jig kit because it would be easier to figure out how they work. An average doweling jig kit is somehow difficult to understand especially for beginners.

Affordability

Based on the material used for the dowel bushings, the self-centering capability, and the number of holes you can utilize, the price can range from 20 to 70 dollars or perhaps slightly more than that.

Points to remember

Now that we know the highly recommended products in the market, we need to remember these important points before checking out your chosen dowel jig kit:

Your doweling jig kit will always depend on the purpose that you will use it on. No need to spend too much money if you only need to make a couple of holes in a wood.

A doweling jig kit is essential if your line of work is with wood like making furniture with a number of joints and if you do not want to use too many nails and screws.

Although it takes practice, using a doweling jig is quite straightforward. You just have to align the jig with the wood at an angle that you wish to make holes. Then you clamp down the jig to the piece of wood you’re working on, so that it doesn’t move while you’re drilling. Then, take a drill and make the holes. And then you are done.

When joining wood pieces, just mark the points where you want to make the joints. Then drill in the positions and assemble the joints with the preset parts. You can also use glues for quicker and sturdy linking between the pieces.

Self-centering features are really important if you want to have finer results.

It is highly recommended by the experts in the field to have at least five to six bushings. The higher the number, the more types of drilling you can perform.

FAQs

Do I need to own a doweling jig?

If you are not a fan of using nails and screws but you need to do a lot of furniture making that needs lots of joints, then definitely, owning a doweling jig is essential for your convenience. If not, then there is really no need to own one.

Do I need to purchase a tough doweling jig?

If you are pro and need to do various projects that involve making different hole sizes, then you need a tough doweling jig. It depends on your needs and your capability to use these.

How to use a doweling jig?

First align the jig to the woodin an angle where you doula make holes. Next, clamp the jig to the wood to avoid movement while working. After that, drill to make the hole size you have planned.

How to fuse or join wood pieces?

In order to do this, mark the points where you are planning to pace the joints. Drill in those mark points and assemble the joints with the preset parts. You may use glue in doing this for added durability.

How to center-align when using the doweling jig?

Some doweling jig have self-centering features to aid with center-aligning. When purchasing a  doweling jig, choose one with this feature.

Is there an ideal number of bushing holes?

The greater the number of bushing holes, the more the types of drilling it can do. Ideally, there should be at least 5-6 bushings.

Is dowel stronger than biscuit joints?

Yes, if you are looking for sturdier joints, dowels are great options because it is stronger than biscuit joints.

To sum it all up

There are many doweling jig kits present in the market and it might be confusing for us what to choose. Regardless if you are knowledgeable in the ancient art of woodworking or are a complete beginner, a doweling jig can save you a lot of effort in the long run. Just make sure that before purchasing one, examine it carefully.

Last update on 2021-10-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API