9 Best Dowel Jigs of 2021 [Most Durable & Accurate]

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Best Dowel Jigs

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There is no doubt that screws and nails make woodwork easier, but they tend to weaken with time and affect the wood.

However, the alternative to using screws for joining boards is using a dowel jig. Not only is it convenient to use, but it is also much stronger. With a proper dowel jig, it becomes much easier to align and drill the wood. This tool accurately guides the drill and makes even-sized holes. 

With more people getting into DIY, it’s not surprising that tools like this are becoming popular. This begs the question – which dowel jig is most accurate. After all, the last thing you’ll want is to spend time drilling holes, only to find them misaligned. To make matters easier, we have put together this comprehensive guide on the 9 best dowel jigs of 2021.

So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it!

Best Dowel Jigs

 

 

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS  
Our Top PickOur Top PickArchilb-table__image Milescraft 1309 DowelJigKit
  • Metal bushings included
  • Includes hardwood pins for added strength
  •  
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Archilb-table__image Dowl-It 1000 Self-Centering Jig
  • Six drill sizes
  • Made with hardened steel
  •  
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Archilb-table__image POWERTEC 71498 Dowel Drilling Jig Kit
  • Two guide holes
  • M35 drill bit included
  •  
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Archilb-table__image Wolfcraft 3751405 Dowel Pro Jig Kit
  • Nine pre-aligned hole guides
  • Includes dowel pins of three sizes
  •  
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Archilb-table__image Woodstock D4116 Doweling Jig
  • Five drill hole guides
  • Six hardened steel bushings
  •  
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Archilb-table__image AUTOTOOLHOME Woodworking Dowel Jig
  • Includes fence for alignment
  • Four centering pins
  •  
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Archilb-table__image Wolfcraft 4641404 Dowel Quick
  • Steel hole guides
  • Long fence for better alignment
  •  
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Archilb-table__image DEF Dowel Jig
  • Two bushings each for three sizes
  • Ideal for 2-inch thick stock
  •  
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Archilb-table__image DCT Woodworking Dowel Jig
  • Made with hardened steel
  • Laser-etched hole sizes
  •  
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Woodworking dowels nails claw hammer on wooden background.

  1. Milescraft 1309 DowelJigKit

If you are fairly new to woodworking projects and are looking for a simple kit to start with, this one is worth considering. The Milescraft DowelJigKit is a complete kit that can help in any wood-based project from start to finish. Let’s have a look at some of its features.

Milescraft 1309 DowelJigKit - Complete Doweling Kit with Dowel Pins and Bits
$21.99
  • The Miles craft Joint Mate allows for quick and...
  • Metal bushings included to ensure accurate...
Buy Now
11/29/2021 02:09 am GMT

Why Did We Like It?

This is a very handy toolbox to have for any beginner. The number of small bits it comes with makes it easy to use for any kind of woodwork. Whether you are looking to use it on corners, surfaces, or edges, this Milescraft kit can be used to drill holes anywhere. 

The metal bushings in this toolbox make it easier to have proper alignment when drilling. Moreover, it includes steel dowels that can help mark the location of the holes before you put it all together. It also comes with dowels and drill bits in three different sizes. All you need to do is pick the right ones and drill away.

It also comes with glue included, so you can attach the dowels once the holes are drilled. This is an excellent option to consider for not just beginners but experienced woodworkers as well.

What Could’ve Been Better?

While there are many great reviews for this one, most users say it should be used mainly for basic woodwork projects. Since some of the parts are plastic, it makes it challenging to use for bigger projects and in that case, getting one with a metal frame is better. 

Pros
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Affordable
  • Includes different dowel sizes
  • Easy to align with metal bushing
Cons
  • Not made for more extensive projects
  1. Dowl-It 1000 Self-Centering Jig

Another very popular doweling jig is this one by Dowl-It. It has been around for a very long time and is widely used by beginners and professionals. There isn’t much to it as it does not come in a kit. However, it is an accurate and durable jig that is highly recommended.

Dowl-it 1000 Self-centering Doweling Jig
$69.99
  • Self Centering
  • Easy to use
Buy Now
11/29/2021 12:52 am GMT

Why Did We Like it?

The thing about jigs like these is that most of the time, we question their durability. But not with the Dowl-it 1000 jig. It is made of hardened steel for added durability, which makes it long-lasting. It is also a heavy-duty jig that has aluminum sides which hold the wood securely.

Another aspect that stood out for us was that the jig has six drill sizes. This allows a ton of flexibility in terms of projects, and one jig can be used to drill multiple holes. Additionally, all the markings are etched clearly.

You will appreciate that it can be used to drill precise and accurate holes in the edges, corners, and surface. Plus, there are no loose parts, so storing it is no hassle either.

What Could’ve Been Better?

This jig is quite popular among beginners and professionals, and everyone recommends it. Hence it was challenging to find something drastically wrong. The only thing we would say is to be careful with it since it does not come with stop collars; these have to be purchased separately.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Simple and durable
  • Accurate hole markings
  • Value for money
Cons
  • No stop collars
  1. POWERTEC 71498 Dowel Drilling Jig Kit

When we think of kits, we usually think about elaborate packages with multiple accessories. And, sometimes, that is not something that we always want. If you’re looking for a small and affordable dowel kit that only has the things that are necessary for precise woodwork, check out the POWERTEC drilling jig kit.

POWERTEC 71498 Dowel Drilling Jig with Cobalt M-35 Drill Bit and Split Ring Stop Collar, 1/2-Inch
$21.33
  • Allows for fast, easy and ultra-precise dowel...
  • Drill guide ensures impeccably placed and centered...
Buy Now
11/29/2021 02:24 am GMT

Why Did We Like It?

Straight off the bat, this is a no-fluff drilling kit that has all the things you need. It comes with a drill bit that is made of high-quality steel and cobalt. This combination not only makes it strong and durable but also resistant to heat and scratches. 

Moreover, the drill bit has a split point that ensures you do not have to use a lot of force, making it effortless to use. In addition, the jig has two drill-guide lines that are imprinted for accurate alignment. The centreline makes it easier to locate the exact position of the drilling holes.

In a nutshell, this kit allows you to make accurate holes without a lot of effort. All the parts are made with high-quality steel and will last for a very long time. It also has a stop collar, so there is no need to spend extra and buy one.

What Could’ve Been Better?

The overall construction of most parts is done with metal, and those parts are pretty durable. The only issue we have is with the plastic alignment lines. After a few uses, these tend to become loose and sometimes even crack. 

Pros
  • Affordable kit
  • Heat and scratch resistant drill bit
  • Accurate guide holes
  • Includes stop collar
Cons
  • Plastic alignment lines tends to become loose
  1. Wolfcraft 3751405 Dowel Pro Jig Kit

This particular jig kit by Wolfcraft is perfect for beginners. It is a small but high-quality kit with all the parts necessary to make accurate and precise drilling holes. Wolfcraft has been around for a very long time and aims to make drilling a simple task for all.

wolfcraft 3751405 Dowel Pro Doweling Jig Kit
$22.78
  • Doweling Jig Kit that features a compact design...
  • Cast aluminum doweling jig ideal for creating...
Buy Now
11/29/2021 01:46 am GMT

Why Did We Like It?

One of the things that stood out for us was that it’s beginner-friendly yet has minimal accessories. The Wolfcraft kit has utilized just a few parts in a way that makes drilling easy for anyone. One such feature is the nine drilling hole guides in the jig. Each guide is pre-aligned so measuring and marking is not a requirement.

In addition to that, the jig itself is made with cast aluminum which makes it durable and long-lasting. It also comes with dowel pins of three sizes, making it easy to make edge, surface, and corner dowel joints with precise accuracy. The sizes included are 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, and 5/16 inch. 

All the parts in this kit come in a small and handy box that is also very easy to store. Plus, they are all covered with a five-year warranty.

What Could’ve Been Better?

This kit is quite recommended not only because Wolfcraft is a great brand, but this kit is straightforward to use. However, the adjustable clamp is pretty sharp around the edges and tends to leave marks. It will be helpful to smoothen the screw and sand down the edges of the plate.

Pros
  • Ideal for beginners and DIY
  • Accurate drilling holes
  • High-quality dowel pins
  • Five-year warranty
Cons
  • Adjustable clamps leave marks
  1. Woodstock D4116 Doweling Jig

Next on the list is a compact and efficient jig that anyone can use. The Woodstock doweling jig is ideal for people that just need one power tool to get the job done. You do not have to be a professional to use this jig as it is pretty beginner-friendly.

Woodstock D4116 Doweling Jig
$44.83
  • Handles stock up to 2-Inch thick
  • Drill-hole sizes are 1/4-Inch, 5/16-Inch,...
Buy Now
11/29/2021 06:29 am GMT

Why Did We Like It?

When it comes to making accurate drill holes of various sizes, there is no better jig to use than this. It has five drill holes of multiple sizes – 1/4 inch, 5/16 inch, 3/8 inch, 7/16 inch, and 1/2 inch. And because it has numerous guides, there is no need for you to carry too many parts. 

Another great thing about this jig is that it automatically centers itself irrespective of the shape of the wood. In addition, it can handle wood up to 2 inches thick in each hole. You will appreciate that the jig is sturdy and durable. 

You can drill two parallel holes using this jig without moving it, hence making the whole project a little less time-consuming. Plus, it comes with six hardened steel bushings (two each for three hole sizes), making it easier to drill.

What Could’ve Been Better?

We found this jig to be very useful, but it is a bit high in the price range, considering that it is just one jig. Most users also mentioned that this is great for basic woodwork, and people with elaborate projects might need more accessories to work with.

Pros
  • Comes with steel bushings for more effortless drilling
  • Automatic centering on uneven or round surfaces
  • Sturdy and compact
  • Multiple drill hole guides
Cons
  • A little expensive
  1. AUTOTOOLHOME Woodworking Dowel Jig

If you already have drills at home, buying a complete kit is not very cost-efficient. Hence, the AUTOTOOLHOME dowel jig is more appropriate for you. It is a handheld jig that makes accurate holes in the corner, surface, or edge of any wooden piece. Let’s have a look at some more features.

Woodworking Dowel Jig 1/4" 5/16" 3/8" Drill Bits Metal Sleeve Drill Guide Wood Joints Drilling Doweling Jig Tool Handheld Jigs
$8.89
  • Quick dowel jig that self-centers on boards to...
  • Metal bushings ensure accurate alignment when...
Buy Now
11/29/2021 07:19 am GMT

Why Did We Like It?

We found this to be a convenient tool for people that already have most parts for their woodwork. Finding a jig that is accurate and affordable can be challenging, but this one seems to strike the perfect balance. This dowel jig by AUTOTOOLHOME is a small handheld device with four centering pins and three hole guides of different sizes.

Depending on the project, you can use the 1/4 inch, 5/16 inch, or 3/8 inch dowel pin guide for accurate drill holes. In addition, the hole guides are made of steel, so drilling through will not damage it. This jig also comes with a long fence, making it easier to position the jig and keep it in place. 

Another great thing is that the jig is self-centering, making it ideal for edge, surface, corner, and even T joints. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

One of the biggest reasons this product is so popular is because it does what it says. People find it very easy to use. However, the fence can be a bit problematic. As helpful as it is, attaching the fence is challenging and not very easy to adjust in the first go. 

Pros
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Affordable
  • Three drill hole guides
  • Self-centering
Cons
  • Fence may be challenging to attach
  1. Wolfcraft 4641404 Dowel Quick

Similar to the AUTOTOOLHOME dowel jig is this one by Wolfcraft. It is a small handheld device that can be used for quick and accurate drilling. Although compact, it has a ton of features that make it suitable for beginners and professionals.

wolfcraft 4641404 Dowel Quick Doweling Jig
$9.61
  • Quick doweling jig that self-centers on boards to...
  • Capable of edge-to-edge, T, and edge-to-corner...
Buy Now
11/29/2021 05:39 am GMT

Why Did We Like It?

Although this one is not very different from the handheld jig by AUTOTOOLHOME, it has a lot to offer. It is a self-centering jig and can be used on boards ranging from 1-1/4 inches in thickness. Since it centers itself, it is ideal for making all sorts of joints on the edge, surface, and corner of any wooden board. 

Additionally, it has steel hole guides that ensure minimal damage and tear-outs during the drilling process. The three sizes for the drill hole guides are 1/4 inch, 5/16 inch, and 3/8 inch, which can be used based on the project. And, the boring holes can be used to insert the pins as it ensures that they go in straight. 

The jig also comes with a fence that is easy to remove and put on, depending on the requirement. And keeping the fence on guarantees for accurate alignment and adjustment.

What Could’ve Been Better?

The holes and guides are all accurate in this jig which makes it quite popular for essential work. However, it is not recommended for extensive and elaborate projects since the plastic is not high quality and cannot withstand a lot of force.

Pros
  • Fence is easily removable
  • Hole guides guarantee accurate drilling
  • Jig automatically centers itself
  • Steel guides that minimize chances of damage
Cons
  • Plastic is not of excellent quality
  1. DEF Dowel Jig

Next on the list is this high-quality jig by DEF. It comes with bushings for accurate drilling and is ideal for anybody. Using it is fairly straightforward and since it does not come with too many accessories, carrying or storing it isn’t an issue either. Now, let’s move on to see what it has to offer.

DEF Dowel Jig Kit, Self Centering Doweling Jig, Wood Doweling Hole Drilling Guide
$25.99
  • Handles stock up to 2-Inch thick
  • Drill-hole Sizes: 1/4"; 5/16"; 3/8"; 7/16" And...
Buy Now
11/29/2021 01:29 pm GMT

Why Did We Like It?

This is a no-fuss jig that can be utilized by anyone who does a lot of woodwork projects. The drill hole sizes on this jig are 1/4 inch, 5/16 inch, 3/8 inch, 7/16 inch, and 1/2 inch. The DEF dowel jig can handle stocks up to 2 inches in thickness and clamps down tightly so you can drill accurate holes.

It also comes with high-quality metal bushings to make the drilling process a bit easier. There are two each for sizes 5/16 inch, 1/4 inch, and 3/8 inch. In addition, you can also drill two identical parallel holes without having to reposition the jig. That makes the whole process convenient and less time-consuming.

The overall construction of the jig is quite sturdy as well. It has an all-metal make and is highly durable. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

Despite saying that it is self-centering, most users have mentioned that it does not center itself on uneven surfaces. This makes it challenging to align and needs further adjustment. Plus, the markings for the centerline are pretty faint and easy to miss. 

Pros
  • Includes high-quality metal bushings
  • Compact kit
  • Can drill parallel holes
  • Sturdy metallic make
Cons
  • Not self-centering as claimed
  1. DCT Woodworking Dowel Jig

Finally, we have the woodworking dowel jig by Deadwood Crafted Tools (DCT). The jig is ideal for most projects since it can handle stocks of various shapes and sizes. If you are looking to drill accurate holes quickly and efficiently, this is definitely one tool to consider.

DCT Woodworking Dowel Jig Tool with 6 Doweling Jig Bushings – Wood Dowel Jig Kit – Dowel Drilling Jig Kit & Bushings
$39.99
  • QUICKLY DRILL MULTIPLE ACCURATE HOLES: Clamp the...
  • VARIOUS APPLICATIONS: 4 extremely accurate guide...
Buy Now
11/29/2021 02:15 am GMT

Why Did We Like It?

We found this to be an extremely useful tool to have for beginners and professionals alike. This jig by DCT has five standard drill hole sizes, but that’s not what stood out for us. Each hole size is laser-etched so that it is easier to read and you can get to the drilling process faster. The days of squinting your eyes over tools are gone.

We also appreciate that the jig can handle most stocks up to 2 inches in thickness, irrespective of shape. And since there are multiple guide holes, it is easier to use for all kinds of woodwork projects. Making surface, edge, corner, and T-joints has never been this easy. 

The jig is made with hardened steel, so you know it is built to last long. It also has a large clamp that holds onto the wood tightly but does not damage it, thanks to the aluminum sides.

What Could’ve Been Better?

The only and most significant downside to the jig is that it is not self-centering. You will need to make certain adjustments to center it before using it. Moreover, it does face difficulty in terms of centering on very narrow stocks. Plus, it is a bit high in the price range but makes up in value.

Pros
  • Long-lasting steel construction
  • Bushings included
  • Hole guide sizes are easy to read
  • Clamp does not damage the wood
Cons
  • Challenging to center

Best dowel jigs of 2021 13

Dowel Jig Buyer’s Guide

When picking the right dowel jig, it is essential to make a note of some features. Failing to do that will end up in you buying multiple jigs just for one project. This is why it is essential to know what makes a jig high-quality and what guarantees that it will work accurately. 

Here is a buyers guide that lists some of the features that you need to pay attention to, especially if it’s your first dowel jig. Let’s get right to it, shall we?

  1. Bushing Size

This is one of the most important features since it determines the projects you can work on. The idea is to choose a jig that supports all sorts of projects and not pick projects according to the jig. 

However, it is worth noting that if most of your projects need you to make one or two types of connections, then having a versatile jig is pointless. But if the work varies, then buy a jig that can cater to it all. 

The most standard sizes that are available are 1/4 inch, 5/16 inch, 3/8 inch. Irrespective of the project, having these sizes is a must.

  1. Make of the Jig

It is crucial to have a durable jig. After all, you do not want to keep buying a jig every month or so. This is why the make or construction is essential. While most of the jigs are made with aluminum, it is more prone to corrosion and rust. But because it is lightweight, manufacturers still go for it.

We recommend looking for one which is made with steel. It may be heavier than aluminum, but it has a high rust resistance and overall is more durable out of the two.

  1. Self Centering

Centering is vital during woodwork as it helps in making straight, strong, and flush connections. Without this feature, there is a risk of splitting the wood or making a connection that is not aesthetically pleasing. This will lead to you redoing the whole thing, and that just sounds like a nightmare.

This is why we recommend going for self-centering jigs. In these, there is a screw that can be used to hold the board tighter and center the holes perfectly.

  1. Accuracy

While self-centering plays a part in ensuring the jig is accurate, that is just one part of it. It is crucial to ensure that jigs come with bushings that are the exact size. Anything too loose or too tight can lead to inaccurate hole sizes, or worse, split wood. 

One great way to ensure accuracy is by having a strong clamp on the jig that can keep it in position. 

  1. Price

The last thing you need is to shell out a fortune for a small jig that may or may not work correctly. Keep in mind the work you need the jig for and what accessories are required. If you are a beginner, investing in a mid-range kit which includes the essentials will be more beneficial than buying just a jig.

Beginner or not, it is always helpful to make a list of potential projects and tools needed. It is easier to tell what is required and pick something that is suited to you.

  1. Versatility

Most of the time, people do not choose dowel jigs for just one type of work. However, regardless of the project, it is always helpful to pick a jig that can make multiple connections on the board’s edge, surface, and corner. 

Not all jigs support every type of connection, so pick one that can do the three basic ones – edge to edge, edge to surface, and edge to corner.

Woodworking dowels on wooden board copy space construction concept.

Verdict

As you can tell, there are quite a few dowel jigs in the market that are accurate and durable. We hope that this review of the 9 best dowel jigs has been an informative read and will help you pick the right one(s).

However, if you are still a bit confused, allow us to point out our favorites, making the decision a bit easier. If you are looking for a proper kit that will help in all sorts of small projects, then the Milescraft 1309 kit will be ideal. However, it isn’t well suited for extensive projects. 

In those cases, the POWERTEC 71498 kit is much better since it is made to last for elaborate woodworking and also has lesser accessories. Hence, it is easier to keep track of and store. And on that note, we shall now take your leave but be back soon with more reviews.

Until next time!

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