When it comes to woodworking, having the right tools can make any job infinitely easier. That being said, there are so many different options to make your next project go smoothly that it can be a little overwhelming when trying to figure out which tool is right for your needs.
Today we’re going to be looking at a specialized tool – the pocket hole jig. If you’re not familiar with the name, pocket holes are angled into the wood so that you can join two perpendicular pieces without having to overlap them.
These holes are beneficial because they can enable you to create seamless joints that are stronger than most others. Thus, many woodworkers like using pocket hole jigs so that they can upgrade their projects accordingly.
Although this tool is only used for one purpose, it can come in handy a lot. So, let’s see what the best pocket hole jigs have to offer.
Table of Contents
Best Pocket Hole Jigs – Comparison
|Kreg Jig K4 Pocket Hole||Check Price|
|Kreg MKJKIT Mini Kreg Jig||Check Price|
|PORTER-CABLE 560 QUIKJIG||Check Price|
|Kreg R3 Jr. Pocket Hole Jig||Check Price|
|General Tools 850 Heavy Duty||Check Price|
Best Pocket Hole Jigs – Reviews
1. Kreg Jig K4 Pocket Hole System
When it comes to pocket hole jigs, Kreg is the brand name synonymous with this kind of joint. The company has produced some of the finest jigs you can find anywhere, and even though they are mostly specific to this one joint, you know that you’re getting one of the best options on the market.
This pocket hole system is the perfect addition to any workshop that makes pocket holes regularly. However, even if you only create them on occasion, this set is reliable and cost-effective enough that any woodworker should have it available if possible.
What we like most about this set is that it comes with a removable drill guide. This means that you can use this jig as a benchtop or as a portable model. The benchtop version is perfect for when you’re drilling each piece individually, but having a portable jig enables you to both make repairs to your pieces, as well as work on larger or more complicated pieces.
Another thing that we appreciate about the drill guide is that it comes with measurements on the side. Thus, you can adjust the depth of your holes to match any piece of wood that fits into the jig. Not only that, but it comes with wood chip relief holes so that you don’t have to worry about the guide getting clogged while drilling.
As for the rest of the jig itself, it’s well-made and easy to use. A large recess on the back allows you to clamp the jig to your work table or bench easily, and because it’s so big, you can be sure that you’ll get even more stability.
The adjustable clamp on the jig has a handle system, meaning that clamping the wood into the jig is super easy and comfortable to do. Instead of having to spin or turn the clamp, simply move the lever and lock it into place.
Finally, this jig does come with a drill bit and pocket hole fillers. While these extra pieces are not quite as high-quality as the rest of the jig, they’re perfect for casual users who don’t need to make a ton of pocket holes.
- Rugged and durable construction
- Large recess for clamping the jig into place
- Easily adjustable clamp for holding the wood
- A three-hole drill guide for convenience
- The adjustable guide has measurements on the side
- The guide is removable to do repairs on the fly
- Drill bits included
- Pocket hole filler pieces provided
- Wood chip relief holes to keep the jig clean
- The drill bit provided is not as durable as everything else
- Only a handful of pocket hole fillers included
2. Kreg MKJKIT Mini Kreg Jig Kit
For the most part, when making pocket holes, it’s usually beneficial to have a complete jig system like the one above. However, because of the nature of these joints, having a portable jig kit that can be deployed almost anywhere can also be great because you can work on the fly, as well as perform repairs as needed.
In this case, a single pocket hole jig can be perfect for both casual users and quick repairs. While you could use the removable drill guide from the jig set above, it can sometimes be better to use something smaller like this instead. Its compact size is easier to deploy and gives you greater versatility overall.
Because this jig is made from Kreg, you already know that it’s well-made. It’s constructed of glass-reinforced nylon and metal, making it a rugged jig that will last a lifetime. Also, clamping it into place is not a problem because it will hold up well after repeated use.
Since you don’t have a full jig system, this model comes with a drill bit collar to ensure that you get the right depth each time. Best of all, adjusting the collar is as easy as using an Allen wrench, which is provided for your convenience.
As with all Kreg Pocket Hole Jigs, this one has wood chip relief holes on the back to keep it clear of any debris that may accumulate. Finally, it makes placing your hole fillers easy, thanks to its built-in setting feature.
- Rugged glass-reinforced nylon construction
- Single pocket hole jig
- Small design is easily deployable
- No fence makes for quick placement
- Relief holes keep debris out
- Durable construction
- Drill bit included with depth collar
- Allen wrench included for the collar
- Small size can be hard to clamp down tightly
- The drill bit is not as durable as others
3. PORTER-CABLE 560 QUIKJIG Pocket-Hole Joinery System
Although Kreg is undoubtedly the top name in making pocket hole jigs, it’s far from the only option on the market. Porter-Cable is another brand that has a lot of high-quality tools, and this professional-grade pocket hole jig system is a testament to the company’s commitment to excellence.
When comparing this jig to something from Kreg, it looks a bit more complicated. At first, it does have a bit of a learning curve, but once you understand the mechanics of it, this jig can be better for larger and more involved projects.
The first thing you’ll notice is the size. Yes, this jig is a lot bigger (and heavier) than other models, but that’s because it has much more surface area. This means that you can work with more significant pieces of wood, as well as hold them in place more securely. That being said, if you don’t make pocket holes very often or you have limited storage space in your workshop, this tool may be too bulky.
The other thing we like about this jig is the drill bit collar. It’s self-aligning to make it easier to use, and it can work with almost any size bit. Adjusting the depth is super easy and more intuitive than with a Kreg Jig, and since you can work on thicker pieces of wood, you get a wider range of versatility.
A bonus feature of this jig is the addition of a dust port. If you have a shop vacuum and you want to keep your workspace as clean as possible, then this port will come in handy.
Overall, this jig is made for professional woodworkers who make a lot of pocket hole joints. If that sounds like you, you’ll appreciate the attention to detail and the rugged efficiency of this tool.
- Professional-grade pocket hole jig
- Built-in drill bit collar for easy adjustment
- Self-aligning clamp for fast settings
- Removable dust port
- Automatic depth control system for convenience
- Accessories provided, including bits, screws, and a clamp
- In rare cases, it may create rough holes that need sanding
- Bulkier and heavier than other jigs
4. Kreg R3 Jr. Pocket Hole Jig System
So far, we’ve seen Kreg Pocket Hole Jigs that have one and three holes, so it makes sense that our final option will have two to split the difference. This is another portable jig, meaning that it works in a wide array of conditions and environments, both for adding pocket holes to wood, as well as repairing any pieces that need a touch-up.
As with all Kreg Jigs, this one is made of hardened steel on the inside and glass-reinforced nylon on the outside. These materials help this jig stay in excellent condition for years to come, even with repeated use.
Unlike the single-hole jig we saw above, this one comes with a couple of added features that make it a little more reliable and versatile.
First, it has a clamp setting add-on that provides more stable contact between the clamp and the jig. While it’s not completely necessary, it can work better than just clamping the jig itself, so it’s a nice addition to have, just in case.
The second addition is two side rulers to help you make precise measurements with your jig. Although this model does come with a drill bit depth collar, having these markings on the side help you work faster and more efficiently. Best of all, they are extendable so that you can drill longer holes if necessary.
As with all Kreg Pocket Hole Jigs, this one has wood chip holes on the back so that you can keep the inside clean and free of debris. Overall, if you’re looking for a high-quality portable jig, this is an excellent choice.
- Two-hole portable jig
- Can be mounted to wood if necessary
- Side measurements for accuracy
- Drill bit included with depth collar
- Side rulers extend as necessary for longer pieces
- Clamp add-on for better stability
- Ideal for making repairs
- Dual wood chip holes for cleanliness
- Clamp guide and side rulers are made of lightweight plastic
- The drill bit is not as durable as others
5. General Tools 850 Heavy Duty, All-In-One
Our final pocket hole jig is something of a two-in-one system. It’s not quite as comprehensive as the either the Kreg or the Porter-Cable Jigs we’ve already seen, but it’s a handy tool that will work for most casual woodworkers.
We like that this jig is made of brushed aluminum, as that helps ensure that it will last for a long time and that it’s rust-resistant as well. Not only does the construction of this jig help it stay in shape, but it works well when clamped to the table or workbench and won’t bend or get damaged in the process.
The shape of this jig is both beneficial and cumbersome, depending on your needs. As a benchtop jig, the joint enables you to clamp it down and work quickly. However, if you’re trying to deploy it as a portable model, it can be a little tricky, so keep that in mind.
Overall, we like this jig more as a benchtop model, particularly because it comes with a twist clamp to hold the wood into place. This jig also comes with a drill bit and a depth collar, as well as an Allen wrench to adjust it accordingly.
- Durable aluminum construction
- Two hole pocket jig system
- Adjustable twist clamp
- Drill bit with depth collar included
- Compact size can be portable or bench-mounted
- Screws and wood plugs provided
- A single piece can be hard to use on completed projects
- No depth markers for accuracy
Because pocket hole jigs are such a specialized tool in woodworking, it’s tough to find that many models out there. As we’ve discussed, Kreg is by far the most well-known brand in the industry, meaning that any jig that the company makes is sure to be an excellent addition to your workshop.
We prefer the K4 Pocket Hole System because it offers more stability and versatility. You can use it as a benchtop or a portable jig, which enables you to do a lot more without having to buy extra tools.
For the professionals, the Porter-Cable Pocket-Hole Jig System offers some bonus features that can help you work smarter and more efficiently. That being said, we don’t recommend it unless you plan on making a lot of pocket holes and need a sturdier jig to do so.
Overall, both of these jigs are excellent for making pocket holes, and they’ll last for years to come.