Best Dowel Jigs in 2020 – (Reviews & Buyer’s Guide)

by Tom Fidgen | Last Updated: June 14, 2020

Best Dowel Jig

Dowel jigs are the only tool on the market that can effectively help you to connect wood with the ever-useful dowel joint. If you are in the market for such a piece of equipment you probably already know that there are lots of options out there.

Unfortunately, they simply are not all the same. While a good option will set you up for years of stable performance a bad product can actually damage your workpieces.

In this article, we aim to focus your decision on ten of the best products on the market. You deserve equipment that can be relied on. My job is to help connect you with it. That said, read on for some dowel jig reviews!

Best Dowel Jig Reviews – (Updated List)

1. Eagle America 445-7600 – Self-Centering Dowel Jig

If you are looking for a reliable piece of equipment that comes in a steady, sturdy package this will be it. The body of the tool is made of galvanized aluminum. Consequently, it is the perfect combination of toughness and portability.

However, the biggest selling point of this unit is definitely the accuracy. You get a range of different sizes and thickness settings allowing you to work on a wide range of different projects. As a consequence, the ultimate outcome of your work is a level of precision that leaves nothing to be desired. If you are a professional or dedicated do it yourselfer this is the kind of equipment you want to have on hand.

However, it is also a very pricey jig. I would say that the manufacturer more than justifies the price tag, but the fact remains that this is very expensive. Budget buyers beware!

What We Like:

  • I loved the accuracy and overall performance of this product. It features lots of different settings and an accuracy rating that just can’t be beaten.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • This is a fairly pricey jig. You can definitely find options out there that are available at a fraction of the cost.

2. DEF Dowel Jig Kit, Self Centering Doweling Jig

If you are looking for a reliable piece of equipment that comes in a steady, sturdy package this will be it. The body of the tool is made of galvanized aluminum. Consequently, it is the perfect combination of toughness and portability.

However, the biggest selling point of this unit is definitely the accuracy. You get a range of different sizes and thickness settings allowing you to work on a wide range of different projects. As a consequence, the ultimate outcome of your work is a level of precision that leaves nothing to be desired. If you are a professional or dedicated do it yourselfer this is the kind of equipment you want to have on hand.

However, it is also a very pricey jig. I would say that the manufacturer more than justifies the price tag, but the fact remains that this is very expensive. Budget buyers beware!

What We Like:

  • I liked how user-friendly this product is. It self aligns and features a user-friendly vice style operation techniques that just about anyone will be able to make good use of.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Unfortunately, there are some negative user reports. Many people are saying that the vice grip tends to scuff up their workpiece.

3. Dowl It 2500 Dowel Self Centering Jig

The Dowel It 2500 is an extremely durable dowel jig that will last basically forever. The materials are top-notch and the ease of use factor can’t readily be beaten. This is another self-centering dowel, which means that you should have no trouble whatsoever doing extremely precise work.

It also features a vice style operation that facilitates sturdy reliable grips. That being the case it is good both for indoor or for outdoor use. If you want something with uncompromising performance and a design that can’t be beaten this is the unit for your needs. However, there is one big con that will eliminate it as an option for many buyers.

Unfortunately, this is one of the most expensive products on our list. If you want high-quality results you need to be willing to pay for it. Isn’t that always the way?

What We Like:

  • I love the precision factor here. This is another self-centering unit that most users will have a pretty easy time with.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Unfortunately, this isn’t a very affordable jig. You will need to be willing to shell out the big bucks to get the reliable user-friendly convenience of this tool.

4. AUTOTOOLHOME Self Centering Doweling Jig Kit

The AutoToolHOme is a self-centering doweling jig kit that is available at an affordable price. For a very reasonable fee, you get a piece of equipment that includes many of the key features I prioritize when looking into a doweling jig.

This unit features an excellent self-centering component that is great for accuracy. It is also compatible with a wide range of stop points making it good for a variety of different settings and measurements.

The aluminum material is also completely resistant to corrosion which may extend the life of the tool somewhat. This is particularly important when you factor in the product’s greatest con: it’s not very durable. The aluminum tends to scuff up often which will compromise the integrity of the unit over time. If you are an amateur that only uses the tool occasionally this probably won’t matter much.

However, if you are a pro that demands a lot out of their tools, this unit won’t be up to snuff.

What We Like:

  • The price is definitely my favorite component of this product. It is an affordable way to get a dependable piece of equipment.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The aluminum may make this material resistant to corrosion but it does come at a price. This product is regrettably lacking in the department of durability.

5. Milescraft 1311 JointPro – Professional Doweling Jig

The Milescraft advertises itself as being optimal for the professional. While I do have some reservations pertaining to the accuracy of that statement, I do think that it is true in spirit. While there is one con that cuts against the interest of the professional (we will discuss that momentarily) the overall performance is solid enough to suit the needs of a high volume user.

This product features a wide range of settings that make it good for many different tasks. It is also capable of performing corner, edge and surface joints. Last but not least, it even comes with an abundance of instructional materials that will help you take full advantage of all the features. Best of all, you get all of that for a very reasonable price.

So why the reservation? Durability is the issue with this joint. It tends to scuff up very easily which impact the appearance and eventually the performance of the unit.

What We Like:

  • I loved the versatility. This is a fairly basic jig but it still manages to get quite a bit done, all in a very affordable package.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The material tends to get scuffed up very easily. At first the damage is strictly cosmetic but eventually, it could bleed into the overall performance of the tool.

6. Woodstock D4116 Doweling Jig

The Woodstock is an extremely tough tool that is able to work with a wide range of different sizes. The tool is generally pretty easy to operate and was made out of galvanized steel. It can cooperate with a range of different sizes.

For the fact of its durability and overall versatility, most people will find plenty to like here. That said, the jig is probably best left in the hands of amateurs. This is mostly for the fact that it is not very well centered.

The measurements actually are not terribly off, but for the professional, the lack of precision may wind up being costly and time-consuming.

Ultimately, it isn’t a bad piece of equipment but it does have some kinks that it needs to work out to be considered truly great.

What We Like:

  • The Woodstock is a tough, versatile tool that is available at a good price.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • This tool is not quite perfectly centered. It’s not a huge deal but it can make it hard to be perfectly accurate.

7. Grizzly Industrial G1874 – Auto-centering Dowel Jig

The Grizzly Industrial offers buyers on a budget an affordable way to get a lot of really desirable features. The moderate price buys you some premium features, not the least of which is the self-centering component. This element of the tool makes it easy to be extremely precise in your work.

It’s also just really easy to use. The layout is fairly intuitive which means that even beginners should be able to get things going quickly.

The locking jaws were really the only component that I found myself taking issue with. There are two problems. One, they just don’t stabilize the workpiece very well. The item that you are attempting to secure still tends to be very wobbly which can make it difficult to work with.

The second issue is that the jaws may scuff up your workpiece a little bit. The damage is not so severe that it is likely to ruin a project, but it can be frustrating all the same.

What We Like:

  • I was particularly partial to the bargain factor of this tool. It is able to accomplish quite a lot, all for a very fair price. It was especially nice to see a self-centering feature available at such a reasonable price.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Unfortunately, I did run into some friction with the jaws. For one thing, they don’t do an excellent job of stabilizing the workpiece, which runs counter to their purpose. They also tend to scuff up the workpiece somewhat.

8. Pocket Hole Jig Adjustable Dowel Jig

The Pocket Hole Jig is a good piece of equipment for people that need tons of accessories all at a reasonable price. Though this is not actually an affordable jig, you get a lot of bang for your buck when the accessories are taken into account.

The accessories also add a ton of versatility to the product. With the accessory package you will be able to get lots of different jobs done with ease.

Last but not least, the majority of the components are made out of ultra-lightweight aluminum, making them easy to transport. When it is all said and done, the entirety of this lightweight package can fit directly into your pocket.

The aluminum makes the dowel jig easy to get around with but there is a downside: it also makes it very vulnerable to damage. Be wary of the fact that this jig will scuff or chip fairly easily.

The big issue here is that for people who don’t need accessories the deal simply isn’t worth it. The accessories make the package cost quite a bit more than the average jig.

What We Like:

  • This is a comprehensive package that gives you a wide range of equipment suitable for performing many tasks. It is perfect for the beginner.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Unless you need a bunch of accessories all at once, there isn’t a ton of value here. This is an overpriced jig with some durability concerns.

9. Self Centering Dowelling Jig, Wood Dowel Hole

This unit is specifically designed to be very user-friendly. The jig naturally self-centers making it easy to be accurate in your work. It is also compatible with a wide range of different hole sizes, further improving the versatility of the unit. The tool is specifically made for furniture building which will be a welcomed feature for hobbyists. However, it can be counted on to perform a wide range of tasks.

My favorite feature was the unit’s natural resistance to corrosion. It is made of cast alumi8mm that can withstand the elements for a prolonged period of time. This will ultimately do well to extend the life expectancy of the tool. Granted, aluminum is not the most durable material on the market but it should serve most user’s purposes just fine.

These things said I was a little taken aback by the price. This is one of the most expensive products on our list, but it doesn’t really outperform similar units that are available at a much lower price.

What We Like:

  • I appreciated the corrosion resistant factor here. Assuming you don’t run into too much wear and tear it will be good indefinitely.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • They’re asking a little too much for this bad boy. The features are fine but hey hardly justify the price. For the money, you could probably buy two jigs of comparable quality.

10. Dowl-it 1000 Self-centering Doweling Jig

The Dowl-it 1000 is a great first doweling jig. If you are an amateur that is simply trying to accumulate a collection of reliable tools that are good for occasional use, this will be one to add to the pile.

The Dowl-it is a durable jig that has been constructed of tough steel. It is also quite versatile. The unit has been outfitted to work with holes of varying sizes and it is similarly capable of handling a range of different widths.

Perhaps best of all, you get all of this for a very reasonable price. This may be the most affordable jig on our list making it a very enticing opportunity for the buyer on a budget.

These things said, the pro just won’t be able to get much done with this bad boy. The main issue is accuracy. It is really hard to get the jig level with the workpiece. If you are an amateur there is a decent chance that you won’t even notice the problem.

However, for professionals, the small imperfections simply will not do. It is still a great piece of equipment for the occasional user but limitations do ultimately hold it back.

What We Like:

  • I appreciated the corrosion resistant factor here. Assuming you don’t run into too much wear and tear it will be good indefinitely.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Unfortunately, this unit simply is not accurate enough to suit the needs of the professional. The leveling is slightly off which may not matter a ton to the amateur but will sharply limit the pro.

Buyer’s Guide

At this point, you’ve seen ten of the best dowel jigs on the market. How could you possibly choose between them? In this section, we illuminate a few buying considerations that may just make your ultimate decision a little bit easier.

Read on for some tips that will help you find the right dowel jig for your needs!

Material

Dowel Jigs tend to get bumped around quite a bit. While they are not liable to break right away, over time the durability factor can have a major impact on the overall performance of the tool.

Consequently, the material of the jig can have a major impact on your overall experience. Aluminum is a popular material because it is lightweight and generally resistant to water. However, aluminum can also chip and get scratched up fairly easily.

On the other hand, steel is virtually indestructible. However, it is not very resistant to water or other corrosive elements. Ultimately, you will need to buy a product on the basis of how well it is able to withstand the hazards of the job sites you typically work on.

Price

You don’t need to break the bank on your dowel jig. Most of them are fairly reasonably priced. Even the best products tend to cost less than $100. You can buy a moderately priced tool if you want, but because even the top dowel jigs tend to be reasonable you may use this as an opportunity to buy something high end.

Often enough, it can actually be well worth it to invest in a top-tier product. Why? Well, better tools tend to last longer. It is cheaper to buy one $100 jig than it is to keep replacing a $50 unit.

Of course, if you are on a restrictive budget you will definitely be able to find good gear

Size

Jigs are never terribly big, but they do range in size. If you find yourself taking gear to a variety of different locations it will probably be to your benefit to invest in something that is particularly compact.

One of the products on our list today was specifically designed to fit in the pocket of an average pair of pants. Still others make their own efforts to be easy to transport and get around with.

Compatibility

Jigs all have a range of hole sizes that they can work with. Additionally, they will also feature size limitations. For example, some can only clamp to a distance of two inches. The bigger the range of sizes, the more versatile your dowel jig will ultimately be.

Accessories

Accessories can enhance the versatility of your dowel jig considerably. Some of the units on our list today featured a wide range of accessories bundled with the package. This is typically a more affordable way to get everything you could possibly need to make the most of your dowel jig.

Self Centering

The centering component of a dowel jig will ultimately dictate how accurate it is. Most users will want something that can self-center. The feature does tend to drive the entire cost of the tool up somewhat, but for most people the extra money will be well worth it.

Short of a self-centering feature, you will at least want to investigate a tool’s history. If it has a reputation for being accurate you will probably be in good shape. If not, you will want to go with something else. Guides like this one are a great way to find out how accurate a given tool is.

Conclusion

Hopefully by now you know exactly which jig is going to be right for your needs. If not, there are a couple of recommendations you may want to keep in mind. For example, if you are looking for the best product you can get your hands on and you don’t mind paying for it then consider the Eagle America 445-7600 Professional Wide Capacity Self-Centering Dowel Jig.

Or, perhaps you need to find something that is a little bit more budget-friendly. In that case you may be better served by a value-oriented product such as the DEF Dowel Jig Kit, Self Centering Doweling Jig. Just remember that the best dowel jig for your needs is out there. This guide should help you find it.

Tom has over 15 years’ experience as a woodworker and his fair share of expertise in the field. He also knows all about the right woodworking tools and materials and shares his invaluable knowledge to help you with your DIY projects.