When working on a kitchen or bathroom remodel, not every hole you drill will be at 90 degrees. So, how do you make your standard drill make angled holes accurately? Say hello to pocket hole jigs.
The best pocket hole jigs transform your drill, making accurate holes time and again without resorting to expensive alternatives. We review 10 of the best pocket hole jigs and rate them on cost, ease of use, and quality.
The 11 Best Pocket Hole Jigs
#1. Kreg R3 Jr. Pocket Hole Jig System (Jig System)
- The Kreg Jig Jr(R3) is an amazing repair jig and an exceptionally handy addition to any tool collection
This Kreg pocket jig comes as a 4-pack, complete with the jig and the accompanying drill bits. It’s easy to install, simple to use, as long as you remember to have the drill running when you insert it into the jig, and it speeds up your work rate.
The important thing is it doesn’t compromise on your accuracy, and compared to drilling angled holes by eye, it scores well on that front.
It adjusts to materials ranging from 0.5-inches to 1.5 inches, which seems to be the limit among the other models, but given it is so easy to master, it is a great little bit of kit. The other thing to remember is you need to get a clamp to hold the jig in place.
#2. General Tools 850 Heavy Duty, All-In-One Aluminum Pocket Hole Jig Kit
- POCKET HOLE SET: Our easy-to-use tool creates corner and angle pocket hole joints for leg-and-rail connections, building face frame cabinets, sneaking screws into tight spots, and securing picture frames, with unlimited applications.
This General Tools complete pocket hole jig set comes with everything you need to make accurate holes in wood, except the drill.
The first thing you notice is it comes with a screw clamp attached to the jig. That’s a massive bonus because you don’t need a separate clamp to hold your workpiece in place. Also, it even comes with 24 fine and 24 coarse screws, as well as wooden hole plugs for a neat finish.
This jig is designed to create flush corner and angle pocket holes for leg and rail connections to help build face frame cabinets and sneak screws into hard-to-reach spaces.
The construction is lightweight but durable aluminum, so it won’t rust, and it will accept materials up to 1.5 inches.
The other great news is the price. This complete jig set is the same price as the 4-pack, and yet it comes with everything you need, including the hex wrench, step drill bit, and the stop collar.
#3. Kreg K5 Pocket-Hole Jig
- The new Kreg Jig K5 is packed with features your are sure to appreciate. The clamping method is Toggle clamp on benchtop base
Now we are stepping up the quality with this Kreg K5 pocket hole jig. Unfortunately, so too does the price. This model costs many times that of other jigs to feature. So, what has it got to justify the hefty price-tag?
It has a front-mounted handle that makes it easier to use the clamp, and because it is ratchet style, it requires no tools. You also get storage wings with built-in compartments for spare drill bits and other accessories.
It also comes with a dust collection port that connects to standard vacuum hoses, It has a stop collar setting for easy setup and accurate depths, and the quick-release pins hold the jig securely in place.
You get the same 0.5-inch to 1.5-inch material thickness range, and the drill guides come with a lifetime warranty. However, this is hardly a pocket jig. It weighs 4.9 pounds and is 23.5 x 9.5 x 5 inches in dimension.
#4. Milescraft 1325 PocketJig200
- Spring-loaded sled adjust button allows the jig to be set to do repairs of any nature around your home or your shop
This Milescraft Pocket jig is spring-loaded for easy adjustments, and it comes with a metric and imperial scale to make it easier to measure the depth of your workpiece.
It has 4 common board thickness settings, ranging from 0.5 inches to 1.5 inches. The tight tolerances of the bushing and the drill bit reduces instances of tear-out, which creates a clean hole on the first attempt.
You also get a recessed magnet that helps to keep the clamp in place even when you move to different locations.
The set comes with an HSS (high-speed steel) drill bit, a 0.25-inch hex shank, and a split design stop collar with flat. You also get a quick-connect adaptor and a magnetic Torx driver.
#5. Massca Twin Pocket Hole Jig Set
- Simple Operation. Thanks to its unique, magnetic quick- adjust base system, the design of the Massca Pocket Hole Jig provides rapid and simple operation to make it one of the fastest and easiest jigs available.
This Massca twin pocket jig set has a magnetic base for quick adjustments, and it features a built-in drill depth and thickness gauge to speed up the setup process.
Just like the other jigs, this model has a thickness range of 0.5 to 1.5 inches and dual end piece settings for repairs or new projects. The set comes with the drill bit, the stop collar, and a hex key.
The construction is less robust than the aluminum General Tool model, but while the outer body is nylon 66, the drill guides are hardened steel, so you should get very little tear-out.
This model also requires a clamp, which is sold separately, which adds to your cost base.
#6. MulWark Premium Pocket Hole Jig System Kit
- PREMIUM GRADE - The MulWark jig system is manufactured in Taiwan and made in high standard. The jig body is made from 30 % glass fiber reinforced PA66 Nylon and the core is made from high-strength re-sulphurized hardened-steel. It also features a unique magnetic spot, allowing you to set the jig position easily
This MulWark pocket hole jig is another complete set that includes the double jig, a square driver bit, hex wrench, depth stop collar, step drill bit, wooden plugs, and 5 different screw sizes.
You get the same magnetic base to make it easier to work with the clamp, plus it has 9 jig position settings, 9 thickness measurements, and 7 depth settings that enable you to drill boards ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 inches.
This has everything you need to get started on that joinery project, but as with other pocket jigs, the clamp is a separate expense, so bear that in mind.
#7. Massca Aluminum Pocket Hole Jig System Set
- Advanced Hole Precision – Create perfect woodworking holes, repair wood joints, and accurately pre-drill pilot holes at the right angle before connecting wood boards.
So, what sets this pocket hole jig apart from others? First, it rivals the Kreg K5, and yet it costs a heck of a lot less; plus, it comes with the clamp built-in, so you save on additional costs for a separate clamp.
Each pocket hole jig comes with an easy drill-depth knob to increase speed and accuracy, and you get a hex key, a stop collar, a set of suitable screws, and a drill bit to help you get the right depths.
Like the General Tools model, this jig is all aluminum, making it lightweight and yet still durable. It also has a dust spout connector to capture loose debris and particles to keep you safe. Plus, you get a metric and imperial depth guide.
The only downside with this jig is that it weighs 4.39 pounds, so while it is portable, it is hardly pocket-sized.
#8. Kreg Jig K4 Pocket Hole System
- Drill guide: 3-hole drill guide for pocket holes; removable drill guide s you'll have the right tool
This Kreg K4 jig set contains everything you need to get your projects completed in an accurate and timely manner. It does weigh 8 pounds, but if you can look past that, you are getting a great jig.
This model has a 3-hole drill guide, a quick-release clamp handle, and an adjustable depth gauge ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 inches. It comes with the drill bit, the stop collar, a hex key, and wooden plugs for the neatest finishes.
It also comes with a screw kit that contains multiple-size screws in 5 different varieties. However, while you might think the price is competitive, it is cheaper to buy the jig and the screw-set separately.
#9. General Tools 854 Adjustable Pocket Hole Jig
- ADJUSTABLE POCKET HOLE JIG - can accommodate stock sizes from 0.5 in. To 1.5 in.
This is a step up from the other General Tools 850 model because it has added screws to help you complete the job. It also comes with everything needed to get started, including the drill bit, hex wrench, square drive bit, and 48 fine and coarse screws.
This model is constructed to be bench mounted or portable, thanks to the anti-slip base to hold it securely in place.
The wood thickness range is 0.5 inches to 1.5 inches, and you can create flush, corner, and angle pocket hole joints for building face frames and getting into tight spots.
This jig has an all aluminum construction, so it is lightweight and durable, although some think it is a little bit too light at less than 1.5 pounds. It also lacks any kind of adjustability other than the thickness of the wood.
#10. VINWOX Pocket Hole Jig System
- Pocket hole jig kit creates pocket holes at variable center distances for a range of the different thickness and materials
If you are looking for something in the mid-price range, this all-aluminum jig has hardened steel drill guides for durability and to reduce tear-out. It also ensures there is limited flexing during use.
You get a complete set of tools and accessories, including 100 fine screws in various sizes, a 24-piece wood plug set, a drill bit, a hex wrench, and a stop collar. It even comes with the mounting screws to fix it to a workbench.
#11. Wolfcraft 4643404 Pocket Hole Wood Joining Jig Kit
- Pocket hole jig kit features a compact design coupled with durable construction
This jig is compact and definitely pocket-size. It has preset depths to remove the guesswork and increase accuracy, and its compact size means it is easy to use and great for reaching tight spaces.
You will need a clamp to use this tool effectively, and considering it costs double that of similar jigs, that adds to your cost base.
However, it comes in its own carry case with the drill bit, hex wrench, depth-stop collar, and an assortment of screws and wooden plugs for a neat finish.
The jig is fiberglass-filled nylon, so while it is durable, it won’t match the aluminum models, but you do get hardened steel guide holes for decreased tear-out and neater bores. It also has a ribbed clamping pad to increase the grip of the clamp.
What Is a Pocket Hole Jig?
A pocket hole jig is a hand-held tool that helps you drill angled holes into wood to achieve a neater and more durable finish when making frames, cabinets, and any other furniture. Most pocket hole jigs drill at an angle of 15 degrees, making for a stronger joint.
It also means you can create these joints without the use of wood glue. You can drill pocket holes without a jig, but it is more challenging and the chances of making an error increase. Pocket hole jigs improve your accuracy and speed up your work rate.
Types of Pocket Hole Jigs
With so many styles and types of pocket hole jigs, it can be hard to determine what makes them different. Let’s take a look at the different kinds and what sets them apart.
The classic style pocket hole jig has the most simple design of two 15-degree holes, with a depth gauge in metric and imperial, as well as a ribbed body to help the clamp grip the jig more easily.
Some are aluminum, while others are a mixture of fiberglass and vinyl with a hardened steel drill guide. By definition, they are pocket size and weigh around 1 to 1.5 pounds.
So, what makes a classic hole jig?
- Integrated toggle or clamp, or space to clamp the workpiece to the jig.
- Quick adjustments for ease of use.
- Support for more than one hole to create face frames with one jig setting.
Single pocket hole jigs have one drill guide hole, so instead of making it easier to create multiple holes at even spacings, you need to do a little bit more work to achieve the same results.
These jigs are a great entry-level tool to find your way around drilling angled holes.
There are advantages to a single pocket hole jig: they are smaller and cheaper, and work well with smaller projects; however, they have their limitations. They can potentially slow you down, and in most joinery, two angled holes are stronger than one.
Heavy-duty jigs enable you to bore larger holes. If you want to join 2 x 4-inch timber or similar joints, a heavy-duty jig is the tool to use. They achieve a wider diameter hole for a stronger joint.
If you are building outdoors or constructing something that requires batoning and roofing, this is the type of jig to use.
For Face Frames
This is the most common type of jig in use. Standard face frames have two doors and drawers with a total of 14 holes, and when you consider that most kitchens have over a dozen face frames, that’s a lot of angled holes.
A face-frame jig is designed to be easy to clamp and allows multiple holes to be drilled in one go. This speeds up the process and makes it more accurate. You can use a standard jig, but it will slow you down.
A deck jig is slightly different compared to other jigs in that it primarily is a screw spacing guide using spacers and a jig template. It works by placing the spacer against the previous drilled board and butting the new one against it.
Then you drill and secure the outside edge and then slide out the spacer and repeat the process. With a deck jig, it isn’t so much about the angles but rather about the correct spacing.
Buying the Best Pocket Hole Jig
When it comes to choosing the best pocket hole jigs, there are so many variables; it can be confusing. So, we created a handy guide, focusing on the factors to keep in mind.
This is a big consideration when choosing your next hole jig. Most are nylon 66, which is stiffer and more resilient than standard plastic. It gets its name from the dual monomers that make up the nylon that contain 6 carbon atoms each.
Nylon 66 is hard-wearing but it is not as durable as aluminum.
A nylon hole jig is perfect for lighter or around-the-home repairs and projects, but in a professional environment, you want something more durable.
Premium hole jigs are either aluminum or have hardened steel elements. You can get hardened steel drill guide holes in plastic jigs, which improves the accuracy and reduces tear-out. This creates a neater hole.
Aluminum jigs are lightweight and durable, offering greater rigidity with maximum portability. They also have the added bonus of being rust-resistant. Just make sure that the guide holes in your aluminum jig are hardened steel also.
How Many Holes?
You can get single and triple-hole jigs, but they are less common. The most common type is the dual-hole jig, and it is the one most DIY enthusiasts, and professionals use. However, single-hole jigs are great little tools to learn the craft of drilling angled holes.
Some jigs come with a quick-release clamp handle that speeds up adjustments and helps to hold the workpiece securely. Others, like the Kreg R3 Jr, require a separate clamp to keep it in place.
The advantage of a clampless jig is it is pocket-sized and easy to transport. The disadvantage is you need to buy a clamp, increasing your costs. Having an onboard clamp means you can get started on your new project straight out of the box.
The Type of Jig
The type of jig you use is determined by the kind of project you want to undertake. If you are fitting a kitchen, you will need a jig that copes better with creating face frames. For outdoor work, like decking, a specialist jig that enables you to get accurate spacing is preferred.
Some smaller DIY projects would suit a classic or single jig, but for more extensive work, you might want to consider getting a heavy-duty jig.
What Does It Cost?
Most hole jigs are between $25 and $50, and that should mean you are getting a pretty decent model. However, some larger and more industrial jigs cost upwards of $100. The amount you spend determines the features and benefits you get.
If you embark on a remodel that involves extensive joinery, it would be better to spend the money and invest in a top-quality jig. If the work you do is occasional, then a classic jig will probably do the job adequately.
Best Pocket Hole Jig FAQ
What is the best pocket hole jig?
Some names crop up time and again in the world of pocket hole jigs. Many of them appear in this review multiple times. Kreg produces an excellent selection of jigs in their K range.
Similarly, General Tools perform well in the jig market. The best way to answer this question is to let you decide which one you prefer. Obviously, there are other factors that help you choose the right hole jig.
One of the best ways to determine if a product is any good is to read the customer reviews on well-known websites.
Is a pocket hole jig worth it?
If you are fitting a kitchen or bathroom and want to create neat and robust joinery without using glue, then yes, a pocket hole jig is the perfect tool to use. These jigs are reasonably affordable and yet so vital for accuracy and speed.
Imagine trying to complete a kitchen remodel by freehanding your angled joints. Not all the angles would match, which results in poorly constructed cabinets. The simplest way to uniform joints is to use a jig.
What is the best Kreg pocket hole jig to buy?
From a cost point of view, the Kreg R3 Jr is a great pocket hole jig. It is easy to use and helps you get into the smallest spots to make angled holes. If you want something more advanced, the Kreg K5 is a fantastic option.
The size and complexity of your project also determine which Kreg model is the right one for you.
What is the best pocket hole jig for beginners?
If you are new to pocket hole jigs, the best policy is to keep it simple. A classic jig is small, lightweight, and easy to master. It also comes with depth gauges, and many have the drill bit, hex wrench, and stop collar included.
The only conclusion we can draw is that the best policy is accuracy when it comes to kitchen cabinetry. Without a jig, you will be guessing every hole you drill, hoping it is in the right place and at the same angle as the ones before.
Sure, you can go by eye, but it may affect the overall look of your new kitchen, and our advice is why bother taking that risk for such a small investment. Make your life easier and get a pocket hole jig.