10 Best Self-Centering Dowel Jigs Of 2022 – Reviews & Buying Guide

Doweling may sound like an old-school method, but it is accurate, precise, and efficient. Drilling holes might seem more straightforward to the eyes but, doing so with accuracy and perfect finish is undoubtedly a tedious task for woodworkers.

Dowel jig is a template that works as a drilling guide for woodworkers. When you need to join two boards, a dowel jig can be clamped to the two pieces and makes drilling of hole easy, and gets it done with the blink of an eye.

Dowel jig comes with a variety of bush sizes fixed with threaded allows, which allows you to drill a hole inside blat boards without even moving a jig.

There is a quite competitive market that offers you a variety of dowel jigs with different features. Here we have brought you a list of 10 best dowel jigs, which will encourage you to skim the best suitable dowel jig for you.

Let’s take a detailed view of the best dowel jigs.

1. Beikal Dowelling Jig

If you are a woodworking enthusiast and search for a compact tool that does not have a steep learning curve, then Beikal dowelling jig is an ideal option for you.

This dowelling jig has an anodized surface, which gives it durability and perfect hardness that enhances its lifetime. Moreover, it is quick and straightforward to operate. The anodic treatment of the body ensures an adequate working space built of Hot Rolled Coil steel.

The efficient dowelling jig comes with a self-centering feature, which allows the holes to be automatically centered. The suitable wood size for the dowelling jig is 17-50mm.

In addition to this, 9 drill bushings are provided by the manufacturer of 6mm, 8mm, and 10mm. It encourages a variety of drilling operations, along with an adjustable stop for clean and precise actions.

Pros
  • Sturdy structure
  • Easy to use.
  • Gives strong torque
  • Anodized steel surface enhances the lifetime of the tool.
  • 9 drilling bushes are given in the toolset.
  • Comes with an adjustable stop.
Cons
  • Slightly overpriced.
  • Not available in more sizes

2. Big Horn 19695 Drilling Jig Kit

The best thing about Big Horn 19695 is it is the simplest one available in the market yet so affordable. It is so easy to use that you just need to bring the two boards together, draw a line across them, and clamp the jig accordingly.

The overall jig is solidly built of acrylic plastic, which is clear, and the drill guides are made of steel that makes it a sturdy tool. The acrylic faces are 3/16 inches and create no marks on the workpiece when transferred.

The Big Horn jig is convenient to use on ½ inches lumber, but it seems complicated when more than one hole needs to be built at the same time.

The acrylic faces have predefined printed indicating lines, but these markers start chipping off with the use. Another downside is that these markers cannot be used as a baseline when multiple holes are being built. An effortless way out is to rub these lines off, and you build the new ones up.

The big Horn jig with a little alignment, as it is not perfectly square, can build up cabinet doors, front panels, and many other DIY home furniture.

Pros
  • Affordable kit
  • Solid drill bits
  • Simple
  • Good solution for DIY woodworkers
  • Works well with a single set of matching holes
Cons
  • A little off square
  • Markings are built on a piece of acrylic that is why it gets removed with excess use.
  • Not for making precise pieces

3. Eagle America 445-7600 Dowel Jig

Are you trying to sort out a suitable dowel jig that can get thicker lumber than ½ inches? You have hit the right option Eagle America 445-7600 Dowel jig can deal with planks of thickness from ¼ to 6 inches.

It is effortless to use and quick to be clamped off. Also, it reduces the hassle of measuring or calculating jobs, still gives you a precise and accurate end product.

Where other jigs are just useful for dowelling up by Eagle America, you can smoothly build miter or seam joints and butt and edge joints. It can be used for making mortise and tenon joints too.

The Eagle America dowelling jig is built with an anodized aluminum body and hardened steel guides that make it immune to moisture absorption. It enables us to create three holes of different sizes, holding its center to ¾ inches by clamping it once.

Pros
  • It can be used while dealing with thick planks ¼ to 6 inches
  • Best for miter or seam joints, butt, and edge joints
  • Can be used for mortise and tenon joints too
Cons
  • No datum line
  • Overall quality could have been better

4. Woodstock D4116 Doweling Jig

Suppose you are a woodworker who faces various irregular, rounded, or square wooden planks in usual. In that case, Woodstock dowelling jig will do it for you as it can automatically self-center. It can efficiently handle stocks up to 2 inches thick, but for lumber fatter than that would not be catered by Woodstock dowel jig.

Woodstock D4116 Dowel jig gives you the biggest range of drill-hole sizes of 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, and ½ inches. The jig kit comes along with six hardened bushes too.

The great jig can drill two identical holes parallel to each other without the trouble of moving the jig. This great jig is suitable for a DIY kitchen remodeling, framing of perfect cabinets, and barn doors.

The easy to use jig is perfect for end to end and end to side joints where the thinner ends of the longer and wider boards to be connected with accuracy.

Pros
  • Good money value
  • Works well for irregular shapes
  • Auto self-centering feature
  • Sturdy as well as light-weighted
Cons
  • It could have been a little more précised.
  • It does have alignment issues but at negligible value.

5. Milescraft 1319 - Most Accurate Doweling Jig

The Milescraft joint mate is the best dowelling jig available on the market with premium quality. Its affordability gives it an edge above all the available products.

The joint mate comes with a unique feature of an adjustable fence, allowing accurate dowel alignment, ultimately giving maximum strength to the joint.

This handy jig is made of hard plastic, which gives it the required strength, yet it stays so portable. It builds edge joints with excellent accuracy, and the best thing about joint mate is that the jig does not run away once clamped down.

This handy jig has a feature of self-centering. It works best with the dowel pin but not the ordinary ones and suitable for processing on ½ to 1-1/2 inches thick wooden planks.

It requires minimal effort for setting up and best for the first timers or woodworking hobbyists. Countertops, doors, front panels can be built using this jig with perfection.

If you are a professional woodworker with a limited budget, buying a set of drill bits, dowel centers, and drill bit stop collars would be a complete solution for your wood joinery jobs. Just keep in mind the Milescraft joint mate can do wonders only with the square pieces.

Pros
  • Jig doesn’t wobble and make clean holes
  • Handy jig
  • Best tool in the offered price
  • Build edge joints with precision
  • Easy setup for 1st timers
Cons
  • Best for square pieces only

6. VCT Dowel Jig Kit

VCT dowel jig is a product of J & R quality tools, all made up of rugged steel, making it a sturdy jig set. It comes entirely wrapped up in preservative oil, which protects the steel from weathering.

The dowel jig kit automatically centers itself on round, square and irregular pieces encouraging the woodworkers to buy a full lot of wood pieces without the hassle of checking them.

It can easily handle stock up to 2 inches thick and drill hole sizes of 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″, and 1/2″, and it works best while joining the edges.

The VCT dowel jig is a complete replacement of Woodstock D4116 Doweling Jig but, if you are freaking conscious about getting precision and accuracy in your work jobs, surely go for Woodstock, as VCT gives a big play while centering the dowels.

Pros
  • Covered with preservative oil
  • Deals with irregular lumber
  • Provides a variety of hole sizes
Cons
  • Does not give good accuracy while doweling as it gets off-centered.

7. POWERTEC 71497 Dowel Drilling Jig

POWERTEC gives you a medium budget yet, ultimate precise solution for dowelling. The doweling jig is built of solid hardened steel, ensuring the longevity of the product.

The POWERTEC dowelling jig kit comes with a drilling guide, drill bit, stop collar, and tightening wrench. In short, it gives you a complete solution for your wood joinery projects.

The jig contains a transparent guide plate made of hardened acrylic, providing a clear view of the other side of the work job to ensure the drilling of a clean hole.

The dowel jig features a 3/8 inches M35 drill bit well-built with high-speed steel, which gives longer life and avoids premature wear out of the drill bit. Furthermore, the drill bit gives precise and accurate clean holes with the help of a 135-degree split point.

The POWERTEC dowelling jig is extremely easy to assemble. It features quick centering of dowel holes up to ¾ inches thick wooden planks while making minor adjustments. The width of the drilling holes can be further increased.

Pros
  • Simple to use
  • Relatively Accurate tool
  • Works well while dowelling at the side of the board
Cons
  • Accuracy could be further improved

8. Milescraft 1311 JointPro - Professional Doweling Jig

The incredible thing about Milescraft 1311 Joint Pro is its ability to drill holes for two different boards simultaneously. All in all, it can get six mating holes per work job.

This mating jig is solidly built with aluminum and can provide drilling into ½ to 1-1/2 inches thick lumber. It gives clean and accurate drill holes.

It comes with a detailed set of instructions. It works quickly and speedily once it is appropriately clamped down on the working wood pieces, yet, the Milescraft Joint Pro is not recommended for the newbies as it holds a higher learning curve.

The well-engineered jig can be efficiently used on corners, edges, and surface joints. Woodworkers having a little preliminary knowledge about dowelling are recommended to buy this complex rig.

Using this great jig, you can build up to three different sized holes of ¼, 5/16, and 3/8 inches. The Milescraft 1311 Joint Pro kit also includes hardened steel bushing blocks, which are resistant to wear and tear and extremely suitable in the long run.

Pros
  • Arrives with clear instructions
  • Quick and speedy once it is set
  • The jig can accommodate boards of thickness 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches.
Cons
  • Steep learning curve
  • Not recommended for beginners

9. NUZAMAS Doweling Jig Woodworking Tool

NUZAMAS dowelling jig is a robust tool and an accurate but pricey wood joinery tool. It works exactly how a dowelling jig must be steady, precise, quick.

The dowelling jig kit comes with 16 pieces, which includes a drill guide base, Hex wrench. 7 drill bushings of variant sizes and 7 stop collars.

It should be called a well-engineered tool, as its base is made of rugged stainless steel while bushings and stop collars are built of alloy steel, which makes it the most feasible item for long term use.

It accommodates a wide range of bit sizes, encourages vertical drilling, and features self-centering.

Although the NUZAMAS dowel kit comes with a vast range of side-tools, it is still recommended to any level of woodworkers, be it an enthusiast, a beginner, or a professional worker.

Pros
  • It covers a wide range of bit sizes.
  • Self-centering feature
  • Suitable for DIY woodworkers.
Cons
  • Pricey item

10: SYWAN Dowel Jig Kit

All beginners just head out to this one SYWAN Dowel jig kit comes with 37 components, a complete solution for dowelling to the woodworking starters. The kit consists of 30 dowel pins, 3 drill bits, and 3 points center pins.

The SYWAN dowelling jig is built of high-quality impact-resistant plastic that gives it strength and compactness for woodworking operations.

This handy tool is highly recommended for beginners. It can self-center itself and provides an accurate edge to edge T style and trim to corner joints.

The SYWAN dowelling jig works on the traditional style dowelling pattern. Still, it is quick in doing, easy to assemble, and far more accurate and exact in dowelling. It can easily accommodate 1 to ¼ inches thick flat boards.

Pros
  • Affordable product
  • Made of impact-resistant plastic
Cons
  • Suitable for small projects
  • Not rugged

Doweling Jigs Buyer's Guide

best dowel jig

1. Self-Centered

The self-centering feature is highly recommended while buying a dowel jig kit. It will automatically center the hole position on flat boards and avoid the hassle of manually marking and aligning, which is frustrating and a lot of time-consuming work. This feature identifies the ideal place at which the hole should be drilled and enhances the work job’s accuracy.

2. Range Of Bush Sizes

If you are a professional woodworker, you must need a variety of bush sizes concerning the dowels used. For that, you need an advanced jig compatible with a wide range of bushes but, if you are a beginner with a tight budget and a single dowel size seems right to you, go for a less complicated dowelling kit

3. Hardened Steel Bushes

The bushes material is a significant element and needs to be well inspected before buying a jig as bushes are the components in which the drill bit enters. It is subjected to a high torque every time. Therefore a durable and hardened steel bushing is a must to ensure long-term use.

4. Versatility

Dowelling is a quick and straightforward method of joining two wooden planks together; if you are an enthusiast and love experimenting with novel stuff each day, then must identify a dowelling jig that gives you a wide variety of joining operations like edge to edge, T- joints or sharpness to corner.

5. Simple In Use

Dowelling is an old school method and well known for its simplicity. Most of the dowelling jigs available on the market are easy to use and require a pretty low learning curve. It depends on you that what kind of a woodworker you are how seriously you take your joinery operations.

Hopefully, this guide will help you select the best dowelling kit for you. Enjoy shopping!

Frequently Asked Questions About Dowel Jigs

1. What Is A Dowel?

Dowel is a cylindrical wooden piece used to join two different wooden planks by edge-to-edge joints, T joints, or edge-to-corner joints.

2. What are the applications of dowel jointers?

Dowels are used in countless wood to wood applications, for example, kitchen cabinets, tabletops, front panels, doors, hangers, bed posts, and kids’ gaming pieces.

3. What is the advantage of dowel joints?

Dowel jointing is a traditional yet reliable method in wood joinery. It gives a seamless look with maximum strength as dowel joints can withstand a lot of torque and pressure.

4. What are other methods of jointing than dowel in woodworking?

Other methods of jointing than dowelling are:

5. What type of joints are the most reliable in wood joinery operation?

Dowel, miter, and tenon joints are the most robust joining methods in woodworking.

6. How does dowel jig works?

A dowel jig is a steel plastic or aluminum built tool with holes in it. Hardened steel bushes placed are perpendicular to the holes. The drill bit is guided into the holes through the hardened bushes to ensure that the holes are perfectly centered, clean, and accurate.

Conclusion

Dowel jigs are a must-have in carpentry work as it eases down the pain of marking and measuring while drilling down a hole. They are comfortable, quick, portable, and relatively affordable tools.

This list comprises of the jigs which are technically sound and extremely reliable. So, if you are finding a dowel jig for you, you must go through this list once or twice. You will indeed find one for you.

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