Best Dowel Jigs In 2020 – Review & Buying Guide

When it comes to woodworking, the best dowel jigs are indispensable tools indeed. They can easily help you make dowels, which are still the best way to join up wood pieces together without resorting to nails & screws. Purpose-built, these the D-jigs make it easy to align, drill, hold & glue 2 wood boards together with ease. 

Obviously, they are a dime a dozen on the market these days. But alas, not all are worth your time and money, especially if you want only the best. Don’t worry. Today we’re checking out 5 of the best dowel jigs to buy in 2020.

Without any further ado, let’s get started;

Best Dowel Jigs To Buy – Upgrade Your Woodworking Game!

Essentially, the best dowel jigs are simple templates with guiding holes, which “clamps” down to the boards and make it easier for you to drill, carve, cut, and glue them together. They are extraordinarily handy when making dowels (hence the name) as they can help you drill dowel holes straight & precisely. Having a good dowel jig means less use of nails & screws, which then translates to cleaner, more aesthetical woodworking results. 

Whether you are into making furniture, wooden sculptures, or just a beginner learning the ropes of woodworking, the best dowel jigs are a no-brainer. They ensure the challenges of layout & alignments are met with ease – always!

Wondering where to get the best dowel jigs? Here is a good place to start;

Best Dowel Jigs Review – Top 5 Dowel Making Clamps To Buy In 2020

Looking for the best dowel making jigs? We can help. Here are 5 of the best dowel jigs to help bring your “A-game” to the floor;

Woodstock D4116 Doweling Jig

Lightweight, minimalistic & portable, the Woodstock D4116 comes with 6 bushings in 1/4, 5/16, and 3/8 inches for extreme utility on the floor. In fact, it’s perfect for drilling pairs of holes quite conveniently & precisely. The product comes with a self-centering function (obviously), which allows for perfect alignment of holes. In all our testing, the dowel jug stayed put even in impactful conditions. Do note that it only supports wooden pieces up to 2 inches thick, which might feel limited for a few. The hardened steel bushings are reliably durable. The interiors are well lubricating enough to allow drilling easily.

Woodstock D4116 Doweling Jig

The tool offers 5 hole widths and can work on any wood piece regardless of its shape. The grippy dual plates apply uniform pressure, and since it is very smooth, there is no risk of damaging the wood pieces either.

The pros

  • Works on wood pieces of all shapes
  • Pretty easy to use thanks to the ergonomic design and fast clamping system
  • Dual holes for every sizing for easier, faster dowelling
  • Space-saving design
  • Hardened steel bushings

The cons

  • You might need to use extra lubricants to prevent sticking (only with softer wood types)
  • Proper maintenance is needed

Wolfcraft 3751405

Dowel Pro Doweling Jig Kit

Bosting a unique design, this range of dowel jigs from WolfCraft is designed as a top professional tool that’s built for the pros – we’ll explain. Meant for easy doweling in edge to the corner, edge to the surface, edge to edge, and T-type joints, the tool comes with hardened bushings for easily drilling up holes sized 1/4, 5/6, and 3/8 inches. With extreme adjustability, this tool is meant to work on materials from 1/2-to-1-1/4-inches thick, which is plenty enough for most pro-grade woodworking projects. For the price of one, the kit features, 2 best dowel jigs setups. They are built from aluminum, so weight isn’t an issue,

wolfcraft 3751405 Dowel Pro Doweling Jig Kit

The product, unfortunately, has no self-centering function. However, the easy to use clamping system does help make adjustments easy to do. In the pack, you get a few extra wooden grips and a compatible drill bit.

The pros 

  • Cost-effective, low pricing
  • Offers 2 best dowel jigs in the package for maximum versatility on the work table
  • Hardened steel bushing
  • Allows dowelling edge-to-edge, edge-to-corner, and T-joints
  • 5-year warranty

The cons

  • The tool has no self-centering action for utmost precision
  • Weak plastic handles 

DEF Dowel Jig Kit

Self Centering Doweling Jig

No frills, no extra perks – this self-centering jig from DEF will provide you with exceptionally accurate dowels that are perfectly aligned & sturdy. The high-pressure “vise” like clamping guarantees superior gripping. In all the time we tested it, we never had any slippage or misalignment, no matter the drilling speed. The traditional center block neatly houses the industry-standard bushing sizes, which range two each from 1/4”, 5/16” to 3/8” inches. The ability to drill two same-sized holes in pairs is a real time saver.

DEF Dowel Jig Kit

The metallic clamp & handle feels sturdy in hand, and there’s a ton of room for making easy adjustments. It’s good for dowelling wood pieces precisely up to 2 inches in thickness for the capacity itself.

The pros

  • Rust free, aluminum build for durability
  • Three different industry-standard bush sizes for superior dowelling choices on the field
  • Hardened steel bush guards
  • Self-centering clamping system for extra accuracy
  • Very portable

The cons

  • Limited width (up to 2 inches) capacity
  • Pricey 

Milescraft 1319 JointMate

Handheld Dowel Jig

The most affordable entry in our best dowel jigs review, this handheld, the minimalistic jig is created for those under a strict budget. Made mainly out of plastic (the durable kind), the adjustable fence allows easy alignment, no matter the task at hand. In fact, this is a self-centering jig, which makes it even more accurate. The metal bushes are sleek & allow drilling holes perfectly. The tool furthermore has an excellent grip, which is adjustable between 1/2” and 1-1/2 inches with the red-tinted knob on the side.

Milescraft 1319 JointMate

The lightweight design, coupled with minimal setup use, makes this one a great choice for traveling woodworkers & artists. We also loved the fact that there are no exposed metal parts or covered fasteners, which adds to its charm.  

The pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Minimalist, lightweight design ensures easy portability and storage
  • Triple bushing sizes with precise self-centering setup
  • Minimal setup
  • Metal bushes for accurate alignment

The cons

  • Being made from plastic, the long term durability is questionable
  • Limited width capacity


Self-Centering Doweling Jig

Crafted from tough, corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy, the “WariCaCa” self-centering jig is designed to make high accuracy dowels in a jiffy. With bushing size ranging from 1/4”, 5/16” to 3/8”, and traction bolts offering excellent grip, we found no trouble making structurally sound, clean dowels no matter the shape of the wood. The width capacity is rated at two inches, which is more than enough for most woodworkers. What really caught our attention, however, was the pure grip it offered. The clamping had no gap at all.

Waricaca Self Center Dowel Jig Kit

Since it is made from aluminum, it’s fairly portable. You can easily take it around without much hassle or bother. The steel made bushes are quite good too. The steel made bushing guides are easily removable.

The pros

  • Great versatility – 3 bushing sizes
  • Rugged aluminum sides & easy to use clamp ensure good gripping sans any damage to wood pieces
  • Self-centering system for superior accuracy
  • Lightweight
  • Removable bushing guards

The cons

  • Sometimes the clamps need lubricants to loosen up
  • A bit expensive

Best Dowel Jigs Buying Guide –Things To Consider Before Buying!

Assuming you are new to the world of woodworking & dowel jigs, here are a few things to consider first before getting them;

1) The bush size (capacity)

Essentially, the bush sizes decide the sizes of the hole you can drill. The greater the sizes, the bigger the dowels you can make. The common bush sizes (in inches) include; 3/16, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, and even 1/2 inches, etc.

So yeah, just consider your needs & pick a jig that best suits it. If you’re unsure, you can also go for a unit with several bush sizes.

2) Accuracy and flexibility

Get best dowel jigs that have a seriously good clamping system. The plates should be highly grippy and must offer uniform pressure. It should also have a self-centering system that can help you with aligning the dowels.

For versatility, opt for jigs that can create the most connections. Up to six is best. The clamp needs to be easy to operate too.

3) The material (build quality)

To ensure max durability & longevity, get a dowel jig that sturdy and corrosion-resistant. Aluminum plated jigs (anodized) are great, as they are rustproof & offer top, intrinsic strength. They are lightweight too.

That said, if the price isn’t an issue, we’d advise getting steel-plated jigs. They are far more durable and offer better value.

Best Dowel Jigs Guide – Frequently Asked Questions

Granted, the best dowel jigs are simple tools – clamps, essentially. That said, let’s address a few most common doubts about them;

1) What makes a dowel jig good?

It depends on a variety of factors. The clamping force should be good. The material quality affects performance and longevity, and finally, there is the capacity itself. It should offer multiple bushing sizes for optimum use.

At the end of the day, however, the best dowel jig is the one that ideally suits your needs. Make sure to pick appropriately.

2) Can a dowel self align automatically?

It depends on most modern best dowel jigs; there is a “self-centering” action, which allows them to align the work piece within the clamps easily.

To get the best results, however, a bit of manual realigning is still required.

3) Are they expensive?

Not exactly, no. on average, you can get a decent, well-equipped model under just $60 to $70 at the maximum.

Best Dowel Jig To Buy – Final Few Words

As we’ve seen, the best dowel jigs make creating dowels incredibly easy and faster to do. No more time wasted measuring & planning; these jigs allow you to get the dowel holes right, and get it perfect for the first time.

As featured in our best dowel jigs review, we feel these jigs offer the best value and the sheer solid goodness that your woodworking craft deserves. They are durable, tough, and are superiorly accurate – we made sure that. These are relatively affordable. So if you want to, you can get several of them together. In fact, we recommend you do so, as this can give you more versatility on the floor, and a ton of spares.

Yup, that’s about it. If you want more about these jigs or have any queries, please let us know in the comments.

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