Dovetail joints are some of the most popular kinds of joints amongst woodworkers. They are incredibly powerful and really satisfying to the eye. Whilst it is achievable to make dovetail joints by hand, it is a activity that requires an skilled craftsman, and it is an really time-consuming approach.
This is exactly where dovetail jigs occur in. These devices keep timber in the appropriate position permitting for straightforward chopping with a router. And you can use a template to make a joint with your preferred form. What’s far more, is that some jigs are so easy to use that even beginners can make perfect dovetail joints.
Even so, these instruments are not created equal. Some can take care of huge workloads with excessive precision generating them perfect for professional use. Other folks aren’t as great and are more suited for Diy use. Furthermore, distinct dovetail jig versions vary significantly in top quality and reliability.
To ensure that you get the appropriate tool for your wants, you have to realize your wants 1st, then do your homework right. The good news is, we have done the large lifting for you to provide you these critiques of the greatest dovetail jigs on the marketplace right now.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022
| Best Overall
||PORTER-CABLE 4216 Dovetail Jig||
| Best Value
||General Tools 861 Portable Aluminum Dovetail Jig||
| Premium Choice
||Leigh D4R Pro Dovetail Jig||
|PORTER-CABLE 4210 Dovetail Jig||
|Woodstock D2796 Dovetail Jig||
The 8 Best Dovetail Jigs
1. PORTER-CABLE 4216 Dovetail Jig – Best Overall
Porter-Cable has made a name for by itself in the entire world of equipment many thanks to the stellar good quality of their offerings. The Porter-Cable 4216 is a great instance of why the business is held in substantial regard. It is huge, functional, able, and characteristics an attractive value position.
One particular attribute that improves this jig’s versatility is its 12-inch width. It is extensive sufficient to accommodate the huge vast majority of items used in woodworking projects. In addition, with the capability to handle inventory thicknesses of up to 1⅛ inches, it boosts the scope of your tasks greatly.
The Porter-Cable 4216 is also an exceptionally sturdy and durable jig. It will come with a hefty-obligation vice with sandpaper-backed locking bars to ensure that your piece stays place as soon as clamped in. This jig is created nearly totally out of machined steel, to permit for weighty-duty use.
To improve its flexibility and ease of use, this jig comes with a few aluminum templates. Using these templates, you can make each common and miniature sliding, half-blind, and by means of dovetail joints. Furthermore, the 4216 also attributes four routers with different depths to enable you to gauge cut depths easily.
This dovetail jig arrives pre-assembled, which means the only factor you need to have to do to get started out is to bolt it to your workbench. It also will come with a comprehensive guide with distinct recommendations on how to use this jig to make numerous joints.
While the Porter-Cable 4216 may not have the severe precision of some high-conclude jigs, it can accomplish exceptional ranges of accuracy with some fine-tuning. But, even as is, it is adequately precise for most projects.
You will also love the reality that this device arrives with a 3-yr guarantee. Many thanks to its top quality development, flexibility, and fantastic value level, it is no ponder that we consider the Porter-Cable 4216 to be the greatest dovetail jig out there.
2. General Tools Portable Aluminum Dovetail Jig – Best Value
You do not have to settle for low quality simply due to the fact you are on a funds. The Basic Tools 861 is a dovetail jig to take into account when you are not searching to devote too a lot on this instrument. It attributes a sturdy building although currently being able to tackle most assignments with ease.
Weighing in at 29.four lbs ., the 861 is a light-weight jig that you can carry from place to area with out problem. And with its all-aluminum construction, this is 1 hardy jig that can get a beating without having wincing. In brief, you can be sure of its reliability.
What’s a lot more, the Standard Instruments 861 dovetail jig saves your funds additional, as it arrives with a ½-inch dovetail router little bit that you can use with equally a hand desk and a table router. This indicates that you do not have to incur more bills purchasing added equipment.
You will also recognize the 861’s self-aligning design that ensures that the two ends align completely. This improves your precision tremendously whilst preserving you time and effort. It also features handle knobs to permit you to fine-tune the jig’s accuracy even more.
Nevertheless, due to its restricted dimensions and functions, this jig might not fulfill the requirements of specialist or commercial woodworking. However, for the DIYer or hobbyist, the General Equipment 861 is one of the greatest dovetail jigs for the funds.
3. Leigh D4R Pro Dovetail Jig – Premium Choice
If you are intrigued in the greatest dovetail jig that cash can purchase, appear no even more than the D4R professional by Leigh. Featuring a high quality building, the Leigh D4R Professional is arguably the most versatile, as well as most well-rounded dovetail jig on the market place nowadays.
It is also amongst the greatest. With the ability to just take on shares with widths of up to 24 inches and thicknesses of 1¼ inches, this jig enables you to take on massive furnishings initiatives without stressing about your inventory sizes getting also massive to deal with.
In spite of currently being a beast of a jig, you will marvel at the D4R Pro’s simplicity of use. For case in point, it functions cam-action clamps that allow you to utilize just the correct quantity of stress on your workpieces. In addition to getting effortless to change, these clamps can be set to a steady rigidity, as a result making sure the uniformity of your cuts.
This jig arrives with a load of accessories to let you to make several kinds of dovetail joints. For instance, it has three carbide guidelines that permit you to make double-blind, 50 %-blind, and via dovetails. What is a lot more, to swap amongst the distinct types, all you need to have to do is flip your finger in excess of the assembly to pick your chosen router idea. Don’t fear the D4R Pro will come with both an instruction guide and instructional DVD.
Trustworthiness ought to not be an concern, many thanks to its strong construct.
Given its premium construct, features, and abilities, this is 1 expensive dovetail jig, which is why it could not make leading select. This resource is much more suited for professionals functioning with huge workpieces that demand a substantial degree of precision. It arrives with a 5-yr guarantee, as properly as a ninety-working day income-again guarantee period, inside of which you can return the jig if it does not match your needs.
4. PORTER-CABLE 4210 Dovetail Jig
If you are chopping 50 percent-blind and sliding joints consistently, you may want to take into account the 4210 dovetail jig by Porter-Cable. It features a quality build, is fantastic at producing people kinds of joints, and is reasonably affordable.
This unit will come with template alignment aids to aid simplicity of use, making it a great decision for novice woodworkers. Additionally, many thanks to its router bit depth gauges, depth placing must be a method you movement by way of seamlessly, hence ensuring easy accuracy. What’s a lot more, it can manage stock that is up to twelve inches vast and 1⅛ inches thick.
Thanks to its aluminum construction, the Porter-Cable 4210 is one particular tough dovetail jig that assures your trustworthiness. It also comes with an effortless-to-comply with tutorial manual.
The Porter-Cable 4210 may well not be the versatile beast that the 4216 is, but that does not indicate it are not able to meet the demands of most woodworkers.
5. Woodstock D2796 Dovetail Jig
The D2796 is an extremely quick and precise dovetail jig. It arrives with a cam-motion clamp system that can keep two boards in spot, enabling you to cut the two in a solitary router pass. Moreover, it attributes the two horizontal and vertical cam motion clamps to make certain that your items stay in location.
As an alternative of traditional wing nuts, the Woodstock D2796 characteristics modifiable knobs to let you greater handling and ease of use. Moreover, placing up this device for use is quite simple, as almost everything mounts to a benchtop without having any hassle.
This jig is particularly good at making ½-inch 50 %-blind joints and can take care of stock measurements of up to twelve inches in width and 1¼ inches in thickness.
Many thanks to its large-duty steel construct, the Woodstock D2796 is a ridiculously tough jig. Nevertheless, it is fairly large, as effectively.
6. Keller Dovetail System Dovetail Jig
This unit by Keller is a single of the most inexpensive but top quality options on the industry right now. This jig functions a simple layout consisting of a router with an outer frame, indicating that you will have to invest in clamps for securing it to the bench.
This easy design, even so, does have some positive aspects. For case in point, it does not restrict you to a particular width, as you can simply transfer the jig along the wood’s size. Additionally, many thanks to getting so couple of parts, this unit is much less vulnerable to warping or breaking. To add to that durability, the comb functions a laminate building.
The Keller is not all skeleton, as it will come with two templates. These permit you to make fifty percent-blind and by means of dovetails. You will also get bits for your templates, as well as router attachments.
Most people also appreciate the detailed educational guide that arrives with this unit, specially offered its distinctive layout.
Nonetheless, this straightforward style will come with constraints. For starters, you have to personalize your possess blocks for keeping the jig in location. It is also not able of high stages of precision or accuracy simply because it lacks a steady foundation. As a consequence, this jig is not excellent for expert or substantial-throughput outlets. But it is a great selection for beginners.
7. Rockler Complete Dovetail Jig
This device by Rockler is an additional jig really worth contemplating if you are on a restricted budget. It can deal with stocks with widths of up to 11 inches and thicknesses of up to ¾ inches and is excellent for DIYers or modest outlets
A exclusive function of this jig is its dust collection system. It consists of a vacuum that attaches to the base of your template to suck up the dust created by the router, therefore reducing the volume of cleansing up you have to do. Most dovetail jigs do not come with this feature.
Sadly, this device has problems with precision. Furthermore, making double-blind dovetails can be a problem. The instructions are not that uncomplicated both.
8. Leigh Super 12 in Dovetail Jig
The Leigh Tremendous 12 is a wonderful dovetail jig. It is simple to use and can make most kinds of dovetail joints. It accepts widths of up to twelve inches and has three router little bit possibilities to allow you to make distinct types of cuts.
Although showcasing a superior style, we come to feel that its value tag is a tad bit way too high for these kinds of a small unit. It also has a significantly steep learning curve.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Dovetail Jigs
You want a dovetail jig that is not only in a position to meet the requirements of your project, but also one that is reliable. This signifies that deciding on the excellent jig demands some considered. The following are some of the variables to contemplate just before getting one.
This refers to the width and thickness of the material that the jig can handle. For common cabinetry and furnishings, a jig that can accommodate up to 12-inch widths is adequate. Nonetheless, if you are seeking to make more substantial household furniture or cabinetry, it is best to look for jigs with vast widths.
When it will come to thickness, most jigs are able of managing thickness levels of amongst ¼ and ¾ inches. Nonetheless, it is far better to have a unit that can deal with at the very least up to 1⅛ inches to enable you to work on a extensive selection of tasks.
Quality of Construction
Most of the operate accomplished using a dovetail jig entails placing the instrument through substantial quantities of pressure, as well as beatings from the router. With consistent use, the resulting dress in and tear can compromise a jig’s precision and precision, as a result influencing the overall high quality of your function.
For greatest longevity, appear for a jig that is made from challenging resources this sort of as metal.
Make certain that a jig comes with all that you require to get commenced. This involves equipment such as templates of varying widths and dovetail router bits.
Ease of Use
When it arrives to relieve of use, mounted dovetail jigs are the easiest to set up and use. However, variable jigs permit you to make better-seeking cuts.
Whilst most minimal-priced merchandise can not be relied on to make good quality cuts, it is never ever an indicator of quality or trustworthiness. But if its priced as well lower, it almost certainly is not good ample.
Because most jigs price a quite penny, guarantee that the maker has your again in scenario one thing happens. For that reason, prioritize jigs that arrive with a warranty for peace of thoughts. Make confident that you go through the phrases and situations very carefully, as some manufacturers sneak in particular clauses in there to avoid you from declaring your warranty.
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Dovetail jigs let you to hold a wooden piece in area even though providing you with a chopping template to let you to make specific and repeatable cuts for your dovetail joints. However, these instruments can vary tremendously in dimension, functionality, and quality of development.
Consequently, make certain that you know what you assume of a dovetail jig before you go to purchase one. Our favorite jig is the Porter-Cable 4216. This device is amazingly functional, is effortless to use, has a strong construct, and arrives at a excellent price tag.
If you are on a budget, contemplate the Standard Equipment 861. While not as precise or functional as the 4216, the 861 is a remarkably reliable jig that ought to satisfy the wants of most woodworkers comfortably.
But really don't consider our word for it the proof of the pudding is in the taking in.