The Best Dowel Jig for 2023

The Best Dowel Jig

The Best Dowel Jig review, expert analysis and recommendations for woodworkers of all skill levels. When it comes to woodworking projects, having a reliable dowel jig is essential for precise and consistent results.

In this review, we’ll be evaluating the top contenders for the title of the best dowel jig. We’ll be looking at ease of use, accuracy, durability, the dowel jig size capacity and of course value for money.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, this review has got you covered with all the information you need to make an informed decision when choosing a dowel jig for your workshop.

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Best Dowel Jig Kit

JessEm Model 08350 Dowelling Jig Master Kit

The JessEm doweling jig kit is a versatile and precise tool for any woodworker looking to create dowel joints. The jig allows for easy creation of 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2-inch dowel holes on the end or face of your workpiece, making it perfect for a variety of projects.

One of the standout features of this jig is its ability to create multiple dowel hole configurations. The locations of dowels can be pre-set in 1/8-inch increments, giving you the flexibility to create complex and unique dowel joints with ease.

The built-in alignment slots on the jig are another great feature. These slots allow you to match up dowel holes that are spaced further apart, ensuring that your dowel holes are perfectly aligned and your joints are strong and secure.

The JessEm doweling jig is constructed of precision CNC machined aluminum that is anodized for durability and laser engraved for fast set ups. At 1 pound and 13.9 x 11 x 0.2 inches, it is lightweight and easy to use, yet sturdy enough to handle even the toughest of projects.

The kit also includes a 3/8-inch guide bushing carrier with 5 guide bushings, a 1/2-inch guide bushing carrier with 3 guide bushings, and a 1/4-inch guide bushing carrier with 7 guide bushings. These bushings make it easy to center your workpiece on the corresponding bushing and ensure accurate alignment when drilling.

All in all, the JessEm doweling jig kit is a great choice for woodworkers looking to create precise and consistent dowel joints, it’s versatile and user-friendly features make it a must-have for your workshop.

What We Like:

  • Versatile Application – The JessEm doweling jig kit allows for the creation of 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2-inch dowel holes on the end or face of a workpiece, making it suitable for a wide range of projects.
  • Multiple Dowel Hole Configuration – The jig has pre-set locations for dowels that can be adjusted in 1/8-inch increments, making it perfect for creating multiple dowel hole configurations.
  • Built-In Alignment Slots – The built-in alignment slot allows you to match up dowel holes that are spaced further apart, ensuring perfect alignment for stronger joints.
  • Sturdy Construction – Constructed of precision CNC machined aluminum, anodized for durability, and laser engraved for fast set-ups, the JessEm doweling jig kit is built to last.
  • Included Guide Bushing Carrier – The kit includes a 3/8-inch guide bushing carrier with 5 guide bushings, a 1/2-inch guide bushing carrier with 3 guide bushings, and a 1/4-inch guide bushing carrier with 7 guide bushings, providing a wide range of options for different dowel sizes.

Things to Consider:

  • Is This Within Your Price Range? – This doweling jig kit is a premium product, and its price may be out of reach for some users who are on a budget.
  • More Than You Need – Do you need a dowel jig with all these options, if you have lots of woodworking projects on the go then this dowel jig will serve you well.

Best Self Centering Dowel Jigs

1. Eagle America 445-7600 Professional Wide Capacity Self-Centering Dowel Jig

The Eagle America 445-7600 Professional Wide Capacity Self-Centering Dowel Jig is a tool designed to help woodworkers, woodturning enthusiasts and DIYers create precise and consistent dowel holes for a variety of joints, including miter, butt, and edge joints. It can also be used as a mortising guide. The jig is made of anodized aluminum with hardened steel guides, and is able to handle material from 1/4 inch to 6 inches thick. It has a weight of 3.24 pounds and dimensions of 4 x 5 x 5 inches.

One of the things that you’ll love about this dowel jig is its simplicity and ease of use. It requires no measuring or calculating, and features offset holes that can be easily created using a spacer block. The jig comes with two bushings each in sizes of 1/4 inch, 5/16 inch, and 3/8 inch, as well as two fixed holes measuring 7/16 inch and 1/2 inch. This allows users to drill three sizes of holes on 3/4 inch centers with one clamping.

In terms of accuracy, this jig is designed with two extremely accurate guide holes that are tapped for the supplied bushings. This ensures that the dowel holes produced are precise and consistent. The jig’s anodized aluminum body and hardened steel guides also contribute to its durability and long-lasting performance.

What We Like:

  • Simplicity and Ease of Use – This jig requires no measuring or calculating, making it easy to use for woodworkers, woodturning enthusiasts, and DIYers.
  • Offset Holes – The jig features offset holes that can be easily created using a spacer block, allowing for a variety of joints to be made.
  • Included Bushings – The jig comes with two bushings each in sizes of 1/4 inch, 5/16 inch, and 3/8 inch, as well as two fixed holes measuring 7/16 inch and 1/2 inch, providing users with a range of hole sizes to choose from.
  • High Accuracy – The jig is designed with two extremely accurate guide holes that are tapped for the supplied bushings, ensuring that the dowel holes produced are precise and consistent.
  • Durability – The jig’s anodized aluminum body and hardened steel guides contribute to its durability and long-lasting performance.

Things to Consider:

  • Skill Level – Although the jig is designed for ease of use, it may still require a certain level of skill and experience to achieve the best results.

2. O’SKOOL Self Centering Dowel Jig Kit

Runner up in this review of the best dowel jig is the O’SKOOL Self Centering Dowel Jig Kit it’s a tool designed to help woodworkers create precise and consistent dowel holes for a variety of joints. It is easy to adjust and can be clamped on boards of different thicknesses, with a clamping wide capacity of 3/8 inches to 6 inches. The jig is easy to use, making it an ideal tool for numerous woodworking projects.

One of the notable features of this jig is its clamping system. The steel block and clamping screw handle securely tightens the jig like a vise, and the fine thread spacing of the screw handle provides uniform and stable clamping pressure for clamping the workpiece. The jig also has rugged aluminum sides that hold the workpiece securely without damaging the wood.

The drilling bushings included in the kit are made of high-quality materials and have high strength and accurate positioning. When using a hand-held drilling machine, the countersunk drill bushings allow the drill bit to slide into the hole easily, ensuring the correct angle of the drill bit.

The O’SKOOL Self Centering Dowel Jig Kit includes guide hole sizes of 1/4 inch, 5/16 inch, 3/8 inch, 7/16 inch, and 1/2 inch. There are four holes along the top of the jig, with two of the holes accepting threaded bushings (replaceable 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, 5/16 inch) and the other two holes accepting 7/16 inch and 1/2 inch drill bits. The kit includes the dowel jig, two each of 1/4 inch, 5/16 inch, and 3/8 inch drilling bushings.

What We Like:

  • Clamping System – The steel block and clamping screw handle securely tightens the jig like a vise, and the fine thread spacing of the screw handle provides uniform and stable clamping pressure for clamping the workpiece.
  • Durable Construction – The jig has rugged aluminum sides that hold the workpiece securely without damaging the wood.
  • Variety of Guide Hole Sizes – The O’SKOOL Self Centering Dowel Jig Kit includes guide hole sizes of 1/4 inch, 5/16 inch, 3/8 inch, 7/16 inch, and 1/2 inch, allowing for a range of dowel sizes to be used.
  • High-Quality Drilling Bushings – The drilling bushings included in the kit are made of high-quality materials and have high strength and accurate positioning.
  • Easy to Use – The jig is easy to adjust and can be clamped on boards of different thicknesses, making it an ideal tool for panel furniture and other woodworking projects.

Things to Consider:

  • Learn How to Use The Dowel Jig – Users who are new to woodworking or doweling may need to spend some time practicing and experimenting with the jig to get a feel for how it works and how to achieve the most accurate and consistent results.

3. AUTOTOOLHOME Self Centering Doweling Jig

The AUTOTOOLHOME self centering doweling jig is a handy tool for any woodworker looking to achieve precise and accurate results. This versatile jig can be used for a wide range of woodworking projects, including butt joints, miter joints, edge joints, and mortising. It offers a clamping capacity of 3/8″ to 6″, making it suitable for different thicknesses of wood, and it is easy to install and use, making it a great tool for both professional and hobbyist woodworkers.

Constructed from aircraft grade aluminum, the jig is more stable and corrosion resistant, ensuring a long-lasting and durable tool. The fixture bolts provide good threads, and the included steel bushings of different sizes make it simple and convenient to achieve precise drilling, resulting in accurate positioning with no offset or gaps.

The steel block and clamping screw handle securely tightens the jig like a vise, and the fine thread spacing of the screw handle provides uniform and stable clamping pressure for clamping the workpiece. The jig also features rugged aluminum sides that hold the work securely without causing damage to the wood.

The jig is also equipped with 4 drill guide holes, 2 of which accept 7/16″ and 1/2″ drill bits directly, and the other 2 holes accept threaded replaceable steel bushings. The package includes 1/4″ drilling bushing x 2, 5/16″ drilling bushing x 2, and 3/8″ drilling bushing x 2, providing even more options for different types of woodworking projects.

What We Like:

  • A Versatile Dowel Jig – This dowel jig can be used for a wide range of woodworking projects, including butt joints, miter joints, edge joints, and mortising.
  • Wide Clamping Capacity – The jig offers a clamping capacity of 3/8″ to 6″, making it suitable for different thicknesses of wood. This feature allows you to work on a variety of wood materials with the same tool.
  • Durable Construction – The jig is constructed from aircraft grade aluminum, making it more stable and corrosion resistant, ensuring a long-lasting and durable tool. This makes it perfect for both professional and hobbyist woodworkers who want a tool that will last for a long time.
  • Accurate Positioning – The fixture bolts provide very good threads, and the included steel bushings of different sizes make it very simple and convenient to achieve precise drilling, resulting in accurate positioning without any offset or gaps.
  • Easy to Use – The jig is easy to install and use, making it a great tool for both professional and hobbyist woodworkers. This feature makes it accessible to woodworkers of all skill levels, allowing anyone to achieve professional results in their projects.

Things to Consider:

Drill Bits – This dowel jig only accepts 7/16″ and 1/2″ drill bits directly, and the other 2 holes accept threaded replaceable steel bushings. If you have different size of drill bits, you may need to purchase additional bushings to use with this jig.

Clamping Size – The jig has a clamping wide capacity of 3/8″ to 6″, which may not be suitable for larger projects or materials, so you may need to consider purchasing a different jig for larger projects or materials.

Also Great

1. Joywayus Self Centering Dowelling Jig, Imperial Standard

The Joywayus Self Centering Dowelling Jig is an essential tool for any woodworker looking for precision and ease of use in their dowelling projects. The parallelogram design of the arms is one of the most impressive features of this jig, as it ensures that the jig always finds dead center, making drilling quick and accurate.

The adjustable stop is another feature that stands out, allowing you to drill equally spaced holes along a piece of wood with ease. The jig can clamp onto different thicknesses of wood boards, from 17mm to 60mm, making it versatile for a wide range of projects. The anodic oxidation treatment on the surface also adds to the durability of the tool, protecting it from wear and tear.

The jig is made with high-quality materials, including aluminum alloy 6061 for the drill guide and die steel for the bushings, ensuring that it is both hard and strong. It is also designed to be slip-resistant, thanks to the wavy design on both sides. This feature is especially useful for those who work on multiple projects at a time and for those who have to work on different types of woods.

The jig is also easy to use, with a simple process for adjusting the positioning scale to determine the distance between the first hole and the board end. The positioning dowel comes in three sizes, 1/4 inches, 5/16 inches, and 3/8 inches, which is suitable for a wide range of project requirements. The jig also comes with a usage guide to help you get started.

What We Like:

  • The Parallelogram Design of The Arms – The parallelogram design ensures that the jig always finds dead center, making drilling quick and accurate. This feature is particularly useful for those who want to achieve precise dowelling results.
  • Adjustable Stop – The adjustable stop allows you to drill equally spaced holes along a piece of wood with ease. This is a great feature for those who want to create a specific pattern or design in their projects.
  • Durable Construction – Made with high-quality materials, including aluminum alloy 6061 for the drill guide and die steel for the bushings, ensuring that it is both hard and strong, making it a durable tool that can withstand heavy use.
  • Slip-Resistant Design – The wavy design on both sides of the jig not only looks cool but it also helps to prevent slipping, making it easier to use.
  • Very Versatile Dowel Jig – This dowel jig can clamp onto different thicknesses of wood boards, from 17mm to 60mm, making it versatile for a wide range of projects. This is particularly useful for those who work on multiple projects at a time.

Things to Consider:

  • Drill Bit Size – This dowel jig comes with three drill bit sizes, 1/4 inches, 5/16 inches, and 3/8 inches, which may not be suitable for all projects.
  • Usage – The jig does not come with instructions on how to use it, which may be challenging for beginners who are not familiar with dowelling tools.

2. AUTOTOOLHOME Self Centering Doweling Jig

This jig just had to be included in this review of the best dowel jig, the AUTOTOOLHOME Self Centering Doweling Jig is a woodworking tool designed to help woodworkers create precise and consistent dowel holes for a variety of joints.

This wood dowel jig can be clamped on a workpiece and used to effortlessly drill dowel pins that require precise right-angles and exact alignment. No measuring or calculating is necessary, and you can even mark and align the jig to get perfect results. This dowel jig is suitable for various applications, including miter, butt, and edge joints, as well as mortising, constructing wooden frames, and repairing tables.

The self centering doweling jig has a self-centering action that allows it to be used with up to 2-1/2 inch round or square stock (maximum capacity). It has 5 standard SAE drill boring sizes (1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, 5/16 inch, 7/16 inch, and 1/2 inch) that are permanently laser-etched for quick and accurate use and it’s possible to drill two identical parallel holes without moving the jig at all.

This dowel jig is robust, it’s built to last with a solid precision hardened steel center block construction for ultimate strength and longevity. The large steel clamping screw tightens the tool like a vise, and the rugged aluminum sides hold the workpiece securely without damaging it. It is recommended to regularly clean and lightly oil the center screw for smooth action. This dowel jig has dimensions of 4-3/4 inches in length, 2-1/2 inches in height, and 4 inches in width (extended). The bushing set includes 2 each of 1/4 inch, 5/16 inch, and 3/8 inch.

What We Like:

  • Self-Centering Action – The jig’s self-centering feature allows it to be used with a variety of round or square stock, up to 2-1/2 inches in size, making it versatile and suitable for various applications.
  • Permanent Laser-Etched Srill Sizes – The jig has 5 standard SAE drill boring sizes that are permanently laser-etched, making it easy to quickly and accurately select the right size for the job.
  • Solid Construction – The jig is built to last with a solid precision-hardened steel center block construction, providing ultimate strength and longevity.
  • Large Steel Clamping Screw – The large steel clamping screw tightens the tool like a vise, providing a secure hold on the workpiece without damaging it.
  • Bushing Set Included – The jig comes with a bushing set that includes 2 each of 1/4 inch, 5/16 inch, and 3/8 inch, allowing you to start using the jig right away.

Things to Consider:

  • Clamping Screw Maintenance – It is recommended to regularly clean and lightly oil the center screw for smooth action.
  • Size Limitations – The jig is limited to a maximum capacity of 2-1/2 inches for round or square stock, which may not be suitable for larger projects.

Best Hand Held Dowel Jig

Milescraft 1319 Joint Mate

This is a great option to go for if you just want a quick no nonsense dowel jig that isn’t expensive and does a very respectable job, that’s why it had to be included in this review of the best dowel jig.

The Milescraft 1319 Joint Mate, is a handheld dowel jig designed to create precise and consistent dowel holes for joints, including corner, edge, and surface joints. The self-centering jig and adjustable fence allow for precise dowel alignment for maximum joint strength, and the metal bushings ensure accurate alignment when drilling for perfectly positioned dowels. The jig requires minimal set-up with no exposed or covered mechanical fasteners and can be used with 1/2 inch to 1-1/2 inch thick lumber.

Depending on the dowel size being used, you can center the workpiece on the corresponding bushing using the simple, easy-to-use self-centering posts. The jig comes with dowel sizes of 1/4 inch, 5/16 inch, and 3/8 inch. There is a minimum board width of 2 inches for 1/4 inch and 5/16 inch bushings, and 3-1/4 inches for 3/8 inch bushings.

The Milescraft 1319 Joint Mate also has an adjustable guide fence that allows users to easily adjust the depth of the board to ensure precise holes from one to the next when using 1/2 inch to 1-1/2 inch thick lumber. The hardened steel bushings included with the jig ensure accurate alignment when drilling.

What We Like:

  • Self-Centering and Adjustable – The self-centering jig and adjustable fence make it easy to achieve accurate dowel alignment, which is crucial for strong joints.
  • Easy to Use – The Joint Mate requires minimal set-up and has no exposed or covered mechanical fasteners, making it easy to use for both experienced and novice woodworkers.
  • Suitable for Different Thicknesses – The jig can be used with 1/2 inch to 1-1/2 inch thick lumber, making it versatile for a variety of projects.
  • Hardened Steel Bushings Included – The hardened steel bushings included with the jig ensure accurate alignment when drilling, which further improves the precision of the dowel holes.

Things to Consider:

  • Dowel Size Limitations – The Joint Mate comes with dowel sizes of 1/4 inch, 5/16 inch, and 3/8 inch, which may not be suitable for all projects or preferences.
  • Minimum Board Width Requirement – There is a minimum board width of 2 inches for 1/4 inch and 5/16 inch bushings, and 3-1/4 inches for 3/8 inch bushings, which could limit the use of the jig for certain projects.
  • Handheld Design – The Joint Mate is a handheld dowel jig, which may not be as stable as a bench-mounted doweling jig and could make it more difficult to achieve precise results.

Best Budget Options

1. Self Centering Doweling Jig

The Joywayus Self Centering Dowelling Jig is a high-quality woodworking tool that is perfect for those who want to create precise dowel joints in their projects. The jig is designed to be easy to use and offers a variety of features that make it a valuable addition to any woodworker’s toolkit.

The drill bushings are made from premium materials that are sturdy, durable, and corrosion-resistant. This means that the jig will last for a long time and won’t be affected by humidity or rust, making it a great investment.

Another great feature of this jig is its adjustability. The jig can clamp onto different thicknesses of wood boards, from 10mm to 55mm, making it versatile for a wide range of woodworking projects. This is particularly useful for those who work on multiple projects at a time and for those who have to work on different types of woods.

The self-centering design of the jig makes it effortless to make different wood pin joints, ensuring that your dowel joints are precise and accurate. The jig is also designed to be more accurate than other doweling jigs, with no offset or gaps left. However, it is important to note that the jig may not be parallel during use, and so manual adjustment may be required.

The center block of the jig is made of solid steel, precision hardened for long life. The large steel clamping screw tightens the tool like a vise with the rugged aluminum sides holding the work securely without damage to the wood. The jig is easy to use, and comes with a bushing set of 2 each of 1/4″ 5/16″ 3/8″.

What We Like:

  • Corrosion Resistant – This dowel jig is corrosion resistant which ensures longevity and reliability, this is especially important for woodworkers who rely on their tools day in and day out.
  • Great Adjustability – The adjustable feature of the jig makes it easy to clamp on different thicknesses of wood boards, from 10mm to 55mm. This means that it can be used for a wide range of projects and not just limited to one specific type of woodwork.
  • Self-Centering – The self-centering feature of the jig makes it effortless to make different wood pin joints. It eliminates the need for precise measurements and calculations, making it user-friendly and easy to use. This is especially beneficial for beginners who may not have a lot of experience with woodworking.

Things to Consider:

  • Not Always Parallel During Use – So manual adjustments may be required. This means that you will need to take the time to ensure that the jig is properly aligned before drilling. This is especially important for those who are working on projects that require precise measurements and calculations.
  • Bushing Set – Only includes 2 each of 1/4″, 5/16″, and 3/8″ sizes, so additional sizes may need to be purchased separately.

2. Hand-held Doweling Jig With Dowel Pins And Drill Bits

This hand-held doweling jig, complete with dowel pins and drill bits is a versatile and efficient tool for creating precise dowel joints in your woodworking projects. This jig kit is packaged in a sturdy plastic box, which keeps the jig and its accessories organized and tidy.

A great feature of this jig is its ability to create dowel joints in the corner, edge, or surface of your workpiece. The self-centering feature of the jig makes it easy to align and drill holes in the exact location you need, while the 0-50 mm scale allows for precise measurements. Additionally, the jig is designed to work with 6mm (1/4″), 8mm (5/16″), and 10mm (3/8″) wood dowel pins, making it versatile for a variety of projects.

The included dowel hardwood pins have chamfered ends, which provide added strength and endurance to your joints. The kit also includes 6 pin center punches, which make it easy to mark the exact location for drilling.

The kit includes all the necessary accessories for using the jig, including three different size wood drills, a hex key wrench, and three drill stoppers. These accessories make it easy to switch between different size dowel pins and ensure that your drill is the proper depth.

This hand held dowel jig is a great choice for woodworkers of all skill levels. It is well-built, easy to use, and comes with everything you need to create precise dowel joints.

What We Like:

  • Versatile Dowel Jig – The jig can create dowel joints in the corner, edge, or surface of your workpiece.
  • Self-centering Action – The jig self-centers on boards up to 1-1/4″ thick, making it easy to align and drill holes.
  • Measurement Scale – The 0-50 mm scale allows for precise measurements and helps ensure accurate hole placement.
  • Included Dowel Pins – The hardwood dowel pins included in the kit have chamfered ends, which add strength and endurance to your joints.
  • Great Accessories – The kit includes all the necessary accessories for using the jig, including different size wood drills and drill stoppers.

Things to Consider:

  • Dowel Size – The jig is designed to work with 6mm (1/4″), 8mm (5/16″), and 10mm (3/8″) wood dowel pins, which may not be suitable for all projects.
  • Thicker Boards – The jig is self-centering on boards up to 1-1/4″ thick, which may not be suitable for thicker workpieces.
  • Accessory Storage – The plastic box is included for storage, but it may not be as durable as a metal case.
  • Dowel Pin Size – The jig only includes 3 size of dowel pins, so if you have a project that requires a different size, you will have to purchase them separately.
  • Drill Bit Size – The kit only includes 3 size of drill bits, if you have a project that requires a different size, you will have to purchase the bits separately.


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