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December 11, 2017

How To Choose The Best Dovetail Jig For Your Project

Porter Cable Omnijig Variable Finger TemplateIN ORDER to decide which is the best dovetail jig for your woodworking projects, it’s necessary to first decide which types of dovetail joints you want to cut, because not all the jigs can cut all the joints.

That means you need to think about your project and decide if you want both through and half-blind dovetails on your drawers, do you want to use sliding dovetails for your shelves or just a plain dado, and so on.

As a general rule, the more joints a jig can cut, the more complex it is to use and the more expensive it is to buy. If you know at the outset that you’re going to want to use all the capabilities, then it’s generally more cost effective to buy a more expensive jig to begin with.

We’ve put together a table below that shows at a glance which joints you can cut with 6 of the most popular dovetail jigs on the market:

Keller
1500
Porter
Cable
4210
Porter
Cable
4212
Porter
Cable
4216
Porter
Cable
Omnijig
Leigh
D4R
Dovetail Joint
Half blind dovetails check mark check mark check mark check mark check mark
Sliding dovetails check mark check mark check mark check mark check mark
Through dovetails check mark check mark check mark check mark check mark
Box joints check mark check mark check mark check mark check mark
Miniature dovetails check mark check mark check mark
Variable dovetails check mark check mark

 

The biggest choice that you need to make before anything else is whether you want the ability to cut variable spaced dovetails or not. Going from fixed finger template jigs to an adjustable finger dovetail jig is the biggest jump you will make it terms of what you can produce with your jig and also price.

To help you make that particular decision you should read about the pros and cons of each type at this article Fixed Dovetail Jig Templates vs Variable Dovetail Jig Templates