H.F. Dovetail jig vs General Tools Dovetail jig

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Review by jdjdjfhgnghgn posted 10-21-2016 05:11 PM 6069 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
H.F. Dovetail jig vs General Tools Dovetail jig No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I gave the Harbor Freight dovetail jig a perfect 5 rating. I purchased Exactly 3 of these jigs and exactly 3 were broke right out of the box. Each one had a knob broken completely off. Perfect score.

I know, it’s harbor freight…....I’m actually a fan. Might even try again.

I bought a General Tools dovetail jig and it is pretty good. I’m a beginner and it was a quick setup and got good results. Joints a little tight, but that can be adjusted. Yeah, more seasoned wood workers might not find it advanced enough, but for a beginner it gets a fundamental joint done well and fast and that good experience early on promotes the, for lack of a better term, hobby.

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11 posts in 1470 days

9 comments so far

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86 posts in 4545 days

#1 posted 10-21-2016 07:16 PM

I’m confused (which is normal for me says my wife). By perfect score what are you saying? Perfectly good or perfectly bad? Was the General dovetail just as good?

-- REL, North Jersey

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11 posts in 1470 days

#2 posted 10-21-2016 09:58 PM I’m kinda joking. H.F. was perfectly bad. Exactly every one of them came broke out of the box. I’m a H.F. long time customer, but man to get 3 broke products…

General Tools dovetail worked well. I actually tried their tenon and mortise jig today (I purchased both the dove tail and mortise to get started doing a little wood working) it also worked well. Although the bushing on the mortise side of the jig jammed a lot, I still think it worked well. First time doing tenons, mortises, and dovetails and they all worked. In fact within an hour I had completed joints.

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108 posts in 3272 days

#3 posted 10-22-2016 04:25 PM

I have the General Dovetailler II. I had to tweek it a little. I used a precision adjustable parallel to set the depth/height settings. It was dead on the first shot. It works well for the price. It is not high end, but it will do as advertised.

I can not comment on the HF. I do not own one.

Ellery Becnel

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82 posts in 2487 days

#4 posted 10-22-2016 06:35 PM

I used to own the EZ Pro Dovetail Jig Kit, but it did not last very long. The clamping screws on it were a joke, but it looks like they did do an upgrade on the 2nd generation product.

I upgraded to the MLCS Dovetail Jig due to it being an expandable system for under $20 more. The build quality is much higher, I find it to be more accurate, better router bit, and I love the fact I can buy additional templates at a minimal expense.

Just my two cents, but worth a look at.


-- To Steal Ideas From One Person is Plagiarism; to Steal From Many is Research…

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11 posts in 1470 days

#5 posted 10-22-2016 10:04 PM

took a look at mlcs. yeah..looked good.

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11 posts in 1470 days

#6 posted 10-22-2016 10:16 PM


On the G.T, dovetail jig, is there a specific offset to setting the depth or just getting it dead on accurate. Mine came out tight first time. Instead of tinkering it would be good to know an exact number for a depth that works with the 1\2 inch 14 deg bit.

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108 posts in 3272 days

#7 posted 10-23-2016 06:37 PM

It has been a while since I used the jig. I cut through DT only. I have not tried half blind. From what I can remember, I measured the thickness of the stock using dial calipers. Then I added about .010. I set the adjustable parallel to that dimension. Next I used the adjustable parallel to set the fence on the Jig, so that it was a precise setting. Then I locked the screws down. I found the settings were just too coarse to ensure a consistent cut. I did this when cutting the pins and tails. If i needed to make an adjustment, I would use the parallel to tweek/sneek up on it.

The main reason I used the parallel was to set the fences to make a consistent cut across the stock. I did not want to fiddle and keep making test cuts. The little time I spent setting it up, offset making test cuts and hoping I might get it. With precision, there is no guessing. I hope this makes sense.

What I liked about the jig was that you could do through and half blind. Also it was open to cut long parts. It was not expensive like most high end fixtures. I just do this as a hobby, so a high end setup was not justified at this time.

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11 posts in 1470 days

#8 posted 10-23-2016 08:39 PM

Thnx.. accurate in actual stock thickness, add about a 100th of an inch and accurately set it up….Thnx. Makes sense.

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45 posts in 1861 days

#9 posted 11-18-2016 01:01 AM

I got the easy pro II. It’s a royal piece. It worked decently the very first joint, but the more you use it (in order to make adjustments) the flimsier it gets it seems. The clamp doesn’t hold well enough for wood harder than pine and if you tighten it any tighter, the whole structure of the jig bends outward and throws off squareness. I can’t seem to get any good joints from it anymore, even when setting up with my calipers. I would NOT recommend it.

-- Dave O.

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