Simple and Inexpensive

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Review by Jimi_C posted 11-03-2009 07:23 AM 6182 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I’ve been looking at getting a Kreg pocket hole jig for a while now, with it basically being a toss up between the R3 Jr. and the extremely simple mini jig kit. I wasn’t really looking at the K4 or higher systems, since they go up in price pretty quickly, and as always I’m working on a budget. In addition, I always planned to get the face clamps, so the extra clamping capabilities of the more expensive systems seemed unnecessary for my level of work. I bought the small face clamp for now, since I’m primarily using this for face frames, as well as the right angle clamp, to attach the face frames to the cabinet box. But enough about clamps!

That being said, the K3 Jr. meets my needs exactly. It comes with a nice case, which includes the guide for placing the stop collar on the drill bit (shown in picture #2) based on material thickness. The jig itself has adjustable sliders on each side, with positive stops for each material thickness (from 1/2” to 1-1/2”). It also has a detachable clamp pad for non-Kreg clamps, or if you are putting some pocket holes someplace you can’t clamp, there are screw holes for holding the jig in place. The jig has marks on the front face, denoting the pocket hole centers for lining the jig up. This kit also comes with a (very) small assortment of screws and plugs, but it’s not enough to do anything with but practice.

Out of the box, without reading the instructions, I was able to joint two pieces of scrap maple I had laying around. The joint was nice and tight, and with glue I have no doubt it’d keep just about anything together. Out of all of Kreg’s jigs, I think this one has the most bang for the buck, I’d recommend this to anyone looking to make some pocket holes.

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

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16 comments so far

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#1 posted 11-03-2009 07:35 AM

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Rick Dennington

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#2 posted 11-03-2009 08:36 AM

Hey JimiC: They sure are nice to have. For a long time I’ve been using the Mini jig, and it’s great for one hole at a time. But I bit the bullet last week and ordered the K4 set-up, along with some other stuff from Rockler.
I’ve read some good reviews on here from other LJ’s. I may not use it all the time for some applications, but I’ll have it if I need it. Like they say—it’s better to have it and not need it, as it is to need it and not have it.
Have fun with your new toy !!

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

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661 posts in 4048 days

#3 posted 11-03-2009 05:54 PM

Good review. I have one and have used it recently in making some table legs for a mahogany play table I’m building for my grand-daughter. I absolutely love the ease and strength of creating joints, plus it frees up a ton of clamps too.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

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19 posts in 4280 days

#4 posted 11-03-2009 07:22 PM

Nice review and I agree. The R3 gets you started and able to dabble with the pocket hole method of joinery without having to invest a bunch of $. I find it quick and adaptable for my projects and so far I don’t see the need for the larger more expensive model. Make sure you order a back-up drill bit as once the pilot tip breaks off the rest of the bit is pretty much useless. My battery drill toppled over and the tip was gone in an instant. Luckily I had a spare.

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Kent Shepherd

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#5 posted 11-03-2009 11:44 PM

Thanks for the review—Good job


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#6 posted 11-04-2009 01:46 AM

Nice review. I have not bought one yet so I appreciate your thoughts. It will probably save some money.

-- Duane, Iowa

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#7 posted 11-04-2009 02:39 AM

Another thanks for the review. I have stood at the display a number of times trying to figure out which one would meet my minimal needs. The sales people always end any question about the lower models with a big BUT and proceed to brag about the K4 and above.


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415 posts in 3994 days

#8 posted 11-04-2009 03:07 AM

Back in February, I bought the pocket Kreg Jig on impulse at the Woodworking Show. It definitely changed the way I do things. At about $20, it’s an excellent value. I ordered a big box of screws from Amazon (free shipping!) and off I went. In June I sprung for the $99 kit because it’s a real time saver when doing large panels. It’s much faster to place the panel in the jig clamped to the bench tha it is to index the pocket jig and clamp it down.

Last week I used the two clamps I had bought, the one with one jaw shaped like a dowel for right-angle use and one for face-frame use. The right angle clamp works like a champ and, in my opinion, is a necessity as the act of driving the screw tends to misalign the two workpieces.

Of course, I’m now into Kreg for a little more than I would have spent for the Master Kit, but I do have two drill bits and I can carry the pocket jig in my toolbox for portable use.

It’s my opinion that the various forms of Kreg jig are well worth the money. This weekend, I was making a pair of L-shaped shelved by edge-joining two plywood rectangles. The Kreg jig made short work of it. I am very satisfied.

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

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4816 posts in 4021 days

#9 posted 11-04-2009 05:56 AM

Good review.

I’ve got the mini, and like it a lot. After my minimal experience with my Kreg router table, I’d be willing to consider anything else they make.

Seems like a good company, generally.

-- -- Neil

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11859 posts in 4535 days

#10 posted 11-04-2009 06:53 AM

I bought the “big” set up several years ago and so far I have only used the mini 1 hole unit , clamp , drill bit and screws to make several projects….I could have saved a lot of money had I only purchased the previously mentioned items : ) If I ever need the other pieces , I have them ….somewhere. LOL

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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#11 posted 11-04-2009 07:25 AM

Good review.
I purchased my second Kreg kit and use it alot. Find it to be quite useful and foolproof.

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#12 posted 11-04-2009 08:59 PM

I have the Kreg jig on my upgrade list. I have a General Tool pocket hole jig, and it is anything but accurate. I mean it works, and thankfully all the pocket holes i Have made have been in concealed areas…

You chose very well. Use it to it’s ability and you will have some nice work done with it…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

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507 posts in 4082 days

#13 posted 11-05-2009 03:35 AM

Thanks for all the comments! Just thought I’d mention that I created my first face frame today using the jig, and it went together flawlessly! Measuring the diagonals, I’m about 1/16” out of square, which I’ll call close enough for the built-in I’m working on :D

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View mgb's profile


24 posts in 4060 days

#14 posted 11-07-2009 03:37 AM

Nice review. I bought the K-3 last year and I love it. Built a cabinet for our laundry room, 84×34x24, used pocket holes to join all the pieces. Nice rigid joints.

Again good review

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14 posts in 4025 days

#15 posted 01-07-2010 07:39 PM

Nice article and review-

I see the real positive of using Kreg jigs is the consistency of drilling the holes and securing the pieces together. This is, after all a jig- Does what probably can be done without it but does it so much better. I have been using the very basic one-hole jig for a while, just the simple jig and the step bit and used shop clamps to secure stuff. Well I finally got the K4 and really do appreciate the advantages over the one-holer (groan.) Using the clamp that goes in one hole of the two hole jig while securing using the second hole saves a lot of time and really reduces misfits. I need all the help I can get!

I’ve always been nervous securing cabinet face frames from inside the cabinet but now have the confidence to use just pocket fasteners and glue- No biscuits nor dowels. I’ve put in a supply of color matched plugs and will see how they work on the next project. I’m also building a cypress deck with 22 7’ 2×6 top rails that will see Kreg fasteners used to secure the rails to the 6X6 posts using stainless screws.

-- John

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