I am wanting one of these systems to use for some tables, end tables, and things like that. I understand that they are each bigger than the previous but that's where my knowledge ends. Can someone enlighten me?
Both the K4 and K5 are in production at the present time. The K3 was replaced by the K4 and would only be found as a used unit. All are the same size (not sure where you got the impression any was larger), but the K5 is much easier to use than the K4, as far as I'm concerned. The wings on the K5 allow for storage and keep your work piece level, plus the locking handle is in the front.
Yep, the R3 is one of the portable versions. Works fine for occasional use, but you'd want a K4 or K5 if doing very many pocket holes for large or multiple projects. The drill block on the bench units is actually removable for use as a portable piece, so if you get either of those, you have the addtional functionality of the R3.
I have the older K4 master kit and it's great. I got it on sale at Rockler a couple years ago and the only thing I have ever had problems with has been operator error by choosing the wrong length screw. Past that it works just like they say it will. You can mount it to a board if you wish but as long as it is clamped down I haven't had any problems. I have a small work area so I clamp mine and take it apart to store it.
The K4 is really not much cheaper than the K5 and having the clamping handle in the front on the same side as you will be drilling is invaluable, especially if you add pocket holes to any fairly large panels. Large panels will prevent you from reaching around to clamp the piece in place. I own the K5 and really enjoy it.
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