Pocket Hole JIGS

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Forum topic by vintagecraftsman posted 07-27-2017 03:09 PM 1412 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 1252 days

07-27-2017 03:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: pocket hole jig jig

Hello everyone,

I have always gained a lot of insight from the comments on this forum and I would like to pose a question to the community concerning Pocket Hole Jigs.

I have several drawers to make in the near future and have decided that I am going to purchase my first Pocket Hole Jig. I think it will make things go easier and I can see it being worth the expense for some other future projects that I have in mind.

I was heading down the path purchasing a Kreg Jig, but after a lot of reading and viewing YOUTUBE Videos I have come to realized that there is more to the Pocket Hole Jig world than Kreg. My question is I have been considering the Kreg K5 pocket hole jig, but recently have stumbled upon a lot of comments concerning the Porter Cable Pocket Hole Jig. I was totally on board with the Kreg, but after my research I am starting to lean towards the Porter Cable Jig. Does anyone have experience and/or recommendations with both? As always, any and all input is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance

-- Vintage Craftsman

26 replies so far

View Jon Hobbs's profile

Jon Hobbs

147 posts in 1514 days

#1 posted 07-27-2017 03:42 PM

I’ve been using the Kreg for years. Works great. Quick, efficient, accurate. I’ve definitely got my money’s worth out of it. Ultimately, all any of them do is drill holes at an angle. I don’t think there’s going to be a great deal of difference in the end result between them. So it’s really down to how easy is it for you to use and how much $$$ you want to spend.

It looks like the PC costs nearly double the Kreg. I’ve never used the PC jig, but by looking at pictures, it’s hard to see that it’d be twice as easy or twice as efficient. But that’s largely a personal thing. If it fits your style and workflow better than the Kreg, it’s worth it!

-- Jon -- Just a Minnesota kid hanging out in Kansas

View CygnusA's profile


7 posts in 1600 days

#2 posted 07-27-2017 04:10 PM

I am in the same boat. I was leaning towards the K5 but there are some Amazon reviews about it where users complaining about the settings slipping during drilling. They recommend the K4 instead although I cant see a difference between the locking mechanism based on the pictures alone.

View Robert's profile


3807 posts in 2290 days

#3 posted 07-27-2017 04:31 PM

Are you talking about the PC pocket hole machine? You’d have to be doing a lot of pocket holes to justify it.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4457 days

#4 posted 07-27-2017 04:40 PM

I haven’t used the PC but I know a little
about it. It costs about twice what a
Kreg jig does. If you are frequently
changing material thickness I am sure
it saves time but in the greater scheme
of pocket drilling a project adjusting a
Kreg jig is not that big a deal. The PC
is also bulky while the Kreg jigs come in
lighter, more flexible configurations
that can be brought to the work.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6181 posts in 3623 days

#5 posted 07-27-2017 05:25 PM

I have used the Kreg Jr jig for years. It isn’t fancy, but does everything I want it to do (Adjusting for a different thickness takes 10 seconds). It makes more sense to clamp the workpiece flat on a bench, and drill the pocket holes that way. I’ve never had a workpiece slip.

I only use pocket holes occasionally, and prefer dovetails for drawers, but I will concede they are handy in certain applications. They’re kind of like biscuits and dowels, they won’t replace mortise and tenons or dovetails, but it’s nice to have options.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Woodknack's profile


13442 posts in 3189 days

#6 posted 07-27-2017 07:01 PM

Vintage, I went through the same decision making process and bought the PC. Once upon a time, Porter Cable used to be a top of the line brand and their products were exceptionally well engineered. Their pocket hole jig is one of those products. I don’t use it everyday, or every project, and I have a small shop; so I appreciate the compact size which allows me to set it on a shelf until I need it. But if I did use it all the time, it could easily be bolted to a workbench and outrigger supports constructed. Here is the thread with a lot of comments about various jigs:

-- Rick M,

View vintagecraftsman's profile


12 posts in 1252 days

#7 posted 07-27-2017 07:10 PM

Great input everyone.

rwe2156: I am referring to the Porter Cable 560 Pocket Hole Jig. I have watched it on a few YOUTUBE videos. It seems to be built a little sturdier than the Kreg, has onboard storage for tooling, includes dust collection (not that dust collection is a deciding factor on this), is easy to set the board thickness, and can be used in the vertical or horizontal positions on a bench if need be due to board length.

ALL: I have never used a pocket hole jig and don’t want to buy several, so I would like to get the most for my money, not just make a purchase because it is what seems to be the most commonly used or familiar. From what I can tell, the Kreg K5 averages around $140-$160 depending on whether you buy the K5 Master or just the K5. The PC 560 goes for $190 at Home Depot. It also comes with a clamp etc.

That being said, one factor that I never considered is taking the jig to the work. How often would there be a need to do that?

-- Vintage Craftsman

View BenDupre's profile


748 posts in 1297 days

#8 posted 07-27-2017 07:12 PM

Love my PC jig. Its much tougher and has better features. Check the youtube videos. You can buy from Menards for $159. I think Amazon may have similar pricing. Best features are: adjust automatically for stock thickness. You do not have to move the stop collar. Adjust hole spread. It works vertically or lying down flat. Tells you what size screw to use. Made of aluminum not plastic. Much better jig.

-- The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. – George Bernard Shaw

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4457 days

#9 posted 07-27-2017 07:23 PM

I’ve clamped the jig to the work mostly
when modifying or repairing things or
when doing carpentry outside the shop.

The drill guide can be removed from
a Kreg jig and clamped anywhere you
want it, which is useful sometimes in
doing installations and home repairs.
There are other ways to drill a pocket
hole on the fly, I have often used a
1/2” spade bit to drill them, but holes
made with a jig are more consistent
and neater looking.

Like a lot of things it boils down to the
kind of work you want to do and how
efficiently you want to do it. If I didn’t
already have a Kreg I would probably
buy the PC, but I’m in a position where I’ve
already collected all the tools I am likely
to ever need and so tool budgeting
isn’t such a big issue for me anymore.

There are a lot of pocket hole jigs on the
market these days. They all get the job
done, some with more head-scratching
required though.

View Redoak49's profile


4813 posts in 2798 days

#10 posted 07-27-2017 09:11 PM

I have the older Kreg K4 and have used it a lot with good results.

A couple of things I have learned. I often build a jig to make certain the part I am drill stays properly oriented. I also will make several trial joints to make certain things are set correctly. I use a corded drill to make the holes as it has higher rpm and power than a battery one.

When putting the screws into a joint, I make certain things are aligned, tight and can not move. I use a battery powered drill with a good clutch so I can properly drive the screws.

I have also used the micro Kreg jig and made drawers with 1/2” plywood successfully.

I think that both the Kreg and PC will make good pocket screw joints. The bottom line is that care must be taken with setup, drilling and driving.

View PPK's profile


1768 posts in 1619 days

#11 posted 07-27-2017 10:03 PM

I’ve used the CMT pocket hole jig for 15 years. I really like it. I’ve also used Kreg, but prefer the CMT jig.

I don’t really know what to use all the fancy bells and whistles for on some of the Kregs or Porter Cable. I’ve never found anything that a simple one can’t do. But then again, I don’t do any exotic joints with pocket holes either, I guess.

-- Pete

View Woodknack's profile


13442 posts in 3189 days

#12 posted 07-27-2017 10:43 PM

The “bells and whistles” of the PC is simply superior design. It doesn’t do anything extra, or better, just easier and arguably more sturdy.

-- Rick M,

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5873 posts in 3118 days

#13 posted 07-27-2017 11:57 PM

I’d get one of the kred jigs. Why….I don’t know…I’ve been using Kreg jigs ever since the first aluminum came out. I’ve never been disappointed. The 8lbs I read the PC weighs doesn’t appeal to me but then I never use one. For me the kerg is tried and true.

That being said, I would never use pocket hole for drawer making. Just me.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5873 posts in 3118 days

#14 posted 07-28-2017 12:04 AM

Are you talking about the PC pocket hole machine? You d have to be doing a lot of pocket holes to justify it.

- rwe2156

I don’t believe in justifying tool. You want it, can afford it, buy it. I have a lot of tool I can justify but I sure enjoying using them. I don’t see why you need to justify a tool unless you’re running a business to support yourself.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1709 days

#15 posted 07-28-2017 12:28 AM

I don t believe in justifying tool. You want it, can afford it, buy it. I have a lot of tool I can justify but I sure enjoying using them. I don t see why you need to justify a tool unless you re running a business to support yourself.

- AlaskaGuy

Even then, I have certain tools I can’t justify, other than convenience.
I just like having things. (wish I had your shop)

showing 1 through 15 of 26 replies

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