The Best Pocket Hole Jigs of 2022

Whether‌ ‌you’re‌ ‌a‌ ‌novice‌ ‌or‌ ‌a‌ ‌pro,‌ ‌these‌ ‌top-rated‌ ‌jigs‌ ‌save‌ ‌you‌ ‌time‌ ‌and‌ ‌struggles.‌ ‌

By Tony Carrick | Updated Mar 22, 2022 1:11 PM

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Pocket Hole Jigs Options

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More than just challenging, wood joinery requires a degree of expertise that practically rises to the level of art form. Besides precision and patience, most types of joinery call for expensive tools. There is an exception: pocket hole jigs.

These handy tools make joinery easy and affordable. Even a newbie DIY woodworker can create professional-looking joints without investing hundreds of dollars in tools. Ranging from basic jigs for casual DIYers, to large bench-mounted jigs for experienced woodworkers, to power jigs for professional workshops, the following picks rank as some of the top pocket hole jigs you can buy.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Massca Aluminum Pocket Hole Jig System Set
  2. BEST BUDGET: Massca Twin Pocket Hole Jig Set
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Kreg K5 Pocket-Hole Jig
  4. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: General Tools Pocket Hole Jig Kit
  5. BEST FOR PICTURE FRAMES: MulWark Premium Pocket Hole Jig System Kit
The Pocket Hole Jig Option

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Pocket Hole Jig 

Understanding the range of pocket hole jig systems available as well as such features as material, number of guide holes, and portability is crucial when shopping for the right pocket jig. Ahead, learn more about these and other attributes of pocket hole jigs.

Type 

Pocket hole jigs come in various shapes, sizes, and price points. A classic pocket hole jig system consists of the jig and an integrated clamp that holds the workpiece in place. Jigs on these systems typically have two or three guide holes, which make it easy to drill numerous pocket holes in no time. Some models include benches to help DIYers drill pocket holes into larger workpieces.

Smaller single-hole and double-hole pocket jigs rank as some of the most affordable and compact jigs on the market. Most come with carrying cases that make them great portable pocket jig options. This type of pocket jig does not include a bench and requires the use of a separate clamp, which makes it suitable for smaller projects.

A multi-hole jig makes a good choice for woodworkers who drill pocket holes frequently, while a single-hole jig suits occasional DIY projects that require drilling a few pocket holes.

Material 

Pocket hole jigs consist of a molded frame made of high-quality plastic that can withstand clamps without cracking. A hardened steel insert in the jig’s guide holes prevents the bit from damaging the jig while drilling.

In addition to the jig itself, the kit should also include the tools necessary to use the jig, including a stepped drill bit that simultaneously creates the pocket hole and a short pilot hole for the screw shank. The kit should also come with a depth collar that fits around the drill bit to control how deep into the wood it drills and a square-headed driver bit for installing the screws.

Keep in mind that pocket hole joinery requires special self-tapping square drive screws designed for use with pocket jigs. Most pocket hole jig kits come with starter packs of pocket hole screws along with a pocket hole plug set.

Guide Holes 

A pocket hole jig will have one to three guide holes. These holes serve as a guide for the drill bit and allow it to create pocket holes in the workpiece. Since these guide holes work with the drill bit, they usually have a steel liner that can endure the rotating blade of the drill bit without cracking or wearing out.

Depth Stop 

Pocket hole jigs come with depth stops, which control the drilling depth. These stops consist of a ring-shaped piece of hardened steel. This metal cuff has a set screw in the side that allows the user to tighten it in place on the drill bit using a hex wrench. Since the depth stop is larger in diameter than the guide holes, it stops the drill bit when it comes into contact with the jig, preventing the bit from boring deeper into the workpiece.

Toggle Clamps 

Clamps prevent the jig from shifting while the user drills the holes. The best option for these tools, a toggle clamp allows the user to quickly lock the jig onto the workpiece by pulling a lever. A standard clamp, on the other hand, requires the user to tighten the clamp by screwing the clamp tighter. Large pocket jig systems have toggle clamps integrated into the jig. Smaller single- and double-hole pocket jigs require the user to attach the clamp to the jig and workpiece separately.

Portability 

Some jigs consist of larger systems that include an integrated clamp and allow the user to set up to three holes at a time. While this type of jig works well in a workshop, its bulky size makes it difficult to transport to a job site.

Single- and double-hole jigs without integrated clamping systems are much smaller and come with carrying cases, which makes them easy to transport to a remote worksite in a tool bag or even a tool belt. Portable pocket jigs come with a case that keeps the jig and the required drill and drivers together for convenience.

Ease of Use 

Pocket hole jigs make an affordable and easy-to-use alternative to some of the more advanced and expensive methods for joining wood. With that in mind, most manufacturers design their pocket jigs with casual woodworkers and DIYers in mind.

They feature markings that make setting the jig and the depth stop to match the wood thickness easy. Most jigs also come with instructions that clearly describe how to use the jig.

Our Top Picks

Although there are many types of pocket jigs to choose from, only a handful of manufacturers produce them, including pocket hole jig inventor Kreg. The jigs below get top marks for ease of use, durability, and affordability.

Best Overall

The Best Pocket Hole Jig Option: Massca Aluminum Pocket Hole Jig System Set
Photo: amazon.com

Plastic parts don’t always hold up to the rigors of DIY work, which makes Massca’s aluminum pocket hole jig such an attractive option. It does what every quality pocket hole jig should do and more. Durable all-metal construction means this jig will be making pocket holes for a long time.

A pull on the clamp’s handle quickly locks the piece into the jig while a rubber bumper protects the wood. You can adjust the depth setting with the simple turn of a knob. A dust spout connector keeps your work space clean as you drill. This pocket jig also includes a set of accessories, including a hex key, stop collar, drill bit, and a starter set of screws.

Product Specs

  • Material: All-metal
  • Clamp: Toggle
  • Guide Holes: 2

Pros

  • Built-in clamp
  • Heavy duty all-metal frame
  • Built-in dust collector

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Only 2 guide holes

Best Budget

The Best Pocket Hole Jig Option: Massca Twin Pocket Hole Jig Set
Photo: amazon.com

Often, users may buy a tool only to complete a specific project. Massca’s inexpensive pocket hole jig set makes an attractive option for the occasional DIYer who only uses a pocket jig set for a couple of projects a year. The bargain-priced set features two guide holes and includes a drill bit, hex key, and stop collar: all the pieces you need to join wood with pocket holes.

Simple to use, this set works with ½-inch to 1½-inch lumber and includes a built-in material thickness gauge and drill-depth-setting gauge. A built-in magnet makes working with steel clamps easy.

Product Specs

  • Material: Metal and plastic
  • Clamp: Not included
  • Guide Holes: 2

Pros

  • Compact portable size
  • Magnet system makes clamping easier
  • Material thickness and depth setting gauges

Cons

  • No clamp included

Upgrade Pick

The Best Pocket Hole Jig Option: Kreg K5 Pocket-Hole Jig
Photo: amazon.com

Kreg’s top-tier K5 pocket hole jig can handle a variety of pocket hole needs. It includes three ⅜-inch pocket holes with plenty of drill guide spacings. Compatible with materials that range in width from ½ inch to 1½ inches thick, the K5 features wide arms that spread out to either side of the jig. These arms provide stability and allow users to clamp larger pieces of wood in place without using their own arms for support.

The jig’s removable arms double as storage spots for screws and accessories. Other features include an easy-to-use toggle clamp system and wood-chip relief holes. This jig mounts or clamps to a workbench.

Product Specs

  • Material: Metal and plastic
  • Clamp: Integrated toggle clamp
  • Guide Holes: 3

Pros

  • Provides support for larger pieces
  • Can set 3 holes at a time
  • Built-in dust collector
  • Storage for bits and screws

Cons

  • Bulky size makes it unsuitable for portable use
  • Expensive

Best Heavy-Duty

The Best Pocket Hole Jig Option: General Tools Pocket Hole Jig Kit
Photo: amazon.com

Metal trumps plastic when it comes to durability, which makes this pocket jig from General Tools such an attractive option. Made from aluminum, this affordably priced heavy-duty pocket jig holds up through many, many pocket drilling projects.

General Tools equips the 850 with an easy-to-use built-in clamping system, which helps speed up projects. In addition to the jig, this kit includes a drill bit, stop collar, and hex wrench along with a starter set of 48 screws, 24 wooden picket hole plugs, and a hard plastic carrying case. This pocket hole jig kit functions as a portable jig or as a bench-mounted tool.

Product Specs

  • Material: All-metal
  • Clamp: Integrated vice clamp
  • Guide Holes: 2

Pros

  • Durable all-metal aluminum construction
  • Integrated clamping system
  • Comes with a starter set of compatible screws
  • Mounts to a tool bench

Cons

  • Difficult to set up proper width
  • Vice clamp not as convenient as a toggle clamp

Best for Picture Frames

The Best Pocket Hole Jig Option: MulWark Premium Pocket Hole Jig System Kit
Photo: amazon.com

MulWark’s simple yet effective pocket hole jig makes a great option for those DIYers looking for an everyday pocket hole solution for wood joining projects ranging from picture frames to furniture. This pocket hole jig kit includes a two-hole jig with a square driver, drill bit, and limiting depth stop collar.

A magnet integrated into the jig body adds convenience for use with a standard metal clamp. Built-in drill depth and timber thickness scales make setup easy. Accessories include five different sizes of course screws and a set of 10 plastic plugs. This MulWark model also contains a handy carrying case, which makes it easy to keep everything organized and accessible.

Product Specs

  • Material: Plastic and metal
  • Clamp: Not included
  • Guide Holes: 2

Pros

  • Magnetic spot makes it easier to set the jig
  • Compact size
  • Comes with a carrying case that holds bits, jig, and screws

Cons

  • No clamp included

Our Verdict

For its all-metal construction and a design that makes it one of the easiest jigs to operate, the Massca pocket hole jig system gets our highest marks for any DIY shop. Those who only need a pocket hole jig for the occasional project should consider the compact and affordably priced Massca twin pocket hole jig set.

How We Chose the Best Pocket Hole Jigs 

In researching more than 20 different pocket hole jigs, we used a variety of criteria to narrow the field to these top picks. It should be relatively easy to make pocket hole joints with a pocket hole jig, so we favored pocket hole jigs with designs and instructions tailored to DIYers. Keeping ease of use in mind, we chose jigs that work with projects large and small by leaning toward those with two or more guide holes.

Portability is key for many projects, so we included compact pocket jigs that are easy to carry in a tool box as well as larger benchtop models for home workshops. Finally, a good pocket jig should last a long time, so we chose durably constructed models that will hold up to repeated use.

FAQs

If you’re wondering how to set up a pocket jig or what type of jig you should purchase, read on for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about these handy woodworking tools.

Q: How do I choose a pocket hole jig? 

When deciding on which pocket hole jig to buy, consider how you’ll use it. If you’re an avid DIYer or pro woodworker who plans to use a pocket jig regularly, purchase a higher-end model that will allow you to work more quickly. For occasional use, there’s no need to splurge on an expensive pocket hole jig. Instead, go for a more affordable model. If most of your projects take you away from your home workshop, consider purchasing a compact and lightweight pocket jig that’s easy to carry to and from the job site.

Q: How do I set up a pocket hole jig? 

Begin by attaching the stop collar onto the drill bit. Set the collar to the thickness mark that matches the thickness of the workpiece. Position the sliders on the jig so that they also match the thickness of the workpiece. Clamp the jig to the piece, making sure to align the guides for the holes to the correct position on the workpiece. Insert the bit into a drill and drill the holes.

Q: How close together can you put pocket holes? 

Jigs with more than one guide hole have the holes automatically spaced apart. The distance between the center of one hole to the center of the adjacent hole is typically about 1 inch.

Q: How do you use a pocket hole jig on a 2×4? 

Begin by setting the stop collar on the drill bit and the sliders on the jig to 1½ inches, which is the actual thickness of a 2×4. Attach the jig to the end of the 2×4 using a clamp, making sure to center the jig. Once secure, use a drill with the jig drill bit to make the pocket holes.