Kreg boasts a vast line of jig tools. In this article, we will help you decide if a Kreg Jig is worth your cash. Kreg makes a tool for everyone. The professional, the hobbyist, and the DIY woodworker.
Ultimately, you’ll need to decide if one of their tools is right for you.
The Kreg Jig is a valuable tool. If you plan to construct cabinets, bookshelves, tables, or anything with multiple joints, then the Kreg tool is undoubtedly worth your money.
With that said, if you don’t find yourself building any furniture or cabinets, then you’re not likely to get the full value of a Kreg pocket hole ig. Thankfully, Kreg offers a wide array of price points, with some starting at $15.
See below to learn more about the benefits of the Kreg Jig tools. We will also cover some of the cons related to buying Kreg’s products.
By the end of the article, you will be fully informed and ready to decide on your purchase.
Alright then, let’s begin.
Do You Need a Kreg Pocket Hole Jig?
To determine the Kreg Jig’s value, we must first determine the pocket hole’s value. Like anything, the pocket hole has pros and cons.
After we convince you of the pocket hole’s uses, we will explain why the Kreg Jig is an excellent tool for the job.
Reasons to Use a Kreg Pocket Hole Jig
Pocket holes are a simple way to create a strong joint without employing more advanced techniques. In the sections below, we are going to cover three reasons to use pocket holes.
Here they are:
- Kreg Jig pocket holes are strong
- The pocket holes could be concealed
- Pocket holes make joints easy
Let’s go over these in more detail below.
Kreg Jig Pocket Holes are Strong
If you’re unfamiliar with the pocket hole, here’s a general definition: pocket holes are an angled hole, usually about 15 degrees, drilled into the edge of one board to allow easy fastening to another board.
The pocket hole joint is strong for several reasons. First, it allows you to drill into the meat of the wood instead of the end.
The end of a board is a weak place for a screw. This weakness results from the wood fibers being parallel with the screw. When the fibers and the screw run in the same direction, you don’t get the best lock between wood and screw.
Thankfully, the pocket hole fixes this problem. This joint allows you to align the screw with the board’s body instead of the end (also called “butt joint“).
If you’re interested in how this works, you can watch this video on the beginner’s guide to pocket hole joinery.
In addition to these benefits, you don’t need to glue the pocket hole joint.
Subtracting the glue does two things: first, you can finish your project sooner. Second, if you ever needed to take the project apart (whether due to a mistake or repair), then it’s as easy as putting your drill in reverse and removing the screws.
However, you can absolutely use wood glue. Indeed, you should secure most joints with wood glue.
Pocket Holes are Easy to Conceal
Screw heads coving your project aren’t pretty. After trying to build a new table for your workshop, you might be disappointed with all the screw-heads dotting your project.
The pocket hole and the Kreg Jig tool allow you to work around this.
Kreg even has a special jig for your deck, so you don’t have to stare at the army of screw heads in your deck planks.
While the pocket hole may not be as subtle as a mortise and tenon or biscuit joint, they are still concealable. Regardless of the project, you can usually find a way to hide your pocket holes.
However, if you absolutely cannot hide the pocket holes, there are other ways to conceal them.
First, you can use pocket-hole plugs. These plugs go into the holes created by the Pocket Hole Jig. Then you can sand them smooth with the surface. Yes, you’ll still be able to see the plugs. However, if you use a coat of paint, the pocket holes become invisible.
Pocket Holes Make Joints Easy
Sometimes, the pocket hole will be the only way to create a strong joint. The pocket hole omits awkward angled screws that miss the mark and split the wood.
Also, pocket holes make it easy to create a joint where it would otherwise be nearly impossible or overly complicated to use a different joint.
The line of Kreg Jigs allows you to finish your project quickly with a professional strength and look.
In the next section, we will give you several reasons why Kreg is one of the best tools to create your pocket holes.
Do I need a Kreg Jig?
Some have tried to create pocket holes without a jig. While this might be feasible for some, there are several reasons why the Kreg pocket hole jigs will make things easier and give you a better product.
Here’s a list of three reasons the Kreg Jig is worth your money:
- The Kreg Jig provides a cleaner finish
- The Kreg Jig takes out the math
- Kreg has a complete system that will grow with you
Let’s go over these reasons in more detail below.
Kreg Jig Gives a Clean Finish
If you try to create a pocket hole without a jig, you’re going to have a higher amount of tear-out. In addition to this, you’ll have much less consistent angles.
The Kreg Jig allows for consistent angles, a very clean pocket hole, and the proper depth. The Kreg tool will also keep the edge of the board from splitting. As you know, there is nothing more irritating than the end of your board cracking. Nothing.
The Kreg Jig Removes the Math
Kreg Jigs take the math out of the equation (get it?). When creating a good set of pocket holes, you need to account for several things.
First, the right angle – this isn’t easy to do free-handed.
Second, calculating the proper depth of the wood – this assures you don’t blow through the end of the board, which creates a useless pocket hole.
Third, the distance from the end of the board. If you’re too close, the pocket hole will lack strength. However, if you’re too far from the edge of the board, your screw won’t fully connect the two boards.
When you get a tool like the Kreg R3 Jig, all these complications are evaded through the tool’s intuitive engineering.
The Kreg System will Grow with You
No one likes flushing dollars down the drain. The model R3 (link above) goes for $30 on Amazon. From there, if you find yourself working on a big project, you can upgrade to their more robust systems, like the Kreg K4 Master System.
Also, Kreg makes their own screws. Most of Kreg’s Jigs will come with a chart that tells you which screw is right for your project. This system makes sure that you don’t accidentally use a screw that is too large, potentially splitting the wood, or too small, creating a weak bond.
What are Kreg Jig Cons
Kreg engineers their products to work efficiently and last many years. With that said, we should complete this discussion by reviewing some of the potential downsides to spending your money on Kreg Jigs.
Here are a few things to look out for:
- Additional tools sometimes needed
We explain these in more detail below.
Yes, the Kreg Jig tools will cost money. While we think they are worth it, you need to assess this on your own. If you only plan on doing one project requiring pocket holes, then you might be better off borrowing a jig from one of your friends.
Additional Tools Needed
Kreg offers inexpensive jigs. However, these jigs will usually need a clamp to accompany them. Most people have clamps in their toolbox; however, if you don’t, you’ll need to buy one of Kreg’s specially made clamps for their jigs.
While we mentioned Kreg’s complete system as a bonus, depending on who you are, this can also be a downside. If you haven’t already been using the Kreg system, then you’ll probably need to buy more of their products.
For instance, many recommend you use Kreg brand screws when using their pocket hole jigs. However, this could be an issue if you had other screws you planned to use.
Anyone who needs to create numerous pocket holes will find the Kreg Jigs well worth their money. Kreg has jigs for more than just pocket holes. You can see Kreg’s line of tools on their website – there’s something there for every craftsman.
No tool can substitute practice and patience. With that being said, you can’t build a house with a spatula. Get the right tool for the job. You’ll be glad you did.