7 Best Pocket Hole Jigs (2021 Review)

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The best pocket hole jig systems come with guides, clamps and specialised drill bits to make pocket hole joinery as easy as possible. You don’t need to know how to cut perfect dovetails to build strong boxes or rigid furniture anymore! The better pocket hole jig systems come with two or more drill guides to insert your fixings and quick release locking clamps to secure your workpiece.

To help you drill to a precise depth the jig system should include adjustable drill bit stop collars or material thickness stops. Pocket hole jigs should also include a dust collection / chip removal feature. Finally check for the specialised drill bit (usually one) and number of pocket hole screws that come with the system.

I’ve researched and tested out the best pocket hole jigs available right now, so you don’t have to. Here’s what I discovered…

What is the Best Pocket Hole Jig For You?

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Comparing the Best Pocket Hole Jigs

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Best For
  • Number of Drill Guides
  • Material Thickness Range
  • Fixed or Adjustable Centres
  • Adjustable Drill Bit Stop Collar
  • Adjustable Clamp Pad
  • Dust Collection / Chip Removal
  • Removable Base for Flush Work
  • Cost
  • Our score
  •  
    • Best pocket hole kit on the market
    • Number of Drill Guides3
    • Material Thickness Range13-38mm
    • Fixed or Adjustable CentresFixed
    • Adjustable Drill Bit Stop CollarYes
    • Adjustable Clamp PadYes
    • Dust Collection / Chip RemovalYes
    • Removable Base for Flush WorkYes
    • 4.75
    • CHECK PRICE →
    • Best all metal pocket hole jig
    • Number of Drill Guides2
    • Material Thickness Range16-38mm
    • Fixed or Adjustable CentresAdjustable
    • Adjustable Drill Bit Stop CollarNo
    • Adjustable Clamp PadYes
    • Dust Collection / Chip RemovalNo
    • Removable Base for Flush WorkNo
    • 4.75
    • CHECK PRICE →
    • Best pocket hole jig for size and versatility
    • Number of Drill Guides2
    • Material Thickness Range15-38mm
    • Fixed or Adjustable CentresAdjustable
    • Adjustable Drill Bit Stop CollarYes
    • Adjustable Clamp PadYes
    • Dust Collection / Chip RemovalYes
    • Removable Base for Flush WorkNo
    • 4.75
    • CHECK PRICE →
    • Best budget pocket hole jig set
    • Number of Drill Guides2
    • Material Thickness Range15-38mm
    • Fixed or Adjustable CentresFixed
    • Adjustable Drill Bit Stop CollarYes
    • Adjustable Clamp PadNo
    • Dust Collection / Chip RemovalNo
    • Removable Base for Flush WorkNo
    • 4
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    • Best mini jig for beginners
    • Number of Drill Guides1
    • Material Thickness Range13-38mm
    • Fixed or Adjustable Centresn/a
    • Adjustable Drill Bit Stop CollarYes
    • Adjustable Clamp PadNo
    • Dust Collection / Chip RemovalYes
    • Removable Base for Flush WorkNo
    • 3.75
    • CHECK PRICE →
    • Best dowel guide for woodworking
    • Number of Drill Guides10
    • Material Thickness RangeNo limit
    • Fixed or Adjustable CentresAdjustable
    • Adjustable Drill Bit Stop CollarNo
    • Adjustable Clamp PadYes
    • Dust Collection / Chip RemovalNo
    • Removable Base for Flush WorkNo
    • 3.25
    • CHECK PRICE →
    • Best dowel guide for beginners
    • Number of Drill Guides3
    • Material Thickness Range13-38mm
    • Fixed or Adjustable CentresFixed
    • Adjustable Drill Bit Stop CollarYes
    • Adjustable Clamp PadYes
    • Dust Collection / Chip RemovalNo
    • Removable Base for Flush WorkYes
    • 3.5
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In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Pocket Hole Jigs

Kreg 613663 Jig Master SystemKreg 613663 Jig Master System

Best pocket hole kit on the market

Build Quality
Performance
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4.75
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Kreg 613663 Jig Master System Review

Specifications

  • Number of Drill Guides: 3
  • Material Thickness Range: 13-38mm
  • Fixed or Adjustable Centres: Fixed
  • Adjustable Drill Bit Stop Collar: Yes
  • Adjustable Clamp Pad: Yes
  • Dust Collection / Chip Removal: Yes
  • Removable Base for Flush Work: Yes

The Kreg K4 Master System is probably the best pocket hole kit because it’s the original joinery system, it’s easy to use and the dust collection port actually works.

US tool brand Kreg started the pocket-hole joinery revolution back in 1989 with their brand new system for attaching boards together without needing any real woodworking skills. The K4 Master System is pretty much everything you need to get started in woodworking. It will allow you to make boxes, cabinets and just about anything else quickly, easily, and accurately.

The set itself is made from tough blue plastic, and all the clamps and accessories feel well made and robust. What makes this the best pocket hole jig system is the comprehensive nature of the kit. You really can get working straight away. All because Kreg have even thrown in a few of their own screws for you to use.

It might look complicated at first glance, but the jig system is really easy to follow. It all but guarantees strong joinery between two pieces of wood. The included manual is excellent and will help guide you through your first few projects, but it won’t take long to master it. Plus, if you use the same thicknesses of timber most of the time, you won’t have to adjust any of the depth settings. I love it.

Pros

  • The original and best pocket hole jig system. Kreg have been working on their system for more than 30 years. And the system works!
  • You get everything you need in this comprehensive set. Clamps, a guide, a stop, drill bit, drivers and even screws. You don’t need to buy anything else to join boards together.
  • The dust extraction system works. Anyone who works with a lot of wood knows the value of effective extraction.
  • The jig system and all moving parts are very well made. Don’t be put off by the blue plastic, it’s tough glass-reinforced nylon and practically unbreakable. The drill bits are hardened as well.
  • You can remove the base for flush work. It’s great, you can remove the core part of the jig system and use it on its own.

Cons

  • If you’re looking for a low cost pocket jig, try the Kreg MKJKIT Mini Jig. This is a comprehensive, but expensive set for beginners.
  • You can’t adjust the centres. Compared to the trend PH/JIG, you’re stuck with a standard measurement.
  • If you use Kreg, you’re stuck with their square driver shape and screws. Most users, including me, prefer Posidrive screws. They drive better and there’s less slip.
  • Some users were disappointed in the number of screws that come with the set. Compared to the 100 dome head screws that come with the Trend PH/JIG, you get just 50.
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Trend PH/JIG Pocket Hole JigTrend PH/JIG Pocket Hole Jig

Best all metal pocket hole jig

Build Quality
Performance
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4.75
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Trend PH/JIG Pocket Hole Jig Review

Specifications

  • Number of Drill Guides: 2
  • Material Thickness Range: 16-38mm
  • Fixed or Adjustable Centres: Adjustable
  • Adjustable Drill Bit Stop Collar: No
  • Adjustable Clamp Pad: Yes
  • Dust Collection / Chip Removal: No
  • Removable Base for Flush Work: No

Trend is a tool brand with a pedigree stretching back to 1955. They’re favoured by professional tradespeople as well as savvy DIYers for their top build quality and innovative designs.

I got hold of their PH/JIG and now think it’s one of the best pocket hole jig systems you can get. It lacks the wealth of accessories provided by the Kreg Master System, but the jig itself is incredibly well made. It has a smooth clamping action and useful fine adjust mechanism.

One of the things I really like about this pocket hole jig system is the metal base. The countersunk holes in the corners mean you can fix it securely to a workbench if you’re staying in one place. Or you can take it with you and use it free standing or clamp it into place.

The accessories you get are quality bits of kit. The face clamp is all metal and the drill bit and two different length square drive bits feel like they’ll last for ages. What makes this a great starter kit is that Trend include 100 dome head screws. That’s more than enough to see you through your first few joinery projects.

Pros

  • If you’re a fan of all-metal construction, this is the jig for you. Compared to the Kreg K4 MS, it feels a bit more professional. It’s not much heavier either.
  • The clamping mechanism is strong works with a smooth action. It grips the workpiece tight and doesn’t feel like it will slip at all.
  • It’s incredibly simple to use, but Trend have supplied some excellent instructions to go with the jig. It makes it clear what to do, even for complete amateurs.

Cons

  • The Trend jig isn’t supplied with a case. It’s a shame because there’s nowhere to keep all the pieces together. Compared to the Kreg K4’s case it’s a bit of a let-down.
  • You can’t alter the drilling height to accommodate different thicknesses of wood. It limits the versatility of this pocket hole jig.
  • For some reason, there are three different size hex bolts used to adjust the jig. You get three different hex wrenches, but it would be much easier if they were all the same!
  • Some users have complained that the included drill bit isn’t as good as the one on the Kreg Pocket Hole Jig 320. The sharp pilot bit end is brittle and doesn’t last long enough.
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Kreg 320 Pocket Hole Jig Kreg 320 Pocket Hole Jig

Best pocket hole jig for size and versatility

Build Quality
Performance
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4.75
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Kreg 320 Pocket Hole Jig Review

Specifications

  • Number of Drill Guides: 2
  • Material Thickness Range: 15-38mm
  • Fixed or Adjustable Centres: Adjustable
  • Adjustable Drill Bit Stop Collar: Yes
  • Adjustable Clamp Pad: Yes
  • Dust Collection / Chip Removal: Yes
  • Removable Base for Flush Work: No

Another excellent pocket-sized pocket hole jig is the 320 set from Kreg. A stripped down version of the pocket hole system, it doesn’t come with many accessories but it’s still a comprehensive little kit.

The material thickness gauge that comes with the set is a handy little tool. It doubles up as an allen key as well. You use this guide like a ruler to decide which thickness setting to choose. It’s a neat system that takes the guesswork out of where to put the stop collar on the drill bit as well.

What makes this one of the best pocket hole jig systems is the clever versatility that Kreg have built in. You might think you’re limited to only drilling pocket holes a certain width apart. But with a simple twist you can separate the drill guides and remove the middle spacer. Then you can drill pocket holes much closer together, or singularly wherever you want one.

My only gripe with the 320 set is the grey plastic stop tabs on the back of the jig- they’re probably going to last a long time but if anything were going to break, I’d bet it’s one of them. Otherwise, this is an excellent little set.

Pros

  • All the functionality of a Kreg pocket hole jig, in pocket size! You could twist off a single pocket hole guide and take it with you, it’s that portable.
  • It’s an affordable pocket hole jig system compared with the Kreg K4 MS. If you’re on a budget but still want accurate pocket holes, this is the right choice for you.
  • The case the kit comes in is great. It holds everything together and keeps them out of trouble. Compared with the Trend PH/JIG you won’t lose all the bits.
  • Kreg are the masters of versatile design. The depth gauge that doubles up as a hex key is very clever. Just don’t lose it!

Cons

  • You might be saving money on the cost of the set, but it’s not as easy to use without the proper clamp. Compared with the Kreg K4 MS, it takes a lot more fiddling to get right.
  • You need to use the proper Kreg driver and screws for the best results. They cost more than standard panhead screws, but without them the fixing isn’t as strong.
  • For what you get it’s an expensive jig system. You’re paying for the Kreg name.
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Wolfcraft 4642000 Pocket Hole Jig SetWolfcraft 4642000 Pocket Hole Jig Set

Best budget pocket hole jig set

Build Quality
Performance
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4
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Wolfcraft 4642000 Pocket Hole Jig Set Review

Specifications

  • Number of Drill Guides: 2
  • Material Thickness Range: 15-38mm
  • Fixed or Adjustable Centres: Fixed
  • Adjustable Drill Bit Stop Collar: Yes
  • Adjustable Clamp Pad: No
  • Dust Collection / Chip Removal: No
  • Removable Base for Flush Work: No

Germany’s Wolfcraft are famous for their quality woodworking tool. Their Undercover jig set is billed as the complete set for invisible fastenings. I’m inclined to agree with them, it’s a handy kit supplied in its own carry case that keeps everything organised and out of trouble.

On to the jig itself. Wolfcraft have come up with quite a clever way to measure the thickness of your material. Simply spin the end cap round and use the handy ruler on the side of the jig. You can then set the depth stop on the special drill bit. All by feeding it through the drill guide and finding the right measurement there.

Wolfcraft have included a few pocket screws to get you started and even a handful of wooden bungs to cover up the pocket holes you’ll make. It’s a start, but you’ll need to stock up again soon. In terms of build quality, the jig feels solid but a bit plasticky, but it seems strong enough. I’m a bit disappointed that they haven’t included any clamps, and the dust removal ports aren’t great, but for the price you can’t really complain.

Pros

  • Compared to the Kreg K4 MS, this is an affordable budget jig system. It still contains most of what you need to create effective pocket hole joinery.
  • The whole lot comes in a plastic hard case. It’s a welcome addition to the kit and makes it much harder to lose all the bits and pieces.
  • The Wolfcraft set makes use of a standard driver type. This means you can buy much cheaper screws compared to the square drive ones on the Kreg system.
  • The included “F” style clamp is ideal for attaching the jig securely to boards. They’re stronger than the spring clamps on the Kreg K4.

Cons

  • There’s a lot of wasted space in the case. Wolfcraft could have made it a lot more compact, or used some of the filler to fit more screws and dowels in.
  • Some users have had problems with the drill bit. It’s not as sharp compared to the one on the Trend PH/JIG and can cause unwanted tear out. It’s more suited for rough work.
  • The countersunk screws provided with the kit are not suitable for pocket hole systems. For tight joinery, you need to use pan head screws that pull the pieces together.
  • Wolfcraft haven’t included an effective way to remove dust. Compared to the excellent system on the Kreg K4, you’ll need to do a lot of clean up.
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Kreg MKJKIT Mini JigKreg MKJKIT Mini Jig

Best mini jig for beginners

Build Quality
Performance
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
3.75
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Kreg MKJKIT Mini Jig Review

Specifications

  • Number of Drill Guides: 1
  • Material Thickness Range: 13-38mm
  • Fixed or Adjustable Centres: n/a
  • Adjustable Drill Bit Stop Collar: Yes
  • Adjustable Clamp Pad: No
  • Dust Collection / Chip Removal: Yes
  • Removable Base for Flush Work: No

Get hold of the best pocket hole jig system without emptying your wallet. The Kreg Jig Mini is easily one of my star buys. If you want to try out using the pocket hole method, this little kit is an affordable way to get started.

This pocket hole jig kit is comprised of a simple jig in Kreg’s recognisable tough blue plastic. You also get a proprietary HSS drill bit, drill collar and allen key. There’s not a lot there, but still enough to create seriously solid joinery.

Even though this is Kreg’s Mini Jig, it’s brilliantly versatile. You can fit the little guide into tight spaces where other guides would struggle. And because it’s fenceless you can work on any thickness of material you like.

For this price, you can’t really expect to get much more than the jig and a drill bit. However, if you want to do any woodworking with it, you’ll need to go out and get some decent “F” clamps.

Pros

  • Get hold of Kreg’s tried and tested jig system without spending a fortune. It’s an ideal system if you want to try drilling pocket holes.
  • It doesn’t get much simpler than this. Line up the jig, set the collet and drill the hole.
  • You’re not tied down with bulky clamps or a big setup like the Trend PH/JIG. It’s small enough to throw into your toolbox for when you need it.

Cons

  • If you want a clamp to hold the jig in place, you’re going to have to buy it yourself. This is a stripped down, minimalist pocket hole set.
  • For what you get, it’s quite expensive. Compared to others on my list, there’s not much difference in price!
  • Clamping the jig down with enough force can be tricky. There’s not a lot to fix on to, and the jig can move while you’re drilling.
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KWB 758000 Dowel Drill GuideKWB 758000 Dowel Drill Guide

Best dowel guide for woodworking

Build Quality
Performance
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
3.25
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KWB 758000 Dowel Drill Guide Review

Specifications

  • Number of Drill Guides: 10
  • Material Thickness Range: No limit
  • Fixed or Adjustable Centres: Adjustable
  • Adjustable Drill Bit Stop Collar: No
  • Adjustable Clamp Pad: Yes
  • Dust Collection / Chip Removal: No
  • Removable Base for Flush Work: No

While technically not a pocket hole jig, the Dübelprofi is an excellent dowel drill guide from German tool brand KWB. It’s an excellent bit of kit that will transform your DIY capabilities.

Creating a solid join between two pieces of timber with dowels and glue is an effective joinery method. But drilling accurate perpendicular holes is difficult without a guide like the Dübelprofi. It takes out all the guesswork when it comes to sizing as well.

It’s rather easy to use once you’ve tried it out a few times. Simply rotate the drilling guide to fit the drill bit size you’re using. Then line up the “0” measurement exactly halfway across the end section you want to drill in to. Tighten the locking screw to hold the fence in place and you’ll always drill precisely straight.

It’s not just useful for making holes in boards for dowels. It also solves the age-old problem of drilling perfect 90° holes in just about anything. The next time you need to drill holes in a wall you can guarantee a horizontal hole if you use this guide. I wish I had one years ago.

Pros

  • It’s an inexpensive guide for drilling perpendicular holes. Whether drilling into end grain for dowels or any hole, you know it’s going in straight.
  • Setting up the jig is easy. You simply turn the dial and select the correct size hole for your drill bit. Then find the centre of your board and get drilling.
  • Compared to the expensive Kreg K4 kit, this dowel drilling set is a bargain. It’s an ideal way to learn about joinery without overspending.

Cons

  • Holding the jig straight on narrow surfaces can be difficult. The end is quite broad and hard to hold steady at times.
  • The depth of the jig itself can be a problem. The standard length of a narrow diameter drill bits is not long enough. You’ll have to buy special long bits, that can be expensive.
  • It’s made almost entirely from plastic, and there hasn’t been much thought put into the ergonomics. The handle could be shaped better to fit the hand.
  • In comparison with the Sirecal Woodworking jig, you don’t get any dowels or drill bits to get you started.
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Sirecal Woodworking Jig KitSirecal Woodworking Jig Kit

Best dowel guide for beginners

Build Quality
Performance
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
3.5
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Sirecal Woodworking Jig Kit Review

Specifications

  • Number of Drill Guides: 3
  • Material Thickness Range: 13-38mm
  • Fixed or Adjustable Centres: Fixed
  • Adjustable Drill Bit Stop Collar: Yes
  • Adjustable Clamp Pad: Yes
  • Dust Collection / Chip Removal: No
  • Removable Base for Flush Work: Yes

Another one of the best doweling jigs I’ve come across is the Sirecal 44 piece woodworking kit. It’s just about as simple as drilling jigs come, but it gets the job done without costing you much money at all.

The simple blue plastic device is straightforward enough to work out without needing many special instructions. This is fortunate because it’s not supplied with any.

You can choose from three drill guides that match common dowel sizes. Pick from 6, 8 and 10 mm and use the moveable fence to drill perpendicular holes into the ends of boards. Adjusting the size of the fence is easy enough and just takes two screws. There are measurements on the underside to help you get centred on the workpiece.

Overall, this is a simple tool that will suit light DIY use rather than a professional site carpenter. The included drill bits should get you started, but if you plan on doing a lot of drilling, I’d upgrade them. Sirecal have included a handful of different size dowels as well for practising on.

Pros

  • A simple and inexpensive way for DIYers to drill holes for dowels. Like the KWB jig, you can use it to drill perpendicular holes anywhere you fancy.
  • I like that Sirecal have included dowels and drill bits. You can get working right away.
  • It’s an even more cost effective dowel drilling jig than the KWB. Ideal for beginner DIYers and anyone on a budget.

Cons

  • Some users have complained that the drill sleeves aren’t hardened as advertised. Unless they’re harder than the drill bit, you’ll destroy them in no time at all.
  • The included drill bits aren’t the best quality. If you’re planning on drilling lots of holes in hard woods, I’d upgrade them.
  • Compared to the premium kit like the Kreg K4, this system is limited. I’m not sure that dowel joinery is as strong as drill pocket holes.
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Things to Know Before Buying a Pocket Hole Jig

You could spend years perfecting the perfect dovetail joint or spend seconds with the best pocket hole jig and get the same result. Woodworking purists might not like them, but pocket holes are a brilliant way to achieve a strong, reliable join between two boards.

Clamping

One of the most important aspects of woodworking is making sure that your workpiece is properly secured with a separate clamp. Trying to use a pocket jig without clamping it properly to a work surface is difficult, and more importantly, dangerous.

The best pocket hole jig sets like the Kreg K4 come with a quick release locking clamp that can be fine tuned to hold the workpiece securely and squarely without much effort needed. Other jig sets can be secured with squeeze clamps or F clamps, but make sure you don’t cover up the all important dust ports.

Drilling

Pocket hole drill bits aren’t like normal drill bits, in fact they look like they’re far too big for the task until you get a bit closer. The tip of the drill is stepped to create a narrow opening for the screw tip to fit in, while the bulk of the drill needs to be wide enough for the entire screw to pass through.

Pocket holes are great because they create a strong bond between two bits of wood, but they don’t work unless the hole you drill is at a precise depth, or you’d just drill straight through. To avoid this, you attach a collet to the drill bit at a certain depth according to the thickness of the board. What makes the Kreg pocket hole drill bits the best in the business is the etched markings for set depths of wood- it’s simple things like that that make them the best pocket hole jig sets you can buy.

Fasteners

In the same way that pocket hole jigs are specifically designed to let you drill at a precise angle, the fixings included with them are specially designed to pull the joints tight without tearing through the wood.

Unlike most woodworking screws that are self-countersinking, you don’t want the head of the screw to chew through the end of the pocket you’ve drilled, so it’s better to use a pan head style screw that acts like a washer to avoid tearing through. Most of the best pocket hole jig brands produce their own proprietary pocket hole screws designed to work with pocket holes specifically.

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Pocket Hole Jig FAQs

Are pocket hole jigs a gimmick?

Until you’ve tried one out, you might think that pocket holes are a bit of a fad. Although they won’t replace traditional joinery techniques in terms of beauty or craftsmanship, they’re incredibly strong and can open new ways of working for DIYers and professionals alike. Try one out and see if it inspires you to build something for yourself.

Are pocket hole jigs easy to use?

If you invest in one of the best pocket hole jigs like the Kreg Jig Mini, it won’t be long before you’re joining wood together like a pro. With a bit of practise on scrap bits of wood, you can dial in the right depths and angles in no time at all.

Do pocket holes create strong joins?

If you follow some basic principles, pocket holes are incredibly strong. Make sure to drive pocket screws into face or edge grain if you’re using real timber because it’s much stronger than end grain. End grain doesn’t hold pocket hole screws tight enough for long lasting joinery. If you use wood glue as well as pocket screws, you can create joins that are incredibly strong.

What’s the best drill speed for pocket holes?

Seeing as you’ve already got a drill guide to work with, you don’t need to start off slowly with your drill bit. In fact, you’ll get a much cleaner finish if you use a fast speed from the off. And if you’ve installed your drill stop collet correctly, there’s no danger of drilling all the way through.

How can I avoid over-tightening fixings?

One of the common mistakes made by pocket hole beginners is over-tightening their pocket hole screws. It’s easy to do if you’re used to countersinking wood screws, but pocket holes need a little more finesse for the best results.

Make use of your drill’s clutch and set the drill strength to low, around three or four on most collar selectors. This way, once the pocket screw is snug, you won’t be able to over-tighten it and break through the pocket hole. Never use an impact driver to finish pocket holes.

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