In this guide we’ll look at the best pocket hole jigs for the UK market.
I’ve compared construction material, clamping system, accessories and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What Is The Best Pocket Hole Jig?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
Joining together two pieces of wood used to be difficult and took great skill to do properly. The frankly incredible Kreg K4 Master System gives you the same results without needing thousands of hours behind a chisel. It’s easy to use, comes with all the accessories you’d need, and the dust extraction ports are effective. It’ll change the way you approach woodworking for good.
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Pocket Hole Jig Reviews
Kreg 613663 Jig Master System Review
The Kreg K4 Master System is probably the best pocket hole kit because it’s the original joinery system, it’s really 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, and 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 is the comprehensive nature of the kit- you really can get working straight away 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 system is really easy to follow and will guarantee 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 as you go along.
Trend PH/JIG Pocket Hole Jig Review
Trend is a tool brand with a pedigree stretching back to 1955, and 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 jigs you can get. Although it lacks the wealth of accessories provided by the Kreg Master System, the jig itself is incredibly well made and has a smooth clamping action and fine adjust mechanism.
One of the things I really like about this pocket hole jig 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- more than enough to see you through your first few joinery projects.
Kreg 320 Pocket Hole Jig Review
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 that 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 jigs 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 to 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.
Wolfcraft 4642000 Pocket Hole Jig Set Review
Germany’s Wolfcraft are famous for their quality woodworking tools, and 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 by feeding it through the drill guide and finding the right measurement there.
Wolfcraft have included a few 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.
Roeam Pocket Hole Jig System Review
If you’re looking for a solid jig system, the Roeam pocket hole jig is an affordable and accurate bit of kit.
Constructed from an aluminium alloy, I was impressed by the build quality of this pocket jig. It’s been well machined and the one I tried out was quite nicely finished as well. I like the fact that the measurements have been machined into the sides of the jig, there’s not chance of them rubbing off or wearing away any time soon.
The beauty of this type of pocket hole jig is its simplicity- you turn the handle to clamp the workpiece hard against the guide, adjust all the depths with the included allen keys and drill away. And if you want to use the jig freehand, you can unscrew the clamp in seconds.
You don’t get much in the way of accessories or clamps, but if you’re a keen woodworker you’ll probably have one or two already knocking around. My only other problem with this set compared to the best pocket hole jig set up is that you can’t adjust the width between the drill guides.
Kreg MKJKIT Mini Jig Review
If you want to get hold of the best pocket hole jig system without emptying your wallet, the Kreg Jig Mini is one of my star buys. Even if you just want to try out using the pocket hole method, this little kit is an affordable way to get started.
Comprising of a simple jig in Kreg’s recognisable tough blue plastic, a proprietary HSS drill bit, drill collar and allen key, there’s not a lot here, but still enough to create seriously solid joinery.
Even though this is Kreg’s Mini Jig, it’s brilliantly versatile. You can get the little guide into tight spaces where other guides would struggle, and because it’s fenceless you can work on any thickness of material.
For this price, you can’t really expect to get much more than the jig and a drill bit, but if you want to do any woodworking with it, you’ll need to go out and get some decent F clamps.
KWB 758000 Dowel Drill Guide Review
While technically not a pocket hole jig, the excellent Dübelprofi dowel drill guide from German tool brand KWB is 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 effective, 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- simple 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, but 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 nice, horizontal hole if you use this drill guide. I wish I had one years ago.
Sirecal Woodworking Jig Kit Review
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, which is handy because it’s not supplied with any.
You can choose from three drill guides that match common dowel sizes- 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, and 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.
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.
One of the most important aspects of woodworking is making sure that your workpiece is properly secured. Trying to use a pocket hole 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.
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.
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 screws designed to work with pocket holes specifically.
Pocket Hole Jig FAQs
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.
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.
If you follow some basic principles, pocket holes are incredibly strong. Make sure to drive 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 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.
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.
One of the common mistakes made by pocket hole beginners is over-tightening their 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 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.