Why use pocket holes in the first place
Whether you are a beginning woodworker or a master craftsman, one of the most important hallmarks of good work is to make sure that you hide your joints. This is true whether you use dowels, dovetails, or screws.
A pocket hole allows you to create an exceptionally strong joint without having to compromise the beauty of your project. Since it allows you to join the different pieces together with screws, you know that it will stand the test of time and not fall apart. However, it also allows you to do this while keeping them hidden from view, making sure that your work is good looking as well as tough.
How a pocket hole jig works
Before pocket hole jigs were introduced, carpenters still made pocket holes. This was exceedingly difficult, however, since they had to rig up some sort of system that held both pieces of wood in place and drill a relatively straight hole to keep the final product looking good.
A pocket hole jig solves this problem by helping to hold the materials being drilled in perfect position. Modern-day jigs also have guide holes for you to drill right through so that you get a perfectly straight drill hole every single time, which allows you to quickly and easily assemble your project with professional-looking results.
The benefits of using a pocket hole jig
If you have ever tried to do things the old-fashioned way and make pocket holes without a jig, you will be amazed at how beneficial it is to have the best pocket hole jig at your disposal. By using one, you will open yourself up to tons of benefits, such as:
- Flexibility – By using a jig, you will provide yourself the flexibility to create pocket holes anywhere on your project by simply sliding the device into place.
- Strong Joint – Whether you are a professional or a weekend warrior, the name of the game is making something that will last a good long time. With a pocket hole jig, you can rest assured that you will be able to create ridiculously strong and good looking joints quickly and easily.
- Easy to Use – The best pocket hole jig, like any other woodworking jig, is a tool that is designed to make your life and your work a lot easier. As such, they are designed to be simple and straightforward to use, even if you are just at the beginner level. If you take the time and learn how to use one, you will get great-looking results that would have been completely out of your reach on your own.
Important features you need to consider before buying
Unfortunately, not all pocket hole jigs are created equal. Some come loaded with more features or can be utilized with more materials than some others, so you need to be aware of a couple of important features so that you can make sure that you get the best pocket hole jig for your needs.
This is where the rubber hits the road so to speak. When you are shopping for this kind of a jig, you need to be honest with yourself about what you intend to utilize it for. If you are only going to be using it every once in a while, for instance, you don’t really need to get the most expensive option. But either way, you need to make sure that the jig is made of durable materials and will last longer.
Something else to keep in mind here is the types of materials, and their thicknesses, that you intend to be working with. It won’t do you very much good if the jig you select cannot expand wide enough to fit on your thickness of choice.
While you might be able to use some of your old drill bits with a pocket hole jig, you might find that they are not quite long enough. That is why you should always try to find a kit that provides the bits for you.
These bits are usually much longer than a regular set of drill bits would be, simply because they are designed to both go through the jig’s guide holes and the wood to your desired depth. While they are not essential, they are definitely a big help.
Most of the jigs available today will come with all of the necessary clamps, bits, screws, and wrenches necessary to make sure that you have the easiest time using the device as possible. However, that doesn’t mean all of them do.
Make sure you pay particular attention to the directions for any jig system, as they will clue you into all of the different accessories that you need, and whether the kit provides them for you or whether you need to get them separately.
Most pocket holes jigs are set right out of the box to give you a drilling angle of about 18 degrees. This angle should work just fine for most of your projects, but it might not work for all of them. This is why it’s a good idea to find a jig that allows you to adjust the angle of your drilling to whatever your project calls for.
By being able to adjust the angle that you are drilling into the wood, you will better be able to create unique works that are still quite strong. The last thing that you want is to be stuck in the middle of a project just because your jig won’t allow you to get the drill angle that you need to make it the way you desire.
The entire purpose of finding the best pocket hole jig, or using any jig for that matter, is to make your work as precise as possible every time and to increase the speed with which you can complete your projects.
The less complicated the jig system is, the better as far as speed is concerned. If you get mired down with an overly complex system, it will give you the precision that you require, but won’t allow you to complete your work quickly.