Dowel jigs

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Forum topic by wingate_52 posted 08-15-2011 10:27 AM 2837 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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221 posts in 1992 days

08-15-2011 10:27 AM

I would like a Mortise Mate or a Dowelmax. There is a Dakota Professional (lol) Dowel jig on the Rutlands site that is interesting and cheap. I have seen a video of it on Youtube from toolsrus. Any comments?

8 replies so far

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 2949 days

#1 posted 08-15-2011 12:29 PM

If you are going to use dowels all the time then a good dowel jig is important and that means paying a higher price but if you are only using it sometimes then a lot cheaper one can be used with great results. An investment on quality tools most likely will last more than a life time…

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View rustynails's profile


660 posts in 1952 days

#2 posted 08-15-2011 01:58 PM

The Jessem and Dowelmax are in my eyes the two top jigs on the market. I personally have a Dowelmax and like it very much. I have had it for about 6 years. If I were to buy one today I think I would look more at the Jessem. They are cheaper and a little more flexible. If you go to SawMill Creek Forum a guy named Bill Huber did a great review of his Jessem.

Good luck!

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

650 posts in 2203 days

#3 posted 08-15-2011 03:17 PM

I love my Joint Genie but you probably have to order it from the UK

-- Don, Somerset UK,

View TheKingInYellow's profile


233 posts in 2953 days

#4 posted 08-15-2011 03:27 PM

I bought a Dowelmax this year and while I haven’t used it much yet I have to say the thought that went into it, the ease of use, fit and finish, it’s all top notch. There is a reason that they can charge so much for it, and it still sells so well. It’s a fine piece of gear.

-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3641 days

#5 posted 08-15-2011 03:33 PM

I have the self-centering jig from Rockler. The main difference with the one you linked to appears to be the adjustability of the hole placement. I can see where this might be useful on occasion, but could also lead to misaligned holes at times. I have always been happy with having the holes centered on the work piece, so the non-adjustability of the Rockler jig is actually a plus as far as I’m concerned.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Glenn's profile


141 posts in 2810 days

#6 posted 10-24-2011 09:41 PM

I have the exact same self-centering jig as Charlie M., but instead of buying mine at Rockler for $64.99, I bought mine at Harbor Freight for $12. Probably came from the same factory as the one sold by Rockler. Works great, very robust, incredibly accurate.

-- Glenn, Arkansas

View tedth66's profile


458 posts in 2612 days

#7 posted 10-31-2011 04:25 PM

The only thing better than the Dowel Max is my Festool Domino Joiner. I have both and use them both. The Domino Joiner is as accurate as the Dowel Max but faster and stronger. I love both of these jigs but if I could only have one, it would have to be the Festool.

-- Ted

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2497 days

#8 posted 10-31-2011 05:43 PM

In the battle over joining jigs, I support the Mortise Pal.

As an FYI, it comes with templates for doing dowel joinery. However, it is designed to “drill” the holes with the router. An up spiral straight edge router bit and a plunge router can drill a perfect hole in seconds.

Yes, the Festool Domino is even better, but it is also 4 times as expensive.

IMHO, the Mortise Pal is a much better option than the Dowel Max (which I also own).

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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