I think I'm a pocket hole snob.

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Forum topic by Jeremy Greiner posted 05-20-2012 02:09 AM 3153 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2799 days

05-20-2012 02:09 AM

They say the first part of recovering is admitting you have a problem. I always felt that using pocket hole screws just seemed crappy and half assed and the thought of it just made me cringe.

But as I do more woodworking and especially shop improvement projects I’ve run into several instances where I thought to myself “Pocket holes sure would make this easier”. When I built the base to my table saw, and more recently the dust collector separator I did feel that a pocket hole jig would have made things a little easier.

Maybe there is a time and place for everything, even pocket screws?


-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

27 replies so far

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2717 days

#1 posted 05-20-2012 02:13 AM

Don’t weaken Jeremy! I won’t use them either (even though I KNOW how much easier it would be).

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2663 days

#2 posted 05-20-2012 02:20 AM

I feel the same way. One good use is screwing on face frames to cabinets while the glue is drying. Once the glue is dried, the pocket screws are useless, but they are nice until that happens.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4154 posts in 3603 days

#3 posted 05-20-2012 02:25 AM

When I’m putting a jig together to complete a process for a piece, I’ll pocket hole away.

And, I occasionally used them to pull a joint tight like the mirror frame I posted a few years ago.

Recently I got the small one from Kreg to use on 1/2” stock, but haven’t had a use for it yet.

But if a piece will be under a lot of stress and they are placed in an area that doesn’t show, I say why not?
As long as they aren’t the primary joint attachment.

And, they’ll never replace mortise & tenon and dovetails in my book.

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2514 days

#4 posted 05-20-2012 02:44 AM

I use pocket hole screws everywhere. Face Frames, Cabinet carcasses, Book Cases, Shelving, Holding the cat in place while the wife trims it’s nails…..

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3386 days

#5 posted 05-20-2012 02:51 AM

I’m a fan of pocket hole screws….for some things. All my shop cabinets are pocket hold screw joinery and so is my router table. They’re also excellent for putting some quick and sturdy shelving together.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View mveach's profile


56 posts in 2410 days

#6 posted 05-20-2012 04:13 AM

I went through about 600 screws build my kitchen cabinets. But you can’t see a one. They will never replace other types of joinery but they sure have there place.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3675 days

#7 posted 05-20-2012 04:47 AM

I used to use them a lot as a primary joinery method
in cabinet jobs. I would use them again if I had space
for a pneumatic assembly clamp table, but the alignment
and splitting problems of drilled (Kreg format) pocket
holes kind of soured me on them.

They totally save time in a lot of applications though and
are plenty strong. I’ll give you that.

View Chris208's profile


239 posts in 2297 days

#8 posted 05-20-2012 06:24 AM

The Kreg pocket hole jig is the reason I got into woodworking. I made my first project with it. I probably wouldn’t use it for much but shop stuff now, but I love it for having piqued my interest in woodworking.

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 2988 days

#9 posted 05-20-2012 07:02 AM

I am happy that i invested in the whole pocket hole thing, don’t look at it like something to replace mortise and tenon or dovetails, even though in some instances they can. but look at it as a replacement for regular screws. i know woodworkers that don’t have a doweling machine, and just screw chipboard or mdf cabinets together by putting regular screws in the panel end grain. in that case my cabinets are way more solid with the srcews going the other way and pulling on the panel face. I don’t use em allot, and still use traditional or domino joinery mostly. But when i do use them it is because it’s the best and most solid option available for that particular task.
In my eyes they do have a spot in quality oriented workshops!

View canadianchips's profile


2602 posts in 3024 days

#10 posted 05-20-2012 10:33 AM

I assemble furniture at a big box store, pocket holes are used a lot !
There are places they are usable.
For my own work I would rather NOT use them.
I take the time for traditional joinery.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 3780 days

#11 posted 05-20-2012 10:42 AM

I use em and luv em. They have come in real handy with repairing cabinets in some of the houses/apartments that I have refurbished.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4950 posts in 3988 days

#12 posted 05-20-2012 02:08 PM

I use mine a lot. The old alloy model. I just can’t seem to find the cat holding attachment. Did I miss something?


View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10542 posts in 3456 days

#13 posted 05-20-2012 02:16 PM

Great for jigs, shop furniture and, cabinet face frames, as mentioned above.
Agree that they are no substitute for mortise and tenons, dovetails or box joints.
But for speed, they are great.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4033 days

#14 posted 05-20-2012 02:26 PM

Just think of them as threaded steel dowels of an angle variety and it doesn’t sound quite so bad. :)

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3218 days

#15 posted 05-20-2012 02:47 PM

Jeremy, I’ve read a lot of your blogs and you seem to be a very busy person. Building fixtures and secondary items needed to complete many wood working jobs is a necessary evil. Some things you just have to do. But ruling out a tool because you want to some how remain a purist is BS. Any proven wood joinery method is good if it meets or exceeds your design needs. And I agree with your final statment that maybe there is a place in the shop for pocket hole jigs.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

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