There are plenty of dovetail jigs on the market, so it’s important to find one that’s right for your needs. Before settling on your first dovetail jig, make sure to consider these factors:
The best dovetail jig is the one that fits your budget and woodworking skills. It should be able to handle all types of projects without any issues.
1. Leigh Tools D4R Pro
The Leigh Tools D4R Pro is a high-quality, user-friendly dovetail jig. Its one-piece, CNC machined aluminum body is extremely strong and light for portability.
It also has precision cast metal end housings to hold the jig securely to a mounting board or workbench. These housings provide a solid, secure base to clamp the jig to and prevent it from moving during milling operations.
The D4R Pro is a step up from the original Leigh D4 and is an excellent choice for experienced woodworkers. It is a variable dovetail jig that can produce beautiful dovetails, sliding dovetails, half-blind dovetails and finger (box) joints.
2. AKEDA D4R Pro
With a single finger assembly, the AKEDA D4R Pro cuts through dovetails, half-blind dovetails and box joints (finger joints). The jig can cut through and half-blind dovetails of 3/8″ or 3/4″ thickness.
The jig also easily cuts sliding dovetails. A plastic insert on the front of the fingers makes this possible by providing a guide-way for both the tail and socket pieces.
A spacer rod sets the fingers equidistant for machining 3/8″ or 3/4″ joints and 9/32″ or 1/2″ deep half-blinds in a single pass. The eccentric guide bushing (supplied) simplifies fitting joints by letting you quickly and precisely change the distance between the cutter and finger assembly.
The jig’s back rail features penciled reference marks to help locate the guides. Embossed centerlines in the finger templates transfer to the back rail so accurate changeovers from tail guides to pin guides can be made with ease.
3. Porter-Cable 4216 Super Jig
The Porter-Cable 4216 is one of the best dovetail jigs available on the market. It is easy to set up and can cut a huge variety of different joints.
The jig is also very stable and does not let any of the stock slip around during the cut. It uses heavy-duty cam-type clamps with sandpaper-backed locking bars to keep your stock in place, and can accommodate stock from 1/4′′ to 1-1/8′′ thick.
The jig has patented alignment lines and an intuitive router bit depth stop that make setting up the jig simple. This means that you can get up and cutting in no time at all.
4. General Tools 861 Portable Aluminum Dovetail Jig
If you’re looking for the best dovetail jig on a budget, look no further than this model from General Tools. It comes with self-aligning features to make sure that both ends of the joint align perfectly every time you cut it.
This dovetail jig is compatible with both table routers and handheld models, making it a convenient and versatile tool for woodworkers. It can be used to make dovetails, box joints, and rabbets.
It also comes with three aluminum templates for making half-blind, rabbeted, and sliding dovetails. It also has two quality cam clamps to ensure accuracy on cutting.
This jig features adjustable one-piece fingers that allow for a lot of creative freedom when cutting dovetails. Unlike fixed jigs, it allows for flexible joint spacing across the template, making it ideal for making highly decorative dovetails.