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Dovetail Jigs, what's the best one.

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  • Dovetail Jigs, what's the best one.

    After making a bunch of drawers for the kitchen, I came to realize something. My Sommerfeld dovetail jig has no dust collection whatsoever and makes a huge mess which my OCD cannot abide. Without intending to start a holy war, what is the best dovetail jig out there? I'm looking for variable spacing, dust collection, and flexibility to do through and half blind dovetails. I also have a porter cable 4112 that I use for half blind dovetails on rare occasions, which also has no dust collection.
    Last edited by twistsol; 07-10-2019, 10:04 PM. Reason: astonishing number of typos even for me.
    An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
    A moral man does it.

  • #2
    Interesting question. Looking forward to some answers.
    Hank Lee

    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!


    • #3
      All I have is the HF jig, and that's pretty low on the scale as it only does blind dovetails and no adjustable spacing or dust collection (but I was desperate at the time, and that's the excuse I'm sticking too ) The HF is pretty common I think as I see that design under other brands like Grizzly

      That said, my personal opinion would be the Leigh jig. It's expensive, has lots of optional patterns, is almost infinitely adjustable and has a very well touted dust collection system. If I was into doing lots of dovetails, making furniture (IF I only had the time), that would be my absolute first choice!

      Beyond that, are what I think are solid offerings from Porter-Cable and Rockler. The Leigh D4R is the top of the line "pro" jig, but they have other models too, like the RTJ400, which I believe is less expensive. Check out their web site at

      Porter-Cable dovetail jigs:

      Rockler dovetail jig:

      There are also a few reviews/articles on "dovetail jigs" through a Google search:

      Think it Through Before You Do!


      • #4
        Have the D4R jig. Works great but I have to re-read instructions every time. I actually made cheat sheet notes and taped them to jig. With the VRS attachment the dust collection is great.

        Leigh recently started making vac attachments for the PC jigs as well. But obviously you still wouldn’t have vs.
        Last edited by jussi; 07-10-2019, 07:01 PM.
        I reject your reality and substitute my own.


        • #5
          I have a Rockler. They go on sale a few times a year.

          my store offers occasional demo days.

          Woodcraft now has their own jig. It's worth a look.

          My local WC shop teaches dovetails on PC jigs.

          My advice is... take a class. I'm still cursing at my jig. It's not as easy as it looks.

          Additionally, don't start with pine. It's actually the hardest wood for joinery.
          Last edited by durango dude; 07-10-2019, 10:00 PM.


          • #6
            You need a hauncher
            Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. - Thomas Edison