dovetail jig

Best Dovetail Jig for Routers

Dovetail comes with strength. This could be seen in how the pins and tails are shaped. Hence they are perfect for making drawers, bookcases, cabinets and many more. Through the use of dovetail jig, you could be assured that joints are secured and accurate. Take in mind though that though Dovetail joints are strong, when cut by hand, they could be problematic. 

Best Dovetail Jig

Porter-Cable 4216 Dovetail Jig

This jig kit comes with a range of joints and trio templates. Its templates are made of aluminum which means they would last for a long time. These jigs are accurate and could be used for ¼ inch up to 1 1/8 inches. It offers 3-years warranty and 1-year service contract. 


  • 12-inch dovetail jig 
  • Three templates and four template guides for everything from half-blind through to split dovetails
  • Takes stock up to 1 1/8-inches thick
  • Four router bits included
  • 3-year limited warrant


  • Extremely wide scope of applications with the ability to create box joints, miniature throughs, and rabbeted half-blind dovetails thanks to generous template pack.
  • Robust clamps with locking bars give you all the stability you need.
  • Set bit depth 
  • Base made from a single piece of steel is highly durable and offers completely stable working conditions.


  • More expensive compared to other dovetail jigs.

Leigh Super 12-Inch Dovetail Jig

Overall value, Leigh Super 12-Inch Dovetail Jig is topnotch. It is a trustworthy and reliable brand. It ensures precision and it is easy to adjust. It is versatile and its could make both 5/16-inch and 5/8-inch joints. This model is heavyweight which is perfect for workshops. 


  • 12-inch dovetail jig 
  • e-Bush for maximum precision
  • Cut dovetails on boards up to 12-inches wide
  • Completely adjustable guide fingers allowing for almost infinite joints
  • Three router bits (8-degree dovetail, 14-degree dovetail, straight)


  • Fence slots help you with sliding dovetails.
  • Aluminum clamp bars and cam action, so you can always keep workpiece tightly secured.
  • Finger assembly allows you to create 5/16-inch and 5/8-inch joints further widening your scope.
  • The bits included help you make half-blind dovetails quickly and easily.


  • Learning curve could be longer if you are not experienced.

General Tools 861 Pro-Dovetailer 2

If you are on a tight budget, this is a perfect option for you. However, take in mind that templates are not included. Though that is the case, if you are into woodwork, this tool should do you good. It is made of aluminum and is very durable. It is portable as well. 


  • 12-inch dovetail jig
  • 14-degree ½-inch dovetail router bit included
  • Self-aligning for your convenience 
  • Suitable for use with handheld or table router
  • All-aluminum, so it’s lightweight but highly durable


  • Integrated clamps for increased accuracy.
  • Although this is a limited package, you’ll be all set for making furniture or cabinets along with a nice spread of other carpentry calling for dovetail joints.
  • Takes away the sting of aligning joints, so you’ll get perfectly matching joints every time.
  • Extremely portable; perfect if you need to take your dovetail jig from job to job.


  • No templates included
  • Limited to single bit 

Leigh D4R-Pro Dovetail Router Jig

If you have spare to spend, we recommend Leigh D4R-Pro Dovetail Router Jig. It is a tool that would last for a lifetime.  It comes with adjustable guide fingers which ensures to make any joint pattern. Through Leigh D4R- Pro Dovetail Router Jig, you will be able to work with materials from 1/8-inch to 1 ¼- inches thick. 


  • 24-inch dovetail jig 
  • Accommodates boards up to 24-inches wide
  • Template guide bushing included
  • Three carbide router bits chucked in
  • Maximum pin thickness 1 ¼ -inch


  • Detailed video instructions 
  • Ability to adjust the guide fingers to produce a wide range of patterns with absolute ease.
  • Has the ability to cut through dovetails and half-blinds.
  • Precise


  • A bit on the expensive side

Leigh Super 18-Inch Dovetail Machine

This machine comes with easy to understand instructions. It comes with amazing high quality build and very accurate. Aside from that, you would not have to worry about its depth and bit. The only downside of this product is it is a bit expensive. However, though that is the case, you could be assured that you will get high quality machine and value for your money. 


  • 18-inch dovetail jig 
  • Accommodates boards up to 24-inches wide
  • Proprietary Leigh e-Bush
  • Create 5/16 and 5/8-inch joints with adjustable finger assembly
  • Three bits included (straight, 8-degree dovetail, 14-degree dovetail)


  • Pin wrench and locking nut enable quick and easy adjustment any time you want.
  • The dual-function spacer 
  • Effective non-marking clamps 
  • Simplified instructions 


  • Expensive

Woodstock D2796 12-Inch Dovetail Jig

This jig is very convenient. It is affordable and its template is easy to set up. It is made of aluminum which makes it very durable and stable. It comes with clamps on both directions. This jig is perfect for those who are on a budget. Not only it is user friendly it is cheaper as well compared to other dovetail jigs. Take in mind, however, that this model is not designed for professional use. 


  • 12-inch dovetail jig 
  • Cuts tails and pins simultaneously
  • The single ½-inch aluminum template comes in the package
  • Horizontal and vertical cam action clamps
  • Steel chassis
  • Take stock from ½ to 1 ¼ inch thick


  • Mounts to the benchtop very quickly and easily.
  • The template is super-simple to set up with clear instructions
  • 2-directional clamping gives you all the security you need to work without your material coming loose.
  • Designed for pace and precision 


  • Heavier compared to others
  • Needs guide bushing 

MCLS 6406 Dovetail Machine

If you are looking for a suitable priced Dovetail machine, MCLS 6406 is the best way to go. It comes with great quality build and it is single supported bit. Take in mind, however, that 5/8-inch router bushing is not included in the package. This product is not for professions but it is perfect for beginners. 


  • 12-inch dovetail jig 
  • ¼-inch shank router bit provided
  • Works for ½ to 1-inch drawer sides and 5/8 to 1-inch drawer fronts
  • Creates half-blind dovetail and half-blind rabbeted dovetail joints


  • Versatile
  • Template is not permanent
  • Routing insert is detachable
  • Lightweight 


  • Supports only one dovetail bit
  • Setup is a bit complicated

Is it worth buying a more expensive Dovetail Jig?

As they say the more expensive jig the more it offers better grip strength and the more accurate. Less expensive types of dovetail jig are great options as well but more for beginners and casual users. 

Considerations before buying a dovetail jig


Check if your dovetail jig is large enough to be able to cater the material you would like to use. 

Weight and Portability

Just like in everything, there would be a compromise between weight and portability. Lightweight dovetail jigs usually are easier to clamp to workbench. Weight and portability depends on your needs and preference.


In terms of accuracy, the quality of clamps and finger is very important. They provide more efficiency and accurate cuts. 

Type of Joints

Either you would want to make full dovetail joints or half-blind joints, there are a lot of jigs that could satisfy your need. 

Fixed or Variable Template?

Fixed template would entail minimal set-up. It is often traditional fixed template. It provides even and strong joints. While variable template on the other hand are moveable guide fingers on variable templates which allow you to tweak both the width and spacing of tails. 


What is a lapped dovetail joint?

You will see this on the inside of your drawers. They are very durable and strong. 

Do you need much experience to be able to use a dovetail jig?

Fortunately, no, all you need to do is to ensure that your workpiece is clamped firmly to your table and you are good to go. 

What is a full-blind dovetail?

This means that the grain is hidden on both sides. It comes with strong joint ideal. It is perfect to be used for small cabinets and jewelry boxes. 

Are any dovetail joints weaker than the rest?

A sliding joint is weaker than dovetail joints. Though that is the case, it is perfect with dividers and cabinets. 


We hope that through this article we were able to provide you useful information that will help you make a sound decision in choosing the best dovetail jig that would best suit your needs. 


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