Kreg Tool

kreg tool

Many of us at Kreg are woodworkers ourselves – from newbies to seasoned professionals. That’s why we believe in the idea of connecting head, heart, and hands through building projects. From envisioning a project in your head and desiring it in your heart, your hands will do the work and guide you through the process.

For over 30 years, Kreg have been proudly helping customers experience those benefits firsthand. We are passionate about providing tools that give you a sense of accomplishment from every project you complete. What’s more, we are there for you every step of the way to support and cheer you on throughout your building journey.

History of Kreg Tool

Kreg Tool Company all started with a kitchen cabinet and a question: “How do you attach a face frame to a cabinet so the joint can be hidden from view?”

The answer changed the way thousands of woodworkers join wood. Since Kreg’s humble beginning as a family-owned company in 1989, the Kreg name has become synonymous with pocket-hole joinery. Woodworkers of all skill levels have come to trust the products time and time again.

Kreg Tool Company is Founded (1989)

After Craig Sommerfeld developed a U-shaped single-hole jig to hide the holes in kitchen cabinets that he was building in his home (per Kathie Sommerfeld’s request), the jig began being sold at woodworking shows. Proving to be a major success, Kreg Tool was officially born.

Catching the Vision (1991)

While still in high school, Todd Sommerfeld accompanied his father to a woodworking tradeshow in St. Louis. That trip changed everything. It sparked a passion in Todd for selling the Kreg Jig and marked the start of his involvement with the company.

On the Move (1992-1993)

After quickly outgrowing the basement and backyard shop of the Sommerfelds’ home, Kreg moved into its newly constructed 5,000 square foot building in Huxley, Iowa. At the time, employees never thought the upstairs would be used. Boy, were they wrong. Construction on the second floor began that same year.

New Tool for the New Millennium (2000)

The K2000 jig was released, forever changing the way jigs would be manufactured. Made from injection-molded plastic, instead of metal, this model was faster and less expensive to produce, far more durable, and allowed for additional convenience features.

Made for TV (2008)

When the threat of an economic recession loomed large, the company needed a way to help pull through the slump. The solution: a 30-minute infomercial promoting the Kreg Jig. The infomercial proved to be success! It brought sales to a new level, created business opportunities, and raised brand awareness.

Transitions = Success (2010)

Recognizing it takes different levels of leadership and skills to succeed, Kreg implemented the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). This tool enhanced Kreg’s culture by demonstrating that all roles in the organization are equally important, and the entire team, not one person, is responsible for its success.

Kreg Tool Becomes Employee-Owned (2014)

With the belief that it’s important for employees to engage in the finances of the company so they would have the freedom to make long-term decisions on their own that would impact their area of influence, Todd Sommerfeld purchased his parents’ stock and implemented an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Today, Kreg is 20% employee-owned.

“Kreg Europe” is Created (2020)

Kreg entered into a joint venture in Germany resulting in the creation of a company called “Kreg Europe.” This company is focused on the Kreg brand and selling products in Europe.

The Next Evolution of Kreg Tools – The newest joining and cutting solutions (2021)

Kreg continues to lead the pocket-hole joinery category with the launch of our newest generation of pocket-hole jigs. We have completely reimagined the design and engineering of the jigs to deliver best-in-class speed, simplicity, and precision. The new Kreg pocket-hole jigs were designed to suit consumers who build in different ways, in different places, and with different building challenges. Each jig has a unique design and purpose-built features. These new products build on a strong legacy of Kreg pocket-hole jigs and replace the K4/K5 family of jigs.

Kreg knows that cutting can be a challenge for project builders. Our solution to crooked cuts, splintered edges, and inconsistent results is the newest line of guided cutting products. These tools allow anyone to make straight, accurate, repeatable cuts using just a circular saw – no miter saw or table saw required. The new cutting products bring versatility to our cutting solutions and expand our assortment beyond Rip-Cut, Accu-Cut, and the Adaptive Cutting System.

The Best Kreg tools: pocket hole jig

A well-made mortise and tenon joint is a pleasure to see, but most of us lack the skill – or the time – to produce them accurately. The fast and simple alternative is the pocket hole, and a good pocket-hole jig makes the job even quicker and easier.

Kreg Jig systems are, without doubt, the market leaders. They produce everything from a mini jig that will literally fit in your pocket to a comprehensive kit that solves just about every jointing challenge.

If you’re ready to buy, check out our top picks for every demand and budget. The following shopping guide gives more detailed information about what all the Kreg Jig systems offer.

KREG JIG FEATURES

The Kreg Tool Company doesn’t just make pocket-hole jigs. There is also a handy decking jig (so you can fix your boards without ugly nail heads showing), a specialist drawer-side jig (of particular interest to cabinetmakers), and several other additions. However, they are all variations of the pocket-hole idea, so that’s what we’re focusing on here.

  • The accuracy of the drill guide is vital. Some manufacturers use aluminum. It’s light, so it’s easy to move around, but it’s prone to wear, particularly from a high-speed steel drill bit. Kreg Jigs are made from a nylon material reinforced with fiberglass. The tough composite then has hardened steel drill guides inserted, which come with a lifetime warranty. This ensures precision and repeatability.
  • Clamping the workpiece firmly in the jig is another important aspect. Wood is soft, so the clamp can’t be too aggressive or it will mark the surface. Some makers use a threaded version. Kreg favors a toggle clamp (which has more positive closure) or, on the top-end K5, an adjustable ratchet.
  • If the material is too large to move to the jig, Kreg drill guides are all demountable, and each has its own specific clamping point. This gives unrestricted mobility, and it means you can often carry out furniture repairs in situ. If you buy a full Kreg Jig system, you’ll find a clamp included (the K5 model is even self-adjusting). Many DIY woodworkers, as well as professionals, already own C-clamps that will do the job.
  • Setting up the jig has to be clear and simple. Measurements on Kreg Jigs are molded into the body so there’s no mistake. Hole depth and screw size charts are also provided. Nothing is left to chance.
  • You have a choice of jig systems. You can buy a comprehensive system like the K5, or start smaller and add components as you need them. Kreg will even sell you a case to keep them all in!
  • Waste always presents challenges to woodworkers. The bench-mounting Kreg jigs have expanded recesses for better chip clearance. Some have dust extraction ports.

1. Kreg K5 Pocket Hole Jig

Kreg K5 Pocket Hole Jig

We liked the adjusting clamp on it, and moving the handle to the front of the jig where it’s not blocked by the wood you’re working on was a good move by Kreg. The adjustments for wood thickness and length of screws were equally simple. We also liked the new slide-in drill blocks. They’re excellent for micro-screws and working with 2x4s.

The quality of the clamping mechanism is top-notch. It’s also very durable; we dropped it from the bench without doing any harm to it at all. The support wings for holding screws attach quite easily and securely. They’re made of plastic but seem to be quite sturdy. The height markings on the gauge are easy to read.

The inside of the jig is mostly plastic and seems to depend on a rubber ball to help maintain pressure on the clamp. We’re not sure this is a good idea, but that was the only complaint we had.

2. Kreg R3 Jr Pocket Hole Jig

Kreg R3 Jr Pocket Hole Jig

The size, of course, makes it quite portable. You can take it to the material instead of the other way around. It’s also easy to use, simple enough for beginners to use correctly their first time out. You won’t have any headaches with this jig.

You will need to get a separate clamp to hold it in place, though, which should have been included in the kit. We were a bit disappointed in that.

The drill guides are solid metal, but the surrounding plastic is a bit cheap. In our tests, it showed a marked tendency to crumble and break after only a few uses. The design is great but the quality of the construction leaves something to be desired.

This is a great, easy-to-use jig, but the lack of an included clamp and the poor quality keep it out of our top two. Nonetheless, we’re giving it our best for the money rating because it does a great job for the price.

3. Kreg K4MS K4 Pocket Hole Jig

Kreg K4MS K4 Pocket Hole Jig

In spite of their other impressive entries in our review, Kreg didn’t deliver the goods on this one. Within its limitations, it works and will get the job done, but you shouldn’t expect too much from it.

It comes with “almost” everything you need: a template for the base for making adjustments, a built-in toggle clamp on the base, and a C-clamp for attaching it to a workbench. We say “almost” because four bolts are required to attach the toggle clamp to the base, but they’re not included in the kit. We had to buy them from a local hardware store. A little bit of checking revealed that this wasn’t a glitch or an oversight. This is the way it ships.

The holes we drilled weren’t uniform because of slippage. No matter how much we tightened it, it kept on happening, so we had to re-tighten it after each pass. This is a huge time waster. The graduation marks are the same color as the body, making them very difficult to see. Plus, the carrying case won’t hold all the parts.

FAQs

If I use pocket holes, do I still need to glue the joints?

In theory, no. In practice, many professionals recommend it. Wood – even plywood – will expand and contract as humidity changes. So it’s possible screwed joints can work loose over time. A little wood glue will ensure your joints remain solid.

Why do my pocket hole screws stick out?

There are several reasons pocket screws stick out from pocket holes. First, we need to be sure the drill bit and the drill guide are set for the proper thickness of our workpieces. Second, pocket screws will always stick out of pocket holes when they are drilled in ½” material.

It smells like burning wood. What am I doing wrong?

If it smells like burning wood, it’s very likely that your blade is dull and therefore unable to cut your material. It could also be moving too fast or too slow through the cut, so you may need to increase/decrease your feed rate.

What is a jig saw?

A jig saw is a hand-held saw that can be either corded or cordless. It features a blade that cuts using an up-and-down motion. A jig saw is great for cutting small notches and curves that would not be possible with a circular saw.

How far apart should Kreg pocket holes be?

The main thing is to get one at each end (Kreg suggests at 2″ from the edge), then space the pocket holes in between these 2 in a way that they’re somewhere around 6 to 8 inches apart. 3 – Never do only 1 pocket hole to connect 2 boards, as this creates a natural pivot point without locking the boards in place.

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