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is a furniture maker and an associate editor of A W.

Craftsman Dovetail Jig 25450

Buyer's Guide to

Premium Dovetail Jigs

We Test Four Jigs That Take Dovetails Beyond Drawers

Testing tails. Side-by-side tests of four high-end router dovetail jigs revealed a broad range of features and capabilities.

The first router-based jigs for cutting dovetails were developed some 50 years ago. They relied on finger-type templates that were positioned against the workpiece to guide a router bushing and a dovetail bit. Today, many versions of these jigs are available. You can buy a basic jig for routing half-blind dovetails for as little as $60. Shell out five or six times that amount and you're into premium jig territory.

For this buyer's guide, we focused on the high end, testing four premium jigs—the Craftsman 25450, the Keller 2401, Porter-Cable's Omnijig and the Ixigh D4—priced from around $120 to well over $300. These high-end jigs offer capabilities that you won't get from lower-priced units. Read on, and find out which one of the premium jigs best meets your need for dovetails.

What's a Premium Jig?

Most basic, lower-priced dovetail jigs are designed for cutting just one kind of dovetail: the half-blind variety.

Compared to the premium jigs, these less expensive units arc relatively small— they're best suited to making drawers or small boxes.

The four jigs featured here enable you to rout through dovetails in wider, thicker stock. With these jigs, you can go beyond drawer-sized joinery and into blanket chests and other solid wood carcase construction. And with three of the four jigs, you can rout other types of joints as well, as we'll discuss.

Multi-function router jigs, such as



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