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How to use a Kreg Pockethole Jig

When you invest in a Kreg Pockethole Jig, you want to use it to its full potential. We offer a few tips on avoiding mistakes when using a Pockethole Jig.

Today I'm featuring a very interesting article posted by Scott at saws on skates. In the article Scott offers some very valuable tips for using a Kreg Pockethole Jig, and how to use a pockethole jig properly.

I have taken the liberty of converting measurements from Imperial to Metric, to make it easier for us locals to better understand how to set up a pockethole jig with available timber and board products.

Set up the Jig

While every Kreg Kit comes with an instruction manual that you MUST read first, I am one of those that likes to use a tool to better understand how it works. That's probably why I have a hole in the baseplate of my jig! Setting up the jig according to the thickness of the timber or board you are using is important, as it sets the drilling depth.





On the side of the drill guide are a list of measurements [shown above] and you can raise and lower the height of the drill guide according to the thickness of the board. For example, if you board is 12mm thick - set the depth for 1/2. For easy reference I have converted our standard board thicknesses to the measurements display on the drill guide:

Set the Drill Stop

On the baseplate of the jig is a slot for placing the special drill bit. Along the side of this slot are measurements for setting the drill stop. Simply place the drill bit in the slot and adjust the drill stop to the correct drilling depth. If your Kreg drill bit didn't come with a drill stop, you can buy these separately at your local Builders or hardware store. The setting for the drill depth will be the same setting as for the drill guide.

Tighten the Clamp

Not included in the original feature but also important, is to adjust the clamp for the material you will be drilling. The clamp must hold the work piece firmly so that it doesn't slip around as you drill. There are various models out there and some have different methods for tightening the clamp, so check the instruction manual.

Drill a Pockethole

This next step is important, especially when drilling soft pine. Place the drill bit into the drill guide about half way and apply full power and then gently lower into the drill guide to drill the pockethole. By having the drill on full power you reduce the possibility of splintering or splitting soft timber. Continue drilling until you reach the drill stop.

Use Pockethole Screws

Kreg coarse- and fine- thread Pockethole screws are smooth-shank screws designed specifically for pocketholes. Use coarse-thread screws for softwoods [pine] and find-thread screws for hardwoods.