Kreg is launching an update to its pocket hole jig in the form of a beefier system for 1 1/2-inch and larger stock.
The Kreg Jig HD is a completely new pocket hole system that bores a larger hole and uses larger screws that Kreg says results in a joint that is 50 percent stronger than previous pocket hole joinery.
Out of the box it’s easy to see the difference. The drill bit is much larger in diameter (25 percent bigger).
And of course, the hole diameter drilled is significantly bigger.
Which accommodate the larger HD screws.
It comes with a quick-start guide describing assembly. The stop block itself requires no hardware – it simply slides in place (with a bit of encouragement).
There are two methods shone for setting the stop collar on the bit. One simply indicates spacing the collar 4 3/4″ from the bit shoulder, the other recommends inserting the bit fully into the jig and placing a nickel (1/16″ space) between the end of the bit and the stop block. I found the nickel spacer to cause the bit to drill too deep.
I also checked the bit against my other Kreg Jig for depth for 1 1/2-inch stock and found the 4 3/4″ recommendation to match.
Driving the larger screws worked fine. I did torque up a bit more than I would for the regular 2 1/2-inch screws, but not by a drastic amount. They’re self-tapping screws, so no surprise there. They do require a #3 square drive bit, which is included).
Kreg sees this new jig (and screws) being used for larger dimension outdoor projects, specifically calling out rail to post connections (2×4 to 4×4), drilling the holes on either the 2x or 4x material. They also recommend it for outdoor furniture and workbenches.
One caveat: Included in the packaging is a yellow slip of paper recommending you check with local building codes before using the jig to building load bearing structures (interior walls, deck railings, etc.).
I plan to design and build some large outdoor projects using the new HD – in fact I’ve a few in the hopper that could probably benefit from these stronger screws. At the least, I think I’d be able to use fewer screws on certain joints.
Compatible with Kreg Jig and Kreg Jig Master System bases (stop block must be removed)
Price: Jig $59.99, 35 HD screws $4.49, 125 HD screws $19.99
Jig package includes: jig and stop block, drill bit and stop collar, #3 square drive bit, 10 screws
Availability: Summer 2012