In this post, we’ll be discussing the different Kreg pocket hole jig models that are currently available, the pros and cons of each, and which Kreg Jig model is best for you and your DIY plans.
- What is a Kreg Jig
- Is the Kreg Pocket Hole Jig Worth It?
- Kreg Pocket Hole Jig Models
- The Kreg Pocket Hole Jig Everyone Needs to Get
- Questions to Consider when Selecting a Kreg Jig
- So Which Kreg Jig Should You Buy? Our Recommendations
- More Pocket Hole Resources:
Before we dive into determining which Kreg Jig is right for you, let’s start with the basics. First off, what even is a Kreg Jig?
What is a Kreg Jig
A Kreg Jig refers to a Kreg pocket hole jig. Kreg Tool is the most common brand of pocket hole jigs, but there are other brands available as well.
A pocket hole jig creates pocket holes, which is essentially a hole drilled at an angle to create a pocket. This pocket hides the screw head. When strategically placed, there’s no need to fill pocket holes and they hold two pieces of wood together with no visible joinery.
Pocket holes are the foundation of most DIY furniture. Become a pocket hole pro in less than an hour in Pocket Holes: Explained.
Is the Kreg Pocket Hole Jig Worth It?
Absolutely. If you are planning to build DIY furniture, cabinets, or built-ins, a pocket hole will be the foundation of most of your projects. Having a kreg pocket hole jig makes making pocket holes extremely easy. Though there are a lot of Kreg pocket hole jig models, you can get one for as little as $21. For a tool that you can use on countless projects, it is well worth the investment.
When it comes to Kreg Tool versus other brands, in my opinion, it is well worth it to get the Kreg brand. The price difference between Kreg and other brands is minimal and Kreg Tool is always focused on innovation and how they can make things easier and more effective for beginner woodworkers. There is not a Kreg Tool product I’ve purchased that I’ve regretted because of their thoughtful and innovative designs.
Kreg Pocket Hole Jig Models
What All Kreg Pocket Hole Jigs Have in Common
Despite what Kreg pocket hole jig you ultimately decide to invest in, there are a few characteristics and features that they will all share.
First off, regardless of what pocket hole jig you buy, they will all make pocket holes. Each of the jigs makes the same pocket hole, so you don’t need to stress about if one makes pocket holes that are better than another.
Each pocket hole jig comes with:
- The jig itself (this is the device that you insert your drill into and has hole cutouts)
- Drill bit and stop collar
- Square head driver
- Material thickness gauge/Hex wrench
Let’s briefly discuss the purpose of these items.
Drill Bit and Stop Collar
This is the drill bit that you will use to drill the actual pocket holes. The drill bit is a patented design that includes numbers on it. These numbers indicate the settings that you will use.
The stop collar design allows you to “circle” the setting you need. This is quite the time saver! When I first started DIY, we had to manually measure the distance the stop collar should be placed, so there was a lot more room for error.
Square Head Driver
All of the jigs come with a 6” square head driver. This is what you will use to actually screw your pocket holes into place.
Kreg pocket hole screws are specifically designed for pocket holes, so you’ll want to use them over normal wood screws for the maximum benefit.
The square head of the screws also greatly reduces the risk of stripping the screws.
Material Thickness Gauge/Hex Wrench
This tool has two different purposes. First, you can place it up against the edge of a board to determine the thickness of your wood. The wood thickness determines your settings, so it’s very important to know.
Second, it is the Hex wrench that will allow you to adjust the stop collar on the drill bit. You can use it to loosen and tighten the stop collar.
Differences Between Kreg Jig Models
Now that we’ve discussed that every Kreg Jig model makes the same pocket holes, you might be wondering why you would ever spend more money to “upgrade” your model.
The main difference between the models comes with how you use it.
The smaller models like the 310, 320, and 520 are more portable and easier to store for those without a dedicated workshop.
The next key difference between models is how efficient it is to use. The 310 requires an outside clamp to use while the 520 and 720 have built in clamps. The 720 takes efficiency up to another level with its auto-adjusting clamp.
The last key difference is the flexibility. The 310 is small and versatile and can be used on projects where assembly has already started, while the larger models require the holes to be drilled prior to assembly.
The 720 also offers more flexibility in terms of wood thicknesses you can use the jig on. Sure, you can technically use the 310 and 520 on the same wood thicknesses as the 720, but getting the settings just right might take a little more trial and error.
So now that we’re clear on the fact that all the jigs make the same pocket holes, but there are still some differences between the models, let’s do a deep dive on the different Kreg Jig models and the pros and cons of each.
I wanted to briefly mention two discontinued Kreg jig models. In 2022, Kreg Jig released a new, updated line of pocket hole jigs. Upon their release, their older models were discontinued.
These models still work great and many bloggers use them, so you might see them in tutorials, which is why I thought they were worth a mention.
Though I wouldn’t recommend going out and searching for these particular models, if you receive one as a hand-me-down or you find one at a garage sale, you can definitely snag it and use it on your projects.
The two models are the Kreg Mini and the Kreg K4 systems.
The updates equivalent of the Kreg Mini is the Kreg 310 and 320 systems.
The updated equivalent of the Kreg K4 is the Kreg 720.
Kreg 310 and 320 Series
The Kreg 310 is the smallest and least expensive Kreg pocket hole jig. It’s extremely versatile and can be used for any pocket holes on wood that is between ½” – 1.5” thick. Though it’s versatile, it is the most time consuming jig to use because it does not include a built-in clamp.
- Extremely versatile. Can be used for pretty much any pocket hole situation.
- Small and easy to carry
- Cost-effective jig for drilling pocket holes
- Pre-set depth settings allow you to quickly set to the correct depth for ½”, ¾”, and 1.5” boards
- Requires clamp which is not included with purchase
- If not clamped tightly enough, the jig can move, resulting in an unideal pocket hole
- Can be time consuming to set up and readjust location, especially with the 310 only having one hole
- Can be awkward to position when drilling into if you don’t have a workbench to clamp it to.
To get the 320, you can either get an expansion pack for the 310 or you can get the 320 right out the gate. Whichever option you choose, you’ll end up with the same result…mostly. The expansion pack won’t give you the clamp pad adapter which essentially gives you a larger surface to be able to clamp your jig in place. If you buy this particular package, you’ll also get a clamp included!
The 320 or expansion pack also come with a spacer block which can help you to better position your pocket holes based on
Everyone. I highly recommend that everyone gets this jig. We’ll go into more detail on this after we share more about the other models.
For those only wanting to buy one jig, I’d recommend this be your choice if:
- You’re just getting started and don’t know if you will continue woodworking or DIY
- You only need it for one or two projects and have no intention of using it in the future
- Your budget is tight and you’re just looking for what will get the job done at the lowest price
- You are planning to do furniture repair or might be a bit forgetful and think you’ll need to add pocket holes after assembly has already started.
- You want something that can fit in your pocket and is extremely portable.
The 520PRO is a great pocket hole jig for most people. It is easy to use and features a built-in clamping system. To activate the clamp, you squeeze the handle several times to bring the clamp in.
My favorite feature of the 520PRO is that you can set the clamp to not release all the way. For example, if you are drilling pocket holes in a lot of ¾” thick boards, you can set it to micro-release.
When you release the clamp, it will pull back just enough for you to reposition your wood and then you’ll have to squeeze the handle 2-3 times to tighten it, instead of the 5-8 times required if you release it all the way.
The handle also adjusts, allowing you to position it so that it is more comfortable or convenient for your situation.
- Compact and easy to transport.
- Adjustable handle and able to be used in multiple orientations.
- Built-in clamping system. The clamping system is easy to use and just requires you to squeeze the trigger multiple times to tighten it.
- Pre-set depth settings allow you to quickly set to the correct depth for ½”, ¾”, and 1.5” boards
- Cannot be used on furniture that is already assembled
- Not as efficient as the 720
- Since it’s light, it can wobble around or fall over when clamping large pieces of wood. Must hold in place when drilling.
- Avid DIYers who use or want to use pocket holes are several projects.
- Want to make pocket holes efficiently, but don’t want to spend over $100 on a jig.
- People who will be drilling pocket holes in large pieces of wood and want a light jig to move around the plywood.
- This is the happy medium jig. Efficiency is important to you, but you don’t need all the bells and whistles. You want something lighter and mobile.
This is probably the most common pocket hole jig you see floating around the internet as a lot of bloggers and Instagrammers use this model.
The Kreg 720 is the top-of-the-line pocket hole jig and the only one that features an auto-adjusting clamp. This auto-adjusting clamp removes the need to choose depth settings on the jig, meaning the only thing you need to worry about setting is the drill bit collar.
This is the most efficient jig that we’ve discussed so far.
- Auto-adjusting clamp removes the need to manually set the depth of the jig…which means less room for error when drilling pocket holes!
- Onboard storage system keeps everything you need (drill bit, drivers, hex wrench) all in one place.
- Drill bit setting options for less common wood sizes like ⅝”, 1”, 1 ⅛”, and 1 ⅜.
- Also includes a shorter square head driver to help you get into tighter places.
- Can be positioned two ways
- Built-in wings to help stabilize (though it’s still not incredibly stable with larger boards).
- Cannot be used on furniture that is already assembled
- Bulky, so it takes up more room to store and is not as easily transportable.
We don’t personally have the PRO upgrade, but I can tell you what’s included so you can decide if it’s worth the additional moo-lah for you.
The PRO upgrade includes the docking station that can be used with either the 520PRO or the 720 jig.
The docking station is essentially a set of wings that you can attach to your jig to help further support the jig and large materials. The wings can also be detached and placed further away from the jig to support larger materials. That said, the 720 jig is designed so that you can use a scrap 2×4 to support larger materials as well.
In addition to adding more support, the docking station includes a clamp that you can use to secure your jig to a workbench. The docking station opens up so you can store the clamp (and maybe a few other small things) inside of the docking station.
The last thing it includes is an adjustable stop. If you are putting pocket holes in several boards that are the same size and want consistent spacing with your pocket holes, you can set up this stop to help guide your placement.
- Serious DIYers who are using pocket holes on projects often.
- Anyone who likes to have the best/most efficient tools.
- Someone who has room to store a larger jig.
Though I wouldn’t recommend it to the vast majority of people (we don’t even have one), I did want to briefly mention the Kreg Foreman.
This is the professional-grade pocket hole jig designed for maximum efficiency. Instead of using a drill to create the pocket holes, you simply pull the handle of the foreman down to create pocket holes.
If you are looking for absolute maximum efficiency, the Kreg Foreman might be a great fit for you.
The Kreg Pocket Hole Jig Everyone Needs to Get
Though the Kreg 520PRO, 720, and Foreman can make pocket holes more quickly and efficiently than the 310, I still recommend that everyone has a Kreg 310 in their workshop.
Why? Because there are two main instances where the 310 is actually the only option to make pocket holes: when adding pocket holes after assembly has started and adding them in beveled boards.
Okay technically you might be able to make pocket holes in beveled boards with the 520 and 720, but it can be difficult to get things positioned properly since the board is not flat on the bottom to sit properly on the jig.
When it comes to adding pocket holes after assembly has already started, the 310 is your only option…aside from disassembling everything.
Because of these two use cases, I highly recommend that everyone has a 310 in their workshop just in case they need it. Yes, you can get another pocket hole jig as well to use the majority of the time if you want something that’s a bit quicker to set up.
But for right around $20, I think the 310 is well worth the piece of mind of knowing you can always add another pocket hole after assembly has started if you decide you need some additional reinforcement!
Questions to Consider when Selecting a Kreg Jig
When trying to decide which Kreg jig is right for you, consider the following questions.
What is your absolute max budget that you’re able to spend?
If it’s only $30, then your decision is made: the 310 is the jig for you! If it’s higher, consider the following questions as well.
How often will you use it and how many pocket holes do you need to drill?
If you’re planning to use your Kreg jig all the time, you might want to consider the 720 or 720PRO which include the autoclamp. Though the 520PRO has settings to minimize the number of times you need to squeeze the jig to clamp it, it can still be a forearm workout if you’re drilling tons of pocket holes.
On the other hand, if you’re rarely ever using it, the 310 or 320 might be enough for you. Sure it might take a little bit more time to set up for each pocket hole, but what’s an extra 30 seconds to a minute when you’re only making 10 pocket holes a year?
Where will you be drilling the holes?
Are you planning to use your Kreg jig to help repair already assembled furniture? If so, you’ll definitely want the 310 or 320.
Are you planning to primarily drill pocket holes on huge sheets of plywood that are hard to move around? If so, the 310 or 520PRO are great options.
Yes, the 720 can also be positioned to move around large pieces of wood and plywood, but because it’s larger, it feels a lot clunkier to use in this orientation than the 520PRO.
Where will you be completing your projects?
If your projects are always on the go, I’d recommend a smaller jig like the 310 or 520PRO for easier transportation. Sure you can travel with the 720, but it’s larger and less convenient to take with you.
If you have a dedicated workshop that you complete your projects in, the 720 might be a great fit for you, especially because it can be hooked to a shop vac to collect the dust.
So Which Kreg Jig Should You Buy? Our Recommendations
Now that we’ve shared the pros and cons and questions to consider when deciding which Kreg jig model to buy, the ball is in your court.
I’d highly recommend that everyone has the Kreg 310 in their shop because of its flexibility. Yes, if you’re following a plan online, it’s rare that you’d need to add another pocket hole after assembly has started, but it’s possible.
And yes, it’s rare that you’ll need to drill pocket holes into beveled cuts, but again, it’s possible.
My recommendation? Get the 310 and then also pick whatever fits your budget and use case.
If you’re feeling super stuck and still don’t know which one to get, get the 520PRO. It’s versatile and easy to use and still nicer than the discontinued K4 that I used for years!
If you would like to download a handy-dandy cheatsheet that compares the models side-by-side, you can download our “which Kreg Jig is right for you?” cheatsheet here.
More Pocket Hole Resources:
- Kreg Jig Depth Collar Settings
- How to Use a Kreg Jig
- “Which Kreg Jig is Right for You?” Cheatsheet
- Become a Pocket Hole Pro in less than an hour. Learn everything you need to know about pocket holes in Pocket Holes: Explained.
If you’re new to woodworking, check out this woodworking for beginners post. We share how to get started and 7 things we wish we would’ve known when starting out! No need to make the same mistakes we did.