7 Best Dovetail Jigs of 2021 Compared & Reviewed

Best Dovetail Jig

A dovetail jig is a modern tool which helps you create dovetail joints in woodworking. Therefore, this is a necessity for every woodworker. The tool comes in handy when making decorative and strong joints, especially when joining 2 pieces at right angles.

This tool helps you display your carpentry skills, strength, quality and attention to detail of any carpentry piece. In order for you to get desirable and high-quality results, you need to invest in the best dovetail jig on the market.   

Therefore, to help you spot a reliable dovetail jig, here is the ultimate buying guide and 7 dovetail jig reviews to help you pick a product that will match your skills, budget, needs, and taste.   

What To Check Before Buying Best Dovetail Jig?

How to Buy the Best Dovetail Jig

1. Fixed or Variable Dovetail Jig

This is a major point that you must consider when buying a dovetail jig. You have to decide whether you will invest in an adjustable finger template or a fixed one. This decision is normally easier to make for seasoned woodworkers as they have already realized what works for them.

Nonetheless, at times making this decision is a challenge even for people who have been in woodworking. The reason why you should make this decision during the onset of your investment is because it is impossible to convert or upgrade a fixed one into a variable finger jig.

Fixed Dovetail Jig Template 

This is the primitive jig template and it is curved or machined out of a single aluminum block. The jig template has equally spaced guide fingers for both the tails and pins. Moreover, its finger position is fixed and for this reason, you cannot adjust it.

The tail and pins generated by this jig feature similar sizes with equal space between each one of them. 


  • Simple to use as they feature less setup period
  • Has relatively affordable designs for entry-level woodworkers
  • Generate strong and perfect joints


  • Your stock must match the template pitch
  • Equal spacing and size can develop a machine cut look

Variable Dovetail Jig Template

This dovetail jig template features a design that boosts the flaws of its fixed counterpart. Additionally, it has some moveable guide fingers which slide beside the supporting bar. Hence, with this dovetail jig template, you can adjust the tails and pins together with their spacing. 

Moreover, this template allows you to customize how you want the dovetail joints to look in order to resemble the appearance of hand-cut dovetails. 


  • Versatile than the fixed template 
  • Adjustable joint to match stock
  • Makes it possible to develop hand-cut looking and customized dovetail joints


  • Requires some time to learn how to operate it
  • Slightly expensive

2. Joints 

Depending on whether you seek to create half-blind joints or full dovetail joints, miniature joints or sliding joints, make sure that the jig you are about to invest in will give you exactly what you are seeking for. 

However, there are some models which feature the capacity of giving you a wide scope of joints while others can only generate a couple of dovetail joints. Therefore, the market has everything you are looking for.  

3. Capacity

This is a critical factor to consider when buying a dovetail jig because it determines how much projects you can handle. In most cases, dovetail jigs feature a capacity of 12 inches, but there are larger models for handling large materials. 

4. Adjustment Features 

Here is another important point that you must consider when buying the best dovetail jig on the market. In order for you to achieve perfect points, your jig must feature adjustment features to boost accuracy. 

Hence, make sure that your adjustment features are accurate and of high quality, because they determine the reliability of the dovetail joint you will make.   

5. Budget

You can only buy a dovetail jig that is within your budget. This is why a budget is a basic consideration when looking for one. When buying a dovetail jig, you should know that the higher the price, the better the quality. 

Nonetheless, you can still find some highly affordable dovetail jig with decent quality. Therefore, you do not have to spend a fortune when buying a dovetail jig. Just make sure that your product is accurate, durable and reliable. 

To find a dovetail jig with decent quality on the market today, expect to spend between $100 and $500 price range.

7 Best Dovetail Jigs of 2021 Reviewed

Porter-Cable 42161. Porter-Cable 4216 (Top-Rated)
  • Top rated dovetail jig for making a great purchase
  • Mini template kit enhances ease of use
  • Aluminum made templates for superior durability
  • Accommodates ¼ to 1-1-8 inches stock thickness
Porter Cable 42122. Porater Cable 4212 (Best for Half-Blind Dovetail Joints)
  • Designed for half-blind dovetail joints 
  • Accessories include -Two router bits (43743PC and 43776PC); two templates (4213 and 4211); two template guides (42046 and 42040)
  • Beginner friendly as it is user-friendly
  • Router bit gauge to boost accuracy
Porter Cable 42103. Porter Cable 4210 (Best Easy to Set-Up)
  • Easy to setup design as it does not require assembly 
  • Router bit depth gauges boosts ease of use
  • Accepts stock that is between ¼ and 1-1/8 inches thick
  • Firm work piece grip prevents slipping
Leigh Super 124. Leigh Super 12 (Best Versatile)
  • Versatile design promotes customization
  • Well fitting fence enhances simple and fast template configurations
  • ½ inches-14 degree dovetail bit; ½ inches to 8 mm collect reducer; 5/16 inches straight bit; ½ inches to 8 degree dovetail bit
  • 5 half-blind bits and rout half-blind joint
Rockler Dovetail Jig5. Rockler Dovetail Jig (Best for Dust Collection)
  • Unique dust collection system keeps your space clean
  • 1-piece stop and clamping bars for resilient grip
  • ½ inch to 8 mm collet adapter and three 8 mm shank carbide-tipped router bits (5/16 straight, ½ x 8 dovetail; ½ x 14 dovetail)
  • Weighs 24 pounds hence a little heavy
Leigh D4R-PRO6. Leigh D4R-PRO (Best for Large Panel)
  • Large size for accommodating large panels
  • Easy and intuitive design for quick and easy operation
  • 3/8 inches recess for the rabbeted boards
  • 5/16 inches x 1 inch x 8 mm straight bit
General Tools 8617. General Tools 861 (Best Budget) 
  • Best budget dovetail jig as it is competitively priced
  • Weighs 2.94 pounds hence portable
  • ½ inches dovetail router bit
  • Self aligning design to enhance simple adjustments

1. Porter-Cable 4216 – Top-Rated

Porter-Cable 4216
Photo: Porter-Cable

This is the top-rated dovetail jig on the market because it offers a combination of both value and features. Moreover, this is a dovetail jig that is designed by a brand that is renowned in the industry for making super quality power tools and this product is no exception.

Additionally, this product comes with a mini template kit which simplifies the creation of various miniature dovetails with a lot of ease. The kit ranges from box joints to sliding dovetails, making it possible to do a lot of things with it. 

The templates are made using high-quality aluminum material and this enhances your cutting accuracy and boosts superior durability. Besides the aluminum material that makes this template set ensures that they are also lightweight, enhancing ease of use. 

This dovetail jig has the capacity to accommodate stock that is ¼ to 1-1/8 inches thick. Moreover, the package of this product features three templates (4215, 4213, and 4211); four template guides (42054, 42046, 42040, and 42037), two lock nuts; four router bits (43777PC, 43014PC, 43743PC, and 43776PC).

The product is highly-priced, but it is worth the investment. Additionally, it is also equipped with the capacity to cut all dovetail joints except for the variable dovetails because it features fixed guide fingers.


  • Great cutting accuracy due to the template alignment lines 
  • Superior durability saves you money in the long run
  • Multiple templates boost versatility
  • Quick and easy set up makes it beginner-friendly


  • Cannot cut variable dovetails 
  • A little expensive

2. Porter Cable 4212 – Best for Half-Blind

Porter Cable 4212
Photo: Porter-Cable

Here is the dovetail jig that is specifically designed for woodworkers who dedicate their effort to half-blind dovetail joints and seek precision as much as possible. To help with this, the product comes with rabbeted half-blind and template 4211 half-blind. 

This dovetail jig accommodates stock that is between ¼ and 1-1/8 inches thick. The package features the jig base; two router bits (43743PC and 43776PC); two templates (4213 and 4211); two template guides (42046 and 42040); wrench; two locking nuts and operating instructions.  

Another great thing about this product is that it is beginner-friendly and also ideal for average users as well. This is because it features user-friendly design facilitated by template alignment lines which allow easy and quick setup. 

Additionally, the router bit gauge is another ergonomic feature on this dovetail jig because it allows the user to accurately and effortlessly set the depth without having to take measurements, making it friendly for people who are entering the woodworking space.

To offer firm wood grip, this product features heavy-duty cam-type clamps and backed locking bars. However, this product is not designed to cut variable or miniature dovetails. 


  • Requires no assembly and it is ready to use right from the box
  • Solid construction provides stability and balance
  • Beginner-friendly due to user-friendly design
  • Long-lasting service due to superior durability


  • Does not cut variable or miniature dovetails
  • You need to buy a router as an extra expense

3. Porter Cable 4210 – Best Easy to Set-Up

Porter Cable 4210
Photo: Porter-Cable

This is the easy to set up dovetail jig that you will find on the market as it requires no assembly to start with. Hence, it is ready to use right from the box. Moreover, it features template alignment lines which make the set-up process hassle-free.

Besides, this dovetail jig comes with a router bit depth gauges which make it easy to use for beginners and average users because it allows you to set the depth accurately and quickly without taking any measurements. 

The product accepts stock that is between ¼ and 1-1/8 inches thick. Inside the box, you will find highly durable templates; dovetail dadoes, miniature dovetails; box joints; carbide-tipped dovetail bit; lock nut; comprehensive manual and a template guide.

This is considered the best dovetail jig because it offers you a firm wood grip which is mainly facilitated by the cam-type clamps it comes with. These clamps feature a heavy-duty design and have sandpaper. Moreover, they are backed by locking bars. 

Moreover, all the templates of this product are made using high-quality aluminum material that boosts long term durability and superior cutting accuracy. 

This dovetail jig is fairly priced and so it will give you value for your money. However, it is a little bulky and this implies that portability is limited when dealing with this product. 


  • Has superior cutting accuracy due to machined aluminum templates
  • Beginner-friendly as it is easy to set up
  • Ready to use right from the box
  • Amazing value makes it worth the investment


  • A little heavy and so limits durability

4. Leigh Super 12 – Best Versatile

Leigh Super 12
Photo: Leigh

Here is a dovetail jig that will give you amazing versatility to ensure that you can customize the product to meet your interest. As a matter of fact, the product allows you to make various precision cutting adjustments for customized projects. 

Additionally, the fence is well-fitting on the dovetail finger assembly and this results in simple and fast sliding dovetail template configurations. 

There are numerous useful extras that come this product in the package to save you money. They include ½ inches-14 degree dovetail bit; ½ inches to 8 mm collect reducer; 5/16 inches straight bit; ½ inches to 8 degree dovetail bit; half-blind bridge piece material and a fully illustrated user guide. 

To further boost the customization of this product, this dovetail jig comes with 5 half-blind bits and rout half-blind joint, featuring a depth that will perfectly suit your project. Hence, it allows a wide range of applications when it comes to joint making. 

Nonetheless, this dovetail jig comes with a slightly high price, but it offers you great versatility and allows you to customize your projects, making it worth the purchase. Moreover, it weighs 14.15 pounds and this means that it is a little heavy. 


  • Offers a wide range of applications making it versatile
  • Allows you to customize projects
  • High accuracy with the strong clamps
  • Comes with a comprehensive user guide to help beginners


  • Comes with a slightly high price
  • A little heavy as it weighs 14.15 pounds

5. Rockler Dovetail Jig – Best for Dust Collection

Rockler Dovetail Jig
Photo: Rockler 

Rockler dovetail jig comes with a unique dust collection system which is highly effective due to the incorporation of a vacuum attachment in this unit, which is located at the base of the template to effectively suck generated dust right before it spreads on your working space. 

Moreover, this dovetail jig offers you a 1-piece stop and this facilitates an ideal offset all the time. There are also clamping bars that come with this product and they help to offer resilient grip stock ensuring that the wood you are working on cannot move or slip. 

The complete package of this dovetail jig contains the following; two durable phenolic templates; 7/16 guide bushing; ½ inch to 8 mm collet adapter; three 8 mm shank carbide-tipped router bits (5/16 straight, ½ x 8 dovetail; ½ x 14 dovetail) and 8 page instruction booklet. 

As a matter of fact, this Rockler product is specifically designed to generate half-blind dovetail joints as this is the only template it comes. Moreover, the product weighs 24 pounds and so it requires more care when handling. 


  • Prevents wood slipping off the product as you work
  • Keeps your space clean and neat as it collects dust
  • Package features all necessary accessories


  • Has only 1 template to offer, limiting versatility
  • A little heavy as it weighs 24 pounds

6. Leigh D4R-PRO – Best for Large Panel

Leigh D4R-PRO
Photo: Leigh

Here is a dovetail jig that stands out for its large size which, consequently allow it to accommodate large panels of up to 24 inches. Hence, it makes a great purchase for woodworkers and contractors with large furniture projects. 

Leigh D4R-PRO features an efficient and tool-free clamping system. The system includes spring-loaded clamping bars, which firmly secure the workpiece as you work on it, enhancing simple and quick operation. These clamps are easily adjustable and can be operated at consistent tension. 

The top side stops of this dovetail jig features 3/8 inches recess for the rabbeted boards. With this dovetail jig, you get a wide array of accessories which are very useful as they help generate almost all dovetail joint types. Hence, it saves a lot of money that you could have spent as an extra expense. 

Some of these useful accessories include; 5/16 inches x 1 inch x 8 mm straight bit for through dovetails; 3 carbide router bits; ½ inches to 8 mm collet reducer; ½ inches D x 14 inches x 8 mm dovetail bit for half blind dovetails; ½ inches D X 8 inches x 8 mm dovetail bit and 7/16 inches template guide bushing. 

This item weighs 22.1 pounds and this implies that it is a little heavy. Hence, you cannot easily transport it for a long distance as you will experience fatigue and discomfort.


  • Satisfaction guarantee – 3 months money-back guarantee and 5year warranty 
  • Tool-free clamping system
  • Generates any tail and pin size
  • Strong grip on the workpiece – spring-loaded clamp bars


  • Very expensive but worth the purchase
  • Cannot fit in small shops and also comes along as heavy – 22.1 pounds

7. General Tools 861 – Best Budget

General Tools 861
Photo: General Tools

Here is the dovetail jig that you should invest in if you are running on a budget but needs a product that will give you value for your hard-earned cash. The unit comes with superior quality and durability in spite of having the lowest price on the market. 

The product weighs 2.94 pounds and this makes it easy to carry from one place to another as it. Moreover, its aluminum construction enhances durability. 

To save you more money on extra expenses, the package of this dovetail jig features ½ inches dovetail router bit for use with table router or hand table.  

This dovetail jig comes with a self-aligning design that makes sure that both ends perfectly match. Better still, this unit enhances simple adjustment of the dovetail interference in order to generate loose and tight ends. 

This is a router dovetail jig with control knobs that boost the product’s accuracy. Nonetheless, this product does not come with templates in the package and so that comes as an extra expense. 


  • Offers you great value for the investment
  • Highly affordable as it is competitively priced
  • Accurate dovetailing with easy set-up
  • Strong grip on workpiece due to the integrated clamps


  • Package lacks templates which pushes you to incur extra expense
  • Comes limited to a single bit


Buying the best dovetail jig is critical in ensuring that you achieve accurate woodwork. The tool is important for both hobbyists and professional woodworkers. Therefore, if you have a large woodworking project you are about to start, you will definitely need a dovetail jig. 

With this comprehensive buying guide and the 7 dovetail jig reviews, you have all you need to make the right purchasing decision. Pick any of the above products that will match your needs, lifestyle, and budget and make your order today.