Kreg Jig R3 Review: Over A 1,000 Holes Later

by | Dec 11, 2017 | Blog

Pocket holes, what a beautiful pleasure to work with! Kreg Jig even makes it a  more beautiful system.
I can’t quite remember how I exactly found out about pocket hole joinery in the first place. Anna White could have had some influence on that decision to get started with the Kreg Jig system. She just about exclusively pocket holes in all of her projects. Nothing wrong with at all, pocket holes are just that simple of a system.

What Are Pocket Holes Anyways?

If you haven’t read my guide on joinery for beginners I poorly described what pocket holes were there. I can attempt to do that again as well here.
Pocket holes are simply an angled hole drilled into one member of the workpiece at a defined angle. The angle is defined by the jig that you are using. Once the hole has been drilled its time to join the two members together.
This is achieved by simply using a screw, but be careful it is easy to strip out the hole by over torquing it. Over time of using pocket holes, you will know how much is too much. If your drill is outfitted with a torque setting it’s probably a good idea to set it, this will help give all your screws proper torque.

Kreg Jig R3 Demonstration

Now that your pieces are cut square, its time to begin the assembly process. Step one set your Kreg Jig R3 up to the proper drill depth/distance. With the Kreg Jig R3 it’s an easy task to complete. Simply flip your jig over and use the gray slider bars and set it to the material thickness.
Once you have the Kreg Jig its self-set its time to switch our attention to adjusting the drill collar on the bit. Now with the Kreg Jig R3 it’s important to hold on to your carrying case because this how we are going to set up that collar to the proper spot. Drop the drill bit into proper holding location and then make sure to push it all the way up. This will ensure that the bit is seated correctly in the holding spot. Inside the carrying case of the Kreg Jig R3, you also received a small allen wrench. This is what we will use to loosen the drill collar and you shall do such now. With set screw on the collar now loosened slide the collar to the proper graduation on etched on the case and then chinch the set screw down.

Screw Selection

With those tasks complete we move on to proper screw selection. Kreg Jig makes is simple and has a chart printed on the back of their screw packages. Refer to these charts when getting the correct screw for the material thickness your working with.
Now we are ready to unify the two pieces. Simply align the members together into the configuration you desire and drop a screw into the pilot hole of your angled hole. Using your drill fasten them together, while using a clamp or brute force to help hold the joint in place during fastening. Torque the screw till its satisfactory for application its being used in. Its that simple to use Kreg Jig Pocket hole joinery in your projects.

My Review Of The Kreg Jig R3

I picked up the Kreg Jig R3 probably close to 3 plus years ago and probably have drilled well over 1,000 holes through it. its help build multiple projects from coffee tables, dining tables, cabinets, chairs, desks and much much more.
It also has helped produce some extra income for me!.
As I said at the beginning of this article Anna White had a great deal of influence on me purchasing this piece of kit.
When we were looking for furniture for our home and had spent much of our money on the home. Working within a budget to furnish the home was a must for us.
This is when we stumbled upon Anna White and most of her projects required pocket holes. Never hearing of pocket holes before I began to do some investigation.
Watching youtube videos and reading articles as well as talking to other people. I was surprised that I seemed to be one that was left out and had never heard of pocket hole joinery. So it was off to get a Kreg Jig.
I purchased my Kreg Jig through Woodcraft, not that is the only place you can buy a Kreg Jig just that I had never been to woodworking store at this point and felt to the need to pay the visit.
Upon arriving at the store the friendly clerk pointed me to the proper section I began looking over my options.
Feeling overwhelmed, the clerk happened to come to see if I had any particular questions. I gave him the rundown of what me and my wife were trying to accomplish as well as budget.
He recommend the Kreg Jig R3 if you couldn’t have guessed that one.  I couldn’t be happier with the decision to make the purchase.

Pros Of The Kreg Jig R3

  • Portability, not to say that other models are not portable. If you were to think about it with more larger, advanced models of the Kreg Jig your bringing the pieces of the project to the bench to put holes in it. With the Kreg Jig R3 your more than likely bringing the jig to the workpiece more than the other way around. That’s my logic on why on enjoy the R3. Not to say that the larger jigs don’t have there place in the shop. It all depends on your workflow I would suspect.
  • Easy to use, slide the rails on the jig to your material thickness, clamp it, drill it and screw it. DONE
  • A convenient case, this is probably the only carrying of any piece of shop equipment I have kept. It could have something to do with having to have the case to adjust the drill collar but I think there’s more to it.
  • Value, the Kreg Jig R3 is a very well priced piece of shop equipment.

Cons Of The Kreg Jig R3

  • I know above I raved about the case. But if you lose that case or if it were to become damaged, that’s it your done and don’t have a way to set your drilling depth. Maybe the measurements could be found online and set with a tape measure. I would like to see Kreg Jig build an updated version of the R3 with the drill collar setting scale built into the jig its self. There’s plenty of room to attach something to the top of the jig or the sides.
  • Plastic shavings, I have noticed sometimes I will get little blue plastic shavings on my project. This probably has more to with the drills standard and the run out of the drill. This doesn’t affect usability at all!
  • Over time the slides seem to be a little stiffer. Not that I have ever dropped this jig before……but the slides over time seem to be little stiffer than when originally purchased. This is well after a few thousand holes have been drilled with this jig.
  • I wish the slides slid together. The way they work now each side moves independently and each side needs to be set. This could be me being picky but I would rather have it slide as a whole rather than individually. I have before been in a hurry and been off half a detent on one side and drilled a hole off square to the edge. But as I said this is not a deal breaker for me just me being picky.

Would I Recommend The Kreg R3

Absolutely, it’s an incredible value and I still like the fact I can take the jig to the workpiece rather than the work to the jig. I find this incredibly useful especially when working on any type of cabinetry when the pieces can get rather large and long. The larger Kreg K4 and K5 are great to have in the shop don’t get me wrong. For me tho I tend to grab the Kreg R3 a whole lot more.
I forgot to mention with the Kreg R3 your definitely going to want to have one of the Kreg clamps. This will make life a lot easier for you. Before I used a normal clamp because I was a cheapskate and then finally purchased the clamp and it changed my efficiency greatly.
I hope you this article was helpful for you if you’re looking at purchasing a Kreg Jig and it gives you a few different things to think about before you pull the trigger. I don’t think you can go wrong by purchasing the R3 I know I haven’t regretted my purchase!
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