Woodworkers often make cuts on wood slabs that are repeated on different types of fine woodworking projects. Whenever this need arises, they often use a jig to guide their cutting tool to make the right cut. Jigs are also needed to make precise joinery cuts. As the name implies, a router leveling jig is a type of jig for use with a router, specifically. It guides the router around the stock to make clean and accurate cuts. It also provides a level surface for the router’s edges to rest upon while working. A simple look at the market will reveal an abundance of router leveling jigs. Our team checked the market to bring you the best router leveling jigs in 2022. The products were selected based on their ease of use and relative affordability.
Router leveling jigs are tools that help you to get the best out of your routers. They enable woodworkers to make precise and accurate cuts on their stock. They are particularly useful in making joints on wood. The array of quality leveling jigs on display in our review of the best router leveling jigs has left you with a tough decision to make. This buying guide will guide you through the buying process to ultimately select the jig that best suits your needs. The guide contains factors to consider when buying a jig. In addition, there is a frequently asked questions section in the guide that answers common questions about router leveling jigs.
What Are Some Things To Consider Before Buying a Router Leveling Jig?
Before making a purchase, certain factors have to be considered to ensure you get value for money spent. These factors will ensure that you get the perfect router jig that suits your needs.
When buying a router leveling jig, chances are you already have a router table available. Thus, one of the first things to consider is the compatibility of the jig with your router table. The jig should slot into the table’s miter slot seamlessly. Ensure that you compare the size of your miter to the jig before buying. A mismatched combination will negatively affect usability. A slab jig which is compatible with most router bases, is best suitable for making table tops.
Most routers come with two router bits that are of different sizes and are interchangeable. Designed to create wood joints, a router bit is useful for shaping the edges of the wood slabs. In addition to that, a router bit is very essential for creating decorative edge patterns.
Another essential factor to put into consideration when buying a leveling jig is your needs. You need to understand what your specific needs are before buying. Leveling jigs are often specialized for a particular cut.
There are different router leveling jigs for making various cuts on the wood slabs. For example, you will find leveling jigs used for drilling pocket holes; there are those used for making box joints. Also, you will find jigs for making various forms of dovetail joints and the ones used for tapering.
Since each of these has a specific use, you are not likely to find a one router jig that fits all product. Thus, you should ensure that the leveling jig you purchase meets your particular needs.
In addition, a router base plate can be used to remove the router from the table.
It would help if you also considered the jig’s ability to stand up to heavy use. Irrespective of the frequency of use, the jig will be exposed to fast-moving steel each time it is used. Thus, it is crucial to ensure that the jig is made of highly durable material that will not cave in easily.
Usually, router leveling jigs are made of steel to ensure they are durable. Occasionally, you will also find jigs made of other materials. The most important thing is to ensure that the jig does not feel too flimsy.
Router leveling jigs are typically meant for use on router tables. However, you will find certain leveling jigs that can be used on other fine woodworking tables other than the router table. For example, leveling jigs that can be used on table saws or clamped onto other surfaces offer users more options in their daily usage of the jig. Thus, it would help if you looked out for jigs that allow you to use the template on different surfaces.
Your router leveling jig will usually come with a user manual. A user manual is the manufacturer’s instruction that guides users through installation and use. Typical manuals take the form of texts inside booklets or pamphlets. However, some brands take it a step further by offering audiovisual manuals on DVDs. These types of user manuals give a more hands-on explanation. If you want a manual that takes you through every step of the installation process, you should consider jigs that come with DVD manuals.
As woodworkers, we are used to having waste litter the floor and the work table after a task. This often leaves us with a post-operation clean-up. This situation also plays out itself when we work with leveling jigs. However, certain jig designs allow users to attach a shroud for collecting the shavings. The shroud is then connected to a vacuum for outward removal. This process takes away any post-operation cleaning and leaves your work table free of shavings.
Often, we make repetitive cuts with our router leveling jigs. Therefore, a jig feature that allows user to use a preset measurement enhance the ease of use. Memory lock is a feature that allows users to easily use a measurement that the jig has committed to memory. As a result, it makes work faster and easier. Therefore, you should consider leveling jigs with the memory lock feature if you want an improved working experience.
Final Thoughts on Router Leveling Jigs
A router leveling jig will make your work easier. Ensure you take all workplace safety precautions when using a jig. Depending on the specific cut you want to make, you may end up with more than one jig. Owning multiple jigs means you don’t have to improvise or risk making imprecise cuts when working.
Also check out the video from Walkers Woodworks for some simple ways to create router sled or router jig.
How Much Do Router Leveling Jigs Cost?
The price of router leveling jigs depends on various factors. The type of jig, as well as the size are the two main factors that dictate the price. They typically cost between $55 and $350. You can get a balance of cost and efficiency with jigs that cost between $70 and $200.
The Incra router leveling jig makes it easy to make box joints. The jig has a reversible design that means it can work on any side of the cutter. The body is made of steel, and it includes a transparent blade guard for protection. In addition, the jig features Incra’s glide lock miter bar that fits 3/4 x 3/8-inch miter slots and weighs 7.14 pounds.
The router leveling jig comes with a 1-year warranty.
It comes with an instructional DVD to aid installation.
It is adjustable.
The jig may be complex for inexperienced woodworkers.
When you need to make pocket holes, you should think of the Kreg router leveling jig. This jig weighs 5.72 pounds and can be used with both solid wood and plywood. For the perfect pocket hole, the jig includes a three-hole drill guide for guiding the drill during use. The drill glide can be removed for use on bigger stocks. The jig is made of steel and has a dust collection shroud that ensures wood shavings do not litter your table after use.
The router leveling jig is versatile.
The jig is easy to use.
It is available in another variant.
You cannot use the collection shroud when using the drill guide alone.
Dovetail joints are one of the trickiest joints in woodwork. However, with the Porter-Cable leveling jig, dovetail joints become an easy task. The jig holds the wood in place with its heavy-duty clamps.
The jig weighs 26.8 pounds and can hold stocks with a thickness of 1/4 to 1-1/8 inches. Also, it comes with a set of aluminum templates that have two sides. Each side is used to make different dovetail cuts on wood.
The leveling jig includes a manual to ensure easy use.
The Rockler router leveling jig is a top-quality tool for making box joints. The jig is made of a combination of medium-density fiberboard and glass-filled nylon. The jig comes with an instruction manual and is strictly meant for use on a router table.
The jig comes with three metallic guide bars. It weighs 3.69 pounds and includes a fence slide that ensures precision and straight cuts. Two lock knobs keep the jig fixed to the router’s miter slot.
The Microjig router leveling jig is a quality tool used for tapering. For users that use a measurement repeatedly, the jig has two memory locks that remember such measurements. This feature makes it easy to use the jig without needing to set the measurement.
The jig’s jointing heel makes it easy to make precise cuts on stocks without a prepared edge. It weighs 3.4 pounds and includes an instructional DVD that explains how to use the jig. The jig’s microdial comprises up to 112 angles.
The leveling jig is compatible with GRR-Ripper.
The jig has a 3-year warranty.
You need to buy the GRR-Ripper to enjoy the full range of functionality.
People Also Asked
Q: Is a pocket hole jig worth it?
A: A pocket hole jig is worth it. As long as you get a durable one, the jig will ease up the stress of making pocket holes in your wood slabs.
Q: How do you store fine woodworking jigs?
A: We take care of our fine woodworking jigs the same way we care for other tools. They must be cleaned after each use and safely stored away from contact with liquid.
Q: How do you use a woodworking jig?
A: You use a woodworking jig alongside your cutting or drilling tool. The jig serves as a guide for the cutting or drilling tool. It ensures the accuracy of every cut made.
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