Armor Tools, known for hold-down clamps, have entered new tool markets before, introducing tools such as bolt cutters. Now, they’ve come out with something a little unexpected, but definitely true to their woodworking roots – a Pocket Hole Jig.
The new Armor Tools pocket hole jig doesn’t look like a “me-too” tool, as it has some compelling features that could make it a strong alternative to the industry leader.
Pocket Hole Basics
If you are not familiar with pocket hole joinery, it is a popular way of joining two pieces of wood together using a concealed screw. To achieve, this you need an accurate way of drilling a hole at the proper angle and depth. A pocket hole jig takes all the complexity out of the process.
Armor Tools Pocket Hole Auto-Jig System
Armor Tool’s jig ships with all the parts you need to get started with pocket hole joinery:
- Self-adjusting drill guide block with screw size guide
- Self-adjusting drill bit
- #2 square driver bit
- Auto-adjust clamp
- Stop collar
- Hex key
- Dust collection port
- (50) screw assortment (10 each size)
- User guide
- 6″ face clamp
The Armor Tools jig has an integrated clamp to hold your material in place, and a drilling block that adjusts to suit the thickness of the material you are working with.
On the side there’s a guide for setting the position of the depth stop collar. This ensures the hole you drill is exactly the right depth for the material you are working on.
The jig features a working height that is the same as a 2×4, which makes it a breeze to create side wings for material support.
There’s an integrated dust port for attaching your dust extractor of shop vac of choice.
The kit includes a face clamp, which holds material together when you are screwing it together.
Here is Armor Tools’ video introduction of their new pocket hole jig:
It’s hard to talk about pocket hole jigs without mentioning Kreg, which is widely regarded as the leader of the pocket hole jig industry.
I like the look of Armor Tools jig and I see a couple of advantages over the Kreg jig. To give you a sense of where I’m coming from, I have owned two Kreg jigs and currently have a K5 system that has a very similar feature set.
- The Armor Tools jig has an integrated depth setter built into the side of the jig
- You can use the 2×4 to support the material you are working on.
- The integrated clamp looks easier to adjust than Kreg’s, which can be a little hard to dial in.
I think that the new Armor Tools pocket hole could be a worthy competitor, at least to the similarly-priced Kreg K5 system. It remains to be seen whether Armor Tools will launching smaller and more affordable jigs as well. Kreg is king of the hill when it comes to basic and fully-featured pocket hole jigs alike, but there’s definitely room for new competition.