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Evolving pocket-hole joinery to match the ways you build

When we decided to redesign Kreg Pocket-Hole Jigs from the ground up, we didn’t take that task lightly. After all, we’ve sold millions of our familiar blue K3, K4, and K5 jigs. They work really well and they have a lot of passionate fans. These jigs have helped millions of people of all experience levels build more kinds of projects than we ever could have imagined when we developed the initial jig design.

But we knew from talking with so many of our amazing customers that there were improvements we could make. Plus, we learned how much people like some of the features of the Kreg Pocket-Hole Jig 310 and 320 we introduced a few years ago. Based on all that, when we started working on the next Kreg Pocket-Hole Jig, we focused on a few key areas:

1.  The jig should work in ways that match how you like to build
2.  Setup needs to be simple, so you can get started building
3.  Clamping has to be easy and secure to hold your materials
4.  Good support matters for larger-size materials so you can control your work
5.  Speed and efficiency are important so you can make the most of your project time
6.  A Kreg Pocket-Hole Jig has to be built to last so you can use it for years to come
7.  When you buy from Kreg, you should get more than just a product

As we looked at all these things, it became pretty clear that, while our pocket-hole jigs worked great, it was time to break away from the old design and to break new ground.

1. Our Pocket-Hole Jigs are designed for how you build

One thing you all proved is that you don’t select a pocket-hole jig based on what you like to build. Over the years, you’ve built amazing projects using whatever Kreg Pocket-Hole Jig you had, whether that was our simple single-hole jig, an older benchtop model, or one of our newer versions. So, we didn’t try to base our new design on what you like to build.

You told us often about how and where you build. Some people have a dedicated workshop, or at least a space with a workbench that’s used for project building. Others set up a temporary workspace on the driveway or patio, in the garage, or wherever their project is.

That led us to split the new Kreg Pocket-Hole Jig into two distinct designs: One for people who prefer a jig that’s portable but can also be used on the benchtop, and another design for people who are benchtop builders.

The Pocket-Hole Jig 520PRO is designed for versatility, so you can build projects anywhere. You can use the jig on a worksurface, or you can clamp the jig right onto your material or your project. That makes the Pocket-Hole Jig 520PRO easy to use with boards and on big panels. A large VersaGrip™ handle makes the 520PRO easy to control, and the handle rotates 360°, so it’s always easy to hold.

You don’t have to sacrifice capability for portability, though. The 520PRO has the features that you couldn’t get in a portable Kreg Pocket-Hole Jig before, such as an adjustable drill-guide block with three hardened-steel guides that offer multiple pocket-hole spacing options to best suit your material. There’s even an optional Kreg Micro-Pocket Drill Guide that you can swap in to create smaller pocket holes if you like to build projects with smaller, thinner materials. Plus, we simplified jig setup, which we’ll get into more later.

The Pocket-Hole Jig 520PRO is great as a portable jig, but it’s designed to work really well on a work surface, too. You can clamp it in place using an optional Pocket-Hole Jig Clamp, so you can turn this jig into a benchtop workstation without losing the ability to use the jig portably. There are even more great ways to use the Pocket-Hole Jig 520PRO on a benchtop, too, and we’ll get into those in a bit.

The Pocket-Hole Jig 720 is designed to help you build pocket-hole projects faster than ever. Whether you chose the 720, or the Pocket-Hole Jig 720PRO that comes with a Kreg Docking Station, you get the same jig features. The biggest of those is Automaxx® One-Motion Clamping. With it, you clamp your workpiece and set the drill-guide position automatically by simply depressing one large handle. That means no matter the thickness of your material, the jig sets up perfectly every time with no tools.

You’ll also build projects faster than ever with built-in dust collection that connects the 720/720PRO to your shop vacuum. A simple knob lets you customize the jig’s clamping pressure to your material, if desired, and onboard storage keeps drill and driver bits, as well as the material-thickness gauge, close at hand. The 720PRO offers even more built-in storage.

 

Of course, the 720/720PRO has three hardened-steel, lifetime-warranted drill guides, too. And those guides can be swapped for an optional Micro-Pocket™ Drill Guide, or for a Custom Plug Cutter that makes it possible to create your own pocket-hole plugs using your project material for a perfect match.

With the 720/720PRO, you get all the features that made previous Kreg Pocket-Hole Jigs great, plus some that weren’t possible before.

Whether the Pocket-Hole Jig 520PRO, the Pocket-Hole Jig 720, or the Pocket-Hole Jig 720PRO matches your building style better, you’ll still get all the attributes we talked about at the beginning that make these new designs great.

2. Simple setup gets you building faster

Whether you prefer the portable-first design of the 520PRO or the built-for-the-benchtop 720/720PRO, you’ll be able to set it up easily so that you can get started building more quickly. That’s because both the 500 and 700 Series feature the straightforward easy-set system that we introduced a few years ago with our 300-series portable jigs.

That means every Kreg Pocket-Hole Jig now comes with our easy-set bit and stop collar. The bit is etched with the three most-commonly used material thicknesses: ½”, ¾”, and 1½”. To set the bit to drill your pocket hole at the perfect depth, all you have to do is align the site window in the stop collar with the etched thickness measurement you need, and then lock the collar down.

Not sure of your material’s thickness? The wrench that tightens the stop collar is part of a thickness gauge. Just hold it alongside your material. As long as the thickness falls anywhere in the range between the molded-in lines, you can use that setting on the bit. Super simple.

On the Pocket-Hole Jig 520PRO, there’s just one more setup step. Squeeze the tabs on the sides of the drill guide, and then slide it to the same thickness setting as you used on the bit. That’s it.

On the Pocket-Hole Jig 720 and Pocket-Hole Jig 720PRO, setup is done as soon as you set the bit on the stop collar. That’s because the 720 and 720PRO have Automaxx® one-motion clamping. With these jigs, you don’t have to set anything on the drill guide. Instead, just place your material in the jig, and then press down on the clamp handle. The drill guide block moves automatically to match your material thickness. Now that’s simple.

The 720 and 720PRO do offer another setup option. If you use wood or materials that aren’t one of the three common thicknesses, there’s a scale on the back of the jig that lets you align the stop collar for those other thicknesses.

3. Simple, secure clamping creates confidence

When you’re drilling pocket holes, you want the workpiece to stay exactly where you put it in the jig. And you want the process to be easy. The Kreg Pocket-Hole Jig 520PRO and the 720/720PRO do all those things every time with quick, simple clamping methods.

Clamping your workpiece in the 520PRO is as simple as grabbing ahold of the Vera-Grip™ handle and squeezing the large lever. That moves the drill guide on its steel rod until the guide pushes against your material. The harder you squeeze, the more clamping pressure you get, so it’s easy to regulate. Pull on the release, and the drill guide backs away.

The handle rotates 360°, too, so you can always find a position that gives you a comfortable position as you squeeze the clamp closed.

Plus, the face of the drill guide is coated in Kreg’s GripMaxx™ anti-slip material, which grips the workpiece so less clamping pressure is required.

Another feature on the Pocket-Hole Jig 520PRO makes clamping faster, too. A knob on the handle activates the quick-reset feature. When you tighten the knob, it limits how far back the drill guide moves when you pull the release. So, when you re-clamp your workpiece, or any material of the same thickness, you’ll only have to squeeze a time or two to clamp it in place.

On the 720 and 720PRO, Automaxx one-motion clamping is even faster and easier. Just press depress the large handle, and the drill guide moves against your workpiece, sets the pocket-hole position, and clamps the piece in place in one motion. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it works with every material thickness the jig accepts.

A large GripMaxx™ surface on the jig grips your workpiece, too. That reduces the clamping pressure needed, which means the handle is always easy to depress. You can dial in more or less clamping pressure, if you want, using the knob on the side of the jig.

Whether you choose the 520PRO, the 720, or the 720PRO, clamping is fast and easy, so you’ll be confident your workpiece will always stay put while you drill your pocket holes.

4. Supports position your materials while you work

Secure clamping is an important part of holding your workpieces effectively as you drill pocket holes. With larger pieces, having good support is important, too. That’s why we incorporated some new work-support features in the 520PRO and the 720/720PRO.

That started with the dual-position design of the base on each jig. The 520PRO and the 720/720PRO can be used in a couple different ways. Either can sit on your work surface with the base down, so you can set your workpiece onto the jig. But both can also be turned so the “back” of the jig sits on your work surface. That way, you can slide a long or large workpiece in horizontally. The VersaGrip handle on the 520 rotates for easy access, and the Automaxx handle on the 720/720PRO is still easy to reach and use.

Plus, we designed these jigs so the base and back align with common boards, so you can create your own supports for larger materials. The base of the 520PRO is ¾” thick, so you can use 1x2s to support long and large pieces. On the 720/720PRO, the base is 1½” thick, which matches up with a 2×4.

Of course, with the 720PRO, you also get the Docking Station. With its two large wings, you get workpiece support that’s built right in. The wings hold workpieces at the same height as the jig base, they have storage inside, and they fold up for easy transport and storage.

While the Docking Station is included with the 720PRO, it’s also available separately. So, if you have a standard 720, you can add the wings later. And we designed the Docking Station to work with the 520PRO, too. When you buy the station separately, it comes with this cradle that the wings attach to and the 520 slides right into when you want to add extra support.

Whichever of the jigs you are using, it can easily be removed from the Docking Station without tools. That makes it easy to use your pocket-hole jig portably, or to take advantage of the dual-position base design.

5. Make the most of your shop time with increased efficiency

One of the best things about pocket-hole joinery is that you can use it to build great projects fast. With the features we’ve included in these jigs, you’ll be able to build even faster. With simplified setup, easy clamping, material support options, and more, you’ll be able to do more with the project time you have.

So, you can get your projects done faster and have time for other things, or you can build more without taking more time. Either way, that’s a win.

6. Build with your jig for years—it’s built to last

After more than 30 years of building Kreg Pocket-Hole Jigs, we know one thing for sure: They really don’t wear out. That means people keep them and use them for many years. That can make it hard to justify an upgrade but, with all the new features the new designs bring, it might be a better time than ever.

Rest assured that we’ve designed and built the 520PRO and the 720/720PRO to last. They’re built using our proven glass-filled nylon, along with other tough polymers. Those allow us to mold shapes that are easy and comfortable to use while still being able to withstand impacts and hard use.

Plus, we back up those materials with steel spines and reinforcements that add rigidity, and we make the clamping mechanisms and other parts using steel. Just as you could with our previous designs, you can depend on our new jigs to last through years of products and thousands of pocket holes.

And, of course, we still use hardened-steel drill guides that we back with a lifetime warranty.

7. You deserve more than just a great product

Many times, when you buy a product, that’s all you get. But with Kreg, we know you deserve more. We’re committed to your project-building success. So, we offer a huge array of free resources you can use. On kregtool.com you’ll find almost a thousand project plans, with more being added all the time, plus a diverse and growing library of how-to articles and videos. You can come get help with projects anytime, and you can even get this great information delivered straight to your in box.

We also pride ourselves at Kreg for offering world-class customer service. Customer satisfaction is one of the most-important ways we measure our success because we know it’s completely dependent on your success. You can email, call, write, or even stop in at the Kreg headquarters, and we’ll be glad to help. Need help with a project or a tool? We’re here. Want to show us what you’ve made? We’d love to see it. Have a problem with a Kreg product? We’ll make it right.

Of course, make a wide array of Kreg Pocket-Hole Screws to match any material you build with, whether your project is indoors or outdoors. And we make a lot more than pocket-hole jigs. You’ll find great Kreg products to help you with all parts of building wood projects.

Now that you’ve seen some—but still not all—of the great features of these new Kreg Pocket-Hole Jigs, along with the benefits they’ll bring, we’re sure you’ll want to explore more. You can check out this Kreg Pocket-Hole Jig Comparison Guide to help decide which is right for you, and you can learn more about the complete Kreg line of pocket-hole jigs and accessories.