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Pocket holes for different size wood

Not sure what type of pocket hole jig or pocket hole screws to use for your next project? This post will match up what you’re using with what you need!

Are you struggling with which pocket hole jig you should use for your next project because of the wood sizes?

There’s a lot of different pocket hole jigs out there and they are all useful for different things. For this post, we sorted out the best Kreg jig model for you to use depending on the thickness of wood you’re working with.

There are several models and lots of different uses for each one, so let’s take a look at which jig is best for which wood.

Pocket holes for different sizes of wood - Charleston Crafted

How to pick pocket holes for different size wood

Choosing the right jig with the right settings for your next project is crucial to making sure you have success and create a great project.

We’ve used at least a half dozen different Kreg jigs over the years and these are the ones I can confidently say are the best to use for different circumstances.

When looking at all of these, you can see that there are different options for each thickness of wood. While one may be best, another one could work just fine. If you are on a budget, make sure you pick what’s best for your situation.

Here’s our full post about how to help pick which Kreg jig is best for beginners!

Which pocket hole jigs work with different thicknesses of wood

If you’re wondering if your pocket hole jig will work with the wood thickness you want to use (or which jig you need to buy for your project), here’s a handy little chart we created to help you.

Simply find your wood material thickness on the left hand side of the chart and anywhere on the chart you see a ✅, that Kreg pocket hole jig will work. Then scroll down to see which jig that works with your material thickness is the best and why.

While there are other thicknesses of wood, these are the most common thicknesses of lumber available for most people at a home improvement store.

Wood/JigKreg MicroKreg 320Kreg 520Kreg 720Kreg XL
1 1/2″
3 1/2″

Click here to download our FREE Kreg jig cheat sheet!

Best pocket hole jig for 1/2″ wood

The best pocket hole jig for 1/2″ thick wood is definitely the Kreg Micro. The Kreg Micro was specifically designed to work on thinner materials of wood to minimize blow out.

The Kreg Micro comes with a smaller pocket hole drill bit, making a smaller hole in the wood, which is perfect for 1/2″ material.

Click here to see more about how the Kreg Micro compares to a standard size pocket hole jig!

Best pocket hole jig for 3/4″ wood

The best pocket hole jig for 3/4″ thick wood in my opinion is the Kreg 720. Overall, with 3/4″ thick wood, you have the most options for which pocket hole jig to use, but it depends on what you’re doing.

I prefer the Kreg 720 as my go to for most projects involving 3/4″ thick material just because it has the best base and is the most versatile. However, if you are drilling into a big piece of plywood or a long board, you might be better off clamping the Kreg 520 onto the end of the board, rather than putting the board into the jig like with the 720.

Click here to see more about when to use the Kreg 720 versus the Kreg 520!

Best pocket hole jig for 1 1/2″ wood

The best pocket hole jig for 1 1/2″ thick wood is either the Kreg 720 if you’re working with short pieces, or the Kreg 320 or 520 if you’re working with long pieces.

I prefer the speed and versatility of the Kreg 720 wherever I can get it, which is why I’d use it for shorter pieces of 2x material.

If you’re using longer 2x4s or 2x6s, you’re better off either using the Kreg 320 or 520. The Kreg 320 is great because you can adjust how far apart your holes are, but you do need an external clamp. The Kreg 520 has its own squeeze clamp built in, so it eliminates a tool and a step for error.

Click here to see our full review of the Kreg 520 and why it’s awesome!

Best pocket hole jig for 3 1/2″ wood

The best pocket hole jig for 3 1/2″ thick wood is the Kreg XL. The Kreg XL was specifically designed to work on thicker material to help give it a secure bond.

They even came out with new 4″ long outdoor screws to work with this material. The Kreg XL works on 1 1/2″ thick wood too, but in my opinion the holes are too big for a 2×4. Use this jig for any 4×4 or bigger material.

Click here to see more about how the Kreg XL compares to a standard size pocket hole jig!

Best pocket hole jig for plywood

You can use any pocket hole jig for plywood that you use for any other solid board. The main thing with plywood that you want to be careful of is any tearout.

As long as you are using your jig properly, you should really have any issues. The only time I ever have any sort of issue is with 1/2″ plywood, which comes from the fact that 1/2″ plywood quality can be really hit or miss. Make sure you’re using the Kreg Micro when working with 1/2″ plywood.

Otherwise, you can use the Kreg 320, Kreg 520 or Kreg 720 for pocket hole joinery for plywood when working with 3/4″ material to get the best results.

How to join different wood thicknesses with pocket holes

When you’re working with two different thicknesses of material, make sure you set your pocket hole jig for the thickness of the smaller of the two materials. The reason is because pocket holes are bigger and deeper for thicker materials and it will blow right through the thinner material.

For instance, if you’re joining a 3/4″ thick board into a 1/2″ thick board, you’ll need to set the jig for the 1/2″ setting, otherwise your screw will go too deep and poke right through the 1/2″ board. Likewise, if you want to join a 1/2″ material into a 1 1/2″ thick board, you still need to set the jig for the 1/2″ material, because the 1/2″ material can’t accommodate the hole created for a 1 1/2″ thick board.

Before you go…

Here are some great categories of projects that you can build with pocket hole joinery!

Interested in the Kreg Jig? Click here to read our full Kreg Jig review and to see all of our Kreg Jig projects.

New to the Kreg Jig? Here is a step by step guide on how to use a Kreg Jig!

OR grab our FREE Kreg Jig Cheat Sheet here! Download the cheat sheet!

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