Tenoning Jigs


Cutting tenon cheeks horizontal­ly with a stacked dado set can’t match the smooth cuts made when using a tenoning jig to hold the workpiece vertically (above). A tenoning jig registers in a miter slot, so it can’t wiggle side-to-side after you tweak the built-in bar adjusters to snug the fit. The five cast-iron jigs we tested look and act similarly and have the heft to help glide through cuts without vibration.

Delta, no. 34-184, $150

Overall grade: A

Subtle difference­s among such similar jigs add up to make this our favorite model. A push-button release helps this base adjust side-to-side easiest, and the most responsive microadjus­ter makes it a cinch to dial in a perfect-fitting tenon. It slides smoothly in the miter slot, and the large-diameter handles feel the most natural. The workpiece rear stop tilts only to 45°—all other test models extend 48–50°—but we rarely need more than 45°.

800-223-7278, deltamachi­nery.com

Rockler, no. 29840, $180

Overall grade: A–

Unlike the two vertical handles typical of a tenong jig, one of this jig’s handles mounts horizontal­ly, so you grip it differentl­y (though we found no advantage). We like that the miter bar relocates without disassembl­ing the jig (see lower left photo, previous page).

800-279-4441, rockler.com

Grizzly, no. T30491, $160

Overall grade: B+

This bare-bones model won’t dazzle you, but it does everything a tenoning jig should do safely and accurately.

800-523-4777, grizzly.com

WoodRiver, no. 163700, $145

Overall grade: A–

Nearly identical to the Rockler jig, but we found the base plate more difficult to slide side-to-side when making coarse adjustment­s. 800-225-1153, woodcraft.com

Shop Fox, no. D4902, $224

Overall grade: B+

This model is a twin to the Grizzly, with only cosmetic difference­s. 800-840-8420, woodstocki­nt.com

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