Thinking of a Kreg Kit - Which one? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 26 Old 10-25-2009, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thinking of a Kreg Kit - Which one?

Hi Gang,

One of the big online woodworking stores (that starts with an 'R') sent me an offer for 20% off of one item. I have been thinking of adding a Kreg pocket hole kit to my shop. I have never used pocket holes so this is new to me, but they look like a useful technique and I see that a lot of you think they are great.

My question: I'm leaning toward their K4 system which I could get for about $80. Would this be a wise choice or should I go crazy and spring for the K3 master system? I would expect occasional use of this tool for hidden furniture joining and picture frames.

Thanks!
Bill

Last edited by dodgeboy77; 10-25-2009 at 04:08 PM.
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post #2 of 26 Old 10-25-2009, 03:38 PM
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Couldn't find the "R" systems, di you mean K3 and K4?

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
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post #3 of 26 Old 10-25-2009, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Leo,

Indeed you are right! I had 'R' on the brain for some reason. I corrected my mistake and thanks for pointing it out.

Bill
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post #4 of 26 Old 10-25-2009, 04:24 PM
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I like both of them but the K3 raises a question for me. How is it attached to the bench? With either system you get you will really enjoy the ease of making the joints. I got one of the little 2 hole manual jigs and used it for years. I finally decided to get the Foreman and haven't looked back. But there are some things you can do with the little jigs you can't do with the Foreman.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
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post #5 of 26 Old 10-25-2009, 11:48 PM
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I just recently put together a table top with the kreg system..... (if you must know why... my jointer is mucked up)

the BIG difference between k3 and k4 is the direction you throw the handle/clamp.. I own the k4 and if I had it do all over again I would of gotten the k3 just for the handle placement.. (in the front vs in the rear

you attach the k3 and the k4 to the table with screws...

But I'm also currently adapting some plans for a captains bed to use the kreg system (for the supports) vs some 2x2" in the corners.. it will be stronger without a doubt
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post #6 of 26 Old 10-26-2009, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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It seems that you can attach the K4 to the bench with a clamp, too. It has a built-in pad for that. That's handier than having to screw it down.

Bill
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post #7 of 26 Old 10-26-2009, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodgeboy77 View Post
It seems that you can attach the K4 to the bench with a clamp, too. It has a built-in pad for that. That's handier than having to screw it down.

Bill
I''ve never screwed mine down or clamped it :) unless you need repeatable dimensions there is no real reason to . I generally take my "jig" to my work pieces. I've built an odd collection of things the kreg way... I built a shaker box(for sifting rocks out of dirt) I've built frames/doors for the front of my steel shelves in my garage so that I could add pegboard and doors, I've built drawers.. I've build one stand.. fixed a chair that I had given up on with normal methods
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post #8 of 26 Old 10-26-2009, 04:09 PM
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I find myself using my K4 Master system for a lot more than I expected when I bought it.

Spilling wine on oak does not make it purpleheart!
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post #9 of 26 Old 10-26-2009, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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What I'm really trying to figure out is if the K3 kit does enough extra things (or does them better) to justify the extra $40 over the K4. So far it seems that the K3's clamp handle is more ergonomic but the K4 can be clamped to a bench easier.

Are there any big functional or feature advantages of one over the other? At this point I'm thinking of saving the $40 and just going with the K4.

Bill
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post #10 of 26 Old 10-27-2009, 02:59 AM
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the k3 master.. comes with the dust/vacuum attachment and has the handle in the front vs the rear..

The k4 has a clamp pad in the front and the handle in the rear which is annoying at times..

although I dont have the k3.. I would suffice it to say that either will serve you well .. I also have the mini jig which is what I started with .. now THAT is not a good enough starting point.. that much I will say it's quite annoying and has a much higher learning curve.. but it DOES still have uses that the k3/k4 cannot really serve
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post #11 of 26 Old 10-27-2009, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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After spending time on the Kreg website, I found a couple more differences.

The K3 Master System includes an adjustable stop for repetitive drilling. That might be handy. It also has the funky vice-grips to help align joints. Hmm - also handy.

Both systems seem to have a dust collection ports.

Bill
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post #12 of 26 Old 10-27-2009, 05:57 PM
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I went with the K3 because of handle placement. Love the jig and the kit it comes with.
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post #13 of 26 Old 10-27-2009, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodgeboy77 View Post
Both systems seem to have a dust collection ports.

Bill
my k4 didn't come with the dust port and mine was new inbox... ps the dustport is not as useful as it seems.. after trying it for awhile (bought mine later) I just leave it off too many chips dont even have a chance to get into that it's just easier to brush them off and then vac em up later..
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post #14 of 26 Old 10-28-2009, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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rfanslow,

You are probably right about the dust port not coming with the K4. It is on the kit's picture on the Rockler web site but not on the Kreg site. There it is listed as an accessory.

I noticed that the K3 has a separate holder for the fixture to be clamped to the stock without using the benchtop assembly. That might be handy. Also, I can see the advantage to the clamp handle being on the front if you are dealing with large pieces of stock. It would be hard to reach around.

The 20% off offer is good until the end of the week so I can still think about this for a bit.

Bill
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post #15 of 26 Old 10-28-2009, 05:16 PM
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I have the K3, and I love it. I actually like the dust port, it works very well. You are correct, there is not a way to clamp it down to a work bench, but I screwed mine to the back side of my radial arm saw table. They both use the same shop vac for dust collection. I haven't used the K4, but that clamp on the other side doesn't seem very handy. Just my 2Ę.
Mark
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post #16 of 26 Old 10-28-2009, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Great idea mounting it on the RAS, Mark!

Bill
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post #17 of 26 Old 10-28-2009, 11:10 PM
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I mounted my K3 on a pc of 3/4 ply bout 2' long, then put "shims" even to the base to both ends, this supports long pcs and I can just clamp the whole deal to anything handy
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post #18 of 26 Old 10-29-2009, 05:08 PM
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K3, not K4

I've had the K3 for a while now, and I love it. Here is the complete rundown between the two, and why you should buy the K3.

Workpiece clamping: K3 is far superior in that it clamps from the front so you don't have to reach around the back of the workpiece to clamp it. When Kreg made the K3, they marketed the front clamping as a huge improvement over the K2's rear clamping. So I'm not sure why they reverted back to rear clamping for the K4. The K3 wins.

Clamping to workbench: I like the idea that the K4 has a place to use a clamp to secure the jig to a workbench. But that assumes you'll always be using the jig on the edge of a bench, table, etc. I have my K3 screwed onto a piece of 3/4" plywood about 12x16", with a hole in it to carry or hang on a wall. So when I want to use the jig, I just put that piece of plywood down on a bench, floor, or wherever. You can do the same kind of mounting with the K4, but then the clamp area on the front of the jig is not necessary and that came at the expense of moving the workpiece clamp to the rear of the jig. The K3 wins.

Dust collection: the K3 comes with the dust shroud, the K4 doesn't. I find it works EXTREMELY well. I hook up my Fein TurboII to it and I've never had chips or dust get stuck in the shroud or pocket hole guides. The K3 wins.

Repeat flip stop: the K3 comes with this and the K4 doesn't. I've never used it and don't think it is of any value. I've never done an application where I needed exact repeat hole placement, so the flip stop was never used. I also hide the pocket holes, so I don't care if one hole is 1" in from the edge of the wood, and another is in 1.1" from the edge. This shouldn't lean you either way toward K3 or K4.

Face clamp: the K3 comes with a face clamp, the K4 doesn't. This is a $25 clamp I think. You'll need one anyway, so might as well get it with the K3.

So anyway. Is the K3 worth more than the K4? It is, but that is because you're paying extra for the "included" accessories of the dust shroud, flip stop and face clamp. The value of the included accessories may be a little more or a little less than the price differences of the two units. But in my opinion, the front clamping of the K3 alone is enough to make it the winner over the K4, even at the higher price.
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post #19 of 26 Old 10-30-2009, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone for their comments and advice. You are great! I finally made up my mind (before Rockler's 20% off offer expires). I ordered the K3 Master Kit. You folks made some convincing arguments about it's features over the K4. Some of you also gave me great ideas about mounting the unit.

Now I'm going to have to come up with some good projects to make with this kit! I also am going to decide on a selection of Kreg screws to go with it. Any suggestions? I work with both hardwood and softwood.

Thanks again!

Bill
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post #20 of 26 Old 10-30-2009, 12:46 PM
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fine threads for hardwood, coarse for soft. "soft" as in; plywood,poplar,pine etc. Hard; Oak, Maple,Mafogany, etc
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