Rabbet vs Pocket holes - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-01-2017, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Rabbet vs Pocket holes

So now that I've made rabbets a few times (like I'm an expert LOL) I was wondering a few things...

I understand if you don't want screws or plugs to show, you might opt to use pocket holes (or tenons? which I haven't done yet)

Aside from aesthetics, why would you use one over the other?

Is one stronger than the other?

Do cabinets usually use rabbets or pocket holes?

Thanks as always in advance
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-01-2017, 08:07 PM
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Oh boy, you sure know how to make trouble, donít you. There have been many discussions on pocket hole joinery.

Some wonít use it under any circumstance.

Some, like me, use it for jigs and fixtures and a few hidden joints like face frames, but not for making furniture.

Others will use pocket holes for everything they can.

Pocket hole joints are not as strong as other joints so itís important to keep that in mind when deciding when to use them. I do have to say that whatever gets someone interested in woodworking is ok with me, even pocket hole joinery. Those who are constantly trying to improve their skills will eventually find other ways to join wood together.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-01-2017, 08:32 PM
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In my opinion the only application pocket screws are good is cabinet faceframes.
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-02-2017, 08:53 AM
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You can use a pocket screw anywhere it is not seen. A free clamp to speed up production...
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-02-2017, 01:06 PM
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I have no quarrel with pocket screws, it is a traditional method that has been revived by Kreg to make it convenient to use them.
What bothers me is the "When you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail syndrome" that has affected so many, mostly thanks to a proliferation of DIY sites on furniture building.

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post #6 of 7 Old 12-04-2017, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by new2woodwrk View Post
So now that I've made rabbets a few times (like I'm an expert LOL) I was wondering a few things...

I understand if you don't want screws or plugs to show, you might opt to use pocket holes (or tenons? which I haven't done yet)

Aside from aesthetics, why would you use one over the other?

Is one stronger than the other?

Do cabinets usually use rabbets or pocket holes?

Thanks as always in advance

I'm not qualified to answer most of those, but I'll say what I can.

First, this video shows that, at least in one test, pocket screws are weaker than either dowel joints or mortise and tenon joints.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?annota...&v=apsH8eBfjVA

As to which I'd use, it depends on circumstances. Pocket holes are fast (especially since I don't have a space to use a router unless it's nice outside, and I don't have a table saw), so if I need to get something put together quickly they're a tempting option. There are also places where a rabbet would remove enough material to weaken the overall structure. If I needed it to be really strong (a bookcase, for instance), I'd use a rabbet, glued and probably nailed from the outside.

Also, pocket screws are a lot more expensive than sharpening the blade on my rabbet plane, so that would weigh in as well...
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-04-2017, 04:50 PM
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I use a somewhat unorthodox method for securing a rabbit (and others) joints. After the glue has cured, I drill the joint with an 1/8" bit and glue in bamboo pins as nails. They are then sanded flush.
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