Woodworking novice here. "Hardwood" dowel pins have never seemed to have much density and I questioned their strength—not specifically their shearing strength, but rather their resistance to general stress. The other day I got proof of the low quality of the 5/16" ones I was using. I was shortening dowel pins with a radial arm saw when one of them got out of alignment to the blade during the cut and it just exploded. It splintered and broke in many places. My reaction has been (1) to think maybe I should take the time to hand cut dowel pins in the future, and (2) to think maybe I should be cutting my own pins from hardwood dowels. It would be rather inconvenient, but is doable. Presumably the pins would need to fit in the hole not too tightly to allow for minor expansion from the moisture in glue, since I won't want to flute them. Wood density/integrity might not matter much for the larger pins, but I expect to use 1/4" pins more often than not. I'd rather buy better quality pins. It's not that I will be gluing up joints that will be under severe stress, but more that I want to be confident the pinned joint is strong in case it comes under temporary stress. Has anyone run into this before, and how did you resolve it?