Kreg K4 vs K5 – Jig Review & Comparison
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Kreg is one of the established and popular brands for woodworking tools from more than thirty years now. Woodworkers like the brand because it tends to offer something innovative and every time they overcome the shortcomings of the previous product.
K4 and K5 are the latest pocket hole jigs from the manufacturer. Both are used to make accurate and uniform pocket holes to create joints. Whether you are professional or a beginner, try any one of them, and you will be an instant Kreg fan. As both the jigs are easy to use, safe and effective, you can explain their working to your helpers and get the work done faster. But, there have to be some differences between them, and you must be thinking which one will be better, right? Let us discuss the same here, and then you can choose one that suits the requirements in a better way.
Kreg Jig K4 vs K5 Comparison
|Name||Kreg Jig K4||Kreg K5|
|Style||Pocket hole system||Pocket-Hole Jig|
Features, quality or performance, are the things that you will discover later. The first thing that meets your eye is the build quality of any product. Both K4 and K5 has the same sturdy glass filled nylon body, built to last for a lifetime. From the first loo, they feel stable and reliable.
Most of the experienced woodworkers will know that every jig has two clamps – one to keep it attached to the work surface and another to hold the wood material. That’s the trouble with K4 as it lacks the former clamp. You have to separately purchase a clamp to hold K4 with the work surface or table. They are available in the market, but finding one and attaching will be an additional pain.
Things are different with K5 as it comes inbuilt with both of those clamps. What’s more? It is even comparatively more comfortable to use. So, K5 scores high in this department.
Support and storage
K5 come with two extensions that attach side by side to the primary tool and works as support extensions for long wood materials. It also works as a storage box where you can store work-related components like screws or accessories. K4 does no any similar wings with it.
Handle on K4 is located at the back, which is convenient, but on K5 the clamp handle is at the front that makes the setup comparatively easy and fast.
To match the thickness of wood material in K4 you have to release the locknut and rotate it to the setting you need.
K5 has comparatively easy clamping system. You have to slide the material in place and move the ratcheting or clamp handle for two clicks, and it will be ready no need to adjust any locknut manually.
Three hold drill guide present in both the jigs lets you make perfectly placed holes in all types of material with a variety of thickness – 14mm, 22mm, 36mm (9/16, 7/8, and 17/16 inches). Made with hard steel. The drill guide has a lifetime warranty. It supports the material while drilling shrouds in the wood materials resulting in a clean pocket hole that is easy to the plugin with required attachment. The drill guide also reduces the deflection. Performance and spacing for the drill guide are the same and is also removable in both the jigs. No difference in this section.
Most of the pocket hole jigs are shallow with their aspect of approach to the material that degrades the hole quality. Not with K4 or K5 as both of them has improved drilling angles for increased efficiency and smoothness. Beginner or expert, if you are making cabinets with any of the two jigs, you do not have to take the pain to even look back at the holes again once it comes out of the clamp.
While you make cabinets, shelves or any other furniture, most of the times you find the wood material with a variety of depth. Considering the same, Kreg has given the ability to both the jigs to support any material between 1/2 to 11/2 inches (12-38 mm). Both K4 and K5 supports the same thickness of materials, which is more than enough for any project whether it is household or professional.
K5 may have surpassed K4 regarding style and features, but once it comes to the performance. They are at the same water level. Both will make pockets at the same quality. Whether it is the wood thickness they can accommodate, screw centring, or drill spacing, both offer the same class. Even the drilling angle for both the jigs are same. Maybe because they are coming from the same brand.
However, the presence of extensions and comfortable clamp handle on K5 may process the work faster, if you are experienced to use them.
Both K4 and K5 gives you a dust collection port to connect an external vacuum. The only difference is the facility to swivel. While K4 has a fixed dust collection port, the adapter of K5 can swivel to make a secure connection. So, the work area will be clean, and you will not face any distraction while drilling.
Few users complain about falling off the dust pipe from dust port. So, match the sizes of both tube and port to avoid any trouble.
If you are assuming that K5 has a higher cost because of the added punches, you are right. With some innovative features, K5 will cost you around twenty-five per cent more than K4. The performance, pocket hole drilling has the same results for both the jigs. K5 has dual clamps, extensions that also work as a storage box and a swivelling dust port, but K4 has a lower price tag, but it asks some investment in the table clamp.
In the box
With the purchase box of K4, you will get stepped drill bit, starter screw set, 6-inch square drive, pocket-hole plug set, and owner’s manual.
On the other hand, with K5, you will receive ratcheting front-side clamp, swivelling dust-collection port, spacer block, drill bit setup block, stop collar, Hex/Allen wrench, starter pocket-hole plug pack, extension wings/extensions, drill guide block, workpiece stop, stepped drill bit, 6-inch (152mm) driver bit, starter Kreg Screw set and 3 downloadable project plans.
You can see that K5 has a better range of accessories that will help you a variety of projects, mainly if you will use it in the workshop.
- A removable steel drill guide
- Lifetime warranty
- Built-in clamps for both wood and working surface
- Support extensions that also work as a storage house
- Swivelling dust collection port
- Fixed dust hole
- Slightly expensive than K4
- External vacuum pipe tends to fell off if not used with the right size
Have to have it, this is the comment we got from K4 users. They further explain that it is easy to use and produces quality joint hole for cabinets, benches or shelves. Most of the users say that this is the best tool to make pocket holes. Beginners are happy because of the drill guide and professional are satisfied because of the accuracy. Overall no complaints from the users.
Every K5 user describes it as one of the incredible tools they have seen. Easy to use clamps and extensions are the biggest positives for all. K5 leaves no stones unturned to provide an exceptional woodworking experience. However, as we stated earlier, some of the users were not able to use the swivel dust port properly, all beginners. So, after some practice, they will be able to use all the features.
Which one should you buy?
Both K4 and K5 are incomparable with any other pocket hole jig in the market as the brand always make sure that you complete the woodworking jobs conveniently. But, if you have to choose one between them, go for K5 as it has some extra features like support extension, swivelling dust port, and an extra clamp. It is the latest offering from Kreg, and that is why it is supposed to be better. Yes, you will be paying a higher price, but if you are a woodworker, you are going to recover that 25 per cent within hours.
On the other hand, if you are working on a one-time project and you know that you will not be using the jig much in the future, then there is no need to spend the extra bucks on K5. Opt for K4 and complete the work.
Best value for money
The new entry from Kreg has all the features that professionals can expect from a pocket hole maker. Easy to use clamps, extra support and dust port that can swivel are small but significant improvements that will allow you to complete the work faster.
So, the winning trophy goes to K5. You will not mind the extra bucks spent on the jig once you use it for a couple of projects. It will allow you to do more work in less time.