Dowelmax tool review

Woodworker Cathy Dalrymple tests the Dowelmax jig

By Cathy Dalrymple


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I first saw the Dowelmax at the Canadian Home Workshop Show last March and was so impressed by the demonstration that I had to get one. Since then, I have not looked back.

The precisely tooled Dowelmax has changed the way I join much of my woodwork. I have always been a biscuit-joint lover for cabinet carcasses and small doors, but I am now using Dowelmax joints more often.

To create a strong dowel joint, you simply tighten the jig’s clamp screws to the workpiece. Reference checks help to position the instrument. You mark these checks on your workpiece to eliminate errors when matching the joint. While there may have been times in which my biscuit joints where less than flush, I never have this problem with the Dowelmax. Once the jig is in position, you insert the provided drill bit and create as many dowel holes as necessary, stopping at a depth determined by the drill depth gauge attached to the bit. I recently made a cabinet that required 10 doors, and I used the Dowelmax for joining the stiles and rails. The process was quicker and more precise than using biscuit joints and the Dowelmax joints were so snug that I hardly needed to use clamps. You can also get an indexing guide for spacing dowels and an adjustable distance guide for longer runs of dowelling.

The Dowelmax comes with a complete instruction book and, better still, a DVD, so you should have no trouble getting started. I’m very pleased to have the Dowelmax as a part of my workshop tool cache.

For more information, visit or call 877-986-9400.

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