Drawer Slide Jig

Ultimate guide to the best drawer slide jig (with tips and tricks)

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From experience, I know drawers can’t be installed without a drawer slide jig. Perhaps you know this and are looking for the latest and greatest? Or maybe you need to know which jig is best for your drawer slides? In this article we’ll review to top drawer slide jigs and help you decide which is best for your budget and projects.

A drawer slide jig will save you hours of frustration. 

I know it’s tempting to skip using or buying one.

But for the price of one pair of drawer slides you can make your current and future projects go faster and with higher quality.

In this article we’ll cover the major styles of drawer jigs, how to use them, and what is best for your projects.

But before we get started, here’s my picks for the best drawer slide jigs:

  • Best All Around: KHI-SLIDE Combo Pack  is built to support all styles of drawer slides and includes two clamps you’ll need for installation.
  • Best for Retrofits: Rockler Drawer Slide Jig  is a clamp-less design perfect for drawer retrofit projects.
  • Woodworkers Bundle: Kreg Combination Pack  features all the jigs and clamps you’ll need for your cabinet projects in one bundled kit.

Chances are you’re also going to need a cabinet hardware jig, clamps and possible even a jig for drilling concealed hardware hinges. Kreg, one of the leading manufacturers, realizes this and offers a cost-saving bundle.

Best Drawer Slide Jig

Unfortunately (or fortunately) there aren’t many options in drawer slide jigs. 

And Kreg, the industry leader in woodworking jigs, dominates the market for drawer slide jigs.

So what should you choose? 

Well, for undermount and side mount drawer slides a simple “L” design will work just fine. And I highly recommend purchasing two jigs and two clamps to allow fine-tuning slide position with both slides loose.

Which makes the Kreg combo kits (including their popular face clamps) a great buy.

Editors Choice
Kreg Classic 3-Inch Face Clamp, Drilling Jig, Concealed Hinge Jig, Drawer Slide Jig and Accessory Bundle
Best Value Jig
Kreg Tool Company – Kreg KHI-SLIDE Installation Jig Drawer Slide Jig and Kreg KHC-PREMIUM Face Clamp (2 Pack)
Just the Jig
Kreg Tool Company KHI-SLIDE Drawer Slide Jig, Set of 2
Kreg Classic 3-Inch Face Clamp, Drilling Jig, Concealed Hinge Jig, Drawer Slide Jig and Accessory Bundle
Kreg Tool Company - Kreg KHI-SLIDE Installation Jig Drawer Slide Jig and Kreg KHC-PREMIUM Face Clamp (2 Pack)
Kreg Tool Company KHI-SLIDE Drawer Slide Jig, Set of 2
Side Mount
Undermount
Bottom Mount
Clamps Included?
Editors Choice
Kreg Classic 3-Inch Face Clamp, Drilling Jig, Concealed Hinge Jig, Drawer Slide Jig and Accessory Bundle
Kreg Classic 3-Inch Face Clamp, Drilling Jig, Concealed Hinge Jig, Drawer Slide Jig and Accessory Bundle
Side Mount
Undermount
Bottom Mount
Clamps Included?
Best Value Jig
Kreg Tool Company – Kreg KHI-SLIDE Installation Jig Drawer Slide Jig and Kreg KHC-PREMIUM Face Clamp (2 Pack)
Kreg Tool Company - Kreg KHI-SLIDE Installation Jig Drawer Slide Jig and Kreg KHC-PREMIUM Face Clamp (2 Pack)
Side Mount
Undermount
Bottom Mount
Clamps Included?
Just the Jig
Kreg Tool Company KHI-SLIDE Drawer Slide Jig, Set of 2
Kreg Tool Company KHI-SLIDE Drawer Slide Jig, Set of 2
Side Mount
Undermount
Bottom Mount
Clamps Included?

Last update on 2020-06-26 at 15:31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Editors Choice

Last update on 2020-06-26 at 15:31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Value

Last update on 2020-06-21 at 17:18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Kreg Drawer Slide Jig Accessory Bundle

Editors Rating: 4.8
4.8/5
Kreg KHI-PULL Combo Drawer Slide Jig with Clamps

Buy on Amazon: Kreg Combination Set for Drawers 

Product: KHISLIDEPULLHK2 

Overview

When it comes to jigs and cabinets one thing is always true: you’ll need more than just one. 

And, with bundles comes savings.

Which is why I really like this combination kit that will let you:

  • Install drawer slides with two slide jigs and clamps
  • Drill cabinet handles and knobs with a cabinet hardware jig
  • Lastly, drill concealed hinge holes in cabinet doors

Key Features

This combo kit checks the box on these important features:

  • Supports frameless and face frame cabinets
  • Installation of ball bearing, epoxy, undermount and center mount drawers.
  • Easy to clamp
  • Reversible for left and right hand slide installation
  • Simple design for ease of use

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Purchased separately, this combination set would cost well beyond it’s combined price
  • Gives you all the jigs you’ll need for cabinet making and installing hardware
CONS
Editor's Rating: 4.6
4.6/5
Kreg KHI-PULL Combo Drawer Slide Jig with Clamps

Buy on Amazon:  Kreg Jig and Clamps 

Product: KHI-SLIDE + KHC-PREMIUM

Overview

If you have other jigs but need the clamps, a combination kit will save you money on the bundle. 

Not sure on the face clamps? Here’s why I like them:

  • Massive clamping power
  • Fast adjustment
  • Deep throat for clearing wide face frames
  • Universal for other work (clamping on bench tops etc)

Key Features

Features are similar to the larger set but this combination includes just the two clamps and drawer slide jigs.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Two clamps and jigs bundled for savings 
  • Installs all types of drawer slides except top mount

CONS

  • Doesn’t come with other accessories at bundled price
Editor's Rating: 4.6
4.6/5
Rockler Drawer Slide Jig for Side Mount Drawer Slides

Buy on Amazon: Rockler Drawer Slide Jig 

Product: Rockler 57302 Drawer Slide Jig

Overview

The Rockler jig features a unique side mount wedge that holds the slide in place.

  • Use on sidemount, under mount, epoxy bottom mount and centermount drawer slides.
  • Automatic setback
  • Can be clamped
  • Adjustable rod for referenced setbacks
  • Drill cutouts for access to drawer slide screws
  • Supports drawer slides up to 1-3/4″

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Unique design holds drawer slides in place
  • Optional clamping
  • Perfect for side mounts

CONS

  • None

5 Tips for Choosing a Drawer Slide Jig

Tip #1: If This is Your First cabinet Jig...

Installing drawers is the first of four common cabinet jig uses:

  1. Drawer slide jigs
  2. Shelf pin jigs
  3. Cabinet hardware jigs
  4. Concealed hinge drilling jigs

That’s a lot of jigs, right?

Well, without them it’s tough to build cabinets accurately and quickly.

So, look for a combination kit that will include these four jigs plus the popular face clamps.

Tip #2: Get a Pair of Jigs and Clamps

I like to clamp and install both slides at the same time. So while most jig kits will come with two jigs you’ll want to make sure you grab two face clamps as well.

Tip #3: use Rear Brackets on Face Frame Cabinets

Drawer Slide Brackets

No matter how great your drawer slide jig is, if you try to install any type of drawer slide in a face frame cabinet without rear mounting brackets you are headed for a disaster.

So, don’t make suspending the slide easy and then try to custom mount a side block of wood on face frame cabinets.

It just doesn’t work.

Tip #4: Avoid Jigs Made Only for Frameless Cabinets

Unless your cabinet and furniture making is 100% using frameless designs try to avoid a frameless-only jig.

With most jigs capable of supporting frameless and face frame cabinets there’s little reason to be limiting your installation options.

Tip #5: Maximum Clamping Power is Best

Drawer Slide Clamps

If you’re contemplating use of standard “big box store” trigger clamps I recommend you don’t. 

Instead, use the Kreg face clamps you’ll find in their kits or another style of high pressure clamp. I’ve had great luck with the Milwaukee style clamps pictured above.

Frequently Asked Questions on Drawer Slide Jigs

How do you use a drawer slide jig?

To use a drawer slide jig for side mount, bottom mount or undermount drawers first place the jig inside the cabinet and clamp it to the cabinet side. Then place the slide on top, ensure it is parallel to the side of the cabinet and insert screws into the cabinet side or back of the cabinet (using a mounting bracket).

How do you install Kreg Jig drawer slides?

Kreg jigs are first positioned inside the cabinet on either side of the drawer opening. Then, ensure they are flush with the cabinet face frame or set to the proper height on frameless cabinets. Last, rest the drawer slide on the jig and secure the slide to the back or side of the cabinet.

Are there drawer slide jigs for undermount slides?

There are drawer slide jigs built specifically for under mount slides, such as the Blum Tandem drawer slide. This style of jig also can include a template to drill the needed holes for the rear bracket hole and the front trigger release.

How much clearance do you need for drawer slides?​

Most drawer slides require 1/2″ of clearance on both sides. There are exceptions to this clearance requirement, however, especially for heavy duty and under mount drawer slides. Due to extra weight demands a heavy duty slide may take up to and over 3/4″ of an each per slide. While an under mount slide can get by with as little as 3/8″ of an inch. For this reason I recommend deciding on your drawer slides before building the drawer.

Summary

While the best drawer slide jig will not be a lasting part of your cabinet, it will leave it’s mark. Since installing cabinet drawer slides without a jig is asking for trouble it’s a low cost solution to make the job easier.

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