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Thread: Kreg K4 or K5. Which to get? And why?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    799

    Kreg K4 or K5. Which to get? And why?

    I've been looking at the Kreg pocket-hole jigs and had kind of decided on the K5.

    I was in Lowes this morning to pick up some wood and they had the K4 jig for $99 which is the standard price most places. But they had a deal - buy the K4 and get the SK03 Pocket-Hole Screw Kit for free. That combination is normally $129 so if I go this route I can get it for $99 and get my 10% veteran's discount on top of that. Lowes doesn't carry the K5 and it cost $129 for just the jig at most places.

    All that leaves me asking which model you guys prefer? I like the front handle on the K5 but I have read about some issues with it not locking down properly. The K5's storage extensions would be nice but they are kid of flimsy and I could build my own extensions out of a 2x4. I won't be doing any large panels so reaching around the piece is not a big issue for me. Some people complain about adjusting the pressure on the K4 as you switch between wood thickness but that doesn't seem like a big issue to me. I also know lots of people have used the K4 and been happy with it. So, I'm leaning towards the K4 to save money and get more bang for the buck. Any real compelling reasons to not jump on this deal?

    Thanks.
    Marshall
    ---------------------------
    A Stickley fan boy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    North Prairie, WI
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    172
    I have a K4 and, while I don't use it a lot, I have been very happy with it when I have needed it. I don't find adjusting the pressure on the clamp to be a big deal, but maybe I would if I used it a lot more. The K4 holds the pieces effectively and allows me to drill the holes quickly. It's also small enough that the case fits nicely in a lower cabinet in my shop.

    Scott

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Brader View Post
    I have a K4 and, while I don't use it a lot, I have been very happy with it when I have needed it. I don't find adjusting the pressure on the clamp to be a big deal, but maybe I would if I used it a lot more. The K4 holds the pieces effectively and allows me to drill the holes quickly. It's also small enough that the case fits nicely in a lower cabinet in my shop.

    Scott
    Thanks Scott. I don't see the clamp as a big issue either. You only need to adjust it if you change the wood thickness and I don't see that varying much within a project as most of the wood used will be the same thickness.
    Marshall
    ---------------------------
    A Stickley fan boy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Landenberg, Pa
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    FWIW, I had a K4 and moved to a K5 because I liked the idea of the clamp mechanism being out front. At the time, I was making a bunch of cabinets so reaching around the ply to get at the clamp was annoying.

    I just recently picked up an Armor tool auto-adjusting jig to try out, not sure which one I'll keep just yet between the Armor and the K5.


    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall Harrison View Post
    Thanks Scott. I don't see the clamp as a big issue either. You only need to adjust it if you change the wood thickness and I don't see that varying much within a project as most of the wood used will be the same thickness.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Jacksonville, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Chain View Post
    FWIW, I had a K4 and moved to a K5 because I liked the idea of the clamp mechanism being out front. At the time, I was making a bunch of cabinets so reaching around the ply to get at the clamp was annoying.

    I just recently picked up an Armor tool auto-adjusting jig to try out, not sure which one I'll keep just yet between the Armor and the K5.
    I just learned of the Armor version yesterday. I would love to hear your review of it
    Marshall
    ---------------------------
    A Stickley fan boy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    190
    I have the K4.
    I have used it to build bookcase style shelves for the shop and it worked beautifully for that.
    I have used it a couple times with wider panels and thought the front handle on the K5 would be better for that type of project.
    The pressure adjustment on the K4 does not bother me at all.
    The standard three hole guide can be used like the one hole guide in many situations.
    I mounted mine on a piece of MDF.

    The last thing I wanted to use it on was 1/2" Baltic birch and I bought the smaller screw insert, I wouldn't do that again if I had a do over.

    In case you didn't already know you can use the veteran discount on Lowe's.com.

    IMG_1979.jpg
    Last edited by Charlie Hinton; 02-18-2019 at 4:06 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    190
    I think it might just be a toss up on which one to pick.
    After the shop shelf project I have used mine very sparingly.
    I do recommend having some type of pocket hole jig though, sometimes it's just the most effective way to build something.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NE Connecticut
    Posts
    515
    I don't have either one, but I do have the K3, which has the clamp handle toward the user. I like this very much since I only use pocket screws on plywood, which tends to be large.

    If I were buying a new jig, I would definitely get the K5 just for this reason.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Evanston, IL
    Posts
    1,179
    I have the K5. I bought it for doing kitchen cabinet boxes, so the front handle was important to me. I also like the auto adjust, but that is minor. You mentioned problems with the K5 not locking down properly. My handle was sticking, so I contacted Kreg. They immediately sent out a replacement and I haven’t had a problem since. I don’t know if that’s the problem you heard about, but their customer service is great and should be able to address any issue.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    Posts
    5,499
    I bought a K3 over the K4 - simply because the vast majority of people mentioned how quickly the back mounted handle of the K4 became an issue.

    Having said that - Kreg has real problems with the auto adjust system.
    I wanted a table mounted Kreg clamp and went through the entire stock of my local Lowes trying to find one that actually worked. No joy...

    I was reminded of how much of an irritation my, supposed water saver Kohler toilet has become......I despise that water waster- - it gives new meaning to the derogatory name of "four flusher"...
    I honestly don't need or want any more irritation in my life.

    There are better products out there than what Kreg makes. Pity - they used to be good. No - strike that - they used to be great!
    I wonder what happened to them?
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  11. #11
    I moved from the K4 to the K5 a couple of years ago from the front of machine clamping and am glad I did. I have eye'd the Armour but need to see some reviews before I decide if I will stick with the Kreg.

    Jack

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    1,759
    K5 all the way. Not a fan of the reach around clamp in the K4.
    If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

  13. #13
    Have you looked at the Porter Cable pocket hole jig? I upgraded to it over the K5, and love it. Auto adjusts to thickness, extremely high quality build. I love it. https://www.amazon.com/PORTER-CABLE-...ocket+hole+jig

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    1,759
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly Rollins View Post
    Have you looked at the Porter Cable pocket hole jig? I upgraded to it over the K5, and love it. Auto adjusts to thickness, extremely high quality build. I love it. https://www.amazon.com/PORTER-CABLE-...ocket+hole+jig
    Decent review/comparison of the K5 and Porter-Cable here: LINK

    Think I might be picking up one of those Porter Cables...
    If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    799
    I've decided to go with the K5. I already have one of the screw kits and there are some size/type screws in it that I will rarely use. It seems a better solution to get the front loading K5 and then get larger size boxed of the size screw that will be most common for my usage. Free isn't always good.

    Thanks everyone for your help.
    Marshall
    ---------------------------
    A Stickley fan boy.

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