Tenoning jigs are the best way to cut tenons using a table saw. They can look complex with all of their knobs and adjustable levers, but you’ll quickly realize that they are quite simple to use and most of those levers you will never touch. We decided to sit down and figure out which table saw tenoning jig was the best on the market.
So you don’t have to read all the way down to the bottom of the review, I’ll give you a spoiler alert and give you our results first. Based on our research and testing, the Grizzly H7583 Tenoning Jig is the best jig to purchase. At the time of this article, the jig is selling for $85.90 at Amazon.
Now that you have our best pick, let’s take a look at some of the items we looked at in order to come to our conclusion. Since tenon jigs have a lot of moving parts and adjustable knobs and levers, they really need to be built to be square, sturdy, and with tight tolerances. The strange thing is that you will actually have a difficult time finding a tenon jig that does great in all three of those categories. Most of the jigs that we reviewed were very poorly constructed, despite their sometimes high price. It just goes to show that the higher the price of a piece of equipment, doesn’t necessarily reflect its quality or the standards to which it was manufactured.
Why the Grizzly H7583 Tenoning Jig
We chose the Grizzly H7583 because it if a very solid jig. If is fully adjustable jig that is well constructed. Just checking out the weight at over 20 pounds will show you that this jig is not a joke. The backstop is adjustable from 90 degrees to 45 degrees, while the bevel angle is adjustable from 90 degrees to 75 degrees. The grip handles are large so you won’t struggle turning small knobs in order to make adjustments.
One of the only complaints about the Grizzly H7583 is that right out of the box it is sometimes not perfectly square. This is actually to be expected with the amount of bouncing and banging around the jig does during shipping. This is easily fixed by using the adjusting knobs located on the jig. You can loosen the adjustment handles and align all the pieces so they are square with each other using T squares. Once you have everything lined up, just tighten all of the knobs so that everything holds together. Honestly, any part that requires adjustment should not be expected to be perfectly square after purchase. Some type of adjustment is going to be necessary to make straight cuts.
Another big thing that the Grizzly jig has going for it is the price. Surprisingly it is not one of the more expensive jigs out there, yet it performs much better. So despite being the best jig to begin with, it also has a much better price than most of the other jigs we reviewed.
The Jigs That Didn’t Make the Cut
In second place is the Heavy-Duty Tenoning Jig from Rockler. It is a pretty basic name for a jig and is accurate in its description. It is 2 pounds heavier than the Grizzly jig and has almost all the same adjustments. Now this jig is so similar to the Grizzly that it would have been easy to select this as the winner as well. However, the price is the kicker on this jig. Rockler’s price on this jig is just under $120, which makes it much more expensive than the Grizzly for basically the same jig. If you want to spend the extra money just because, then by all means, go ahead and pick up this jig. But if you want to be smart with your money, go with the Grizzly.
The next jig we reviewed is the Jet 708295 Tenoning Jig with Quick Release. It is the most expensive tool that we reviewed at just under $165 at the time of this article. While it is well built, for the most part, and durable, it is not as user friendly as the Grizzly. Making adjustments are more difficult because the knobs are smaller. The larger handles and knobs on the Grizzly jig make all the difference in the world when you are trying to make very fine adjustments on your piece. One complaint we saw numerous times was that there is some play of the miter bar in the slot. The problem with that is there is no fix for it. That piece is not supposed to have some play in it, so if you purchase this and yours has the same problem, you’ll need to modify the jig yourself to fix it.
The last jig that we reviewed is the Delta 34-184 Universal-Deluxe Tenoning Jig. Like the others, it is a hefty jig made of a cast iron base and can be used with both right and left tilting table saws. Where it differs from the other jigs is the quality of the build. Apart from the cast iron base, the other parts seem to be poorly built. Many people were reporting stripped hardware which makes adjustments impossible to make. In a jig where adjustability is paramount, having stripped adjustment screws is pretty much a failure. Even if the screws are not stripped there is still a good deal of free play in the jig and it doesn’t hold its adjusted setting very well. Overall, this doesn’t seem to be built to the quality that people have come to expect from Delta.
Price clearly isn’t everything when it comes to the best table saw tenoning jig. In our case, the cheapest jig turned out to be the best one out there. All of them are hefty with cast iron bases, but the Grizzly H7583 is superior in its ability to be adjusted. The overall construction of the device is much better than the others and the large handles and knobs on it make those adjustments a breeze. If you are looking for a tenoning jig, we recommend that you save a few bucks and pick up the Grizzly. Just remember, if it isn’t perfectly square right out of the box, you might need to make some minor adjustments to it first before trying to cut your first tenon.