I promised a detailed review of a General pocket hole jig. Here you go. I got the #854 Adjustable Pocket Hole Jig Kit. Usually, people read reviews and get things. I did the opposite. After the trip to Home Depot, I did a small research and read the reviews. After several of them, I had an urge to return the jig without even trying it and get one from Kreg.

But after the first use, I completely changed my mind. I liked the jig. The cuts were clean and the connections were strong. The jig was easy to set up and use. When I opened a box there was no instructions, only QR code. I'm getting all that paperless stuff but I did not want to pull out my phone and spent a little extra time on finding the manual online.

The jig itself is pretty simple so you probably do not even need a manual. Adjust the height of the jig in accordance with the thickness of your wood piece which can be 0.5 to 1.5 inches.

Insert the drill bit in the hole almost all the way but do not touch the bottom of the grove. That groove is designed to avoid drilling into the base of the jig and at the same time, it allows to drill all the way through the wood. When I got the length of the drill bit right I secured the stopper. After that secure the workpiece and drill. I inserted the drill bit all the way, made sure that I'm holding my drill straight and started drilling. It went like was cutting butter. The cuts were clean, no rips. Be careful when driving the screws especially with the softwoods like pine. It is easy to overtighten the screw so its head will crush the remaining piece of wood.

The best way to operate the jig is to fasten it to the workbench or some other flat surface. I think that 2ftx2ft piece of plywood is good enough (there are two holes on the bottom of the jig for that). But I was holding it with my hand and the holes worked out pretty good.

I like that the whole thing is metal. It can work right out of the box (48 screws and a square bit are included). The built-in clamp is useful and it secures the workpiece just fine. Although I found it a little flimsy. The knob is too small and the clamping area is not great. That part probably needs some improvement. On the other hand, the knob for the height adjusting mechanism is metal and works and feels perfect.

There were several online reviews stating that there were metal shavings from the guides and that the drill bit was drilling into the bottom of the piece. One of the users was stating that he did everything as per the manual but the results were horrible. I think that the jig was defective or the user just did not follow the instructions correctly.

I did not have a chance to use the pocket hole jig extensively. It is hard to tell how long it will work. But it deserved a place in my small shop.

The price is $29. Kreg's analog is $10 more and you need to get a clamp for it which is another $15-20 for the original Kreg.
Overall Adjustable Pocket Hole Jig Kit from General solid and convenient tool that makes your life easier. But Home Depot is hiding it. While Kreg's product line is presented in Tools section, this little guy is hiding in the backyard of the lumber department - all the way at the end of the aisle on a small stand.

There were several other products by General there including a jig for cutting crown molding (which is more confusing than cutting crown molding without it) and E-Z Pro Doweling Jig Kit which I also got. I will try it later so stay tuned.