Kreg K4 vs K5 Comparison: Which one should you buy in 2020?

Customer ratings by feature
Accuracy
4.7/5
Versatility
4.8/5
Easy to use
4.8/5

VS.

Customer ratings by feature
Accuracy
4.6/5
Versatility
4.6/5
Easy to use
4.6/5

It’s been 30 years since Kreg has been making woodworking jigs, hence it became a well known and trusted brand among woodworkers and DIYers. The best thing about Kreg is that they listen to their customers, so every time they bring a new product to the market they address the issues related to the predecessor.  In this article we will discuss the differences between the most popular pocket hole joinery systems Kreg K4 and K5. Both Kreg K4 & K5 tools are simple and easy to use while joining woods.

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Kreg K4 vs Kreg K5

Before we dive into the comparisons let’s check some facts about these two tools. 

Kreg K4

Kreg jig K4 is the predecessor of the K5. The K4 is the perfect pocket hole wood joinery. It is fast and easy to use with a very minimal effort.

K4-Jig
Kreg-K4-Jig

1. A Drill Guide With 3 Holes

This drill guide helps you to drill perfect pocket holes on the materials. You can drill holes with an increment of 0.125” from the hole dimension 0.5” to 1.5”. This drill guide is made of plastic and the core in hardened steel. This steel core supports the work piece to make precise holes.

2. The Toggle Clamp

This toggle clamp is one of the most important features of this tool. It helps you to hold the workpiece firmly so the material doesn’t move while drilling hole in it. Adjusting the clamp with the workpiece thickness is super easy; you can adjust it by rotating the required settings and use the locknut to lock it.

3. Jig Clamping

You can clamp the jig on any workbench by using C-clamp or Kreg’s multipurpose clamp. This large clamping recess helps the jig to remain in place while drilling holes by using the drill guide.

4. Drilling Angle

The drill bit’s driving efficiency increases due to the optimized drilling angle. This drilling angle helps to drill quality pocket holes.

5. The Depth Stop

The drill bit comes with a depth stop or collar so you can set it up to drill the hole to a correct depth.

6. Wood Chip Relief

While drilling a wood piece it started creating wood chips. To remove the accumulation of the wood chip the tool comes with a wood chip relief. It helps you to drill a perfect pocket hole and also increases the lifespan of the drill bit.

Quick Recap of Kreg K4

4.8/5
  • 3-Hole drill guide for pocket holes, for use with materials from 12 to 38mm thick
  • Removable drill guide block doubles as a repair tool; Drill Guide Spacings: 9/16", 7/8", 17/16"
  • Large clamping recess to secure your jig; Removable Drill Guide for benchtop and portable use
  • Requires no glue, no complicated math, and no small army of clamps.Clamping Method:Toggle clamp on benchtop base
  • Includes Kreg Jig K4, stepped drill bit, 6 inch square driver, starter Kreg Screw set, pocket-hole plug set

Kreg K5

Kreg jig K5 is the successor of K4. The K5 is the enhanced version of K4 with addressing all the shortcomings of the K4. The K5 comprises all the features of K4 plus few extra innovative & useful features to make your life easy.

Kreg-K5-Jig
K5-Jig

1. Ratcheting Clamp

As compared to K4 it comes with an easy clamping system to clamp the workpiece. It has a ratcheting clamp which can be adjusted by sliding with respect to the material thickness. Once the ratcheting clamp sets against the workpiece then you need to lift the handle until two clicks.

2. Mount Handle

In K4 there is a back mount handle, which is okay to use. But the front mount handle in K5 makes the clamping easier and faster.

3. Support Wings

The K4 has a drawback of not supporting large workpieces. The K5 addressed this problem by attaching large support wings on both sides of the jig. There is a smart design involved with these large support wings that they have storage compartments for drill bits, screws and other accessories.

4. Dust Collector

The K4 has a rigid dust collector which can’t be swivel. This issue has fixed with K5, it has a swiveling port can be rotated to to adjust the position so you can easily attach the vacuum hose with it.


We have already discussed the K4 features and the enhanced features of K5. Which itself draws lines between these two tools but let me summarize the differences.

Quick Recap of Kreg K5

4.6/5
  • The new Kreg Jig K5 is packed with features your are sure to appreciate. The clamping method is Toggle clamp on benchtop base
  • It comes with a convenient front-mounted clamping handle, and it's connected to a ratcheting clamp mechanism that adjusts without tools or lock nuts
  • The quick-release Drill Guide Block makes set up simple
  • Front-mounted clamp handle makes clamping easy
  • Ratcheting clamp mechanism adjusts without tools
  • Quick-release pin holds drill block in place, and can't get lost
  • Storage Wings provide built-in storage for bits, screws, accessories

What are the differences between K4 & K5?

Kreg-K4-vs-K5

Clamping:

Both jigs have two clamps one to hold the workpiece and another to hold on the work surface. K5 comes with a built-in clamping system to attach on the work surface where with K4 you have to provide your own clamping system.

In terms of clamping the workpiece K5 comes with a ratcheting clamp which is easier and convenient to clamp the workpiece as compared to K4. K5 wins in the clamping race.

Support & Storage:

As discussed earlier the K5 has a smarter design over the K4. The K5 comes with two wings or storage boxes which support larger workpieces as well as helps to store other accessories of the jig.

Dust Collection:

Both K4 and K5 have dust collection ports but K5 has a swiveling port which you can rotate to adjust to connect with the vacuum hose, on the other hand K4 has a rigid port. This feature of K5 is appealing but there are few customers who have reported that due to the hose weight it decouples with the port and the dust falls on the work floor. But this minor issue could be fixed with a duct tape.

Performance:

Both K4 & K5 have equal performance even though K5 has more features which makes the wood worker’s life easy. But when considering larger wood pieces K5 produces better pocket holes thanks to its larger supported wings. 

Price:

You guessed it right, the successor K5 is pricier than K4 due to the extra innovative features, which makes it one of the convenient tools to use for pocket holes drilling. 

Please watch this video from Fixit Fingers, the host addresses the differences between these two jigs.

Which jig shall I buy?

We have already shared all the possible info regarding both the jigs and their comparisons, so now it’s your turn to choose. According to us, the new models are better than the previous one because the new model addresses all the shortcomings of the older model. Even though both K4 & K5 produces similar results but K5 has some innovative features like ratcheting slider clamp, larger support & storage wings, swiveling dust collection port and few more which allow you to work smarter and faster. Also remember that K5 has all features of K4 but the opposite isn’t true.

References: kregtool.com

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