Best Shelf Pin Jigs – 2021 Buyer’s Guide

Scott
| Last Updated: January 26, 2021

Tool Tango is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

It might sound a bit ridiculous, but if you’ve ever tried to nail in shelf standards, you know how annoying it can be.

Thankfully, there is a much better alternative in the form of shelf pin jigs.

Why You Can Trust Us

Tool Tango is committed to bringing you the best buyer guides and DIY-related content out there. We strive to be your go-to resource every time there's a project on your to-do list. 

Our team spends hours doing extensive research to ensure each article is informative, helpful, and unbiased. Our motto is, "we do our homework, so that you don't have to."

If you have questions or would like learn more about our process, visit our team's about page. 

With these tools, you’ll do a faster and more accurate job.

Here’s all that you need to know about shelf pin jigs.

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best shelf pin jigs:

  1. Best Overall: Jig It Shelving Jig
  2. Runner-up: Peachtree EZ-Align
  3. Best for the Money: Zozen Cabinet Hardware Jig

Comparison of the Best Shelf Pin Jigs

Product

Specs

Price

Jig It Shelving Jig

  • Four bit sizes
  • Handles with storage compartments
  • Consistently spaced pin-holes

Peachtree EZ-Align

  • Dual purpose indexing pins
  • 50mm index
  • Self-centering drill bits included

Zozen Cabinet Hardware Jig

  • Best for the Money
  • Adjustable drill guide
  • Carry case provided

Kreg KMA3200

  • Best Kreg Shelf Pin Jig
  • Dual position and adjustable
  • Jig extender

Rockler Pro Shelf Drilling Jig

  • Best Rockler Shelf Pin Jig
  • Two horizontal tracking knobs
  • Reversible guide rails

Woodpeckers SPT-COMBO

  • Best Woodpeckers Shelf Pin Jig
  • 6 reference pins
  • Compatible with self-centering drill bits

How to Choose a Shelf Pin Jig

Here is what you need to know:

Sturdy Build

Like any other tool, a shelf pin jig needs to be sturdy to do a proper job. After all, the jig will be guiding your drill so some amount of friction is to be expected.

Get one that’s made of a sturdy material (it doesn’t have to be metal) and enjoy not having to worry about breaking it.

Precision

A shelf pin jig needs to be as accurate as possible to make proper holes. Miss by a quarter of an inch or less and you may have just ruined your project. Above all else, a shelf pin jig has to be precise.

Firmness

A good shelf pin jig allows you to lock it into place on your workpiece. It sits there firmly and doesn’t move. A wobbly shelf pin jig is not a good shelf pin jig. It needs to be affixed to the material that you’re working on.

Review of the Best Shelf Pin Jigs

There are a lot of shelf pin jigs out there that do a lousy job. This is why we’ve rounded up for you six of the most recommended shelf pin jigs.

Best Overall:
Jig It Shelving Jig

PROS

  • Fits four bit sizes
  • Very stable and firm handle
  • Easy to use and see-through
  • The handle can hold bits and other hardware
  • The pinholes are centered and consistently spaced

CONS

  • Not the snuggest fit
  • Could come with more than 11 holes in a row

Our Review

Consistency is vital with shelf pinholes, and the Jig It definitely delivers. It offers centered and consistently spaced pinholes. It’s also straightforward to use – just mount the handle to the template and use the handle to properly fix the template while drilling. You can insert a pin into the top/bottom position to help keep the jig in place when you’re working.

Inside the box, you get a handle that’s equipped with pin storage, a set of ¼” bits, a hex wrench, and the jig itself. This is everything that you’re going to need.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

That would be the handle that boasts both stability and storage potential. Not all shelf pin jigs have a handle option, to begin with. Plus, with the Jig It, you get to insert pins to hold the jig and make everything easier.

Runner-up:
Peachtree EZ-Align

PROS

  • Easy to use and effective
  • Dual-drilling for drilling two rows
  • Two self-centering drill bits for better performance and accuracy
  • Works equally well with non-assembled and assembled cabinets

CONS

  • The set screw may come loose
  • The included drill bits aren’t the best around

Our Review

If you want to drill two perfectly aligned rows of pinholes, this jig might just be ideal for you. This might not seem like much, but there’s nothing more frustrating than shelves that wobble. With the EZ-Align, you get perfectly balanced vertical spacing between pinholes.

The index pins can drill holes that are bigger than the jig itself. These will help to keep the jig in place firmly. Instead of having to use extra clamps, just use the index pins that work like a charm.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

If you need to work with larger shelves, you’ll be happy to know that the EZ-Align has a 50mm index on the opposite side of the jig. This is definitely not something you’ll find on every jig. It’s a great extra option that adds to the usefulness of the jig.

Best for the Money:
Zozen Cabinet Hardware Jig

PROS

  • Quick and very accurate
  • Warranty and refund policy
  • Easy to use and very convenient
  • You can take it apart for portability
  • The adjustable guide sliders make it versatile

CONS

  • Delivery may take longer
  • May not work great on doors

Our Review

This cabinet hardware jig may not look like the most portable ever, but you can actually break it down if you have to move it somewhere. Furthermore, this doesn’t make it any less precise or easy to use either. If you buy from an authorized vendor, you can expect a 100% refund if necessary.

While some shelf pin jigs can also work well on doors, this one doesn’t. However, you can’t really blame a shelf pin jig for performing less than admirably on doors. You also might have to wait a while after ordering it online.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This jig features adjustable glide sliders that are its main selling point. They are what make this jig extremely versatile. At the low price point, you get a lot of bang for you -buck.

Best Kreg Shelf Pin Jig:
Kreg KMA3200

PROS

  • Great all-around for shelving
  • Locating pin for quick referencing
  • The hardened steel drill guides ensure precision
  • The included jig extender allows you to connect multiple pins

CONS

  • Slight offset when you fillip it for drilling between front and back

Our Review

This is a top-quality product that is made of a hardened plastic material. But it’s the drill guides that emphasize the overall build quality. Not only does this make the guides very strong, but it ensures that your drill bit lands precisely on the spot every time.

Inside the box you can also find a jig extender, a locating pin, a ¼” drill bit, an Allen wrench, a depth collar, four ¼” shelf pins, and an instruction manual.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

One of the coolest things about the Kreg KMA3200 is that it comes with a jig extender. This essentially allows you to attach several Kreg jigs together.

Best Rockler Shelf Pin Jig:
Rockler Pro Shelf Drilling Jig

PROS

  • Immaculate pin alignment
  • Very well-made and sturdy
  • The clear acrylic build adds precision
  • Easy to assemble and generally well-designed

CONS

  • Some assembly screws may be too short for this

Our Review

This jig is made of a clear acrylic material, which is strong enough and yet completely see-through. This isn’t for aesthetic purposes but to assist with the drilling. Even after making all the measurements, it’s easier to be able to see that you’re doing a proper job during the drilling.

Another cool thing about this Rockler jig is that it is very easy to assemble and that it’s compact when disassembled. The design is great overall.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

A great thing about the Rockler jig is that it drills both hole columns in one setup. This is a huge timesaver and definitely the feature that distinguishes the Rockler compared to other shelf pin jigs.

Best Woodpeckers Shelf Pin Jig:
Woodpeckers SPT-COMBO

PROS

  • Heavy-duty build
  • Imperial and metric scales
  • As many as 15 holes (32mm spacing)
  • 6 reference pins for quick and easy alignment

CONS

  • You might be better off using a router for precision

Our Review

Right off the bat, as soon as you hold the SPIT-COMBO in your hand, you’ll feel the quality. You’ll notice that it’s incredibly durable and sturdy, both vital aspects of shelf pin jigs. It counts 15 holes and you get 6 reference pins, meaning that alignment is going to be a breeze. You’ll also get both imperial and metric measurements, which adds to the convenience.

Still, if you want perfect results, use a router for better precision. The SPT-COMBO is accurate, but nothing beats a good router in this department. But we wouldn’t necessarily consider this a minus in our book.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

It’s definitely the heavy-duty build. While many shelf pin jigs are made of plastic, nothing beats the thick phenolic sheet on the Woodpeckers. It’s not the most resilient material on earth, but it’s the best for shelf pin jigs.

In summary, here are the best shelf pin jigs:

  1. Best Overall: Jig It Shelving Jig
  2. Runner-up: Peachtree EZ-Align
  3. Best for the Money: Zozen Cabinet Hardware Jig

What is a Shelf Pin Jig?

A shelf pin jig is a tool that allows you to add shelf pinholes. You can do this on a shelf that you’re building on your own or on an existing piece of furniture.

Shelf pin jigs tend to be rather compact and very portable. Instead of using primitive means (measuring by hand using a regular tool), a shelf pin jig both accurately places and guides your drill into a workpiece.

Although shelf pin jigs may sound basic, you’ll still find a lot of makes and models.

What is a Shelf Pin Jig Used For?

Now that you know what a shelf pin jig is, let’s find out more about the application of this tool. Straightforward as they are, shelf pin jigs actually boast a variety of uses. Here are several examples of what a shelf pin jig is used for.

On-the-Spot Drilling

In some cases, you may need to drill on the spot. For example, you’re holding the piece of material that requires drilling (a shelf, for instance) in one hand and using the other to drill. But how are you going to do it? Do you measure with a ruler and make the markings using a pencil? That’s one way of doing it, though it isn’t very precise. A good shelf pin jig can be fixed onto the workpiece and serves as a guide for your drill.

More Precise Drilling

Most shelf-building projects don’t require extreme precision. For DIY projects in particular, if it works it works. In some instances, however, accuracy is absolutely necessary. You can’t afford to rely on your eyes then. This is where a shelf pin jig can help.

Drill Guiding

Although precision and measurement is the name of the game with shelf pin jigs, most of them come with excellent guides as well. So, if you want your drill to not wobble lest it makes tiny cracks in the workpiece, a shelf pin jig can really help here.

How to Use a Shelf Pin Jig

Here's what you need to know about using a shelf pin jig.

Setting Things Up

There are many types of jigs. However, none is as easy to set up as shelf pin jigs. Of course, all jigs are based on a relatively similar principle. To set up a shelf pin jig, just line the jig up against the surface that you’re cutting and set the locating pin in the right place.

Setting the Size

After that, set the guide size. This is where things differ from jig to jig. Some simpler models feature two sides (rows) of guides. Others use other means to change guide sizes. Set the guide size and pick an appropriate drill size.

Drilling

Reach for your preferred drill and start drilling. Despite the fact that some jigs offer sturdy guides, you’ll still want to keep the drill as perpendicular to the workpiece as possible. This will ensure the sturdiest shelves possible.

Conclusion

Every one of these 6 shelf pin jigs is great in its own right. Some offer fantastic prices, while others excel in quality. Make your choice based on our reviews and you won’t regret it. Shelf pin jigs are great tools – there is no reason to install shelves by hand.

People Also Ask

We do hope that we’ve explained everything there is to explain about shelf pin jig. However, you might still have some questions. Here are a few that might give you the answer you’re looking for.

How Much Is A Shelf Pin Jig?

Well, this depends on several factors. To begin with, it depends on the quality of the brand and model. Then, there’s the jig construction and so on. An approximate price range would be $20-$150.

Are Shelf Pin Jigs Hard To Use?

No, they are not. In fact, as mentioned earlier, shelf pin jigs are probably the simplest to use of all jigs. Even if you have never used a jig before, you won’t have a hard time working a shelf pin jig.

Do I Need Any Additional Tools To Use A Shelf Pin Jig?

Yes, you do. For one, regardless of the pin that you’re using, you’re going to need a drill. Some jigs come with drill bits, but these are of questionable quality. In some instances, they can be on par with top quality drill bits. In others, you’ll be better off not using them. Still, any included drill bits shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

Scott

Hey, Scott here. I'm usually stuck behind the scenes with Mark, but every now and then a topic will come up and I'll be drawn toward writing. Outside of Tool Tango, I'm a dad and a husband. Most of my free time is spent with them and I wouldn't have it any other way.