Looking at the Rocker Beadlock pro kit - worthy upgrade?

I’m looking at the Rocker Beadlock pro system on sale for $100. Is it that significantly better than the basic kit for $30? Thanks!

I have one of the original jigs from before Rockler bought them and I’ve never used it. I just haven’t had the opportunity to play with it.

If I had the basic jig and was looking at the pro, I’d ask myself do I just want this because it’s cooler. If you have the disposable income, buying something because it’s cooler isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It might get you into your shop more often or get give you the kick in the butt that you need to start a project.

Going further, does it do something the basic jig doesn’t? Is it going to save you setup time? are you going to get a better result? It looks like the Pro jig is much easier to setup for larger stock and maybe more stable.

It’s probably not what you’re asking, but I guess that’s kind of the process I go through when I get new tool fever.

Like Benjamin - I had one of the older jigs (it might have been from Bench Dog) but was the spitting image of the $30 Rockler item. Before that I tried the Porter Cable Mor-Ten

Neither of them worked to my satisfaction. IMO - both were finicky to set up especially as I recall on some of the thicker (5/4 etc. that I often use) stock to get perfect alignment with mating pieces. I also used a Dowelmax - for multiple dowels - which was more precise albeit a lot more expensive.


It may have been that I did not clamp things down as well as I might have - but I think the Beadlock jig tended to shift a bit from drilling torque. I’ve now moved over to a Festool Domino XL machine - and while its an apples and oranges comparison - I would never go back. I still may have some of the original factory-made beadlock tenons around somewhere.

From the reviews on the Rockler site - maybe you can glean some useful info - and I’m guessing that there are users of both the $30 and more expensive kits that like them better than I did mine.

Well - I may just end up getting a decent doweling jig instead of the beadlock. I’ve got some face frames to build, and I wanted to try something different than my Kreg jig. I think in the end I’ll get more use out of a doweling jig than the beadlock.

So here’s my 2¢:

I started out with an old Stanley #59 Doweling Jig and tried other “so called” self centering jigs. Perhaps because of imprecise clamping pressure or something else the mating pieces were often out of alignment. Not by a gross amount - but by enough that you could feel the mismatch with your fingernail. So you had to add the extra step of sanding. The other issue was that mating 2 pieces of stock of different thicknesses - was a hassle.

The Dowelmax seemed to solve both issues like a good (I tried a Freud FDW710K V0 - which was not it)
doweling machine - the Mafell is said to be one - but is pricey:


The Dowellmax precisely lines up on the same face of each piece of the mating stock. This allows you to easily work with stock of different thicknesses and seems (the many times I used the jig) to eliminate all misalignment.

I still use the Dowelmax - but not as much since I bought a Festool Domino XL machine.

BTW - I think that the Jessem doweling jig also works by aligning on one face.


I just got an email from Woodpeckers that they are offering a dowelling jig as part of their “One Time Tool” program:

As with many other Woodpeckers tools the price often dampens your enthusiasm - This one sells for $640 in a systainer - and comes with 1/4 and 3/8 bushings. 5,6,8 and 10mm bushing sets will also be made - costing $60 each - so the complete package will set you back $880. Just to compare the smaller Domino joiner from Festool is currently priced starting at $895 but add-ons can push your cost over $1000 - and I have quite a bit more than that invested in my Domino XL system