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With a pocket hole plug cutter you can better hide your pocket holes. Rather than depending on the limited selection of packaged plugs, you can cut plugs from the same material as your project; plus you can create plugs with a matching grain pattern.

WoodTek’s stainless steel plug cutter uses four flutes to make 3/8″ diameter plugs. To use the 3-1/16″ long plug cutter you need to create a simple 15° angle jig to hold the stock. Then you clamp the stock to the board and cut the plugs with the plug cutter chucked into your drill press. To release the plugs, run the stock through a bandsaw or saw them out by hand.

The Woodtek plug cutter will run you about $40 shipped. Trend also makes an alternative cutter, but I haven’t found any US retailers. Their version will run you 21 pounds ($35) plus whatever it costs to ship it across the pond.

Pocket Hole Plug Cutter [Woodworker’s Supply]
Pocket Hole Plug Cutter [Rutlands]

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13 Responses to Pocket Hole Plug Cutter

  1. Kyle says:

    You gotta be the most anal woodworker ever if you are trying to match grain for your POCKET HOLES…. Who climbs into a cabinet to look at the back of face frame anyway? I’ll stick with the $7 pack of 50 kreg plugs.

  2. Jim German says:

    If you do it often enough the plug cutter will save you money and make them look better.

  3. jeffrey immer says:

    ha no kidding right

  4. fred says:

    I’m with Kyle – finding the right piece of scrap stock, jigging a board up in a drill press, bandsawing to release the plug ? Let’s see – what’s the hourly rate for a carpenter? If you are making fine furniture it might be worth the effort – but then again would you be using poket-hole joinery – or would you be cutting mortise and tenon joints? Pocket hole joinery is all about productivity. Many face frames are assembled to the carcass such that you never see the connections – so plugging might even be overkill.

  5. Gary says:

    Agree. I haven’t used pocket holes for anything other than shop cabinetry and one outdoor table. I don’t care if people see the holes for either one.

  6. Benjamen Johnson says:

    I can give you one example right off the top of my head: The footboard on my bed.

    The company that manufactured my bed used pocket holes to connect the rails to the styles (it’s three panel oak footboard). I can see the pocket holes on the back side of the footboard when I’m in bed and it annoys the hell out of me. It would have been nice if they would have plugged the pocket holes, even better if they would have matched the grain.

    That’s just one place these would make sense. I can’t think of any other specific examples, but I swear I’ve seen Norm plug pocket holes before too — although I can’t remember the project.

  7. jeffrey immer says:

    norm also built his shop with 2×4 spaced a 0″ on center so he can nail to anywhere on the wall, that dude is straight nuts

  8. fred says:

    Benjamin:

    My comment was not that there aren’t places where folks have used pocket hole joinery that would benefit from plugging – its just that I think that I would not use it in such situations – sticking with using it for face-frame construction. I have two twin beds in the house that use rail bolts with decorative caps over their ends. If I were of a mind to build a bed – I probably wouldn’t use that solution either – although it does offer the option of allowing disassembly.

  9. DC says:

    Rockler sells these plugs,as do other woodworking suppliers: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=5756&filter=pocket%20hole%20plugs .

    They look a ‘hole’ lot better than nothing at all, and I doubt many woodworkers are going to make the effort to match grains.

  10. Shopmonger says:

    I own a woodworking business,, and yes these would come in handy. Pocket screws are a great way to make money……they are fast and can be used to make fine furniture. Although i don’t have them show very often, but making like grain plugs would be great…. even better making them out of accent woods can be even better.

    ShopMonger

  11. Vince says:

    I’ll tell you where this is handy…if you are a DIYer and use pocket hole screws for a lot of things because you don’t have the time/interest in learning good WW skills, but you also don’t want whatever you are making to look TOO amateurish.

    For instance, I built a table for my 2 year old twins to use. I used pocket hole screws for ALL the joints, all of which are hidden under the table. Not fine furniture and nothing for sale. Next I’d like to make a very simple step stool so they can reach the sink. In this case, the holes might be a little more distracting FOR ME. The kids and wife won’t care.

    Most DIYers don’t even know what kind of wood they are using, so being able to just get a piece of scrap from the project and cutting out a plug is useful.

    Also, it might be handy to plug up holes in places where you might be afraid that water might get into the hole, like the step stool I mentioned, or for outdoor stuff.

  12. Christopher Clay says:

    Pocket hole joinery is great for quickly produced, typical cabinetry, stairs and a number of other items but it has no place in historic preservation which is what I specialize in. Producing new window sashes, wood trim and many woodworking that matches historic fabric should be built the way the original items were fabricated and assembled.

  13. Wayne Morley says:

    There are projects where the plug cutter may be overkill but there are lots and lots of projects where it can be put to good use.I have made some furniture where I would not use pocket screw joinery, fine furniture, heirloom type stuff. I have also made some very nice pieces for my home that I plugged and wished I had some plugs with matching grain.It also gives you more choice in “where” a joint is made if the grain were to match. I’ve made outdoor furniture too that used plugs (weather proofing the joint and for looks) and wouldn’t require matching grain plugs.We don’t all make all our furniture pieces to end up in the Smithsonian or command large prices. Don’t be-little something (or another woodworker) just because you don’t find a use for it.

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