Dovetail Joint vs Dowel Joint

Dovetail joint
  • 1-10,000
  • Intermediate
  • 0-200

A dovetail joint differs is several ways from a dowel joint. While a dovetail joint uses tails and pins to securely connect two parts, a dowel joint is created with holes and a dowel pin.

Dovetail Joints

This type of joint requires some skill and time to create. When complete, this joint is very strong. By adding glue to the tails and pins, the joint is almost impossible to separate. The tails and pins created in this joint construction add a sense of style to a project.

Dovetail joints cannot be created with power tools. The fine work required in making the tails and pins must be created using hand cutting tools such as a coping saw, a utility knife or a chisel. A dovetail accessory attached to a router can also be used.

Dowel Joints

using a tool to make dowel holes

This type of joint can be easily created with a drill and drill bit. It adds strength to corners and prevents pieces from twisting apart. Dowel joints can be installed inside connecting parts, making them invisible. Drilling the holes for the dowel pin must be done properly so that they are positioned accurately. The holes are must also be made so that their depth is half the length of the pin. Glue is then applied inside the holes. The pin is inserted and the joint is complete. A clamp can be fastened to secure the joint while the glue dries.