Choosing a 32mm Hinge Drilling Jig

Shopping for a jobsite hinge-boring guide? Here's some advice from users. September 30, 2010

This weekend I ran into an unusual situation. I was out of town installing commercial frameless cabinets. The cabinets were figures off the plans and we had more cabinets than space due to a wall being moved. The decision was made to site cut down one cabinet. I had to borrow a hinge bore jig from one of the other installers to recut the hinge holes in a door. The jig worked, and now I want to get one in case I ever run into this again. I need one that is adjustable and doesn’t take up much space. Is there one in particular you prefer?

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor H:
Get the Blum Ecodrill jig. It is priceless.

From contributor M:
You can get a kit from places like Woodcraft or Rockler; they are more affordable but not really good for production work. If you have the budget, consider the Blum like contributor H mentioned.

From contributor J:
We have had a pair of Euro Drills and used them for this for 10 years or so.

From contributor H:
The Blum jig has its own clamps and includes the bits. It also comes with a jig to bore hingeplate holes accurately. Way superior to the others mentioned for hinge boring.

From contributor J:
The Blum is a good unit, after three disappeared, I purchased the Euros and have yet to lose any!

From contributor S:
Pricey, but I agree that the Blum Ecodrill is the best system for portable (or low tech in shop) 32 mm hinge boring.

I have one frustration with the unit though. I have had the most difficult time trying to adjust the cutting depth of the 32 mm bit. This could be very easily done if Blum provided a pair of thin wrenches to make the adjustments of the pair of black nuts. For the price, I'd expect to get these with the unit, but instead they send one rather useless fat bodied wrench which we all have in our tool chests. I have tried to get help from Blum but in this regard they have been the extreme petty bureaucrats - "the Ecodrill kit comes with the following and nothing else..." Pity, because I am a huge fan and proponent of Blum technology.

Do you all agree or am I just making a problem that doesn't exist? How do you adjust the depth?

From contributor H:
Never noticed the depth to be an issue. Why would you need to adjust it? It is set for the depth needed for the Inserta hinge, which it is made for.

From contributor S:
You are right. Come to think of it, I've never needed to reset the depth since the first time. A caution, however, to others - mine was not set properly out of the box. It was cutting much too deep, so I tried to follow the instructions for setting the cutting depth. What followed was 45 minutes of increasing aggravation. But I should never need to make that adjustment again. I guess I was just fixated on my first experience. It's been a great investment.

From contributor F:
The thing to keep in mind on concealed hinge bore depths is that the specs give the minimum depth for a particular hinge model's bore. Going deeper does no harm unless you bore through the face. Set your rig's bore depth to the deepest one you need and use it for all your bores.

From contributor P:
The Ecodrill looks like the favorite so far, although I haven't used it. I have used a few others, and the Veritas from Lee Valley is the best of those. Holding it in place is difficult, but there are hinge hole patterns cast on back which can be drilled through, assuming you're using screw-on type hinges. I set it to offset required, 1mm per rotation of screw, screw to door and drill hinge bore. Not a production tool, but good for the occasional need. Built well and I was even able to get parts for it once upon a time.

From contributor T:
I went through about 5 or 6 different jigs until I found the Easy Bore jig. At the time all my work was done on site, so compact design and portability was important. This jig is easy to set up and adjust and keeps its settings without any slop. The only area for concern was the clamping arm that can scratch the face of the door. A piece of cloth tape fixed it. The depth of cut on the bits is a simple pair of nuts on the shaft that, when tightened against each other, will restrict the travel of the shaft. Rotating stops for the backset have 6 settings.

From contributor O:
Take a look at the Fisch jig while you're at it. It works much like the Eco Drill, but can be adjusted to drill several different hinge drilling patterns.