Any woodworker knows how hard it is to work with decks. This is why deck jigs are important. Kreg deck jig and Camo are two of the most popular choices for deck jigs.
They’re similar but their screwing systems, spacers, and ease of replacement make them different from each other.
Choosing the right deck jig is important. Deck jigs make sure everything is holding together properly. So here is a detailed comparison of the Kreg deck jig and Camo to help you choose better.
A Quick Comparison Summary
If you’re one of the “always-on-the-go” persons, this part is for you. If you want to know the gist of it all minus the fluff, this table will note them down for you. Feel free to go through it for a quick summary.
|Feature||Kreg Deck Jig||CAMO Tool|
|Ease of replacement||Easy||Hard|
|Skill level needed||Beginner||Professional|
Now for the interested ones, let’s get to the details.
Key Differences Between Kreg Deck Jig And Camo Tool
If you know what you’re getting into, making decisions becomes easier. This is why you should look around before getting your deck jig.
So here is a comparison between the Kreg deck jig and the Camo tool to make things easier for you.
- Screwing System
A screwing system can mean how versatile your tools are.
Kreg Deck jig works with an open screw system and the Camo tools have a closed screw system.
So when it comes to versatility, Kreg is the winner. But if you want to keep your hands free while working, Camo is a go.
The open screw system acts like a mold. You set the space up and work with whatever screw you want to.
That is exactly how the Kreg deck jig works. You’ll have to line the spacer and hold the screw from above to drill it in.
The good part about it is that you can work with any screw you want. Camo tool on the other hand has a closed screw system.
You won’t have to use your hand to line things up and you can place two screws at the same time. You’ll have to give up the versatility of screws for that though.
Deck job means you’ll need a spacer for a proper lineup. Camo is a better sport for this. It has a built-in spacer and Kreg needs separate ones to work.
You’ll need a spacer for your deck jobs unless you want to end up with a messed-up structure. Kreg deck jig needs separate spacers to keep things steady but they come with the package.
You’ll get a bunch of spacers for different gaps. You can also buy other spacers if they don’t work out.
The problem with that is the steadiness. You’ll have to use your hand to keep it steady and the spacers have more chances of falling down below anytime.
Camo is a pretty inventive tool in this department. It has a built-in spacer you can use to create the regular 1/4 gap. You can also keep your hands free and not worry about the spacers falling down.
- Ease of Replacement
This is an indicator of how easily you can undo the work or replace your deck setup.
Kreg is easier to unscrew and redo. Camo on the other hand needs more work and isn’t always smooth with reversing.
There are a lot of reasons why you may want to replace or redo your deck setup.
Maybe the spacing isn’t quite right, or maybe you don’t want to deal with the creaking so you want a replacement.
Either way, you’ll have to undo what you’ve done so far and go back in.
Kreg is much easier to work with when it comes to unscrewing. Since it is an open system, the screws are easier to undo so you won’t have much trouble.
Even if it is in the middle of the board, you can go back to fix just that and be done with it.
Camo is pretty much the opposite of that. Since it is a closed system, the screws thread much deeper in the deck so they are harder to undo.
And even if you can get them to come off, they splinter like crazy. So if you want to undo something from the middle, you’ll have to undo the whole thing.
- Required Skill Level
This is how easy the tools are to use. Kreg deck jig is very much of a quick-fix tool. The Camo tool is sturdy enough to be used in professional projects.
Kreg deck jig is more for someone who likes to DIY their way through minor fix issues. So the mechanism is really simple and you don’t exactly need any extra tools with it.
Camo is pretty much professional level. It is made for professional people who carry more tools but need something efficient. So if you’re a beginner, don’t reach for the Camo tool.
- Splitting Issues
This is the worst department for the Kreg deck jig. Kreg splits a lot when you’re drilling but Camo only splits when you’re undoing the screws.
Kreg deck jig is notorious for splitting wood. You start drilling it in and the deck will chip around the nailing spot. Camo on the other hand has a clean screw entry.
The only time Camo screws split the wood is when you undo them. This is because the threaded Camo screws get deeper into the deck
Which One Should You Choose?
Your choice will come down to your skill level and your long-term plan. If you’re a professional with experience, Kreg deck jigs may not be for you.
It is built for people who prefer a quick DIY fix. So you should go for Camo deck jig tools.
But the scenario is different in long term. Camo jigs are harder to replace and unfortunately, they start creaking pretty early. So if you want something long-term-friendly, go for the Kreg one.
All in all, it will come down to your personal choice but as for our suggestion, the Camo deck jig is the better option to go with.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, you can. Kreg jig is very adaptive and pretty much of an open system. So it will work with any screws you want.
Camo is pretty good with screws as long as they’re from Camo too. You can use any six-inch Camo screw but don’t go for the normal ones. Camo tool only works with Camo screws.
Line up the jig with your deck. Fasten it, drive the screw in and finish it with a screw bit. You can load the jig on both sides if you need it, the process will be the same.
That depends on your project. If you’re working with 16” OC joist spacing then you’ll need about 350 screws for every 100 sq ft of your deck.
The Kreg deck jig vs Camo debate is old, but now you have more insights into it. Your pick will obviously come down to your preference, but the safest bet would be the Camo tool.
Make sure to try different versions of it before you choose one and you’ll be all set.