Recently I had the opportunity to use a Kregs Deck Jig on a small deck. I want to start off by explaining that I have build more than a few decks in my career as a carpenter most as a sub contractor from builders and a few that I contracted myself. I have always been less than happy with a surfaced nailed deck but finding a blind screw system that the builders would use was always a challenge, so except for the decks I build for myself I always ended up either surface nailing them with a nailer or screwing them down with deck screws. Both of these methods presents their drawbacks as well as strengths when using treated lumber. composite decking always needs to be screwed or blinded screwed with a system that is designed for the purpose of holding that type of decking. Most composite decking also has a slot milled in it that is designed for a system for blind screwing they're decking down and a screw they recommend. Kreg Jig has come up with a jig that will work universally with composite deck boards, Also works great with native softwoods such as Redwood and Cedar, along with certain Tropical Hardwoods like Ipe, Red Balau, and Ironwood. Works exclusively with 4/4 to 5/4 (3/4″ to 1-1/8″) stock , as well as treated decking; however, a lot of people don’t recommended using it for the treated lumber because of the amount of wood movement, and it was not designed for use with 2x material including 2×4′s, 2x6’s, 2x8’s, at all.
The kit comes with the jig, two sets of three spacers each ¼” and 5/16”, a drill bit, a driver bit, two stop collars, an allen head wrench, and a sample pack of screws.
before using the jig you will need to install the three drilling guides to the jig body, and the small rubber non skid pads. Then install and adjust the stop collars on both the driver and the drill bit.
The jig has three drill guides each with a steel insert. One of the guides is angled left, one right, and one at a 90 degree angle. The center guide, the 90 degree one is the one normally used. Each of the angled guides are used either if you run up against an obstruction to the left or right, or if you need to secure a joint over a joist. The jig is handheld this is a deviation from all the other Kreg jigs
One thing different from other Kreg jigs in that it is designed to be used to insert the screws. The screws are proprietary and have been sized to fit same hole as the guides that the drill uses. This results in an extremely small head size. Once you drill the hole for the screw, you switch to the driver insert the screw and drive it to the correct angle and depth.
“Kreg Deck Screws were designed specifically for use with the Kreg Deck Jig™, although they can also be used as simple face-screws for a variety of outdoor projects. All Kreg Deck screws feature a KTX #1 Square Drive to reduce cam-out, a flat-bottom head which resists splitting, and a self-tapping tip which drills its own hole as it’s driven.
Deck Screws are available in two weather resistant finishes; Protec-Kote™ and Stainless. Protec-Kote™ screws feature three anti-corrosion layers which protect against rusting in a wide variety of decking applications. A good choice for a wide variety of decking applications, including ACQ treated lumber. For even more protection, choose Stainless. Kreg Stainless screws provide the best protection against corrosion in the long-term”
I used Kreg Deck Jig™ on a 12’ x 10’ deck that was decked with 5/4” x 6” ACQ treated lumber, and here is my thoughts, at first it felt a very slow compared to using a air nailer, but like everything new it takes a minute to figure out the best way to work with it. One of the problems I had almost right out of the box was the stop collar on the diver keep coming lose, now I was using a impact driver and I don’t know if that was the cause of problem, however after a few tightening the set screw broke so I stop using the jig to drive the screws and just drove the screw free hand, with my helper standing on the deck board, this did speed things up considerably and after a few screws it was easy to get a feel of were to stop the screw.
I used the ¼” spacers that comes with the kit for the deck spacing. The wood was still on the wet side, this was the smallest spacer the kit comes with, I always try to get and install the decking on the same day so it is not setting around in the sun drying and warping. After two weeks I measured the gap and the dried down to 3/8” which didn’t surprise me in the 98 degree heat we have been having. I checked closely for any splitting or lifting expecting to have to run some screws through the surface to tighten things down, but after a close inspection I couldn’t find none. I will inspect the deck again in a few months when the weather changes again. All in all I give the jig a C+, will I use it again? Yes, but not if I was building decks for a living again. For the price of this jig, I do wish it had some other use’s besides just decks.