Miller Dowel System

WOOD magazine rating
Miller Dowel Company
1X kit


The Miller Dowel 1X is designed for joining wood up to 1-1/8” thick.

Using the Miller stepped bit, a pilot hole is drilled through the top piece and into the substrate. Glue is applied to the rib section. The dowel is inserted and tapped until flush or fully seated in the hole. The remaining portion can trimmed off or sanded until smooth.

For interior projects the dowels are available in Red Oak, Black Walnut, Birch and Cherry. For exterior or interior projects you can choose from Ipe, Purple Heart, Teak, Mahogany, White Oak and Black Locust.

WOOD magazine review

Don't screw that joint; pin it with a Miller Dowel

Review Summary

The unique stepped dowels of the Miller Dowel system provide a large glue surface area to make a strong pinned joint, yet they drive easier than a nail. Straight-sided dowels—even those with glue-relief grooves—require a lot of pounding to drive them more than 2-1/2" deep. To get that much holding power with a Miller Dowel, you have to tap it only about 1/2" deep.
Choose the species of dowel that suits your project (at press time, you could get them in birch, red oak, cherry, and walnut, with more coming soon), clamp the joint together, and then drill the stepped hole with the Miller Quick-Drill bit. After applying glue to the ribbed middle sections of the dowel, push the dowel into the hole, then tap it home with a hammer or mallet. I found I could push the dowel about three-fourths of the way into the hole with finger pressure alone, and I never felt the glue’s hydraulic pressure fight me as with typical doweled joints. Also, glue didn’t squeeze out and make a mess. Yet the fit of the head in the hole was perfect. Even fully seated, a portion of the dowel head still protruded, but I just cut it off with a flush-trim saw and sanded it flush. Naturally, the Miller Dowel leaves a plugged look, which you can use to your decorative advantage by choosing a contrasting species of dowel. Miller Dowels come in three sizes: 1X dowels are 2-5/8" long with 3/8"-diameter heads; 2X dowels (3-3/8" long) have 1/2" heads; Mini-X (1-5/8" long) have 1/4" heads. —Tested by Paul McClannahan

Detailed Ratings

out of 5





Ease of Use




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