Jig vs Fixture – Difference Between Two Woodworking Tools

People who have just started learning the skills of cutting or grinding are often confused between terms jigs and fixtures. Although both of these tools have some similarities in their functions, there are some noteworthy differences between jig and fixture. The tools are majorly used for holding the machine in the place to carry operations on the workpiece along with other purposes. To help beginners as well as the people aspiring to learn about such skills, we will discuss how jigs differ from fixtures in this article. First, let’s have a look at their individual functions and features.

Difference Between Jig and Fixture


  • A jig is a tool that helps in holding the workpiece in the proper position for the machine to do its operation with accuracy. 
  • Along with this, it also helps the machine to locate the positions on the workpiece. The markings for determining proper positions on the workpiece are often given on the outer packaging of the jig itself. Such a design makes it easy for users to locate and hold the piece in place. 
  • Jigs are used to decrease the time required for locating the position and it also makes the work easy. 
  • It also aids in locating and controlling the motion of the tool working on the workpiece.


  • Fixtures are generally used to keep the workpiece in the proper alignment and position for the tools to operate. 
  • It aids in locating the precise orientation for the work. It also helps in improving the operations of the tools and also supports in fixing the workpiece quickly.
  •  Using fixtures can also help in making the transition from one part to another part on the workpiece smooth and easy
  • It reduces the nonproductivity and loading time of the piece for the operation. 
  • The skilled workers have to mount the piece with the help of fixtures and proceed with their work without any issues. 

Now that we know the features of both the tools lets further go through the differences between them.

Jig vs Fixtures

Jigs help in holding the piece in place as well as locating the points for the tool to work. It also aids in guiding the tool for their precise function.Fixtures are specifically used to locate and support the piece in place for the tool to function. Unlike jigs, fixtures do not guide the tools for their operation.
As the jigs guide the tool to work on the piece, it comes in contact with the machine.Fixtures do not come in contact with the tool for it to function. It accurately sets the angle and position for the tool to function.
The construction and design of the jig is complex to understand.It is easy to understand the design and construction of the jigs.
Jigs are lightweight and can be used with ease.Fixtures are bulky as compared to jigs.
It doesn’t need a gauge block to work.Fixtures require gauges to precisely locate the position for the machine to work.
Jigs are usually not fixed to the table and often come in a portable and compact variant.The fixtures are fixed on the tables for providing the proper support to the workpiece.
It is expensive as compared to the fixtures.The tools cost less than the jigs.
It is used in unidimensional working machines such as cutting, tapping, etc.It is useful for tools working in multidimensional ways such as grinding, drilling, etc.
Jigs are used extensively for cutting and drilling tools. It is also used widely in wood drilling industries.Fixtures are used for milling, slotting and shaping tools.

It is useful for tools working in multidimensional ways such as grinding, drilling, etc.

Concluding Remarks

So to summarise this article, it can be said that jigs guide the tool along with supporting and locating the position on the workpiece. Whereas the fixtures are specifically used to fix the workpieces and find the proper position for the tool to operate. 

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