How to Choose the Right Dowel for Your Project

Your Guide to buying the best Dowels


A dowel is an essential piece of hardware used in woodworking, construction, and repair projects. Dowels are cylindrical rods typically made of wood, metal, and plastic, with a variety of uses. This buying guide offers an overview of the types of dowels available on the market, the features to consider when making a purchase, and tips for selecting the best dowel for your specific needs. Whether you’re a professional contractor or a DIY enthusiast, this guide provides all the information you need to make an informed purchase.

Key features

  1. Wood Type: Wood type is important when purchasing dowels - consider the type of wood the dowel is made of and how it fits the application. Some woods are better suited to certain tasks than others.
  2. Size: When purchasing dowels it is important to consider the size of the dowel. Measure the distance between the hole and the circumference of the dowel to determine the size of the dowel.
  3. Length: The length of the dowel should be considered when purchasing. Determine the length of the dowel required so the dowel can reach its intended application.
  4. Shape: The shape of the dowel should be considered when purchasing. Some projects may require a specific shape of the dowel to fit the application.
  5. Diameter: The diameter of the dowel should be considered when purchasing. A wider dowel may be needed for certain applications.
  6. Smoothness: The smoothness of the dowel should be considered when purchasing. A smooth dowel may be needed for certain applications.
  7. Finish: The finish of the dowel should be considered when purchasing. Some applications may require a certain type of finish or coating.

See the most popular Dowels on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Strength and Durability - Dowels are renowned for their strength and durability, making them suitable for a variety of applications that require a sturdy structure or joint.
  • Versatility - Dowels are highly versatile and can be used to connect two pieces of wood, join two pieces of metal, or create a strong joint in a variety of materials.
  • Cost-Effectiveness - Dowels are typically more cost-effective compared to other fastening methods, making them an attractive option for many budget-conscious buyers.
  • Ease of Assembly - Dowels are easy to install, and require minimal tools and skills to assemble.


  • Durability - Dowels are not as strong as other types of wood joinery, so they are not appropriate for applications that need strength and durability.
  • Accuracy - Dowels require precise holes to be drilled in order to ensure an accurate, secure joint.
  • Time-consuming - Dowels require more time to install than other types of wood joinery.

Best alternatives

  1. Wooden pegs - small wooden cylindrical pieces used in woodworking for joining two pieces of wood together
  2. Wood screws - fasteners with a cylindrical shaft, usually with threads on the outside and a pointed tip
  3. Nails - thin, pointed metal objects that are hammered into wood to hold pieces together
  4. Bolts - cylindrical pieces of metal with a threaded hole used for connecting two pieces of material
  5. Mortise and tenon joinery - a woodworking process in which a protruding piece of one piece of wood is inserted into a hole in another piece

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

Drill Bits - Used to make holes in wood for dowels to be inserted into Wood Dowels - Dowel rods that can be used for different types of woodworking Wood Glue - Used to attach the dowels to the wood Biscuits - Small wooden pieces used to fasten two pieces of wood together Drill Press - Tool used to make precise holes in wood for dowels Chisels - Handheld tools used to shape wood and work dowels into it Spacers - Used to evenly space dowels when drilling into wood

Common questions

  1. What materials are commonly used for dowels?
    • Dowels are typically made from wood, metal, or plastic.
  2. What is the difference between a dowel and a peg?
    • The difference is mainly in shape, as a dowel is cylindrical and a peg is typically either a square or rectangular shape.
  3. How are dowels used?
    • Dowels are commonly used for their strength and stability in a variety of applications including furniture making, carpentry, and craft projects.
  4. What sizes of dowels are available?
    • Dowels are available in a variety of standard sizes including 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch, and 3/4 inch.
  5. What are the benefits of using dowels?
    • The benefits of dowels include their strength, durability, and versatility. They can be used to join two pieces of wood or other materials in a wide range of applications, making them a great choice for many projects.
  6. Where can I find dowels?
    • Dowels can be found at most hardware stores, home improvement stores, or online retailers.


The oldest known dowel was discovered in a prehistoric tomb in Ireland and dates back to 3000 B.C. This is a great example of how dowels have been used throughout history as a construction material for furniture and other items. This indicates that dowels have been in use for thousands of years and are a testament to their durability and reliability. It is interesting to note that the oldest dowel was made from yew wood, a species of tree that is still used to this day in the production of dowels. Source:

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.