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Old 06-20-2017, 4:31 AM
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Default 5D Tactical Jig Original & 80% Arms Easy Jig Gen2

5D Tactical has released a new jig called,
THE ROUTER JIG PRO. This review is for the Original

Background
I’ve completed a handful of 80% lowers using the following jigs (6061 and 7075 aluminum):
Modulus Arms Universal Jig (7075)
80% Arms Easy Jig AR-15 (aka Gen1) (6061 & 7075)
80% Arms Easy Jig 308 (6061)
5D Tactical (6061)
80% Arms Easy Jig Gen2 (6061)
I actually did a review between the Modulus Arms and the Easy Jig Gen1, but it was deleted by one of the admins here not sure why? The review for the Easy Jig 308 can be found here.

IMHO, (outside of CNCs and actual mills) the method in which to complete a lower has evolved from using a drill press, to what is now commonplace, a handheld router. It went from using numerous screws to hold pieces into place. As well as having to reposition templates around in order to complete a section. Then there’s a series of inevitable questions I’ve pondered myself:

“Do I purchase Jig A for its ease of use and limited compatibility, or Jig B for its high compatibility minus its ease of use?”

“Is it possible to achieve a great finish & quality without spending too much time (<45 minutes beginning to end), or for kicks, can I finish one in <30 minutes (quality on the finish not a priority, other than function)?

“Will I ever want to make an AR-9 from an 80%?”

“If I want to make a 308, I know I’ll have to buy a new jig altogether, or look for one with conversion options (AR-15 to 308 or vice versa).”

Most importantly, what I refer to as, “The End Game”

“Does a jig exist that not only can do all the above, but be durable and maintain an ease of use for the consumer – a true universal solution for your weekend DIY?”


This review will cover those basic questions that have crossed my mind. Hopefully it can help those members at CG who are in the market for a new project, or are looking to replace their existing platform.

So let’s start with the…

Comparison
5D Tactical Pros
  1. Steel construction & durable (although they have the aluminum option as well)
  2. Will fit AR-9, AR-15 mil-spec, as well as other AR-15 patterns
  3. Palm & full size router compatible
  4. Drill guide is steel
  5. Requires only 2 holes to be drilled prior to milling with a router
  6. Thicker (hybrid) end mill vs. the standard size end mill
  7. Uses 1 template and measurements are integrated into the top plate
  8. End mill doesn’t touch the template. Instead, it uses a set of pins (total of 6) to trace the template.

5D Tactical Cons
  1. Requires a collet/stopper to be installed on the drill bit (fairly common with other jigs) in order to know the depth has been reached.
    • This is prone to slip (mostly with hand drills, although it’s possible with a drill press)
    • Can cause the drill bit to go deeper than required (mostly a problem with a hand drill, not so much when using a drill press)
    • After milling is completed, dimples remain. Since the bit went too deep, there may not be room to smooth out the bottom (cosmetic and will not affect the functionality of the lower)
  2. Requires a proprietary end mill
  3. Requires a proprietary router attachment
  4. Requires having to swap the guide pins (by removing the pair) in order to switch between the pocket (FCG) + rear shelf, to FCG and then to the trigger
  5. Requires a new set of parts to complete a 308
  6. Requires to swap a pair of guide pins in order to proceed to the next step
  7. Must have a set of Allen wrenches of various size
  8. A lot more chips flying around due to more meat left on the lower (shop vac a must)

Easy Jig Gen2 Pros
  1. 2 User Manuals included – In-depth & Quick Reference Guide (Both contain sharp black & white images)
  2. GuideSteel construction & durable (thicker side plates, larger and heavier overall than 5D)
  3. Will fit various 308, AR-9, AR-15 mil-spec, as well as other AR-15 patterns using the same top plate/template
  4. Palm & *full size router compatible (see Cons below)
  5. Drill guide is steel
  6. Allen wrench is included
  7. No collet/stopper needed on the drill bit (zero percent chance of dimples, or drilling all the way through)
  8. Requires only 1 hole (vs. 2 with 5D) and is intended to go all the way through (trigger slot) prior to milling with a router
  9. Thicker (hybrid) end mill vs. the standard size end mill
  10. Uses 1 template and measurements are integrated into the top plate
  11. End mill doesn’t touch the template. Instead, it uses a bearing to trace the template

Easy Jig Gen2 Cons
  1. Requires a proprietary router attachment
  2. *Full size router compatibility (attachment) cost extra $
  3. Requires a proprietary end mill
  4. A lot more chips flying around due to more meat left on the lower (shop vac a must)

Overall craftsmanship is solid for both. When placed side by side, the Easy Jig Gen2 is noticeably larger and it weighs about twice as much as the 5D Tactical Jig.

User Experience with the 5D Tactical Jig compared to the 80% Arms Easy Jig Gen2 (6061 Aluminum Lowers)
Installation (Assembly of the Jig, the router plate and end mill)

With 5D Tactical, I followed the video from their website to assemble the jig. It was pretty straight forward. I did encounter a minor (fitting) issue with one of the side plates. The screw used to connect the side plates at the bottom wouldn’t go all the way through. As a result, the top of the hex bolt wasn’t flushed with the side plate. I was able to remediate it by using a socket wrench to push it through. That was the only setback, if you call it that. The rest of the assembly went smoothly (including the outer plate & end mill).

At the time of this review and IIRC, no video exists going into detail how to assemble the jig. However, the Quick Reference Guide included with the package was clear, concise and helpful. Assembly was a breeze.

Quick Tip #1:

One thing to note regarding the router plate install (this is true with both solutions, at least with the DeWalt DWP611), I recommend to install the end mill first before installing the plate. Reason being, it’s easier to line up the holes once the bottom part of the router is attached because the end mill is squared up with the plate and the screws.

User Experience (drilling, measuring, template, milling & cleaning)

Both products eliminated the need to drill several pilot holes. However, the Gen2 gets the edge with step 1 of the process (drilling). Without the need for precision as it relates to depth, my focus was to drill straight through until I saw the bit at the bottom. The 5D jig required me to install a collet/stopper in order for me to know I’ve met the desired depth. As I mentioned above, this may not be a big deal for those that have a drill press. However, it can be a problem when it comes to those using hand drills and I accidentally going too deep. I’ve read enough stories from people that JB welded the area. It’s just nice not having to worry about that.

Measurements using both solutions was straight forward. I noticed the 5D Tactical Jig had less hash marks compared to Gen2. For the purpose of my first attempt with the Easy Jig Gen2, I started going 1 hash at a time and then increased it to 2. I think the hash marks is very conservative and 80% Arms is probably taking into account that not all routers are created equal. My DWP611 was able to go up to 1 hash mark on the 5D Jig without a worry. I rate this equal for both jigs.

When it comes to milling and the template methodology, let me start with 5D Tactical. Their process of milling prevents the end mill from touching the template. It’s accomplished by the use of pins in order to trace the template located on each side of the top plate. It’s also very easy to follow/glide.

Although it was nice no longer having to swap out template plates, it did dawn on me. I was still swapping out pieces to complete another section of the lower. In this case, I eliminated the process of switching out templates, but exchanged it with swapping out guide pins.

Yes, it’s only two at a time (short pins (2) = rear shelf + pocket, medium pins (2) = pocket & tall pins (2) = trigger), but it still requires me (the user) to do the following:
1. Stop milling completely (vs. skipping to step 4)
2. Remove screw in each pin (2x) and set aside the pin
3. Retrieve the medium pins and screw it on the router plate (repeat again for the trigger, tall pins)
4. Measure and start milling
Quick Tip #2:

Be extra careful to not lose the screws, but especially the pins for the router plate. Otherwise, you’ll have to order and wait on the replacement parts. If you only lost the screw, it’s possible the local hardware store has the size in stock.

When it comes to the Easy Jig Gen2, milling has been made into two simple steps:
1. Measure the desired depth
2. Insert end mill inside the pilot hole and start milling
Unlike with 5D Tactical, there’s no trade off. You simply measure and mill until you’ve completed each stage. There’s no swapping out any parts or pieces. The only time you introduce another piece into the equation is to install a pin to block the rear shelf from being milled any further. However, that step doesn’t require any hardware to install other than inserting the clevis pin into the hole.

Unlike 5D Tactical’s pins, the Easy jig Gen2 uses a bearing located on the router plate. The bearing’s depth remains at a constant. This bearing traces the template of the top plate. At no time is the end mill making contact with the template. The end mill’s depth is the only thing that needs adjustments.

Quick Tip #3:
Freshly milled chips are hot! When milling using the Easy Jig Gen2, install a hose on the buffer, or tape a piece of paper and deflect the flurry bits of aluminum. It’s annoying getting singed for a split second.

Customer Service
Both companies have excellent customer service.

Conclusion
The results are amazing with both jigs. There’s no denying that. With that said, I give the edge to the Easy Jig Gen2 for several key reasons:
True Universal Option/All In One Solution…with no COMPROMISE
Although other jigs are available that does both AR15 & 308, the Easy Jig Gen2 is the only one (at the time of this review) that can do both platforms (AR-9, AR-15, 308) without extending the side plates.

Design
Continuing from above. When looking at the jig’s top plate, side plates and rear pieces, it’s not easy to determine what project the user plans to complete until it’s assembled.
The jig’s footprint remains the same.
Superficially, the color scheme and contrast is more appealing to the eye. However, that could just be me.

Overall Value
*$249.99 – Easy Jig Gen2
*$314.98 – 5D Tactical AR-15 (Steel) $199.99 + $114.99 (AR-308 to AR-15 Conversion Kit)

*MSRP pricing & excludes promotional bundles and/or sales. I’ve also excluded the pricing for the Aluminum version of the 5D jig because steel will be more expensive than aluminum. Not shown is the MSRP pricing for the Easy Jig Gen2 Full Size Router option.
As I mentioned earlier, the quality is there when it comes to these two products. It ultimately comes down to preference and what value the consumer sees with one over the other. I must admit, I was a huge Easy Jig Gen1 fan/customer. Then 5D came along and I began recommending their jigs over the Gen1. Now I find myself back on the 80% Arms train as a result of my firsthand experience between the two. IMHO, as I finish this review. There’s no question and without a doubt, the 80% Arms Easy Jig Gen2 is the jig to beat.

Tips & Tricks
  1. Allow the router to completely stop before lifting it.
  2. Apply constant downward pressure on the router.
  3. Have a shopvac on standby.
  4. Buy a drill press to finish the trigger pins, safety and pilot hole.
  5. Use cutting fluid over WD40
To be continued (pictures to be added)

Last edited by spyde12; 11-12-2017 at 6:54 PM.. Reason: Specifying the jig used in the review vs. the latest iteration
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  #2  
Old 06-20-2017, 4:32 AM
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Reserving for more pictures...

Last edited by spyde12; 06-20-2017 at 7:58 PM..
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Old 06-20-2017, 5:23 AM
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Awesome review!!

Thank you for this. I have been debating with myself on which one to get and this info helps out a lot.
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Old 06-20-2017, 8:05 PM
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Pictures

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Old 06-20-2017, 8:07 PM
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That's it for now

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Old 06-20-2017, 8:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00Medic View Post
Awesome review!!

Thank you for this. I have been debating with myself on which one to get and this info helps out a lot.
I glad you found it useful. There's a lot buzz between these two platforms. I figured I'd take the time to do the scouting report and cover the common things that'll be asked.

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Old 06-25-2017, 4:32 PM
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i got the 5D. ive never done one before but went that route. i liked the results and how simple and quick it was. but i got it before your review. i probably would have gone with your decision.
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Old 06-25-2017, 8:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bnr420 View Post
i got the 5D. ive never done one before but went that route. i liked the results and how simple and quick it was. but i got it before your review. i probably would have gone with your decision.
You still got yourself a solid jig though and it should last.

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Old 07-13-2017, 9:52 AM
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Thank you for your review. I was looking at the 5D Jig as well for ease of use. The easy jig gen2 is on sale right now for 199.99 until the end of July, +49.99 for the tool kit or +39.99 for just the proprietary end mill. I have not priced the other drill bits for price comparison. Cheaper than the 5D jig so if all else being fairly equal between performance and ease of use, the cheaper option prevails.
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disposition-unknown View Post
Thank you for your review. I was looking at the 5D Jig as well for ease of use. The easy jig gen2 is on sale right now for 199.99 until the end of July, +49.99 for the tool kit or +39.99 for just the proprietary end mill. I have not priced the other drill bits for price comparison. Cheaper than the 5D jig so if all else being fairly equal between performance and ease of use, the cheaper option prevails.
I purposely refrained from discussing discounts or specials because they'll fluctuate depending on the time the consumer reads the review.

For example, 5D had a 4th of July deal for their aluminum jig. It was $149.99 + $34.99 or $39.99 (IIRC) w/free endmill. That's a really good deal. In other groups I'm part of in which the member was more concerned about price and had no plans making a 308, I referred them to that sale.

In addition, I wanted to keep as close to an "apples to apples" comparison so each jig can stand on their own merits.

For example, if I compared the Gen2 with 5D's aluminum jig, Gen2's steel jig will be superior (regarding durability). However, that's because steel is more durable than aluminum vs. the way each jig is actually used.

Instead, my review was focused on the user experience. Therefore, one can decide between the two without spending the extra $$$ and time to find out for themselves.

As a result, the MSRP was used in order to present the value proposition between the two.

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edit: clarified my statement
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Old 07-17-2017, 8:37 PM
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OST.
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Old 07-17-2017, 8:40 PM
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OST.
OST?

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Old 07-18-2017, 7:49 AM
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How'd you position the Easy Jig 2 in the drill press for the trigger pins holes?

I found it easier to do those by hand and the safety selector with the drill press and the table moved over to allow the jig to rest on the thick 3/4" plate.

The big router top gets in the way to place it on the drill press I noticed.
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Old 07-18-2017, 8:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Psychbiker View Post
How'd you position the Easy Jig 2 in the drill press for the trigger pins holes?

I found it easier to do those by hand and the safety selector with the drill press and the table moved over to allow the jig to rest on the thick 3/4" plate.

The big router top gets in the way to place it on the drill press I noticed.
For both jigs, I ended up putting two pieces of wood underneath the opposite side I was drilling in order for it to clear the top plate. After checking the surface was leveled, I drilled the holes. I attributed it to my vise than the jigs themselves. Keep in mind I'm just an amateur.

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Old 09-07-2017, 9:56 AM
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Found the easy jig gen 2 tutorial video recently

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z85FFINgNYE&t=1s
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Old 09-07-2017, 9:58 AM
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Originally Posted by JMont View Post
Found the easy jig gen 2 tutorial video recently

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z85FFINgNYE&t=1s
Yep...That's awesome!

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