If you're looking to complete one of our many available 80% lowers, it's likely that you've come across both of these products from 80% Arms. In this article, we will compare the two products for you. They are both excellent products that will allow for easy completion of your lower.
Let's get to it.
Easy Jig Gen 1
The original Easy Jig really changed the scene as far as 80% lower jigs go. It was the first one that could be milled using a router, which is now somewhat standard and is produced by multiple people. However, the original Easy Jig was the first to do it, which significantly changed the future of jigs. In fact, it is the best-selling 80% lower jig to date.
Easy Jig Gen 2
The newer Easy Jig took some of the shortfalls of the older jig and made it even better. The good people at 80% Arms had a couple years to think about and learn from their first Easy Jig, and then released their Easy Jig Gen 2.
There were quite a few improvements made. For example, the Easy Jig Gen 2 cuts down the number of holes that must be drilled to only one. With the Easy Jig Gen 1, you had to make between 8 and 10 holes. The Gen 2 adds more compatibility, and also adds in a Shop-Vac attachment to help clean up your work space.
Now that we've given a brief introduction to the two jigs, we will compare them in terms of some of the most common factors that will go into purchasing an 80% lower jig.
Easy Jig Durability
Both jigs will last for over 20 lowers, but the Gen 2 is slightly more durable. It has steel side plates, and guarantees that the end mill bit will not touch the sides of the jig. This is a significant improvement over many of the other jigs on the market and it'll make for better and easier machining if you decide to go with a Forged 80% Lower.
Gen 1 vs. Gen 2 Ease of Use
The Gen 1 and the Gen 2 are both easy to use. They are both hand drill compatible, so they eliminate the need for a drill press. Similarly, they both allow you to mill out the lower with a router, and have built in depth guides.
However, the Gen 2 does have a slight advantage. For starters, it is easier to put together. Moving on to the build, it only requires one drill hole. It also automatically centers the lower, which makes your build much more accurate. One final feature that adds into the ease of use is that you don't have to fully disassemble the jig to remove a lower.
80% Lower Machining Speed
The Gen 2 is faster than the Gen 1, but they are both significantly faster than the older jigs that required so many drill holes. However, since you only have to drill one hole with the Gen 2, it is about 15 to 30 minutes faster than the Gen 1. Keep in mind, you should stick with a quality Easy Jig end mill bit in either case, to ensure fast machining.
80% Lower Compatibility
The Gen 1 is ALMOST fully compatible with AR-15 80% lowers. There are a few manufacturers that you will not be able to mill out with your Gen 1 jig.
This was one of the improvements to the Gen 2. The Gen 2 is guaranteed fully universally compatible with AR-15 lowers. It takes this a step further by being able to finish AR-9 and DPMS pattern .308 lowers. This kind of compatibility gives you a huge array of weapons you could build.
Easy Jig Gen 1 vs. Gen 2 Price
Since it is older, the Gen 1 is more affordably priced than the Gen 2, which is a nice feature. Both are fully capable of finishing an 80% lower reasonably easy and at a pretty fast pace.
Build Your AR-15 Lower!
As we mentioned before, these are both excellent quality jigs. While the Gen 2 does offer some more pros than the Gen 1, they are both more than capable. No matter which you choose, you'll be able to finish your lowers with minimal headache. We prefer the Gen 2, but the Gen 1 will definitely still work.