Looking to build an AR-15 or AR-10 from an 80% lower? There’s a good chance that you’ve narrowed down your jig search to these two 80% lower jigs right here. Let’s compare these two to see which one may be better for you.
These two router jigs are dominating the market and deciding between them could be pretty tough. We will compare the two jigs in terms of features, ease of use, and compatibility. At the end, we will put all of them in comparison together.
Easy Jig Gen 2 80% Lower Jig – The Features
The Easy Jig Gen 2 is the sequel to… You guessed it! The Easy Jig Gen 1. Both the Gen 1 and Gen 2 are produced by 80% Arms, and have been extremely successful. The Gen 2 improved upon some of the shortfalls of the Gen 1, and it really is one of the best jig options available.
The jig is compatible with lowers for AR-9s, AR-15s, and DPMS style .308 ARs. Switching between the different sizes is as easy as flipping over the ¾ inch steel side plates. The jig only requires one hole to be drilled, and using the optional hand drill stabilizers eliminates the need for a drill press.
Combining only drilling one hole with the fact that you don’t have to take apart the jig to insert a lower allows you to complete an 80% lower pretty fast.
Other pros are that the jig has built in depth gauges and there’s a Shop Vac attachment to reduce the amount of debris that is created in the milling process.
One other nice feature of this jig is that the end mill bit will never make contact with the jig itself. This will increase the life of the jig significantly.
5D Tactical 80% Lower Jig – The Features
In all honesty, these two jigs are extremely similar. Their features are nearly identical.
Similar to the Easy Jig Gen 2, this jig is ready to tackle lowers for AR-9s, AR-15s, and with some extra parts, can be ready for .308 lowers. It is easy to assemble and disassemble, and has built in depth gauges as well.
One huge feature of this jig is that it is extremely easy to center the lower. It uses the buffer tube of the lower to guarantee that it will be centered for milling. Another similarity to the Easy Jig Gen 2 is that this jig only requires one hole to be drilled.
However, this jig does not have the hand drill stabilizers like the previous one, so it will be slightly more difficult to use a hand drill with this one. Nonetheless the 5D handles a standard 80% lower router with ease and precision. You’ll need a simple router to get the job done, like this one.
However, just like the last one, it is a very fast jig that is easy to use. The steel of this jig is thicker than the Easy Jig Gen 2, and the side plates are also not touched by the end mill bit.
As you can see, the two jigs really are extremely similar. So, let’s get into a comparison of the two to actually differentiate between them.
Comparing These Two Popular 80% Jigs
When actually using the jigs, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The Easy Jig Gen 2 is much easier to put together than the 5D Tactical. Additionally, during the first step, it doesn’t require a stopper on your drill. This makes the first step of the process a little bit easier than with the 5D Tactical. One last pro of the Easy Jig during the drilling process is the hand drill stabilizers. This will make your hand drill perform nearly identical to a drill press.
Milling with both jigs is relatively simple. However, when using the 5D Tactical, you have to remove screws to change out guide pins. When using the Easy Jig, all you have to do is set the desired depth and mill away.
As you saw with the features, both jigs are so similar. However, when using these two, the Easy Jig Gen 2 does have a slight advantage. It is easier to use, and the overall construction of the Easy Jig is slightly superior to the 5D Tactical.
However, let us reiterate that both jigs are high quality, and they are excellent options. They are very similarly priced, and you will be happy either way. Based on our experience, you may find the Easy Jig slightly easier to use, and it is a little bit more compatible with more jigs. Whichever jig you choose, remember you’ll also need the right tooling to go with that router.