Review: Jack Rabbit Deluxe

The popularity of using countersunk screws in woodworking is not new...it’s a basic construction technique that’s perfect for a variety of projects where a mechanical fastener is needed or desired. But the process of drilling countersunk pilot holes and driving those screws home for a long time required either two drills equipped with the appropriate bits or taking time to change over from drilling to driving.

There are a number of “quick attachment” solutions available today to help the woodworker eliminate the need for multiple drills or tedious setups. One of those is the Rack Rabbit Deluxe, coincidently from Jack Rabbit Tools of Boulder Colorado, and pictured to the right. You’ve seen this tool used on woodworking television programs, including The New Yankee Workshop. Brian Giffin, President of the company and long-time inventor, recently provided me with a unit to test in the Saws 'N Dust shop.

The product arrives embedded in a shrink-wrapped retail card that also doubles as the instructions. In addition to the components, there is a very nice plastic storage container that keeps everything in its place and ready for the next use. The case is sized such that it will easily fit into even the short drawers of my mobile tool box and is also easy to spot due to its bright yellow color. Each of the components is well made and the machining is excellent.

What makes this tool different?

I’ve used quick-change accessories with my drills for some time now, including combination pilot drills/counter sinks. All of these required set screws to adjust the depth of the pilot drill bit. The only screw you’ll find in the Jack Rabbit product is the socket head cap screw that merely secure the captive ring depth stop to the tool holder with the included allen wrench. The combination pilot hole drill bits/countersinks here utilize a collet-style mounting method. When you select the correct pilot size for your chosen fastener, you thread them on and tighten using the provided wrenches. Adjusting the depth of the pilot bit merely requires you to loosen the collet, slide the bit to the proper length and retighten the collet. Reviewer’s note: Adjusting the collet with the two wrenches can be slightly awkward unless the unit is already installed on a drill that can stand by itself. You can also facilitate this operation by using your workbench for leverage. A drill with a locking feature is also a plus.

The kit includes two reversible screwdriver bits with a #2 Phillips on one side and a #2 square drive on the other. These are high-quality bits and should last for a long time. Replacements are available from the manufacturer and from some retailers who carry the kit. A tip-magnetizer is also in the kit. The bit holder slides over these screwdriver bits installed in your drill and is held in place by a spring-loaded cam. The grip is tight and I did not experience any slipping when pulling the pilot bit out of a countersunk hole. Reviewer’s note: I also tested the bit holder with other screwdriver bits in my shop. It slipped over and held securely on the DeWalt #2 Phillips bits I commonly use, but would not work with the two-piece #2 and #1 Square Drive bits from McFeeley’s that are the staple bit in my tool kit. The diameter of these bits are slightly larger than both the DeWalt and Jack Rabbit products.

Bottom line...

Overall, I find the Jack Rabbit Deluxe set to be an excellent, well thought out product. It’s made from quality materials and is reasonably priced at $59.95 US. The handy case insures that you can keep everything together and available for the next project. As noted, using the collet wrenches requires a bit of dexterity, although a drill with a locking feature would make this process much easier and reduce the need to a single wrench. I also suspect that any shop that uses countersunk screws a lot will benefit from having a dedicated drill equipped with the Jack Rabbit system.

Thank you to Bill Giffin for providing the review unit. I hope you’ll consider this fine tool for your own shop--there is a link in the left column of this page if you’d like more information or to purchase one for your own shop. Please be sure to let them know you were referred from this site!

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