Routing and edging out wood can sometimes be difficult, especially when supporting a heavy workpiece. So power tools manufacturers have heeded our call, gone back to their drawing board, and crafted a wonderful device that’s set to make our lives easier.
A router table, as its name suggests, is a specialized foundation affixed on top of a wood router. This accessory is mainly used for holding up hefty materials, making precise measurements, and providing overall stability as you work. It has enough strength to bear planks of wood, hard plastics, fiberglass, and graphite with little trouble.
Seasoned woodworkers have long experienced the advantages this tool offers, and it’s time to share it with you. Even average DIY enthusiasts should find this beneficial, just because it enhances your skills greatly. If you’re interested in learning more – particularly how a router table can aid you – then we hope you continue reading this article.
To better highlight our points, we’ve compiled a list of the best router tables currently on the market, as well as their most noteworthy features. We hope that comprehending our analyses will help you better decide which one to invest in.
- Offers a wide 27x18 inch workspace that effectively supports wood
- A 2.5-inch dust collection port helps keep your area clean and free from debris
- Its heavy-duty steel frame is very well built to create a stable work environment
- An open design moves to minimize creaks, greatly minimizing noise emission
- Comes with two dust collection ports for fast and efficient cleaning of your area
- The aluminum fence is not only stable, but also capable of holding up very important fixtures
- The stainless steel frame is firm and built for more hardwearing jobs
- Comes pre-assembled so you need not worry about fixing it
- Measures 37 x 25.5-inches to be more reachable as you work
- An aluminum gab plate holds all the necessary tools in one place and inserts perfectly on
- Made from stainless steel that is rust-free and durable, but also very easy to transport around
- Includes thoughtful add-ons like a miter gauge, dust collection port, and dual sockets that make life easier for you
Router Table Reviews
Bosch has long been a constant entity in the world of power tools. Through the years, they’ve introduced quality products at affordable prices, just like the Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table. Both its low cost and unique features make this a perfect option for users with varying levels of expertise.
Physically, it looks extremely legit. The aluminum table measures a staggering 27-inches by 18-inches in length. This size is perfect for supporting larger materials and guaranteeing that they remain stable throughout every work session. Even the fence has been heightened for easier assessment and added protection.
Moreover, the Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table is equipped with several useful fixtures like a 6-foot cord, a 2.5-inch dust collection port, two feather boards, an adjustable clear guard, and a piece of mounting hardware. All these answer a specific issue so that you can focus only on what’s important – crafting quality handicrafts and wooden products.
Just take note that many of its parts are made from plastic, so we wouldn’t suggest using it on rugged job sites. As such, it is a model better-suited for smaller projects rather than large ones. However, if you can go beyond this minor concern, this should still be a useful accessory to have in your tools collection, seeing as it is definitely one of the best router tables on the market.
The Kreg PRS2100 Benchtop Router Table may not be the trendiest item on our best table router list. But what it lacks in popularity, it more than makes up for in functionality. Its structure is made from heavy-duty steel, coated in a mesmerizing blue color palette, that makes it incredibly eye-catching.
Of course, this table router is more than just a pretty face, as evidenced by its build. The frame is designed to deal better stability, especially when supporting large materials. Its 16 by 24-inch tabletop provides you with enough space to work, while the distance between each leg ensures minimal shaking. These properties blend well together to elevate the quality of each product you create.
Versatility is another characteristic this option has a lot of. Three Level-Loc rings, each with varying diameters, allow it to be mixed and matched with virtually any router available. Modifying and disassembling them is likewise very simple. All you need to do is twist and lock to loosen or tighten the locks – it’s that simple.
All in all, Kreg PRS2100 Benchtop Router Table is truly built with convenience as a strong suit. Every one of its functions is aimed at simplifying work and making things run more smoothly. Despite having limited features, it still offers enough upside to warrant our recommendation.
Another amazing offering from Bosch is the RA1171 Cabinet Style Router Table. Even just judging from its name alone will show it is capable of taking on larger pieces of wood. Both its laminated work surface and aluminum fence have been enlarged specifically for this purpose. Additionally, the mountable base can be screwed down for extra steadiness.
We also love how the Bosch RA1171 Router Table is designed to look like a cabinet, providing users with a handy space to store all their tools. You should find two strategically-placed dust collection ports inside these compartments to facilitate the tidying up of your work station. This should accelerate the cleaning process significantly while utilizing fewer resources.
Besides having been made bigger, the fence also reinforces different accessories like the MDF faceplates, feather boards, and even a miter gauge. Once set up, all these should provide immediate relief in terms of measuring the workpiece, guiding it to certain positions, and protecting your hands from injury. This group of features go well beyond the realm of aesthetics and will work to simplify the entire working process.
Professionals and novices alike should benefit greatly from the Bosch is the RA1171 Cabinet Style Router Table, seeing as it’s one of the most user-friendly and effectual options you can ever find.
Those new to woodworking may not immediately invest in a high-tech model. Most begin with starter options like the SKIL RAS800 Router Table because they are easier to learn and practice one. Almost everything about it is average, which may limit its appeal to specialists. However, it still provides all the needed functions to product high-quality wooden crafts.
In terms of build, this router table is quite formidable. Its frame is made primarily of stainless steel, which helps maintain firmness and protects the machine from wear-and-tear. Still, despite this material, the SKIL RAS800 Router Table, at 21.5-lbs, is relatively lightweight so users can take it around very easily.
We’ve also noticed complete its fixtures are. Everything from the feather boards, to the bit height gauge and starter pin, play a vital role in your success. Perfectly measuring each piece and yielding accurate cuts are just some of the benefits this tool delivers. Additionally, assembly and maintenance of this machine have been made simpler, so much so that even newbies will find it self-explanatory.
Best of all, the SKIL RAS800 Router Table can be brought home for less than $100. Even though it lacks some secondary qualities, it’s really hard to complain given the value you receive in return. Needless to say, its functionality massively outweighs the cost, making this ideal for consumers on a budget.
Many of the units available today unsurprisingly dwarf in comparison to the Grizzly T10432 Router Table with Stand. This hulking option weighs approximately 62-lbs and measures 37 by 25.5-inches – which is almost double the size of its nearest competitor. We like this feature because it offers added elevation while working, so you won’t have to crouch down too low. Though it would have been better if the tabletop were made wider.
The overarching design is another of its commendable characteristic. Tools like the miter guard and fence slot fit perfectly on an aluminum gab plate, which can be inserted into one of the table surface’s tracks. This puts forward a convenient way to install or remove it, without being a hindrance as you work. You may even put a platform just below the tabletop to store all the materials you’ll need.
Price-wise, it must be stated that the Grizzly T10432 is slightly more expensive than others. Spending over $200 for a router table could potentially raise some eyebrows, especially for the newer users, but we find it completely reasonable. The handiness and constancy this machine brings are enough to warrant it a spot on our best router table review.
Another entry-level option with a beginner-friendly cost is the GoPlus Electric Aluminum Router Table. Utilizing this at home or in your workshop will help convert your routers into stationary power tools, capable of accomplishing a wider variety of tasks. Here are some of its best features.
Even though this router measures only 13 by 18-inches, it comes with an extendable table that adds almost 8-inches of workspace. This add-on is likewise built using an easy-slide surface to help move workpieces skate through it better. Furthermore, it can carry up to 44-lbs of weight with great ease.
As might be expected, solidity isn’t the only benefit it offers, but also accuracy. A miter guard is present to ensure precise calculation of length that fits your exact preference. It can even be employed when measuring angles so each cut produced is according to your liking. Since woodworking requires supreme meticulousness, this would extremely valuable to have.
Several other details that we never knew were needed are likewise a nice touch. These include a dust port, two dual-outlet switches, a transparent protection cover, and table trestle all work to assure smoother operations. If you’re looking for a no-frills alternative that gets the job done, then the GoPlus Electric Aluminum Router Table must be at the top of your list.
Things to Consider When Buying a Router Table
Canvassing through hundreds of choices can be extremely confusing – we feel you. So when deciding what router table to purchase, you need to look out for distinct factors to make this process much easier. These are the five non-negotiables that we feel you should prioritize over the rest.
As we have come to know, woodworking requires supreme exactness, so having a router table that’s built well is extremely necessary. We would suggest going for units made from stainless steel, aluminum, or hard plastic to minimize shaking. Also, all primary parts like the tabletop and miter gauge need to be straight. Otherwise, the products you create might be misaligned.
Be sure also to check reviews on products before making a purchase. This should provide you with actual human experiences before signing off on any deal.
Since router table is only really a secondary accessory, it’s not advisable to spend more than $250 on it. Even the most complete options on the market won’t go beyond that. However, the expense you make should also match your lifestyle. Beginners will probably opt for a cheaper model since they’re still trying things out, while a seasoned woodworker my go for something higher-end. The same goes for professionals who’ll use this tool to make money.
Ultimately, begin by identifying an amount you are fine consuming, then look for an option within that price range – give or take a few dollars. Following suit would get you the best router table, but also stay within the budget.
We spoke a bit about steadfastness in the previous number and that is true. Yet another measurable quality to think about is the size. The router table you select mustn’t only fit in your work station, but also be large enough to bear heavier supplies, especially wooden planks and metal items.
As such, you need to plan. Find a spacious area in your home, garage, or office where you can put this device. Do some basic estimates to see if you’ll be comfortable enough placing a router table in it. At the same time, imagine also the materials you could work with. Remember, it’s best to invest in a more robust model that fits in your area than realizing it doesn’t meet the requirements.
4. Router Compatibility
Not all tables and routers are compatible. If you aren’t mindful of this fact, you might encounter a scenario wherein these pieces won’t match – and this is somewhat of a nightmare. You’ll end up wasting time, money, and resources on something that could easily have been avoided.
When looking for this accessory, we assume you already have a router, right? You can verify this by checking the mounting piece usually found in the middle of the platform. However, if you’re still not sure and want an insurance policy, go for a unit that utilizes a triple-loc function. These are rings that help you adjust the fit and make your table router compatible with a wider range of different options.
Essentially, this solves the problem of mismatched tools, which is a huge sigh of relief for most consumers.
5. Dust Collection Port
This may not seem all that important, yet when you’ve just finished eight hours of work and there’s a huge mess in front of you, a quality dust collection port could save the day. It has the potential to clean things up within a limited amount of time.
Of course, this dust collector needs to be wide enough so that debris passes through it seamlessly, not to mention attuned with your vacuum. These may seem complicated at first, but it will all be worth it in the end.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We’ve assembled a list of the most frequently asked questions on the Internet. Hopefully, going through these will better explain the value of these power tools for you and the work you are planning to do.
1. Are router tables really necessary in woodworking?
Since most routers are already self-sustaining, the technical answer here is no. That machine will still work even without a table. Nevertheless, router tables help to maximize its uses and can greatly amplify its reach. Utilizing this pedestal likewise provides woodworkers with a stable foundation to put their workpieces on.
Eventually, users should feel more comfortable, produce better-measured slices, and even work more efficiently because of these instruments, resulting in greater long-term progress.
2. What is the average price of these items?
Providing an accurate range is difficult simply because there are so many options. Still, $150 to $200 could be a safe approximation. These selections would hit the balance between being easy on the wallet and also completely functional.
3. Is there a specific brand I should be targeting?
Unless you’ve had prior experience with a particular brand, there isn’t anyone that comes to mind. As a rule, we would always prioritize personal needs and credibility over loyalty. Thus, before jumping into a transaction, do some research on the company’s history as well as reviews written about it. Doing this simple task should give you a clearer indication of whether to push through. Remember, if an incident happens once, it could very well repeat itself again, possibly even to you.
We hope that after reading our best router table review, you’ve developed a deeper understanding and admiration for these pieces of equipment. They may not be the flashiest in the lot, but they do play a critical role in safeguarding your interests as a woodworker, continually toiling in the background to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Thus, if you’re ever given the opportunity to own something like this, we firmly suggest you take it. Aim, also, for models like the Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table. It offers everything from durability, spaciousness, high-performance, and other miscellaneous features that help make your life easier. Best of all, it comes from a reputable company, which always has your best interests in mind.
At the end of the day, always choose based on need. The decisions you make should always stem from your life and whether or not it is valuable. Going through this process, despite being more difficult, will greatly lessen the likelihood of buyer’s remorse. It would, on the contrary, cultivate a stronger affinity towards your best router table.