Are you a DIY woodworker who wants to practice on professional style cuts but just can’t get them right? Nailing detailed woodworking projects can be difficult, especially if it involves small or thin wooden pieces. The best router tables make this job almost too easy.
Whereas if you are a professional woodworker, you must have gone through a considerable amount of router tables already. So whether you’re a newbie or an experienced user shopping for a new router table, we’ve got you covered.
When it comes to router tables, it’s difficult to find useful information to help you out. That's because there's a huge range of models available with different features, prices, and styles. But you’re finally in the right place. We have rounded up the products we like best, with a detailed introduction and buyer’s guide for the product to help you make the best choice. So let’s go!
What is a Router Table?
1 How Does it Work?Basically, a router table works the same as a stand-alone router. The main difference is that because the blade is fixed upside down, the router spins anti-clockwise. This means the user has to practice a little in the beginning to get the hang of it even if he’s an expert at the handheld router.Apart from that, router tables provide a better amount of flexibility and stability. With a typical router, you have to move the machine across the length of the material, which leads to error and kickback.In this product, the router or cutter is securely attached to the motor to a properly leveled table. So all you have to do is feed the material into the cutter and watch it make precise cuts on small and large pieces.
2 What is it Used for?There are many woodworking jobs you just can’t nail if you don’t have a router table. Firstly, if you usually work with small, narrow materials, then a handheld router won’t work well for you. That's because you won’t have a good grip on the material. With a router table, you get the flexibility to hold the material firm no matter how small it is and get accurate cuts.Secondly, if you’re using large cutters or bits with large diameters, using a router table is a great option. The larger the cutter, the more difficult it is to manage. A router table keeps you worry free about any accidents and reduces fatigue while you use its highly performant attributes.Thirdly, you can make the same cut multiple times easily. You can make the measurement for the first one and continue passing the material one by one to get the same cuts over and over again. This makes bulk jobs easy to manage.Similarly, you can't do advanced woodworking jobs such as stopped cuts and raised panel doors using a handheld router. So if you want to take up advanced woodworking projects, a router table is a must for you.There are two types of table routers, namely benchtop tables and freestanding tables.
3 Free Standing TablesFree standing tables are more versatile and professional models. These are usually large in size and weight. Some even have removable legs which enable it to double up as a benchtop table as well. You can set it up in your workshop to get some serious cutting done.
4 Benchtop TablesBenchtop tables are highly flexible and portable. They are much lighter in weight and smaller, which makes them easy to carry around and displace. You can fix them over your workbench or any table in your workshop to begin using it. It comes with secure brackets to keep the table in position while working.Apart from these two main types, there are a variety of other advancements and features in every model. The model you choose depends on your personal needs, budget, and expertise.Let's get started with the reviews, but first, here’s a list of the router table models we liked best, at a glance.
Now that you know the basics, let’s get started with the details of each product, to give you further insight for each of them.
KREG PRS1045 Precision Router Table System
This is our top choice for the best router table. The easy setup, adjustability, and versatility make this product the ideal choice for any professional woodworker. The overall outlook comprises of a durable table top, a T- square style fence, and a sturdy steel frame, all of which work together to give you flawless working experience.
In addition, the fence’s unique shape allows it to maintain its position parallel to the miter gauge so your measurement will never get distorted. Also, you can operate it using only one hand and lock it into place with a double lock system which makes sure the fence holds its position. It also has a ruler to help you measure your cuts accurately and get the best results.
Furthermore, the table is made of high-pressure laminate, which absorbs vibration to help you get accurate cuts every time, without any user fatigue. The steel reinforcements at the bottom of the table top provide extra support and make sure the table stays leveled even after rigorous usage.
Besides that, the steel stand is adjustable, which means you don’t have to worry if your floors are uneven, the stand will let you level your table up to perfection.
For further accessibility, the table has a built-in dust collection system to keep the extra debris out of your way. It comes with jointing rods that can be attached to the outfeed of the fence to smooth the edges of your material out when you need to.
Professional users absolutely love this model. The quality of the fence, table, casters, and fence is on point. Most of them say that with this model, they got exactly what was advertised in terms of durability and accessibility. That’s why this product gets a 4.4-star allover rating.
This is a great model for woodworkers who need a professional instrument but don’t have the space for it in their workshop. This tabletop router will fit any table or workbench perfectly to give you a chance to sharpen your sewing skills with increased accuracy and ease.
Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181
Bosch brings another great benchtop router table to the list. It’s versatile and adjustable enough to fit your workbench or table, without taking up much space in your workshop. So if that’s what you’re concerned about, this is the one for you.
With this model, you get a large workspace. The 27-inch table top gives you enough space to work with large or small amounts of material. This way, you can go through both small or large cuts easily. Made out of durable aluminum, it remains leveled and flat even after rugged use and can support considerable amounts of weight as well.
Moreover, the model comes with adjustable featherboards. You can set them up while working to give you a good amount of precision and control over the stock you feed into the cutter. Also, the table has two electrical outlets which can be connected easily to the nearest switch available, making it easy to set up and use.
What’s more? It is no hassle to clean this up. The 2.5-inch inbuilt dust collection port is easily compatible with your cleaning pipes or vacuum hoses to help you clean up without any mess. It has some great safety and locks features to avoid any accidents around the workplace.
Most users are all praises about this high-quality Bosch product. It’s lightweight but heavily built, which makes it great for you if you like to take on tough jobs as well as light ones. It can nail everything accurately.
Another thing users like most are the easy installation and removal of benchtop router table. You can easily place it from one place to another or just switch to different tools without wasting any time.
This benchtop model has a commendable number of benefits and useful features. The work table is flat, durable, and sturdy. In addition, it can fit any workbench and workshop easily, and cleaning it up is a breeze, which makes it a good, low maintenance router table.
Bosch Cabinet Style Router Table RA1171
Another versatile product by Bosch. This benchtop router table is an advanced solution for all woodworkers who want to revamp their workshop. It gives the maximum support to the worker with its 4-inch fence with adjustable MDF face plates. Both work together to make difficult operations smooth. Also, you can offset the outfeed for jointing.
In addition, the mounting plate is made of strong aluminum, which stays flat to ensure ultimate precision every time. Also, the plate comes with pre-drilled holes that make it easy for you to set it up on any table or workbench and get started.
Moreover, the table includes easy to use feather boards to control the direction of the material according to your requirement. These boards protect against kickback and extra fatigue as well.
The dust collection feature works well as the dual dust ports collect dust and debris effectively. This keeps your workplace from getting messy and eliminates the hassle of cleaning up afterward.
This model gets a 4.2-star rating from users. That’s because not only is it easy to use, and fits all workbenches - it has many other accessible features as well. These include the dual outlet switch and dual dust collection ports which make work easy for you during and after the operation.
While this model is the next of kin to the Bosch RA1181, both stand at par with each other in terms of great features and utility. However, this model is a cheaper option for people on a budget. Also, this one is heavier and sturdy compared to its counterpart model so you’ll need to see what you’re using it for before making a purchase.
Kreg PRS1040 Precision Router Table System
This model from the Kreg range is a great tool to have around your workshop. In addition to the basic features needed is a good router table, it has extra durability and accessible innovations to help you through tough, professional tasks easily.
This Precision Router Table has a state-of-the-art t-square style fence. It is fully enclosed to give you maximum accuracy and effective use of your miter slot and other adjustments. Also, the fence helps in dust collection as well, so no debris obstructs your working space.
Furthermore, the table top itself is constructed with sturdy materials which eliminate vibrations to a staggering extent. This way, you can move your material through the cutter smoothly and glide it through to get precise cuts. Also, less vibration means less fatigue to the user, so it’s ideal for long term use.
The Easy-Slide Micro-Dot covering on the tabletop, makes materials slide easily across it. Your folks won’t even know you’re taking up some serious woodworking in your workshop, as the table top reduces most of the noise created during operation.
Moreover, the table is reinforced with levelers at the bottom. There eight levelers in total made out of tough, durable materials to keep your table flat as you work. In addition, the cleaning and maintenance are accessible, and you can reposition the adjustable fences to use as vertical jointers as well.
Users rate this product at 3.9 stars out of 5. That’s fairly good considering this model is quite expensive. Nevertheless, users have got what they expected for their money, but some haven't. What most people love about this model is its amazing performance, and accuracy with the fence and miter gauge.
What bothers most users is that the table needs to be leveled frequently by adjusting the feet below, while the dust collection port in the fence requires thorough suction which shop vacuums cannot deliver.
If you’re looking for a high-end router table which you can use for professional woodworking, then this product is a great option. It has a durable and sturdy table top, which can take the weight of any material you put it through, while the enclosed fence helps gain control over minute details as well.
Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax Cast Iron Router Table Extension
The Bench Dog router table is just what you need if you want a trusty woodworking tool but are short on space. This compact model is great for small shops and workspaces where users need to optimize the way they use their space.
It has a cast iron table top which can take up maximum material weight for you. This means you can take up large woodworking tasks with this table easily.
Besides that, this model lets you work from all sides to help make use of all the space available. You can rotate the fence with the dual fence slot technology and work from either side of the table. Also, it has a third miter slot configuration to handle crosscut sleds effectively if you strive for innovation in your work.
Most importantly, it's easy to install and remove this table. The j-hooks are provided with the package so you can dismount your router table and hang it up while you work with another tool. This keeps it safely out of the way, so it doesn't take up much of your working space.
The one-piece aluminum frame holds the machines on its top and bottom sides. This helps the table stay flat and leveled even after rigorous use. Similarly, the fence has a good amount of adjustability as you can customize it to your needs without any tools.
The bit guard and the large dust collection port work together to clear the table up, so no debris comes your way while you work, and cleaning up becomes easy.
Users with limited space and professional woodworking requirements love this table because it’s a solution to all their problems. The overall build of this table is durable, but a little on the heavier side.
Also, the motor positioning limits the compatibility of this model, which is a huge drawback for most people. Other than that, the setup and installation are easy, and the performance is amazing according to many users, which gets it the 4.4-star rating.
If you’re looking for a heavy duty table to fit inside your workshop, then this is the one for you. However, with this model, you will have to go through the specifics properly and check whether it will fit your saw table.
Also, the cast iron table is quite heavy as it is made to deal with heavy stocks so you’ll need to judge your own expertise before making the purchase as heavier models can get difficult to handle.
1 CompatibilityWhile buying a router table, you need to pick one which is compatible with most routers. All routers have different mechanisms and sizes, so it's evident that not all of them will fit all router tables.This is an important point to ponder if you already have a router. You’ll need a table which fits your router perfectly.Similarly, if you don’t own a router already, you should check the specifics of each table before you buy it. Many brands offer versatile tables which can fit all kinds of routers. These types of products are great if you work on a wide range of woodworking projects. You can fit the router you need and get started.Apart from that, some companies sell their tables with a variety of mounting places of all sizes. If you’ve made the decision to buy a certain model of a brand, you should check the sizes and variations of mounting plates to make an informed purchase.
2 TableThe quality of the table differs from brand to brand. That’s where you should be cautious. Not all brands pay attention to the materials. If the material is not good enough, the short life of your router table is not the only problem you will face.Low-quality materials cannot handle weight well, which means it will have a problem staying leveled properly. If you do end up with such a product, you can always use leveling methods such as adding shims to the feet or using washers to level the corners.Besides that, another problem you can face is getting a warped table. This is difficult to fix because no matter how much you try to level the table up, it will warp up from the other side. If you end up with such a product, it's likely your investment will go to waste. So never judge a product by the way it is advertised without looking into the reviews first.
3 SurfaceTable surfaces range from strong metal surfaces to wooden and feeble plastic surfaces. The strongest material for the ideal table which can handle weight well is the one with the cast iron surface. These are durable and tend to stay flat for long periods of time even after long term use.However, if you need a table that you can carry around, or move from one workbench to another, then a cast iron surface won’t work for you. That’s because it’s pretty heavy, and you'll have a hard time moving it around.Next in line comes the aluminum table surfaces. It has the durability and sturdiness of the ideal metal surface and is light and portable as well. That’s great for people who want a benchtop table which can be used on multiple workbenches. Also, aluminum tables are easy to install and remove, which saves a lot of setup time.Other materials include wood and plastic materials. These can range from moderately strong to extremely low quality. This depends entirely on the manufacturer, as many of them tend to use good quality materials.Apart from that, wood and plastic tables are durable and maneuverable as well when purchased from a high-quality, reliable brand. Also, these table routers are affordable models for those who want cheaper options.
4 Base PlateThe base plate is what holds the table and the router together. Therefore, if there is a problem with your base plate, perfect cuts will remain a dream for you. Like the table surface, base plates can also be warped and cause your material to get stuck or deviate from your desired measurement during operation.Similarly, if a base plate is warped or bent, you can easily adjust it from the corners and level it up. While this process is fairly easy on high-end models, you can have some trouble with it on low-quality ones.Most importantly, your base plate should be compatible with your router. You will need a sturdier base plate for heavy duty routers while with small ones, basic base plates will do.
5 FenceThe fence is an important part of the router table. It’s the part you move your material against as you push it through the cutter. Mainly, it’s there to help you keep your material straight for accurate cuts. However, it will only work well if it is made out of good quality materials and fits your table perfectly.It’s difficult to find a good fence on most tables because companies tend to neglect its importance. But if you have a functional fence, you can get professional woodworking done easily.So if you’ve bought the best router table according to you, but you’re stuck with a feeble fence that just doesn't work there's another solution as well. You can find stand-alone fences to fit your router table perfectly.
6 Miter GaugeA miter gauge is an instrument which helps you measure the angle, and maintain the same while cutting a piece of wood. This can be useful if you want to cut out a piece to fit perfectly into a particular area. Also, it helps you regulate the movement of your material through the cutter.However, there are a few anomalies involved in the effective use of a miter gauge. The router table you choose may have an accurate miter gauge, but if the table top is bent or the base plate is warped, the angle won’t be precise.Similarly, miter gauge can be subject to neglect from the manufacturers as well. In this case, you will find that a combination of a durable table top and base plate, complete with a functional fence will have a miter gauge that doesn't have the correct reading. So a good miter gauge depends on the quality and reliability of the table you’re buying.
7 Personal PreferencesIn the end, it all comes down to this. We can tell you the details for the best products and tell you what to expect out of each component, but the usage and nature of work depend entirely upon the individual.Maintaining that, you should keep in mind that the ideal table for you is the one that helps you out with your work, no matter how cheap or expensive it is.Even if you’re on a budget, it's of no use buying a cheap table because you will end up spending more on its maintenance. So make an informed, smart decision by evaluating each product from all angles to make sure you’ve bought the best one available.
Wrapping these reviews up, you should know that there’s a perfect quality router table out there for you. So if you’re a professional woodworker passionate about creative and functional wood crafting, then the task of choosing a great tool to assist you shouldn’t bother you.
Concluding our reviews and buying guide, the best router table is the one that makes your innovation routing operations easy. Whether you take up slicing, carving, or cutting, you’ll have handsfree precision and zero irregularities if you make the correct choice to create your workpiece.