Last updated September 23, 2021
Router work along edges of fine woodworking projects improves their look and durability. Hand-held routers can accomplish the job, but a router table will allow you to finish the job consistently and quickly. A router table will provide you with a secure hold on the router and allow you to use both hands to hold onto the wood that is being worked on.
Included below are ten router tables that might fit your needs, as well as a Buyer’s Guide and FAQ section to help you in determining what to look for as you are shopping for a router table.
- Best Heavy Duty Table: Kreg PRS1045 Router Table
- Best for Beginners: Bosch RA1181 Router Table
- Best with Dust Collection: Bosch RA1171 Router Table
- Simple Stability: Kreg PRS2100 Router Table
- Best with Stand: Skil RAS900 Router Table
- Best with Lift: JESSEM Mast-R-Lift Excel II
- Best without Router: Grizzly G0528 Router Table
- Best with Height Adjustment: Kreg PRS1040 Router Table
- Best with Router Combo: Craftsman Router and Router Table Combo
- Best for Home Use: Goplus Aluminum Router Table
Router Table Buyer’s Guide
A router table is one of the basic tools needed as a woodworker. It is a hand tool or power tool which helps users and experts rout an area on materials like wood or plastic. Most routers are either fastened with their cutting edge in the router table while other routers can be handheld as well.
It is a form of a table in which a handheld router can be fixed and the cutter of the router is being passed through a small hole to the surface of the table. When purchasing a router table, keep it in mind to get one that can make you use hands-free so that you can direct and cut the wood you are working on without making any errors. In other words, a router table eliminates errors and improves accuracy. It also ensures the safety of your project at hand. A routing table makes it capable for users to perform more advanced cutting, form edging profiles, installing groves, etc.
Types of Router Tables
Router tables come in types and categories. There are various subsets of products but router tables fall mainly into three types. These are:
Why you should Purchase a Routing Table
Having a routing table means having a massive amount of benefits as a woodworker but in this section, we are going to borrow it down just to the most prominent ones. Below are some of the benefits that come with using a routing table for your projects.
- When woodworkers use a routing table, it provides them with so much stability while routing plastic or wood. This beats when you manually use a routing tool with just your hands. A routing table is also proven to be very important and practical when you are trying to intensely shape a wood. By making your working surface much more stable, professionals and even enthusiastic can hasten up on their job delivery.
- When users make use of a quality router table, they can actually focus their two hands more on the process of routing. When you don’t have any routing table, you are required to hold the router with one hand to increase accuracy. But with a routing table, your router can be held in a suitable and stable position so that you can concentrate more on the object you are routing.
- Router tables make it easy for enthusiastic and users to shape as well as cut wood. You have more precision and heightened operation.
- The last reason why users and professionals should consider getting a routing table is that these products offer better safety. When you use a routing table, chances are slim that you would encounter errors like when you use a router without a routing table. If you are a professional, the routing table will greatly increase your accuracy, precision, and time management.
Before you can shop for a router table with confidence, you will want to familiarize yourself with the features that can influence the quality of this power tool.
Router Table Surface
The table surface might be one of the most important aspects to consider when shopping for a router table. The surface needs to be completely smooth to prevent scratches along the wood surface. A smooth surface will also allow you to push the wood along the fence and bit without snagging.
Gaps between the fence and the table should not affect the stability of the wood piece on the table. Gaps between the table surface and the plate that the router is mounted onto should be small, and the surfaces need to be flush.
The table surface needs to be large enough to support the sizes of wood that you usually work with. It should also be made from materials that are solid and help to dampen vibrations generated when the router is on.
The Table Base
While some table designs are meant to be fixed onto a workbench, many products will include a base that the table will sit upon. The structure should be robust enough to handle the weight of the table, router, and projects that you will be working on.
The connectors for the legs and shelves should lock properly so that they do not work loose during use. Finally, the legs should be placed in a way to secure the table while providing stability.
The table fence needs to provide support in a straight line after the locks are secured in order to prevent variations in the cuts. The fence needs to have a large enough hole to accommodate the bit as well as room for wood debris to move.
The dials or levers used to lock the fence need to be easy to use and should provide a strong lock to prevent movement when the project is pushed on it during the router session.
Most models will include some type of opening for the wood chips and dust to move through. With an open table, a dust port should be mounted in a way that can attach to the vac tubs while collecting a large portion of the dust. With a closed table, the chamber that the debris is pushed into should be easy to clear out with the vac system pressure. This area needs to be easily accessible so that you can also clear it out by hand.
Miter Gauge and Track
With router tables that include a miter gauge, you should test it to verify that it performs as intended. If the miter does not move easily through the track, or will not offer proper angles as you move the wood across the bit, you may want to consider replacing it.
The track on the table needs to be recessed so that it will not stand above the tabletop. It should provide a smooth movement for the miter and needs to be easy to access and clean.
The plate that the router connects to should offer a secure hold no matter what RPMs are set at. There needs to be plenty of clearance between the bit and the plate opening to prevent the head or shaft of the bit from rubbing against the plate.
All connections to the table must be secure and also need to be flush to keep this surface even with the rest of the table. All mounting plates should be located near the center of the table and not along the edges of the table.
If you are buying a table for a router that you already own, it is important to verify that the router can mount to the table properly. Many tables now come with multiple plates that match up with the common router body styles in the market. If you are buying the router along with the table, matching table and router brands help to eliminate many issues.
Router Table Space
The tables available on the market vary in size. One brand’s table may have a footprint that is twice the size of another brand. Keep in mind the space available in your shop or garage.
If your table will be mounted on a workbench surface, make sure to use the proper fasteners, as well as bolts and washers.
Safety tips when using a Router Table
When using a routing table, there are some safety tips that can help you to use the product much more safely. We all know that router tables are relatively safe but one has to take all the necessary precautions and steps to avoid casualties most especially if you are just a newbie. These include:
- Always make sure that before you start using a routing table, wear dust masks, safety glasses, and ear muffs to protect your vital organs from and harm.
- Always make sure the fence of the routing table is properly set up before use.
- Fix the bit correctly so it doesn’t come off during operation.
- When routing, always start out by feeding the wood from the right to the left.
- Before making any change concerning the bits, make sure you switch off the device from the power plug.
- If peradventure you are using a smaller wood, consider holding it in place using a clamp tool found on the router table.
These tips will go a long way toward helping you maintain and achieve the best possible result when using a router table.
The table surface is large and smooth, allowing you to move pieces of varying size across it with ease. The table height can be adjusted from 29 to 35 inches, something that taller joiners will be happy to see. It also comes with Kreg’s T-track for a miter gauge and the fence has a measuring scale to aid with set up.
This router table can be recommended, especially for advanced woodworkers who will use the table a lot.
This entry by Bosch offers users many accessories along with the table. It includes feather boards, multiple plates, two guards, and a sacrificial fencing face. The on/off button is located on the front of the table.
All surfaces match up evenly, helping to prevent your project from catching as you run it along the fence. The track system is smooth and provides a secure purchase for the miter gauge. A clear guard helps to cover the bit while allowing you to see.
The channel that the bit sits in provides plenty of clearance. The table is noisy to operate due to the light framing and it does generate a bit of vibration when the wood router is turned on. The feather boards do hold the wood project without snagging, and its MDF faceplates offer a sacrificial surface that protects the other parts of the fence. This product is recommended for the woodworker looking for a complete package straight out of the box.
This cabinet router table from Bosch is designed to work with thicker stock than other models, thanks to the fence that stands nearly five inches in height. A multitude of accessories, including feather boards and guards, help to secure workpieces and provide additional safety when the router is on.
This router table will perform in a similar fashion to the Bosch product reviewed above, with two exceptions. First, the router will generate less noise as it is placed inside the cabinet.
Secondly, this closed cabinet will help to keep debris from moving around. You will have to inspect the interior by eye to make sure that it does not clog, however.
This table is recommended. The function and safety features added to the design make it an excellent table to work on.
This router table is small enough to move around job sites or throughout a shop. When this is combined with the steel frame and aluminum fence, Kreg offers a dependable table for professional carpenters and interior contractors. It has an edge-banded top made from MDF that will remain stable with use. It has been covered with materials that offer smooth movement along its surface.
With the solid build of this item, it can be recommended for users that put a lot of time in on their router table.
Are you on a budget? If so, consider getting the Skil RAS900 Router Table because this product provides its users with specifications of a full-sized router table. In short, the Skil RAS900 Router Table fulfills all of your routing problems without much damage to the pocket. It features a space with storage containers for accessories that one can use alongside the router table. It also has a clamp system that was built to be easy and fast making sure you get your project done on time.The Skil RAS900 Router Table comes with two feather boards that can help customers to guide their wooden projects around.
The Skil RAS900 Router Table can take a variety of routers and it is an adjustable bit system that makes it easy to use, mostly when you need to change the router at a point in the future. The tabletop of this product is MDF with a smooth laminated surface and the base is made up of hard-wearing plastic. This makes it perfect to slide wood across. The fence of the Skil RAS900 Router Table is adjustable which can be able to fit every type of material you want to work with.
It comes with a steel stand that provides plenty of rigidity while the router is being used. That stability is increased with a multitude of stretchers. Solid metal dials allow for smooth adjustability that is also very accurate. An extruded aluminum fence offers a solid platform for adjustable faces.
The price will prevent novice woodworkers and casual hobbyists from buying this router table. However, this product can be recommended for fine woodworkers with experience, as well as professional joinery shops.
If you are an enthusiastic woodworker, you should consider a good router table just like the Grizzly Industrial G0528 Router Table. This product helps its users to improve their routing skills as well as further their career to a professional part. The Grizzly Industrial G0528 Router Table comes with a very wide surface that has an area of about 31” x 10” which is enough for a variety of woodworking projects. This table is compatible with most of the routers out there in the market having a hp of about 0.75 to 5 and it is made out of cast iron for more durability.
The Grizzly Industrial G0528 Router Table offers other small features that look prominent and useful such as a sliding table and a safety paddle switch. The sliding table is very useful when users want to raise the panels making safety during operation an option. One feature that made us love this table is the safety paddle feature which is located at the frame of the product. This makes it easy to flip the switch on or off without bending like other tables.
A professional-grade build that is intended for heavy-duty use on job sites and commercial shops. This build helps to ensure precision thanks to its track system that keeps surfaces parallel to the fence throughout the routing process.
A stand-out with the fence is the enclosure that helps to trap debris, making dust collection easy. It has adjustment knobs that are easy to use while providing a very secure purchase. This design is intended for professional contractors and serious hobbyists. That makes this an item that can not be recommended for most DIY builders or casual hobbyists.
The materials used in its construction feel durable. A 9.5 amp motors the router that is included, supplying plenty of power to cut through most woods without issue. The table itself has a larger footprint, a feature that will aid in the overall support of your project as it sits on the table.
This combination kit works adequately on most fine woodworking jobs. It includes accessories like feather boards, which aid in securing the pieces while keeping your fingers at a safe distance. It will generate a bit of noise during operation and the debris may scatter due to its open base.
A Power strip has been fitted under the table that will allow you to plug tools in at the table instead of an outlet. This router table can be recommended, especially to those who will need a router as well as the table.
Goplus has provided a compact and lightweight router table that is designed for light and medium workloads. The table is short, allowing to be a candidate for mounting directly to workbenches that sit lower to the ground.
The small table will allow users to make cuts with most router bits, but will not provide adequate support without the extensions located on each side. It has a fence that is also small. That will provide you with enough surface for smaller projects, but it might be lacking for bigger pieces.
For those with router experience and those upgrading from a previous table, this product will probably be of limited use. With a budget-friendly price point and small footprint, this router table could be recommended for someone who is just building up their woodworking shop, as well as those who have limited table router experience.
|Product Name||Weight (lbs)||Dimensions||Worktop (sq.in.)|
|Kreg PRS1045||70||37 x 25 x 36||1200|
|Bosch Benchtop RA1181||34||27 x 18 x 14||486|
|Bosch Router Table RA1171||45||4 x 27 x 24||370|
|Kreg PRS2100||28.4||19.2 x 30 x 4.8||384|
|Skil RAS900 Router Table||31.5||28 x 9.25 x 17.75||-|
|JESSEM Mast-R-Lift Excel II||96.7||39 x 9.6 x 40.2||768|
|Grizzly Industrial G0528||102||35.2 x 26 x 7.8||Main table surface:
31" x 10"
Sliding table surface:
31" x 12"
|Kreg PRS1040||93||38 x 26 x 9||1200|
|Craftsman Router Table Combo||25||26.3 x 15.9 x 14.7||334|
|Goplus Electric Aluminum Router Table||11.95||19.1 x 14.4 x 5.6||450|
Final PassThe router tables discussed previously offer a variety of options that should cover most of the woodworker’s budgets and needs. Keep in mind the materials that the table is made from, as stability and durability are critical when routing. Table fences and miters should provide correct angles for the wood pieces to sit, and these components should move smoothly and lock down securely.
Many accessories, such as feather boards, can be made or purchased for your router table. These accessories and jigs will allow you to work safely and can speed up your workflow greatly. Keep an eye out for future additions to router table functions, including adjustable tables that can be placed at an angle with accuracy with the addition of built-in digital components.