Anyone who has done any kind of woodworking before has likely thought about how it would be much easier if they had a best router table .
Our Picks – Top 3 Best Router Table 2016
Not only are router tables easier to work on, but they are also safer. Even though you may think you have to be a professional or do a lot of woodworking to own a router table, that’s not necessarily the case. You can be just a weekend woodworker and still benefit greatly from a router table.
Each router table is different in a variety of ways. What sets apart the good router tables from the bad ones is the amount of features and adjustments that they have. If you’re going to invest in a router table, you might as well get one that will allow you to use it frequently and on different types of projects.
We’ve narrowed down some of the best router tables that you can find and have provided our honest opinions on them. Hopefully after reading this guide, you will be able to make the best choice for you.
- Our Picks – Top 3 Best Router Table 2016
- Brief Reviews of the Top Rated Router Tables
- Finding the Perfect Router Table for You
Brief Reviews of the Top Rated Router Tables
There are countless router tables on the market that have different features. We have narrowed them down to just a handful and give you some brief details about our top models :
What I really like about this Kreg PRS1045 router table is all the features and accessories that it comes with. Because of that, it is easily one of the most versatile router tables I’ve ever seen and used. Included in the price that you pay is the tabletop, a T-square style fence and a steel stand.
The durable aluminum fence is easy to adjust and move to get to the perfect setting that you need for each cut. You can literally adjust the fence and lock it in place with just one hand. And it’s just as easy to remove the fence completely if you’re working on a smaller project that doesn’t require the fence.
One of the worst things about doing woodwork is the clean up afterwards. The Kreg has a unique built-in dust collection port that attracts the majority of the dust that gets created when cutting wood. It doesn’t quite get everything, but the less you have to sweep up in your shop after you’re done working, the better.
Everything about this router table is just right for the average woodworker and probably even professionals. The tabletop is 24″ x 32″ and has a 1″ thick core that drastically reduces vibrations. There are also steel reinforcements throughout different areas of the table, which makes it seem like it is going to last many years.
I’ve found that the Bosch 1617EVSPK Variable Speed Router works very well with this router table, but you can drill holes to make just about any router that you have work on it.
When you initially look at the price of this router table, you will probably be asking yourself what’s wrong with it. Bosch RA1181 is one of the cheapest router tables that you can buy, but that doesn’t mean that it is made of cheap quality. It’s constructed with a tough aluminum that will make you feel like it’s a sturdy and safe table to use for many of your woodworking projects. The table top itself measures 27” wide x 18” deep x 14 1/2” high. It is also a pretty lightweight table at just 30lbs, so it’s pretty easy to move around if you need to.
The fence that’s included with it is tall at 4 7/8” and 25 1/8” long, but there are some drawbacks to the fence. There isn’t a clear and easy way to make sure that the fence is precisely lined up. When you’re making precision cuts, you have to make sure that you aren’t just eyeballing the measurements. I don’t really feel confident when I’m making cuts on this router table, but I may get better with practice.
As far as the actual routers go that will fit on this table, any of the Bosch 1617EVSPK (fixed base) and Bosch 1619EVS series models will fit it perfectly. It also fits other popular brands, like Dewalt, Craftsman, Makita and Milwaukee, but the specific models can be found in the owner’s manual for the table.
For anyone who is looking for a solid router table that is a mid-range product as far as price and features go, then Bench Dog Promax is the one you’re looking for. It’s a compact table that won’t take up a lot of space in your shop, but you should be aware that it weighs about 60lbs, so it’s not very light or easy to move. But the weight is also a good thing because I’ve noticed that there is very little vibration and movement when I use the table. The construction materials absorb those vibrations very well. The cast iron tabletop is a durable quality that will handle a lot of tough projects and abuse as well.
Bench Dog’s Pro Fence on this router table measures at 28” long. It takes a little bit of effort to get the fence lined up perfectly, but it locks securely in place and you won’t have to guess whether you’re set up to make precision cuts. One important thing to remember when purchasing this router table is that it doesn’t include the router mounting plate.
But the silver lining to not including the router mounting plate is that you can buy the plate that you know will fit the router you currently have. If you are shopping for a new router as well, then I would recommend the Dewalt DWP611PK.
If you’re someone who just does woodworking projects on the weekends and don’t plan on doing very large projects, then you may be interested in this Bosch RA1171 router table. There’s nothing really special about it when it comes to the features, but it does exactly what you need it to do when it comes to basic cutting.
With the tabletop measuring at 25 1/2” wide x 14 1/2″ high x 15 7/8” deep, there’s not a lot of room to work with larger pieces of wood, but it’s great for little woodworking projects. The tall adjustable aluminum fence measures at 4 7/8” x 25 1/8”, and is pretty easy to work with to get precision cuts every time. This table is pre-drilled to fit most Bosch fixed base routers, so we would recommend the Bosch 1617EVSPK Variable Speed Router. However, it’s easy to drill your own holes to make almost any brand of router that you have fit on it.
I’ve used this router table several times and haven’t had any noticeable issues with it. However, getting to that point was a little bit of a struggle. I wouldn’t say that I’m the best at assembling things, but I usually know what I’m doing. With that said, this was a difficult little table to assemble. Once you get it put together, this is a handy little table!
Kreg is known for manufacturing some of the highest quality router tables, and this Kreg PRS2100 is right up there with them. Right when I opened the box, I was extremely impressed with how sturdy the construction materials felt. For a bench top router table, the tabletop measures at 16” x 24”, which isn’t too big, but it’s enough to get my weekend projects completed.
Once assembled, the nice thing about this table is that it comes with a template for you to drill your own holes for the router. That means you can virtually fit any router that you currently have with this table. But if you’re in the market for a new router, I would recommend the Dewalt DWP611PK.
I can attest with other reviewers that this is one of the most difficult fences that I’ve used when it comes to locking in place to get precise measurements. You will pretty much have to use a screwdriver every time you want to adjust it. You can eventually get it where you want to, but you may spend more time adjusting the fence than you do actually cutting.
The fence issue is the only major flaw with this router table, though. I assume you would get better with a little practice, but out of the router tables we’ve reviewed, this one definitely has the biggest learning curve.
Finding the Perfect Router Table for You
Router tables are generally pretty simple pieces of equipment when it comes down to it. However, if you aren’t thinking about the right types of features, then you could get frustrated when you use it. We have put together some of the most important features that you must have when you buy a router table, whether you are a beginner or a professional, so that your router table buying process will be much easier.
Flat and Durable Tabletop
If you’re in the market for a router table, then you’ve obviously got some projects in mind that require some precision. There’s nothing worse than having a router table that is uneven or can’t handle a little weight without feeling unsecure. Many people try to save some money by making their own router table, but that usually ends up being a mistake. When it comes to precision and accuracy for woodworking projects, it’s worth spending a little money to get something that you know will help you make the perfect cuts every time.
Easily Adjustable Fence
A lot of people make the mistake of just looking at the dimensions of the fence to determine which router table they want to buy. While the length is a critical feature to consider, depending on the types of projects you’ll be doing, you also need to know how it sets up.
The best router tables will have some sort of measuring stick or alignment tool to help you align the fence perfectly. It will also include a simple knob or switch to help lock the fence in place so you won’t have to worry about it shifting on you while you work. If you have to use other tools to adjust the fence, then you may be spending more time adjusting it rather than doing the work. This may not be too bad if you don’t have a variety of cuts to make, but if you are constantly adjusting the fence, then you’re going to waste a lot of time if you don’t have one that’s easily adjustable.
Secure and Stable Base
Operating a router is safe if you take the necessary precautions. But you could take all the precautions you want and still create a dangerous environment if you don’t have a router table that is secure and stable. Not only that, but a wobbly base will also prevent you from making straight cuts.
Most of the quality router tables are manufactured to be secure and stable. However, it is up to you to assemble it with proper care. Take your time and don’t rush it when you’re assembling your new router table. Save yourself a lot of time in the long run, not to mention creating a safer work environment, by taking the proper care to assemble your router table securely.
Flat and Rigid Base Plate
Most routers that you buy will have a base plate that fits onto your router, and then it will fit onto the table itself. A good quality base plate is not something that you want to sacrifice since it is the piece that supports the weight of your router. Be sure to find a router table that has some sort of leveling feature for your base plate so that it will sit flat with the surface of the table.
Finally, consider whether you will be using your router primarily on the table or if you will be taking it off and using it for other projects as well. It should be easy enough to attach the router to the table with the base plate, but if you are constantly switching back-and-forth, then you’ll want to make sure that the assembly and removal are as easy as possible.
Being educated about router tables is the first step in choosing the right one for you. After reading this article, you now know everything that you need in order to make the perfect choice. If I had to recommend a best router table for you, I would recommend the Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table. It is the perfect table for experts and hobbyists alike and has just about everything you would ever need in a router table. And it’s one of the best values you can find anywhere. This is one of the best sellers in the router table category, so don’t waste any time and buy yours today!