One of the major fallacies associated with woodworking is that it only involves cutting of long sheets of wood into geometrical shapes of even thickness. This may be true, but a lot of the fine edges, designs, inlay work, dadoes and joints that one sees in fine pieces of furniture and home improvement goods cannot be obtained by simply chopping pieces of wood into smaller ones.
What you are actually looking at is, in fact, the result of the careful operation of some of the best router tables in the market. Not to be confused with routing tables (which deal with electronics), router tables are similar to miter saws in operation insofar as they too require the user to run a piece of wood along a line for the router to cut.
However, instead of a saw, the unit contains a “router” with a revolving bit that chops away at the edge of the wood, giving it the fine shapes that you see in a range of finished products. Though routers can be used as free-hand tools as well, their operation is heavily dependent on stability and hence router tables are imperative to achieving a good cut.
The utility of router tables goes far beyond mere finishing and decor, extending to a range of operations vital to the creation of doors, tables, boxes and virtually any action that requires the creation of special edges. Further, it is often easier to operate compared to other wood cutting products and for this reason, it is the primary choice of many an aspiring woodcutter.
If you are one such ambitious woodworker, you’re in luck because, in the following sections, we’ll teach you virtually everything you need to know to buy a router table with complete satisfaction.
The Top 5 Best Router Tables of 2017:
There are numerous great as well as effective router tables in the business field that you could buy. All the same, this is genuinely evasive the leading table for your carpentry. In this way, we have actually made the easy to get the table simple for you!
Bosch RA1181 Benchtop (Aluminum Fence):
Is your shop too small to accommodate a floor mounted router table? Why not opt for a Benchtop router table? And talking of Benchtop router tables, the all new Bosch RA1181 is definitely the best in the business!
A Versatile Style!
This stylish outfit has been fashioned as per a versatile design. The versatile design of this best router table allows the user to work with a variety of materials and at the same time, ensures precision with every cut.
The table is equipped with a tall aluminum fence which measures 4-7/8 x 25-1/8 inches (HXL) and helps the table handle tall stock with ease. The fence comes with adjustable MDF face plates for better support and smoother operation.
The rigid aluminum router mounting plate remains flat and true to ensure precise, accurate cuts. The fact that it is pre-drilled to accommodate a variety of routers enhances its versatility.
The easy-to-use feather boards are attached to the fence and table and are fully flexible to accommodate a variety of work pieces.
Dust it Out!
This first-rate router table features a powerful dust collection system, which is convenient enough to remove dust. This system includes one dust collection port which helps in removing dust and debris. This port is compatible with any standard-sized 2-1/2-inch vacuum hose.
The brand new Bosch RA1181 router table is steadily climbing the popularity charts. Most consumers are more than happy with the durable make and effective functionality of the product. However, there have been a few complaints about the product. For instance, many have faced problems with the power switch.
All in all, the product has generated mixed reactions, a fact reflected in the moderate 4.3 rating awarded to it.
- Comes at an affordable price.
- Easy to set up and it fits a variety of routers.
- Wide work surface.
- Solid and quality built construction.
- It is quite difficult to adjust its fence.
Bench Dog 40-001 ProTop (ProFence):
The Bench Dog 40-001 ProTop is a good, solid router table that both more experienced woodworkers and beginners shall appreciate. It has a fairly simple design, but one that works, and is built out of nicely rigid materials, which means this router table is likely to last for a good number of years with medium usage.
Compact and Portable, Wide and Stable:
You get the best compromise between portable, lighter tables and stable, heavier ones with the 40-001. This table boasts of a nice, 16 x 24 inches plastic laminate top that shows no flex under pressure yet adds very little to the table’s weight, permitting easy relocation.
For stability, there are recesses in the cabinet’s bottom board that permit you to mount it between 2x4s. Rubber feet also help keep it from sloping and reduce the effects of vibration.
An extremely versatile, easy-to-use one-piece fence and top setup provides T-slots as well as a miter track. The fence and the track are made of aluminum for added rigidity and durability, and the fence on both front and bottom sides to ensure true surfaces.
Integrated Dust Port:
A built-in dust port lets you hook up a shop vac to the table for quicker clean-ups after your work, reducing the effort you have to invest in clearing away the shop after you finish routing out pieces.
Strong, High-Quality Laminate Top:
The 16 x 24 inches laminate top is not just strong in itself: it is also well-supported, with double rails of steel under it to give it added strength as well as a sturdy, solid-panel cabinet holding it up and dulling noise as well as vibration when the router is in use. The router plate has been predrilled to take most of the commonly-used routers today.
User Comments and Feedback:
Users of the item said that they were very pleased with what they got, with the exception of a small minority (who were mostly composed of people who had the misfortune of getting ‘lemons’, in their own opinions).
Things that people liked about the table were that its one-piece fence was easy to set up as well as adjust, that the table was extremely portable despite having a nice solidity to it (especially its aluminum parts), and that the table looked quite good after assembly.
- Inexpensive price.
- Wide work surface.
- Comes with the safety accessories
- Feels pretty heavy for some people
Bench Dog 40-102 ProMax (Dual Fence):
The Bench Dog Tools 40-102 router table is an intriguing product that is designed to let table saw owners maximize that tool and solve the need for a router table all at once.
This extension is probably best considered by those who have issues with space a discrete table for their router shall require, and let them tailor their router table plans to allow the new equipment to be essentially built onto existing tools in their shops.
The 40-102 table extension is a brilliant addition to any workshop that has yet to have a router table but already has a table saw, making the most of the limited space and an already-present base on which to set the router table’s top.
Ultra-Durable Cast-Iron Build:
The 40-102 is built out of commercial-grade, heavy duty materials. The top itself has machined out of the ideal material for truly long-lasting, reliable rigid router table tops, which would be cast-iron. This is paired with aluminum insert plates and a one-piece aluminum fence, both of which also get high points in durability and stability.
The plate is pre-drilled to match specifications for famous routers grouped into four categories, with such models as the Makita 1100 and DeWalt 616-618 falling into Group A, the DeWalt DW621 and DW621K in Group B, the Porter Cable 7518 and Milwaukee 5625-20 in Group C, and the Bosch 1619-1619EVS and DeWalt 625 in Group D.
Feature-Filled Aluminium ProFence:
The ProFence is 28 inches long and is machined on front and bottom to ensure flatness. The fence setup permits you to achieve zero-clearance arrangements, access a quarter-inch T-slot, and has a miter slot provided as part of the arrangement.
User Comments and Feedback:
A number of users of the 40-102 noted that while the manufacturer claimed a perfect fit for certain table saws, a bit of drilling and some minor (but common-sense) adjustments were necessary in some cases.
Furthermore, one or two discovered that lighter table saws could tilt with the added weight of the extension, although this was not considered a problem considering that all the owners of the saws had to do was add an extra leg to brace the table.
- Supports many table saws.
- It has a good collection port and system.
- It is extremely portable.
- This router table is very easy to use.
- Sturdy and stable.
- No router plate.
- The initial setup is complicated.
Kreg PRS1040 Precision (Individual Fence):
If you are a woodworker by profession or by hobby, you know the importance of a standard router table in your workshop.
Whether you are making the panel doors or giving a final touch to the furniture, the (3 box set) Kreg PRS1040 Precision router table system, with its range of advanced lineaments helps you to give a more proficient touch to your projects. And it can be done faster, and with more ease than ever.
The Fence Comes with Modern Amenities:
This best router table is enclosed with an absolutely durable aluminum fence. The fence, with its unique t-square style, always keeps the table parallel to the miter slot. This also lets you enjoy a full use of miter slot.
The fence can support the largest of your works. It also gives strength and preciseness to the top of your router. Besides, it also helps to keep an included vacuum for a better collection of the saw dust.
Table-Top Made Tough:
The tabletop of the product is made from long-lasting MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) which resists noise and vibration. It also consists of an Easy-Slide™ Micro-Dot Skin. It is made from a high-pressure laminate which enables the woodworks to be glided easily across the plane of the tabletop.
The tabletop is even made stronger by two steel-made rod-braces which check it from bowing and bending in the long run.
Long-lasting Insert Plate is Surprisingly Flexible:
The insert plate is made of the thermosetting resin or phenolic material, which is known for its durability. Being standard in size, (9-1/4″ x 11-3/4″ x 3/8″), it is fit to work with any router. Utilizing the router’s lowermost plate, you are given a complete custom-fit by the router.
The users of the (3 box set) Kreg PRS1040 have given the product a 4.1 out of 5 stars at Amazon. They have felt that the router table is very easy to operate. The machine is also quite an accurate one.
- Good fence design and material.
- Provides ample compartment space.
- It comes with the premium DCS.
- Insert plate is only phenolic.
- Hard to assemble.
Bench Dog 40-300 ProMax (ProFence):
An efficient router table can give a better finish to any wood crafting project be it amateur or professional! The new Bench Dog 40-300 ProMax RT Complete is one with excellent ratings that you may find to be of great help. And to know more about this product and why you should get one, read on.
Compatible with Accessories, Solid Construction:
This product comes with the unique integrated dual track that has slots for attaching miter gauges and a wide range of accessories. To be more precise, this router table comes with standard miter slot and universal T-track on the surface of the table and due to this, any accessory can be attached to this table.
12 integral plate leveling system has two functions, in one hand it brings the plate flush on the table and also fastens it with the table firmly. This table comes with the ProFence 32 which is a heavy duty one piece aluminum frame attached to the bottom and front to ensure flat and square operation.
Easy access fence slots which are two in number make sure that the ProFence can be attached to the table easily and fast. The table is made with 1 ½ inch thick cast-iron plate to minimize the effect of vibration so that the operation becomes smoother and the unit stays year after year.
This product has the dual EZ-Load T-Slots which allow you to attach the Feather-Loc feather boards, Panel-Loc panel holds down and Power-Loc safety power switch easily making your work easier and more convenient.
For the zero clearance set up there is the MDF sub-fences which gets adjusted without tools. Heavy duty bit guard makes sure that you can work safely on this product. The 2 ½ inch diameter dust collection port in the ProFence and 4 inches integrated dust port in the table make sure that you do not have to worry about the dust or debris anymore.
The pull out router bit shelves gives you additional space for adding cabinets and drawers for more storage. Baltic Birch outside panels and Baltic Birch base make sure you can have all the things needed in one place like a professional unit.
The bolt and cross-dowel construction make sure that it can support big pieces with ease making your work easier and convenient. You can also add 40-188 ProCaster, 40-083 Drawer Pack, or 40-084 Door Pack to make it your complete router station. But one minor disappointment is this product does not come with a ProPlate.
What is the Feedback From the Customers?
This product has been able to impress the customers so much that in their reviews they have given it a good score i.e 4.1 stars out of 5.
The features are indeed outstanding in this router table. If you want a sturdy and reliable router table to last for years then the Bench Dog 40-300 ProMax RT Complete is the perfect choice for you.
- Perfect for the small workshop.
- Solid cast-iron construction.
- ProPlate is not included.
- Very expensive.
More 5 Router Tables (Parts & Accessories):
You can choose any type of router table to make your wood working process smoothly. But if you think buying a ready-built router table is too expensive, you may go to build your own router table with suitable parts and accessories.
Bosch 16176 2.25 (Router Motor):
The new Bosch 16176 2.25 router motor with 10-foot cord is a must have an option for those who want to increase the efficiency of their existing router. This top-notch router motor delivers a powerful performance and helps to complete each task with great accuracy. You simply can’t help but admire this extraordinary accessory.
This 12 amp motor employs 2.25 horse power to deliver the best results for whatever task you choose to do. It offers 8000-25000 RPM which makes it the most powerful unit in the market.
The motor comes with a Constant Response TM Circuitry which constantly monitors the rotations per minute to ensure that the motor performs consistently.
The motor features variable speed dial which allows it to work at varied speeds for meeting specific work demands.
Router Raizer RZ100 (Router Depth Adjustment):
Having a router that gives you good performance and makes your work accurate is indeed an advantage that not only makes your work flawless but easier too! In order to have precision at work, you could take the aid of the Router Raizer RZ100 which will help you to attain the level of accuracy you wish for.
This product is used both as hand held and also with the router table. It is used for the depth adjustment in a router table to have more precise performance. With its help, you can easily set the approximate depth of your router table and then can make the micro adjustments.
After being mounted on any router table you can adjust the height easily and quickly with the help of the knurled adjustment knob and the speed wrench or you can use just the speed wrench if you want to adjust the height from above the table.
Festool 492636 (Parallel Edge Guide):
The Festool 492636 Parallel Edge Guide with Fine Adjustment for OF 1400 Router is one such innovation. It is easy to attach and provides great stability to the router when your work. So, if you are in the market to make a decision on what would be best for your router, zero in on this and you will be benefitted!
This Edge guide is made with durable cast aluminum and is included with fiber-reinforced plastic thumbscrews for easy adjustment and long life. This makes it strong and highly durable and is resistant to wear.
This edge guide can rout up against or is perfectly parallel to the material edge for precise carpentry woods like dados, flutes, rabbets, grooves, plows, and profiles. This will be appropriate if you use your router for more than edge routing.
This tool is easy to attach and adjusts easily. This fine adjustment control mechanism allows you to dial in the distance from the material edge in increments of 1/10mm for high accuracy! The Festool guide rods are long enough to reach both sides of the router at once.
Bench Dog 40-100 ProMAX (Router Table):
It is not always a rule that money buys quality. So when you get swayed by the advertisements and get what you feel to be the perfect aid in your workshop, you often land up with disastrous results. So be a little wise while you venture to decide on a router table.
Why should you bewilder yourself with so many options while you can have Bench Dog 40-100 ProMAX router table, which is the largest, flattest, and most durable product of the kind?
Enjoy a long working life and amazingly smooth operation with this impressive router table. The product boasts of being the only full-sized cast-iron table available in the market. The solid merchandise is made of one piece 1-1/2-Inch thick cast-iron.
No other table absorbs vibration better than this super sturdy product. With no additional parts that risk breaking; this tool is meant to last for many generations. You can complete the unit by pairing it with a rugged bench dog base, something like the ProMax cabinet with it.
Porter-Cable 75182 (Router Motor):
Is your router no longer making those clean, crisp cuts in wood? A faulty router motor can often be at the root of all your router issues. Replacing the router motor can restore the functionality of your router and improve its performance quality.
For instance, those using the router model 7518 or the 7500-series fixed base model 75361 can replace the aging motor of their router with the new, super efficient Porter-Cable 75182 variable speed router motor and experience the difference! This motor comes with plenty of power and is a great workhouse.
This high-powered router motor generates 5 speeds: 10,000, 13,000, 16,000, 19,000 and 21,000 RPM. The versatile speed range is ideal for handling a wide variety of home improvement projects. This rotor motor functions at a peak power of 3-1/4 horsepower to ensure consistent speed levels.
The motor features completely sealed ball bearing construction. As opposed to the open-type ball bearing, the sealed ball bearing features sealing plates on both sides.
Why Should You Buy a Router Table?
We know that router table is very much significant for the woodworkers. So there are many advantages to it. Some are as follows:
Working with Long, Thin, or Small Stock:
Long as well as the narrow stock is very easily machined on the router table. Feather boards make it even easier; they hold the stock tight against the surface of the fence and table and let you can concentrate on a stable, even feed rate.
Edge Cutting and Theme/Design Work:
Cutting the actual edge of a piece of stock to some flat, sleek, square or accurately following a contour of the pattern is among the router’s areas.
Attaching the straightedge or perhaps a template to a bit of stock is among the quickest and many effective methods to clean up an advantage, or in order to perfectly as well as repeatable type the curved top of the frame as well as panel doorway or every other curved component.
Utilizing a Router Table like a Jointer:
A well-known question upon woodworking discussion boards asks, “can the router table supply as an advantage jointer?” It can sure and actually, doing so is really a popular space-saving as well as the money-saving option to owning a passionate jointer.
Using the router table Connecting Shims readily obtainable for Rocker router furniture and sized to suit the rocker router table edge bolt design, it takes just a few minutes to setup for edge-jointing.
Raised panel Doors:
The parts accustomed to construct an elevated panel doorway can only be produced on the router table (or perhaps a shaper). You will find two causes of this: First, the bits accustomed to making elevated panel doorway frames and also the panels on their own are big diameter pieces that remove a lot of material in a single pass.
Lock Miter, Cabinet Lock as well as Finger joints:
A router table offers numerous specialized joinery operations that could otherwise end up being extremely hard – otherwise impossible – to do.
Lock miter pieces, drawer locking mechanism bits as well as finger combined bits tend to be three types of bits created for use strictly having a router desk and change difficult as well as sometimes hard to rely on joinery techniques into fast, accurate as well as durable function.
Many woodworking operations demand stopped slashes – cuts that not continue for the whole length of the stock. Stopped cuts could be either ornamental, like the chamfer which begins as well as ends in a certain point on the table lower-leg, or practical, as regarding a mortise or perhaps a half sightless dovetail pin.
Types of Router Tables:
Router table may vary extensively within their design as well as manufacture. Various types of router table are available in the market. We have tried our best to discuss its types below:
Benchtop Router Table:
For those who can’t afford the price of a full-sized shaper for his or her workshops, a Benchtop router table is a great alternative. This has become an essential accessory to possess for any kind of router.
By using it, a hand-held router could be turned right into a stationary device, used with regard to shaping panel edges, cutting dadoes as well as making elevated panels.
The best Benchtop router tables are Bosch RA11811, Skil RAS900 Wise Style etc.
Stand Alone Router Table:
Once, the router table was considered poor people man’s shaper since it allowed high of the exact same molding-type chopping for board and panel edges with no high cost of purchasing a ground standing shaper.
The majority of router tables were Benchtop models, saving the woodworker much more using the router motor for power, instead associated with paying the price for another motor as well as Arbor. The best Stand Alone router tables are Festool P00111 Set, Grizzly G0528 etc.
Budget Router Table:
For people who like producing furniture or even accessories for his or her home, a router is really a must. Best router tables may vary from high-dollar big floor mounted units in order to smaller Benchtop types.
The bigger ones rival shapers within both overall performance and cost, while small ones permit woodworkers on limited finances to still have an excellent performance such as Wolfcraft 611340, SKIL RAS800 etc.
Tips on Choosing the Best Router Table:
While the choice of router table depends to some extent on the choice of routers to be used, there are some key features of the best router table that should be borne in mind when purchasing a table regardless of the types and brands of routers used.
Flat and Hard Surface:
Wood can be feather boas or it can be an extremely heavy piece of mahogany or oak. In the latter case, the table itself might bend under the weight and if this happens, the cut would be uneven and the edge profile would be ruined. To avoid this, a majority of the best router tables come with a hard surface made of MDF.
MDF Tables are capable of sustaining heavy pieces and in doing so, allow for rapid movement of such pieces without affecting the profile of the cut.
Alongside hardness comes flatness. Since routers typically cut along the edge, a non-flat surface would create skewed edges. Hence a proper tool should be used to measure out the flatness of the surface.
Thickness and Surfacing:
Though thin surfaces can be extremely rigid, excess pressure can break them, causing the entire table to become unusable. As our router table reviews will show, the ideal thickness should be somewhere in the range of 1”.
Further, the unit should be surfaced on both sides as this also helps improve stability and lastly, keeps the surface of the table from getting damaged due to sharp wood edges.
The Range of Rigid Base Plates:
Since the routers typically fit directly into the base plates, the base plate itself should be sturdy enough to hold the weight of the machine. Hence, it should be constructed of sturdy MDF or similar product that does not bend under the weight of the router.
Furthermore, there should be a wide choice of plates since each router has its own specifications and requires a specific width.
Normally, the best router tables come with 2-4 base plates for accommodating different types and models of routers. Many of them also have pre-drilled openings along the sides for fitting starter pins, etc.
Flexible Plate Levelling Options:
The base plate sits in the hole, covering the space between the bit assembly and the table itself. This being the case, the plate should be perfectly level with both the bit and the table.
As far as the table is concerned, such leveling can be achieved to some extent using an Allen Wrench. However, ideally, there should be mechanisms for adjusting the height of the plate vis a vis the table.
Normally, such mechanisms include four sets of screws which can be raised or lowered to achieve the best fit. More advanced units offer special levers that can be used for this purpose.
Either way, a good fit should be achieved because otherwise, the wood would suffer resistance as it moved from the table onto the plate and in doing so, lose alignment.
Ease of Mounting:
The ease with which the router table can be mounted onto a table decides how often you will be able to remove the router and use it as a free-hand tool.
While those who do not use routers as a free-hand tool might well skip this, those that do would do well to ensure that the instability and removability of the router are not too complex to carry out in a few minutes.
Unfortunately, in many cases, the ease of mounting and level of customizability are inversely proportionate as the added customizability is achieved by attaching additional levers to the controls of the router.
In such circumstances, one must decide on the extent to which he uses the unit as a free-hand tool, and choose the level of customizability accordingly.
Miter Gauge and T-Slots:
While the use of a miter gauge is not advisable in most instances, it is sometimes required eg. when cutting dados. Due to this necessity, many companies provide prefabricated miter gauges that sit at a distance from the most extreme fence position.
However, the distance varies and one should take careful note of whether the distance between them is adequate for the pieces of wood he would be cutting. The same rules apply for T-slots, except that they are less commonly prefabricated into the router table.
Rigid, Flat and Easily Adjustable Fence:
Like the table surface itself, the fence must be flat and rigid. Some fences are made of wood themselves, while others are made of a number of materials. Either way, they should be able to take the lateral pressure of pieces of wood as they are scraped against them on their way to the bit.
Further, the material/s used should be of a type that does not easily flake off/chip off as this would create an uneven outer edge and impede operations.
Lastly, the fence must be easily adjustable. Some tables come with a fence that can be clamped down to the table while others have a free moving fence. As we shall see while studying how to use a router table, the angle the fence makes with the bit is unimportant as long as the bit is properly isolated.
Hence, whether the fence is free moving or clamped down, it should be easy to realign the fence to restore bit isolation at any time during or after the cut.
“Router Tables Category Overview and comparison”
Maintenance Guide: A Crucial Part of the Router Table:
Router bits rotate so fast that they demand your own constant interest. Accident sometimes happens suddenly. Here are some of the most crucial safety guidelines:
- Always unplug the actual router whenever changing the actual bit.
- Push the actual bit to the collet. Then raise it in order to expose regarding one-quarter from the shank prior to tightening the actual collet enthusiast. This could keep the little bit from arriving loose within the collet. A minimum of two-thirds from the bit’s shank ought to be engaged within the router collet.
- Cover the actual bit having a guard whenever you can.
- Wear security glasses as well as hearing safety.
- Use feather planks and drive sticks to maintain your fingers from the little bit.
- Move function pieces from to left from the fence.
- Move function pieces counterclockwise close to a piloted little bit.
- Never place the fence, therefore, the work item is pressed between it and also the bit.
Having the best router table is a very interesting idea that will bring out so many benefits for our lives. It may help to satisfy your interest in woodworking or support you to build up some useful furniture for your own house or something like this.
However, it is not a piece of cake to get a good router table and there are always a lot of things for you to consider carefully before making any buying decision. But don’t worry about that because we are here to help you make it happen.