5 Of The Best Router Tables
A router table comes in perfectly handy for shaping immaculate cornices, friezes, panels, rabbets, and beadings for your woodwork/woodworking projects. To take optimum advantage of a router, a router table is indispensable, and almost all professional carpenters own this woodworking machine. You’ll also come across this stationary product in most carpentry workshops, and joinery tool sheds.
Ordinarily, choosing the best router table should not be an issue as the majority of carpenters, cabinetmakers, and joiners are well versed with the operational technique of the machine. However, several advanced models with state-of-the-art features and functionalities have been introduced of late which could make the task of selecting a product remarkably cumbersome and vexing, especially if you haven’t kept pace with the technological developments. We sincerely hope that this blog which reviews 5 of the best router tables will go a long way in helping you to separate the grain from the chaff and zero in on the product that will completely serve your woodworking requirements.
Selecting the Best Router Tables For Your Use
The best router table lets you firmly install or mount your handheld router atop it, thereby offering you perfect stability and steadiness for shifting the latter back and forth for routing wood. You’ll need to set up the wood router on the router table, but then you’ll also find router tables that come with a built-in router. There are plenty of benefits of using this woodworking machine but listing all the advantages is beyond the scope of this article. Nevertheless, we’ve underlined some of the most noticeable advantages which are as follows:
- Router tables furnish more steadiness when it comes to slicing and chipping wood using the router compared to carrying out woodworking projects without using router tables
- You’re able to shape, chip, and slice wood with greater precision and convenience
- Ambidexterity or the use of both hands simultaneously is much better with a router table
- Most importantly, you or rather your hands stay thoroughly safe when you take advantage of a router table
Considerations for choosing your router table
Before you embark on the process of picking a router table from a handful of recommended products, you’ll stand yourself in good stead if you familiarize yourself with the must-have features of this product.
1. The fence should be flexible
Regardless of whether you opt for a router table with a two-piece or one-piece fence, make sure that the same is adaptable. A product that comes equipped with a flexible fence eventually helps save time while you’re working on a project. An adjustable fence implies that you’re able to adjust its placement or position in consonance with your board handling needs.
2. Make sure the work surface is performance-oriented
It does not need to be specified that a router table’s most significant section is the work surface as this is the part where you position the router for completing your projects effectively. Ensure that the surface is completely flat, firm, and hardy enough to support the weight of the router, allowing you to work comfortably for extended time periods. A perfectly flat and even work surface facilitates routing wood with extraordinary precision.
To be on the safe side, always go for a product that has a top surface constructed out of MDF or medium density fireboard. You can add to the surface’s sturdiness by layering it with a high-pressure laminate panel or melamine sheet. Alternatively, you can select from router table models having cast iron tops-such products will keep vibrations to a minimum and are also remarkably affordable.
3. The base should be robust and resilient
Bear in mind that the surface top will stay firm and in place only when the base supporting it is robust and hardwearing. The work surface has to withstand considerable pressure while you’re chipping, whittling, and hewing wood or leveling. So it went without saying that the base should be heavy-duty and toughened so that you can carry on with your work smoothly and in a stable manner.
4. The router should have a sound dust collection system
Your sanding, drilling, routing, planning, sawing, and milling projects generate a high amount of waste in the form of wood dust or sawdust. However, you’ll have to keep your carpentry workshop spic and span so that you can work in an organized manner as well as prevent exposure to the sawdust which could cause health issues. Hence, the need to buy a router table that has a built-in collection system.
5. The construction or make
The best router tables generally have a framework shaped out of metal with the surface crafted from cast iron, hardwood or MDF. The legs on which the work surface rests are also manufactured from metal or premium grade of steel.
You’d want to keep all your work tools and accessories handy so that you can access them instantly. So, it’ll be better if you purchase a router table that has a storage box, cabinet or drawers where you can store different tools.
Reviewing 5 of the Best Router Tables
1. Skil RAS900 Router Table by Skil – Best Spacious Table
The Skil RAS900 Router Table from Skil will surely make it to any ten best router table listing and for good reasons. For a start, you’re spared from the hassle of assembling the machine as it is delivered in a pre-assembled state. There are two spacious containers where you safely stow away your work tools.
The intuitive clamping system gets you started quickly, and two featherboards come in immensely handy when you need to rout panels and planks with precision. The bit height measuring system enables you to set up your router as per your convenience which ultimately allows you to chip, plane, whittle, slice, hew, and hacks with greater accuracy. Guard and starter pin help keep your work pieces firmly in place, especially when you’re working on curved and rounded edges.
The RAS900 has an MDF work surface together with a lofty fence. The quick-release mount helps you to install your wood router easily and quickly.
- Innovative design ensures set up is a breeze, and foldable legs facilitate easy and trouble-free storage
- Rapid-release router mount for convenient and fast installation of the router
- Two storage containers
- Bit height gauge for customized setting up of the router
- Incorporated with an accessory storage container for storing router bits and fence
- Laminated MDF work surface
- Two featherboards for precision guiding of wood pieces which in turn leads to accurate routing
- Starter pin with a guard for keeping work pieces in position while routing rounded or curved edges
- Plastic bit inserts lower than the top surface
- Black molding is at a higher level than the work surface which could lead to the wood pieces snagging when shoved along the fence Legs are not quite hardy
2. Bench Dog 40-001 ProTop Contractor Benchtop Router Table – Best Sturdy Table
The Bench Dog40-001 ProTop Contractor Benchtop Router Table could offer good competition to all other router tables reviewed in this blog not only because of its strong cabinet. Dual steel rails impart excellent stability to the Bench Dog 40-001, letting you finish your woodwork projects with perfection and in time. The laminated work surface diminishes friction, thereby offering you a smoothened surface to work on.
So, if your projects entail working with delicate and brittle work pieces, then this router table is your best bet. The cabinet-style design means that all sawdust produced from routing is confined to one place-its gets deposited in the dust port. The aluminum miter gauge and the accessory track are compatible with almost all standardized miter gauges.
There are T-slots on the fence that facilitates mounting of fence risers, featherboards, and stops.
- The package includes everything to get you started: Melamine table top, dust port, miter track, fence, cabinet, mounting screws, pre-drilled insert plate, and bit guard
- Weighs 40 pounds: remarkably lightweight compared to other router tablesBroad non-marring, melamine table top
- Award-winning fence
- Rubberized feet to prevent slippage and for checking vibration
- Cabinet crafted from birch plywood that prevents dust from sticking to surface, reduces noise, and facilitates storage
- Instruction manual for assembling the components and hardware included
- Works with different types of fence risers, featherboards, and routers
- The dual-position fence and exclusive forward offset router situation provides you with a large work surface area
Taking optimum advantage of the fence for the sake of accurate routing could be an issue
The dust port does not fully direct the sawdust to the dust collection system
3. KREG Precision Router Table System, KREG# PRS 1045 – Best Durability
If you wish to accomplish your woodworking projects in with thorough effectiveness without leaving any room for flaws and drawbacks, then settle for the KREG Precision Router Table System PRS 1045. The microdot MDF work surface is incredibly hardly which means it can comfortably withstand rough handling and high pressure when you shift the router back and forth over the table top. The T-square design of the fence ensures that it needs minimal adjustments, thereby remaining fully compliable with your router.
The receptive design of the router insert plate makes sure that you can install any router via its template and base plate. The L-styled aluminum protuberance comes with two separate built-in fence facades makes for mounting and pushing the router back and forth without any let or hindrance. The powder-coated versatile steel stand furnishes stable support while you’re routing and its height can be adjusted from 31”-39”.
- Tabletop of router fabricated from MDF and layered with micro-dot laminate for enduring high pressure that arises from routing jobs
- A router insert plate having three level-lock reducing rings is included
- A complete router table with all components including a table top, multipurpose steel stand, and insert plate allows you to start your wood working project right away
- You can modify the height of the table (from 31”-39”) as per your convenience
- T-square type fence comes with a micro-adjust wheel for facilitating customized setups
- The sawdust collection pipe adapter could have been more functional; it comes unstuck when you try to adjust the fence
- The instructions for assembling the product are not clear
4. KREG PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table – Best For Versatile Features
The KREG PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table is loaded with a host of versatile features that surely makes it eligible for the ‘best router table’ tag. For a start, it includes an industrial-grade fence with adaptable faces, making it companionable with a wide variety of routers. Sturdy cam clamps and vertical jointing helps in setting up the routers you prefer working with.
Also included is a full-scale router insert plate complete with precision plate levelers and brand new level-loc reduction rings for accurate installation. The 16” x 24” Easy-Slide work surface which has been chipped out of MDF furnishes you a sufficiently large area for completing both big and small projects.
The heavy-duty steel stand offers steady support and comes with rubber feet that minimize vibration. A vacuumed covering collects sawdust and wood waste, ensuring that your work studio stays perfectly clean and tidy.
- Anodized aluminum fence having distinct sliding faces
- Reinforced MDF table top with a large working surface
- Toughened steel stand for stable support
- Rubberized feet underneath stand checks vibration
- Bottoms-up router insert plate for accurate set up of the router
- Dust collection shroud for collecting sawdust
- Laser engraved markings on the insert plate’s underside for helping with easy mounting
- The center plate is not even from side-to-side
The red disks cannot be positioned as you’d want them to
The Dremel 231 Shaper/Router Table is compatible with not only Dremel cordless and corded rotary implements but with all other brands of routers. The router table has an adaptable fence complete with a broad (8” x 6”) table top, allowing you to chip, whittle, and hew all kinds of work pieces. This handy and compact router table can be attached directly to workbenches quite effortlessly.
- Compliable with Dremel rotary models including 100, 200, 275, 280, 300, 395 and 398 to name a few
- The fence is remarkably broad and adaptable
- Durably constructed
- Can be fixed directly to workbenches
- Ideal for all kinds of slotting, grooving, sanding and trimming job works
- The machine does not stay in place while routing
- Constructed from the poor quality of materials
Wrapping up the blog, it can be said that all router tables analyzed above-Skil, Bench Dog, KREG, and Dremel were found to be worthy of being deemed as a good router table brand. The Kreg Models PRS 1045 and 2100 one priced below $350 and other within $500 were found to be most performance oriented while the Bench Dog and Skil models were also worth investing your money in.