There was a time when you had just a few choices when it comes to choosing a router table. In addition, the overall competition has increased as well. With hundreds of router tables launched every month, it’s indeed a tougher task to pick one.
This is where we need to seek the opinion of woodworking professionals, and that’s exactly what we did. In this article, we will be talking about some of the best router tables in the current market. You can count on these insights and product recommendations when you want the right experience.
Before we begin, just keep in mind that everything is relative! If you are a woodworking professional with a few years’ experience, you would not have trouble with any of the products. On the other hand, if you are a beginner, we’d recommend going with the basic products.
Without further ado, let’s check out the products in limelight.
Are you looking for the best router table that offers maximum working surface? In that case, you should be considering the Kreg PRS1045 Precision Router Table. Although you may need some more space to set it up, you won’t have to worry about space constraints. Even larger stock pieces can be easily managed with this router table.
It’s also one of the fewer router tables that offer ultimate customizability. First of all, you can adjust height of the table as per the project requirements. Also, the dust collection system is incredibly effective that there won’t be much distraction. The whole system is flexible in that you have control over the T-track and miter in the long run.
There is a wide variety of accessories that you can attach to Kreg PRS1045 Precision Router Table, depending on the project requirements. We are not talking modular, but the additions are worthy indeed. It’s great to know that the product does not compromise safety either. Thanks to the dual-boards, it feels more confident to route wood using the machine.
Compatibility is also a strong point of this table, since we didn’t have trouble in trying out wood routers from various brands. To conclude, you should choose this router table if you need flexibility and performance.
Bosch has been the trusted name when it comes to woodworking accessories for a few decades. So, if you’re planning to get started with wood routing, you should check out the Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181. It’s one of the few router tables that both professionals and beginners can use. Even when we consider the scenario of machine change, you are safe.
27” x 18” is the total surface area of the product. While it’s not as big as our top pick, the area should be an efficient space for various wood-routing projects. On the bright side, the product has dedicated slots for the common accessories. You will be able to save a lot of space that would otherwise be spent for those external stuff.
We also loved the adjustable featherboards that come with Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181. When it is combined with the dust collection port, the adjustability factor of the product comes in quite handy. When compared to other routers at the same price range, it takes less time to set up the router and start with your projects.
Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181 is definitely the best router table for beginners, who also have a rather strict budget. At the same time, even intermediate woodworkers would find the product sufficient.
There aren’t many router tables that enable performance even while offering a smooth workflow. However, it’s pretty amazing that Bosch Cabinet Style Router Table RA1171 offers all these at an affordable rate. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get this wonderful piece of equipment. Nevertheless, the level of precision being offered is off the charts.
While Bosch Cabinet Style Router Table RA1171 offers standard features like Aluminium fence and a rather powerful surface for work. The only downside is that you are getting a comparatively smaller surface area to work on. Considering that you are looking for a compact, cabinet-style product, it does not come as a big surprise that you have to compromise some surface area.
Bosch Cabinet Style Router Table RA1171 checks almost all the boxes when it comes to ease of use and the possibility of expansion. You can connect a variety of accessories and router compatibility is also great, for that matter. Despite the affordable price tag, this router table consists of the basic set of accessories. For a person who is just getting started, the bundle is promising.
While we don’t recommend this router table for professionals, we believe it’s a great choice when you look for compactness in design.
There are times when a conventional router table is not enough for your needs. At this point, you should go for a rather versatile equipment that can help you do multiple projects. In the case of Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax Cast Iron Router Table Extension, you get all these features without spending a lot on anything. It packs one of the best builds too.
Using the router table from both sides is an easy task, thanks to the dual slot fence configuration. In spite of the options, setting up and using the router table is comparatively easier, even if you have no experience in wood-routing. Because the construction is too sturdy, you would not have trouble in managing even some of the toughest pieces.
Design-wise, Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax Cast Iron Router Table Extension is comparatively compact. If you are setting up a compact studio for your woodworking projects, this would be a great addition. There’s a slight compromise in terms of surface area, but that’s one thing you need to sacrifice. On the bright side, the product gets limited lifetime warranty from the company.
We’d recommend Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax Cast Iron Router Table Extension if you need a compact yet versatile router table for your upcoming studio.
As you may have seen, all the products above want you to pay more than a few hundred dollars. It does not, however, mean that all router tables are expensive. For instance, Dremel 231 Shaper/Router Table is one of the most affordable router tables you can have today. It has been designed to offer a standard wood routing experience, despite the lower price tag.
Just as you guessed, Dremel 231 Shaper/Router Table does not offer anything fancy. That having said, for a few bucks that you are paying, a functional router table is assured. There are a few downsides as well. For instance, you cannot compare the dust collection method with that of others. Similarly, hard objects don’t go well with this machine.
But, all these must be understood with the idea that Dremel 231 Shaper/Router Table is targeted at ultimate beginners. If you are someone who just wants to see how wood routing works, you can’t go wrong with this one. Despite the smaller size, there is a wide variety of accessory products that you can use on the way. It’s all impressive, considering how much you’re paying.
If you want to do fancy stuff with the wood router, this isn’t your choice. However, in an attempt to check how things work, Dremel 231 Shaper/Router Table won’t go wrong.
Here’s another great router table from Kreg for most of the hobbyist woodworkers. In case you are worried about the price, stop there. Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table is one of the conveniently priced products in the market, even for hobbyists. Without spending much, you will have a router table that can accompany your timely upgrades as well.
It comes with a working surface area of 16” x 24”, which seems reasonable for the amount that you’re paying right now. The build quality, however, is another matter. We found Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table to be quite sturdy even when using heavy blocks for work. This increased stability is a blessing during longer project sessions as well.
Because it’s a router table designed for the common man, the assembly process is also easier. You would be done with the set-up and installation in no time. It is awesome that you can focus more on the work rather than spending on set-up and maintenance. That having said, the product lags behind when it comes to areas like dust collection and management.
At the end of the day, Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table is definitely worth the money you are paying. It’s suitable for hobbyists and beginning professionals as well.
We hope you now have a clear idea about the best router tables available in the market. Now, shall we go ahead and check out a few things you should know while picking a product from the list?
Router Table — the Basics
Wood-routing is one of those tasks where you need ultimate control and precision. Even the slightest move can change the end-product of your efforts. This was the reason why router tables came into being. Instead of holding the device in their hand, people wanted to keep the router somewhere and do the routing. And, years later, we now have a variety of router tables to choose from. As we said, in the course of time, router tables have changed exponentially. Compared to the handheld usage scenario, router tables offer a variety of advantages.
Notable Advantages of Router Tables
First of all, you have the benefits of stability. Even when you are an expert, holding a router machine in your hand and expecting ultimate precision is an overkill. When the router is placed on a stable surface, you can actually move the stock piece around for better results. This would come in handy at various times.
You should also note that both your hands are free when you have set up the router table. This means you’d be able to focus on moving the wood-block at precise levels and intervals. Needless to say, this is a cool way to design even some complex projects.
Last but not least, router tables offer an ultimate level of safety to the commons. Accidents are common if you are holding the router in your hand, but that’s not the case with a router table. You can focus on even a slighter detail without worrying about the safety factor.
These are the reasons why most people recommend buying router tables instead of going handheld.
Things to Consider Before Choosing
Now that you know the basics, here are a few factors you should consider before sticking onto a particular product.
- Surface Area refers to the amount of space that is available for working. Depending on the project in question, you may need a bigger or smaller space. You may also have to consider your total levels of expertise. On an average note, however, we’d recommend purchasing a router table with a bigger surface area.
- Dust Collector is one of the integral accessories that a router table must have. Just so you know, the whole process of wood-routing is dust-intensive. You cannot do even the basic task without making a lot of dust from the stock piece. So, make sure that the machine has an effective way to vent out the generated dust.
- Adjustability, in general, plays an important role in how effective the router table can be. You must be able to choose the right height and metrics according to the stock piece you have. Once again, the overall size of the machine also matters here.
In addition to this, you should also consider the budget of the product. Fortunately, we were able to find the best router tables from almost every budget bracket.