Many times, a power tool can become more versatile when you use appropriate accessories. The router table is such an example of this. Some projects require the use of a router table instead of just holding the machine in your hand. They can help you create amazing results, even for beginner woodworkers.
It’s often best to read reviews about the best benchtop router table options on the market. This is going to help you find the top table routers to add to the shop. Of course, you still have to read through each of the reviews to get a better idea of what the router table does and how it works. That way, you make an informed decision for your needs.
KREG PRS1045 Precision Router Table System
The KREG PRS1045 is an upgrade to the KREG PRS1040. You get a 24 x 32-inch router table top with the router insert plate. Three Level-Loc reduction rings are molded to the piece. If that weren’t enough, there is a 36-inch T-square-style option for the router table fence, which has a micro-adjust wheel to help with precise setups. This is an important feature because it’s going to save a lot of time during your setup process. Plus, you can sneak up when it comes to your final cuts.
Of course, the outfeed anchor on the PRS1045 has been redesigned from the PRS1040 version and offers easier removal and more usable space on the table. There’s also a multi-purpose steel stand, which is adjustable anywhere from 31 to 39 inches in height.
With your purchase, you get the insert plates, a multi-purpose steel stand, and the router table fence. You may require the four-piece casters set, which is not included but can be purchased separately. If you’re an intermediate woodworker or beginner with many projects, this might be ideal.
- Easy to assemble straight from the box
- Table height adjustments possible
- Micro-adjustments to the fence are easy
- Solidly built
- Hard to understand instructions
- Casters not included, but shown in photos
- Larger size equals higher price
Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table
With the Bosch RA1181, you get a larger work surface, which is suitable for versatility and precision. There is an aluminum surface for durability, making it a portable router. In fact, it fits many routers, so it can go in almost any woodworking shop. The aluminum router mounting plate is quite rigid, but it’s also pre-drilled to be compatible with many routers. Above-table height adjustments are allowed with the built-in bench dog. There is a 2.5-inch dust collection port, which offers an even better collection. You can also use the dust collection system in conjunction with a shop vac if necessary to keep your workspace clean. Of course, this is because of the dual outlet switch. There are two sockets now, which allows you to plug the router and another tool into it.
This bench top router with table offers the mounting hardware, two outfeed shims, and a tall aluminum fence. On the fence, you have an adjustable MDF faceplate option. There’s also the mounting plate, which is made of aluminum. The guard and starter pin is included for routing those curved workpieces. Plus, the cord wrap is built-in, allowing for easier storage. Many woodworkers make this their top choice for the best router tables.
- Extra-tall aluminum fence
- Adjustable feather boards
- Dust collecting port
- Benchtop router table design
- Compact design – Table router surface a bit smaller and can be limiting as to the projects you can do
- Stiff fence – sticks when trying to move it. Impossible to make micro-adjustments
Bosch RA1171 Cabinet-Style Router Table
Most people have only heard of benchtops and aren’t familiar with other options, such as the cabinet style from Bosch. When focused on routers, tables, and making the right choice, you should consider a cabinet-style system.
The Bosch RA1171 has a smooth and laminated work surface, which makes precision woodworking much easier. If you need a bench top solution, this works well. With its construction features, you get more storage and stability. There are two dust collection ports, making it easy to clean up your mess as you go.
The aluminum router mount plate is rigid and offers pre-drilled holes. This makes it compatible with many routers. Plus, you get the extra-tall aluminum fence, which means you can handle taller stock. One thing we particularly enjoyed here is that the dust collection port is found at the cabinet and fence for the maximum management of your dust.
- Extra-tall aluminum fence
- Rigid mounting plate made of aluminum
- Mountable base
- Adjustable feather boards
- Two dust port areas
- Can be hard to put together
- No easy-slide fence
- New holes may need to be drilled for table router to fit
Skil RAS900 Router table
When it comes to router tables, you may want to consider the Skil RAS900 router table. It features accessory storage containers to help store and protect your accessories. Keep everything together because it comes with the two containers. Plus, there is a quick-clamping system you can use, as well.
This router table comes with two feather boards to help guide the piece you’re working on for more accuracy when routing. Of course, these two feather boards are part of the system. One thing you’re sure to like is the bit height gauge. It helps set things up quickly and improves the accuracy of your cuts.
With the pin and guard support, you can work around those curved edges with ease. Plus, you don’t have to worry about leveling with your bit changes thanks to the router mounting.
Always make sure that you’re following router table best practices. You can enjoy the work you perform, though, because it’s easy to handle.
This product is heavy-duty and is a portable router. One of the best things to consider here is that you can store the table and items because of those containers. Of course, this table system has a lot going for it.
- Lowest price point on the list
- Router bit height gauge included
- Starter pin and guards for support
- Material quality suffers (more vibration transfer)
- Non-universal insert plate – might not work with every router
Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table
If you’re looking for a portable router table, the Kreg PRS2100 one might be most suitable for you. With two feather boards, you get the capabilities of an industrial, full-size router table, but it’s all in a neat package that can go with you. Whether you need to use it on the job site or want something compact for use in a small shop, this product is the solution.
One of the best things we appreciated about it is that the fence is made of anodized aluminum and features independent sliding face plates. It gives you an MDF surface top, which is edge-banded and 16 x 24 inches. There’s also a router insert plate, which is full size and has the three Level-Loc reduction rings.
You get insert plate levelers at the bottom and top to help with accuracy, as well. If that weren’t enough, the steel stand on the Kreg PRS2100 is rugged and features rubber feet to help with the vibrations. Last on our list is the vacuum shroud, which offers a clean workspace.
The MDF top is noise-absorbing, so you have a quieter router table. Generally, the best router tables are those that can be used at all hours of the day and night.
Of course, you are going to find the fence uses cam clamps. This lets you use gentle pressure.
- Three lock rings for more leveling
- Wide stance for frame legs
- Cam clamps for easy pressure
- No bolt support for the feet – no holes to bolt router table to bench
- Thin steel sheeting for frame support – more rigidity but also more vibration
Grizzly Industrial G0528 Router Table
If you want the best router table, you’ve come to the right place. These reviews are designed to help you. Of course, the Grizzly brand is a sliding table router. When you invest in a large router with many bits, you want a solid and stationary shaper. This sliding router table makes it easier and safer to process materials, especially when making short or raised sides.
The split fence is quite easy to adjust and offers full support on both sides of your piece. There’s also a 2.5-inch dust hood, universal router mount, tilt-up table for router access, and a sturdy stand. The stand itself has a shelf so you can store things.
One thing we really like here is the larger safety paddle switch right on the frame. That way, you can turn off your router without having to bend or reach underneath the table. Of course, the table surface is cast iron, so it’s designed for durability and longevity. There’s also a hold-down clamp to secure the workpiece.
- Universal router table
- Cast iron top
- Tilt up to 45 degrees
- Extruded aluminum fence and sliding router table
- 2.5-inch dust hood
- Front-mount switch
- Many parts and assembly required
- Hard to get fence flush
- Larger footprint – not suitable for small, cramped spaces
- May not need all features of router table
Dremel 231 Shaper and Router Table
Though the Dremel is a little different than other router tables, it can still be turned into one. The Dremel 231 router table helps you convert cordless and corded rotary tools into light-duty precision wood shapers with this attachment. It’s only designed for the Dremel brand, but it can mount to any tabletop work area. It’s also easy to store because it’s compact.
One thing we like about this is that it’s compatible with many Dreme models, such as the 8220, 100, 3,000, 200, 4,200, and 4,000. You get a router table to edge, slot, sand, and groove items into irregular and conventional shapes. The adjustable fence makes for precise workmanship with an 8 x 6-inch worktable. Though it’s not heavy-duty like some of the other brands we’ve talked about, it is a great product when you’re working on small things.
- Easily attaches to workbench
- Adjustable fence
- Trim, sand, grove, slot edges
- Comes with many accessories (dust blower, mini saw, etc.)
- Not a heavy-duty product
- Non-perpendicular mount – can make projects imperfect
- Poorly molded fence adjustment
When it comes to purchasing the best router tables, you need to know how it works. With the router table, you can operate your routing machine with more spin on your vertical spindle. Of course, routing tables provide more stability for your tool and the project on which you’re working.
What’s a Router Table?
A router table is a woodworking tool for professional and hobbyist woodworkers. Those who own a router are sure to like having a table to make it easy to secure the attachment for various woodworking tasks. Usually, it’s hard to use the machine freehand. The table improves accuracy and efficiency so that you can create a beautiful finish on your project. Of course, the table stabilizes the machine while it is in use. Your table should ensure that you can mount it to the surface for hands-free cutting and more control.
Router Table or Hand-held Routing
Most routers can be used stationary or hand-held. Some people do make their own router tables, but it might be easier to buy one to handle your type of router.
Hand-held applications require you to control the direction and rate of the feed by moving your router along or across the material, so you can shape and cut the edge and surface. They often work better when you are dealing with a large piece of wood that might not be supported on the surface of your table. You also get a better view of your router cutter and the cut that you’re making, which allows you to alter the feed rate appropriately.
Router tables allow you to use the router upside down, often in a benchtop setting. That way, the cutter is upside down, so the cutting edges are upward. This is a choice that you’ve got to make for yourself, but often, it’s the best one. You can control the direction and feed rate by bringing your material to the cutter.
Generally, router tables work well with small wood pieces that can’t support the base of your router. You also get a clear surface on which to work.
Buy One or Make Your Own?
Research shows you that there are countless opinions about buying and making router tables. It’s not required to buy one, but it might be best, especially if you’re just beginning.
The tools required to build your router table are a consideration, too. If you’re new to the woodworking profession, you’ve probably got a limited tool kit. You don’t want to buy all these special tools just to build and use a router.
Still, if you’re on a tight budget, making one yourself is often cheaper than buying one. This doesn’t always happen and is based on various factors, such as the materials and features you want. The goal is to have the best router table possible, and some people just don’t have the time or skills to do it themselves.
A lot of things depend on how much customization you want. Of course, if you make it yourself, you can control the size and features. However, you can also buy a router table with most or all of the features you desire.
How to Choose a Router Table
When choosing the right routing table, make sure that you take these things into consideration:
Table Surface Quality
The tabletop part of your router table is an essential consideration. The surface has to be stable and flat. It should also be durable and rigid. Usually, router tables come with MDF for the surface to help with all of those factors.
Some manufacturers use an MDF surface that’s coated with melamine or high-pressure laminate. Cast-iron tops are often the best surface option to help reduce vibrations. Consider tabletops with one inch of MDF or more to offer the features we just talked about.
The plate you use must support the weight of the router and help it stay flat. This requires aluminum or phenolic plastic materials. These surfaces help support the router and offer consistency.
Using a router with a table means ensuring that the router table you purchase works with the tool itself. Manufacturers include insert plates that can be matched to your router. However, these all-in-one plates could offer less structural integrity because there are many holes drilled into the surface.
Choose a router table that supports the weight of your projects while fitting the work area safely. Please remember, a quality product has enough room for the fence and miter gauge.
While using a router, you’re going to have plenty of debris and wood chips. Make sure there is some sort of dust collection feature that isn’t going to get clogged during use. Some offer adapters to fit your collection hose or shop vac. Appropriate dust ports are essential.
Those who have never worked with the table before might find all of the features available to be confusing. You should work to find the right model for your needs. Consider these important aspects:
The fence of your table is essential. It keeps your material in a tight grip while you’re working it through your machine. Ensure that the fencing of the model is adjustable on one or both sides. Professional models usually offer dual fences, so they’re fully adjustable. Protect your fingers, keeping them out of the saw’s way with the fencing and still have full control over your materials and your machine.
You don’t need to look at products with a flimsy base. Lighter bases are just a waste of time because the table moves whenever you apply pressure while working. Therefore, you require a sturdy and durable base to provide accuracy and full control.
The lightweight base could shift while working. This can lead to serious accidents in your workshop. Check to ensure the base of the table provides firm support and enough weight to keep it in place. Cast iron is often used here for that reason.
If you do require a lightweight table, consider one with a clamp so that it can be secured to your workbench while working.
Safety and Durability
The fences and base of your table aren’t the only safety features to consider when choosing one. You should focus on all aspects and what is there to keep you safe while working.
Of course, the table itself should have a warranty to cover defects, which can happen during the manufacturing process. You don’t want to unbox the new table, find out it is dented or broken, and have no way to have it fixed. Primarily, the manufacturer should follow all safety requirements and specifications. Consider brands with an international certification of quality here.
When you’re shopping for power tools and their accessories, you’re probably looking at the price above all else. However, performance is key, so when selecting the table, consider that cheap isn’t always the best.
A cheap price tag often means a light and non-durable piece. However, you can find a good router table for an affordable price. There is a difference between cheaply made and affordable. You can still get good quality, appropriate features, and the right pricing.
There are plenty of budget tables we talked about here, and they are all suitable and safe. It might not be a brand name, but it is the best value based on the build quality and what you require.
Safety Tips for Using the Table
Remember, woodworking equipment can be dangerous if you’re inexperienced. You need the right routing skills to handle the job. This means finding the right work table and wood routers, as well as focusing on router installation. All of this can be done by reading this review and the directions. Still, your skill level is important, so you should consider these safety tips before handling any woodworking projects.
- Wear safety glasses/goggles.
- Use a respirator and the dust extraction port
- Set your table fence before starting
- Fix your router bits firmly to ensure that they don’t come loose
- Feed the work from the left to the right
- Turn off power at the main switch before changing the bits
- Clamp your router to a table when working handling small routing jobs
- Know all of the adjustment knobs and how to work them
- Only use appropriate power outlets
- Consider taking courses to gain experience
Why Do You Need a Router Table?
Router tables are excellent when you need to cut your own moldings. It is easier to use the router table than routing by itself. You don’t necessarily have to clamp your board. Plus, narrow boards that might otherwise be hard to shape with a router alone are easier with a router table.
Generally, using a router is easier when you have a router table.
Is a Router Table Worth It?
Yes, you need a router table with a wood router if you are a DIY-er or a professional. This is the only way to make some of those advanced wood projects. If you’re just cutting or trimming edges, you may not need one. However, it offers a strong and sturdy surface for when you’re making a lot of intricate designs. Use a router table when you are performing detailed work, and it’s going to be much easier.
What Is a Router Table Good For?
Router tables are specifically designed tables, which are mounted with the woodworking router. It allows you to work your router at various angles, such as sideways and upside down. The best router tables are those that add flexibility for the woodworker, which makes it possible for you to perform cuts that would otherwise be impossible.
What Is the Best Router Table to Buy?
For most people, there is no choice involved; they need a router table, and they want to make sure they get the best router table possible. There are a few factors to consider here. For example, you should make sure that the base plate, T-track, and T-slots are all appropriate for your needs. Check to ensure that the power cord is long enough to go where you want it to go. This may mean that you have to move things around in the shop so that you can still get to the working surface.
Choose a product that has appropriate miter gauges with a miter slot. Also, check to ensure that the router plate is suitable for your rotary tool.
Does the Size of the Table Matter?
Generally, the workshop size dictates how large of a table you can have. Larger tables are essential for significant projects. If you primarily handle smaller tasks, you may not need it anyway.
Why Are the Feather Boards Important?
Feather boards are an essential safety component. They hold the wood while you cut, which prevents accidents.
All of these products are going to help you with your woodworking goals. It’s important to read reviews to learn about the various options on the market. We think the Kreg PRS1045 is the best router table. For one, it provides you with a larger surface than other benchtop products. It’s also covered with MDF and a high-pressure laminate to provide more workability and extra support.
The solid insert plate accepts many different router styles. This is something that other tables struggle with at times. That plate insert features multiple reduction rings to help with leveling, too.
Of course, this table features a micro-adjustment wheel to help you make fence adjustments easily while saving a lot of time. We can’t forget about the height adjustment features to the table, either. Though there are no casters on the legs, this makes up for it. Plus, the low price is something that everyone should keep in mind when choosing the right router table for their needs.