Table of Contents
- 1 Best Router Table Reviews
- 2 What to look for when you buy a Router Table?
- 3 The Verdict
The router table is one of the most versatile and useful things you can add to your workshop because it ensures maximum workpiece control when you mount the router securely on a table. More to the point, it allows for hands-free work during the cut, thus your safety is ensured when doing cuts and whatnot. You’re given protection and more precision manipulation of whatever it is you’re cutting.
Furthermore, buying a router table is all about control. Getting extra control allows for much easier operations every time due to edge profiles or routing grooves. That’s what the router table brings to the proverbial table.
This table type is also dependable when it comes to allowing you to do things you couldn’t normally or safely do with a handheld router, such as cutting the raised panels, making joinery cuts of the cope-and-stick variety on the stiles ad rails of paneled doors, and routing narrow stock, among other activities.
The best router table you can buy is the one you can use constantly. You should be on the lookout for rigid table surfaces that are as close to perfectly flat as possible so that your table router can work its magic without any impediments. In many operations with router tables, such as treating board edges or cutting joinery, you should be as precise as possible: As precise and nuanced as a surgeon, to be exact.
|Picture||Model||Editor Ratings||Our Review|
|Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table (BEST SELLER)|| (4.2 / 5) |
|Bench Dog 40-001 ProTop Router Table|| (4.2 / 5) |
|Kreg PRS1040 Precision Router Table|| (4.6 / 5) |
|Bench Dog Tools 40-102 Router Table|| (4.3 / 5) |
|Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table|| (4.2 / 5) |
Best Router Table Reviews
Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table (BEST SELLER)
The Bosch RA1181Benchtop Router Table is a self-described as a versatile and precise benchtop router table that lets you work with a wide variety of materials and saws, thus you’re not limited to using one saw type or another for your router needs. The package includes a six-foot power cord, dual outlet switch, dust collection port, and two adjustable featherboards.
This Bosch router table is one of the best because it’s compatible with most routers in the market. To be more specific, it includes various hardware devices for mounting when it comes to dealing with the myriad of router models out there. It’s quite spacious at 27 inches by 18 inches as far as your router work surface or area is concerned.
It’s also quite tough and rugged to boot, what with its aluminum router mounting plate and MDF face plates for its aluminum fence. This is aircraft-grade aluminum that will last you a long, long time to boot. It also has one of the most versatile designs around that allows for multiple mounting of different mounts and routers with ease. That’s why it’s one of the best router tables around.
The box includes two -inch outfeed fence shims, one RA1181benchtop router table,starter pin and guard,a set of three mounting plate insert rings,adjustable clear guard,router mounting hardware, two adjustable featherboards, and a dual-outlet 15-AMP switch with overload protection. You’re ensured of precision with every cut and you’ll get a tall aluminum fence that measures 4⅞ inches by 25⅛ inches to boot. Read our detailed review of the Bosch RA1181 Router Table here.
Bench Dog 40-001 ProTop Contractor Benchtop Router Table
This is an excellent portable router table for sure. The thing that makes the Bench Dog 40-001 ProTop Contractor Benchtop Router Table special is its ample-sized 16 inches by 22 inches body, which is smaller than the Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table but still gives you plenty of room to work with thanks to how the router table makes use of its space.
It’s also a great candidate for best router table for the money since it delivers more bang for your buck in the form of a plastic laminate top on your work area, a clear acrylic insert that accepts most routers without the need for mounting hardware, a melamine cabinet, and the requisite extruded aluminum fence complete with T-slots.
There’s also the fact that the Bench Dog 40-001 has a limited two-year warranty plus instructions for assembly and all necessary hardware are included with the package (there’s nothing that’s sold separately, you have everything you need with the kit). No wonder people are abuzz with delight over at Amazon when it comes to singing the praises of the Bench Dog 40-001 ProTop Contractor.
The real challenge here is to find valid negative comments about the product. Few verified purchasers of the ProTop have any complaints about it. It’s carefully packed and comes in A1 condition as soon as you get it. There’s no problem to be had when it comes to assembly thanks to how clear the instructions were. Read our detailed review of the Bench Dog 40-001 Router Table here.
Kreg PRS1040 Precision Router Table System
If you want a router table that ensures clean dust collection and superior precision due to its aluminum fence that’s fully enclosed, then the Kreg PRS1040 Precision Router Table System is the system you’ve specifically been searching for. It delivers dual reducing rings that make use of three independent lockdown or leveling screws.
Furthermore, this Kreg router table offering also has individual fence faces that enable your table to double as your vertical jointer whenever it’s needed. As for the insert plate, it’s 9¼ inches by 11¾ inches by ⅜ inches in dimension. It’s not only one of the thickest insert plates around; it can work with any router, thus ensuring you of a router table system that really works.
The KregPRS1040 Precision Router Table System also features an edge-banded MDF top that absorbs vibration and noise at the same time. Its skin, meanwhile, is easy slide and micro-dot to boot. Each and every one of these specs ensures a smooth ride when it comes to doing any and all router-related woodworking activities and projects. That’s how Kreg became known by many router tables reviews as one of the best.
Kreg truly knows how to make a name for itself in the industry in a positive and impactful manner. The item comes with table legs, the router fence, and the router table. It includes many other cutting-edge specs and features as well, such as its T-square style fence that’s self-squaring, which ensures the precision of your cuts every time when you’re doing router work. Read our detailed review of the Kreg PRS1040 Router Table here.
Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax Cast Iron Router Table Extension
With regards to the Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax Cast Iron Router Table Extension, it’s a router table extension that has a limited lifetime warranty and a package that includes mounting hardware, fence, and router top. Furthermore, the ProPlate is sold separately and has a plate opening of 8¼ by 11¾.
Meanwhile, the ProLift 40-150 has a plate that’s ⅜ inches thick. According to many a best router table review, the Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax is a worthwhile purchase because it’s perfect for router project use in small woodworking shops, plus its ProFence can quickly dismount and hang on to racks with its J-hooks whenever you need to put it away while you’re using your table saw.
Not only that, the Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax Cast Iron Router Table Extension also provides excellent router action thanks to its ability to fit contractor-grade table saws with its 27-inch deep and 1½-inch thick cast iron tables, particularly when it comes to dealing with right-tilt cabinet-tier table saws.
Many a router table review agrees that the Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax delivers the goods when it comes to dependable router capabilities. It’s quite versatile and can accommodate a huge amount of saws at its disposal. At least one customer vouches that this table setup works great with RIDGID or Ridgid products like the RidgidR4512 Cast Iron Table Saw, the RIDGIDWD1450 shop vac and the RIDGIDR29302 2 HP Multi-Base Router Combo. Read our detailed review of the Bench Dog 40-102 Promax Router Table here.
Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table
You can’t go wrong with this second Kreg offering in this list. Why? It’s because it’s an industrial-level benchtop router table that even a DIY homeowner could use. This quality product includes a high-quality fence, new cam clamps, vertical jointing, dust collection, and adjustable faces. Its router insert plate is also full-sized with Level-Loc reduction rings and precision plate levelers. This is why it’s a favorite and common entry among benchtop router table reviews.
It has all the specs you need in order to produce quality Bench Top Router Table workmanship every time, like its extra-large 16 inches by 24 inches MDF table top surface that’s easy-slide to boot. There’s also its stability-ensuring, well-balanced, and wide-stance steel stand that can take heavy-duty work.
The whole package includes the aforementioned steel stand, an extruded aluminum fence, insert plate levelers, three Level-Loc rings, full-sized insert plate, and MDF top. It’s a woodcrafter’s dream and a regular top seller in many a woodcraft shop. Many online reviews can vouch for the dependability of the
Many online reviews can vouch for the dependability of the Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table, particularly for those who are finicky about their choice of benchtop for router table use. They want something that keeps things accurate and squared so that they could do precise cuts with their saws every time while overcoming the perceived drawback of this benchtop and anything mobile, really—the lack of space and work area for some truly large workpieces. The Kreg PRS2100 can take all of it and then some. Read our detailed review of the Kreg PRS2100 Router Table here.
What to look for when you buy a Router Table?
A Flat, Solid Top
When shopping for the right benchtop or full-sized router table, you need something with a flat, solid top. This is because even the slightest of irregularities could lead to imperfections on the joints, skewing them and making them literally unfit for each other. You also want to avoid uneven edge profiles and wasting any of your woodworking workpieces as you cut them down to size.
Your router table should be as rigid as needed because flexing when it encounters downward pressure that’s common from feeding wood can lead to unreliability when it comes to cutting squarely at your work piece as recommended by the architect or engineer. You won’t be able to produce reliably accurate cuts that way and you’ll end up with wood wastage of the highest order.
Additionally, wobbly and non-rigid tops on routers could ruin a profile you want routed on the edge of your molding or board. Indeed, your table must support the weight of the router with the solidness and denseness of a rock without deflecting, warping, or yielding to the pressure in the least.
The materials that your chosen router table should have include MDF, which is what most of the tables in this list are made of. It’s material that definitely provides consistent flatness and rigidity every time. It’s also quite low cost, such that you won’t have to worry about your router table costing upwards to hundreds of dollars thanks to using an expensive material on it to make it more rigid. Many commercial and shop-made router tables use this material.
A Flat, Rigid Base Plate
It’s not only the top that needs rigidness and perfect flatness without any irregularities whatsoever. Your base plate should be just as rigid and flat as the top. Most router tables attach the router on the base plate, which you can mount and fit into the table top’s rabbeted opening. The layout and quality of the base plate can have an immeasurable impact on the table’s overall effectiveness and router usage success.
Since the base plate should serve as your main means of leverage and balance, it should be as sturdy and stable as possible. To be more specific, it’s supposed to support the weight of the router and must have solidity and substantial denseness to it. Great options for your plate construction are machined aluminum or solid phenolic material.
Then again, the base plate should have router compatibility as well. Great router table systems often have a range of varying plates with pre-drilled holes that allow you to fit specific router models as well as non-drilled blank plates you can customize in accordance to other less common routers (they need to be drilled in order for the router to fit into them).
You should definitely beware of predrilled plates that are claimed to be one size fits all. Finding the perfect router fit in light of the many router options out there shows that its’ better to go with something more specific. Also, their Swiss-cheese pattern of holes makes them less sturdy than you’d want them to be (i.e., they’re likelier to break).
A Sturdy, Stable Base
The base itself, as opposed to the base plate, needs to be as rigid as possible. The base dictates how solid the construction of the benchtop router table is since it serves as its so-called spine or foundation that holds the entire setup together. You also need this base if you wish to make your cuts on workpieces as crisp and clean as possible.
It does this by ensuring that the cutter has consistent contact with the material, advancing upon it at a fluid and smooth rate with zero bumps on the work surface or wobbles from the sturdy, stable base: Just as your top shouldn’t bend or yield to the router so too shouldn’t your base shift or wobble at all when you’re woodworking.
It’s like trying to write on a notebook when a bus is moving. You’ll spend more energy trying to keep your pen and handwriting smooth to the point of making your hand a carpal tunnel syndrome candidate. Your base should be heavy enough to support the vibrations and rotations of your router in a steady fashion.
A solid base can also be considered a safety precaution when you think about it, since wobbly benchtops that topple down easily can lead to things slipping out of your grip when they’re not supposed to, like a power tool spinning with a razor-sharp bit for tens of thousands of times. You could lose a finger, an arm, or a limb in such chaotic conditions.
So the best router tables are:
- Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table (BEST SELLER)
- Bench Dog 40-001 ProTop Router Table
- Kreg PRS1040 Precision Router Table
- Bench Dog Tools 40-102 Router Table
- Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table
When searching for the right router table, take a good look at the price, the specs, and the brand of the table setups you want to consider buying. Your base plates should be more on the “specialized for certain routers” side instead of the Swiss-cheese plates you were warned about, since debris and dust tends to accumulate easily through those plates, which could then interfere with your feeding stock. What money you’ll save from buying a one-size-fits-all plate will be lost and then some come the time when you have to get your router table repaired due to all the debris-related damage it will inevitably acquire.
Your router table could serve as table saw extensions when building a plywood cabinet. Just make sure the table is attached securely onto the cabinet or a solid stand to minimize vibration and prevent shifting. Benchtops are the portable ones that should have solid bases, rigid base plates, and unmarred, smooth top to ensure accurate routing action every time.
It should have a perfectly level base plate, so it’s ideal that there’s some sort of plate-leveling system included in your purchased router table. Basic systems include four leveling screws adjusted from the table’s underside. Advanced systems include more contact points and might also have a way to lock the plate down onto the table in question for maximum stability, flatness, and working area smoothness. Finally, take a look at the user manual after your purchase to understand how to best use your router table. We have compiled the list of the manuals here.
Check out other essential tools for Woodworking too!
- Wood Planer
- Wood Router (also here)
- Wood Lathe
- Router Table
- Belt Sander (also here)
- Belt Disc Sander (also here)
- Log Splitter
- Wood Glue
- Woodworking books
- Stainable Wood Filler
- Wood Jointer
- Orbital Belt Sander
- Angle Grinder