Hand-held routers have been used for years by woodworkers- until the manufacturers got smart. With the world inclining its priority towards comfort, routers also underwent their share of evolution, and the result was best router tables. Router tables are a blessing in disguise for craftsmen looking to upgrade their setup. Routers are safer and effective if they are equipped with best router tables. They allow you the use of both of your hands to guide the wood against the router and let it do its thing.
Best Router Tables For Wood-Workers 2020
A best router tables includes a router bound to a table to make it stationary, for a more stable task. This allows a more guided and even carving, unlike hand-held routers. The routers are fixed below the tables, usually vertically with the top protruding through the hole. It is an essential piece of equipment for serious woodworkers. A best router table is a useful tool for many functions in woodworking, including but not limited to, consistent cutting, shaping, molding, edge trimming and pattern work.It is a versatile tool with many other attributes and intricacies to it too. E.g. Joining two pieces of materials by grooves and slots and high-quality cuts needed for accurate trimming.
There are plenty of uses for it, and most woodworking experts will recommend a router table due to its flexibility and accuracy than a hand-held router tables. And if you are a serious woodworker looking for tools that can help better with your job, a best router table should make the top of your list. Luckily, there is an extensive range of best router tables in the market that satisfy various demands depending on the craftsman’s requirements.You have most likely done a bit of research and are probably overwhelmed by the number of options.
Here we have made a list of the top ten best routers of 2020 keeping their specifications in mind and which have not only received raving reviews but exceeded most client’s expectations.
People who already have a sturdy wooden table or a cast iron workbench, this Bench dog table is a perfect high-quality extension for them. It is easy to fit and is an excellent option if you are looking for a professional tool to do advanced jobs but one that can also handle smaller tasks efficiently. It is also an excellent option for people looking to save space in their work area as it is perfectly portable and can be adjusted on your cast iron workbench. The cast iron workbench also provides a smooth surface for your wood to work along.
A huge advantage that will make you inclined to buy it is its lifetime warranty offered by the bench dog. It assures you of its exceptional quality and professional efficiency. It is also effortless to dismount if you need the table this is attached to, for other work purposes. So if you are someone who values quality above everything and are looking for a router table that saves space, this one is just what you are looking for.
An option from the Kreg variety, this is a smaller, more portable variant, and is a perfect option for you if you are looking to save both money and workspace. It contains high-quality equipment and industrial designs, but is smaller and can be set on top of your workbench which you use for other purposes too in your workshop. It also doesn’t require any clamping; instead, you can set it directly on your workbench, and you will be ready to go.
With 16 inches by 24 inches size, it is quite suitable for slightly larger projects rather than other portable router tables. To increase its stability, the stand is made out of steel while the surface is made out of MDF board covered in easy laminate to allow the wood to slide. It is equipped with a dust collection port too.
Though it is pricier than other portable options, it is a good option if you want a high quantity in a limited space. All the perks of a full-sized table packed in this compact one.
???? Bosch RA1181 Table
A versatile product, an excellent choice for professionals looking for a table to start off. Along with exceptional durability, it is also very portable and accessible. It can fit on any table you have and is a wonderful option for you if you already have other Bosch equipment of this range. Because it has special mounting hardware for their machinery. But it is not limited to only Bosch products and is capable of working with other tools too.
This handy device is also equipped with a dust collection area for easy cleanup after you are done with your task. It also comes with adjustable feather boards that allow you to customize it according to your preferences. The table is very sturdy, and has also been mentioned in many customer reviews.
Also comes with a year-long warranty by Bosch, which gives you a peace of mind. So if you are someone looking for a router table, to begin with, the Bosch RA1181 Table is just the one for you.
???? KREG PRS1045 System
If you are a serious craftsman and are looking for a more professionally graded router table for your router, you might want to consider this. It is equipped with a table, fence and stand, all equally high quality. The stand can be adjusted from 39 feet to 31 feet tall according to your comfort and your height. The fence is also adjustable to allow you to place the wood exactly where you need before you start the router. It also comes with an outfeed point, to attach a vacuum that helps you to get rid of the sawdust, preventing any mess. The steel frame is also coated to ensure durability.
Plus the tabletop is also made out of laminate coated MDF board to allow you to slide the wood easily across it. With praising customer reviews and wonderful attributes, this seems a very good option. And if you have a large budget for good quality, then this router table has everything that you need.
A fantastic option from the Bosch series, this router table here comes with an extra-large fence that allows you to work on larger products that other normal tables could not handle. With its cabinet style, it saves a lot of your space by providing you with storage for all your other tools and equipment that you might need while crafting. To ensure maximum tidiness, it comes equipped with not one but two separate dust collection areas that can be fitted with vacuums. The cabinets and table are made up of laminate covered MDF that provides a smoother workspace for you.
The port is also pre-drilled to allow a number of different routers to fit in. And is also fitted with the best Bosch products. Still, it is possible to drill more holes to allow you to fit more routers. Adjustable featherboards also allow you to customize the size of the board to fit the size of your craft. It is an option that definitely needs to be considered if you are experienced and are looking for a router table that works well with larger projects.
Are you looking for a router too along with a best router table? This budget friendly combo is available for your convenience if you are looking to start up woodworking with a routing set up. Because the router is also included, you can save a lot of money on this set. Plus the router itself is very efficient running at 27000 rpm and operating on 9.4 amps. The best router table is also equipped with a power strip so you can plug in your tools right at your workstation and use the extra cord to plug them in a wall switch. It also features a dust extraction port behind the router; you can also attach a hoover there to suck up excess sawdust.
The 11 inches to 16 inches measurement table is great for any small to medium projects. Plus the surface is also thick MDF covered in the laminate which allows you a smooth surface to work on, and also has heavy-duty plastic legs. This craftsmen combo is perfect for beginners looking for a dual setup to begin their crafting.
The Goplus combines the best of both worlds when it comes to size and sturdiness. It is also an excellent money saver option for you, especially if you are looking for a more permanent addition to your workshop. Due to its small size, it can fit on most benches. However, it does need to be attached with bolts to allow a more sturdy workspace. Although this makes it unportable, it does make it the most durable option in the budget-friendly category in the market. It works for all routers up to 6 inches in diameter.
Also equipped with a power strip underneath the table for added convenience. With the main table being built out of aluminium, it makes it even more durable. In addition to this, it also contains an extension table that gives you the maximum workspace of eight inches by eighteen inches, that works perfectly for longer pieces of material. It takes up little space when out of use, however, it can be extended to allow you to work on longer projects. Also equipped with grooves on the main surface to help chip away dust, that assists in cleaning after use.
For even smaller workspaces, this table is perfect. Because it can be clamped to the side of any workbench you have even if it is small, this is by far the most compact and portable option available and the easiest clamp on the router table available in the market. Made out of MDF wood with a high-quality vinyl coating, it makes it easier to manoeuvre wood. The 11.5 to the 15.5-inch work surface is perfect for your small to medium-sized crafts. It’s fence also features a dust collection port which makes it easier for most standard vacuums to fit in.
It is also a perfect fit for a wide range of routers and routers that don’t fit can be made to fit by drilling holes in the table. The fence and guard are both adjustable to adjust the fit according to your comfort. It also received excellent customer reviews due to its compact size and ease of use. It is perfect for you if you are looking to work in a small studio plus it is not heavy on your budget either.
If you are looking for a complete router table that fulfills all your needs but are restricted by a tight budget, look no more. This full sized router table is equipped with storage containers to save space for accessories you might use while crafting. In addition to this, it also has an efficient clamp system that is designed to be fast and easy, so that you finish your routing tasks easily. It also comes with two featherboards that assist you in guiding the piece of wood around the router.
The router mount also fits other machines and has adjustable pieces to make it more comfortable, especially if you choose to change the router in the future. With adjustable fences that provide you the perfect fit while working, this router table is all about your ease. This is a wonderful option for beginners. And if you are looking for a router table to work on more advanced tasks, but still be in the budget, the Skil RAS900 Router Table is what you want.
This affordable router table is a dream come true for everyone with a strict budget. It is an add-on instead of a complete table, that allows you to save more space in your workshop. It is also compatible with all Dremel tools along with many accessories available from other companies too. The fence on it can be adjusted according to your needs, and the height depends upon the table you attach it to.
Equipped with eight inches by six inches work area, it is perfect for basic tasks for artisans along with some advanced tasks that are performed on smaller pieces of wood. Dremel also comes with a handy instruction manual to allow you to fit it properly.
With raving reviews, it is also acclaimed for being durable and sturdy. It also comes in handy if you just need small equipment for basic tasks. Although if you work with bigger tasks, you will need to invest in something more. However, if you are a beginner looking for something to learn on, and to handle basic jobs in a small budget, Dremel 231 Shaper/Router Table is just what you need.
Best Router Tables | Buyer’s Guide
Safety and Durability:
This is one of the most important factors to consider while buying any woodworking equipment. The product description should be your first port of call. And you need to check it for any extra safety features it might have. Plus you probably would want to know the manufacturing place to ensure that the product complies with the manufacturing standards. If the product comes with a warranty, that in itself is a positive sign that shows the manufacturer’s trust in his own product.
Secondly, you will also be saved from any future damages by the warranty. Thirdly, you might also want to check the customer reviews. This will give you a realistic idea of what to expect from the product, and if people have had any problems with it, you will come to know about that too.
The table needs to be compatible with the router you already have or are considering to buy. If the best router table and the router are of the same brand, they are more likely to be compatible and will list their range of compatible products. If the router you have is from any generic brand, you probably need to refer towards customer’s reviews and the product description.
In the case of most best router tables, if the table is not compatible with your router, you can simply drill a new hole in it to accommodate it. This means you need to check the diameter of the machine and compare it to the size of the table given in the product description.
Budget and usage:
The most important thing that you need to consider is the budget. Of Course, it’s a commonly supposed notion that expensive table routers have more facilities. But you don’t need those attributes always. Sometimes you are just attracted to the more flashy things. And here is where you need to draw the line and consider buying a table router that fulfils your usage demand and fits your budget.
For example: if you are a hobbyist, a compact clamp on the table will be enough for your small projects, and they are generally cheaper too. But if you are a more professional woodworker and have the budget and space for a larger table, then that’s what you should go with.
The working surface is the most important thing to consider while buying a best routing table. Tables featuring flat, smooth surfaces are the best because they allow the material to move easily. Ensure that the surface features design and construction with durable materials, and has support from a sturdy frame.
MDF made tables are one of the best options, and if they are laminated too, that makes them more durable and increases the life of the router table too. If a person is a professional, they would probably need a metal countertop to reduce the friction and longer service life, although this would need a solid workbench for support.
Another critical component of your router table is the fencing. Fencing keeps a tight hold of the material while you work on it. While buying a best router table, you need to make sure the fencing on your considered model is adjustable at least on one side. More professional products offer adjustable fencing on both sides. It also lets you keep your fingers out of harm by letting you have full control over the material and machine.
Every woodworker knows that working with produces a lot of dust in the workshop. Inhaling these wood chips is very dangerous for your respiratory health and can affect your breathing. Dust collection ports are a wonderful solution to this problem. They keep the area clean while you are working and ensure that no material interrupts or irritates you while crafting. Some tables come with one while other more advanced router tables come with two dust collection ports.
Another thing to consider while buying a table router is the base. Buying a best table router with a light base is a waste of both money and time as it will keep moving when you apply pressure while working and not provide any of the stability you need at all. You need a durable, sturdy base to ensure total control and accuracy while working.
Nasty accidents occur in the workshop due to lightweight bases which have a tendency to move and destabilize you. Before buying a best table router, make sure it is firm and offers the proper support that you need. This is why professionals like to choose cast iron tables; they provide both accuracy and stability. If you are choosing a lightweight router table, make sure it clamps on a sturdy table that offers support while you work.
The portion of the table that lets you attach a router is known as the base plate. Before buying a best router table, double-check the alignment of the base plate as well as the pre-drilled holes to make sure the router table will be compatible with your router.
The importance of a mitre gauge depends on whether you need one in your line of craft. If you are a professional woodworker, you probably need this due to the advanced levels of the jobs you undertake. Luckily, many router tables come with a slot to secure a mitre saw.
This is a great advantage as this doubles the use of your router table. Then the mitre gauge will allow you to precisely angle the piece of wood that you are working on. This is a great feature for people who do not have steady hands and struggle to cut accurately.
The level of portability depends on how and where you choose to use your router table. If your use is constant in a workshop, you probably don’t need to worry about portability. However, if you have a small place and need a compact router table that you can pack at the end of the day, a portable router table will be a necessity for you. And if you choose to work on the go in different workshops, you would still want to choose something more portable.
Models that come with a ‘cabinet’ design are not much portable although they offer more stability whereas clamp on and other compact models come with quick-release mounting brackets for your router and easy to release legs for your table to be packed away when not in use. All of this eventually depends on what you actually need.
Extra Accessories and Special Features:
If you are going for an expensive router table, or you are a professional looking for varying tools, you might want to consider a router table with special tools and features like extra storage space, power strips, mitre gauges and so on. As you consider different models, compare their features and analyze what you need the most. This will probably help you in buying a table router that best suits your needs.
Robust materials and parts:
If you get one of the best router tables on the market, part of how you can confirm this is by examining the materials and components. If there are weak materials used, the stability and durability of the table as a whole will be impacted, and this might result in hazardous effects too. For optimum results, you need to make sure that the router table you purchase uses durable materials like steel. This will help you ensure that the table lasts a long period of time, especially when you are looking for a more permanent addition to your workshop. This is best for your budget too.
All of these features are listed to ensure that you buy the best router table that suits all your needs. All of these attributes are basically responsible for determining whether the router table you are buying is giving you your money and time’s worth. If the best router table you like has features made up of top quality and are well manufactured too, you are most likely to be happy with your purchase although if the materials are cheap and second hand, the router table will probably break down in a few months, and you don’t want that to happen.
Some of these products tend to have a lot of issues with the quality of the fences (some are made of cheap plastic, which is far from ideal). A quality router table should also fit a wide variety of router models, and they should be able to perform as smoothly as possible.
Best Router Tables | FAQ’S
How to use a router table?
Answer: A router table is pretty simple to use. All that needs to be done is to screw the router on it’s designated place and switch it on when you need to work with it. Slide the piece of wood along the table to help control the routing and impact the final product. After you are satisfied with your product, you simply need to remove the wood piece and turn off the router.
Make sure to always use protective goggles and gloves while using a router due to the flying splinters and dust. And if possible, attach a vacuum to clean the dust as it comes, this will save you cleaning time later.
What can you do with a router table?
Answer: Routing is a very crucial technique in the league of crafting and woodworking that helps create distinct shapes and forms in the wood. It is also great at curving the edges and perfect for creating grooves in the forest. A router table makes a router more comfortable and safer to use.
It also lets you use both your hands while the router works, unlike the hand-held routers tables. Router tables can also be used as workbenches when not being used for routers as they usually come with power strips and extension cords, so they are beneficial in a workshop.
Does the size matter in a router table?
Answer: The size does matter but only in a few cases, such as large tables are only necessary if you need to work with large projects which need to undergo big cuttings and have grooves to be made. So it totally depends on the size of your project, and you don’t need to buy a large router table if you only work with small pieces. This will only lead to a waste of money.
Why Do Feather Boards Matter?
Answer: If you are going to undertake tasks like grooving and edge forming, you need to ensure that the router table you buy must have feather boards. Feather boards matter because safety is a priority. While passing, it holds your board or wooden piece tightly against the fence by applying constant pressure. This means you don’t need to change the position of your hands to keep the board moving. This is why feather boards are essential as they are a unique safety enhancement.
Should we buy a workbench?
Answer: If you are a beginner, you don’t need any advanced tools or equipment and probably don’t need the workbench. Instead, you should buy a router table with a solid base and stand instead, and build a workbench yourself. However, if you are a professional craftsman, you can buy a customizable workbench if you don’t have any budget issues.
The workbench can be used for other projects in your workshop as well, apart from routing. So it is probably an excellent addition if you are an experienced woodworker.
Can a router table be used as a jointer?
Answer: A best router table can be used as a jointer, although it does have a limitation. It is that you cannot join the flat faces of the board, it only works for edge joining.f
What is the router table lift? What are the uses of a router lift?
Answer: A router table lift is an excellent accessory for a professional woodworker. It is actually a mounting plate which is attached by a carriage that holds the wood router.
Some of its uses are listed below:
The router table lift is often used to regulate the depth or the height of the table from the top; there is no need to control it from below
It also allows the user to change the router bit from the router table without having to remove the router from the router table.
It also helps to make accurate and fine micro-adjustments up to even 0.001 inches.
This proves that a router table lift is an essential piece of equipment in a woodworker’s workshop.
What is a fixed base router and a plunge base router?
Answer: A fixed base router is one of the options of a best router table. The other option would be a top plunge base router. The function of the fixed base router is to force the router bit to stay at a particular height during the entire project. While the plunge base router allows the router bit to dive to the correct height. Many routers come with both types of bases. This is a good option for people who are unsure of what type they should buy.
For smaller, home-based projects, a plunge base router is perfect. It allows more room for error corrections. Plus it is an excellent choice for people having design-oriented jobs because this router will enable you to move the blade while you are working, ensuring perfect detailing.
The fixed base router, however, is trickier to use. But it is best for consistent and large projects. But an added advantage is that it allows you to work more efficiently, although this router does require more confidence to use it.
What are the most common issues people have with a router table?
Answer: Some of the most common issues are given below.
best router tables usually help you to design, curve and easily continue a consistent cutting pattern across multiple wooden pieces. However, this limit is breached when you try to chop or cut huge wooden pieces, which are not suitable for a wooden router. Secondly, the installation process is also a difficult feat to achieve as you will need to put the table together yourself. Thirdly, router tables require a lot of maintenance which might take a toll on your patience.
Router tables are essential instruments if you are looking to up your woodworking game, as they let you create more distinct shapes and grooves in items. best router tables are absolutely necessary for using routers safely and efficiently. All of the router tables mentioned above have their own attributes and qualities and offer their owners a wide array of advantages. It is mostly up to you, depending on your task level and budget. With these devices, price is usually an indicator of the quality, but you can do smart purchasing and still find a cheaper option that suits all your woodworking needs.
Before purchasing any table, take into consideration precisely what activities you will partake in the most, and buy one that is most suitable. A router table is a perfect option against a handheld one, and you will definitely note the difference and the quality hike when you buying a best router table. This will definitely be a great addition to your workshop and will probably be a solution to all the problems you faced with a handheld router.