Table of Contents
- View The Best Router Table Below
- 1. Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax Router Table Extension
- 2. KREG Precision Router Table System
- 3. Dremel 231 Router Table
- 4. SKIL RAS900 Router Table
- 5. Grizzly Industrial T10432 Router Table
- 6. SKIL RAS800 Router Table
- 7. Bosch Benchtop Router Table
- 8. KREG PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table
- 9. Rockler Trim Router Table
- Router Table Buyer’s Guide
A router table is an investment that anyone serious about DIY or woodworking should consider. Router tables make creating intricate cuts easier and faster with greater precision than can be done by hand. They also increase the number and depth of cuts it’s possible to make safely.
Also, router tables feature dust collection mechanisms and allow for guiding tools such as miters, which add to the ease and accuracy while woodworking with less clean up needed afterward. With so many benefits, it is easy to see why they are considered a wise investment for any woodworking enthusiast.
While a router table is a wise investment for any woodworker, each DIYer has their own unique needs, and not every table will be a good fit. Keep your planned projects in mind while researching.
View The Best Router Table Below
1. Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax Router Table Extension
Have big plans but an itty bitty workspace? The Bench Dog 40-102 ProMax router table extension is a small workshop’s dream. The table combines the utility of a table saw and router table in a compact, durable machine. The cast iron table top is as durable as they come, and it’s backed up by a limited lifetime warranty.
It’s designed to fit any contractor-grade table saws, and the detachable fence can be hung from the j-hooks provided to keep it within easy reach as you switch between jobs. ProPlates are sold separately for easier customization to fit your router.
+ Cast iron table top
+ Also fits table saws for added versatility
+ Limited lifetime warranty
Why We Like It – This two-in-one router table is best for small work spaces since it combines the functionality of a table saw and a router table in one durable set up.
2. KREG Precision Router Table System
The KREG PRS1045 packs a lot of utility into a small space. The base is made of powder-coated steel for impeccable stability and durability, and it’s adjustable from a height of 31″ to 39″ for a fit customized to you. The KREG PRS1045 includes a T-square router table fence with a micro-adjust wheel, an aluminum miter channel, and T-slot for precision and flexibility.
Also, the KREG PRS1045 router table was designed so the outfeed anchor stays out of the way, giving you more usable work space and making removal easier. This is why it’s one of the best products out there.
+ Includes aluminum miter channel and T-slot
+ Steel stand is powder-coated for increased durability
+ Adjustable height settings for the table itself
Why We Like It – KREG realizes not every DIYer is built the same. This table not only provides a durable work surface with the versatility of function to match, but you can adjust its height to work for you.
3. Dremel 231 Router Table
Not everyone who does occasional woodwork needs a router table, though they may need the added precision possible without routing by hand. The Dremel 231 is a great, cost-effective compromise designed for these situations. It bolts onto an existing table and works with any Dremel rotary tool to create a portable router table for light projects where you need to sand or trim edges or cut grooves or slots into wood.
It provides an 8″ x 6″ table and includes an adjustable fence, ideal for fine details on small pieces where a rotary tool is sufficient.
+ Highly portable
+ Compatible with any Dremel rotary tool
+ Includes an adjustable fence
Why We Like It – If you need more precision than you can achieve by hand, but a full router table seems like overkill for the projects you have in mind, this is a portable option that provides utility without breaking the bank.
4. SKIL RAS900 Router Table
If you need the utility router tables can provide but lack the space for one, this is one of the best options to consider. This router table comes pre-assembled, so you can get to work on your next project right away. It contains storage space for all of the accessories and folds away for compact and easy storage.
The table top is made from laminated MDF, and it comes with two feather boards, a starter pin and guard, a tall fence, and a miter gauge to make set up easy and accurate.
The SKIL RAS900 router table includes a dust port to allow hook up to a shop vac for dust collection.
+ Folding design makes storage easy
+ Contains storage within the table
+ Bit height gauge makes set up easy
Why We Like It – Compact and filled with storage on top of being a functional and durable tool or workstation is a DIYer’s dream, and the SKIL RAS900 router table brings it.
5. Grizzly Industrial T10432 Router Table
This router table has a melamine coated MDF top supported by a steel A-frame base for a sturdy and durable work surface. The tall split fence has built-in measuring tapes that can be read in either direction. It may be shimmed for jointing, and it includes T-slots for mounting jigs or feather boards.
It comes with a universal router mounting plate with two available inserts for secure mounting. The router plate is magnetic and includes adjustment screws for leveling your router, and the router table has a starting pin for use in freehand routing and a 2 1/2″ dust port to keep your workstation clean.
+ A-frame base provides a sturdy foundation
+ Split fence can be shimmed for jointing
+ Both fence boards include T-slots
+ Includes starting pin for freehand routing
Why We Like It – A simple but versatile design makes the Grizzly Industrial T10432 router table one of the best available choices for moderate woodworkers.
6. SKIL RAS800 Router Table
The SKIL RAS800 router table is the best choice for those who need a router table on occasion and clear work space when it is not in use. The table comes pre-assembled with all the accessories in the included storage bag, so set up is a breeze. Then it can be folded down for compact, easy storage between projects.
The surface is laminated MDF for smooth guidance. The table comes with a feather board to help guide the pieces you are working on and a starter pin for routing curved edges. Also, it comes with a bit height gauge for improved accuracy in your cuts.
+ Collapsible design for easy storage
+ Bit height gauge for improving accuracy
+ Includes built-in storage
Why We Like It – The foldaway design with built-in storage makes this router table the best choice for those who use their router infrequently and need their work space clear when the table is not in use.
7. Bosch Benchtop Router Table
Are you are interested in router tables you can attach to a workbench? Then the Bosch RA1181 benchtop router table is one you need to consider. At 27″ x 18,” it’s a bit smaller than other router tables, but it is perfectly sized for attachment to any workbench. The work surface and tall fence are both constructed of aluminum for durability. The Bosch router table comes with three insert rings for the mounting plate and is compatible with most Bosch routers.
+ Attaches to your workbench for stability
+ Two adjustable feather boards included
+ Aluminum top and fence make it durable
+ Dual outlet switch and a six-foot power cable for simplified power supply
Why We Like It – The Bosch RA1181 benchtop router table is a bit smaller than many of the other tables on the list, but it packs a lot of function into a small space, and it’s made to attach right to your existing workbench. It’s best for those who have less space.
8. KREG PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table
Another portable option is the KREG PRS2100. The high-pressure laminate MDF top can stand up to standard use and is supported by a wide, steel frame set on rubber feet. This means it’s stable, durable, and will absorb much of the vibration and noise associated with routing.
These router tables come with a router plate big enough to accommodate even the largest router, as well as three Level-Loc reducing rings. The plate does not come pre-drilled, so you can customize it to fit your router without compromising the plate’s integrity.
+ Wide steel stand for maximum stability
+ Rubber feet on the base absorb vibrations
+ Full-sized router plate with three Level-Loc reducing rings included
+ Vacuum shroud improves dust collection capability
Why We Like It – The KREG PRS2100 is a portable router table that will hold up to the work while keeping the job site as clean and quiet as possible.
9. Rockler Trim Router Table
Not every job needs a full-sized machine. Sometimes portability and flexibility are needed over raw power. If these sound like your typical needs, the Rockler Trim Router Table may be for you.
Take it anywhere. It’s designed to attach to just about any available work surface from a workbench to a tailgate. It fits most trim routers and includes an adjustable fence and guide suitable to most trim work, and even though it’s a compact, portable work surface, it still found room for a standard port to keep your work site clean.
It has an acrylic base for durability, and the surface is composed of MDF, wrapped in a tough, vinyl coating.
+ Small and portable
+ Acrylic base
+ Designed to attach to any work surface
Why We Like It – Sometimes, you just cannot take your jobs back to the shop. This portable option brings the functionality of full tables to the work site.
Router Table Buyer’s Guide
What is the best router table to buy?
While router tables can carry different features that make one better for one woodworker and less useful for another, the best router tables have several key features in common. For the best results and longevity, router tables need to have a work surface that is smooth, level and will hold up to the work without getting dings or sagging under pressure.
They also need a stable base capable of anchoring the table as a whole and standing up to the vibration of the router’s motor without wobbling. Next, they need a mounting system that works with your handheld or table router without shifting, sagging, or warping. Then, of course, great tables include an efficient dust collection system to help you keep your work space clean.
There are a few different surfaces available for router tables. The simplest are MDF coated either in melamine or high-pressure laminate (HPL). They are a cost effective solution with a smooth surface and a decent slip, which router tables need for consistent material feed, and they hold up well to moderate use.
The next step up for surfaces in router tables is a solid phenolic resin. It is just as smooth and slick as laminated MDF, but it has higher heat, moisture, and impact tolerance. Metal surfaces, such as aluminum and cast iron, are also available, with cast iron being one of the best surface options available.
The bases available in router tables today is impressive in its variety. Some collapsible models provide a strong, steady base with the ability to fold in on itself when not in use for easy storage, such as the two SKIL router tables listed above. Many have steel-framed bases designed for specific setups. The KREG PRS1045 features an adjustable steel frame for comfortable use no matter your height, and lockable caster wheels may be purchased to fit for portability. Then there are benchtop router tables, such as the Bosch RA1181 listed above and the similar Bosch RA1171, which features a cabinet base to allow for double the dust collection.
A great router table needs a high-quality mounting plate and fence at a minimum. A high-quality router mounting plate is one made with a material that will not warp or buckle under the weight of the router or the stress of its use. Avoid thin or plastic options. Solid phenolic resin plates are good, but the best mounting plates are constructed of metal and are not over drilled.
“Universal” mounting plates with dozens of holes drilled into them to accommodate multiple table routers are often weak as a result and can crumple or sag under the weight of the router. Universal mounting plates are a better option, as they allow you to drill the holes to fit your router. They are a bit more work, but the custom fit and plate integrity make it worth the time investment.
Look for models with a fence sturdy enough to hold up under work and the functionality you need to find the best table for you. Many models on the market offer split fences of varying heights that can be used for jointing. Some, especially models with taller fences, also includes T-slots for attaching feather boards or miter guides. The best router tables incorporate T-slots on both the fence and the table surface itself.
The availability of dust ports is another feature to consider when looking for the best tables. Woodworking can be messy. Having systems in place to mitigate that mess and make clean up simpler is one of the benefits that makes router tables a great addition to workshops. When everything else is relatively equal, the clean up that system router tables employ can be your best bet for a tiebreaker.
Take the Bosch RA1181 and RA1171, for example. Both tables are about the same size, have the same main features, and they are designed to attach to any workbench. The biggest difference between the two is in the base. While the RA1181 has a relatively open base and one 2 1/2″ dust port, the Bosch RA1171 has a cabinet base designed to fit two dust ports. This increases the efficiency with which the RA1171 can trap the sawdust generated by the router, which makes it an excellent option for small workshops where messes can accumulate quickly.
What is the best router for a router table?
Most handheld routers are capable of being mounted onto router tables, but that does not mean they are all well suited to being used in this way.
For the best results, you need a router with an engine that’s up to the materials you plan to work with. Midsize motors of 1 1/2 to 2 1/4 hp are good enough for lighter work. If you plan to work with hardwoods or thick materials regularly, a router boasting larger three hp motor will be more suited to your needs.
Routers with variable speed settings make for great table routers since they offer the ability to slow down when necessary. As a general rule, large bits need slower speeds to keep cuts clean and prevent overheating. Fine detail work and smoothing with small bits is best done at higher speeds. Having the ability to vary the speed settings gives you greater control and precision with your cuts and helps maintain their integrity.
Install the router in a position where you will be able to reach those variable settings easily to save yourself time and headaches down the road.
Electronic feedback circuitry, or electronic speed control, is another feature to look for when researching routers. What is it, exactly? It’s a system that monitors the load being placed on the motor and automatically adjusts the torque to match. This means it will maintain RPMs while digging through tough spots in the material when needed.
The type of collets it can accept is another factor to consider. Models that use 1/2″ collets can utilize larger bits and a wider variety of bit types than models with 1/4″ collets. However, some models offer adapters capable of making other collet sizes usable for the machine.
Routers with a soft-start feature are ideal for router tables because bringing they speed up in increments instead of all at once, preventing the possibility of either the material or the router itself being jarred out of place. As you might imagine, this feature is just as helpful working at a table as it is when routing by hand. A surprise jolt not only risks slips that could lead to injury, but it can seriously throw off your measurements, thus marring the results of your hard work. Having a system built in to prevent these jump starts, helps ensure you get a smooth, accurate cut and the best out of your machine.
Plunge routers are useful for many different jobs. While they can work well when table mounted, plunge routers generally require the addition of a lift to do so.
There are routers designed with table mounting in mind. Most of these models allow you to change out bits and adjust the bit height from above instead of having to make adjustments below the table. They also do not require the purchase of a router lift. These router models tend to be much more convenient and versatile choices for use with router tables.
What makes a good router table?
There are several vital factors you need to look for when choosing a router table. While some of these factors are universal to great router tables, which options will best suit your needs will be determined by your budget and what you plan to use it for.
Precision is key with any cutting tool, and it’s no different when working with a router. Using a table can increase your precision significantly over using a handheld router, but not just any table will do. Having one that wobbles, or one with a warped top, will not only decrease the dependability of your cuts, but it could prove dangerous. Therefore, one of the first, and most crucial, things to look for when researching router tables is the construction of the table itself.
Any great router table must have a sturdy, stable base. A good base acts like a foundation for a router table, and it must provide a level surface for the table top and be secure to the floor. That doesn’t mean it needs to bolt into the floor, but just that it’s heavy enough to stand up to the vibrations of the router and the pressure of material being fed without shifting.
Next, look at the table top itself. You want a smooth, flat, and level surface to work from for the greatest accuracy in your cuts. You also want to make sure the table top will stand up to the materials and level of use you plan to get out of the table. That is, without warping, scratching, or rippling, as this will affect the integrity of your cuts. It also needs to be rigid enough not to give under the pressure required to feed material past the router, which will also throw off your cut.
For light use or lighter materials, a simple MDF top can make for an economical solution. If you go this route, make sure the MDF top is at least an inch thick and is coated in a material with a good slide. Melamine is the lightest option, and while it has nice slip, it won’t hold up to a great deal of use. A more durable option is MDF coated with high-pressure laminate (HPL), which is much thicker and tougher than melamine. It can hold up to much more impact and weight, and it’s more likely to remain smooth through light to moderate use.
If you plan to use your router table on a regular basis, a table top made of solid phenolic resin will be a better option. Tops made from this material are impervious to water damage and also hold up well against chemical spills or temperatures over 300 degrees Celsius. They can take an impact like a champ and are resistant to scratches, divots, or warping while remaining durable and light weight.
Cast iron tops are ideal for heavy, daily use. Few materials hold up to abuse better than heavy cast iron, and it has the bulk to absorb most of the vibrations caused by machine motors. It tends to be the most expensive option, but it’s well worth the investment to maintain clean, accurate cuts over years of heavy use.
Next, consider the base plates included for the tables. Some will feature a few plates pre-drilled to fit one or two router makes and models. Some offer a base plate that can be custom fit for your router. Both are good options. However, stability in the base plate is just as important to the functionality of your router table as it is for the base and table top. Be wary of base plates deemed “one-size-fits-all.” The sheer number of holes drilled into these plates to make them a universal fit can compromise their integrity and, with it, the integrity of your table as a whole.
Because of the need for stability and structural integrity in the base plate, you want to pay attention to the material they are made from as well. Machined aluminum or solid phenolic resin plates are some of the best available.
Routing can be a messy business, so an efficient dust collection system is another feature of the best routing tables. Most tables on the market offer some sort of system, but not all of them are created equal. Dual port systems allow two shop vacs to be attached to catch more sawdust. Others have shrouds available to cover the port to catch any particles that slip through.
The fence is your guide to accurate and clean cuts. You want to find tables with a fence that is sturdy, square, and easy to position and adjust for each cut. You also want to make sure the fence will remain in place and not shift once you begin feeding the material past the router.
Finally, searching for a table with available T-slots and that is capable of accommodating a miter gauge will increase the versatility of your router table.
Do I need a router table?
Router tables are invaluable tools for anyone serious about DIY and woodworking. While a router can be used without a table, the best router tables add to the speed, accuracy, and ease of use, while also reducing the amount of clean up required.
Wood working can be a messy activity. No matter how clean and accurate the cut, sawdust is an inevitability. For many, dust collection is one of the best features of router tables. Unlike working with a handheld router, using a router table is much cleaner due to the dust collection feature included with most models. This makes for a cleaner work environment, less clean up, and greater accuracy in your work.
Because of a router table’s versatility and ability to set and hold settings, using one makes working with small, finicky pieces and making multiple cuts quicker, easier, and more accurate than using a router by hand. Once the fence is set, you can make a couple of hundred identical cuts in a fraction of the time and with much greater accuracy than you would be able to do with a handheld router. You also have less clean up afterward to boot.
You may not need one if you rarely put your router to work, but anyone who uses one regularly or for large volumes of work here and there will benefit from having a router table. They provide a means of executing multiple, uniform cuts quicker, cleaner, and easier than can be managed by hand.
If you love woodworking or are a serious DIYer, a router table can be one of the best investments you’ll make, taking your work from good to great.
A good table router has greater ease of use and accuracy that can’t be achieved routing by hand. It decreases the amount of time needed to complete multiple cuts with better uniformity, and using a router table is often a safer means of completing a job than hand routing. Using a router table with dust ports is also a far cleaner way to go, and is a great little bonus that makes the investment in purchasing a table that much sweeter.
Look at the materials and planned projects you have in mind to select the best table for you out of all the products on the market today, and utilize the information in the buyer’s guide above to assist in your search.