If you want to perfect your dadoes and rabbets and if you also want to achieve perfect precision edges, then the only thing you need for achieving that is a good router table. There are of course a series of features you need to consider when you want to buy a router table and below we are going to take a closer look at some of them.
In a Rush? Here is Our Top Choice
5 Options For Your Money
Choosing the Right One
First of all, the size of the router table is very important. You don’t want to have a lot of projects to complete and a small work area to use. This will likely make it impossible to complete certain projects or greatly delay the rest. Portability is yet another factor if you’re doing field work, so give it a thought before you spend your hard earned money on the wrong table. We created this guide to help you decide which one to buy.
Did you know that there are many materials that router tables are built form? While in the past you could find them in cast iron variants, technology nowadays has advanced and you can buy them in a plethora of materials to fit your needs. Also, if you use more than one router, then be sure that you get a router table that’s compatible with the models you own.
Lastly, based on the size of the projects you consider, you need to get a router table that has versatile dust ports. Find out whether they are disabled when the fence is adjusted and see whether your specific router table model has ports that work well with high efficiency collectors or vacuums.
Here are our best router tables in our opinion, based on tons of research:
Top Router Table Reviews
1. SKIL RAS900 Router Table
If you are just beginning to learn woodworking, then this is one of the top choices that you can consider. What is great about it is that compared to other models, it produces very little dust and on top of that, storing it is very simple due to its folding legs. Changing bits is also amazingly simple and fast since the RAS900 features a quick release router mount. As for the price, well, it’s very affordable and you can usually find it under 150 dollars. When it comes to the table top, it measures twenty nine inches, while depth and height are eighteen and fourteen inches respectively.
Some people have claimed that while they were using the table, they would have trouble with the whole motor assembly slipping down because of the fine adjustment screw which went loose due to vibrations.
2. Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table
If there is one thing that you’ll completely love about the RA1181, that is the fact that it has a wonderful mechanism below it that allows for making simple adjustments to the router’s height, including fine tuning. Also, keep in mind that when you want to fine tune the table, you’re going to use a key from the top which is much simpler compared to the majority of other router tables on the market.
Construction wise, the RA1181 is made from die-cast aluminum making it very sturdy. In terms of compatibility, this model is compatible with a lot of routers and it’s a very good choice for people who want to get a study table that they don’t need to break the bank for.
Some of the ones that decided to buy this table have reported that the top bows like an upside down bowl. In order to put it in line with any of the sides the center plate can be adjusted, but holding flat on this kind of surface is rather problematic.
3. Kreg PRS1045 Precision Router Table
High caliber results, clean cuts and detailed accuracy are something that you will never have to pay top dollar for, since the Kreg PRS1040 is one of those few router tables on the market that offers you all of these for a great price. The table top is a microdot MDF type which is much different than what you could find in other tables on the market. What makes the PRS1040 special though is the fact that it not only reduces vibration and sound, but it also makes the movement very fluid.
Getting down to the fence system which is T-square designed, it requires little of any adjustments at all and it stays true to your router bit. On top of that, if you were used to using a tape in the past when working on your router table, then forget about that, since the PRS1040 features a Precision Lens Cursor to help you get accurate measurements.
In terms of construction, this model is made from aircraft grade anodized aluminum and it features rubber footings on its legs. However, some people may want to upgrade them for more durability. Keep in mind that this model weighs around eighty five pounds and its WxHxD is 24 by 41 by 32.25 inches respectively.
There are no bad things to say about the functionality of this router table, but be warned that you’re the one who is expected to assemble it.
4. Bench Dog 40-001 Router Table
If you’re a contractor who is always working in a different place, then you’ll absolutely love the portability of the Dog 40-001. One thing you’ll find that this model doesn’t have is an extra power switch, but have no worries since this doesn’t influence its functionality.
For more solidity, the router is supported by dual steel rails while the laminate top minimizes friction and creates a very smooth surface on which you can easily work on. As a result, if you have a lot of projects to consider that involve fragile materials, you won’t be disappointed when using this model, since it’s going to take your work to a whole new level.
In terms of WxHxD, the Dog 40-001 measures 24 inches by 22 inches by 16-516 inches. And since we mentioned this thing is lightweight, you should know that it weighs only forty six pounds.
There are many good things to say about the Dog 40-001, but some people discovered that not everything is pink with this model. For instance, the fence on it seems to be quite a pain and if you’re someone who needs precision when working with it, then you’re going to have a hard time getting it.
5. Bosch RA1171 Cabinet Style
If you want to use the RA1171 as a jointer for fall pieces, then that’s very much possible thanks to the plastic shims it comes with. For use with general projects, you need to know that the RA1171 was designed so that it can be used as a flat table and in this regard, it seems to serve its purpose very well.
One thing that you need to know is that if you’re one of those people who doesn’t like dust and want to use a dust vacuum with the RA1171, you’re going to be a bit disappointed. You should actually start looking for a more efficient collector to get the job done. As for when you want to move the table, it’s best to keep a close eye on the fence adjustment, since it can be affected by it.
The RA1171 uses bearing bits which means that getting used to using this model is going to be very fast.
For the price, this is a great choice, but don’t expect it to offer you the quality that models a few times its price can offer.
There is a chance that you may have trouble with this model, like some people who got it had. For instance, one of the things to turn you off about the RA1171 is the fact that the router plate may not be level with the top.
I’ve been using router tables for a very long time now and I have to say that I am a bit picky when it comes to choosing one. I want a model that is both affordable and one that helps me complete my projects with great accuracy and without getting me tired like some of the models I have used in the past did. In this regard, the Bosch RA1181 like a natural decision for me.
Compared to other tables out there, whenever I want to fine tune the table, I no longer need to get on my knees and start adjusting it, therefore getting myself dirty and getting tired. I’m not in my 30s anymore, you know?
Another thing that I love about this is its sturdiness. I have friends that used some pretty heavy and solid materials on this bad boy and the Bosch RA1181 didn’t even flinch. Being made from die cast aluminum it’s literally guaranteed that it’s going to last you for many years. Most of the times I find myself using this table for hours on end, forgetting about everything else and even being unable to hear my wife calling me for dinner: that’s how much I love the RA1181.
Well then, now that you have an idea of the best router tables you can currently get, you may want to check these models out in a store and see which one works best for you. Good luck with getting one as soon as possible and don’t forget to check for discounts as well!