There is a lot to consider before you buy a router table.
From finding a table with the right slots to secure the feather board and an easily adjustable bit guard to getting the right accessories and learning how to avoid injuries, there is a long way to the right purchase of the best router table.
There are surely a lot of choices on the market.
After all, router tables are very convenient woodworking machines. It's also true that the bigger the machine, the better.
But unless you are a professional woodworker, you won't necessarily need to spend a fortune to buy a top router table for you.
Big router tables are expensive. As long as you get a router table with the right jigs, you are in business – even if you do personal work at home.
So, let's see how we can help you choose the best router table for money – whether you are an experienced professional, novice in the job or hobbyist.
Table of Contents
- Top 6 Router Table for Professionals - A Detailed Review
- #1. Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181 - Versatility
- #2. Bosch Cabinet Style Router Table RA1171 - Precision
- #3. Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax Cast Iron - Router Table Extension
- #4. Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table - Industrial Quality
- #5. Grizzly Industrial T10432 - Practicality
- #6. KREG Router Table System PRS1045 - Easy Assembly
- Top 5 Router Tables for Hobbyists - A Detailed Review
- What is the Router Table?
- What You Can Do with Router Tables?
- Why You Need a Router Table to Work on Wood?
- How to Choose the Best Router Table?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What's the use of router tables?
- Why router tables are considered useful?
- Which are the cheapest router tables?
- How do table and tabletop materials affect the lifespan of a router table?
- Which fence is ideal for a small workshop?
- Which table should I get to use a variety of routers, including big ones?
- Should I use a starter pin?
- Which router table is ideal for a small workshop?
- Your Safety is Important – Check Out What to Do and What to Avoid
We walk you through the process of buying by presenting the best available router tables for money on the market currently.
As consumers, we all want the same thing: to find the best possible product for our needs at the most affordable price. That's our goal here.
We take a closer look of router tables and pinpoint their basic parts and functions.
After thorough research, our team has gathered 6 top router tables for professionals and the 5 best router table machines for hobbyists.
Our reviews and overall approach on the subject will help you spend reasonably and still get the best router table to meet your needs.
Top 6 Router Table for Professionals - A Detailed Review
When it comes to professional router tables, you'll hear the name Bosch pronounced quite a lot. That is why we present to you their best product, the Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181.
The main attraction around this device revolves around versatility.
You can use this table with almost any professional-grade router on the market and get the best results. Furthermore, the aluminum plate at the center of the table is pre-drilled, meaning that compatibility is the least of your concerns.
It has two adjustable feather boards that allow you to apply pressure against the workpiece without worrying whether it'll be flat.
Also, during the entire process, debris and dust are bound to cover the table. That is why this model has a dust collection port that will keep things running smoothly.
The size and the material of the top part of the table will allow you to not only work with smaller pieces of wood and plastic but also more substantial objects that will fit the table like a glove.
The dimensions of the table are 18-inches by 27-inches - this much size will grant you the space to work with pretty much anything, including the fact that 3/8-inch by 3/4-inch slots give you extra space for accessories.
A neat little addition is the power-cord lock, a device that disables any unauthorized use by anyone except you.
And if you take into account the prices that other professional router tables for, this one is somewhat rational.
All in all, if you scout the current market, you won't find a better router table than this one!
Moving on, we have another popular Bosch product that will not disappoint you. Say hello to the Bosch Cabinet Style Router Table RA1171.
First off, having a cabinet-style router table goes a long way in terms of efficiency.
The sheer amount of storage and extra working space you'll get is unmatched compared to standard router tables. Furthermore, this style enables this table to have two dust collection ports that fit standard-sized vacuum hoses.
Like the previous product, this one has a pre-drilled aluminum mounting plate that amounts to extra versatility and compatibility.
Alongside two feather boards and adjustable MDF faceplates, precision will be none of your concerns.
Also, if you feel like you have to adjust the position of your tools in the shed to fit this table next to the power source, you'll rest assured knowing that it has a dual outlet switch with a six-foot power cord.
You should know that the extra tall aluminum fence will help you establish more control in the entire process and overall quality of your work.
However, if you do not live in the US, you should reconsider purchasing this product. This table supports 110 V outlets, whereas the UK, for example, has 220/240 V outlets. If you plan on getting this model, contact Bosch for information regarding this problem.
Otherwise, it is a fantastic product that will undoubtedly do you good in your woodworking endeavors!
- Dual outlet switch/ six-foot power cord
- Aluminum fence
- Two dust collection ports
- Power source
Next up is a slightly different product, an extension to your regular woodworking table that helps add space and room for maneuverability, the Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax Cast Iron.
A medium-price product like this will undoubtedly come in handy for every expert woodworker out there. The primary attraction regarding this product is space.
First off, this router table gives you a ¼-inch T-slot that is perfect for securing and mounting accessories such as feather boards.
Then, the dual fence slot allows you to use the table from both sides since it's rotatable. This comes in great when working with more massive objects or workpieces.
In order to save space, if you decide to use this router as a table-saw, you can dismantle the fence and hang it on the j-hooks while you operate. You can fit this model to any 27-inch x 1-1/2-inch table-saws with ease, which says a lot about its universality.
The cast-iron finish on the top says a lot about this router table's quality, considering that this type of material is used for all heavy-duty products, not just in the woodworking world.
Just know that some customers have noted that this table is quite heavy and can make a lot of noise at times.
If this doesn't break the deal for you, you should seriously consider getting this fantastic router table.
- Makes a lot of noise
When you're having a conversation about woodworking and metalworking, Kreg is bound to come up. They have been a household name in this world for some time now and continue to impress.
We give you their Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table.
The first look can be entirely deceitful.
By looking at its pictures, it may seem like a child's toy, but it's so much more. This compactness says a lot about the portability of this product, but it has the features of an industrial-quality router table.
The top is constructed out of noise-resistant MDF faceplates, and the skin features a high-pressure laminate that is helpful when you're changing and moving workpieces around the table.
The plates are large enough to support the biggest routers on the market, with 3/8" x 9-1/4" x 11-3/4" dimensions. Their locking system ensures router stability as they twist and lock themselves in place every single time.
You'll have enough horizontal space to maneuver with this table, but if you use the jointing rods that come in the package, you'll gain some vertical stability and room.
One of the common problems router tables face is the noise that comes from all the hard work. However, this product is sturdy enough to bring the sound down with the help of its noise-dampening rubber feet.
Just remember that you will probably have to adjust the insert plate each time before using the table. Aside from that, it's as good as it gets!
- Industrial-grade features
- Less noise
- Insert plate adjustment
The next product in the list of router tables for professionals comes from Grizzly Industries, and its features and ease of use will surely be enough to persuade you to, at least, consider this product. So, here’s the Grizzly Industrial T10432.
As with all tables, not just woodworking ones, we need stability and quality.
Well, Grizzly offers just that with this innovative and practical product. The table measures 31-⅞ inches in width, and it’s 24 inches deep.
It has a foldable stand that allows you to set the height up to 34-⅝ inches, which should be more than you need to work without bending too much and hurting your back.
The fence is tall and wide enough for you to use different types of stock, even metallic ones, since you’ll have enough space to maneuver around.
Also, the fence has an abundance of T-slots for clamping, and the steel stand will undoubtedly support the weight of your stock.
Moreover, the fence has an MDF core with an aluminum-anodized mounting bracket that secures the stock in place and ensures it won’t budge during the cutting.
Another feature that we generally like to see is a dust port due to all the debris and the sawdust that flies around during the project. Grizzly Industrial’s T10432 features a 2-½-inch dust port for a more secure and hygienic workplace.
Aside from being incredibly versatile and compatible with most of the routers you can find out there, we’d also mention that it has some cool and small features that we all love, such as the measuring tape and a quick, foldable design.
It is slightly expensive for the quality range, but it’ll surely do an efficient job.
- Strong and sturdy base
- Quality fence with an MDF core
- A 2-½-inch dust port
- Pricy for the range
And for the last item on the professional list, we give you another remarkable Kreg product, the KREG Router Table System PRS1045.
What everyone wants to know is, "Can you fit a standard router into this table?" Well, the answer is YES.
Three molded reducing rings with the router insert plate enable you to fit nearly all router machines with ease and lock them in place for extra stability.
Similar to the previous Kreg model, it also has noise-resistant MDF plates and high-resistant laminate construction. Also, it features an aluminum miter channel and a T-slot that is ideal for accessories.
The reason this professional-grade router table is a tad pricier than the rest stems from its construction. It's powder-coated for resilience and durability, plus, a stand and a tabletop provide extra balance and sturdiness.
Even though it seems bulky, it's quite easy to set up and assemble. Just follow the instructions, and you shouldn't encounter any problems.
Moreover, with the accessories you'll get in the package, you'll still have extra space.
The biggest problem with purchasing this device is the price itself.
It is quite expensive, but if you factor in that a lot of professional router tables go for more astronomical prices, this device's characteristics should help you make the final call.
To conclude, the overall combination of this model's features and the fact that the steel stand is adjustable in height should be enough for you to invest in a fantastic product like this one.
- Extra space
- Easy to assemble
Top 5 Router Tables for Hobbyists - A Detailed Review
If you're on the market for something cheap and worth the trouble, we recommend the Skil RAS900 Router Table.
When comparing the price and overall quality of its features, you'll feel amazed knowing that you can get such a terrific product. And the best news yet? It comes pre-assembled.
There's no more hassle with combining the parts, spending countless hours exploring and sweating - it's ready right out of the box!
You'll notice two storage containers on the sides that are excellent for keeping your accessories and safely storing them.
One of the common issues with router tables is the lack of space for work and general storage, which is why this is a fantastic feature.
Moreover, it includes two feather boards that ensure your woodworking process is exact and precise as they apply pressure against the workpiece.
The bits are maneuvered easily and can be adjusted to improve the overall accuracy of your router cuts. With a tall fence, you'll undoubtedly be able to work with some more substantial objects.
It also features a guard and a starter pin that support the object when you're routing curved edges.
However, the overall quality of the fence is something you should keep your eye on. In time, it will probably wear off, so if you require something that will last you a long time, this might not be the product for you.
Overall, it's a fantastic product for the price and excellent for anyone that's just getting in this world.
- Two storage containers
- Two feather boards
- Fence quality
If you're just getting in the woodworking world and you're not sure what router table to get, you won't go wrong with the Dremel 231 Shaper/Router Table.
This one is compatible with all corded rotary tools and most of the cordless ones. If you're a novice woodworker, this is undoubtedly a characteristic you'll appreciate.
Unlike traditional router tables, this product is an extension that you'll align with the edge of your working table and transform your workstation in a light-duty wood shaper.
Dimensions of this model and its overall compactness will allow you to use it like a pro without worrying whether you'll have enough space for your hard work.
As is the case with all the best router tables, this one has an adjustable fence to help you stabilize your workpiece and do precise work.
It is not ideal for any professional work, but if you're a hobbyist wood-shaper, you'll appreciate this product as it is excellent for crafts and metalworking since it can be bolted on to your work table.
The great news is you'll get a 1-year warranty to protect yourself in case the product is faulty or stops giving out the best quality. Dremel takes care of its customers and offers a 24/7 service.
However, the overall quality is matched by some other products on the list, and if you get this product, you'll probably feel you're ready for a new one after some time.
However, for a novice woodworker, this one will go long ways in your future endeavors.
- Easy to use
- Table extension
- 1-year warranty
- Overall quality
The next model on our list is a solution to the most common problem router tables face - space. We present to you the Goplus Electric Aluminum Router Table.
Alongside the main table, this device also features two extension tables on each side. Having this much space is crucial in completing heavy-duty tasks with larger workpieces.
They measure 8" × 18" and have a gliding surface that makes it easier to switch between objects and do general handy work.
It does not feature a dust collector, but inside the fence is an inserted guard that keeps small pieces of wood from flying around. Also, it has a miter gauge that will help you in making precise cuts along the way.
The construction of this set is based on aluminum and steel, sturdy metals that help provide a strong background and maintain a long life for your product. As you can see, it is not that heavy for such a large router table, which is undoubtedly a bonus in terms of portability.
It fits all the mainstream routers that novice woodworkers buy, and you'll undoubtedly have one that matches this table's specifications.
Also, it's good to know that it's straightforward to assemble and use compared to some other products on the market.
However, some customers claim that the extension tables are not perfectly aligned with the main router table, which may come as a problem if you plan on working with more massive workpieces.
All in all, the ratio of quality and price is undoubtedly in the balance, and you should definitely consider purchasing this model.
- Easy to assemble and use
Naturally, you’d expect a quality router table to be sturdy and resilient to impact and general pressure from the workplace. Therefore, Ryobi has supplied the market with just that, the Ryobi A25RT03 Universal Router Table.
Let’s talk about the design of this router table.
It is a 28-pound table that measures 32 x 16 inches, and it can accommodate most routers on the market, meaning it doesn’t have to be a Ryobi router. It has a wide fence with joining capabilities and sacrificial MDF pieces.
Since Ryobi is a verified manufacturer of woodworking tools, you know that the package will include something good.
The entire thing goes for a very fair price, and they even throw in a 3-year warranty for the entire table, including the accessories.
Speaking of accessories, you’ll also receive a miter gauge, five throat plates, assembling gear, and a feather board.
Some customers have commented that it was a bit hard to assemble, especially the fence, but that shouldn’t present that big of a problem long-term. Realistically, you’ll probably assemble it once and leave it like that for the years to come.
The bigger problem is the fact that the sliding guide doesn’t have the standard ¾-inch width. It’s slightly larger, which will probably pose a problem with the feather boards.
Aside from this, Ryobi rarely disappoints, and this isn’t an exception. It’s a well-crafted and sturdy table that should last you for years with proper care.
- Durable design
- Verified manufacturer
- Great package deal
- A lot of accessories
- Sliding guide design
Now we’re down to the last router table, and this one comes from Chicago Power Tools. It’s not the best one you can find, but it’s quite affordable, comes with a router, and it’s perfect for beginners.
So, here’s the Chicago Electric Power Tools Benchtop Router Table review.
As far as the router machine is concerned, it is a modest device that runs on 1-¾ HP that exclusively mounts on the table. It supports the standard ½-inch shanks, but you can use the adapter sleeve for the ¼-inch shanks.
As far as the table’s concerned, it is 23.5 inches wide and 14 inches deep, which is not that large but considering its main purpose is to suit beginners, this size will be perfect for most woodworking processes.
It features a solid and plastic fence with a gauge that also has some nice features, such as the pause bump that’s operated via a knob on the back. If you need to stop the project unexpectedly, this will help you stop it momentarily without any injuries.
The entire thing is sub-$200, which is fantastic considering the pricing of router tables around Amazon and verified retailers.
Overall, the main disadvantage is the overall quality of the parts, but that’s what you get for this price range.
- The best mid-range router table
- Perfect for beginners and hobbyists
- Low quality
Read more —
What is the Router Table?
Router tables are loved by woodworkers and hobbyists because they are versatile and can be used with or without bits to shape edges, cut slots, create moldings, form raised door panels or trim boards.
The sky is the limit! The router is actually a woodworking machine, which can be fitted on a table.
Although it can be hand-held, table-mounted routers make the job easier and safer. And these are the basic reasons why you should find a top rated router table. And we can help with that.
We have selected excellent products in terms of convenience, price and quality, but before we present you the best router table reviews, let's take a tiny step back and discover some things about router tables.
a. There Are Two Types
#1: The plunge router– the entire body of the tool (including the bit) plunges and locks into the wood
#2: The fixed based router – the body of this tool moves into the wood manually
Both of these types can be used in router tables and the results of woodworking will be equally satisfactory. Newbies in the job or hobbyists must know that the router's bits turn counter clockwise.
To ensure the job is done well and you are safe, you must feed wood from right to left. This is imperative!
b. Main Parts of Router Table
What You Can Do with Router Tables?
Why You Need a Router Table to Work on Wood?
There is a very good reason why router tables are so popular among consumers – whether they are hobbyists or professional woodworkers. It's much more difficult to work with a router handfree and the results are not the same.
These are the reasons why you need a router table.
The above reasons also point out the benefits of using these machines.
As far as professionals are concerned, router tables enable them to undertake any job and have no restrictions. Their work is done much faster and the results are better.
But even homeowners, who look for home improvement solutions, or like to create their own furniture, router tables allow them to expand their options and use the machine for a plethora of tasks.
The overall safety - router tables provide - is also a plus for both professionals and amateurs.
Woodworkers spend their whole day working on wood and hobbyists do not have experience which is compensated by the stability of a first-class router table.
How to Choose the Best Router Table?
1. Get a Solid and Flat Top
It's absolutely necessary to get a table with a flat and rigid surface. This will help you cut and shape boards with precision. Tiny bumps and irregularities won't help you do the job right.
The table top must be durable because you will apply pressure while feeding boards. So, give great importance to the material of the surface.
Due to its low price and durability, MDF is the best choice on the market. It should be 1'' thick at the very least.
The problem with this material is that it's not slippery enough to allow you to push boards, but there is a solution. Choose MDF tops surfaced with melamine. This material is slippery enough and will also protect MDF from wear.
Another option is to get MDF surfaced with high-pressure laminate. It's even more durable, but also more expensive. So, go for it only if you are a professional.
Are you a professional?
In this case, you can forget about MDF altogether and select cast iron tops. This is the top material because it is extremely durable, flat and stable and absorbs vibrations, but it's also the most expensive choice.
2. Make Surer the Base Plate is Rigid and Flat
This is the part, which is nestled in the hole at the center of the router table. It must be durable enough to support the heavy weight of the router.
It must also fit perfectly at your router table so that the top surface will be flat. Since it hosts the bits, it must be easily adjusted to work with bits of all sizes.
Make sure the plate you choose is compatible with your router because some manufacturers drill them to match specific router models on the market.
Also avoid one-size-fits-all plates because they often lack the required strength.
If you are planning to regularly remove the router to use it manually, make sure the router is mounted and removed easily, or you'll waste time.
3. Prefer Router Tables With Miter and T-slots
You might not need the miter slot in every job, but it's good to know that your router table includes the slot in case you want to create dadoes for example.
Some tables have T-slots so that the featherboard and other accessories will be well-secured.
4. The Fence Must Be Adjusted Easily
In order to control the cut, you need to apply pressure against the table but also against the fence. So, it must be very durable.
You must be able to set it straight and adjust it easily. It must also stay in place otherwise your job will turn into a nightmare.
There are one-piece and two-piece fences. Although split (two-piece) fences allow you to adjust the two pieces closer to the bit, their alignment can be very difficult.
And we remind you that the fence must be perfectly aligned or the board you are currently working on will bump in the protruding/misaligned part of the fence.
You won't have the same problem with one-piece fences since this is one solid piece of wood covering both the in-feed and out-feed sides.
The downside of one-piece fences?
You cannot adjust the opening around the bit, so it must be big enough to receive big bits. When you work with small bits, the board will not be supported when it travels along the opening.
Another disadvantage with one-piece fences is that you won't be able to set the in-feed section of the fence at an offset in the out-feed part, but that's solved by using shims.
5. The Base Must Be Stable
If it's not, your efforts might get wasted and your safety will be compromised.
Remember two things: first, the cutting must be precise and second, you will apply pressure. The base must be sturdy enough to withstand force. It shouldn't wobble.
Don't forget that the cutter spins rapidly and you must be able to rely on the base of the router machine.
Make sure it's made of durable materials and has locking casters so that it will remain stable, but still be portable.
6. The Dust Collector is NOT a Luxury Tool
With so many jigs needed for router tables, consumers often leave dust collectors out of their shopping list. Don't do it!
For starters, it suctions dust as you are working and not afterwards, and so you won't work amidst mountains of shavings. With chips and shavings out of the way, you will breathe better.
Long exposure to dust can create serious respiratory problems let alone eye and skin irritation, headaches and nasal dryness.
Dust collectors will also help you avoid accidents. Accumulated shavings make the floor slippery and can easily catch fire.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the use of router tables?
For most woodwork, ranging from cutting molding and creating dadoes to shaping edges, making raised panels, routing grooves, sawing, making box joints, slots and dovetails, trimming boards and giving shape to cylindrical boards.
Why router tables are considered useful?
It is a complete, stationary machine as opposed to hand-held routers and they allow you to use both hands to work and have full control over your work.
They also provide extra safety, especially when it comes to small boards.
Which are the cheapest router tables?
The compact ones, which can be adjusted on the workbench!
These ones are priced under $100, but if you are willing to spend a tad over $100, you will get a more complete solution.
Although compact router tables are portable to just any place, router tables with real legs have more accessories, larger workspace and are more stable.
How do table and tabletop materials affect the lifespan of a router table?
It's obvious that sturdy materials keep the table from wobbling and withstand vibrations. So it won't wear and tear easily.
By choosing rigid tops and tables, you are sure that the pressure applied against them during the job doesn't affect them. They are durable enough and consequently they last longer.
So, you save a considerable amount of money since you won't have to replace them soon.
Which fence is ideal for a small workshop?
It's best to get a one-piece fence so that you won't have to bother with the alignment of two-piece fences.
Just make sure the opening is big enough to fit big bits.
Which table should I get to use a variety of routers, including big ones?
Tall ones enable you to use bigger tools. The most important thing is the hole at the center of the table where the router is mounted.
You must get a table, which can host various router plates that can use bits of any size.
Should I use a starter pin?
Most router tables have a little space, which allows the starter pin to sit vertically.
It's helpful to use it when you have to work on non-linear boards, like circular or rounded edges.
With such objects, you cannot use the fence. The starter pin will help you ease the board into the bit so it won't bang against it.
Which router table is ideal for a small workshop?
Avoid getting a huge one, but also make sure there is enough workplace. Some router tables have a dual slot configuration.
These router tables have a fence that can be swiveled out on both sides and so you will have more workspace. Some have a folding design.
Invest in accessories too so that you will not be limited to the tasks you undertake.
Your Safety is Important – Check Out What to Do and What to Avoid
Bits spin with incredible spin and are sharp. Injuries can happen easily.
There is a lot you can do to avoid accidents and health problems. Here are some simple safety tips.
When you have to pay a few hundred dollars on one machine, you surely want the best router table for money spent.
Although there isn't such a thing as a bad router, some router tables are better than others in regard to their quality and the price you pay for them.
What we tried to do here was to give you an account of the best router table machines available on the market taking into consideration their characteristics in relation to their cost. We have offered options to both professionals and hobbyists since needs vary.
Without thinking too much, we have two pretty obvious winners here: The Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181 is for professionals and Skil RAS900 Router Table for beginners and DIYers.
Both come from industry leading brands, trusted for years and are a worthy investment on every penny. With their help, you don't limit your creative horizon!
Though, at the end of the day what's important is to do the job with precision and without jeopardizing your safety.
So, make sure you get a durable table with a flat and easy to slide surface top and a T-slot, an easy to adjust fence and accessories. If the fence is not well-adjusted, the job won't be done properly.
Remember that it's best to push the board with another piece of wood. With a push board, you make sure that the wood you are currently working on is flat against the bit and keeps it from tearing.
It's also important to get a plate, which can host bits of all sizes. Getting the best router table possible in terms of characteristics and stability, and still stay on budget is essential.
We hope our router table reviews were helpful and just wish you super-great wood creations!