Routers are important tools which shouldn’t miss in any woodworking workshop setup – they can be used for many purposes such as creating molded lumber edges, creating curved cut profiles, dado profiles and so on.
Though previous generation of routers are hand-held tools, new routers can be kept mounted on tables and their design configuration is preferred since they offer versatility to operators.
Previous routers generation relied on a router lift as the link between a router and table. A router lift being an expensive device has the current routers generation be in high demand since they offer convenience when used and can easily allow for quick change of router bits.
If you want to own the best routers for router table tables, the mentioned routers below can give you convenience, ease of you and their price range is also within reasonable means.
Table of Contents
- Top 7 Routers You Can Actively Consider Buying
- #1. Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit - The Best Overall
- #2. Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router - The Best Versatile Router
- #3. Bosch 1617EVS 2.25 HP Electronic Fixed-Base Router - The Best Design
- #4. MILWAUKEE'S Cordless Compact Router - The Best Cordless Router
- #5. Dewalt DW616 Fixed Base Router
- #6. Milwaukee 5625-20 Fixed Base Variable Speed Router
- #7. Porter-Cable 7518 Five-Speed Production Router
- Things to Consider if You Want to Pick the Best Router for a Router Table
- Final Thoughts - Summary
Top 7 Routers You Can Actively Consider Buying
You can hardly have a rough time if you are on a mission to purchase a router. Many routers fall in the budget range of $175 to $375 and the price you pay ultimately can influence how comfortable you can get when using a given router.
Routers being important tools in any woodworking setup, you must make a point to pick a router that can enable you to have easy time in your woodworking routines.
The routers below are included for they are affordable and feature design performance which many woodworking enthusiasts can find comforting.
The most important things that a powerful router - handheld or stationary - must accomplish at all times are performance and precision.
These actions are dependent on several factors, including the build and the integral parts of the router, so you'll naturally want to get one from a verified manufacturer that knows all about power tools.
Therefore, we give you the phenomenal Makita RT0701CX7 Router.
The best routers can successfully accomplish many woodworking techniques and processes, such as hollowing out materials, creating various joints, and creating profiles.
Well, wouldn't you want a 1-¼ horsepower machine that can run at 30,000 RPMs at maximum speed to help you in this quest?
So, let's see some of the most prominent features that make this Makita router one of the best, if not the best one, on the market.
There are many other features that make this router truly the best one on the market, but you won't benefit a lot if we continue listing them without you actually experiencing it.
What should interest you is that it's affordable, convenient, and Amazon's best seller product. Truly, what more could you want?
#2. Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router - The Best Versatile Router
Triton TRA001 router can handle woodworking applications thanks to its 3.25 HP and a motor that can operate at speeds in the range of 8000-21000 rpm.
Its most versatile features are that it is easy to set, enables direct reading and has a 3-phase turret that allows for precise setting of cut depths.
The router allows for height adjustments above the table thanks to its portable height adjustment crank. The height adjustment crank can also allow fast and precise depth adjustments thereby eliminating the need to have router lift components.
That design also allows for router bits to be changed from above the table and that combination is hardly seen in many router models.
Triton TRA001 Router has the following product features.
Triton TRA001 Router is manufactured by Triton, an Australia-based company which is known for its incredible taste for quality products and that philosophy is amazingly reflected on the design features of the router.
It may take you a long time to find any faults that can be experienced with this router since the assurance is that its design considerations are deeply taken into consideration.
This router can handle a wide range of routing applications and the other impressive aspect about it is that it is incredibly versatile.
It has an amazing powerful motor that features excellent speed-control technology. It’s fixed based make it ideal when used for routing tasks that require upright posture.
Bosch 1617EVS Router high-performance features can enable you to do plenty of jobs precisely. Here are its products features that makes it an exceptional router.
Bosch 1617EVS Router can maintain a consistent RPM performance and the other impressive about it is that its blade is heat-treaded thereby it can handle even the rough routing tasks.
Its only noticeable setback is that changing its bits can at times be a real pain.
However, that is no problem assuming that you take your time to learn how to change the bits.
Even though corded routers are more secure and safe to use due to the continuous surge of electrical output, the cords always get in the way and lower your overall maneuverability.
Nowadays, there are efficient cordless routers that have excellent battery life and allow you to work for the entire day without losing consistency. Such is the MILWAUKEE'S Cordless Compact Router.
When you think of an efficient router for a router table, three things will generally come to mind - speed, power, and performance in terms of adjustment.
Well, Milwaukee offers it all with this incredible M18 model that operates at 1.25 horsepower while maintaining speeds at 31,000 RPMs.
Not only that, but the XC5.0 Milwaukee-patented battery can run all day with a couple of breaks to maintain the optimal coolness of the motor.
We don't want to be annoying you with a detailed review, so let's list out the features of this compact cordless router and see what makes it a necessary purchase.
Overall, it might not be the most affordable router, but there are many benefits of owning this type of machine, aside from portability and ease of use.
All in all, we have to give it a high, great and our absolute recommendation.
You can route and smooth even the roughest hardwoods with Dewalt DW616 Fixed Base Router thanks to its powerful 1-3/4 horsepower rating.
Besides, it has a fine depth adjustment mechanism that can cover precise micro depth adjustments as tiny as 1/64 inches.
Its adjustable and tool-free motor cam lock makes it easy for depth adjustments and base changes to be done quickly.
Here are some product features of Dewalt DW616 Fixed Base Router at a glance.
This router is so easy to use, is amazingly durable and many woodworkers would find it an amazing tool to own. It can comfortably handle any bit fed to it and its design is incredibly smart.
Milwaukee 5625-20 fixed base variable speed router has a linear height adjustment feature that can allow for precise adjustments within in the range of a 1/8 inch and 1/64 inch while just using a turning knob.
Its slight angle gives superior speed control which can still be consistently felt even when the router is at its maximum speed of 22000 revolutions per minute.
Here are its amazing product features.
Milwaukee 5625-20 fixed base variable speed router is 9-1/4 inches tall, weighs 11.8 pounds and comes with a 5-year warranty. It has 3-1/2 horsepower and 15 Amp rating which is ideally good for a router.
Its purchase package comprises 2 collet wrenches, ½ inch collet, 2-1/2 inch sub-base and a T-handle wrench. It has a variable speed that lies in the range of 10,000 to 22,000 revolutions per minute.
Many people who have Milwaukee 5625-20 fixed base variable speed router in their woodworking shops have incredibly many positive reviews about it except that its price range may put off some potential buyers.
However, regarding performance, it is among the top routers money can get you.
This router is unique in that it can provide 5 speeds ranging from 10,000 to 21,000 rpm. That means it can tackle a wide variety of woodworking applications.
Besides, it can save you a lot of time and effort if you are making heavy cut profiles or when using big bits.
Its stability is incredibly impressive since its operator can comfortably handle it thanks to its integrated cast handles.
Here are products features of this router:
Porter Cable 7518 Five-Speed Production Router has 11x17x11 inches dimension, weighs 15.5 pounds and comes with a 5-year warranty.
In the product purchase box are five-speed router, fixed base, a motor, ½ inch collet, a collet wrench and instructions manual.
The router is impressive and hardly can you find any issues with it. Its performance is indeed top notch.
Things to Consider if You Want to Pick the Best Router for a Router Table
Routers offer different performance and that is one thing you should have in mind anytime you are purchasing a router besides considering the price.
How frequent you are required to change the router bits or height adjustment can significantly influence how comfortable you can get when working with any given router and that factor must be well considered in your router pre-purchase thoughts.
Here are important router design configurations that shouldn’t escape your mind anytime you want to buy a router.
1. The Need to Have Quick Router Bit Changes
Though the assumption is that many routers meant for router tables are designed in a manner that bits can be changed without reaching under the router table or lifting the router freely, that isn’t always the case.
For the bits to get changed, one has to reach under the table and in some instances, it may be necessary to remove a router from its table.
Triton has a collet that extends above the table and its spindle lock is reasonably within reach. You thereby only need one wrench to change its bits.
The Porter-Cable is also a good router however its setback is that its collet lock can only be reached from below the router table.
To compensate for the inconvenience Porter-Cable router comes with a pair of wrenches that can be cranked for use from above.
The other problem with Porter-Cable router is that its dust deflector/chip guard can get in the way of the wrenches and thereby don’t allow the collet to extend above the table.
The good thing though is that the guard can be removed.
2. Adjustability Widely Varies Among Many Router Models
When a router is linked upside down to the router table and is somewhat out of reach; making depth adjustments in such a case can be tough at times.
Triton is the best router to opt for if you need a router that is simple and easy to adjust.
It has plunge base that moves on a rack and pinion mechanism that can allow for fine and coarse adjustments.
Its height adjustment mechanism runs on a ratchet mechanism that meaningfully works when the bit is retracted or extended wholly.
Routers having motor lock are also worth your thinking.
You don’t have to tighten them if you want to maintain a consistent cutting height. Instead, you can only be required to unlock the motor when it is the right time to move the router up or down.
With Porter-Cable router, you can lock or unlock its motor from above its table using the handle used to change its bit height.
3. Collet Runout
A collet ever needs to assume a concentric configuration to create smooth cut profiles.
Excessive collet runout is often the difference between routers that can deliver smooth clean profiles and ones which often demands numerous passes to guarantee a decent job.
Collet runout performance widely varies from one router model to the other. Triton gives 0.001 inches of collet runout and that can mean that it can be relied upon to deliver smooth cuts.
A router with reasonably small collet runout is capable of giving out smooth cuts if you pay detailed attention to router bit feeding rate so that a wood profile isn’t hogged out in any router pass.
4. Safety Interlocks & Switch Placement
The interlock makes the router not to start when bits are getting changed or not allow the possibility of hitting the food pedal unknowingly.
Triton also uniquely stands out with its dust collection capability.
It ensures that dust is trapped at the right sections without allowing it to be ingested to router locations which can bring about reduced performance.
It has a plastic shrouding around its plunge base and does accept a vacuum hose having 1 3/8 diameter dimension.
With a good dust collection system, you can be certain of owning a router that can reasonably last long.
What type of router is the best for a router table?
There are many options that you can look into since there are various types of routers for different router tables and specific projects.
For example, the MILWAUKEE'S Cordless Compact Router is an excellent solution for those that lack space and love doing smaller projects.
However, if you need absolute power and stability, you've got to use the Makita RT0701CX7 Router.
It's been received incredibly well by the woodworking community, its specifications are unbelievable, and you will most likely find a place for it in your work shed.
Can you use any router on a router table?
Generally, you will be able to install any routers on a router table. However, if the dimensions for the table are not correct, you'll have to drill holes in the insert.
Naturally, this only goes for fixed routers since you won't be able to mount compact routers.
What is the difference between a fixed-base router and a plunge router?
As the name implies, a fixed-base router has a prefixed position of the router bit before you start cutting.
For example, if you set it to a certain depth, let's say ½-inch, and start cutting, the router bit will protrude through the material until it reaches the given depth, and it'll maintain the depth.
On the other hand, a plunge router reaches the given depth, but it can be lowered or plunged while the cutting's in progress, regardless of the sub-base plate.
Can you turn a fixed router into a plunge router?
Unfortunately, no. Fixed routers are made the way they are, and there is no way you can successfully convert them into a plunged model without damaging the integral parts.
Final Thoughts - Summary
Anytime you are buying a router, you should always settle for the router that can deliver the best performance.
Naturally, going for the best will almost always solve your troubles, and, in this case, that is the Makita RT0701CX7 Router.
It is undoubtedly one of the best routers that we've seen in a while, and it takes the gold model in this article.
It showed the best performance, absolute speed, and incredible results.
- Variable speed control dial (10,000 - 30,000 RPM) enables user to match the speed to the application
- Smooth rack-and-pinion fine depth adjustment system for more precise settings
- Slim and ergonomically designed body for increased comfort and control
- Quick release cam lock system for easy depth adjustments and base removal/installation
- Electronic speed control maintains constant speed under load. Fits compact routers models RT0700C and RT0701C