A router table is one of the most useful pieces of equipment you can add to your garage or shop. This specialized woodworking tool has a spindle and machine that allow you to easily mold profiles into pieces of wood. Here we take a look at the best router table that will offer you the ultimate control during the woodworking process.
When choosing a router table, you want one that will free up both your hands so you can adjust and guide the wood as necessary without having to keep a hand steady on the piece of wood you’re working on. This helps to enhance the overall safety of the task and makes it much easier for you to complete advanced projects, including installing grooves, creating edge profiles, and much more.
So read on to find out all you need to know about the important features necessary in a quality router table as well as all the other information you need to help you make the right choice to suit your needs.
- What Is a Router Table?
- Differences Between a Router Table and a Spindle Moulder
- Things to Consider When Buying a Router Table
- The Best Router Tables Reviews:
- 1. Bosch Benchtop Router Table
- 2. KREG Router Table
- 3. Bench Dog Router Table Extension
- 4. Bosch Cabinet-style Router Table
- 5. Kreg PRS Router Table
- 6. Craftsman Router/Table Combo
- 7. Kreg Precision Router Table
- 8. GoPlus Router Table
- 9. Kreg Benchtop Router Table
- 10. MLCS Router Table Top
- 11. Skil Router Table
- 12. JESSEM Router Table System
- Types of Router Tables
- Safety Tips for Using a Router Table
- FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Router Table
Best Router Tables: Editor’s Top Picks
What Is a Router Table?
A router table is simply a system used for attaching a portable wood router. You can mount the router on the table to make it easier to work with. By doing so, you enhance its stability and safety making the process of routing wood a lot smoother. Router tables are ideal for woodworking professionals as well as hobbyists.
Router tables come with many different features and are among the most popular specialized woodworking tools available today. Thanks to their ever-growing popularity, manufacturers are now releasing better and more affordable models every year.
These days, there are currently tons of options for woodworkers to choose from, each with its own benefits and advantages to cater to different woodworking needs. Because of the huge variety now available, it’s always a good idea to do your research before choosing the best router table to suit your needs.
Differences Between a Router Table and a Spindle Moulder
If you have any experience at all working with wood then you may already be aware of the question of what the difference is between a spindle moulder and a router table. The answer is very simple. Although both devices are designed for shaping and molding individual wood pieces in order to create intricate designs, there are some major differences between the two.
One of the main differences between the devices is that a router table is smaller and a lot more versatile than a spindle moulder. In the past, for the most part, spindle moulders were only used in professional workshops. But now, we’re starting to see them more and more in the garages and studios of amateur users and hobbyists.
Router tables are lighter and offer more convenience and ease-of-use for individuals to navigate. This, in turn, leads to finer cuts in the wood. On the other hand, a spindle moulder is heavier and more difficult to use. However, it works exceptionally well when cutting through larger chunks of wood.
For the most part, you want to invest in a high-quality router table since it’s a lot easier to use. Router tables are also significantly less expensive than spindle moulders. Just keep in mind that they also have a lot less power. But, this is unlikely to be an issue as you probably won’t need or even be able to make use of the massive voltage offered by a spindle moulder.
Things to Consider When Buying a Router Table
If you’ve made the decision to purchase a router table, the next step is to check if it has all the necessary features to help you complete all your projects quickly and easily. Whether you’re a professional or an amateur user, you need to consider the features listed below before making your purchase.
1. Table Surface
This is one of the most important features you need to consider before buying a table router. In fact, the work surface of a router table is the most important aspect that you should prioritize. You need to look for a flat, rigid, and durable surface. Make sure there aren’t any bumps on it or any other types of flaws. It’s only with the right type of surface that you’ll be able to facilitate precise cutting and routing in your tasks.
If you can choose a top made from MDF, that would be even better. In order to enhance the durability of your tabletop, it’s possible to surface the MDF top using high-pressure laminate or melamine. However, this option can prove to be quite expensive even though it’s a once-off long-term investment.
Alternatively, for those with professional needs, it may be a good idea to invest more in the beginning to get a table that will perform well for a long time to come. In such a case, a cast iron top table will offer you a vast range of benefits, including the fact that you won’t have to worry about any vibrations.
2. Easily Adjustable Fence
Another vital part of the router table that you need to consider is the fence. Make sure that it is easy to adjust. This will take save you a lot of time when you’re completing projects. Keep in mind that just because a router table fence is easily adjustable doesn’t mean that it’s not strong.
You can get a fence that easy to adjust parts from the seats in place when required. When it comes to fences, you have the option of choosing either one-piece or two-piece fences. Your selection needs to be based on the level of control required when handling boards.
3. Effective Dust Collector
As a woodworker, you know just how much dust is produced during your projects. If you want to help keep your working area clean and aligned, it’s a good idea to choose a router table that has a great dust collection method.
This will not only help to keep your studio clean, but it will also help your health by preventing overexposure to dust. This is something that a lot of people who work with wood have to deal with on a daily basis so if you can take the necessary precautions right from the start then you will be able to prevent this problem before it can affect your health.
4. Sturdy Base
Yet another important feature that you need to consider for your router table is the base. Make sure that the base you choose is strong and durable. Remember, even with the best router for a router table, you will be applying lots of pressure during your routing tasks so make sure that the base is as sturdy as it needs to be to offer you the maximum stability while you’re working.
5. Safety and Durability
As with any other piece of equipment, it’s important to consider the safety aspect before you make your purchase. Choose a product that has all the required safety certifications and features. Also, it may be a good idea to consider where the woodworking table was manufactured.
For instance, products manufactured in Canada, the US, or the EU tend to comply with the American manufacturing standards, which makes them a better option for you safety-wise. Of course, it’s possible for products produced elsewhere to still comply with the standards if they are being sold in the US, but you may need to do further digging in order to double-check the facts.
Also, choose a product with a good warranty that will protect you in case of damages during the warranty period. The longer the warranty, the better, because it shows you that the product maker has faith in its product’s quality.
The router table you choose should be compatible either with the router you already have or one that you’re considering buying. It may be a good idea to buy from the same brand because then it’s more likely the two will be compatible.
Also, the brand will list a range of compatible products to make your choice even easier. The good news is that (for the vast majority of routing tables) if you find that it’s not compatible, you can simply drill holes in different spots to make it compatible.
Price is yet another important factor for you to consider. The amount you’re willing to spend should be weighed carefully against the features you require from your router table. Needless to say, with this type of thing, you generally get what you pay for.
This means that if you want to make a long-term investment into a table that will offer the best performance and functionality for a long time to come, then you may have to be willing to invest a bit more upfront in order to benefit from the long-term value of your purchase.
The Best Router Tables Reviews:
1. Bosch Benchtop Router Table
The large work surface of this benchtop router table offers precision and versatility. The aluminum top is portable and made for long-lasting durability. It’s designed to fit a wide variety of routers making this an indispensable addition to any woodworking shop.
The study aluminum router mounting plate comes pre-drilled to ensure its compatibility with a number of different routers as well as above table height adjustment for many routers. The benchtop router table also has a convenient dust collection port which allows for a clean working environment.
This router table from a reliable brand comes with mounting hardware and features an aluminum fence that has adjustable MDF faceplates, an aluminum mounting plate, and two outfeed shims. Also included is a guard to route curved workpieces.
In addition to that, this router table also comes with a built-in cord wrap which offers you convenience portability and storage. This is undoubtedly one of the best router tables that you’ll find on the market today and it’s well worth considering for anyone who wants the ultimate in value and performance.
- Large, durable, precise aluminum top
- Predrilled aluminum mounting plate
- Comes with an extra-tall aluminum fence
- Conveniently placed dust collection port
- Comes with two adjustable feather boards
2. KREG Router Table
This router table from the KREG brand is extremely easy to assemble. It also has a host of additional features designed to improve on an already incredible router table. It has router insert plates included for mounting to any router using the router base plate as well as a template that is simple to follow.
The fence has an L-shaped extrusion that has two independent fence faces for providing zero-clearance support. Made from MDF and covered in high-pressure laminate, this precision router tabletop includes a high-quality aluminum miter channel or T-slot that can be used with a wide range of accessories.
In order to enhance its durability, the multipurpose steel stand has a powder coating that resists rust, scratches, and abrasions. The outfeed anchor of this router system has been redesigned to offer more usable space and the stand is adjustable in height making it ideal for different users. For anyone searching for the best professional router table, this could very well be exactly what you need.
- Includes insert plate with reducing rings
- T-square style table fence
- The micro-adjust wheel offers precise setups
- Adjustable multipurpose steel stand
- Redesigned outfeed anchor offers more space
3. Bench Dog Router Table Extension
With this product, you will be able to expand the versatility of your table saw. The industrial-grade router table can be added in place of an extension wing. Ideal for shops where there is limited space, the Pro Max router table from Bench Dog comes with a cast iron top and a 28-inch Pro fence, as well as a miter gauge track which can be adjusted to offer a no slop fit.
For anyone who has an issue with workspace, then this product has you covered. The dual-slot configuration of the fence lets you rotate the fence so you can work from both sides of the table in order to maximize the surface area.
Furthermore, there’s a third miter slot at your disposal which means your table saw is perfectly equipped for handling crosscut sleds. This is undoubtedly the best router table for the money, and no other fence comes with a better design or more useful features.
- Compatible with all contractor-grade table saws
- Ideal for small shops with limited space
- Includes fence, router top, and mounting hardware
- Pro plate is sold separately
- Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
4. Bosch Cabinet-style Router Table
Bosch is a brand that is well known for offering high-quality products at affordable prices, and this router table is no different. It has a cabinet-style design and it features a smooth laminated work surface which allows for precision woodworking. This is a perfect benchtop solution for your garage or workshop. The cabinet-style design and construction offer enhanced stability and convenient storage space.
This router table also has a dust collection feature which helps to keep your work area clean. It has a rigid mounting plate made from aluminum that comes predrilled so it’s compatible with a wide variety of routers, as well as for adjusting above table height for many common routers.
A tall fence comes included with this product. It allows you to easily handle taller stock. It also has adjustable MDF faceplates, as well as feather boards, which help to maximize versatility and precision. In addition to having a dust collection port on the cabinet, there’s also one at the fence so you have maximum dust management when working on your projects.
- Tall aluminum fence and adjustable MDF faceplates
- The aluminum mounting plate comes predrilled for compatibility
- Cabinet-style design for stability and additional storage
- Two dedicated dust ports on fence and cabinet
- Extremely easy to adjust feather boards
5. Kreg PRS Router Table
This precision router table is compatible with any of the brand’s tabletop solutions. Made using high-quality, durable 16-gauge steel, this table offers stability and durability. The 1-inch thick surface of the table has a vibration-reducing MDF core which makes your work a lot smoother.
For anyone who has reservations about purchasing a precision tool such as this one, this product will put all your fears to rest. According to a lot of router table reviews online, this router table is well worth every penny and will help to make all your projects quicker, easier, and more precise.
You’ll be able to bring out your creativity and attempt a lot more ideas than you ever could without a tool such as this one. For anyone who wants the ultimate in value for money from their investment, this router table is well worth considering.
The heavy-duty customizable steel stand is easily adjustable to make it ideal for different users. The high-performance tabletop offers unparalleled precision. In addition to all those great features, the router table also comes with a factory warranty for your peace of mind.
- Multipurpose router table fence system
- Customizable, heavy-duty steel stand
- High-performance tabletop
- It has a precision insert plate system
- Comes with a factory warranty
6. Craftsman Router/Table Combo
If you are searching for the best router and table combo, then this could be the ideal product for your needs. This is a great purchase for beginners and novice users will get the absolute best value out of it. Setup is extremely easy. The package includes very clear, easy to follow instructions from the manufacturer.
When you get started using this tool, it puts out a lot of power as soon as you turn it on. The router bit height is very easy to adjust, as is the fence. For the price, you’re getting a lot of powerful features and benefits.
Thanks to the exceptional performance of this router/table combo, you’ll be able to get nice clean cuts every time. The table legs, though made of plastic, are sturdy and durable, making this a great tool for basic home use. Craftsman brand is known for its quality tools, and this one is a testament to the company’s commitment to quality. This router and table combo is also offered at an extremely competitive price.
- High-quality router and table combo ideal for home use
- Craftsman router only compatible with Craftsman router bits
- Competitively priced product with many features
- Simple to set up and ideal for beginners
- Router bit and fence easy to adjust
7. Kreg Precision Router Table
Whether you want to route a simple dado, add finishing touches on your countertop, or build a few raised panel doors, this precision router table from KREG has a series of amazing new features that will help take your woodworking to a whole new level.
Whatever type of project you have, you’ll be able to finish it easier, faster, and with greater precision thanks to this incredible tool. For anyone searching for a high-quality router table, this is one of the most effective tools you can add to your woodworking arsenals.
It’s the best wood router table in its category, and it’s well worth the money you pay for it. It has a fence design that provides automatic squaring, a rugged MDF tabletop, and a precise insert plate that is made from highly durable phenolic. This standard-sized plate is designed to mount on any router without the ‘swiss-cheese’ type of surface that you see on most insert plates.
- A fully enclosed aluminum fence offers superior precision
- Dust collection port for a cleaner work environment
- Edge-banded MDF top for absorbing vibration and noise
- Thick phenolic insert plate compatible with any router
- Dual reducing rings with three leveling/lockdown screws
8. GoPlus Router Table
If you’re someone who wants to have your very own router table, then this will make a perfect addition to your work studio – particularly if you’re new to woodworking. With this router table, you’ll be able to convert your router into a stationary power tool which will help to make your woodworking a lot easier and more effective.
It comes with a lot of working space and is a perfect fit for most router bits. This craftsman benchtop offers a precise miter gauge to aid you in performing straight, predictable cuts. It’s a versatile, affordable tool that every woodworker will appreciate having in their workshop.
With a strong, durable work surface that is over 450 square inches, this table is adjustable with a full extension that can reach 8 inches. It also has a transparent guard that moves freely and has no binding to keep woodchips from being tossed around. This is undoubtedly among the best router tables you’ll find on the market right now.
- Designed for routers with 6-inch diameter base plate
- Transparent guard prevents flying woodchip debris
- Precise miter gauge aids and straight, predictable cuts
- Adjustable working table with 8-inch full extension
- Over 450 in.² of aluminum work surface
9. Kreg Benchtop Router Table
This freshly redesigned benchtop router table from KREG now offers even better features to give you the capability of an industrial router table in one small, portable package. This makes it an ideal solution for anyone who wants the benefit of having precision features but has a limited workspace.
It’s the perfect routing solution whether you want a router table that you can use on job sites or a compact table for use in your shop. The all-new router insert plate can support a variety of routers and features the new level lock reducing rings.
The plate also boasts laser engraved markings on its undersides to make it easy for you to mount any router. It also comes with KREG’s precision insert levelers and an upgraded industrial quality fence. For anyone who’s searching for the best benchtop router table, this is certainly an option well worth considering.
- Rugged, durable tabletop from a reliable brand
- Made from edge-banded noise and vibration-resistant MDF
- Features easy slide micro dot skin with high-pressure laminate
- The full-featured fence is made from heavy-duty aluminum
- Rigid steel base for added stability and safety
10. MLCS Router Table Top
You can achieve maximum efficiency even in the tiniest of workspaces using this XM extension table. By adding this router table extension to your table saw you’ll be able to complete your projects quicker and in a much safer way.
You can mount this to the right or left side of any table saw that has a standard fence as well as a 27-inch deep top. The thick, heavy tabletop has a study melamine surface and a high-quality MDF core, and durable polyethylene edges. It comes with aluminum T-track slots and a miter slot.
The T-slot allows for the attachment of jigs or feather boards to the fence and the split fence also has a dust port to help keep your working area clean. It comes with an adapter for standard hoses (Shop Vac) a wooden frame underneath can be used to mount the extension table directly to your table saw rails.
The high-speed fence allows safer vertical routing with alternate accuracy within 0.010 inches. This router table also comes with a rugged plastic safety guard for long-lasting use.
- Phenolic router plate with removable rings
- High split fence for safer edge routing
- Aluminum T-track slots and miter slot
- Thick, heavy melamine table surface
- Sturdy MDF core with polyethylene edges
11. Skil Router Table
This router table comes preassembled and has an integrated accessory storage area as well as a laminated MDF top. It’s a self-contained structure that provides storage for all your necessary parts, such as the fence, router bits, and more.
The guard is also included, as well as a feather board, bit inserts, and miter gauge. There is a tall fence that has laminated adjustable MDF faces. You also get a starter pin and a guard for the ultimate support when routing curved pieces of wood. Bit set up is easy thanks to the bit height gauge. You’ll also get better cutting precision with this handy little tool.
The accessory storage compartments offer you additional room and there’s a quick-release router mount which you can attach and detach in just seconds. This table comes assembled and has an efficient folding design. The legs fold in easily for convenient storage which makes this the best budget router table for avid DIYers who have limited storage space in their garage or workshop.
- Convenient accessory storage containers
- Router table features quick clamp system
- High-quality product at an affordable price
- Starter pin and guard for supporting the workpiece
- Simplified set up an improved accuracy
12. JESSEM Router Table System
This complete router from the JESSEM brand is built like a precision tank. For anyone who needs a new professional router table, this is a great option to consider. The phenolic table is super flat, slick, and stiff. The motor is high-quality and boasts amazing craftsmanship and performance.
There is no table insert, so if you are planning on permanently mounting your router, there’s no need to have to deal with that lip. The setup of this router table is extremely easy. Everything fits perfectly and it’s well machined. Overall, this product offers high-quality durability and great cutting performance.
It comes with extremely easy to follow instructions on how to assemble it. When you purchase this router table, you can be sure that you are getting the absolute best value for your money. In addition to receiving a top-notch, affordable product, you also get spectacular customer service whenever you need assistance.
- Phenolic table with high-quality aluminum extruded miter track
- Fully adjustable aluminum router table fence
- Heavy-duty steel stand comes with upper and lower stretchers
- Optional digital readout attachment
- This is an affordable and reliable complete router table system
Types of Router Tables
There are basically three types of router tables available on the market today. For anyone who has a passion for crafting incredible wooden masterpieces, the categories of router tables you can choose from are:
- Benchtop Router Table
This is among the most popular types of router tables thanks to its versatile nature and its ability to be adapted to various router types. You’ll find a lot of benchtop router tables that offer excellent performance from leading brands, such as Bosch, Kreg, and Bench Dog.
This type of router table offers extreme versatility, durability, and portability. It incorporates the mounting hardware, an aluminum fence, adjustable faceplates, router mounting plate, and two outfeed shims. It also has a dust collecting port that works extremely well to help you avoid massive clean up afterward.
- Floor Standing Router Table
This type of router table offers a lot of benefits when compared to the smaller router tables. One of its main features is that it offers additional storage space where you can keep all your router bits and various other stuff in its drawers.
It comes with feather boards, a miter guide, lead-in-pin for use on curved wooden pieces, as well as a dust outlet – all of which are designed to make your work quicker and easier to complete.
- Extension Router Table
This type of router table is ideal for anyone who wants to expand their woodworking experience but does not have enough space for it. An expansion router table gives you an opportunity to enhance your capabilities when working with wood by extending your table saw on the side of the table.
It has a standard fence and a deep top. It also comes with aluminum T-track slots, split fence, router fence, wood frame, measuring tape, and safety guard. This is a great option for anyone who has limited space in their workshop.
Safety Tips for Using a Router Table
Listed below are some of the safety tips to help you prevent unnecessary accidents and mishaps when using your router table.
- Always wear safety glasses, a dust mask, and ear protection when working.
- Make sure the table fence is always properly set.
- Firmly fix the bit in place to ensure it doesn’t come loose during operation.
- Feed the worm from right to left at all times.
- Turn off the power plug before changing the bits.
- When using smaller wooden stocks, make sure the router is clamped to the table.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Router Table
Q1: Can I Use a Router Table As a Jointer?
The router table can be used as a jointer, with the only limitation being that you cannot join flat board faces. You’re only able to do edge joining. The process of using a router table as a jointer is simple. All you have to do is insert the cutting bit in the router. Next, raise the bit height until it’s higher than the board thickness.
After that, you can adjust the fence until it’s even with the edge. The trick here is to offset one fence and bring the second one down a little to create an offset. Try to bring the fences as close to the bit as possible without touching it in order to enhance the safety and quality of the cut.
Q2: Does the Router Table Size Matter?
For the most part, the size of your router table is dictated by the available space you have in your workshop or garage. But the size also matters for anyone doing larger cutting or projects such as making grooves.
So depending on your type of project, you will be able to choose the right size router table to suit your needs. For instance, you don’t want to buy a large expensive table if you only do small cuts. Conversely, a smaller table may not serve you well if you mostly to large cuts.
Q3: What Does a Router Table Lift Do?
A router table lift is a mounting plate that is attached using a carriage to hold the wood router. It’s a great accessory that comes with a lot of benefits for serious woodworkers. Router table lifts are used for adjusting the depth or dip from the router tabletop.
There’s no need to do that from the bottom. Yet another use of this device is to help you change the router bit easily without having to the router from the table. The table lift can also be used to help you make accurate micro-adjustments (0.001 inches).
Q4: Why Are Feather Boards Important?
Feather boards are important because they help to enhance safety during the process of cutting pieces of wood. When passing the boards, the feather boards hold your stock firmly against the fence and apply constant pressure which makes completing your project a lot safer as there is no need for you to constantly change your hand’s position.
When purchasing a new router table, always choose one that includes a feather board, particularly if you intend to do grooving, edge-forming, rabbeting tasks, and so on.
Q5: Do I Need to Buy a Workbench?
A lot of people use their router tables as an addition to an existing workbench. However, this doesn’t mean that’s the only way you can use it. It’s also possible for you to purchase a router table with a dedicated stand or to get the best router table plans and create one yourself. If you are not going to use a workbench, just make sure you choose a router table that has a solid base.
When it comes to the question of whether or not you should buy a workbench, a lot of professionals advise against buying one if you’re a newbie. It’s recommended that you buy a router table with a steady stand instead. For professional woodworkers without a budget issue, you have the option of purchasing a customizable workbench.
So now you know everything you need to consider before choosing the best router table for your workshop or garage. Although selection can prove to be a tough, overwhelming task, in this article, we’ve shown you some of the most popular options available to you as well as all the factors you need to consider before making a choice.
All that is left for you to do is to put together your requirements, level of expertise, budget, and all the other necessary information to come up with the perfect tool for your wood routing projects.