Best Router Table Reviews – Top Picks for 2017

Looking for the best router table? Read our in-depth router table reviews, comparison charts and top picks for 2017 to help you make the right buying decision.

A router table is a big, sturdy flat surface on which a wood router is mounted upside down. If you are looking for one, then we have prepared the ultimate resource for you.

We took some of the top tables that are available in the market, put them to the test and finally narrowed down to the top 5 models. Here is a rundown of all of them.

Best Router Table for Professionals

Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax – Cast Iron Router Table – A complete tank, this bad boy is designed to handle heavy day-long operation. It combines that with precise adjustment settings and the largest work surface. The perfect buy for a seasoned woodworker.

Best Router Table for DIYers

Bosch RA1181 – Bench Top Router Table – The best bang for your buck, you get a quality router table from Bosch with a sturdy build and user-friendly adjustment settings.


Top Router Table for 2017

Router TableTypeSuited forBudgetRating
Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMaxCast Iron
Router Table
ProfessionalsPremium4.7/5
Bosch RA1181Benchtop
Router Table
DIYersBudget4.3/5
Bosch RA1171Cabinet Style
Router Table
DIYersPremium4/5
Kreg PRS2100Precision
Router Table
ProfessionalsPremium3.8/5
SKIL RAS900Benchtop
Router Table
BeginnersBudget3.1/5

 Router Table for Professionals: The Winners


#1 Recommendation: Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax

The big daddy of router tables, this is our #1 recommendation for professionals. The cast iron build makes it the sturdiest router table, and with different adjustment settings, you can use this with the various kinds of workpieces. Here is more –

Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax

The Punchline

The Bench Dog Router Table is clearly not for everyone. It is expensive, and we recommend this only to professionals who would use this on a daily basis.

Having said that, it is worth every penny, and if you are looking for a well-built router table, that makes easy work of your heavy duty woodworking, this is the one you should get.

Pros

  • The build ensures that there are no vibrations. The benchtop remains flat as a pancake, even while working with heavier wood.
  • The BenchDog ProFence remains firmly attached to the table thanks to the cantilevered gripping system. (The fence again is well built).
  • With the dual fence slot configuration, you can work from both sides of the table. (You also get two adjustable sub-fences).
  • This router table is compatible with Rigid Table Saws. (This increases the utility of the whole setup.)
  • Comes with a dust collection port which can be connected to your vacuum.

Cons

  • The initial setup is complicated and takes time. (Get some help to lift the heavy components).
  • The router plate has to be bought separately.

#2 Recommendation: Kreg PRS2100 Router table

If you run a smaller woodworking shop and looking for something affordable, then the Kreg PRS2100 is what we will recommend. Here is why we say that –

Kreg PRS2100

The Punchline

Considering the price and size, we would recommend the Kreg PRS2100 to small shop owners. If you can work with the average fence, this is a great router table, which can handle heavy workpieces and the with easy adjustment setting you can make precise cuts.

Pros

  • The smaller dimensions and a compact build, make it suitable to be used on a bench top. (Ideal for shops which are smaller in size).
  • Built like a tank with a 1” thick MDF table top, backed by a sturdy steel stand. (This is by far the most robust benchtop router table on the market)
  • Easy to set up, and with different lock rings it supports all the major routers.
  • The fence comes with the jointer feature and a handy dust collection port.
  • You can easily adjust the router bit with the provided crank. (So precision is also taken care of)

Cons

  • The plastic clamps that are supposed to lack the fence are cheap, and this is the biggest letdown with this. (It is recommended to replace the plastic flaps)

 Router Table for DIYers: The Winners


Budget Pick: Bosch RA1181

The Bosch RA1181 proves to a complete all-rounder with convenient features, sturdy build, and ease of use. These are the reasons that have made it the best seller on Amazon. Here is why we think it is the best router table for a DIYer –

Bosch RA1181

The Punchline

Because of the uneven flat top, we won’t recommend this to professionals who deal with bigger workpieces. But for DIYers looking for small home projects, this is the perfect router table.

Adjustment features are designed keeping the beginner in mind, and it is by far the most convenient router table out there.

Pros

  • The build is impressive considering the price. The aluminum work surface and fence provide solid support to your workpieces. (Wide working area of 27×18” adds to the flexibility).
  • With a user-friendly design, it is ideal for beginners and assembly is a breeze, taking about 90 minutes.
  • Supports most routers and comes with three different aluminum mounting plates. (The router connects to the 15AMP Dual outlet on the table which comes with overload protection).
  • The MDF face plates provide added support to the fence, and the two feather boards make it super easy to control stock.
  • Finally, starter pin (with guard) makes it simpler to make work on curved stocks.

Cons

  • The biggest disappointment has to be the uneven top. The feather boards prove to be of some help, but still, this proves to a problem while working with heavy workpieces.

 


#2 Recommendation: Bosch RA1171 Router Table

If you want to maximize the space utility of your router table, then the Cabinet Style Bosch RA1171 might just be what you are looking for. It shares most of it features with the Bosch RA1181 router table. Below we compare which one should get –

Bosch RA1171

Bosch RA1171 Router Table Vs Bosch RA1181 Router Table

The Bosch RA1181 was launched as an upgrade to the Bosch RA1171, but apart from the design change, the two routers are almost the same.

You get all the adjustability and convenience features including a sturdy aluminum fence, metal mounting plate, dust collection ports and adjustable feather boards.

The RA1171, however, comes in a cabinet style design, which allows you to store tools and accessories within the router table. It is also more balanced compared to the RA1181 thanks to the metal legs.

The Bosch RA1181, however, is easier to use and more user-friendly.

The Punchline

If your projects involve working with big bulk pieces of wood, we would recommend going for Bosch RA1171. It provides better stability all around.

However, if you are interested in smaller DIY projects, then getting the Bosch RA1181 makes more sense. It is lighter, more portable and is also a bit more beginner friendly.


Router Table for Beginners: The Winner


#1 Recommendation: SKIL RAS900 Router Table

If you are just starting with woodworking and want to go easy on the wallet, then SKIL RAS900 is what we will recommend. It’s a no-fuss router table and provides decent functionality to the user.

SKIL RAS900

The Punchline

This router table is suited only for beginners who are interested in making small DIY crafts. Because of the average build, we won’t recommend this for complex projects.

Pros

  • The assembly is super easy and takes less than an hour to put this thing together.
  • The fence is quite sturdy and thanks to the dual feather boards you get that added precision in cuts.
  • The router mounts easily with the base plate and adjusting the bit is again super easy.
  • With the starter pin and guard, this table also supports curved workpieces.

Cons

  • The construction is by far the biggest letdown, and because of the average build, this table can’t be used for heavier jobs.
  • The plastic clamps locking the fence are cheap, and the legs fail to provide proper stability to the table.

Ultimate Guide to Buying a Router Table

While giving buying advice on a router table, we like to keep it simple. The table should be well built, sturdy and must come with a flat top. A router table is there to make your routing tasks easier. It proves to be of big help in complex tasks like raised panel doors or joinery cuts.

Here are the three top components you need to pay attention too –

Sturdy Flat Top

The upper surface of the table must be completely flat. Precision is critical in woodworking, and even a minor abrasion can spoil your workpiece. The top should also be sturdy. You don’t want it to bend while supporting a thick workpiece.

A 1” thick MDF top is recommended for DIYers while professional woodworkers should go for cast iron top (learn to restore an old, rusty cast iron top here).

Finally, we also recommend a big working surface. This gives you the flexibility to work with bigger workpieces.

Compatibility (Base Plate)

The base plate is where your router is attached to. Make sure that the base plate is compatible with the router. The tables we have recommended come with two or three plates according to different router configurations. Some router tables come with the base plate which says ‘one size fits all.’ They come with multiple pre-drilled holes which take a toll on the rigidity of the base plate.

You want your router to be completely fixed to the plate. We have made sure that the base plates of the router tables we recommend are robust and flat, making them perfect for heavy woodworking jobs.

Fence and Base

The workpiece is placed against the fence, and you advance it slowly as the bit cuts through it. The fence again needs to flat and sturdy. High-end router tables come with advanced positioning mechanisms, however, for a DIYer a single piece of lumber (or metal) would work just fine.

The base again needs to well built and strong. For professionals, we recommend a cabinet styled base while DIYers should look for anything that provides all-around stability.

If you need to ask anything specific, feel free to drop a comment below.

Happy Woodworking!

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