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.
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.
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.
Router Table Type Weight Suited for Budget Rating
Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax Cast Iron
60 pounds Professionals Premium 4.7/5
Bosch RA1181 Benchtop
34.4 pounds DIYers Premium 4.3/5
Bosch RA1171 Cabinet Style
45 pounds DIYers Premium 4/5
Kreg PRS2100 Precision
28.4 pounds Professionals Premium 3.8/5
SKIL RAS900 Benchtop
32 pounds Beginners Budget 3.1/5
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 –
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.
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 –
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.
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 bestseller on Amazon. Here is why we think it is the best router table for a DIYer –
Because of the uneven flat top, we won’t recommend this to professionals who deal with bigger workpieces. But for DIYers looking for small 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.
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 –
The Bosch RA1181 was launched as an upgrade to the Bosch RA1171, but apart from the design change, the two router 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 –
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.
The base plate is where your router is attached too. 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.
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.
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