Do you consider yourself a master craftsman? Or even a woodworking hobbyist? If so, it’s likely that you’re on the lookout for a router table that can serve all your needs.
Whether you’re a professional woodworker or a beginner in the field, the options available in the market must be overwhelming to you. In 2018, there are some great new router tables being introduced to the market. And we’re not going lie to you, they’re all pretty great. However, router tables are highly specialized equipment and you should get one that is ideally suited for you.
To that end, we’ve used and reviewed over 25 different router tables in the market. Having done so, we’ve compiled all our findings into this article listing out the 8 best router tables of 2018. These router table reviews take into consideration people with different skill sets, different budget needs, etc, so as to offer an option for everyone.
If you need some help figuring out what exactly a router table is, or how it works, or what are the factors to look into when buying it, you can scroll down to the latter half of this article to have your questions answered.
8 BEST ROUTER TABLE REVIEWS 2018
Are you a professional woodworker looking for a full-fledged router table set? If so, then the Kreg PRS1045 Precision Router Table System is the ideal option for you. It comes with a heavy and durable metal table compatible with various wood routers. However, the real special aspect of this router table is the fact that it comes with additional features like fence pieces and casters.
The metal casters also help turn this router table into a portable option. They can be attached to the bottom of the table legs and as such they can easily be rolled across the room. If you need mobility with your work station, this is the one for you. However, don’t let the additional features fool you into thinking it is difficult to assemble. The Kreg PRS1045 Precision Router Table System can be easily assembled within a matter of minutes if you simply follow the instructions.
It’s extremely stable and can accommodate large and small routers. Furthermore, it already comes with a fence micro-adjuster, which you’d usually have to buy separately. This also makes it cost effective.
- Weight of 70 pounds.
- It doesn’t require batteries.
- Comes with three additional pins and a starter pin.
- The fence comes with a micro-adjuster.
- It has a power switch.
- This is widely held to be the best router table for professional woodworkers. As such, it doesn’t have any drawbacks.
Verdict: If you’re a professional woodworker who cares about stability, durability, and mobility, this is the ideal router table for you.
Comes with additional features such as a starter pin, casters, and fence micro-adjusters.
Are you a keen woodworking hobbyist? Are you on the lookout for a solid router table to advance your wordwooking? If so, then your search comes to a halt with the Grizzly G0528 Router Table.
With a surface area of 31”x10” this router table can accommodate most projects. It will accept just about any brand of portable router as well. This cast iron table is designed to work with routers from 3/4 HP to 5 HP.
Furthermore, the router table comes with some features that are very convenient. For example, the sliding table on this unit makes it much easier and safer to process materials, especially when you’re trying to shape short sides or making raised panels. The large safety paddle switch built into the frame on this table will save your from bending over or reaching under the table to turn the router on and off. We also like the full support afforded on both sides of the worktable, along with the easy adjust split fence.
- 31”x10” main table surface
- 31″x12″ sliding table surface
- Accepts just about any brand of portable router from 3/4 HP to 5 HP.
- Cast iron table.
- Extruded aluminum sliding table and fence.
- Router table can be titled 45 degrees when installing router.
- Included dust hood to reduce mess
- Handy shelf built into steel stand.
- Front-mounted on/off switch.
- The cost is a bit high for simple hobbyists and beginners.
- Fence flexes in the middle.
Verdict: If you’re serious about pursuing woodworking as a hobby, then this is the ideal router table to get started with.
Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table is another great standard router table from a company that has made a name for creating quality router tables. At 16” x 24”, this particular model is a bit smaller than the previous one in surface area, however it’s ideal for small workstations.
This router table comes with an aluminum fence on top which can be adjusted to fit different sized boards. Extensions can also be added easily to accommodate larger boards. The MDF top and the sturdy steel stands makes it extremely stable in design, and as such it can withstand any activities and pressure.
Assembly and use is also fairly simple. You can add an insert plate on the top to mount the router in the center. Following that, the Level-Loc rings can be used to fasten the router and prevent any accidents.
- 16″ x 24” MDF table top.
- Weighs just 28.4 pounds.
- Comes with features like adjustable faces, vertical jointing, and cam clamps.
- Comes with 3 Level-Loc reducing rings, plate levelers, heavy-duty steel stand, full-size insert plate, etc.
- Use of vibration-dampening rubber feet.
- Vacuum shroud is used to maintain a clean workplace
- It’s not ideal for large boards and it doesn’t come with t-slots for easy extension.
Verdict: If you’re looking for a cost-effective, minimalist router table that is incredibly stable then this is the one for you
Comes with various additional features and equipments for convenience.
If you want a full-fledged router table set on a budget, then the Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax Cast Iron Router Table Extension is the ideal option for you. It comes with a lot of great features, it’s very stable, and it’s one of the cheapest router table sets available.
The Bench Dog Tools 40-102 ProMax Cast Iron Router Table Extension can be used from two sides because of the dual slot fence feature. The T-slot can also be used for storing additional equipment and accessories. As such, the design has been made with a focus on conserving space and offering convenience. The table is also very sturdy and doesn’t allow much vibration during work. It also comes with an effective dust collection system.
- Easily dislodged 28” ProFence which can be hanged on j-hooks.
- It comes with a router top, a fence, and a mounting hardware.
- Weighs 60 pounds.
- It can make quite a bit of noise while working.
- The assembly process is a bit complicated.
Verdict: The ideal option for professional woodworkers on a budget who want to conserve space in small workshops.
Ideal for small workshops
The Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table is a standard stationary router table that’s compatible with all the best routers in the industry. It comes with all the essential hardware for mounting the router on the table.
The table top comes with two feather boards which helps you make adjustments based on the size, shape, and thickness of the board you’re working with. The router table needs to be plugged into a socket, however it comes with a 6 foot long cord, and as such you can plug it in anywhere.
The mounting plate is made from aluminum, the fencing is also aluminum, and the table top has a wide surface area of 18″ x 27”. It’s also pre-drilled for easy mounting of routers, and it’s extremely precise.
- 18″ x 27” table top surface area.
- It weights just 34.4 pounds.
- Comes with 2 adjustable feather boards.
- Comes with a starter guard, adjustable clear guard, and a pin.
- Comes with 3 mounting plate inserts.
- The power cord is 6 feet long.
- It’s stationary.
- It needs to be plugged into a socket.
Verdict: This is the ideal router table for professionals with a lot of space in their workshop and those who require a stationary table at a very low cost.
The Rebel W2000 Router Table is another great full-fledged router table set meant for professionals who don’t want to make any compromises. If features, performance, stability, and aesthetic appeal are all equally important to you, and if budget isn’t much of a concern, then you can go with this router table.
TheRebel W2000 Router Table is a somewhat lightweight unit coming in at just 64 pounds. The precision-ground cast iron table top is extremely stable and sturdy. The table is designed to handle jobs both large and small, with a focus on larger production runs or precision shaping jobs that require accuracy. The surface area is also wide, though not as much as Kreg PRS1045.
The table includes some nice extras such as a miter gauge and safety guard. Overall this is a very easy to use router table with quick setup.
- Ideal for large production runs.
- Precision-ground cast iron table top.
- Miter gauge with 3 adjustable built-in stops.
- Included safety guard.
- Safety on/off switch purchased separately.
Verdict: Ideal router table set for professionals who don’t have any budget constraints.
One of the great features of the Bosch RA1171 Cabinet Style Router Table is that it comes with a slot that can hold the miter gauge and other necessary accessories. It’s a stationary router table, which can be both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because you also get cabinet space wherein to keep accessories and items, thus conserving space. However it’s bad because it’s very difficult to move around.
A mounting plate on top of the router table is pre-drilled with holes to make the mounting of different routers easy and convenient. The mounting takes a matter of minutes and you don’t need to worry about the router dislodging in the middle of work.
In addition to these features, the Bosch RA1171 Cabinet Style Router Table also comes with two dust ports where the dust can collect, keeping the work station clean. The power cord and the aluminum fencing come with MDF face plates.
- Aluminum fence comes with adjustable MDF face plates.
- The pre-drilled aluminum plate makes mounting of routers easy.
- An accessory slot for the miter gauge.
- 2 dust ports.
- 6 foot long power cord.
- Assembly of the complete router table can be difficult and time consuming.
Verdict: If you’re looking for a compact stationary router table that is extremely stable and keeps your workstation neat and organized, then this is the one for you.
Comes with an accessory slot.
The Woodhaven 6000 Horizontal Router Table, as the name suggests, is a horizontal router table. This is the ideal and safest option for long moulding bits, vertical panel bits, etc. This is a multi-purpose router table with some great accessories and features.
The solid phenolic top works on the dimensions of 3/4″ x 15-5/8″ x 23-3/4”, along with a 3/8″ x 3/4″ miter slot. The phenolic sides also provide the router table with great strength and stability. It comes with under-table dust channels, which helps direct the dust to a particular holding from which it can be disposed of.
- Weighs just 30 pounds.
- Its dimensions are 23-3/4” x 18” x 24”.
- Wide surface area.
- Under-table dust channels available.
- Comes with a lifetime guarantee.
- No mobility.
- Hard to assemble.
Verdict: If you need a stable and stationary router table with a large surface area, this is the one.
THE ULTIMATE BUYER’S GUIDE TO ROUTER TABLES
What is a router table?
A router table, as the name suggests, is a special kind of table that can hold the woodworking router in place, while also offering a woodworking space. A router table needs to be flexible and accommodating enough to meet differences in individuals and various routing dimensions. The main purpose of a router table is to offer stability and free up your hands so you can work on the boards with better precision.
A router table should comprise five vital parts: a table top, a base plate, Miter and T-Slots, a fence, and a base.
What are the types of Router Tables out there?
There are various subsets of router tables, however they all fall into one of three primary categories:
- Compact Router Tables: These are easy to use router tables. They’re portable, sometimes foldable, and ideal for people with small workstations.
- Standard Router Tables: These are standard stationary router tables.
- Full Router Table Systems: These are advanced router tables meant for professionals. They are more expensive and come with additional accessories and features that can take care of all your advanced woodworking needs.
How to Choose the best Router Table?
Selecting a router table can be quite difficult even after you’ve read router table reviews in detail. You need to know exactly what you’re looking for, and as such you should have a checklist of factors that you’ll take into consideration. The following are some of the factors that can help you make a decision:
- Router Compatibility: If you’re getting a router table, it’s likely that you already have a router. If this is the case it’s of utmost importance that you get a router table that’s either meant for your router, or is at least compatible with it. If you don’t have a router yet, you should get that first and then look for a compatible router table.
- Surface Area and Fence: Now there are two additional factors you need to consider. On the one hand, a router table with a large surface area will give you more space to work with. The bigger the better. However, the router table also has to fit into your garage or work station without crowding it too much. As such, you need to find the right balance. You can also get a router table extension that will allow you to extend the table when needed. As for the fence, the ideal one would offer you the flexibility to work with big or small projects.
- Mounting Plate: The ideal mounting plate should have a hole large enough to accommodate the large bits. Furthermore, it should even come with reducers for the small bits. Some models even come with adjusting lock systems with which you can simply adjust the size of the holes.
- Power and Control: If you’re going to spend a lot of money on a router table, you have to of course take into consideration how precise it is and how powerful.
- Table Height: You should go for a router table with adjustable height so that it can be worked on by people of different heights, be it standing or sitting.
- Portability: It isn’t absolutely necessary to get a portable router table. However, if you feel you might need to move it often, you should look for one made for this purpose.
Why do you need a Router Table for Woodworking?
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to work with a router hands-free. Router tables are used by hobbyists and professionals alike to get a more refined end product for their labors. A router table offers you the kind of control and precision you simply do not get with a hands-free router. The following are some specific reasons regarding why you should use a router table for woodworking:
- Working on small boards with a hand-held router can be immensely dangerous.
- When using a router table, both your hands are left free, thus giving you more control over the board. More control equals more precision and finesse.
- Router tables come with additional accessories that can help you perform other functions on the board as well.
- A router table offers some much needed stability which is crucial when trying to shape a piece of board.
- Using router table not only helps you do a better job, but you can do it faster as well. This allows you to take on more projects, if you’re a professional, or free up time for other aspects of your life!
- Finally, a router table can be used effectively even by a beginner. In fact, it’s crucial for beginners to use router tables as the alternative can be dangerous.
I need a router table that I can use with a variety of routers of different sizes. Which one should I get?
If you want to accommodate bigger routers you need a bigger router table. However, while looking for a big router table also keep the space in your workstation in mind, and also take into consideration the compatibility of your router.
Does the table top material affect the quality of the router table?
The material of the table top only matters in as much that it should offer stability. You should go for a flat and stable table top. When pressure is applied to it, the table top shouldn’t dent. You should try looking out for a router table that can withstand or prevent vibrations, as it will ensure a longer life span.
I’m on a budget of about $100. Can I also get a router table?
You can find compact router tables for well under $100, and they can be adjusted on the workbench.
I have a small workshop. What kind of a fence should I get?
If your workshop is small, you should settle for a single fence with an open end so as to accommodate the big bits.
My workshop has very limited space? How can I make my router table fit into it?
You need to find a compact router table that can fit in the work station. Furthermore, you should get a fence that can be swiveled around, and the router table itself should be foldable so as to preserve space when necessary.
How can I increase the lifespan of a router table?
First off, you need a router table with a good table top material. It should be able to withstand vibrations and heavy pressure without getting damaged. All of these factors come together to increase the lifespan of your router table.
Router Table Safety Tips
Router tables are far safer than hand-held routers, however you should still take all necessary precautions to avoid accidents, especially if you’re a beginner. The following precautions need to be kept in mind:
- Always wear your safety glasses, dust masks, and ear muffs when working on a router. This is because wood dust can often cause irritations, allergies, etc.
- Make sure that the fence is properly attached.
- The bit should be placed correctly so that it doesn’t detach in the middle of working.
- Wood should always be fed into the router from the right to the left.
- Always turn the power off before changing the bits.
- Clamp the router to the table to increase stability.
You should now have a good idea about buying a router table. If you’ve read all the router table reviews in this article you probably have some idea about which router table most suits your needs. Before you make any purchases, please take into consideration your own personal expertise and requirements. What’s ideal for someone else might not be ideal for you. For example, if you’re a beginner woodworker you should ideally start with a compact router table. However, if you’re a professional, you’re probably going to want the full router table set.