Dipping your toes in the waters of DIY allows you to be exposed to the different aspects of tools and construction, mostly in the woodcraft department. Whether you’re a professional or a beginning enthusiast, it’s common knowledge that a wood router is one of the most useful tools in the field; however, routing tables also play a vital role alongside it.
There are so many reasons why one needs a good routing table that’s excellently compatible with their wood router, but one of the main purposes of having one is to ensure the consistency of project quality in larger and complicated queries. In this article, we’re going to discuss what factors you should consider when buying a new routing table for your workshop. We also have a section wherein we compare and review two reputable brands in the woodworking industry which manufactures wood router lifts and tables.
Factors to Consider when Buying a Router Table
As they say, the perfect wood router and proficient skills amount to nothing if you don’t use a complementing router table. Without a proper one, it would make your job so much harder because you have to constantly check the situation from underneath the table just to ensure that your router is on the right path. Additionally, you’d also have to maintain and do manual router adjustments for the finest cuts. The problem here, though, is how you can choose the right router table for you. There are hundreds of units available currently, and each one is advertised to be your next big thing. Well, we’re here to guide you and provide you the details you need!
To maintain neat and polished cuts on your material, the table needs to have a base that’s strong enough to withstand router movements. Using a router table with a shaky and unstable base wouldn’t help you finish your project quickly.
Flat Table Top
As important as a stable base is, the top surface of the table should also be well-built and reliable. The high-quality top surface would help you ensure that you make clean cuts along your wood material for best project results.
Adequate Base Plate
The previous factors and the base plate have such a significant role in helping you work with ease and security that you’ll be able to work conveniently and make accurate cuts on your pieces.
Miter and T-Slots
You have to make sure that your router table has these ports. While you additional accessories aren’t required to use on this table, these slots may come in handy in future project purposes.
When it comes to the table’s fencing, there’s a different sets of factors, designs, and categories that you need to choose from. You have to choose the table with the fencing that’s applicable to the router operation you’ll use it for.
Lastly, compatibility between your wood router and router table is the key for successful crafting results. To achieve smooth working operation, make sure that your router excellently works with the table. This factor also allows you to do the project faster and more polished.
In this section, we’re going to have a discussion about our featured products: the Woodpecker VS Incra router table. Below, we’ll explain the difference between each product in terms of its features and prices. Read on to learn more about these two!
The first model we’re going to discuss is the PRL-V2-414 brought by Woodpeckers. It comes with many features, but Woodpeckers ensured that the unit is good at what it’s meant to do: providing you a quick and easy-to –handle lifting mechanism. The lift has an excellent thumb wheel micro-adjustment that reduces the need for you to constantly turn the crank whenever you need to adjust the height or change bits. The height adjustment thumb that this product boasts allows you to work on high precision cuts because of its 0.001-inch accuracy. It also comes with an easy-to-read scale to make adjustments more convenient on your end.
Overall, the unit is easy to install and it provides you with an easy way to attach your wood router on it. Lastly, along with its features that combines convenience and general ease of use, the PRL-V2-414 also has three self-leveling twist-lock rings to support the user with additional security.
The Woodpeckers PRL-V2-414 has a set of motor pads that can cater to motors with 4.14-inch diamteter like the Milwaukee 5625.
Price and Warranty
The PRL-V2-414 provides a reasonable price for its features at $397.99. The convenience and accuracy it provides in working complex wood projects make its market price worth it. When it comes to its warranty, the Woodpeckers provide a 1-year limited warranty for this model.
The second product we have is the Incra Mast-R-Lift-II. The router lift is the first model to introduce the MagnaLOCK System feature, which uses magnets to keep the plates in place as you work. This feature also allows you to make precise and accurate cuts because the magnetic field brought by the system is so strong that it locks the lift in its position. The unit also comes with five steel rings for incredible router fitting to reduce the vibrations as you work. Aside from that, the Mast-R-Lift-II features five sealed ball bearing system to provide you with enhanced control over your machine for more accurate cutting and positive project results. Lastly, this Incra model has a thread tensioning system to let you make height adjustments much easier than other lifts.
One of the known perks of having this router lift is you can use it with a whole variety of wood routers. Here’s the list of the following units you can use the Mast-R-Lift-II with:
- Porter Cable (7518, 690-699 Series, 890-899 Series)
- Bosch (1617EVS, 1618)
- DeWalt (DW610, DW618)
- Milwaukee (5625, 5616, 5619)
- Craftsman (17543, 17540, 28190)
- Rigid (R29302)
- Makita (RF1101, RD1101)
- Hitachi (M12VC, KM12VC)
Price and Warranty
The Incra Mast-R-Lift-II is more expensive than the Woodpeckers PRL-V2-414 lift at $425.63; however, the features that it offers are impressive enough for you to look past its price tag. It also comes with excellent compatibility with a wide range of routers.
As for the unit’s warranty, the manufacturer provides a 1-year limited warranty that allows you to bring the product for the company to maintain and repair for free.
Both the Woodpeckers PRL-V2-414 and Incra Mast-R-Lift-II are backed up with impressive features to help you work on your craft with convenience, ease, and precision on your side. However, when it comes to which is greater at which, we can suggest that you use each one based on your project applications and complexity. The Woodpecker model is for professionals who are looking for a new lift to add on their workshop. On the other hand, the compatibility of the Incra unit makes it perfect for both novices and professionals.