Handheld routers remain to be more commonly used in the woodworking industry up to this day. While this type of wood router lets both novices and professionals execute countless cutting styles and designing techniques, some factors limit its functions. One of these points is its weight; wood routers are quite heavy and typically require both the worker’s hands, which cut their abilities short. To get the best features out of your router, you need the best router table in your workshop.
In this article, we will feature a table from one of the leading manufacturers of wood routers and accessories in the market. We’re talking about Rockler! If you’ve been eyeing one of their router tables, this is the sign for you. Read on to learn more about this Rockler router table.
Router Table Buying Guide
Before we proceed to our product review, we’d like to walk you through a buying guide that will surely become handy for future table purchases. In this section, we’ll provide you with the factors you should be checking out while you decide which table to get.
Different router models come with a distinct mounting port. Also, router tables have two kinds of mounting plate: the universal base plate and the one that still needs to be drilled. Check your wood router and see if it’s compatible with the mounting plate of the table you’re considering.
Do you mostly work on large and complicated projects, or do you handle small-scale outputs? Either way, you need a table size that provides you with the required space to execute your designs. If your table is too small, it may stop you from working efficiently. On the other hand, big router tables come at higher costs.
This factor mostly deals with the surface quality of the router table. Ensure that the table you’re opting for is flat and sturdy for the durability and stability you’ll need in the long run. We recommend you to get a table that utilizes MDF or Medium-Density Fibreboard; this material makes routing processes smoother with its flat and reliable surface.
Whether you use your wood router for a long time or on a short working session, debris of dust and wood chips tend to accumulate. A pile of dust can affect not only your work but also your health. It’s important that you’re wearing complete protective gear in the workshop to prevent you from inhaling dust. And it would even be more helpful if your router table featured a dust collection system; this will allow you to work comfortably in a much safer environment.
Fixed VS Portable Router Table
If you do all the woodwork only in your workshop, opt for the fixed router table; otherwise, go for the portable one if you’re always on the move.
Portable tables are usually smaller in size, compared to the latter kind. This is perfect for crafters that tend to work on different sites; however, you need to find even floor space to execute accurate cuts. On the other hand, fixed tables are more likely used for larger projects because they’re sturdier and more stable. Usually, a fixed router table is more expensive because of its size and material construction.
There are hundreds of router tables today, and their price ranges between $200 and $1000. You need to ensure that the table you’re getting is supported with an adequate warranty period. Check on the terms and conditions when it comes to returning the unit, should there be issues and damages. We recommend that you choose a well-known brand for a better guarantee, and Rockler is one of your best bets.
Rockler Convertible Benchtop Router Table with Compact and Mid-Size Insert Plate Kits Review
If you’re generally looking for versatility, you’ve got this router table for your working style. The Rockler convertible benchtop router table can be used in four modes: storage or transport, benchtop, freehand routing, and wall-mounted. The table is equipped with quick-release pins, which allow you to switch from different modes, mainly from free-stand to wall-mount.
If you have limited space on your workbench, just mount it on your wall. On the other hand, you can just set the table on a free-stand when you’re going for freehand routing. The midsize insert plate that comes perfectly fit on your table mounts to your wood router, providing you with a straight edge for support.
For ergonomics, it comes with tall fence knobs that let you make quick and easy fence adjustments as you go. The router table also has non-slip feet for optimum stability and rigidity. Additionally, it has a 2-1/2” dust port so that you won’t have to worry about collecting dust in your workplace.
This Rockler Benchtop Router Table comes at $219.99, which is slightly more expensive than other units with the same style; however, we think that it’s reasonable with all the features it provides you with. Additionally, Rockler guarantees you a 90-day return and refund period, should you feel unsatisfied with the router table.
If you’re wondering whether your current router will fit, this router table is compatible with MOST mid-sized and compact wood routers. Still, it DOES NOT accept plunge-base and large-size routers such as the 3-1/4 HP Porter Cable Router. It’s also NOT compatible with the Porter-Cable PCE6430 Laminate Trim Router because of the unit’s unique base.
You can refer to this list to know which specific wood router models can fit this router table:
- Porter Cable 100
- Porter Cable 690
- Porter Cable 890 Series
- DeWalt DW616
- DeWalt DW618 Series
- Makita 1100 Series
- Bosch 1617
- Hitachi M12VC (not to be confused with the M12V model)
The Rockler Convertible Benchtop Router Table is among the best router tables in the market today. It’s no surprise because of the versatility and ergonomics it can offer you. With this, your routing work will surely be supported by convenience and accuracy.