Ultimate Guide to Select the Best Router Table 2016
For any professional woodworker a router table is one of the most essential and versatile tool additions he can make to his workplace. A router table completely transforms a router into a shaper for performing other technical works like rabbeting and dadoing. It is much more accurate and convenient than hand holding the router, especially for small pieces. The biggest advantage of using a router table is that your both hands are free as the router is securely mounted to the table. Having both the hands free you can have a largest work piece control during the cutting operation. Hence with extra control you can pay attention to other minute finishing details like routing grooves or edging profiles. We checked several manufactured router tables on the basis of accuracy, convenience, easy adjustability and many other features to give you a review on them and also guide you to buy the best router table.
Short reviews about top rated router tables
First Choice: Bench dog 40-001 protop contractor benchtop router table
With a unique forward router location and a dual position fence, protop contractor benchtop router table is one of the best rated product available in the market. The ProTop Contractor router table has a great storage space which accepts all routers as well machine’s relevant accessories. There is almost no routing task that can’t be performed on this super machine. Bench Dog 40-001 is specifically designed to operate on all the work pieces. This router table can be combined with any router and can be moved around the job site very easily. It provides a versatile, stabilize and accurate working experience for all sorts of wood working projects. Some of the best features of this router table include-
- Large surface area with dimensions of 16 inches length and 22 inches width provides the most comfortable working condition.
- Its major parts includes a top, fence, meter track a pre-drilled router insert plate which supports all routers and a cabinet to store all machine parts.
- It has heavy duty aluminium made fence which adjustable sub-fences.
- With the inclusion of rigid birch plywood cabinet, this router table is capable to reduce the dust and noise precisely.
- 2-1/2-inch dust port provided in the router table works well with any standard vacuum hoses to keep the work area clean with no dusts or bits around ensuring safe and clean working environment.
- Bench Dog 40-001 comes with a feature to convert your fence into a vertical jointer.
- The meter gauge can be adjusted according to your need for a perfect fit.
- The top has a Non-marring laminate with stress skin construction for providing strength and flatness to the structure.
- An accessory t-slot for mounting feature boards and other equipments.
- Compatible with all routers.
Best Choice: Bosch ra1181 benchtop router table
Although Bosch ra1181 benchtop router table is described as a benchtop tool, its capabilities and features make it preferable machine to be used for home woodworking or at the job site. It comprise of three major parts including the full-function fence and super-rigid router plate which is made up of aluminium. Bosch ra1181 have been popular among on-site contractors. It saves a lot of space and provides the best routing experience without taking up a lot of your shop’s space. Its light weight and highly stable nature makes it the best choice for part-time woodworkers and even professionals. You can move it wherever you want. Its simplicity and affordable price had made it a popular choice among other manufactured router tables. Some of the best features of this router table include –
- Bosch ra1181 benchtop router table is built with a strong tall aluminium fence with adjustable MDF face plates – 4 7/8″ x 25 1/8″ for supporting taller work pieces.
- Its top is made up of die cast aluminium to ensure strength and stability for a perfect working experience. Its large top 27″ x 18” ensures job-site durability.
- It provides a larger work surface for woodworking and routing than its ra1170 series.
- The mounting plate of Bosch ra1181 is made up of rigid aluminium which ensures a precision work with great accuracy due to its flat surface. The mounting plate is pre-drilled to support working on a large variety of routers.
- It also provides two easy to use feather boards to attach to fence and table for kickback protection.
- It offers a single dust collection port for standard 2-1/2″ vacuum hoses
- A storage space provided for keeping router accessories.
- It offers Cord wrap storage.
Good Choice: Bosch router table ra 1171
The Bosch RA1171 Cabinet-Style Router Table is one for the best routers to give a premium surface finish for your woodwork or routing. This router table is specifically designed to fit wide variety of routers and can be mounted on any workbench; making is one of the most versatile routers to work on. Bosch router table have been popular among woodworkers for decades due to its versatility and ease of use. Some of the best features of this router table include-
- Bosch router table has a tall aluminium fence which comprises of MDF face plates – 4-7/8 in. x 25-1/8 in. which supports taller work pieces. The MDF face plate is adjustable in nature.
- The router table comprises of two feather boards which are easy to use and provides extra kickback protection. The two feature boards are adjustable and can be attached to fence and table.
- The mounting plate of Bosch router table is made up of rigid aluminium which ensures a precision work with great accuracy due to its flat surface. The mounting plate is pre-drilled to support working on a large variety of routers.
- The router table is provided with an accessory slot to keep machine parts. The slot accepts feather board and other 3/4 in. optional accessories like a meter gauge.
- The router table provides superior dust collection with 2 dust collecting ports for standard 2-1/2 in. vacuum hoses.
- The complete Bosch RA1171 Cabinet-Style Router system includes – set of 3 mounting plate insert rings, hardware for mounting most Bosch routers, adjustable feather boards (2), adjustable clear guard (1), starter pin and guard (1) and out feed fence shims – 1/16 in. thick (2)
Good Choice: Skil Ras900
A router table is the most useful and powerful tool one can have in his woodworking shop. If you have just begun woodworking then you definitely need to get one. There are a variety of router tables available in the market but only a few provide unmatched features and specifications. Skil ras900 Router Table is one of them. Having a strong and stable built, this masterpiece offers the best wood working experience you can get from a router table. Some of the best features of this router table include-
- The biggest advantage of having skil ras900 is the stability and convenience it provides. The table is engineered in such a way that it has an efficient folding design and requires minimal setup. It comes preassembled to save a lot of your setup time and hassle.
- Have a quick clamp router mounting system. It takes a less time for quick and easy bit changes without levelling.
- With a weigh of just 32.7 pounds, this router table is very light as compared to other tables and can be easily shifted.
- This router table offers Storage space. so, you can store feather board, meter gauge and other machine parts.
Tips for Users
A router table is the most useful power tool which is used in a wood working place. Hence working with such an impactful device that has sharp carbide-tipped bits needs some guidance and tips. So, here are some of the tips that can be followed while working with router table to get the best working experience.
- Make sure your work piece is clamped down securely to the work table. A stable work piece helps you get the best finish.
- There are some specialized joinery operations possible with a router table. So, make your choices accordingly.
- Make sure that your router table has a large tabletop for getting more accurate cuts.
- Keep your hands safe by keeping them well clear of the bits. During the routing operation on router table never use your free hand to hold the work piece. Have a guard on your table which covers the area immediately above the bit.
- Always unplug the router before making any adjustments. Whether you are changing bits, servicing the router or mounting an attachment, make sure you turn the machine off.
- After selecting the most appropriate bit, inspect it for any damage or dullness.
- Never start a router with bit in contact with the work piece as you may lose control over the router. So start and stop the cut precisely.
- Always wear safety gear to avoid any mishap. Use protection for your eyes, hands and body with appropriate safety gears.
- Never ever force the router table for a cut. Make light cuts and reset the bits in case excessive pressure is required. If you hear any unusual noise, inspects the bit immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- How do I know if the router will fit my table?
Ans: The tables are especially designed to fit any routers. There are several pre drilled plates which can mount many kinds of routers. You need to check if your router model is listed with the table. If not then you can have a blank plate and drill your own mounting holes for your router.
- How thick is the table top?
Ans: The table top is 1-1/8 inch thick.
- What size is the hole in the mounting plate?
Ans: The hole is 3-1/4 inch in diameter.
- What size is the mounting plate?
Ans: The mounting plate is 8 inches by 11 inches by 1/4 inch thick aluminum machined to within .010 inch flat.
- Is there space available in the router table?
Ans: Yes there is ample space provided in a separate compartment in the table. You can store machinery parts and some other tools there.
- How to set up my router table?
Ans: With every router table you get a manual which provides proper guidance for easy and hassle free setting of your router table. Just follow the instructions and you can set it up very easy.
Being the most useful power tool, a router table is an essential part of wood working shop. Whether you are a professional, semi-pro or a beginner, a router table is something which is useful for everyone. The quality of output provided by a router table cannot be matched by any other tool. So, we have provided you with some of the best reviews on router tables in market and additionally a complete guide for purchasing the best router table. So, keep all the stated aspects in mind before buying a router table and follow the tips provided to get the most professional outcome for your task.