Woodworking is a specialized skill that takes years to perfect, yet is still a friendly hobby for beginners. One thing that is important to consider is that no matter how much experience you have, the use of quality tools is a must. As you get more comfortable with the skill, you definitely want to consider how a router table can take your projects to the next level.
Many people wonder if you need a table for a router, and although it is not required, it is something you want to seriously consider. Some people prefer to make their own table to support their router, but specialized, prefabricated options exist that allow you to use the tool in various ways that may otherwise be impossible. This article explores the best router tables in 2020 that you should definitely take a closer look at.
Best Router Tables Comparison Chart
|Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181||Check The Price!|
|Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table||Check The Price!|
|Goplus Electric Aluminum Router Table||Check The Price!|
|Grizzly Industrial T10432 - Router Table with Stand||Check The Price!|
|Rockler Trim Router Table||Check The Price!|
What Is a Router and How Is It Used?
A router is a spinning power tool that can be used as a handheld device, or mounted onto a table that routs (grooves, or hollows) out areas in harder materials such as wood and plastic. It can also be used effectively with Kevlar, fiberglass, and graphite. They are popular for woodworking and are often used for furniture and cabinetry.
They produce a nicely finished edge, and also help create more intricate cuts at various angles. Because they can be used to duplicate, they are popular for corners, symmetry, cutouts, and joints.
What Is a Router Table Used For?
A router table is a specially designed table that is mounted with a router that is specifically created to be stationary when in use. This expands the use of a router to allow you to use it at any angle, upside down, and sideways in a safe and consistent manner. Most tables mount the router to the underside of the table with the bit protruding from the table surface.
This design allows the woodworker to bring the wood to the tool, rather than the tool to the wood, and provides excellent control.
Do You Need a Table for a Router?
You can definitely purchase a router that can be handheld and used without a table. Many woodworkers used to make their own tables with these types of routers until prefabricated tables created the need for a more stabilized, mounted version.
Can I Make a Router Table?
As mentioned above, many people used to make their own table, and they still do. There are many free instructions online to help you design and build your own style of table for your own needs. If you have the time and skill, this may be the route you choose to go, simply because it allows you to personalize and create the perfect space for your project needs. However, there are many prefabricated tables with various features you may want to research and consider prior to building your own.
Types of Router Tables and Popular Features
There are two main types of router tables: a freestanding table that is a stand alone product, and a tabletop router that allows you to place it upon an existing flat, stable surface. There are benefits to both depending on the type of workspace you may already have. Some freestanding tables can double as a tabletop as well.
Popular features include dust collection suction from both above and below the router bit, storage capabilities for extra bits and accessories, an adjustable fence to press your work against for stability, miter and t-slot availability for securing tabletop accessories.
Top 5 Best Rated Router Tables for 2020
The following products highlight some of the best offered in 2020. These are dependable, quality tables that provide the space and features you need to get working.
Best Benchtop Router Table
This benchtop router table is an excellent design that allows for the adjustment and fine tuning of the router itself that is located conveniently on the top, rather than bottom. Made from die-cast aluminum, it is incredibly sturdy, and can hold up to all your woodworking needs. It can be moved from worktop to worktop if ever needed, and attaches easily to any workbench with mounting holes and hardware. The 27 Inch by 18 Inch work surface; has a max throat opening of 3 5/8 inches.
If you want a feature-filled, long-lasting, dependable table, this is one of the best you can buy. The design allows for various sized routers and is easy to adjust for all your needs.
Best Industrial Quality Benchtop Router Table
The Kreg Benchtop Router Table is a simple design, yet showcases exceptional workmanship for long-lasting quality. Fully adjustable, it includes industrial quality fence, a wide stance for increased sturdiness, and precision plate levelers (no name a few features) to ensure you have a great experience using it. The large tabletop also has noise reduction technology to help protect your hearing.
If you have been looking for a sturdy option, this is a great choice. It is rugged and built to withstand heavy work with a variety of easy to use features.
Best Handheld Router Conversion Table
Portable, lightweight, and dependable, the Goplus Electric Router Table was designed with beginner woodworkers in mind to help convert existing handheld routers into a stationary cutting tool. With an adjustable work surface, it is both compact and easy to store, and is incredibly versatile. It has a tall, sturdy fence and dust ports for convenience.
If you have a handheld router and want to convert it into a stationary option, this is the table for you.
Best Freestanding Router Table
With a stable, freestanding base, and large, durable work surface, the Grizzly Industrial Router Table has some great features to make your job easier. A universal router mounting plate allows you to use just about any router choice you want, and adjustable fence and t-slots allow you to easily attach accessories. A large 32 by 24 inch work space also allows you to work with ease and support for all your projects.
If you love the idea of a free standing router table, and are not interested in benchtop options that take up your work space, this is an excellent option.
Best Budget Trim Router Table
This compact router table is not only easily portable, it is incredibly lightweight and the perfect choice for those small spaces you are working in. The predrilled holes allow you to use a strip clamp anywhere you have a sturdy surface- even on a truck tailgate. A ¼ inch acrylic base is sturdy and durable, and is designed to work with a trim router.
If you need a table specific for trim work, this is the table for you. It is portable, easy to take from job to job, and provides stability and accurate cutting options.
Hopefully the router tables reviewed above have helped to showcase the various types of tables you can use, as well as give you an idea of the features they have, and sizes they come in. Although you could build your own table, these options are a great option and easy to assemble so you can get working right away.
We’d love to hear about the projects you plan on making, and which table would be best for your ideas. As always, please share!