The 5 Best Benchtop Router Tables Reviewed
Benchtop router tables provide large work surfaces for routing and woodworking. They are engineered to to fit a variety of different routers- and the tables we examine below are truly versatile pieces of equipment that promise to become an indispensable part of your woodworking shop.
These router tables will help to put grooves in pieces of wood so that the pieces of a project can fit together. As a woodworker, you'll be able to perform cuts that would be virtually impossible without a router table- primarily because there is a great deal of maneuvering required when employing a router to keep the wood securely held in place.
Our top pick is the 34.4 lb. Bosch RA1181 benchtop router. Users that we spoke to said that this cast-aluminum router is a solid value buy that is heavy-duty enough to function as a true benchtop router while running quietly enough that it doesn't vibrate itself apart.
List of Routers It Is Compatible With
Hitachi M12VC; Makita RF1100, RF1101; Bosch Models 1613 series, 1617 series (fixed base only), 1619EVS; Craftsman listed as "most Craftsman 1/2" collet routers"; Ryobi R161, R162, RE170, RE180 PL; Skil 1810, 1815, 1820, 1825; DeWalt DW616, DW618 (Fixed base only); Milwaukee 5615, 5616; Porter Cable 690 Series, 7529 plunge router and 892-895 series (fixed base only).
- 3 mounting-plate insert rings,
- 2 adjustable featherboards,
- an adjustable clear guard and a starter pin and guard,
- 2 outfeed fence shims that measure 1/16-inch,
- heavy-duty 15 Amp switch with two outlets,
- overload protection, lockout key, and 6-inch cord.
Though one buyer we spoke to, who appears to be in the minority, ended up having some trouble with loosened lock nuts- he ended up securing them with tape.
Also- make sure you check the table for flatness when you get it to ensure there aren't any high spots. Users were impressed by the six different mounting configurations that adapt to a variety of routers- essentially mounting any and everything on the market.
Let's take a look at 5 of the best-selling options on the market.
|Router Tables||Our Rating||Price||Work Surface Area||Weight|
|The Bosch RA1181 Router Table||4.3||$$||486 sq. inches||34.4 pounds|
|The Craftsman 37595 Router Table||4.1||$||334 sq. inches||25.4 pounds|
|The Bench Dog ProTop 40-001 Contractor Benchtop Router||4.2||$$$||352 sq. inches||43.2 pounds|
|The Kreg PRS2100 Benchtop Router Table||4.2||$$$||384 sq. inches||28.4 pounds|
|The Skil RAS900 Router Table||4.0||$$||429 sq. inches||32 pounds|
This woodworking router table offered by Bosch is well-built, solid and suitable if you want a large working surface. Users love the sturdy construction, but some do note that the assembly instructions are unclear. This bench top router table has a surface size of 27″ x 18″, two adjustable feather boards, a 2-1/2 inch dust collection port, a dual outlet switch, an aluminum fence with adjustable MDF face plates, an adjustable guard, two outfeed shims and a starter pin.
The package also includes mounting hardware and a built-in cord wrap, so this is an excellent choice for any woodworker.
A satisfied purchaser comments that the Bosch bench top router table allows him to do very precise cuts and it’s ideal for a novice. Another reviewer shares that the router mount plate is made of sturdy aluminum and that the six different mounting configurations make it suitable for a broad range of routers.
A happy customer mentions that he has been using the Bosch bench top table for awhile and he likes the lockout feature on the power switch because he doesn’t have to worry that it would accidentally turn on. However, some customers have complained that the fence is cheaply made or that it quickly got deformed and that it’s harder to change bits than they expected.
Some users also state that the assembly process is lengthy and complicated and that the table top isn’t completely flat.
- Large working surface
- Storage space
- Adjustable fence and feather boards
- A dust port
- Problems with the fence
- Bit change is slightly difficult
- Complaints that the top isn’t flat
- Unclear instructions
This bench top router table offered by Craftsman is practical, well-constructed and convenient. Users love the price, but some do note that it’s difficult to put it together. This router table for wood has a size of 26.3″ x 15.9″ x 14.7″, 11/16- inch thick working surface, an adjustable fence, feather boards, a 60-degree adjustable miter gauge, a dust guard, and a 1/4″ collet.
The package also includes a 9.5 amp router that runs at 27,000 PRMs, a double outlet power strip with a safety lock and all the necessary hardware, plus a dust extraction port.
A customer comments that her husband likes this router table combo very much and that it’s a well-engineered, solid, and inexpensive. Another user mentions that the router works extremely well, but he is not very pleased with the design of the table.
A happy user shares that it’s very easy to adjust the fence and make precise cuts with the Craftsman wood router table combo and that it’s strong, light and portable. The reviewer also states that he didn’t have any problems to assemble the table and that this is the best router table available.
However, some customers have complained that the router stopped working after several jobs and that the fence bends quickly even under mild pressure. Some also state that the table is wobbly and poorly constructed.
The Craftsman Router Table Unboxing
- Thick working surface
- An adjustable fence and miter gauge
- Feather boards
- A router
- Hard to assemble
- Cheaply built fence
- Complaints of malfunctioning
- The table is not very stable
If you are looking for a wood router table of high-quality and stylish design, you might take a look at this bench top router table. Users love the portable design, but some do note that it’s smaller than what they expected.
The Bench Dog router has a surface size of 16 x 24 inches, a plastic non-marring laminated top, an extruded aluminum fence with T-slots, an adjustable sub-fences, a 2-1/2″ dust port, an adjustable aluminum miter track, a bit guard, and a pre-drilled insert plate.
Moreover, the enclosed plywood cabinet minimizes dust and noises, and the package includes all the necessary assembly hardware and instructions.
A satisfied customer comments that it took him around 15-20 minutes to assemble the Bench Dog woodworking router table and he is very pleased with its functionality and sturdiness. The reviewer also states that the fence is solid and easy to set up and that the bench router table is light, so it’s not a problem to move it around the shop. Another happy user shares that he was very pleased with the results and the precision he achieved with the ProTop woodworking table and that the table top is completely flat and it’s a perfect fit for his router.
However, some customers have complained that they couldn’t lay the router plate completely flat and that it’s uncomfortable to switch the router on/off because there is no external switch. Some also note that the bench top router table arrived missing some of the necessary hardware and that there is no adjustment scale for the fence.
The Bench Dog Router Table Examined
- Non-marring laminated top
- An extruded aluminum fence
- Adjustable sub-fences
- A bit guard
- Too small for big projects
- No external switch
- Complaints that it arrived without all the necessary hardware
- Router plate is hard to lay flat
- No fence adjustment scale
This bench top router table offered by Kreg is portable, well-made and convenient. Users love the size and the solid design, but some do note that it’s hard to adjust the fence. The Kreg wood table for routers has an MDF table top has a size of 16 x 24 inches, a 9-1/4″ x 11-3/4″ x 3/8″ router insert place with three level-lock rings and levelers, an extruded aluminum fence with adjustable faces and cam clamps, a dust port, and a miter gauge slot.
The Kreg table also features a heavy-duty steel stand and thick rubber feet to absorb vibration.
As a whole, users have a favorable opinion of the Kreg bench top router table, but most do note that the fence is poorly designed. A customer comments that the table is sturdy, easy to assemble and he managed to level the router plate completely flat. The user shares that he has already made several windows, but he hates the fence because it’s hard to adjust it.
Another happy buyer says that it’s a child’s play to assemble this bench top router table, and it’s easy to add the router. He would recommend it to anyone looking for a stable woodworking table. However, some customers have complained that the cam clamps are plastic and even if they tightened them often – it’s not enough to hold the fence securely.
A customer states that had to adjust the insert plate every time, and he wouldn’t recommend it to a professional carpenter.
The Kreg Router Table Video Review
- Easy to assemble
- An MDF table top
- A router insert place with three level-locks
- An adjustable fence
- Stable and portable
- Hard to adjust fence
- Plastic cam clamps
- Fence is not secure
The Skil wood router table is well-constructed, foldable and suitable for any do-it-yourself projects. Users love that it doesn’t require any assembly, but some do note that it’s not as stable as they expected. This woodworking router table has an integrated accessory storage bag, a laminated MDF top, two feather boards, a tall fence with adjustable MDF faces, a starter pin, a guard and a bit height gauge for simple set-up and improved cut accuracy.
There is also a quick-release router mount option so you can attach or detach the rounder in a matter of seconds. Overall, it’s an excellent choice for a woodworking table.
A customer shares that this is an easy-to-set router table and that the fence and the feather boards are secure and well-made. The reviewer also states that it’s not difficult to adjust the fence width, but the fence settings are not very precise. Another user mentions that everything worked far better than he expected and he would recommend it to anyone with a woodworking hobby.
A buyer also states that he enjoys using the Skil wood router table, and he could easily fold it and store it away when he doesn’t need it anymore. However, some customers have complained that the material is cheap and breaks and chips quickly and that the measurement lines are incorrect. A user also says the plastic legs are flimsy and they are not strong enough to hold the weight of the table.
The Skil Router Table Video Review
- Easy to store
- An integrated storage bag
- A laminated top
- Two feather boards
- An adjustable fence
- A bit height gauge
- Router change is quick
- Plastic legs
- Incorrect measurement lines
- Cheap quality
What Are Buyers Saying?
The Bosch RA1181 router table is one of our top picks- it has 2 adjustable motherboards, a dual outlet switch, a dust collection port and ships with a 6-foot power cord. The work surface itself measures 27" x 18" and Bosch includes mounting hardware for different routers. Users that we spoke with overall said that it was a solid set up at a reasonable price. Buyers liked the cast aluminum construction, while also commending the router mount plate as durable. Because of its sturdy construction, buyers say that it doesn't sag if you leave a router mounted as other plates do on different models.
One home renovation specialist that we spoke to said that he used the Bosch benchtop router table to create molding for bedroom, kitchen as well as several bathrooms in his house. He says that he has run several hundred feet of stock through the router and that overall it performed very well. Some things he didn't like included a complex assembly- it was a little tricky because the parts list made it nearly impossible to identify all of the assorted bolts. Though, being pretty experienced as a craftsman he had an instinct for what was supposed to fasten where, and the instructions did provide solid diagrams to help piece it together.
How To Choose a Router Table
Another problem he experienced is that the locking nuts that are included to keep the bolts fastened to the legs as well as the main table all failed. The router vibration loosened them and they sprang from the router table, irretrievably lost. This was pretty annoying, but he was able to replace them with nuts and lock washers from his local retail store, supplementing them with some Teflon tape to ensure that the bolt shanks were secure. Regarding the mounting plate, this reviewer said that that the 6 separate mounting configurations will mount just about anything you throw at it. For your convenience, Bosch includes a list of compatible routers inside the owners manual.
Other reviewers we spoke to complimented the sensitivity of the off switch- saying that at the very slightest touch everything shuts off quickly. As well, the on switch is discovered beneath a flap which needs to be lifted to power the router table on- this prevents accidental power-ons. Another benefit is the lockout feature included with the power switch- a removable key ensures that children will not be able to accidentally power-on the router table. Other reviewers also like that the rear area of the fence contains a mount for a dust collector through a circular hose, although some reviewers said that it was too large to accept a shop vacuum end.
While great overall, there were some negatives- reviewers said that leveling the mounting plate was a little bit difficult. This is because you will be turning a series of bolts that are set in hex nuts to calibrate the proper height to level the plate, but as soon as you move the router table or even turn it over everything falls out. On the whole, users said that it is convenient and relatively easy to assemble and use. They like that it accommodates such a large diversity of routers and that the heavy-cast aluminum fence is robust for sustained use.
The Craftsman Router Table Video Review
Another option we examined was the Craftsman router table. This router table provides 334 in.² of space on an 11/16 inch laminate table top. This particular router table combo unit received mixed reviews with the one person who purchased it from Harbor Freight saying that they received a warped plastic product. As well, other buyers said that the table inserts were constructed of plastic that was way too thin and felt cheap.
On the other hand, a buyer who said he had stopped purchasing Craftsman products because of the declining quality decided to give this router table combo unit a try and was pleasantly surprised. He says that as a woodworking hobbyist he was immediately impressed by the low-price that he was able to get from Sears and it became a no-brainer to purchase and experiment with. At the end of the day, for his purposes, he found it an adequate solution, though he advised that if you are attempting to do more intricate design work you will want to purchase a higher-priced wood shaper.
The Bench Dog Router Table Video Review
The Bench Dog router table was yet another option that we took a look at. The manufacturers tout it as a portable and compact option with a variety of features useful for on-site construction jobs as well as for at-home DIY hobbyists. In addition, they also promote the design of its forward offset router and the dual-position fence which maximizes the usable table surface area. The flexibility of it set up enables you to adjusted for project-specific requirements.
They also include an aluminum miter accessory track with adjustability that enables you to fit it with standard miter gauges. As well, the T-slots on the fence and table make it easy to mount stops, switches, fence risers as well as feather boards. Buyers that we spoke with have provided a solid endorsement of this particular benchtop router table, saying that it was more reasonably priced than other comparable options with this much functionality.
One reviewer we interviewed said that it was particularly fast, accurate and easy to use, equipped to perform micro-fine adjustments, especially if you purchase some additional accessories. Another reviewer said that he does a lot of amateur woodwork and he endorsed it as a sturdy unit that you don't need to clamp onto a table, but still light enough that you can store it out of the way when you are not using it. Some negatives that he observed is that it's difficult to change router bits. It requires that you remove the plate and router from the top of it rather than from the base- this is a little bit annoying to do and you have to unscrew 2 of the plate screws to do it. A potential safety concern is that you have to open the table door in order to turn the router off and on. He recommends connecting it to a power strip so that powering off is always close at hand.
Another option we took a look at was the SKIL RAS900 router table. The SKIL router is 32 lb. benchtop router table that ships with two containers, a quick clamp system, 2 feather boards for precision routing, a bit height gauge to simplify assembly and set up, as well as a starter pin guard for curved edge routing. Users say that while this is not a top of the line router table, and you shouldn't expect it to be for the price, it is a solid overall option that is easy to set up, and works pretty well.
But if you are in the market for a router table that you're going to use intensively, you may want to check out a more feature-rich option. Another reviewer that we spoke to said that it is a middle of the line option, though if you have a steady hand you can certainly achieve high-quality results with it.