The 5 Best Benchtop Router Tables [Ranked]
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Benchtop router tables provide large work surfaces for routing and woodworking (Source).
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: The Bosch RA1181
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|
The Five Best Router Tables
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
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 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 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.