Router tables are fairly straightforward things. Just like billiard tables are for playing billiards and dining tables are for dining, router tables are for working with a router. The router and the table saw are the most popular woodworking machines in garage workplaces. The best router table first and foremost must be compatible with your router, which is not a problem these days as most of them are or can be fitted with pre-drilled plates for most routers.
And then things become less straightforward when you find that there are literally hundreds of router tables available on the market today. Fear not, we have done the legwork and gathered for you the best router tables.
The things to consider in selecting a router table are materials, working surface, rigidity, durability, dust collection design, price/value, and the quality of the base plate, fence, miter slot, and other parts. For some of us, user reviews and warranty period can be helpful as well. Good reviews always make people feel more confident about a purchase. Router tables are not like movies. Some of us tend to love movies that most other people don’t like but that is not likely to extend to router tables. Warranty is nice to have, but for real, does anyone look forward to sending a router table away for service?
Our best router tables are as follows.
The Bosch RA1181 is Amazon’s #1 best seller in router tables. Again, top sellers on Amazon are not like top-selling movies. They are almost always good stuff at great value.
The Bosch RA1181 is billed as a benchtop router table measuring 27”W x 18”D x 14.5”H. It is actually a bit too tall for standard work benches, so you might want to custom-build something for it. The top and plate are machined aluminum. The base is ABS plastic which some people complained about but we actually find the base solid and stable. The aluminum top and the plastic base are shipped disassembled so you can even use this router table without the base.
The 27×18 top is not huge but adequate for lots of purposes. For large projects, it’s easier to use a handheld router anyway. The top quality base plate is pre-drilled to fit almost all routers. The awesome MDF fence is backed with aluminum. There are two highly adjustable featherboards. The dust collection port is 2.5”. It comes with a 6’ power cord and dual outlet switch, the latter of which you would lose if you choose to use the Bosch RA1181 without the plastic base.
The warranty period is 1 year. The manufacturer also offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee but that’s redundant if you’re buying from Amazon. As of this writing, the Bosch RA1181 is being sold at nearly 50% off MSRP, a smashing good deal!
Bench Dog Tools
ProMax Cast Iron Router Table
Bench Dog Tools has only been around since 1995 though the company’s products have rapidly grown in popularity. Looking at this time frame, it’s possible that the company name is influenced by the popular saying “What up dog”. In any event, DIYers are more likely to be dog persons than cat persons.
Apart from settling the dogs and cats debate, Bench Dog Tools has also settled the router and table saw debate with the ProMax 40-102 router table. While routers and table saws are equally useful, some people are of the opinion that table saws are much faster for this and that and routers are more precise for this and that. The ProMax 40-102 router table is designed as an extension to your table saw so that you can easily add a router to your workplace and have the best of both worlds.
The 1.5” cast iron table top measures 32” x 24”. This is a full-size router table with metal parts. The top alone weighs close to 100 pounds and it’s machine-ground to 0.008” tolerance for perfect flatness in real-world applications. The Bench Dog ProFence is mounted on J-hooks so it can be quickly removed when you have to feed bigger things to the table saw.
We love the Dual-Track on this router table, which comprises a standard miter slot and a universal t-track for a whole host of accessories. The base plate must be purchased separated. This is additional cost but it ascertains that you’ll be able to fit any router on this table. Bench Dog Tools makes several different ProPlate’s for use with all routers.
The Bench Dog ProMax 40-102 comes with a limited lifetime factory warranty.
Precision Router Table System
The Kreg PRS1045 is a serious router table. It has the potential to elevate any garage workshops to professional grade.
The look is utilitarian but everything on the Kreg PRS1045 is perfect and works like a charm. This is the apotheosis of garage workshops – it’s akin to the ultimate pride of a DIYer presenting his (or her) masterpiece to the world and nonchalantly mentioning that it was hacked up in the garage.
The top is special MDF with microdot surface. Wood slides like a dream on this table for awesome handling and precise cuts. The aluminum T-square fence is just about the best in the business. It requires virtually no adjustment at all to align with your router bit all the time. This table also comes with the Kreg Precision Lens Cursor for measurements. The track is a combination miter and T-track.
The no-frill metal stand is quite easy to put together. The heavy-duty rubber footers can be readily swapped out for locking castors. The Kreg PRS1045 measures 32.25”W x 24”D x 41”H at full height but can be adjusted down to 8 inches shorter. The base plate is Kreg Insert-Plate system design which will fit or made to fit any router in existence.
Our best router table is the Kreg PRS1045. 90% of all reviews on Amazon are 5-star reviews, tops among all router tables on Amazon with more than 10 reviews. The Kreg PRS1045 is precise, sturdy and perfectly versatile. You can’t ask for more because this is as good as it gets.
On the other hand, if you wish to add a router to your table saw, go with the Bench Dog ProMax 40-102. The big dog status is there for the taking by those who can boast having both a router and a table saw in the workshop.
The best router table for the money is the Bosch RA1181. It is highly rated and very user-friendly to boot.