A plain router is a limited and tricky tool to use. However professional woodworkers fix it inverted under the best professional router table to produce classic workpieces. I started using routers back in the early 1990s and I can confess that, with advancements in the technology over time, this has been top among the highly versatile tools I have in my workshop.
That said, a poorly designed router table shall give crooked workpieces. Most woodworkers go for cheap router tables, only to get a bonus of uneven surfaces, or even worse, irregular mounting inserts. Others overspend on unworthy tables leaving out relatively cheap and efficient router tables such as the Bosch RA1171.
Wise, experienced woodworkers visit Toildrops, for a light on the right course to take from old Jack, a veteran woodworker. So, this time, I share the best picks of router tables to enable you to get that precise accurate route. Oops! Did I almost forget to notify you about the included few pro tricks and a comprehensive buying guide included later in the article? Now that is good news, but first, let us sink into a detailed review of the 3 best professional router tables.
- My Top Picks Of Three Best Professional Router Tables
- #1. KREG PRECISION ROUTER TABLE SYSTEM KREG #PRS 1045 – Our best pick ideal for large stock pieces
- #2. KREG PRS 2100 Bench Top Router Table- The most portable
- #3. BOSCH RA1171 CABINET STYLE ROUTER TABLE – Affordable and compact for an almost silent clean small workplace
- The features that define a professional router table
- Professional Router Tables – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
My Top Picks Of Three Best Professional Router Tables
#1. KREG PRECISION ROUTER TABLE SYSTEM KREG #PRS 1045 – Our best pick ideal for large stock pieces
Whenever you need accurate moldings, shaped woodworks, making panels for doors and many other works with broad or short sized stock, then I advise that you go for the KREG #PRS 1045. Over the whole period of my woodworking career, all the other machines got outshone by this 36″ t-square styled rout model. This model is truly professional with a large 24″ x 32″ tabletop that shall allow you to work with large stocks.
What calls for this easy to assemble router table is its compatibility with any router. It comes with an included router insert plate without any holes, you can imagine that! This means that whichever model of router you purchase or have only called for you to bore custom holes to fit! It also presents quite some good working space. Its MDF tabletop with microdot high-pressure laminate and aluminum miter channel/T-slot works with a wide variety of accessories.
Hey! some good news for you if you wanna be using a template. In addition to the eas to use a template, this model is set with two fully independent fence faces for zero clearance support that spares you a headache as you comfortably shape your wood and swiftly complete your work in no time!
A final word on KREG #PRS 1045
If you have been looking for a high-quality table router system I would highly recommend this one, considering such features as ease of assembling, its L-shaped aluminum extrusion, an included router insert plate and the many others mentioned above. However, consider its price in relation to your budget.
Provides for easy to assembly A multipurpose steel stand powder-coated for durability MDF tabletop is vibration-free and rigid enough to ensure a stable working experience. An included universal router insert plate to mount to any router The included very smooth micro-dot skin ensures your stock slides across the table surface with ease. An included strong aluminum fence offers quarter-turn locking levers to allow for fence adjustments and locking in place.
This model has had problems reported about short bolts meant to hold the fence to the adjuster’s head. This is a minor flaw for a woodworker who is in real need of an excellent performing machine, you shall simply replace the bolts with longer ones.
#2. KREG PRS 2100 Bench Top Router Table- The most portable
What is more satisfying than a router table that goes with you to all your workplaces? The Kreg PRS 2100bench top router table comes in a precise highly portable form plus all the needed routing accessories. A rigid MDF tabletop with a professionally crafted banded edge plus an impact resistant micro dot surface ensures an easy smooth working tabletop that is free from slagging
Coming with a pre-drilled 3 7/8″ table opening and an undrilled mounting plate. This model offers flexibility and customization for your preferred router model. As a long-time woodworker, I can confirm the long durability of this model, thanks to its four hard layering rubber soles and the rugged stamped -steel foundation.
The quality of a router table’s fence is one of the key determinants of precision and accuracy in its routed stocks. Kreg offers a quality aluminum fence made from heavy-duty aluminum to ensure true strength and rigidity for quality accurate works. A twin pack of weatherboard reinforces the aluminum fences with a smooth surface to ensure easy pushing of your stock.
Vibrations cause uneven routing depth. With this model you got to forget this since a combination of a noise-absorbing MDF tabletop, a rigid steel base uniformly transmits the vibrations to the rubber feet which dampen them resulting in a stable router table.
A final word on the Kreg PRS2100
Some contractors are mobile, this makes a portable model like this their best choice. Apart from being highly portable, this model has got vibration-absorbing mechanisms which make it less noisy and efficient. Be sure to handle all your industrial routing needs using this full-size router table.
Highly portable and occupies less space. Made to absorb vibrations for a silent accurate routing experience. It comes with an undrilled strong insert plate to ensure the easy installation of a router of your choice. Has a rigid stell base for steady routing.
During set up, finding and drilling the mounting holes took a relatively long time. However, there are guiding dots included lightening this process
#3. BOSCH RA1171 CABINET STYLE ROUTER TABLE – Affordable and compact for an almost silent clean small workplace
A workshop doesn’t have to be noisy for the best results. This is especially why the Bosch RA1171 works silently to give accurate precise route results. Each time a tool in my workshop scatters trash everywhere, I close and leave the tedious work for the next day, but this model is different. The cabinet offers a dust collection port that makes routing waste management my hobby.
A relatively small 25″ x 15.5″work surface is flat and soft to offer smooth and easy stock feeding. The included aluminum mounting plate is super rigid and comes pre-drilled to offer easy attachment of a variety of routers. Its above router table adjustment offers you a chance to creatively work on an array of rout functions.
Focusing on its fence, the model has a rigid aluminum fence that offers space for attaching the included MDF face plates and feather boards for precise, accurate and versatile routing. Being a cabinet router table it fulfills your need for an almost silent router table since all the noise gets held up in the compäct cabinet.
A final word on the BOSCH RA1171.
Got a small workshop and deal with relatively light woodworks? Then this is the model for you. It is relatively small and works perfect on routing small to average size stocks. Its cabinets have drawers that let you store all your routing accessories in a safe and easy to reach the place. Now that you do not need much noise in your workshop, you should think of the Bosch RA1171 as your best professional router table.
Includes a comprehensive dust collection system A very compact and silent model Offers convenient storage drawers within the cabinet to ease your work during routing Comes with a pre-drilled aluminum mounting plate
There is a glitch of about 0.29″ between the tabletop surface and the router mounting plate. However, as I shall tip you later in the buying guide this problem can be creatively and easily managed through sticking tapes on the mounting plate to raise the level
The features that define a professional router table
You do not want to visit a store and suppress other sensitive features based on biased preferences. Well, we’re much alike now that before visiting a store to replace or upgrade my router table, I always have a checklist with the features I shall mention below:
1. A rigid level table surface
By saying professional router tables, we are simply talking about heavy and broad woodworks. A table that handles woodworks of this size has to come with a super rigid level table surface. One that resists curving even when working with the heaviest stock pieces.
My brother, who’s also an enthusiast of woodworking recently replaced his old router table ( a cast-iron tabletop surface) with the BOSCH RA1171 MDF model. He had for a while complained of its bulky nature. If you are in need of the best quality over budget, I would advise going for a tabletop with an MDF tabletop.
My KREG #PRS 1045 tabletop plus all my previous models are made of reinforced medium-density fibreboard. This is because it is super rigid and shakes not an inch in the event of large stock route working. Cast iron steel and phenolic plastic also work pretty well, the plastic is quite thin but surprisingly rigid, but with the informed modern world, the lesser the plastic the better!
Generally, check to ensure your selected model has a “truly” flat tabletop. By truly I mean a level tabletop that does not sag based on the workload you got.
2. A sturdy level base insert plate
The base plate is the point where your router shall attach below the tabletop. Every veteran woodworker knows that this is among the most sensitive parts of a tabletop router. An unstable base plate shall make the attached router to slant hence making the bit cut inaccurate depths.
The last you need for your clients is a shoddy stock routing result, for accurate regular route depths, your bit has to be perfectly 90° placed from the tabletop. Apart from having a good skill in fixing your router, your router table’s base plate design shall also determine to what extent of accuracy your fixed router and table combo shall be. Go for a model with an easily adjustable insert plate through shimming or using screws.
Check to ascertain that your tables base plate is completely level with your table tops top surface from all points. In addition to this, the tabletop should be firm and rigid to ensure it remains undisturbed during professional heavy works. My experience tip of working with a situation of a base plate that is level with the top is that I usually reinforce it with similarly shaped musting tape to raise the level.
3. A size and adjustable parts that let you easily assemble&disassemble parts.
This fully depends on your intended workspace which dictates your workload. If you are the type of contractor who moves with your tools wherever you go, then you shall need a highly mobile small size benchtop model such as the Kreg PRS2100. On the other hand, if you prefer a stationary work area with a lot of space, then you shall be on a vantage point to go for a full-size table like the KREG #PRS 1045.
Choose a model whose stands allow for height adjustability, this is because different people prefer different working heights. This kind of router table shall allow you to easily set the router table to your desired height.
Just check out your work area, your mobility, and workload, this shall help you determine which model to go for.
4. A Sturdy Fence, Mitre, and T-Slots for fixing the fence.
An experienced woodworker, who loves to work relatively hard but perfectly smart, shall go for a router table that has a fence with T-Slots allowance for fixing feather boards. Instead of pushing against the rough fence, have feather boards installed to fit in the slots for a smooth hassle-free stock pushing.
Professional Router Tables – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: What is a router table?
Answer: A router table is a specially made workshop table that offers an allowance for mounting a router upside -down below it. The router is attached in such a way that the cutter is exposed above the router table top’s surface. With the router at the center, a rigid fence with feather boards is firmly attached across the center of the router table’s top.
There are two types of router tables availæble that is: the full-size router table and the benchtop router table. Benchtop router tables are smaller in size hence highly portable. Full-size router tables, on the other hand, are large standalone router tables meant for stationary workshop routing functions.
Question: What routers should I pick for router tables?
I am using the Triton TRA001, but you can find other models for your choices of brands in this article.
Question: How do I ensure safety when working with router tables?
Answer: A router table with a fixed router can be very dangerous if not handled in the correct manner. You see, there is a sharp spinning bit, keep your hands off the final exit point of the stock, instead, use either a feather board or a lead stick. Read more about safety for router table here.
Question: What is the best-recommended height to set a router table?
As a professional woodworker, you do not want back pains after using your router table. Setting your table at the right height ensures good back health and accurate routing. For best result, set your router table to the height of your chest, elbows or hips. Find more relevant router table setting advice on Quora.
Question: Do I need a router lift?
I love router lift, it really made my life easier. For the sake of keeping this article short enough, please read more about router lifts here.
A router table is a must-have tool in your shop if you are geared at producing clean curvy products that draw smiles on your client’s faces. Choosing the best professional router table shall make you save on extra repair expenditures while giving quality service over a long period of time. All the above-mentioned models are the confirmed best in the market. KREG #PRS 1045 stands out due to its ability to handle all routing functions no matter the size, which is what a professional woodworker wants in his tools. Don’t let your budget tower over the needs. Make sure you pick the most ideal professional router table among the mentioned three. I assure you of the best professional routing results, with a long working life. Have a happy routing experience!