Hey, it is old Jack here gain. After touching on the best budget router tables and best professional router table, today I am going to help you figure out which is the best router for mounting to your router table. For those who own a router, I am going to help you figure out if the router you own is the best for you. Or maybe it might be time for a better version like the Triton TRA001.
Apart from the table saw the router is the most important tool in the workshop. With a router, you may be able to do fancy stuff which includes making fancy profiles. It is time to step up from the handheld limited router, to a powerful router. One that can be mounted below an ideal router table to give you the fruits of more functions that work out in an accurate, smooth and precise manner. I shall fully explain our top pick – The Triton TRA001, but let me first tip you that it makes the best routér for mounting under your router table.
For a dedicated woodworker, going for the best tools in the market primarily defines the quality of your woodworks. This review is not more about brands. It aims at clearing out the confusion about which features are useful and what are just hypes. That is why we included a comprehensive buying guide after the below in-depth reviews of each of our best router picks.
- Here is our list of the four best routers for router table on the market
- Triton TRA001 – Our best pick that offers easy height adjustment and bit changing
- Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood router Tool Combo Kit – Best handheld and table mounting combo router.
- DEWALT Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit (DWALT616) – Best budget router for router table mounting.
- Buying Guide – What should the best router for mounting under a router table have?
- 1. The fixed base router
- 2. The Plunging models
- 3. The Combo Router Kit
- When making your purchase, consider the following for the best router for router table:
- Routers for Router Table – FAQ Section:
Here is our list of the four best routers for router table on the market
Triton TRA001 – Our best pick that offers easy height adjustment and bit changing
Talking of the best, most convenient router for mounting under your router table, Triton TRA001 shall work perfectly well. This model, however, fails when it comes to handheld plunging, but since it perfectly works for router tables, lets fair on. With 3.25 HP, this router allows for 1/2″ and 1/4″ collets. This fit matching bits that route through any size of stock to give you a precise accurate finish.
This powerful heavy and big router provides for easy switching from a handheld plunge to a fixed base router through the rack and pinion system. This model attracted my attention when I was at my friend’s place, I had a Bosch router then. He only had to easily turn the crank handle to adjust the height. You know the problem presented by locking and unlocking models like the Bosch and Milwaukee. Triton is the way to go for those woodworkers who dislike irritating and complicated height and bit adjustment.
After you have mounted it under your router table, you are guaranteed an easy time changing the bit with one wrench above the table, thanks to the automatic spindle lock. The router’s clear plastic shields, however, bar you from reaching the collets for easy base change. Since we are mounting it under a router table, I shall advise that you do away with those. It shall not only make an easy bit-changing experience but also perfect your dust collection system. Additionally, you do not have to lock the Triton router for it to work precisely and perfect except when working with very heavy storks.
Talking about the efficiency of use, this model uses Electronic Speed Maintainance which ensures constant speed feedback to avoid uneven routing. Its soft-start avoids instances of tearing out grains when starting with the variable speed feature giving you full control over the bit’s speed. When dust gets into the motor, it shall obviously break down and you know what that means. Why not go for Triton which comes with side air vents that get rid of dust that could have otherwise entered the motor?
A final word on the Triton TRA001
What makes me prefer this table router model is Its compactness, ease of and easy adjusting. Unlike other models, this one shall need no additional accessory for handheld use. If you prefer smart woodworking over energy-intensive sessions, then the Triton TRA001 is the way to go.
It has a 3.5 HP that is very powerful.
Comes with ½” and 1/4″ collets that allow for mounting of matching bit sizes.
It has a special rack & pinion system that allows for easy height adjustment.
Has the soft start and variable speed features which gives you full control over speed.
Easy one wrench bit changes.
Although this model works for handheld functions, it performs poorly. However, expect amazing precise routing when mounted below an ideal router table.
Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood router Tool Combo Kit – Best handheld and table mounting combo router.
Bosch seems to have taken time to consider untended woodworker’s routing needs. That is why they brought you the Bosch 1617EVSPK. It includes 2.25 HP/12 Amp motor whose speed starts at 8,000 and goes up to 25,000 RPM to penetrate even the toughest oak wood grains. With this high power, the combo kit comes with well developed fixed and plunge bases to allow for both fixed and plunge routing. The included 1/2″ & 1/4″ self-releasing collets allow for diverse bit attachment hence, more routing functions.
Be sure of easy above table hight adjusting after fixing it under your router table due to the micro-fine bit height adjustment that moves at 1/64″ intervals to ensure you attain an accurate height for precise routing. The efficient tool-free clamp system ensures you take the shortest time possible to switch the bases. The fixed base, which is our main interest here, has ready threaded holes plus 10-24 screws to allow for easy mounting to your router table.
The soft-start feature prevents your bit from running at optimum speed within seconds after switching on. Its variable speed ensures you tune the speed to your taste with the constant response circuitry maintaining your desired speed even when dealing with very hardwoods. For your own convenience, Bosch included easily accessible right and left switches. With a one year limited warranty, you shall have an easy time in case of system failures and therefore need not worry.
A final word on Bosch 1617EVSPK
This router allows for very easy shifting from the plunge base to the fixed base. Its power is not as high as the Triton model or as low as the Dewalt, this gives you just the right amount of power for both handheld and fixed uses. The fact that you can adjust the bit height from the tabletop when fixed is another plus. If you are looking for an effective router combo kit, then this is the router for you.
An effective combo kit
It comes with 2.25 horsepower to eat through the toughest wood grains.
Allows for tabletop height adjustment.
Soft start feature prevents your bit from starting at high speed.
Has ready threaded holes for the fixed base which makes easy mounting.
DEWALT Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit (DWALT616) – Best budget router for router table mounting.
This is the model that has been routing my templates and profiles for a year now. I have to admit that this 7 x 10.2 x 19.2 inches with 1.75 HP performs with very high power that cuts through most woodgrains at a constant speed. The model allows for mounting 1/4″ and 1/2″ bits which open up to a vast of routing possibilities.
I sometimes unmount this router for use in handheld light routing functions. It works well especially when you consider its 6.25 pounds weight that allows for easy handling. This model includes an amazing depth gauge which allows for fine increments of 1/64″ This model, however, requires two included wretches to adjust the bits, which is a wanting task, given the busy days we woodworkers have.
You shall be thrilled to know that this router produces only necessary vibrations. This means a less noisy workshop with precise routing results. The motor is locked in place by an adjustable cam lock whose quick release feature easily lets me change the depth. The lock also holds the motor firm for more accurate cuts. You need not worry about breakdowns since Dewalt provides for a 3 months money-back guarantee plus a one-year free service contract then a three-year warranty, what an offer!
A final word on the DEWALT Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit
Having served me for a good period now, this router offers all that a medium routing operation needs. In addition to this, it allows for very efficient handheld use. This means it shall allow you to use it on light-demanding routing functions. This router, however, needs a power upgrade to deal with very large stock pieces; The main reason I’m planning to purchase a Triton TRA001. I would highly recommend this for light to medium duty woodworks, especially when you’re running on a limited budget. This affordable and effective machine sails through most routing functions pretty well.
An affordable router
The 1.7 horsepower motor cuts through a variety of wood grains.
An effective combo that allows for both easy hand use and router table mounting.
Has a micro-fine 1/64″ interval depth adjustment ring.
Includes a tool-free motor cam lock for easy motor removal.
The included micro-adjusting ring might present a challenge using at first but when you’re used, it becomes very easy.
Buying Guide – What should the best router for mounting under a router table have?
Before we go into detail, let us first understand the two main types of routers.
1. The fixed base router
They are characterized by handles mounted at the base. The mounted handles at the base have the effect of lowering the center of gravity hence easy to balance. They are also less expensive than their counterparts – the plunging models. The fixed base router is also easier to mount upside down out of the easy to use handles.
2. The Plunging models
This is the type of router that allows for the handheld route function. The function is achieved through its well-developed handles and light manageable weight. This is not as handy as fixed base router tables. Although, they do have benefits that any veteran woodworker can hardly ignore. The advantages that come with that plunging mechanism. Especially for stopped routing function since you have full control of the router and can start or stop from any point in your stock. It also works perfectly for removing material in bits to avoid hogging out too much material at a go. Check out this article for recommended plunge routers.
3. The Combo Router Kit
You might be in need of both the above router makes. The combo router kits come with both functions giving you the option of either fixing them below router tables or using their plunge bases for handheld routing operations. The only thing needed here is to switch the motor’s base and you are good to go.
When making your purchase, consider the following for the best router for router table:
1. Above table height and bit adjustments.
An ideal model should give a woodworker an easy time adjusting the height. An ideal model likes the Triton TRA001 which only needs you to turn the crank using the included handles. Other models give you a hard time reaching underneath the router for manual adjustments.
Go for an ideal model with extended collets which shall allow you to reach them above the table for convenient adjusting.
2. Consider the EVS, Soft Start and IFS
Electronic variable speed
Some routers have what is called an EVS an Electronic variable speed which is essential when using large router bits. It has the effect of reducing the spindle speed which enables one to work safely. If you really mind about your safety, then check to ascertain that your chosen model has the EVS feature.
Many of the latest models of routers are embracing the soft start feature. This feature has the effect of taking two to three minutes after switching on to reach its potential full speed to avoid shifting from 0 to 2000 RPM which might tear stock grains thereby destroying the stock.
Or the integrated feedback system helps by keeping the bit at a constant speed when your bit enters an area of the too tightly woven grain. In the instance, the motor steps up a little bit so that it can keep its speed constant despite the tough grains to give you an accurate and consistent finish.
Recommendation on the EVS, Soft Start and IFS
I would recommend you buy a new router if the one you have does not have a basic variable speed feature.
These new features as discussed above, that is the EVS, IFs and the soft start make an upgrade necessary if you own a backdated model that lacks them.
Power ratings present a challenge and are confusing and at times misleading. An example is when a small router motor is rated 2 or 3.5 HP while a big table saw motor is only a 1½ HP.
The reason is that induction motors on large machines are rated based on their continuous HP while your brush type motor is rated for its optimum HP. Hence, you might have your router motor rated 3 HP but capable of running for just a few seconds at a go, you see? This is what I mean by confusing and misleading.
Amperage ratings also indicate the power of a motor and can also be confusing. This lets you know how much current can be run through the motor without blowing it up. Therefore, the more the power your router can stand, the more the amperage it’s motor shall have.
Underwriters Laboratory (UL) is an organization which tastes the continuous amperage or watt capacity of motors. I hint this because some manufacturers may be inflating Amps for marketing reasons. The UL rating should give you a true certified rating. You can convert the UL AMP rating into horsepower by multiplying it by the volts you are using, usually 110 in the USA, and dividing it by 746.
Recommendation on power
I would recommend a good 11- or 12-AMP plunge router. The 12 AMP will be sufficient for your everyday use in both handheld and table-mounted tasks.
look for one with an easy to adjust tabletop micro-adjustable depth. This gives you an easy time making adjustments. Other models require you to reach below the table for adjustments which might be a regular hard task.
look for one with variable speed and soft start and buy the most reliable brand you can afford. I’m sure you aren’t planning to close up your shop tomorrow. So, better to spend little extra bucks on a quality router like the Bosch 1617EVSPK.
You may also want to add a compact trim router this is used for your light-duty tasks where you need finer detail. Additionally, it’s easier to control the smaller router. A few brands offer them with plunge bases which is a fine deal though costly. I advise that you go for a separate trim router. You shall, however, have to choose a brand that has a base option to allow for later upgrade.
Routers for Router Table – FAQ Section:
Question: What is a router?
Answer: A router is a power or handheld woodworking tool that allows one to route through wood grains. They can be used while fastened underneath router tables or hand using included handles.
Question: What can you do with a router?
Answer: A router is a highly versatile tool that can be used for an array of functions. They include: Cutting out patterns, rounded edges, grooves, and rabbets, cut inlays or raised panel doors to achieve decorative finishes in cabinetry or any other woodworking.
Question: Which are better ½” or ¼’’ bits?
Answer: Go for a router with half-inch shafts as they vibrate less giving precise routing results and less noise. Like all our best router for router table picks, you should note that most routers that accept a half bit will also accept a quarter-inch bit. This opens up chances of experiencing both worlds at absolutely no cost. Most models usually come with an included adapter. Ensure you go for one that will take half-inch then you have a chance to use it for quarter-inch bits as well. In short, if you are a beginner, check out this article of mine to learn more about router bits.
Fixing a router underneath your router table presents you with a whole new stock routing experience. All the templates and profiles needed for your woodworking projects shall come out fine. But not if you do not use the best router for router tables such as the perfect Triton TRA001 model.
Making a purchase decision needs careful analysis. We offer the one above to ensure you do not struggle with tedious return or repair processes. In the above top three models, you get a chance to choose one best router model as per your needs and budget. Just take the time to consider your needs. From my side, the Triton TRA001 makes a perfect choice for a quality router for router tables to offer serious light & heavy-duty routing functions.
Rockler and Woodmagazine also agreed with my choices. Finally, have a blasting new year holiday, make sure to me know your thoughts about this article by sending your emails to [email protected] Until then, Jack