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BEST ROUTER PLATE – A rigid mount, free from curving

A router plate may seem an insignificant part of a router and table combo. After all, you got a quality router table and good routers for router tables, getting any plate can work. No, this is not the case, in fact, perfect routing calls for precision. A poor router plate shall soon submit to gravity and curve in to produce crooked routing results. This is the reason why you need to choose the best router plate.

You shall concur with me, that the choosing part presents a tough challenge. Which plate shall work well, is it Aluminium or Phenolic? How do I avoid curving in of the plate? Which router plate model shall perfectly fit my router? I hope, with my experiences, I will be able to assist you with the below-detailed router plate reviews. I shall answer some of your questions in the FAQ section and give you pro insights into the buying guide. First, let’s explore the best picks.

Here is my list of three best router plates on the market

Woodpeckers Precision Woodworking Tools A1690890 – The best pick overall

The Woodpeckers are here again with a strong steady router plate, right from the look. You shall have to sink a little bit deeper into your pockets to get this rigid mounting plate. The model is made from a long-lasting Cast Aluminium router mounting plate. If you are a proud owner of a Poter Cable 690/890, 7529, 8529, Makita 1101, Bosch 1617, 1618 and Dewalt 618 and 616 routers, then this plate shall fit them perfectly well.

This plate includes fine pitch set leveling screws that offer you easy access from the top of your router table. This means that you’re only needed to adjust the eight screws to bring the level of the plate to harmony with that of the table. This model comes with mounting screws for easy mounting to the router table. To add to this, the 4.2 pounds model comes with a par of adjustable plungers to make sure there occurs no slope between the plate and its opening. With the included multiple starting pin locations, this model gives you easy freehand functions.

A final word on the Woodpeckers A1690890

This is a master router plate with wide compatibility with other manufacturer’s models. The Woodpecker’s router mounting plate oozes quality that offers a strong stiff and smooth router plate for easy mounting and subsequent routing functions. The price, however, calls for dedication but with a guarantee of perfect long time router mounting function. When you’re that woodworker who would pay a fortune for quality, then this model awaits your purchase.

Pros

Made out of durable sturdy cast aluminum. Highly compatible with most commonly owned router models including Makita, Bosch, and Dewalt. Has 8 fine pitch leveling screws with tabletop access for easy adjusting. It comes with multiple starting pin locations for easy installation.

Cons

This model costs a few extra bucks compared to other models. However, its undisputable quality make compensates for each extra buck that you spend.

Kreg Molded Router Table Insert Plate – A model for all routers

What gives a smile to your face that the good news that this model shall fit your router model whatever the model might be. Made out of phenolic material, this 9-1/4″ x 11-3/4″ can accommodate large routers quite well while the material makes it steady and rigid enough for precise routing.

This model provides for an easy router mounting experience even for amateurs, thanks to the included alignment marks on the undrilled version. The level lock reducing rings combined with the included level-lock wrench allows for easy adjusting and installation when you need to change the bit and other operations. This 3 pounds model locks into place to give an even level with your router table for a precise and easy routing experience.

A final word on the Kreg Molded Router Table Insert Plate

This is a universal plate, meaning, it is open to any router. Why take chances with a model-specific router plate only to be slapped with incompatibility issues? With this model, you got to drill your router mounting holes, but not blindly, the included alignment marks to guide you into making the right holes. If you’re not sure about the exact model and needs of your router, then it shall be wise of you to go for this model.

Pros

Made from sturdy and durable phenolic material It comes without pre-drilled holes with only alignment marks included from the underside. This is to allow for universal router compatibility. The package comes with a removable brass starting pin, level-lock wrench and detailed instructions to guide you through the whole mounting process. This model easily accommodates large routers due to its 9-1/4″ x 11-3/4″ size.

Cons

This model calls for more installation time labor in drilling the router insert holes. However, better drill the holes, than receive a pre-drilled model that fails to fit your router.

Big Horn 181100 Router Table Insert – The best model for your budget

When you need an affordable quality router plate, this model comes in handy. The 9″ x 12″ x 3/8″ router plate provides for a wide enough surface for mounting heavy router models. This insert shall fit perfectly to your router table with the included 4 magnets ensuring your set screw and the whole plate stays in place.

This model, however, leaves you to figure out how best to install it since the manufacturers never included any installation guide. This 2.15 pounds phenolic resin model is rigid enough to resist curving inward during routing and a shoulder pin which offers you freehand working experience.

A final word on the Big Horn 181100 Router Table Insert

This is an affordable model that lives to its promise. When you’re under a tight budget but still need a quality model to mount your router, the option you should look at is the Big Horn 181100 Router Table Insert.

Pros

Made from a rigid and durable phenolic resin material Large size to accommodate heavy routers. An affordable best model Includes a shoulder pin to offer freehand work.

Cons

This model comes in a package without the installation guide, so I guess you got to fumble a little bit if you’re just starting out on woodworking. This should, however, take you a few minutes to figure out and install.

Buying Guide – Which are the key features that determine the best plate for your router?

Material & Flatness

The best router plate needs to be tough and rigid. This feature that solely depends on the material it is made from. If you are planning on installing a big and strong router, expect it to give more stress to your plate. In this case, you need to go for a sturdy plate made out of cast aluminum like the Woodpeckers A1690890. The phenolic material model provides thin but heavy-duty plates that won’t curve in, a model like Kreg Molded router table insert plate shall work perfectly well.

Remember, your chosen router plate should have a level surface that shall become even with the entire router table surface.

The cost

Your budget line stands tall when it comes to cost considerations. However, your needs tower above your budget for the best results. Luckily enough, we researched deep to ensure each budget gets a quality and fully functioning model. As you shall expect, costlier models such as the Woodpeckers A1690890 model shall come with extra innovative features to spice up your mounting experience. Just go for a model within your reach, but don’t let your budget guide you into choosing a faulty plate.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question: What is a router plate?

A router plate is a thick sturdy flat surfaced plate with an opening at the center which allows for mounting a router. The plate comes with pre-drilled holes or marked points for drilling which allow for attaching the router. They are meant to provide extra stiffness at the point od attaching the router since much stress shall be driven here.

Question: What causes a router plate to curve in?

Answer: There are a number of reasons that cause a router plate to curve in. The first one is keeping the table with the router mounted on it. The longer the router stays mounted to the table, the more the chances of the plate to submit to the pull and eventually curve inwards. Just ensure you unmount the router to keep it separately after each routing session. The second is buying a poor quality model. As you’ve gone through the above review, I am sure you’re gonna select a quality router plate such as the Woodpeckers A1690890 Router Mounting Plate.

Conclusion

Each focused woodworker needs the right router and table for the best results. However, choosing a poor quality router insert plate shall make the whole system faulty. Luckily for researching woodworkers, we considered all the factors to bring you the best router plates that shall mount your router perfectly and stay rigid throughout the routing process. Spend that extra buck on a super quality model which for our case is the Woodpeckers A1690890. If you’re not sure about the dimensions you need, our best customizable pick for you is the Kreg Molded Router Table Insert Plate. Go for the affordable Big Horn 181100 Router Table Insert plate. With these picks, you’re assured of masterpiece routing results with a long using period.

Related: choosing a good professional router table.