In this article, we will be reviewing the best benchtop router tables, which are very important tools for any dedicated woodworker that wants to perfect his workpieces.
Typically, router tables are used when you’re doing technical work like rabbeting.
Router tables are the best way to keep your work steady and stable for more accurate cuts.
The 3 Best Benchtop Router Tables for 2020
|Product||KREG PRS1045 Precision Router Table System||Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table||Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181|
|Dimensions||37.5 x 25.5 x 36.5 inches||19.2 x 30 x 4.8 inches||22.8 x 18 x 14.5 inches|
|Weight||70 pounds||29.4 pounds||34.1 pounds|
|Table Top dimensions||24" x 32"||16" x 24"||18" x 27"|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
1. KREG PRS1045 Precision Router Table System
The Kreg PR1045 table system provides you with incredible versatility, adjustability, and ease of set up to enable you to kick your woodworking game up a notch.
And for that, it’s a little more expensive than the competition. Its fit and finish might not match up to that high price, however.
The precision router table fence is what makes the Kreg PR1045 unique and productive.
Its anodized-aluminum fence features an innovative table saw-style T-square adjustment system that guarantees that the fence would always be parallel to the miter-gauge slot.
You can easily adjust the fence with one hand.
With a large paddle lock on the infeed end and a quarter-turn lock on the outfeed end, you’ll get no fence deflection as it will be firmly locked in place.
To make sure it is positioned with precision, the fence features a measuring scale that enables you to position the fence and make adjustments based on the bit you’re currently working with.
There’s also a micro-adjust wheel which facilitates setups and maximizes precision.
The independent sliding fence faces can be adjusted to the exact position that would provide your workpiece with support that is close to the bit and maximize chip collection into the position that would maximize chip collection in the built-in dust port of the fence.
Moreover, there are two jointing rods included. You can simply slide them into position behind the outfeed fence face and have the fence act as a jointer for putting perfect edges on boards.
Check out this video for live demonstration of the Kreg PRS1045
The Kreg PR1045 precision router table measures 24 x 32 inches and has a 1-inch thick MDF core which works on absorbing vibration and provides you with mass to make the router table more stable.
The surface is tough as it’s made from high-pressure laminate. It still allows workpieces to glide easily.
Beneath it, there are steel-reinforcing struts that work on keeping the table flat.
You might have to spend some time with its setting up and adjustment.
Furthermore, the keyhole slot accepts the quarter-turn fence lock and enables the user to remove the fence with no trouble for freehand routing operations.
On top of that, the table is equipped with a combination of miter-gauge/T-track to allow you to work with a miter gauge and other accessories.
The 4 precision insert-plate levelers work on keeping the plate and tabletop surfaces incredibly flush.
The table and fence are positioned on a heavy-duty stand to make routing even simpler. You can adjust the heavy-gauge steel stand from 31 inches up to 39 inches high.
The stand is also easy to customize as it has drilled holes that enable you to mount accessories on it.
To work with the Kreg PR1045, however, you have to read the online manual.
2. Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table
With the Kreg PRS2100, you’ll get the capabilities of full-size, industrial router tables in a compact and portable package.
So whether you’re looking to use it on a job site or a compact router table to use around the shop, the Kreg PRS2100 will be of use to you.
Moreover, the table top is made from an edge-banded MDF which is resistant to both vibration and noise. It also features an easy-slide, micro-dot skin.
The high-pressure laminate used to construct the skin makes workpieces slide across the surface very smoothly.
The Kreg PRS2100 insert plate measures 3/8 x 9-1/4 x 11-3/4 inches to be able to support any router of any size.
On top of that, it features Kreg’s Level-Loc reducing rings which twist into place and consistently lock in flush with the plate surface.
There are three Level-Loc rings included: 1-inch, 1-3/16 inches, and 2-1/8 inches.
Furthermore, the plate has laser-engraved markings on its underside which makes mounting routers an easy task. It also comes with Kreg’s Precision Insert levelers.
The Kreg PRS2100 comes with a heavy-duty aluminum fence with quarter-turn locking levers.
These levers allow you to make quick fence adjustments and lock in place.
They also have a suitable size that makes them easy to use and not have them get in your way.
Furthermore, the fence also comes with independent sliding faces to increase the support around the bit. By using the included jointing rods, you can use the table as a vertical jointer.
You’ll also find a bit guard and a dust collection port.
This table combines a noise-absorbing MDF table top with a solid steel base and vibration-dampening rubber feet.
This way, the Kreg PRS2100 is absolutely quiet and performs more quietly than enclosed router tables.
Finally, the stamped-steel foundation, an edge-banded table-top with impact-resistant Micro-dot surface, four hard-wearing rubber feet, and a strong, rigid aluminum fence.
3. Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181
The Bosch RA1181 is a very affordable choice for a precise and versatile router table.
It has a large aluminum top which makes it both portable and durable. It also provides you with more than enough space to work.
Moreover, it can easily fit various routers, and this is the main reason it is so versatile.
The pre-drilled aluminum router mounting plate makes it compatible with a variety of routers and for above table height adjustments with many common routers.
The 2.5-inch dust collection port ensures that you work in a clean environment with no debris of dust.
Moreover, the includes mounting hardware, two outfeed shims, a tall aluminum fence with adjustable MDF faceplates, and an aluminum router mounting plate.
However, the table has a plastic base which is a lot inferior to the steel bases on rivals.
The surface of the table may be a little uneven and warped.
The built-in cord wrap lets you store and carry your device easily while the starter and guard pins included help you route.
Types of router tables
You have to be aware about all the basics of router tables and know that there are two types, the benchtop and the free standing
The benchtop type is the most popular one and in general, the benchtop is lighter so it is easier for you to move it anywhere in your workshop, Also the benchtop tables can sit on the top of any surface without the need for a supporting system, while the free standing type is heavier and needs more space and comes with its supporting legs.
So, if you have a workbench, you can just buy a benchtop router table and mount it on that workbench.
There is another important difference between them, the free standing router table gives you additional space for storage purposes, this way, you can store all your routing tools in it, this feature is not included in the benchtop type.
Before you buy a router table, you should focus on few important factors like the safety, the budget…etc,
Safety and Sturdiness
These are,by far, the most important factors that you should check before you hit the buying button, and this can be checked through reading the description of the product to make sure that the frame of the table is made of metal like aluminum.
Also, you have to check all the safety measures, the more the better.
You should also check that the router table comes with a decent warranty, as this is a sign of good quality, because a warranty will protect your tool against operational damages for a certain period of time and I’m pretty sure that you don’t want anything to break after two days or something!, especially if you bought a pricey router table. That’s why a warranty is a sign of quality, because that way, the company says “Our product is good and we got you covered”.
The budget factor is determined by what you want to do with the router table, because the more you pay, the more you will get out of it, you will get extra features and extra tools, something you may not need, so if you’re working on big professional projects and you make a real business using your router and want to increase your production rate and your precision, then be ready to pay a good chunk of money to buy a fully equipped router table, but if you’re a hobbyist or someone who occasionally uses his router and only handles smaller projects, I think you should go for minimum features.
Compatibility with different routers
You should make sure that the router table can accept a wide range of routers, because every router has its own arrangements and instructions to attach to a router table, so there is no router table that can accept all types and all brands or routers. So if you are going to buy a specific router table, I’m pretty sure that there will be a list of the compatible routers that can be attach to it, please check that list.
So, If you already have a router, make sure that the router table you are going to buy is compatible with that router, and if you don’t have a router, make sure you buy a router table that is compatible with many brands.
Router table surface
The surface is your working area on the router table, this area must be flat and rigid so you can make professional and precise routing, thus, you must make sure that the surface is made of MDF or a high-pressure laminate, these two materials are rigid and provide you with a stable surface that can endure for many years.
You don’t want end up with a company that don’t care about you, believe me, sometimes you are going to need customer support, and you don’t want regret your decisions.
So, choosing a good brand doesn’t only mean a good quality. So take your time reading reviews regarding the customer support, it’s very important.
Safety checklist before using a router table
Safety first, so you must wear your gear before operation, and this gear must include a pair of safety gloves, a dust mask and an ear protection.
- Make sure you fix the router firmly so it doesn’t loose while working.
- Make sure you unplug the router power cable which changing the router bit.
- Maintain your feeding rate so you can get a fine results, not too slow, not too fast.
The 3 router tables listed are more than efficient at their job.
However, each of them focuses more on a certain aspect.
The Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181 would be your perfect choice if you’re looking for something versatile and affordable. As long as you won’t be moving it around a lot or have it operate under tough conditions as it may not be as durable as the other options.
If you want something that combines between functionality and reliability while giving you great value for your money, the Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table with Essential Accessories is your best bet.
Finally, if you’re looking for a solid and durable router table that will survive the toughest working conditions with heavy-duty jobs, the KREG PRS1045 Precision Router Table System should be your choice.