While woodworking quality is certainly dependent (to an extent) on the actual person doing the work, there is no doubt that having the right tools for the job can make everything much easier, and lead to better results as well.
Routers are revered among woodworkers and home hobbyists for their ability to create a number of different cuts in wood, ranging from textures to joinery cuts. While these are useful on their own, using a router table ensures consistent results, that are also easier to attain.
Every table come in many different forms, and offer different uses as well. There are now more products on the market than ever, so if you’re shopping for one, it can be difficult sorting through all the options to find the one that’s best for you.
We devoted countless hours researching and testing a wide range of tables currently available, until settling on what we think are the top 10 best router table plans for 2018. We were sure to include several different types, which span a range of budgets as well.
Before we got to that, let’s first go over what table routers are, and what makes them so useful.
The Best Router Tables for 2018
Bench Dog 40-001 ProTop Contractor
Kreg PRS1045 Precision Router Table
Bench Dog 40-102 ProMax Cast Iron
Craftsman Router Table Combo
GoPlus New Electric Aluminum
Top Router Table Reviews For 2018
BOSCH RA1181 - Best Benchtop Router Table
The Bosch RA1181 is a popular for a reason. This affordable, bench-mounted router table is incredibly well-designed, and comes with some very helpful features that allow for numerous styles of workpieces. It’s moderate size makes it a fine choice for hobbyists who have the space for a larger table that can handle most any size of workpiece.
The BOSCH RA1181 benchtop router table can attach to any workbench, and has a 27” x 18” work surface that is 6 feet long. It comes with a very rigid aluminum mounting plate that has three different insert rings to accommodate most any Bosch router, and many other brands as well.
The table is equipped with an aluminum fence that is very adjustable, and features MDF faceplates on the front, along with two adjustable featherboards that can easily be used as guides for your workpieces.
Above the router bit area is a clear dust guard that lets you work without obstructing your view, while preventing dust from flying all over the place. Multiple holes surround the bit area so you can install the included starter pin when making curved cuts. There’s even a dust collector port that allows for vacuum hose installation if desired.
Overall, it’s hard to find a better value for the money in terms of quality and versatility. The RA1181 very capable, and has plenty of handy cutting options and convenient features to make your woodwork go smoothly each time.
The Bench Dog 40-001 ProTop Contractor is a compact benchtop table that is designed to be portable enough to easily bring onto the job site when you need precision router cuts in a moment’s notice. And although it may be a smaller size, this table can truly do it all with ease, and packs a number of features and designs into one package.
Contractor’s router table top has a smooth and durable laminate coating, and measures 26” x 16”, giving you just enough space to seamlessly handle standard workpieces with little effort. Twin steel rails support the router inside, and an enclosed birch plywood cabinet reduces noise.
The table includes an aluminum miter accessory track that is easily adjustable, plus accessory t-slots on the table itself, and the fence so you can mount featherboards, stops, switches, and more. A heavy-duty, one-piece fence includes adjustable sub-fences, and the entire assembly can be flipped to the other side of the table to handle larger pieces.
Rubber feet come equipped on the 40-001 ProTop Contractor’s bottom, helping to reduce both slippage and vibration during use. A 2.5” dust port accommodates most shop vacs, and the inside of the cabinet has plenty of room for storage.
If you want a top-tier router table, but also need one that’s compact, the 40-001 ProTop Contractor has the ideal combination of the two. Yes, it’s a little pricer than others, but well worth it.
Kreg PRS2100 - One of the Top Rated Router Tables of 2018
The Kreg PRS2100 is another great example of a compact table for routers that offers a great deal of versatility and strength in a small package. The table’s design makes it one of the most portable tables you’ll come across, and while it may not be flashy, all of the essential components are top-tier.
The Kreg PRS2100 has an MDF table top that measures 16” x 24” and has an easy slide surface for seamless movement of your workpiece while cutting it. A full-size router plate with plate levelers and level-loc reducing rings is included, all on top of a heavy-duty steel stand that is very stable.
The table’s fence industrial-level fence assembly includes adjustable faces, vertical jointing, and quarter-turn locking levers that let you lock it in place quickly. A clear dust shield allows you to see through during cutting, while blocking out flying debris and dust.
3 different insert plates are included to better match varying sizes of routers and a vacuum shroud behind the fence can connect to standard shop vac sizes to keep your work area even more dust-free. Rubber feet give the table added stability and dampen excessive vibrations from larger routers.
The Kreg PRS2100 is easily one of the most stable and lightweight router tables you’ll find. If you’re looking for a highly-portable router table that offers a surprising amount of industrial strength, this is it.
Bosch RA1171 - Best Router Table For 2018
The Bosch RA1171 is best described as a small version of the RA1181, boasting many of the same features and capabilities, just in a much more scaled down package. The RA1171 isn’t the most portable router table despite its size, so it’s best for those who have small workshop, and need a reliable, bench-mounted.
The table measures 25-1/2" wide by 14-1/2" high by 15-7/8" deep, and weighs 42 pounds. It includes an aluminum mounting plate that stay perfectly flat during use, and is pre-drilled to accommodate a huge range of routers, Bosch or not.
The back portion of the table features a dual outlet for powering other tools, while the front has a locking power switch to prevent accidents, which is certainly appreciated. The table’s aluminum fence has adjustable face plates, with a max opening of 3-3/16" and a max throat opening of 3-5/8".
The RA1171 comes with a solid amount of extras that include two adjustable featherboards that can be used on the fence or the miter track, a clear dust guard, starter pins for round cuts, and a two separate dust collection ports that can be used on their own, or with a vacuum.
If you’re enticed by the RA1181, but don’t have the space required for it, the RA1171 is a perfect solution, and saves you a small bit of money as well.
Router table extensions have two uses: you can either extend your table saw surface area while letting it double as a router saw, or combine the two in order to save space in your workshop. Either way, Bench Dog’s 40-102 ProMax Cast Iron is perfectly suitable for both, and showcases an industrial quality that relies on durability and smart design.
The ProMax includes a cast-iron top, and accepts 8-1/4" x 11-3/4" table plates, along with a miter gauge track that adjusts for a no-slop fit. A heavy-duty on/off button resides on the side, and the table rests on casters that come with locks for added stability during use.
A 28" ProFence features a dual fence slot configuration allows you to rotate the fence and work from either side of the table so you can maximize surface area. Plus, with a third miter slot at its disposal, your table saw becomes perfectly equipped to handle crosscut sleds. The fence can also quickly dismount and hang down on provided j-hooks when using your tablesaw.
The ProMax is adjustable in nearly every area, making it one of the most versatile tables available. Its combination of industrial strength and compatibility with table saw setups makes it very much worth the higher price.
The Craftsman Router Table Combo includes both the table and the router, making it a true all-in-one purchase that has everything needed to get started using routers immediately. The combo clearly takes a few shortcuts to keep the price down, but it’s still very much a great buy for hobbyists on a budget.
The included router has 9.5 amps and a 1-3/4 HP motor that runs at 27,000 RPMs. It’s built with permanently lubricated and sealed ball bearings, cutting down on maintenance and adding more durability.
The tabletop has a smooth laminated surface, 334 square inches of total space, and is 11/16 inches thick. A double outlet power strip with a includes a safety lock for worry-free operation, and the miter gauge adjusts up to 60 degrees in both directions. The three insert rings have opening diameters of 1-1/4", 1-1/2", and 1-3/4".
The table’s fence adjusts for proper bit clearance, with the infeed and outfeed capable of extending up to two inches, and the jointing fence offsetting up to 9/16 inches. A standard dust extraction port is available for shop vac hook-ups, keeping the cutting area cleaner during use.
While the Craftsman Router and Table Combo isn’t intended for demanding professional use, it’s the perfect solution for the hobbyist who needs a capable router combo without going over $120.
Kreg PRS1045 - Best Professional Router Table
The Kreg PRS1045 is the best professional router table. It's also a good choice for those who need an industrial-strength product that also offers ample surface size, giving it the ability to handle large tasks with regularity. It’s completely freestanding, and provides an instant upgrade to a hobbyist's shop, or for the serious contractor who needs a reliable table for your router.
The table has a 24" x 32" surface with a 1"-thick MDF core, helping it absorb vibrations, and also offering increased mass to help ensure a more stable router-table. High-pressure laminate adds durability, while helping your workpieces glide easily across. Steel-reinforced struts keep the table flat, and add more stability.
The PRS1045’s innovative, anodized-aluminum fence has a T-Square adjustment system that ensures the fence always remains parallel to the miter-gauge slot. The fence can easily adjust with just one hand, and locks firmly in place with dual locks.
The table sits atop a heavy-duty stand that’s crafted from heavy-gauge steel, and can be adjusted from 31" to 39" high, with levelers that can compensate for uneven floors. The stand also has pre-drilled holes that make it easy to mount accessories if needed.
The Kreg PRS1045 precision is a superior quality router table that is built to last for years, while providing an array of customized options that can satisfy even the most advanced woodworker. It is definitely worth the price for those who can get a high level of use out of it.
The SKIL RAS900 is an incredibly versatile that provides an impressive value, and a high amount of convenience and portability that is unmatched by other products. The RAS900 offers all of the features found with other small-scale router-tables, in a much more innovative package.
The table makes use of a unique folding design that allows the legs to fold into itself, making it easier to transport while saving space as well. A 26” x 16.5”. smooth laminated MDF top lets workpieces move easily across the surface.
A quick clamp router mounting system releases the router in seconds for quick and easy bit changes, without the need for any leveling. A bit height gauge reduces setup time, and better ensures accurate cuts.
The RAS900’s tall fence comes with adjustable MDF faces that include feed shims for jointing. An integrated T-track holds both featherboards and auxiliary jigs. Two integrated accessory storage boxes are built into the legs, keeping loose parts organized and out of the way. A starter pin is included as well, along with a dual outlet switch equipped with overload protection and a lockout key.
SKIL RAS900 is more geared towards hobbyists who need to save on space when not using the table, but it’s also a convenient option for contractors that need a router table on the go in a moment’s notice.
Rockler Trim - Top Choice for Portable Router Table
Not everyone needs a standard-sized table for thier router all the time. The Rockler Trim table represents the small router tables that are intentionally simple and easy to use, and more geared towards smaller applications.
This table comes with pre-drilled holes on the back that allow you attach a clamping strip for fast use on a bench, table, piece of plywood, or even the tailgate of a truck. The table sets up fast, and lets you detach the router off the table without the need for tools.
An acrylic base provides a wide, level base for freehand routing, and the 3/4" x 11-1/2" x 15-1/2" tabletop is made of durable vinyl-wrapped MDF that holds up to long term use.
The Rockler Trim has an adjustable fence with a 1-1/2" opening, and T-Knobs that make quick fence adjustments on the fly. A high-visibility safety bit guard fits popular trim routers, but if not, you can easily drill the base to fit your specific router.
The Rockler Trim isn’t complicated or full of features, but its quality materials and smart design make it one of the best portable router tables you can buy -- and all for under $60.
GoPlus’ New Electric Aluminum is a portable benchtop router table that can also serve as a standalone table in some environments. It’s a good choice for anyone who needs a portable router table that doesn’t always need to be affixed to a surface, or at least with clamps.
The table’s 13.1-inch by 17.7-inch main portion is made of aluminum, and is designed for routers that use up to a 6 inch diameter base plate. The foldable 7.8-inch extensions on each side are made from steel.
A miter track in built into the front, and includes an angle adjustment guide that allows for easier round cuts. The table’s smooth and sturdy fence can be switched to either side, and includes a clear dust guard in the center that avoids obstructing your view of the bit during operation.
The GoPlus New Electric Aluminum router table is obviously not intended for heavy professional use on a regular basis, but is is an affordable option for anyone in need of a smaller table for certain uses, or simply the portability that makes it easier to bring along on certain jobs.
Our Top Pick
While all of these router tables are among the best you can buy in their respective areas, we picked one that not only has the most crossover appeal, but the most quality overall as well.
While we were first tempted to go with the Bosch RA1181, the bigger size was a bit of a drawback in regards to the more casual user. So, in our opinion, the Bosch RA1171 is the best choice, as it offers the same level of quality and features of the RA1181, but in a smaller package that the hobbyist woodworker can accommodate easier.
The design of the RA1171 is exceptionally smart, and the fact that it comes with everything from featherboards to a starter pin gives it even more value. The low price is just a bonus. If you’re looking for the best router table that is good for both occasional use and contractor-level work, the Bosch RA1171 should be your top choice.
What is a Router Table?
Easily one of the most useful and versatile additions you can make to your shop, a router table is a stationary woodworking machine in which a vertically oriented spindle of a woodworking router protrudes from the machine table and can be spun at speeds typically between 3000 and 24,000 rpm. (Source)
The table often has a vertical fence, so the workpiece can be easily guided to control the horizontal depth of cut. These can be used to boost the versatility of a hand-held router.
By mounting a router securely within the table, both hands are freed up for optimal control during the cut. The extra control makes routing cuts much easier, such as routing grooves or edge profiles. (Source)
The table can also allow you to do some things you couldn't safely do with a handheld router, like routing narrow stock, making cope-and-stick joinery cuts on the rails, stiles for paneled doors, or cutting the raised panels themselves. (Source)
What to Consider When Shopping for a Router Table?
Router tables are not all that complicated, but there are some aspects you need to be mindful of when choosing.
Flat, Solid Top - The router table top needs to be entirely flat and able to withstand bending. The smallest movements and angles matter when using a router on wood, so you need to be sure the top can withstand the stress. You’ll need a bigger size if you plan on using large workpieces on a regular basis.
Miter and T-Slots - While you will be using the fence as a guide the majority of the time, there are times when you’ll need different ways to hold or guide the wood. In this case, it’s good to find a model that has miter and t-slots that will allow you to be accurate when working with wood that can’t rest against the fence.
Fence - Fences are the pieces fastened to the tabletop that guide the workpiece over the router bit. Some fences are very simple, while others are in two pieces for more complicated work. The more adjustable, the better.
Base - Stability is crucial with router tables for obvious reasons. Bases vary on different types of models, and some may even be on casters. Regardless of the type, it’s essential to be sure the base type is right for your environment, whether it stands alone, is fastened to a bench, or rolls on wheels.
Extras - Some tables come with a number of convenient extras to make your tasks a little easier. This includes features like a built in light, and drawers for bit and tool storage.