Last Updated on February 11, 2021 by Robert L. Perkins
As a woodworker, your job requires meticulous care and skill, thus anything that makes it more convenient is a massive plus point. That is precisely where table-mounted wood routers come in.
Unlike their handheld counterparts, these allow you more space to work with, gives more freedom with regards to choosing a router and allows you to work with larger sizes.
But we all already know that, so without further ado, this is our reviews of the top 8 best router for router table. Our only goal is to help you make the right choice for your woodworking endeavors.
Best Router for Router Table – Comparison
8 Best Routers for Router Table Reviews
We now begin our reviews of the eight best products out there today when it comes to table-mounted routers. The rankings are made according to multiple criteria such as maximum working depth, motor, speed, extra features, etc.
1. Bosch Variable Speed Wood Router for Router Table
- The motor is 2.25 horsepower
- Aluminum base and housing
- 8,000 RPM to 25,000 RPM
- Two different sized collets, height adjustment wrench, mounting hardware
In terms of motor, it comes with a two and a quarter horsepower machine that has a 12-ampere current rating, and as for speed, it offers a very decent range from 8000 RPM and can reach 25,000 RPM, suitable for a variety of different projects and needs.
It is fitted with a variable speed dial that allows you to alternate between these speeds as per your own requirements.
Taking this a step even further, this router has an advanced speed control system that prevents any fluctuations from the desired speed and intensity while the machine is running.
As for its structure and material, it has a tough, durable aluminum base and housing. And finally, with the router, you will also receive two different sized collets, ½, and ¼, chip shield, deeply forged wrenches, hardware required for mounting, and a table height adjusting wrench.
It is also worth mentioning that Bosch is one of the most renowned companies in the world across various industries, and their usually reliable products and customer service are other definite plus points going into buying this router.
2. DEWALT 12-AMP Plunge Router for Router Table
- 2-1/4-HP horsepower motor
- 8,000-24,000 RPM
- Variable motor speed control
- Electronic feedback system on motor
- Adjustment ring for changing bit depth
Whatever your task may be, there is a good chance this motor will have you covered as long as you don’t exceed its size capacity. While that gives you power, this router also comes with features that give you control and versatility.
Its variable speed control feature allows you to adjust the intensity at which you work, in accordance to what fits your needs. This allows you to develop customized working frameworks for different applications, depending on what you need.
When there is no load applied, this has a speed range starting from 16,000 RPM going all the way up to 27,000 RPM. Staying with the motor, it is also programmed with a soft starting feature.
This design allows it to function with an all-time electronic feedback system. The purpose of this is to maintain a uniform motor speed throughout the cut, ensuring your work is smooth and gives you the desired outcome.
Additionally, this product comes with dual LEDs, helping improve visibility while you work and an adjustable ring that lets you alter the bit depth to an incredibly fine 1/64 of an inch.
3. PORTER-CABLE 690LR 11-AMP Fixed Base Router
- Single-speed, 27,500 RPM motor with 1 and ¾ horsepower
- Cam lock lever for height adjustment
- Micro-meter depth adjustor
- Extra layers of molding on handles
However, while you may not be able to apply this to larger bits, for smaller ones, it can be a particularly handy tool to possess. Unlike all the other entries, the 690LR has a single speed motor, meaning it can only operate at one speed, that being 27,500 revolutions per minute.
While it does lead to loss of versatility, you can get plenty in terms of stability and absence of fluctuations as you work. The motor housing and base are both made of precisely machined aluminum.
For making height adjustments and motor release, you will get a cam lock lever.
Another of its key aspects is the precision of depth adjustment. It is fitted with a micro-meter depth adjustor that allows you to manipulate depth to 1/128th of an inch, giving you an extremely fine degree of control.
In order to improve durability, the router has a dual-sealed switch and sealed ball bearing. Last but least, the handles have been overmolded to give you a greater sense of comfort and ease as you work.
4. Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit
- The motor that has 1.25 horsepower capacity
- The range of speeds possible is 10,000 to 30,000 RPM
- Cam lock feature for altering the depth
- Soft start action
- Smooth rack and pinion depth adjuster
As for precision, much like the previous product, we reviewed from Makita, this one too comes with a smooth rack and pinion fine depth adjusting mechanism.
This allows a great deal of fine-tuning and micro-adjustments with regards to depth, giving you great much control over your work.
The body of the router is made with a slim and ergonomic design so as to make the working experience a more comfortable one for the user.
The router is also fitted with a cam lock system. It has a quick-release mechanism that enables rapid adjustments to depth, giving you a greater degree of control as you work. It also aids with the removal and installation of the base.
The motor has a soft start action, making the router easy and risk-free to start up, and similar to several of the other products we included here, this product, too, has an electronic feedback system to keep up a constant speed of working.
5. DEWALT DW625 3-HP Plunge Router for Table Mounting
- Powerful motor with 3 horsepower
- Electronic wave speed adjustment from 8,000 to 22,000 RPM
- Micro-fine depth adjustment
- Comes with two sizes of the collet
- Features template guide bushing adaptor, wrench, and dust extraction adaptor
The higher power rating for the motor allows this router to be used on larger bits compared to the previous one. Along with power, it also offers precisions and control, something just as important and desired by consumers.
The router can work at anywhere between 8,000 and 22,000 RPM and is fully electronic controlled.
Aside from the motor and power features, this product also has a rack and pinion depth adjuster, allowing you to drill to your own chosen depth. The adjustments can be a micro-fine adjustment and magnified scale using rack and pinion depth adjuster and allow a tremendous amount of fine-tuning.
A magnified scale adds to the precision with which you can alter your settings. All and all, you will have a great deal of control over fine details and depth manipulation. The base is relatively wide, and the whole kit does not weigh a significant amount.
Extra utilities that come with it include collets of two different sizes to suit your specific needs, wrench, template bushing adaptor, and a dust extraction adapter.
6. Makita 3-1/4HP Plunge Router with Electric Brak
- Motor power is 3.25 horsepower
- Electronic speed control and electronic brakes
- Twin LED lights
- Shaft lock for changing bits
- Lock-on trigger switch for running continuously
It runs on a 15 ampere electrical supply, and the voltage requirement is 120 volts. When there is no load applied, the router can work at speeds starting from 8,000 RPM and goes all the way up to 22,000 RPM.
As the name implies, this router works in a plunge-action that is both smooth and efficient. The wide speed range allows for increased precision when there is a need for fine-tuning your work.
In addition to that, it also offers variable speed control mechanisms, electronic speed control, and an electric brake. Other features include an oversized ball bearing construction. The purpose of this is to prolong the lifespan of the tool, giving you more value for your money.
There are twin LED lights built into it, providing better visibility as you drill into the wood.
The handles are also tailored for giving you extra comfort when the router is running. They are made with an ergonomic design and also have a two-finger switch that allows you to have better control during working.
Finally, there is a shaft lock if you want to change between bits more rapidly, along with a lock-on trigger switch, which lets the router run continuously.
7. PORTER-CABLE 2-1/4-Horsepower Router for Router Table
- Motor rated 2.25 horsepower, 12 amp
- Electronic mechanism of feedback
- 10,000 to 23,000 RPM speed control
- Spindle lock for single wrench bit changes
- Dual power switch
The electricity rating is 12-ampere. Its important feature when it comes to the motor is the electronic feedback system. This mechanism allows the maintenance of a uniform speed and intensity all throughout the working process, giving you the desired quality of results.
This becomes especially useful if you are working on a tough piece that provides a lot of resistance to the router. There is also a variable speed control feature, allowing you to alter the working speed to anywhere between 10,000 RPM to 23,000 RPM, depending on your own needs.
To mount the router, you must release the motor, fix the bit height to what you need it to be, and clamp the motor overlooking the router table. Additional control features include a dual power switch. This gives you the benefit of reducing the power input while still handling the motor.
Lastly, the grips have been over-molded, improving the comfortability as you work on that wood, and there is also a spindle lock, included to let you implement single wrench bit changes.
8. PORTER-CABLE Fixed Base Router for Router Table
- 25 horsepower, 15 amp motor
- Electronic feedback system
- 10,000 RPM to 21,000 RPM
- Plunge base with steel guide rods, machined brass bushings, through-the-column dust collector
The comparatively lower motor power makes it more suitable for smaller bits. It has a soft starting action that allows you to ease into your work and is equipped with an electronic feedback mechanism that allows the maintenance of a constant working speed regardless of application.
The variable speed control option is also there, once more offering a range starting at 10,000 RPM and going all the way up to 23,000 RPM, giving you tremendous versatility with regards to the kind of tasks you can perform using this router.
In addition, to ensure the user of a smooth plunge, the router also came with steel guide rods and machined brass bushings, making the plunge base one of its biggest plus points.
And that is not all, the plunge base also includes a through-the-column dust collection system that gives you better dust removal and improved visibility over your line of cutting.
Things to Consider Before Buying
If you are confused by the storm of features and advantages and disadvantages we just threw your way, then don’t worry, we will also be helping you decide which of those should be of interest to you. The following are some of the key things you should consider to buy the best router for a router table.
Your Level of Expertise
One of the oldest debates surrounding routers is whether to go for a fixed base or plunge routers. A major factor that should determine this choice is how well do you understand routers and woodworking.
Normally, fixed base routers are easier to use compared to plunge ones and are a better choice for beginners. The latter is often referred to as comparatively more cumbersome.
The Complexity of the Task
If your work only involves a single pass and the need to drill to only one depth, a fixed base router will be an easier option for you. All you would have to do is fix said depth and start working.
On the contrary, if you are working on something more complicated that requires several passes and the need to drill to different depths, then you may be better off with a plunge router. This will usually involve several passes through the same area and multiple adjustments in depth.
Some of our routers had micro-fine depth adjustment mechanisms, which can be invaluable in letting you maintain the desired quality of work. In addition, there are combo kits that include both these functionalities and can be more versatile tools to have.
Frequency of Use
Like all machines, how much you invest in one depends on how much you will actually use it. If you are just a casual hobbyist who works on wood occasionally as a pastime, then chances are you may not need a router heavily packed with features.
On the other hand, if you are a professional or a dedicated artist, then you could have used for utilities such as LED lights for visibility, suction features for dust removal, ergonomic handle design to improve comfort as your hands will be on them for long periods of time, and so on.
We focussed a lot on the motor power of our products. The reason being, as was mentioned previously, the power requirement increases with the size of the bit you will be working with.
While smaller bits may be dealt with by motors of 1 horsepower or a little over, larger bits may require as high as 3 horsepower motors. Your choice needs to reflect your needs.
Single Speed vs. Variable Speed Motor
This is another distinction made based on the nature of your use.
If you have to drill to the same depth or generally perform the same type of task over and over again, as is often the case with professionals who specialize in particular kinds of craftsmanship, then you will be fine with a single-speed motor, free of fluctuations and the need for adjusting your machine.
On the other hand, if your use is varying, then you will want a motor with a range of speed options.
This is directly related to durability. For example, some of the products we reviewed had aluminum bases for added longevity. Usually, the longer-lasting products will cost you extra money, so it is something you need to decide according to how much use you want out of your router.
You will already have a table and other working tools in place for your woodworking purposes. The table is particularly important when buying a router as you want your machine to be suitable for it in terms of height and height adjustment mechanism.
Woodworking can be hazardous work, especially when you are using powerful automated tools such as a router. Below we cover some important safety precautions that you should look into;
Wherever there is electrical wiring, there is a need for vigilance. Routers will be moving along the table and the wood you are working on, in a left to right action. You should ensure the cables are connected and secured firmly to avoid any electricity-related accidents.
Staying with electricity, as you may have noticed already, routers come with their own current and voltage specifications. Now the voltage requirement may not match the normal AC supply you get at home, thus adaptors may be necessary to ensure the motor gets the correct input for it to function properly.
Organize the Table Properly
Secure the stocks you are working on and make sure everything is arranged so that you will have sufficient room to move. You don’t want to get impeded while you are drilling. Once more, keep in mind the router moves from left to right.
Working on wood will almost certainly be generating a lot of dust. Some routers may have automated features for dealing with it, but you will still be well advised to wear protective goggles to shield your eyes from any unwanted exposure.
Protecting Your Hands
Due to the nature of the work, you cannot be wearing gloves. This makes it even more imperative when using a drilling tool such as a router that you devote utmost care and caution towards your hands as you work.
Avoid Cutting Corners
Another one for your hands, or, more specifically, the fingers. It is best to avoid applying a router to the corners unless absolutely necessary. A moment’s lapse in concentration is all it may take to become one finger short.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a few questions which pop up the most when it comes to table-mounted routers; we try to answer them below;
Q: How powerful does my router need to be?
A: It depends on the bit size you are working with. Smaller bit sizes may only require 1-1.5 horsepower routers, larger ones may need 2-3 horsepower ones.
Q: What speed range do I need from my router?
A: You have to decide that according to the nature of your work. If you have to drill to different depths with a lot of adjustments needed, then you will need a wider RPM range.
Q: Basic router or one with a lot of features?
A: This is a question of how serious is your work. If you are a professional who works with wood all the time, then extra features such as LED lights and dust collection systems can be of immense benefit.
Q: Do I need special tables for the router?
A: Not at all, any table can realistically be used for mounting your router. However, you should look into the height of your table and that ideal for the router, or whether it has height adjustment features.
Q: Do collets and other required utilities come with the router?
A: Sometimes they do, however other times you have to purchase them separately. Check the product specifications beforehand.
So, What Should You Buy
Be it a simple hobby, or the source of your livelihood, a table-mounted router can be an indispensable tool when working with wood. It can also represent a hefty blow to your pockets; hence, you should be making every possible consideration before buying.
We hope our review of these products and their various features help you make that decision.
If we had to make a single recommendation, the DEWALT DW611PK was our first choice for a reason, and we feel confident in saying it would represent a wise investment and is quite possibly the best router for router table.
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