If you are serious about becoming a professional woodworker, you need the best router for table mounting.
At the end of the day, handheld routers are less stable and powerful if you work on large-scale projects. Even one single mistake can cost you weeks of effort.
However, there are just too many mounting table routers available on the market. That is why determining the most suitable pick has become quite a challenging problem.
To lessen the time and effort you need to fork out, we have prepared this article to help you choose to right one for your need.
Table of Contents
- Benefits of Use A Router For Table Mounting
- 5 Best Router For Table Mounting – Reviews
- How To Choose The Best Router For Router Table
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 1. Is It Possible To Mount A Router On A Taller Stand Instead Of a Table?
- 2. Why you should use a router table?
- 3. How does router table work?
- 4. Is It Safe To Use Table-Mounting Routers?
- 5. Will My Router Fit With My Table?
- 6. What Size Should My Mounting Plate Be?
- 7. Should I Use a Fixed Base Router Or Plunge Router On A Router Table?
- 8. How Do I Maintain My Table Mounting Router?
Benefits of Use A Router For Table Mounting
The first benefit that you will realize using a table mounting router is that it is much more precise.
As you may know, routers tremble a lot due to the motors. If you use a handheld router, this trembling may be so serious that you simply cannot move it correctly.
Once it’s mounted to a table, however, the trembling is limited to a minimum. As such, you can freely move the workpiece however you like without too much caution.
Remember, precision and speed are incredibly important for heavy-duty projects.
As long as you keep working with wood, encountering stocks with unique sizes and shapes is only natural.
These stocks are simply too hard to be cut with a handheld model, so you need a full router table to work with them.
5 Best Router For Table Mounting – Reviews
1. Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Tool Combo Kit
The best option may not have the most power nor the quickest operating speed, but it must be the most versatile.
In this aspect, the Bosch 1617EVSPK will surely satisfy you with its incredible versatility.
The scope of this router’s multifunction is simply unbelievable. You can use it for many wood routing applications such as edge forming, bit cutting, slot cutting with little to no issue.
The device is also capable of performing dovetail cutting and laminate trimming to a certain degree.
While its power is certainly not the highest on this list, 2.25 HP is still respectable and enough for most applications.
The motor is also customizable, allowing you to choose optimal speeds between 8,000 and 25,000 RPM. This characteristic improves its all-around quality even more.
You get all the necessary components for precise fixed-depth routing in the same package. There is no need to spend additional cash on things like collet chucks, collet nut wrench, or shaft wench.
The biggest problem that we spotted while trying this option out is it getting quite hot under an unusually heavy load.
That is why we do not recommend using it for any heavy-duty wood routing application project. As routers are dangerous machinery, you should be extra careful.
2. Makita RT0701C Compact Router 1-1/4 HP
Sometimes, a woodworker needs to move away from their workshop for some on-site work. If you are a mobile woodworker or contractor, you can’t go wrong with the Makita RT0701C.
Weighing at only 3.9 pounds, this router is less than half the weight of all other routers on this list. It also has quite an ergonomic design, improving its portability even more.
The whole thing can fit comfortably in your hand, so tucking it into a suitcase to carry around is not hard at all.
Despite its lightweight and small size, you should not underestimate this device. It can go anywhere between 10,000 and 30,000 RPM, letting you rip through most normal wood types.
You can easily change the speed with a single touch, thanks to the dial control scheme.
The shaft lock mechanism makes it incredibly simple to change the bit while you are working.
However, once you have locked it in, this mechanism will also keep the bit firmly in place. As such, there is much less of a chance for an accident to happen.
Of course, there must be a trade-off for such a small and portable size. The motor of this machine can only go up to 1-1/4 HP, which is not nearly enough for any heavy-duty application.
If the Bosch 1617EVSPK only struggles under heavy load, this machine may even break.
3. DEWALT DW618 Fixed Base 2-1/4 HP Router
Routers operate at an incredible speed, so it goes without saying that most of them tremble a lot. Therefore, there is a high chance of your hard work being destroyed due to the trembling.
You can fix this issue by getting a stable one like the DEWALT DW618 with 2.25 HP and variable speed from 8,000-24,000 rpm
The reason for this stability lies in the machine’s integrated constant response circuit. It will automatically detect anomalies in the speed of the motor and make appropriate changes.
As a result, this option is capable of maintaining a constant speed throughout the whole cutting process.
The depth adjustment that this machine offers is also nothing to scoff at, as it has an interesting tech. DEWALT makes use of micro-fine rings for depth adjustment, which is capable of 1/64-inch increments.
That’s not all, you can also adjust the device vertically, allowing a constant switch location.
Most of the routers on the market are not friendly to left-handed people, but this one is an exception.
It lets you choose where to put the switch as well as the cordset location. As such, you can always have the best possible form to work with.
You do need to be aware that this router is as fixed-base as it gets, so it will not turn.
Due to this reason, whenever you work on a complicated project, be prepared to regularly move around it. You should also have a respectably large working space.
4. SKIL RT1322-00 14 Amp Plunge and Fixed Base Router Combo
One of the most vital aspects of a router is precision, as it will decide how your final result turns out. You may have the most stable hand, but it doesn’t matter if your machine is imprecise.
If you value the importance of precision, then check out the SKIL RT1322-00 2.5 HP Router Combo.
All the options that we introduced above have speed control, but they are all manual. This choice offers you an LCD display and purely digital speed control.
As a result, there simply is no way that you can make a mistake, such as accidentally overturning the control knob.
This device is quite focused on safety measures. It has a soft start function, which lets you start the cutting process in a controlled and safe state.
Starting too fast and strong means that both the workpiece and the machine get damaged. With this function, the chance of a destructive start is nil.
Aside from the speed control display and the soft start, it also has a live tool indicator. The indicator will light up whenever the device is powered.
You should not underestimate this function, as most accidents with routers happen because the user does not realize that their router is on.
We have observed that this option has one weakness, a lack of notches and markings. Also, it does not fit with bushings made by other companies.
5. Triton TRA001 Dual Mode 3-1/4 HP Precision Plunge Router
Cable routing is all about heavy-duty projects, but none of the routers that we have introduced can be called heavy-duty.
That is why we prepare this beast, the Triton TRA001, for the last position.
Its motor is capable of reaching as much as 3-1/4 HP, which means there simply is no wood that it can’t cut. All you need to do is guide it properly, and it will rip through the workpiece in no time.
Also, this power is supported by a 3-stage turret, allowing precise cut depths.
If you worry that this machine’s towering power will increase the temperature during operating, you can rest assured.
Due to strategically placed side air vents, the dust intake is reduced to a minimum. So, this device does not overheat under any circumstance.
Of course, as the Triton TRA001 is incredibly powerful, the creators manufacturer put in quite a bit of safety features.
One of them is the completely enclosed guard, which will protect your hand completely from the cut zone. There is also the automatic spindle lock, which makes changing a bit much safer.
While the side air vents are great for temperature control, they also increase the amount of dust intake. For this reason, the dust within this machine’s shield builds up quite fast.
How To Choose The Best Router For Router Table
Certainly, there is no way that you can overlook power whenever you pick a router for router table.
If your router does not have enough power for specific jobs, it will either damage itself or the workpiece.
However, simply chasing the most power possible is also not a good path. After all, the more powerful the engine is, the heavier it must be. A heavy engine means that your device will be much less manageable.
Mounting the router to your table will certainly help with alleviating the weight. Nonetheless, it cannot eliminate the effect completely.
For those reasons, we recommend first figure out an upper and lower limit for your ideal router’s power. Any number within this limit should be good enough for you.
If it’s table routing, the minimum should be 1.25 HP like the Makita RT0701C and the maximum 3.25 HP like the Triton TRA001
Even if you are cutting according to the same design, there’s a high chance that the material is different.
Different woods require different speeds. That is why the variable speed feature is one of the most sought-after characteristics for table-mounting routers.
Having this function provides your device with amazing versatility, as you can now cut all materials at appropriate speeds.
The prime example is the Makita RT0701C with the leading variable speed from 10,000 to 30,000 RPM.
A good switch for table mounting routers should be simple and as straightforward as possible. After all, you would be circling around the machine while working, so a complex system will only confuse you.
You should also make sure that your switch can lock on the operating position properly. If it turns off randomly during operating, chances are your workpiece will be destroyed.
In this aspect, the DEWALT DW618 is the best. Its switch is both simple in design and suitable for both left- and right-handed.
The appropriate type of collets for the best router for table mounting should be tempered steel ones. They also need to be precision tapered in order to fit easier into motor shafts.
If you don’t know how to identify low-quality collets, look at their core. If there are cone-shaped steel lumps, the quality is definitely low.
These collets can never grip the cutter shank properly, so their cuts are shallower. Moreover, they break easier and produce annoying chatter.
Heavy-duty routers tend to use collets that are 1/2” in size.
The depth adjustment is an awesome capability that most mounting table routers have. This feature lets you adjust the router up and down for better deep and shallow cuts.
Sometimes you will need to change the depth, as different projects require different depths. The current best depth adjustment tech is the 3-stage turret, which the Triton TRA001 possesses.
Routers, especially table mounting ones, have two main types of handles.
One of them is the knob style or the classic handle, as we like to call it. This type of handle is smaller, easier to control, and does not cost as much.
That is why most light woodworking routers will use them. On our list, the Makita RT0701C comes with this handle.
The other one is the side level handles, which are usually seen in heavy-duty machines. The reason for this phenomenon is the fact that side levels let you have easier time leverage.
Therefore, you do not need to overextend yourself while working on heavy workpieces. If you prefer this type, the Triton TRA001 can satisfy you.
Easy Change Router Bit
We all know just how annoying it can be to change the bit mid-work for a router. This issue stays the same with router tables, but this time it’s even more pressing.
After all, projects that require router tables are usually more complicated and bigger. As a result, it is necessary to change a bit constantly to keep up with the design without remove router from the table.
We recommend looking at routers having either a wide bit capacity or a uniquely designed bit changing mechanism.
To put it simply, this feature reduces the power when you start your router, ensuring that its initial operation is gentle without sudden jerking. Then It will gradually increase speed up.
As routers operate at high speed, any sudden jerking may result in accidents.
A soft start not only keeps you from dangerous kickbacks but also protects the motor from mechanical stress and heating, thus extending its service life.
If this safety feature is your first priority, you can consider the SKIL RT1322-00 on our list.
No one likes to work in a dusty environment, be it new or experienced woodworkers.
For this reason, dust extractor is now the main focus for lots of router manufacturers. It’s not an overestimation to say that all routers have dust extractors now.
However, not all of them can do their job correctly. From our experience, the most efficient ones tend to be integrated extractors.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Is It Possible To Mount A Router On A Taller Stand Instead Of a Table?
As long as your router is a bench-top type, it is possible to mount the router on a tall stand. Doing so allows you to work more comfortably, as you no longer have to strain. You do need to make sure that the stand is stable, though.
2. Why you should use a router table?
Routers often tremble a lot, so it’s not easy to control them perfectly. If you are only doing woodworking as a hobby, they can satisfy you.
However, professional woodworkers deal with huge projects that last a long time.
That is why if the router happens to tremble at the wrong time, you can waste days or even weeks of effort.
Router tables don’t have this issue, as the router is fixed in place. It will help you process projects conveniently and easier.
3. How does router table work?
Basically, a router table is a table with a router fixed on it. Instead of moving the router around, you will be feeding the material to it. In other words, you are the one doing the moving, not the router.
As a table can take in a lot more than your hands, the router will be much more stable.
4. Is It Safe To Use Table-Mounting Routers?
Yes, if you follow the safety rules, such as wearing hearing protection and safety goggles, there is almost no risk when operating a router.
5. Will My Router Fit With My Table?
If you bought a pre-made router table, it is a high chance that it will be suitable for your router.
The reason is due to the way premade router tables are designed. They have pre-drilled plates, allowing you to mount pretty much any router.
6. What Size Should My Mounting Plate Be?
Most mounting plates for routers are around 8x11x0.25 inches. This size can fit almost every single router on the market. If you happen to have a bigger one, you can make use of the pre-drilled plates.
7. Should I Use a Fixed Base Router Or Plunge Router On A Router Table?
We believe that the best possible choice should always be a fixed base.
8. How Do I Maintain My Table Mounting Router?
We recommend reading through the user manual properly when you receive the package. This manual will guide you through the troubleshooting process for most minor problems.
After reading through this guide, we believe that you are now ready to make a choice on the best router for table mounting.
As for ourselves, we believe that the Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Combo is the clear favorite.
Its incredibly versatile nature is just too much of an advantage over the competitors. The 2.25 HP motor is respectable and decent enough to take care of most woodworking projects. It also allows you to freely change between speed options.
This article has introduced you to a complete buying guide for mounting table routers along with the top 5 products reviews.
We hope that you can make use of all the information we prepared and choose the right product for your work.