Router Table Comparison

Host David Thiel compares the features of three different router tables.
bench top router table

bench top router table

A Bench Top Router Table

This entry level bench top router table has a power switch on the side of the unit so that you don't have to fumble underneath the table searching.

A Small Router Table

small router table is portable

small router table is portable

The small size of the router table makes it unsuitable for larger jobs, but the unit is light and easy to transport making it a good choice for portability. It comes with a basic miter gauge, fence and dust collection port. The aluminum tabletop has two scales built in. The scales help orient the fence front to back in relationship to the bit.

A Router Table With an Enclosed Base

router table with an enclosed base

router table with an enclosed base

Another router table is a bench top tool with an enclosed base, which gives it some heft. It has a larger table and longer fence than the entry level table. The fences are adjustable right to left as well as front to back. If you offset one fence and use a spacer with it, the tool can be used as a jointer.

A Router Table With a Built-In Lift

router table with built in lift

router table with built in lift

Some router tables have a built-in lift inside an enclosure. A wrench fits into the flush-mounted bolt on the table top. Instead of having to reach underneath the table to make height adjustments, turn the wrench to adjust the lift, which raises or lowers the bit. Raising the unit all the way up allows you to change the bit without disengaging the router from the lift.

A Full Cabinet Unit

router table has full storage cabinet

router table has full storage cabinet

This full cabinet unit has an even longer fence and more storage space than the previous router table. A dust collection port is mounted on the back of the fence. This particular one has the same type of router lift as the bench top model so you can make height adjustments from the table. The lift does not necessarily come with the table. The power switch is also mounted on the table top so you can get to it easily. Also, it has a full-size miter slot.

A Precision Lift

precision lift is digital

precision lift is digital

This precision lift has a digital readout which is an upgrade that can be mounted into many different router tables. You can turn the handle to set the router bit at the exact height you need.

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