Router Table Comparison

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

bench top router table

Figure A

Related To:

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

Figure B

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

Figure C

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

Figure D

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

Figure E

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

Figure F

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.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Plunge Router

DIY experts explain the uses of a plunge router.

Trim Routers

See why the trim router has become a workshop staple.

Tips on Using a Router Table

Router tables allow users to run wood over the router instead of running the tool over the wood. Here are a few tips on using a router table, ensuring safety and accuracy.

Concrete Nail Gun

This concrete nail gun is a tough fastening tool that drives nails all the way through concrete.

Rotary-Tool Basics

Rotary tools accept a variety of attachments, which enable the handheld tool to be used for sanding, polishing, carving and more. Find out which attachment you need to help get the job done.

Jackhammer Tips

Recommendations for safely operating a jackhammer.

Pneumatic Nailers

Host David Thiel explains what to look for when buying a pneumatic nailer.

Sandpaper Basics

Power sanders are great for smoothing large surfaces, but for sanding tough areas, a sheet of sandpaper is best. Here's a guide on how to choose the best sandpaper for any project.

Air-Nailer Basics

For those tired of swinging a hammer, a pneumatic air nailer may be the answer. Here are a few air nailers that make driving nails faster and more effective.

Key Features You Want in a Drill and Essential Drill Bits

Drills, driving bits and drill bits are probably the most frequently used tools by homeowners and DIYers. Take a few minutes to learn the different types and what you really need.

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.