Bench Top Router Table Reviews
Buying a bench top router table today can be a little bit frustrating. I get asked all kinds of questions. I notice a lot of people are trying to do things on bench top tables that really should be reserved for larger tables. The reason is most bench top tables are short on features. Even if they have all the features of a bigger table they use non standard sizes which make it hard to use. A good example of this would be miter track.
Miter track comes in an industry standard size ¾” slot. All accessories are made to ¾ and fit most tables with miter track. Some bench top manufactures make their tables with smaller track and then nothing fits in them except for what they give you. Another key problem with the features of the smaller tables is that they are not made very well. This kind of boggles the mind.
If you took the great quality and shrunk it down to smaller size, why would it not sell? The answer is, it will, but not many do it. So what is the solution? Well look for features that you know you want or need. Miter track Split fences Dust ports Fence t-track Bench legs that can be bolted to workbenches or stands Large work areas Heavy duty part Router table inserts If you look at the tables today you can find an interesting comparison to their features. The tables that are most popular are Bosch 1181 RTD Super Bench Rousseau Folding Table Rockler Skil Model 450 At the bottom of the pile is the Skil 450. It is manufactured for several different brands. It’s a very good beginner table but it does have a lot of limitations and has a lot of non standard equipment. The biggest drawback is that you cannot use any router on it. The Bosch 1181 table is loaded with features, which is great. It too will not fit all routers. It is also very expensive and if you choose to add the matching stand, that will set you back another $100.
It’s not so much the quality but the price that detracts from this table set. The Super Bench from Router Table Depot has every feature that you might want, and all in standard sizes. The price is very competitive and offers you the most standard features for the best price of all the tables reviewed. The Rousseau folding table is another feature rich table with a high sticker price. You can add a few more features with the RTD table and still come in a little lower in price. The foldable legs could come in handy if you have wall space to hang it on. Rockler makes a nice design with wooden legs. However the top does not have an insert which discourages the creation of raised panels. They do have snap in rings but they are not big enough for the larger bits available today. The low price is felt on the lack of features.
Putting all the tables side by side gives you a great comparison of what’s important to you. This is always a good idea whether you are buying a woodworking tool or a car.
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