Ask any professional woodworker how he got that precise and ultra-smooth edge on the pieces, he’ll mention a router table. Although the router table has many advantages, the main cause you get the finest preciseness is the router itself. If you have the best wood router for the table, you can expect the setup’s best output. However, choosing the best wood router for router table isn’t as easy as getting a regular free-hand plunge router.
There are a ton of things you have to consider in the router to get the best of what it does. Our specialist team on routers has done the research and has recommended some of the best wood routers for the router table in the market. Stick to the article to know in-depth about the router you’re getting for your next tool for work that you love.
Are wood routers dangerous?
The router and the router table work alongside to get you the result you’re looking forward to. However, oftentimes, beginners in the line ask about the danger, risks, and downsides of using a wood router. Well, every tool that has a sharp edge or a bit and works with might has some risks and which you can avoid. Here are some of the most important safety measures and tips you must know before starting to work with a router:
A router is one of the tools in carpentry that has the highest torque in them. So, if you somehow expose your flesh or cloth to the router bit, it won’t take a second to rip you off. It also produces a lot of wood dust and might even damage the table if mounted wrong. To avoid such catastrophe, follow the right process in mounting and usage, and put on safety gear, such as goggles, gloves, earplugs, the right clothing, etc.
Kickback and jump
As the router tables are many powerful tools, and you use them for big pieces, they might act strangely. Handheld routers tend to jump on the piece sometimes, and the table-mounted ones tend to get you kickbacks. No matter which way you’re using the router, be sure to have a firm grip on the router or the piece and be ready for what’s coming. Using the right router with enclosed guarding also can help you avoid risks profoundly while working.
Table of content:
Here are the quick navigation links to each section of the article to help you navigate through easier:
- 5 best wood router for router table reviews 2020
- 1. Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router
- 2. PORTER-CABLE Router, 2-1/4 HP (892)
- 3. DEWALT Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit, Variable Speed, 12-Amp, 2-1/4-HP (DW618PK)
- 4. Bosch 1617EVS 2.25 HP Electronic Fixed-Base Router
- 5. Metabo HPT Router, Fixed Base, 11 Amp Motor, 2-1/4 Peak HP, Variable Speed, M12VC
- Benefits of wood router for router table
- How to attach a router to a router table?
Short on time? Here is a quick insight into the wood routers out expert team has chosen as the best in the market:
Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router
PORTER-CABLE Router, 2-1/4 HP (892)
DEWALT Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit, Variable Speed, 12-Amp, 2-1/4-HP (DW618PK)
Bosch 1617EVS 2.25 HP Electronic Fixed-Base Router
Metabo HPT Router, Fixed Base, 11 Amp Motor, 2-1/4 Peak HP, Variable Speed, M12VC
5 best wood router for router table reviews 2020
Choosing the best wood router for router table can be hard, but not if you have researches and recommendations from the experts. Here are the 5 best wood routers you can choose today for your router table to get the best output on your next project:
1. Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router
The Triton TRA001 Plunge router is the most versatile wood router that you can use as both a plunge or a fixed-based table router. It works with a 3-1/4 HP motor and has a soft start along with a variable speed controller between 8,000-12,000 RPM with an electronic controller for maximum preciseness.
You’ll get an automatic spindle lock, and you can change the bits with a single wrench for quick and simple operation. Its variable collet size between ½” or ¼” and the plunge range of 0 to 2 ⅗” for maximum adjustability will surely make your routing jobs a lot easier.
Furthermore, the automatic dust extraction vent, built-in router lift, safety switch shutter and closed guard make it the safest router. Its micro winders will enable you to get a seamless cut, and that makes it the best plunge router fine woodworking.
Triton TRA001 Features:
- This router serves two purposes as a fixed-base table router and a plunge router.
- It has a 12-amp, 3-1/4 HP motor with variable speed between 8,000-12,000 RPM.
- You can use two different sizes of collets with ½” or ¼” diameters for router bits.
- It comes with an automatic dust extraction vent system for clean woodworking.
- The plunge height setting is also adjustable between 0 to 2 ⅗ inches for versatility.
2. PORTER-CABLE Router, 2-1/4 HP (892)
The PORTER-CABLE router with a 2-1/4 HP motor works like a piece of cake even when you work with tough hardwoods. With its variable speed controller from 10,000-23,000 RPM, you can get the finest finish on the grain. Its dual-purpose, detachable router base makes it the best wood router for table or free-handed plunge routing.
It comes with an automatic spindle lock system for a convenient routing job without maintenance hassles. You’ll also get a dual-position motor switch for a better platform routing experience, which makes it the best router for router table. Furthermore, you can easily change the bits with both ½” or ¼” collets.
You’ll get a variable cut depth controller with a locking mechanism to work with different workpieces without adjusting the table. On top of that, you can also adjust the bit height for fine adjustments while doing the routine jobs. If you’re planning on using it with hand, it features double rubber-coated handles along where the switches are in reach.
- This router has a variable routing speed between 10,000 to 23,000 RPM for fine cuts.
- You can use it with a table router with a fixed base and as a plunge hand router.
- It supports two sizes of collets between ½” or ¼” for different sizes of router bits.
- The router has a spindle lock mechanism for single-wrench collet and bit changes.
- You can adjust the depth of the bit smoothly with the plunge setting on the router.
3. DEWALT Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit, Variable Speed, 12-Amp, 2-1/4-HP (DW618PK)
The DW618PK dual-purpose wood router from DeWALT comes with both EVS fixed base and the plunge routing mechanisms. It works with a 2-1/4 HP motor and has a widely variable routing speed from 8,000 to 24,000 RPM. It’s the best router for router table use, especially considering the detachable quick-release fixed base.
Its automated dust extracting vent and dust-sealed design make your table routing a lot easier. What makes it even interesting is the capability of changing both the bits and collets quickly; there are two ½” and ¼” collet options. For changing the bits and collets, you need a single, included wrench, nothing more.
You’ll also get a pushbutton spindle lock for a better bit changing and control over the adjustments. The height and depth adjustment mechanism will help you nail any wood with any thickness. Its detachable corset is the best option for left-handed people or table routing jobs, which makes it the best wood router for router table.
DEWALT Router Features:
- The DeWalt router comes with a 2-1/4 HP 12-amps motor for a powerful routing.
- It has variable speed from 8,000 to 24,000 RPM with a dedicated adjustment knob.
- You can use two sizes of collets in it, with the ½” or ¼” along with spindle lock.
- It’s a multi-functional router with both the EVS fixed base and the plunge routing.
- The cord attachment design is ready for both left and right-handed orientation.
4. Bosch 1617EVS 2.25 HP Electronic Fixed-Base Router
This highly powerful Bosch router with 2.5 HP, 12-Amps motor can serve you with both a router table or free-handed with a variable speed. You can control the routerrouter’s speed from 8,000 to 25,000 with an easy-to-use dial on top of the machine for a wide range of wood thickness.
Its versatile depth adjustment controller will help you work more precisely, especially while working with a router table. Furthermore, the fine and accurate 1/64 inch adjustment on the base makes it the best fixed base router with the best controllability. Furthermore, the base has a 3-3/4 -inch opening for the base and 2 inches for the sub-base opening.
You’ll get a multipurpose collet, sized at ¼”, ½”, ⅜” and 8mm sizes can help you use the router for a wide range of purposes. It a microfine adjustment system and a re-settable depth indicator for more control on the piece you’re working with. The dust-seal design with a dedicated vent will help you get a cleaner routing job, especially for table routing.
Bosch 1617EVS Features:
- The Bosch router has a 2.5 HP, 12-amps motor with 8,000 to 25,000 variable RPM.
- It can serve you two purposes as both a plunge router and a fixed-base table router.
- The collet design is a multipurpose option with ¼”, ½”, ⅜” and 8mm options.
- It has a base opening of 3-3/4 -inch and a sub-base opening of 2 inches.
- You can adjust the cutting depth with more visual controls and indicators.
5. Metabo HPT Router, Fixed Base, 11 Amp Motor, 2-1/4 Peak HP, Variable Speed, M12VC
The Metabo Router, formally the Hitachi Power Tools, comes with a 11-amps, 2-1/4 Peak Horsepower motor for higher torque. It works with an electronic speed controller for higher control over the RPM, depending on what type of wood or project you’re working on.
It’s a dual-purpose wood router, so you can use it either with a fixed base router table or as a plunge router using the rubber-coated handles. The two-stage motor-release depth adjustment settings will help you get a quicker and more accurate control over the piece.
You’ll get an onboard adjustment scale for fine adjustability for hand use, and a 3-bolt design for an easier table mounting. If you’re after a wood router that can work with a higher power but have a quieter workshop, it’s the router for you with only 80 dB noise level.
Metabo HPT Router Features:
- The Metabo router can serve as both a plunge hand router or a fixed-base table router.
- It gives you smooth speed control for a suitable RPM adjustability with a dedicated knob.
- You’ll get a 2-stage motor depth controlling feature for an accurate adjustment quicker.
- It comes with a 11-amps motor with 2-1/4 Peak Horsepower for higher torque.
- The fixed-base table adjustment setting is easier with only 3-bolt connectors.
Benefits of wood router for router table
If you use any of these routers I’ve mentioned above, they are compatible with both hand use as a plunge or as a table router. However, using one with a router table gives you a ton of extra benefits, and that’s why every professional carpenter has a router table. Here are the most beneficial aspects of using a wood router for router table:
- It helps you work with stock shapes or by following other template pieces for reference jobs to make identical pieces.
- You can make different cuts using a wood router table, which you cannot do while using it as a plunge router only.
- Making locks and joints on a bigger piece needs a higher level of woodworking skills; a router table makes it easier.
- If you use a wood router table with the router, collecting dust becomes a lot easier than working free handed.
- While profiling edges, it couldn’t be any easier than using a wood router table rather than using it as a plunge router.
How to attach a router to a router table?
Getting a wood router and a router table can get you the best combination for a better woodworking experience. However, you must know how to mount the router to the table for the setup’s best output. Here is how you can mount your router to the router table and take your woodworking level to another level:
Get the table ready
First, you have to plan whether you’re mounting the router to a DIY router table or a buying one. If you’re going to make your own router table, plan where you’re mounting it and trace it with a pencil to cut the hole. The table should have enough space to accommodate the router plate for mounting on the tabletop. There should be enough space for the bottom of the table to reach inside and change or hold the router.
Preparing the mounting hole
You will make two cuts on the hole, one to make the sit for the mounting plate, another for mounting the router itself. For the sit, you will measure the plate’s thickness, adjust the router bit depth to that length, and cut the traced area. Clamp a guide around the traced area to ensure the cut is precise and even. Leave 1/2″ or so, and make the actual cut inside the traced area with a higher depth to cut it through; you can use a jigsaw or a router for that. Once the cuts are done, you can now put the plate on and see if it fits without bumps.
Mount the router
Take the router and the mounting plate, remove the Plunge base off the router, and attach the fixed base if required. After that, go ahead and attach the mounting plate to the router using the necessary bolts, it can be 3-6 bolts. Don’t overlook any bolt; make sure you’re attending each of them and screw them both firmly, making a strong bond. Now, take the whole set, insert it from the top of the hole to fit right into the grove, and see if it’s seamless. To finish up, screw the plate into the table and be sure not to have any bumps because of the screws or the bolts.
Once you complete these steps, you can attach the fence, the weatherboard, and other peripherals to start with your router table.
Frequently asked questions
Here are the most frequently asked questions about using wood routers with router tables which you might find useful for yourself:
Will any router fit any router table?
You can fit almost any handheld, especially plunge router, to a router table upside down. However, you must ensure the table and the router both have the same connecting bolt designs.
Can a plunge router be used on a router table?
Yes, almost any plunge router is compatible with router tables when you mount it under the tabletop. However, both of them must match the bolt settings and mounting diagram.
Can you use a trim router in a router table?
Although it’s not so practical for a trim router, you can mont a trim router to a router table just fine. Especially if you can get a trim router table or make a custom table, that’ll be the best.
A wood router table makes your wood jobs a lot easier with a platform and gets you the finest output on the grain. However, you must use the best wood router for router table to get the best result you’re planning to get. I tried to portray the best routers in the market that can meet your expectations, and I hope you’ve found the right product.
If you’re still wondering which one would be best overall for both beginner and professional jobs, I’d suggest you get the DEWALT Fixed/Plunge Router. It works with a high-quality 2-1/4 HP motor with variable speed from 8,000 to 24,000 RPM and quick motor release technology. You’ll get the spindle lock mechanism with dual collet options of ½” and ¼” along with a high-quality dust extraction mechanism.