How to Buy a Router Table

By knity / October 24, 2016

This is a question we get asked often. How exactly do you buy a router table? There are many aspects and factors to consider before you even attempt to purchase a router table. In this guide, with attempt to show you a few of them so that you can base your purchase decision in the right direction.

1.  Benchtop

The benchtop of the router table is exactly the place where almost everything takes place, from cutting wood to measuring. Therefore, you have to make extra sure that the benchtop is very flat and rigid and sits solid on the router table. There must be no wobbling, and no give. It must also be extremely flat or the end result of your cutting will suffer tremendously. It is easy to find a good benchtop, and most of the time just an eye inspection will suffice.

2. Miter Gauge

The miter gauge is a measuring tool that gives you precision and what you would use to do all your measurements. It is incredibly helpful and once you learn how to use this tool, you would always reach out for it. By learning how to use the miter gauge on a router table, this would mean that all your work with the extremely accurate and you can start cutting wood to the exact same dimension whether you are cutting one plank or several thousands of them.

3. The fence

The fence is the T shape handheld piece of lumber or material that gives the router table such a good name. The fence is there for good reason, mostly to help protect you from the router blade. It also allows you to get extreme accuracy in your cutting and makes the whole process of cutting wood on the router table very easy and pleasurable. Best, some router tables come with a custom fence, which means that you can simply remove the fence and use one of your own. Many router tables come without a fence, and while it is not indispensable in using a router table, it is extremely helpful to have a fence in a router table.

4. The base

The base of the router table is exactly what holes the whole router table in place. It prevents shock, vibration and wobbling of the router table when the router is working. Some routers are very powerful, and was sent a lot of torque to the whole table which in turn produces a lot of vibration and wobbling. By having a solid base, you ensure that there is little to no vibration and you are working comfortably and with full accuracy.

5. Custom accessories

More and more manufacturers of router tables are making them with custom accessories. You can put your own custom power tools like a router or a miter gauge to the router table. This delivers a more streamlined and customized experience. If you are used to working a certain way, then even if you have a new router table then you can keep working the same way mostly because of the personalized feel that many router tables today offer.

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