Best Beginner Router Table: Top Picks for Novice Woodworkers

If you’re new to woodworking, a router table might seem like an intimidating piece of equipment. But with the right beginner router table, you can learn to make precise cuts and create intricate designs in no time. A router table is a stationary woodworking machine that holds a router upside down, allowing you to move the wood across the router bit instead of moving the router over the wood. This can make your cuts more accurate and safer, especially when working with small pieces of wood.

When looking for the best beginner router table, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to consider the size of the table and the workspace you have available. A larger table can accommodate bigger pieces of wood, but it might not be practical if you have limited space. You’ll also want to think about the type of router you have or plan to purchase, as not all routers are compatible with all tables.

Another important factor to consider is the type of fence the router table comes with. The fence helps guide the wood as you make your cuts, so you’ll want one that is sturdy and easy to adjust. Some beginner router tables come with a split fence, which can be adjusted independently on each side of the bit, while others have a one-piece fence that moves as a whole.

With these factors in mind, we tested several beginner router tables to find the best one for new woodworkers. Our top pick is the Kreg PRS2100 Precision Benchtop Router Table. This compact table is easy to set up and use, with a durable aluminum fence and a large tabletop that can accommodate most routers. Plus, it comes with a starter pin and guard that can help you make more intricate cuts.

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Best Beginner Router Tables

If you’re new to woodworking, a router table can be an essential tool for creating precise cuts and designs. With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your needs. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best beginner router tables to help you get started. These tables are easy to use, versatile, and won’t break the bank. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional woodworker, these router tables are sure to meet your needs.

BOSCH RA1181 Benchtop Router Table

BOSCH RA1181 Benchtop Router Table

If you’re looking for a beginner router table to add to your woodworking shop, the BOSCH RA1181 Benchtop Router Table is a great option to consider.

Pros

  • The large aluminum top provides a durable and extended work area.
  • The adjustable faceplates and feather boards maximize precision and versatility.
  • The dedicated standard dust-collection port helps keep your work area clean.

Cons

  • The RA1181 does not accept any template guides.
  • The table is not compatible with all routers.
  • The assembly instructions could be clearer.

This router table is designed to fit a variety of routers, making it a versatile piece of equipment. The large aluminum top provides a durable and extended work area, allowing you to work on larger projects with ease. The adjustable faceplates and feather boards maximize precision and versatility, making it easy to achieve the results you want.

One of the standout features of the BOSCH RA1181 Benchtop Router Table is the dedicated standard dust-collection port. This port fits standard 2-1/2 inch vacuum hoses for debris-free operation, helping to keep your work area clean and free of sawdust.

While the RA1181 does not accept any template guides, it does come with a starter pin and guard for router curved work pieces. The table is compatible with a variety of routers, including those from Bosch, Craftsman, DeWalt, Hitachi, Makita, Milwaukee, Porter-Cable, and Ryobi.

Overall, the BOSCH RA1181 Benchtop Router Table is a great option for beginners who want a versatile and durable router table for their woodworking projects. Just be aware that it may not be compatible with all routers and that the assembly instructions could be clearer.

BOSCH RA1171 Router Table

BOSCH RA1171 Router Table

If you’re looking for a beginner router table, the BOSCH RA1171 is a great option. With its cabinet-style design, it’s perfect for woodworkers in search of a quality benchtop router table for the shop.

Pros

  • The tall aluminum fence measuring 4 7/8 inch x 25 1/8 inch can handle tall stock with ease. The fence is complete with adjustable MDF face plates for smoother operation with taller workpieces and outfeed can be offset for jointing.
  • The Bosch RA1171 features a rigid aluminum router mounting plate that stays flat and precise for accuracy. For added versatility, it’s pre-drilled to fit a variety of routers.
  • Two easy-to-use featherboards attach to the fence and router table, providing additional guidance and protection against kickback. They’re fully adjustable to fit a variety of workpieces. The accessory slot accepts additional featherboards and 3/4 inch optional accessories such as a miter gauge.

Cons

  • The cabinet-style design of the RA1171 is bulky and takes up a lot of space, so it may not be ideal for small workshops.
  • Some routers may not be compatible with the pre-drilled holes on the mounting plate, so be sure to check compatibility before purchasing.
  • The edges of the MDF panels are sharp and may require filing for safety reasons.

The RA1171 is designed for versatility and precision, making it a great choice for beginners. The tall aluminum fence and adjustable MDF face plates provide excellent material support for smoother operation. The rigid aluminum router mounting plate ensures accuracy and the easy-to-use featherboards provide additional guidance and protection against kickback.

The cabinet-style design of the RA1171 also excels at dust removal, with two dust collection ports for removing any job site dust and debris. The dust collection ports fit standard 2 1/2 inch vacuum hoses. The accessory slot accepts additional featherboards and 3/4 inch optional accessories such as a miter gauge.

Overall, the BOSCH RA1171 Router Table is a solid choice for beginners looking for a quality benchtop router table. With its versatility, precision, and dust collection capabilities, it’s a great addition to any woodworking shop.

BOSCH RA1141 26 in. x 16-1/2 in. Laminated MDF Top Portable Jobsite Router Table with 2-1/2 in. Vacuum Hose Port

BOSCH RA1141 26 in. x 16-1/2 in. Laminated MDF Top Portable Jobsite Router Table with 2-1/2 in. Vacuum Hose Port

If you’re a beginner looking for a router table, the BOSCH RA1141 is a great option to consider. With its easy-to-use features and portability, this router table delivers a stable and precise cutting experience.

Pros

  • The ultra-portable design makes it easy to set up and store
  • The easy click router mounting system allows for quick bit changes and no leveling
  • The laminated MDF top helps users make smooth and precise cuts

Cons

  • The onboard storage is not ideal for holding larger router bits and spare parts
  • The folding legs are not very sturdy, which may affect stability during use
  • The router fence may be a bit difficult to adjust accurately

The BOSCH RA1141 router table is preassembled, so there’s no need to waste time and effort on assembly. Its folding legs and onboard storage compartments make it easy to store and transport, making it a great option for those who need to move their workspace around.

The tall fence with two adjustable feather boards helps to provide extra control and guide work, while the starter pin and guard allow for easier control when routing curved work pieces. The bit-height gauge provides easier bit setup and enhanced cut precision, making it easier to achieve the desired results.

Overall, the BOSCH RA1141 router table is a great choice for beginners who want a portable and easy-to-use option. While it may not be the most sturdy or spacious option out there, it delivers a stable and precise cutting experience that’s perfect for those just starting out.

SKIL RT1323-01 Router Table and 10Amp Fixed Base Router Kit

SKIL RT1323-01 Router Table and 10Amp Fixed Base Router Kit

If you’re a beginner looking for a router table to get started on your woodworking projects, the SKIL RT1323-01 Router Table and 10Amp Fixed Base Router Kit is a great option. With its powerful motor, adjustable features, and included accessories, this kit has everything you need to get started.

Pros

  • The speed control dial allows you to adjust the speed of the router to match the material you’re working with, giving you more control over your cuts.
  • The integrated bit storage system keeps your bits organized and easily accessible, saving you time and frustration during your projects.
  • The included featherboards and adjustable fence allow you to make precise cuts and ensure your workpiece stays in place while you’re routing.

Cons

  • Some users have reported that the dust port can clog easily, especially when removing a lot of material at once.
  • The router table can be a bit unstable when using larger workpieces, so you may need to add additional support to prevent wobbling.
  • The router is a bit noisy, so you may want to wear ear protection while using it.

Overall, the SKIL RT1323-01 Router Table and 10Amp Fixed Base Router Kit is a great option for beginners who want a reliable, versatile router table that can handle a variety of projects. With its adjustable features and included accessories, you’ll have everything you need to get started on your woodworking journey.

SKIL SRT1039 Router Table

SKIL SRT1039 Router Table

If you’re looking for a beginner router table, the SKIL SRT1039 is a great option.

Pros

  • Gain convenient access to router bits with the Above Table Adjustment provided by the SKIL SRT1039 all-inclusive Router Table.
  • Protect and store router bits with a double door, quick latch integrated bit case. This integrated bit storage saves you time and provides a central location for easy to lose bits.
  • The tall 16-inch aluminum fence measures 24 inches wide and can handle tall stock with ease, while the fence is complete with adjustable MDF face plates and a starter pin and guard for smooth operation with taller work pieces.

Cons

  • Graduation marks on the table may rub off over time.
  • The router clamp may not fit all router models.
  • The table is not compatible with all router models.

The SKIL SRT1039 Router Table is a great option for beginners. The table features a smooth laminated MDF work surface, an aluminum miter gauge slot, above the table adjustment, two featherboards, and a router clamp for everything your woodworking project calls for. The integrated router bit storage system saves you time and provides a central location for easy to lose bits. The rigid aluminum router mounting plate is compatible with many major router brands, while the tall fence handles taller stock when paired with the adjustable MDF faceplates.

The table also features two easy to use, adjustable router edge guides attach to the fence and router table to provide additional guidance and protection against kickback. The SKIL SRT1039 Router Table is easy to use and provides precision routing.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for an all-inclusive router table, the SKIL SRT1039 Router Table is a great option. It is easy to use, provides precision routing, and has a convenient integrated bit storage system.

POWERTEC Deluxe Router Table Fence System

POWERTEC Deluxe Router Table Fence System

If you’re in need of a versatile and high-quality router table fence system, the POWERTEC Deluxe Router Table Fence System is an excellent option to consider.

Pros

  • The fence is fully adjustable and can accommodate a wide range of router tables and accessories.
  • The melamine-coated MDF fence faces are scratch and shatter-resistant, ensuring long-term durability.
  • The fence features a dust port that simplifies cleanup, making your workspace cleaner and more efficient.

Cons

  • The mounting hardware is not included, so you’ll need to purchase it separately.
  • Some users reported that the fence is not completely straight out of the box and requires some adjustments.
  • The adhesive scale may not be as precise as some users would like.

This all-inclusive router table fence kit is designed to provide you with high precision results for a multitude of workshop and woodworking applications. From its high quality build to the assortment of bells and whistles, this system is full-featured and performs all router fence functions, including vertical joining.

The fence measures 24” x3-3/8”x3-3/8” and is made of heavy-duty, anodized fence extrusion with universal t-slots, front and top. The movable fence faces are made with melamine-coated MDF and adjust in and out for vertical jointing. The fence opening of 3-9/16” can accommodate raised panel door router bit sets.

The system includes a fully adjustable bit guard, reversible flip stop, featherboard with a vertical range of 2”, and a high precision increment adhesive scale of 1/16” – right to left. The dust collection is integrated into the fence with a 2-1/2” OD dust port. The mounting slot range is from 18-1/8” to 23-3/8” and will fit most router tables.

The fence easily attaches and adjusts to the table with t-bolts and lock knobs. Keep in mind that the table and router are not included. The instructions are included, and the system is easy to assemble.

Overall, the POWERTEC Deluxe Router Table Fence System is an excellent option for anyone in need of a versatile and high-quality router table fence system. It’s easy to assemble, versatile, and over-delivers in terms of value. Whether you’re a professional or DIY enthusiast, the possibilities are endless with a table fence set-up like this.

Rockler Trim Router Table

Rockler Trim Router Table

If you’re looking for a beginner router table that is portable and easy to use, the Rockler Trim Router Table is a great option.

Pros

  • Portable and easy to attach to any flat surface
  • Compatible with popular trim routers
  • Includes high-visibility bit guard and 1/4″ thick acrylic base

Cons

  • Limited adjustments for larger bits
  • MDF coating can chip
  • Dust port sold separately

This router table is perfect for small applications such as routing round-overs, chamfers, and small dadoes in your shop or at the job site. It’s easy to set up and detach your router from the table without tools. The T-Knobs let you make quick fence adjustments, and the included high-visibility bit guard provides an added layer of safety.

One of the best things about this router table is its compatibility with popular trim routers such as Bosch Colt, Porter Cable 450 and 7310, DeWalt DW 611, and others. You can also drill the base to fit your specific router. The 1/4″ thick acrylic base allows you to do freehand work like a standard router.

While this router table has limited adjustments for larger bits, it’s a great option for beginner woodworkers who want a portable and easy-to-use router table. The MDF coating can chip over time, but overall the Rockler Trim Router Table is a solid choice.

Rockler Convertible Benchtop Router Table

Rockler Convertible Benchtop Router Table

If you’re looking for a beginner router table that’s portable and versatile, the Rockler Convertible Benchtop Router Table is a great option.

Pros

  • Portable and can be used on a benchtop or tailgate of your truck
  • Four different modes for benchtop use, wall-mounted use, storage, and transport
  • Includes the router table top, fence with MDF sub-faces, convertible metal base, bit guard, and 2-1/2” dust port

Cons

  • Will not accept plunge routers or large routers like the 3-1/4HP Porter-Cable
  • Requires specific baseplates (sold separately) to function properly
  • Some users have reported difficulty with assembly

This router table is perfect for small shops and jobsite use. It’s compact and portable, yet full-featured, making it easy to take with you wherever you go. The folding base can be quickly reconfigured into four different modes, making it a versatile addition to your woodworking tools.

The Rockler Convertible Benchtop Router Table will accept most compact and mid-sized routers, but won’t work with plunge routers or larger routers like the 3-1/4HP Porter-Cable. Additionally, specific baseplates are required for use, so make sure to purchase those separately if you don’t already have them.

Assembly can be a bit tricky, but once you have it set up, this router table is a great addition to any woodworking setup. It’s sturdy and well-built, and the included accessories make it easy to get started right away.

Overall, if you’re looking for a beginner router table that’s portable and versatile, the Rockler Convertible Benchtop Router Table is a great choice.

Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table

Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table

If you’re a beginner woodworker looking for a router table that offers industrial-grade features in a compact design, the Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table is a great option to consider.

Pros

  • The table is made from thick MDF that dampens vibration and offers a durable and easy-slide skin.
  • The industrial-quality fence features adjustable sliding faces and works as a vertical jointer.
  • The table comes with Kreg’s Precision Insert Levelers, which make it easy to mount any router.

Cons

  • The assembly process can be time-consuming, taking up to six hours to complete.
  • The 1/4 turn lock handles that come with this model can be difficult to use.
  • The screws that come with the router table can be too short and made of soft metal.

The Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table is a stable and sturdy option that offers a convenient routing surface with insert plate levels for accuracy. The table is also portable, making it easy to move to different job sites or use in your shop.

The thick MDF table dampens vibration and offers a durable and easy-slide skin that makes routing even easier. The industrial-quality fence features adjustable sliding faces and works as a vertical jointer, making it easy to achieve accurate cuts.

However, the assembly process can be time-consuming, taking up to six hours to complete. Additionally, the 1/4 turn lock handles that come with this model can be difficult to use, and the screws that come with the router table can be too short and made of soft metal.

Overall, if you’re looking for a beginner router table that offers industrial-grade features in a compact design, the Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table is a great option to consider.

Buying Guide

When looking for the best beginner router table, there are a few features that you should consider to ensure that you get the most value for your money. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Table Size

The size of the table is important because it determines the amount of workspace you have available. A larger table will allow you to work with larger pieces of wood and give you more room to maneuver your router. However, a smaller table may be more suitable if you have limited space in your workshop.

Router Compatibility

It is important to ensure that the router table you choose is compatible with your router. Some router tables are designed to work with a specific brand or model of router, while others are more universal. Make sure to check the compatibility before making a purchase.

Fence

The fence is an essential feature of a router table as it helps guide the wood through the router bit and ensures accurate cuts. Look for a fence that is sturdy, easy to adjust, and can be locked securely in place.

Dust Collection

Dust collection is an important consideration as it helps keep your workspace clean and prolongs the life of your router. Look for a router table that has a dust collection port that can be attached to a vacuum or dust collection system.

Price

Router tables can range in price from budget-friendly to high-end models. Consider how often you will be using the router table and your budget when making a decision. Remember, a higher price does not always equal higher quality.

By considering these factors, you can choose the best beginner router table that meets your needs and helps you achieve accurate cuts and a clean workspace.

Frequently Asked Questions

What features should you consider when selecting a router table for novice woodworkers?

When selecting a router table for novice woodworkers, there are several features to consider. The size of the table, the power of the router, and the ease of use are all important factors. Look for a table that is sturdy and well-built, with a flat surface that will hold your workpiece securely. Consider the size of the table in relation to the size of your workshop, and choose a router with enough power to handle your projects.

How does a benchtop router table compare to a full-size model for beginners?

Benchtop router tables are smaller and more portable than full-size models, making them a good choice for beginners with limited workshop space. However, full-size models offer more stability and often come with more features, such as built-in dust collection systems and larger work surfaces. Ultimately, the choice between a benchtop and full-size router table will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

What are the advantages of a portable router table for someone just starting out?

Portable router tables are lightweight and easy to move, making them a good choice for beginners who may be working in a small or shared space. They are also often less expensive than full-size models, making them a more affordable option for those just starting out. However, portable tables may not offer the same stability and features as larger models.

Can you recommend a durable and user-friendly router for use with a router table?

There are many routers on the market that are suitable for use with a router table. Look for a router with a variable speed motor, as this will allow you to adjust the speed to match the type of wood you are working with. A router with a soft start feature will also help to prevent accidents. Some popular options for beginners include the Bosch 1617EVSPK, the DeWalt DW618PK, and the Porter-Cable 690LR.

What makes the Kreg Router Table a good choice for beginners?

The Kreg Router Table is a popular choice for beginners because it is easy to assemble and use. It comes with a sturdy steel stand, a large work surface, and a built-in dust collection system. The table also features a precision router insert plate that can be easily adjusted to fit a variety of routers.

Are professional router tables suitable for woodworking beginners, or should they start with something simpler?

Professional router tables are often more expensive and feature-rich than tables designed for beginners. While they may offer more stability and features, they may also be more complex to assemble and use. Beginners may find it easier to start with a simpler table and work their way up as they gain experience and confidence.

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