Looking to buy a router table? Our router table buying guide for beginners is everything you’ll need.
Although a lot of you might feel that using your hand for making cuts and shaping your pieces is the best way to go, it is not a secret that using a router table can make your work infinitely easier and quicker.
A router table provides you with an accurate and safe work area to make your cuts and allows you to do this quickly as you don’t have to use your hands to hold both the tool and the material.
It also allows you to make high precision cuts and reduces the vibrations that might have earlier been difficult to handle when you were woodworking using your hands only.
It also quite durable and provides stability to your woodworking tools and allows you to keep your work area clean and easily accessible.
If you are looking for a new router table for yourself but don’t know where to start from, then you have come to the perfect place. In this article, we will discuss a few essential factors and functions that will help you in making the best choice in buying a router table.
1. Types of Router Tables
The first and foremost thing that you would need to consider is the type of router table that you want for your workshop. There are different types of router tables available in the market which have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few router table types that you might consider for yourself:
Standalone Router Table: One of the most expensive types of router table which is huge in size and can be used for a variety of woodworking jobs. This router table handles vibrations pretty well and has some really amazing features which make it one of the best router tables for 2018 and commonly found in most woodworking workshops.
Benchtop Router Table: If you don’t have a lot of space or money for your router table, then a benchtop router table would be a good choice as this router table comes in a small size and can be placed on top of any table that you are using. You can use this for small woodworking tasks which makes them a popular option for home use or fun woodworking projects.
Extended Router Table: If you already own a table saw in your workshop, then you can just extend the space for your router by installing an extended router table.
Router and Table: If you want to save a lot of time and money then buying a router + table combo would be the best way to go about it. This is a really common model and a lot of people are opting for it due to its convenience.
2. Router Fence
Make sure that your router fence is firm and straight because this would help you in cutting your wood accurately and precisely. Also, it should allow you to change the positions easily when you cut a wood to a particular design.
There are usually two types of fences – a single or a once piece fence and a split fence. So decide which one would suit your routing needs and then consider a router table with that fence design.
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3. Dust Collection
Another important thing to consider when buying a router table is the dust collection port. Make sure it is large enough to hold a huge amount of sawdust and wood chippings and wouldn’t require a cleanup in every few hours.
This will help you in efficiently using your router table for long periods of time and you won’t have to worry about any dust or wood chippings while working your router.
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4. Table Top
One of the most important things that one must consider when buying a router table is the table top. Make sure that the router table top is flat and there aren’t any bumps or irregularities as this could end up in damaged wood.
You want your table to be straight and flat so that you can place the wood on it in a parallel direction and can use your router smoothly and accurately on top of it.
5. Insert Plate
You also need to make sure that the insert plate for your router is flat and straight if you want good and accurate routing results.
Make sure that this plate doesn’t move from its position while you are using it because the wood pieces will be passed through this area and if this plate is not flat and rigid, then you might end up with disastrous results.
6. Compatibility with Routers
An essential thing to consider is whether your router is compatible with the router table or not. Make sure that your router fits perfectly with a router table before you even think about buying.
Although most routers are compatible with most router table models, this is an important step that you shouldn’t skip if you don’t want to end up losing a lot of money.
7. Price and Warranty
Make sure you choose a router table that fits your budget and won’t cause a large dent in your bank. You can consider a simpler model if you are just looking to do a few house woodworking but if you are planning to use it for a lot of woodworking projects, then make sure you invest in a top model.
Also, make sure that your router table comes with a warranty of at least one year. A warranty is a great way to determine if the quality is good or not as the manufacturer is confident to provide you with a replacing policy for the same.
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