Router Table: Which One Is Right For You?
By: Chelsea Rodgers
A router table is a specially designed table for a woodworking router to mount to. The router table allows the user to work with the router at a wide variety of angles, including upside down and sideways. The table provides added flexibility for the DIY woodworker, making it possible to perform otherwise impossible cuts. But what router table is the right one for you? You’ll have your answer by the time your finished reading this article. We took our 3 most popular router tables and specified who and what they are designed to work best for.
MLCS “Heavy Duty” Bench Top Router Table
This portable router table is perfect for those small shops that don’t have a whole lot of room for a full-size router table. The table can be easily stored away when it’s not needed. It measures 16” x 24” and stand 14-1/2” high. This router table is designed for woodworkers that need to do some occasional light routing. The “Heavy Duty” Bench Top Router (MLCS item #9633) won’t be much help cutting raised panels but for those light routing jobs it is exactly what you’ll need. The “Heavy Duty” Bench Top Table Package comes with a split fence with a dust port and adaptor to fit a standard shop vac hose, a 3/8” Phenolic Steel Router Plate, and a detachable steel stand all for just $154.95.
Router Table Top With Fence
Just starting with woodworking? This table is for you! The Router Table with Fence (MLCS item # 9624) is extremely durable and affordable. Designed to be a portable full size router table, this router table will tackle most any routing job, both big and small. You’ll find this Router Table Top with Fence on the top of every contractors list of favorite tools. Why? Because it is built to handle tough wear and tear on the construction sites. This Router Table does have its limitations though. If you’re working with extreme levels of heat and humidity this probably won’t be the best choice for you. But contractors with jam packed schedules looking for a reliable, and portable Router Table, and beginners on a budget, just starting off in the woodworking trade, meet your match. The complete package for the Router Table with Fence includes a 3/8” thick Premium Aluminum Plate, wrench and a 35" high x 26" wide x 22" deep detachable stand. The complete package will cost you just $249.95.
Phenolic Router Table Top
This heavy-duty router table is designed for shops and many industrial woodworking shops. The Phenolic Router Table Top (MLCS item #9620) holds no limitations to what jobs it can handle. With its reliable strength and stability, even heat and humidity will not effect this router table. The Phenolic Router Table Top package come with top-of-the-line X1 Fence that attached to the rails on the side of the table top, making adjustments easy, and more precise. The Phenolic Router Table Top is a favorite for most woodworkers because it requires little maintenance, and is built to last. The Phenolic Router Table Package will get you the Router Table Top, X1 Fence, Premium Aluminum Plate with 5 quick change rings, and the Pro Table Stand. This package will run you $569.95, but you won’t need to be shopping for another router table for quite some. Unless you’re looking for some accessories to add to your Router Table, like the Router Table Dust Eliminator (MLCS item #9710) is the prefect addition to the Phenolic Router Table Package.
Cast-Iron Router Table
The Cast-Iron Router Table gives you everything in the Phenolic Router Table but is built top-to-bottom in cast-iron. The Cast –Iron Router Table Package includes the Cast-Iron Top, X1 Fence, Premium Aluminum Router Plate Kit with 5 quick change insert rings, and Pro Table Stand. All premium Cast-Iron quality for just $729.95.
Upgrade Even More…
Now you know about the 4 different Router Tables and the basic packages you can purchase them in. But each of these packages can be upgraded even more. Each Router Table can be purchased in either the Ultimate U-turn package or the Ultimate Powerlift Pro package.
Ultimate U-Turn Package
The U-Turn allows very smooth and easy adjustment with just the turn of a handle. With over three inches of travel, router bit changes can be made from above the table. Ultimate U-Turn Router Lift Table System (MLCS item#9368) comes with the complete Phenolic Router Table Package along with the U-Turn Table System, making adjustments easier than ever for $1,099.95.
Ultimate Powerlift Pro Package
The Powerlift Pro is a complete routing system featuring the digitally controlled PowerLift Pro® with improved Bluetooth connectivity! The Ultimate Powerlift Pro Tabletop System (MLCS item #9530) comes with the complete Phenolic Table Top package, PowerLift Pro System with Bluetooth and 10” Tablet with software already installed, taking the manual labor out of routing for $1399.95.
When it comes to router tables, it doesn’t matter if you’re on a tight budget, if you don’t have much experience yet, or if you’re out working on a construction site or the shop, there is a router table designed for you.
***Please note that these prices are prices as of September 15, 2020. These are not set prices and are subject to change at any point in time by MLCS Woodworking****