In this guide we’ll look at the best router tables for the UK market.
I’ve compared construction material, table size, router power and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What Is the Best Router Table?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
Jointing together boards, working with awkward shaped timber and making your own skirting boards is almost impossible without the best table router on your work bench. For build quality and clever features, the Trend WRT is unbeatable – the laminated MDF work table, excellent dust extraction and thick aluminium mounting plate is worth every penny spent.
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Router Table Reviews
Trend WRT Workshop Router Table Review
US tool brand Trend have been making router tables and the like since 1955. Their WRT workshop router table is a stripped down, solid bit of kit that should make light work of all table routing tasks.
The kit comes ready to assemble, with a rigid frame that bolts together and a sturdy laminated MDF tabletop. The rubber feet are adjustable for uneven surfaces, and you can lock them down with foot brackets for an incredibly stable base. They’ve included a separate power switch for added safety as well.
The plate that receives the router itself is made from thick aluminium, and it’s perforated with different holes to fit various router types. But if it doesn’t fit yours, you can drill it yourself quite easily. Trend have a handy compatibility list on their website if you want to check.
The fence feels solid and has two MDF “cheeks” that slide to fit different size workpieces. They’ve included a side pressure plate and push stick as well for added safety. It’s one of the best table routers around.
Lumberjack Tools RT1500 Bench Top Router Table Review
West-Midlands based Lumberjack Tools specialise in woodworking equipment and have made one of the best bench top routers that I’ve tried out. Rather than making a simple stand to attach your own router to, this is a full kit that includes a powerful 1500 Watt router already set up and ready to work.
The first thing you’ll notice about the RT1500 is the size of the box- this isn’t a flatpack set you have to put together as most of the assembly has been done for you. You get a beefy pressed steel work table and chunky ABS plastic legs that feel like they’ll last forever. The fence is steel as well, which adds extra strength and rigidity where you need it the most.
What makes this one of the best table routers in my eyes is the depth adjustment wheel – it’s accurate and easy to raise and lower the router bit – an operation that can be a pain with a regular router turned upside down on another router table.
There are three feather boards, two collets, a handy clear plastic dust extractor cover and even a handy mitre gauge that slides in its own trench for accurate angle work. They’ve even built in a series of holes in the body of the table to store ¼” and ½” bits.
Kreg PRS2100 Router Table Review
Famous for inventing the infamous pocket hole jig, Kreg have been making innovative woodworking tools since 1989. I tried out their PRS2100 precision benchtop router table, and rate it for its simplicity and excellent sliding fence.
The base is made from steel, and its rubber feet go a long way to reduce vibration and stop the table from sliding around during use. On top of the stand is a quality laminated MDF work table that’s designed to absorb vibration and allow workpieces to slide across the surface easily.
What makes this one of the best router tables around though is the table saw style fence. Experienced woodworkers will be familiar with the T-square style sliding aluminium fence that can be locked off with four screws, to quickly adjust on the fly. It’s a clever system that makes table routing a breeze.
The only thing I’d like to see on the Kreg router table is a safety switch- it could be tricky reaching for the power switch once you’ve attached your own router without one.
Clark CRT1 Router Table Review
The in-house brand for UK tool favourites Machine Mart, Clarke is a no-frills budget brand that delivers honest tools for prices that won’t empty your wallet. The CRT1 is no exception- it’s a solid DIY-level router table that will do what it says on the tin.
Starting with the base, I like the fact that it’s a lot longer than most of the competition at just under 90 cm wide-it’ll make feeding larger pieces of timber a bit easier and just gives you more working space when it’s set up.
It’s not the easiest table router to assemble, but when it gets there the pressed metal legs feel stable enough. If you want to make it a permanent feature, you can screw it down as well, which is a handy feature.
You get a separate safety switch and three feather boards thrown in- the fence is made from rigid plastic, which I know isn’t as reliable as metal, but for the price it’s a decent router table that’s ideal for light use and hobbyists.
FERM Router Table Review
Dutch power tool brand FERM have been making quality tools for DIYers and industrial use since 1985. I tried out their PRA1011 router table and were impressed with how solid it feels.
The aluminium table is well-made and very flat, and the chunky legs sit at a solid angle to the table with rubber feet that are ideal for keeping the router table firmly in its place.
I like the mitre guard that seems to be unique to the FERM router table- it’s easy to adjust with just two knobs, you can set it to most angles as well as use it to hold timber firmly against the fence. It’s plastic but seems sturdy enough.
The use of plastic doesn’t stop there though- the fence is made from one piece of ABS that is never going to be as rigid as steel or aluminium. It’s fine for light use, but it doesn’t feel like the most durable router fence you can get.
Pro Router Table Bench Review
The Pro Router floor standing table router is a great bit of kit when you need the best router stand but you don’t have a work bench. Bench top routers are excellent, but don’t waste valuable workspace if you’ve got a spare bit of floor.
With an angle steel frame and tough plastic feet, it’s a sturdy base to work from and at 77 cm high, it’s at just the right height for most users. The worktop itself is made from 35 mm thick laminated MDF which is smooth and flat for passing timber across it.
The fence adjusts in the same way as a table saw would, and you can attach the four included feather boards to the rear fence or front rail in any configuration. The only gripe I have with the table is the router mounting plate- I’d always choose metal over plastic for a part that’s going to be under the stresses of cutting with a power tool.
Things to Know Before Buying a Table Router
If you already own a router, you don’t need me to tell you how versatile they are, but when you combine one with the best table router setup, it becomes an awesome tool that any proper woodworker should learn to use.
The best table mounted router needs a solid and flat base to allow timber to pass along it accurately. My preferred material is cast metal like aluminium: it’s hard wearing, not too heavy and reliably flat. Don’t discount laminated MDF though, it’s a reliable flat surface that might not be as hard wearing as metal, but it’s a lot cheaper as well.
The fence is the most important part of a router table, apart from the router that is, because it’s the thing that will keep everything running smooth and straight. Some of the best table routers have sliding “cheeks” that help to keep any width workpiece in line and ensure the dust is sucked away from the router bit.
If you’re not familiar with those large, usually yellow, plastic combs on the table and fence, they’re a handy and safe feature that helps to keep the workpiece tight to the fence without you having to push it too hard.
You simply adjust the size and width of the feather boards to allow your piece of timber to sit snugly against the fence, then use your push stick to guide the piece through. It also means you can always keep your fingers away from the router bit too.
Router Table FAQs
This is a dilemma faced by anyone who wants to get into table routing- do you mount your favourite router to a standalone table, or buy into a whole table router setup? If you want to mount an existing router to a table, you need to make sure it fits- but most mounting plates can be drilled to fit almost any router.
If you use your own router, bear in mind that it’s not a five-minute job to switch between a table router and palm or plunge base- you’ll need to level the mounting plate each time, so a lot of woodworkers end up leaving the router in place once installed.
Buying into a whole router table kit like the Lumberjack Tools RT1500 is ideal if you’re planning on doing a lot of table work and you like the idea of a depth adjustment wheel. Unless you want to buy another router for freehand work, you’re a bit limited though.
You should check the manufacturer’s specifications on the router you plan to attach to your table- if it can take a ½”, you can probably use it.
The best router tables come with several reducing rings that alter the size of the hole your router sits in. If you’re using wide dado or moulding bits, you’ll need a much bigger hole than a straight cut bit.
If you mount your own router to a router table, the chances are you’ll have some trouble getting to the power switch. By connecting your router to a switch on the body of the router table, you can safely control it without fumbling around under your table.
The best router tables feature two plugs underneath to control your dust extraction at the same time. Be aware that some routers have safety devices that must be bypassed to use a separate on/off switch.