Best Router Tables in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update February 18, 2018
Routers are one of the most helpful and versatile tools of woodcrafters around the world. Nonetheless, some models are pretty heavy and bulky, so they are mounted on special tables for convenience of use. We have selected the best router tables for your consideration and choice. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Tabletop material
Thickness
Tabletop size (W x D)
Fence length
Dust port
Extras
Warranty
 
PROS

This router bench has a sturdy base with the height adjustable from 78.7 cm to 99.1 cm. And the floor irregularity compensators ensure that the table will stay stable and won't shake even on an uneven floor.

CONS

It's a rather heavyweight and large table.

OUR VERDICT

It is a must-have for any woodworking studio. The floor-standing Kreg PRS1040 is ready for a variety of tasks - milling grooves, edges, profiles etc. You'll be able to do these and other jobs quicker and cleaner than ever before.

detailed parameters
Tabletop material

MDF core

Thickness

25 mm

Tabletop size (W x D)

609 mm x 813 mm

Fence length

914 mm

Dust port

Yes

Extras

Adjustable stand, durable Easy-Slide™ surface, predrilled holes to mount accessories, micro-adjust, dual fence locks, adjustable measuring scale, leg levellers

Warranty

30 days

PROS

The tabletop is made out of extra-thick cast iron and it's rigid enough to support a heavy routing station and a workpiece.

CONS

You'll have to spend about an hour on assembly.

OUR VERDICT

The Charnwood W015 will make your woodworking more convenient and safer. With its help, you'll be able to produce higher-quality goods in minimal time. The table includes all of the elements and accessories needed for efficient manufacturing.

detailed parameters
Tabletop material

Cast Iron

Thickness

n/a

Tabletop size (W x D)

790 mm x 570 mm

Fence length

2 x 460 mm x 150 mm

Dust port

Yes

Extras

2 hold down feather boards, set of four fence shims, centralising jig, mounted scale

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The accessory storage boxes will come in handy to keep the tools you need close by.

CONS

The dust port is somewhat small.

OUR VERDICT

The SKIL RAS900 is a compact and portable workstation that comes pre-assembled. For your convenience, the firm and wide legs have apertures that will allow you to attach the table to a workbench or any other surface.

detailed parameters
Tabletop material

Laminated MDF

Thickness

n/a

Tabletop size (W x D)

660 mm х 420 mm

Fence length

n/a

Dust port

Yes

Extras

Efficient folding design, two integrated accessory storage boxes, adjustable MDF fence, starter pin and guard, overload protection and lockout key

Warranty

30 days

PROS

The surface of this table is made out of melamine-faced MDF, remarkable for its resistance to humidity and damage. You'll find it easy to slide workpieces along its surface.

CONS

A relatively small work space. 

OUR VERDICT

The Charnwood W012 is a great solution for any workshop. The fence is fitted with a precise and easy-to-use regulatory mechanism and the sturdy base will absorb vibrations during the process, enhancing security and convenience substantially.

detailed parameters
Tabletop material

Melamine Faced MDF

Thickness

20 mm

Tabletop size (W x D)

430 mm x 400 mm

Fence length

n/a

Dust port

Yes

Extras

2 vertical hold down clamps, adjustable horizontal feather board, cutter guard

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The model comes with table extensions that allow you to broaden the station space so you can process longer workpieces.

CONS

The legs are rather narrow, so the table might sway a bit during work.

OUR VERDICT

This is a great device to anchor your router with a 155-mm base plate. The built-in scales are done in two measurement units, inches and millimetres.

detailed parameters
Tabletop material

Die Cast Aluminium

Thickness

n/a

Tabletop size (W x D)

864 mm x 330 mm (with the extensions)

460 mm x 330 mm (without the extensions)

Fence length

n/a

Dust port

Yes

Extras

Easily attached legs with the holes, easy-to-use feather boards, adjustable measuring scale

Warranty

30 days

What Is a Router Table?

If you are into cabinetmaking or crafting woodenware, a router is something you need to have. However, if you need to use it for a prolonged period of time, holding it in hands for too long can be quite tiresome. This is why router tables are used. These stationary machines help process a variety of workpieces that are hard to route with the aid of a handheld router.

Even though there's a great range of tables available, they are all pretty similar in appearance. Whatever router table you choose, it will have a spindle through which you'll feed workpieces to the machine to further process or cut them with a cutter head. The key element of any router is the adjustable fence designed for guiding workpieces and controlling the depth of cuts. You may also find router tables with additional slots for accepting optional tools and accessories.

If you've only come to routing, you may just as well want to get yourself a good wood router. In our other review you'll find a comparison of five routers that are widely popular among users all over the world.

...Read more ...Read less

What Features to Compare

To choose the best router table you need to look at a few key characteristics. First off, look at the tabletop material. The sturdier and smoother the tabletop is, the better. This will determine how easy it is to manipulate wood on top of the station. Popular options include MDF and metals with both material types having their advantages. It’s best to think of what you plan to do with the table and choose based on that, fitting the product to your needs.

Second, it's vital to find the right tabletop size for you. It has to be big enough for you to process any materials that might come up and yet it must be compact enough to fit into your workroom. Unless you have a lot of space freed up specifically for a router table, it may be best to pick a modestly-sized model. Some products, especially portable models, actually offer extensions that you can attach to the table to make your workspace bigger. However, if you plan on buying one of these, make sure that the extensions are easy to put on and take off, otherwise they might turn from a boon to a nuisance.

Third, a dust port is absolutely essential. Unless you want to have a pile of dust left on your table or blown all over the room after you're done working, it is imperative that you get a table with a dust port to collect the debris. Having any wood chips or other small debris in your work area means that you run the risk of it flying off and getting in your eyes or hitting your skin and cutting you. Always remember that safety comes first with woodworking and, if possible, the model you choose should also have a little guard that can keep any chips in. A good dust port should be able to take care of them but, just in case some are left, it only makes sense to keep your table secure.

Fourth, it's always nice to have some extra features on your table, including precise adjustment systems, a good fence, portability etc. For example, always check to see what type of feather board is included. And if there’s more than one - all the better. Another good feature for portable models is the availability of clamps or some other tool, to help you attach the table to any surface. Otherwise, you’ll spend a substantial amount of time trying to figure out a way to keep your workstation steady. Of course, we’ve already talked about safety, but a surge or overheating protector wouldn’t hurt either, both to keep the equipment safe from malfunction and to ensure that your work is secure.

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Kreg PRS1040

Extra Stable with Steel Support

When you want to shape and route a piece of wood, you have to use a good routing table as the process takes time and you can get quite tired and sore if a router bench is too low or unstable. Thankfully, you can always turn to the Kreg PRS1040, a well-made and easily configured product that will help you master woodworking and enable you to process wood as a pro.

The height of the table is adjustable from 78.7 cm to 99.1 cm, so you can draw it level convenient to you as well as change it quickly depending on a project. This way, you will be able not only to keep your posture straight and properly aligned but also keep the table in a stable position even if it's being placed on an uneven surface. Since stability is one of the paramount aspects when it comes to working with a routing bench, manufacturers fitted the Kreg PRS1040 with extra sturdy wide legs. Remember that safety measures include not only goggles and ear protectors but also how stable the table stands on the floor so you should always position it solidly before use.

In order to achieve the highest stability, the Kreg PRS1040 was made of heavy-duty material so it's quite heavy and large. Not like it's that huge, of course, but it will definitely require a substantial amount of free space in your workshop or garage. Part of the weight actually comes from the steel bars that help keep it stand firm.

Review of Kreg PRS1040

Lots of Workspace with a Self-Aligning Fence

The Kreg PRS1040 features a rather big tabletop with the dimensions of 60.9 cm by 81.3 cm, allowing you to process even quite long materials, cutting and shaping them as you see it fit. The top of the table is made of MDF, which not only provides excellent vibration absorption but also ensures easy sliding of a workpiece.

What makes this Kreg router table particularly appealing is a self-aligning fence. Made of solid aircraft grade aluminium it won't slide to the sides allowing you to set any measurements as precisely as possible, lock down, and achieve exactly what you need. The fence is positioned parallel to the slide surface and doesn't require re-adjustment in the middle of the work saving you both material and time. The faces are all individually adjustable and hence suitable for all types of cutters. 

It's good that the Kreg PRS1040 has a dust port. Instead of having to sweep the table top with a rag or your hand cleaning it of dust and chippings, you'll be able to maintain it clean simply by connecting a vacuum cleaner.

The Kreg PRS1040 is undoubtedly one of the best options of router tables out there. It has a reliable and sturdy construction and a good bundle of convenient features that make woodworking projects easier and less effort-taking, while the fact that it has a self-aligning fence makes it absolutely a godsend for those who need to process a lot of wood on a daily basis. Just be sure to free up some space in your shed before ordering it.

Kreg PRS1040 in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Charnwood W015

Great for Heavy-Duty Woodworking

If you’re looking to do some industrial-scale woodworking and need to go through many pieces of wood, it’s advisable to get a large and sturdy router table. The optimal choice for a professional is the Charnwood W015, a heavy-duty model that will help your work immensely.

The tabletop on this product is made out of extra sturdy cast iron and can hold a substantial amount of weight. With this table, you can work even with the heaviest materials without worrying that the table legs might not endure the load. Plus, unlike some cheaper models, the table top of this one isn't as easy to damage even if you drop a piece of wood or metal on it. The Charnwood W015 does, however, require assembly and it will take some time. The average seems to be around an hour, so be prepared for that after unpacking the package.

As this is a floor standing table and it's made of extra solid materials, it's quite obvious that it isn't the most lightweight or compact model. Which is why if you decide to buy it, be ready to make some room for it in advance. Another thing we'd like to mention is that this router table isn't suitable for those with little to no experience in processing wood. Buy it only if you're sure that you've got enough skills and practice to handle such powerful tools as the Charnwood W015.

If you're heavily engaged in woodworking projects, you might want to get a good framing nailer with the help of which you'll be able to put a finishing touch to all of your wooden creations. 

Review of Charnwood W015

Equipped with Extra Features for Professionals

The Charnwood W015 has a pretty large tabletop (790 mm by 570 mm) which can accommodate big and long workpieces without using any extensions. The model comes with 2 feather boards, to hold a workpiece down the worktop of the table, a fence and a clamp for extra security and precision cutting. The fence can be set up anywhere along the length of the table as well as locked at 45 degrees for cutting wood into tiny pieces.

As the Charnwood W015 is intended for professionals, the tool comes including four shims that can be used to step out the fence and support your material should you decide to remove the whole face. These shims allow for 0.5 mm increments up to a 4.5 mm step, making for extra precise cutting and removal.

The legs of the table are filled with gas to balance the cast iron top and keep it steady no matter what work you do. And, of course, the Charnwood W015 has a dust vent so you can connect a hoover and extract all dust quickly through it.

Overall, this is a great pick if you want to do some real professional woodworking work or simply want a high-quality router table.

Charnwood W015 in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

SKIL RAS900

Convenient and Compact Router Table

Not everybody has enough space for a floor-standing table, not to mention the fact that not all woodworkers even want them, given how much flexibility a portable tool can provide. And if you're hunting for such a tool that would not bind you to a specific place and will provide you freedom of movement, the SKIL RAS900 router table is a great option.

This particular model actually comes preassembled so you won’t have to spend time putting it together and risk losing some smaller parts. Included in this table are several storage boxes for additional accessories. This way you can keep some of your woodworking equipment handy and take it along with your when working on remote projects, and keep the rest in the other one in your workshop, saving yourself the trouble of scouting round next time.

Furthermore, the SKIL RAS900 has a few handy apertures at the bottom of its legs which will let you attach it easily to any surface even in some confined space. Plus, there are a couple of clamps included which will allow you to keep the table more stable. The SKIL RAS900 is the type of router table which you will be able to attach just anywhere, it's so compact.

Review of SKIL RAS900

Comes with Extra Safety Precautions

Of course, just like any good product of this kind, this Skil router table has a dust port. It might not be the biggest one but is just good enough for a model of this size and will quickly remove all chips or dirt created in the process. Keeping your workplace clean is essential for any serious projects as well as your own safety. You don’t want your materials to slide or get stuck on small debris.

The tabletop is made out of laminated MDF for extra smoothness and sturdiness. It’s extra resistant to any spills or falls so you won’t end up with a stained or chipped table and can carry the SKIL RAS900 around without excess caution. The working area is 660 mm by 420 mm, not huge but large enough to work with medium-sized pieces with ease and comfort. It’s not the optimal choice for heavy-duty use, especially if you plan cutting big pieces of wood, but it’s a solid pick for any amateur woodworker interested in a safe and sturdy router table.

One of the last features that we must single out is the overload protection. The machine will shut down automatically to prevent overheating and keep you and your work safe. Overall, the SKIL RAS900 is a well-rounded portable router table that will be great for anybody that needs their workstation to be compact and safe.

SKIL RAS900 in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Charnwood W012

Small and Safety-Oriented

Using a handheld router is not the most comfortable and safe way to cut wood, especially if you need precision and fine cuts. A better way to make your work more convenient is to use a good router table with some stabilisation features, for example, the Charnwood W012.

This model has all of the advantages of a portable table with almost no downsides. First off, it’s a compact table that will accept any 6.35-mm (¼ inch) router and help you do edge moulding, trenching, and anything else that you may require. And it achieves all that without a bulky frame or heavy weight that you’d have to deal with when using a floor-standing model.

This table comes with three clamps that you can use to secure your workpiece for safety and convenience. Using them is highly recommended to keep your material from sliding and all you’ll need to do is simply feed it into the machine. This makes the process considerably easier and will come in handy if you have a lot of material to process and need to get it done fast.

However, the working area on the Charnwood W012 is, due to its small size, not very impressive. At 430 mm by 400 mm, it’s enough for smaller pieces but won’t suit big projects and is probably a better pick for an amateur woodworker rather than a professional.

Review of Charnwood W012

Extra Stable Table for an Amateur

The Charnwood W012 may be compact but its tabletop is still a high-quality one, made of melamine-faced MDF and highly resistant to humidity and any physical damage. The material was chosen specifically for its properties, including the excellent vibration absorption. No matter how long you’ve been working or how big the piece is, the table will stay steady with no wobbling. This is very important for your safety and allows you to do some high-precision cuts with ease.

Furthermore, the table is fitted with a transparent guard to protect you from chips or dust that may come flying in the process. Any debris will be quickly extracted via a dust port and disposed of immediately.

In addition to the clamps, the Charnwood W012 also features a horizontal feather board to help you anchor a workpiece in the necessary position and hold it against the fence. Don’t worry about being too rough with the table or leaning on it as the side frames are made of steel and won’t get deformed. This table is a solid option for new woodworkers that want a sturdy and comfortable router table that will suit all of their needs.

And, if you want to take your woodworking skills further and familiarise yourself with another important process in this area, try out a planer that will help you make wood boards.

Charnwood W012 in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Wolf 100298

Lightweight with Extensions for Your Convenience

If you’re just getting into woodworking and don’t have a use for any fancy features yet, you’d probably prefer a table with all of the basic but important features that won’t cost too much. A good affordable option is the Wolf 100298, equipped with all of the necessary features that you will need to start off and more.

This Wolf router table is a portable one and is thus aimed to be as lightweight and compact as possible to accommodate the user. The model features extensions for the working area to help you cut larger pieces or just to make manoeuvring the smaller ones easier. That way you will not have to get a bigger and bulkier model even if you want to transition from basic cuts in small pieces to more intricate work.

The tabletop is made of aluminium and is 460 mm by 330 mm without extensions, not too large but good enough for smaller projects. If you add extensions, though, the working area will reach 864 mm by 330 mm, doubling its length and giving you more space to operate in.

But there is a little hitch, though, as the extensions can only be taken off with the necessary tools and require you to dismantle practically the whole table. They’re not something that you can just clamp on in a second and start to use with the table right away, fitting them requires a couple of minutes at least.

Review of Wolf 100298

Decent Choice for Inexperienced Woodworker

The Wolf 100298 is not just compact and flexible, it also allows you to use a wide variety of routers. Any model with a base plate of up to 155 mm will fit the table easily and can be attached in no time so you can get to the job quicker.

Do note that this table has rather narrow legs and it could wobble a bit during work. That is not safe and, if possible, make sure to attach it extra carefully to something that can help you stabilise it. While this model does have safety precautions, it’s better to overdo it rather than risk your well-being.

The Wolf 100298, however, stabilises the workpiece itself quite well thanks to two vertical feather boards and a well-made fence to help guide you as you cut. There is, of course, a dust port to which you can connect an extraction device that will gather up all of the chips and other small debris to keep your work area clean. All of these are situated carefully around the table and won’t get in your way while cutting.

Overall, this product might have its shortcomings but it won’t lighten your wallet too much and is a great choice if you’re still green in terms of woodworking. Just be sure to operate safely and always wear eye and hearing protection when using the machine.

Wolf 100298 in the use

 

Did you know?

  • As usual, Ancient Egyptians and Chinese were the ones to create woodworking. These advanced cultures came up with so many of our current products that it's no wonder they started the long tradition of shaping wood into something new and useful.
  • The shortest tree in the world is the dwarf willow. Native to the north and the Arctic Tundra, this tiny plant rarely grows taller than a couple of inches.
  • Conversely, there's not really a concrete choice of the tallest tree species with sequoias, spruces, and redwoods all in the running for the champion title. The highest specimens can grow as high as 100 metres, a rather impressive number, especially compared to the tiny dwarf willow.
  • A tree cannot die of old age, so if we let them keep growing even your grandchildren's grandchildren will be able to see a cherry tree you've planted or an oak in the local park that was already old even before you were born.
  • How many species of trees would you guess there are? If you said 23000, you're pretty much right! Our planet has a huge variety of trees, all of them different and beautiful.
  • You may have heard the terms softwood and hardwood and wondered how wood can be soft. However, these do not describe the tree itself but rather the leaves, seeds, or the tree's structure.
  • Redwood trees aren't just impressively high, they can also have a very thick bark, up to 2 inches.
  • Trees planted in the cities tend to last about 13 years less than the ones planted in the country.
  • A single tree can absorb up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year, which is why it is so vital to have them planted all over the world.
  • Back in the day, before Christianity took over, British graveyards oftentimes had yew trees in them.
  • It's completely true that different trees generate different amounts of heat when you burn them and the current record holder is the Osage Orange. Sadly, it's not native to the UK, so keep using your fan heater to keep warm.
  • The tree with the widest trunk diameter is the African Baobab. It's almost 17 metres across and nearly 48 metres in circumference, big enough to fit a whole flat into!
  • A variety of ancient yew trees are planted in Kingley Vale, West Sussex. Some of the specimens are more than 2000 years old. That fact about your grandchildren's grandchildren being able to see the trees you've planted was not an exaggeration!
  • A long time ago oak woodland dominated the British vegetation. And then people interfered and changed the flora of the country.
  • One of the worst offenders against the British oaks was Henry VIII, cutting down nearly all of them to build warships.
  • The corks in your wine bottles are made out of the bark of a Cork oak.
  • There is a Fortingall Yew in Perthshire that is reputed to be 9000 years old.
  • Wet wood can actually conduct electricity.
  • The blackest and whitest trees are ebony and holly, respectively. And softwoods are usually lighter than hardwoods.
  • Hardwoods burn longer and give off more heat than softwood.
  • Trees get most of the necessary nutrition from the atmosphere and just around 10% comes from the soil.

FAQ:

Q: Is it necessary to wear any protection when operating a router bench?
A: Yes, it is absolutely imperative to wear eye and hearing protection. Do not risk something as important as your eyes and ears just because it might be a bit uncomfortable to put on protective glass es and such. Unless you want to get tinnitus, consider getting good hearing protectors too.

Q: I’ve heard advice to only make light cuts. Why isn’t it better to just do heavy cuts and finish faster?
A: Heavy cuts might create a lot of kickback and that is decidedly unsafe. Plus, it’s easier to fix any mistakes or change your plan on the fly if you’re making light cuts and going a bit slower.

Q: What’s “trapping the material”?
A: It’s when your material gets caught between the fence and the router bit. This situation is very dangerous and should never be allowed to occur.

Q: Why do I even need a dust port on my table?
A: Unless you want a workspace filled with dust, dirt, and debris, a dust port is a must-have. Having any dust or small wood chippings on the table can lead to accidents or your material sliding, which may ruin a project that you’ve been working on for a while.

Q: Can I do some woodworking without the fence?
A: Technically, yes, but a good fence adds precision to your cuts and stability to your material. It just makes for an easier and safer experience overall. It is not recommended to cut wood without a fence, especially if you’re still an amateur woodworker.

Q: Are feather boards strictly necessary?
A: There are many cases where a feather board isn’t really needed but, as this safety device is easy to use and comes with most models in the market, it’s highly recommended. It helps you hold the workpiece in place and prevent sliding. Working with a powerful router demands all the safety you can get so try to always make use of a feather board if possible.

Q: So why would I prefer a heavy floor standing table instead of a portable one?
A: The floor-standing models are, as a rule, larger with wider and longer tabletops, which means that you can use them to work on bigger pieces. Portable tables are great if you need to move your router from one place to another regularly or you only need to cut smaller pieces of wood. Plus, the smaller portable models might simply not have the features offered by a larger and more versatile router station.

Q: Can I use these routers and tables to work with something other than wood?
A: If you have the right equipment, of course. Router tables are often used to cut not just wood but metal as well. But that requires some extra precautions and, unless you already have a good handle on how to operate your router, is not recommended for beginners.

Q: Are any other safety measures recommended aside from the ear and eye protection?
A: A lot of professionals advise wearing lung protection to guard you against small particles that can be emitted when wood is being cut. You can also wear specialised clothing to keep your regular wear from getting dirty, but that’s less a question of safety and more of a prudent decision.


Sources:

1. Router Table Plans, The Family Handyman.

2. Choosing A Router Table, Rockler.

3. Carl Duguay Choosing a Router Table, Canadian Woodworking.

4. Router Table Tips and Techniques, The Family Handyman.

5. Router Table Basics - A Quick Tour Of Router Table Techniques, Rockler. May 9, 2013.

6. How to Make Precision Cuts With a Router Table, SFGate.

7. Choosing A Router Table, Woodcraft. February 27, 2017.

8. Router table, Wikipedia. April 4, 2017.

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Publish Date: 2018-01-29 09:54:34