Important Features to Look for in a Router Table

A useful and versatile addition that you can make to your workplace is a router table. With this addition, you will be able to level up your woodworking skills and projects. The extra control provided by it is what makes the router table a must have. But what exactly do you have to look for when purchasing it? If you want to find out which are the important features to look for in a router table, continue to read this article.

Solid and flat table surface

Precision is crucial in woodworking. A solid and flat table surface inacreases your accuracy when working with the router table. If the table surface is rigid, it won’t flex when encountering downward pressure. Therefore, the cuts will be accurate and professional. The best material for the table surface is solid phenolic resin. It’s a naturally tough and rigid material that is resistant to moisture and which offers high impact resistance. The solid phenolic resin is durable, rigid, and light, offering increased dimensional stability even after years of heavy-duty use.

Rigid and flat base plate

Another feature that has a major impact on the functionality of the table is the quality of the base plate. A rigid and flat base plate will resist to years of use, and it will allow you to work with increased accuracy. The ideal materials for the base plate are machined aluminum and solid phenolic resin. Of course, you have to look for a base plate that has extended router compatibility. This way, you will be able to switch between your favorite routers with ease.

Accurate and adjustable fence

When operating with the router table, you will control the cut by keeping the workpiece pressed against the fence. Therefore, you need a fence that is accurate and adjustable in order to have increased accuracy and versatility. If you analyze some of the router tables presented on, you will see that there are two types of fences to choose from, one-piece fences and two-piece or split fences. Each type of fence has its advantages and disadvantages and the website that we previously mentioned can tell you just how adjustable and accurate the fence of each table is.

A one-piece fence consists of a solid and straight piece that covers the infeed and the outfeed sides of the table. It offers increased accuracy when it comes to alignment. Unfortunately, there are several limitations that come with a one-piece fence. For example, you won’t be able to use bits that are small in diameter because the large clearance hole will create significant gaps between the bit and the fence. This will cause problems because the workpiece might get hung up in the opening.

A two-piece or split fence consists of two separate adjustable sections, meaning that the infeed can be positioned at an offset from the outfeed side. Therefore, you can move the fence sections closer to the bit to offer better support for the workpiece. Also, it allows you to use the router table to joint straight edges on a board. But the split fence has its disadvantages too. The biggest disadvantage is that it’s extremely hard to get the infeed and outfeed sides of the fence in perfect parallel alignment.

Your best option is to go with a sturdy one-piece fence frame that is outfitted with split fence faces. This way, you will have the best of both worlds, the solid frame keeping the infeed and outfeed sections in parallel alignment, while the split fence faces will allow you to achieve the offset that you need to use the table as an edge jointer.

Curved router guard

The last important feature that you must look for when purchasing a router table is a curved router guard. The curved router guard is a protection that enables you to cut in angles and irregular shapes. This offers you more precision in your woodworking project. Also, it increases the versatility of the router table, and it allows you to create unique projects.