The Best Router for a Router Table

There are many reasons why routers are so popular. They are ideal for making perfect joints and all kinds of cabinetry and furniture.

Even normally difficult joints, such as dovetail, box and interlocking joints of all kinds can be easily made with a high-quality router.

But not all routers you will come across will work effectively with a router table. After hours of research, shopping, and testing, I found seven top-quality models for you.

Herein you will find the seven products and resourceful features for selecting the best router for a router table.

Top Pick

The Dewalt DWP611PK Fixed Router is a versatile router with a plunge or fixed base kit. It has a powerful motor, a higher rpm range, a soft start, and electronic speed control.

Last update on 2020-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Best Routers for a Router Table

#1. Dewalt DWP611PK Fixed Router – Best Overall

DEWALT Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit, Variable Speed, 1.25-HP Max Torque (DWP611PK)

Introducing the Dewalt DWP611PK, the best router for a router table that comes with a fixed and plunge base kit. It is designed for the toughest applications.

Key Features

  • High-performing 1.25HP motor
  • Electronic feedback for maintaining motor speed
  • The easy transition of the motor between plunge and fixed bases
  • Single wrench bit changes with the low-pressure spindle lock
  • Has 1.5-inch depth travel when using a standard base

What I Like

The motor is soft starting with full-time electronic feedback, which is great because you will be able to maintain the ideal motor speed throughout the operation.

This router has an adjustable ring, which is a good thing because it allows controlled bit depth modifications to within one-sixty-fourth for fixed bases.

The base and the motor housing are made of heavy-duty aluminum, which means they can withstand repeated use.

Another great feature is the variable speed control, which enables you to optimize bit speed for changing applications.

What I Didn’t Like

The first model I received was faulty. The motor span to its highest speed and then stopped working altogether. I had to request a replacement.

Pros

  • Soft starting for ease of use
  • Variable settings for optimizing speed
  • The easy motor transition between fixed and plunge base
  • Adjustment ring allows controlled bit depth
  • More workspace is available with the extended sub-base
  • Extended 8-slot maximizes surface contact

Cons

  • It is possible for the motor to stop operating

Conclusion

The motor is very small with a cutting capacity of 1.25 horsepower, but it is capable of handling some of the toughest applications.

Overall Rating – 4.6

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#2. Makita RT0701C Compact Router – Most Affordable

Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router

Introducing the most compact router in the market, the Makita RT0701C. A slim unit that is ergonomically designed for all your cutting needs.

Key Features

  • Slim design that is ergonomically made
  • Fine depth adjustment for precise settings
  • Soft start for safe startups
  • Quick-release cam lock enables easy depth adjustment
  • The versatile base that accepts standard template guides
  • Electronic speed control for optimization during use

What I Like

This is a one and a quarter horsepower compact router that comes standard with a quarter-inch collet and straight guide and takes industry-standard template guide.

This is the router you need for creating common profiles, such as corner bead, classic bead, bullnose profiles, and trimming edges on wood and laminate materials.

The RT0701C has a variable speed control setting, which allows you to adjust the speed based on your application and also maintains constant speed irrespective of the load.

I really appreciate the smooth rack and pinion; this combination allows for stress-free fine depth adjustments for added precision.

What I Didn’t Like

My only complaint is the lack of 6mm Hex wrench and collet nut, which are important accessories for the offset base.

Pros

  • Powerful motor for improved performance
  • Slim, compact, and ergonomic design for comfort
  • Smooth rack and pinion allow for added precision
  • Quality aluminum housing improves durability
  • Highly customized and optimized speed settings

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a Hex wrench and collet nut for offset base

Conclusion

It is a compact unit; so, don’t overestimate its use. But it comes fully-equipped with all the useful features for most of your applications.

Overall Rating – 4.6

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#3. Makita Plunge Electric Router – Most Expensive Model

Makita, RP2301FC, Plunge Router Electric Brake, 3-1/4 HP

If you are looking for smooth plunge action, powerful precision, and superior performance, look no further than the Makita Plunge Electric Router.

Key Features

  • 15AMP motor boosts speeds of 9000 to 22000 RPM
  • It’s smooth to startup with its soft starting feature
  • Variable speed control for customization
  • Electronic speed control allows for constant speed maintenance
  • Quick-release plunge depth adjustment

What I Like

This model comes equipped with a powerful 15amp motor, which is capable of generating variable speeds.

Electronic speed control allows you to maintain the ideal speed to match the unit’s bit and application. This means you get more range in speed to boost performance.

The unit has variable speed control, which is great because you can adjust the speed to match your work from 9000 to 22000 RPM.

Another great feature is the quick release function, which allows you to adjust the plunge depth. You can also add precision with its three preset depth stops.

What I Didn’t Like

I was disappointed by the quality of the safety device found on the trigger. Also, getting accessories, such as an edge guide and dust nozzle is a hassle.

Pros

  • Powerful motor that allows for smooth routing
  • Improved speed control provides more range in speed
  • Variable speed for customized applications
  • LED lighting improves visibility
  • Easy plunge depth adjustment with the quick release action

Cons

  • Possible to receive a unit with a faulty trigger
  • May be difficult to get some accessories

Conclusion

This appears to be a very solid router for serious applications. It has an ergonomic design and an exceptionally smooth plunge action.

Overall Rating – 4.5

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#4. Portable Cable 895PK Router – Most Versatile Kit

PORTER-CABLE Router, Fixed Base, 11-Amp (690LR)

The Portable Cable 895PK is a phenomenal router for use with a router table. It will cut just about anything you put at it unless the project involves thick heavy heads.

Key Features

  • Soft starting with a press of a button
  • Powerful 2.5 horsepower motor
  • Variable speeds at 10000 and 23000 RPM for optimized use
  • Dual-position switching for easy power down
  • Over-molded grips for continuous hand placement

What I Like

It is powered by a low-noise, efficient motor rated at 2.25 horsepower, which is great because it generates strong speeds, ranging from 10000 to 23000 RPM.

This unit is soft starting with full-time electronic feedback, which allows you to maintain optimum motor speed for the toughest jobs.

The plunge base is expertly made to provide you with easy dust collection through the column, which allows you to improve the visibility of the bit and cut line.

I really like the over-molded grips, which are comfortable and convenient, considering how long I usually use a router.

What I didn’t Like

I was not impressed by the craftsmanship of the fixed base. The one I got didn’t hold the router tightly, which made it move during use.

Pros

  • Features a low-noise and very efficient motor
  • Soft starting for easy startups
  • Easy dust collection for improved visibility
  • Over-molded grips allow for comfortable handling
  • Variable speed control for optimized performance

Cons

  • The loose-fitting base may cause the router to move during use
  • The edge guide is not included

Conclusion

This is a very well-made tool that comes equipped with all the necessary features. You can forgive the minor design flaws.

Overall Rating – 4.4

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#5. Bosch 1617EVS Router – Best Grip Handle

Bosch 1617EVS 2.25 HP Electronic Fixed-Base Router

The Bosch 1617EV is one of the best wood routers for versatile routing applications. With this model, you get top tier power at 2.25 horsepower.

Key Features

  • Electronic variable speed for controlling motor revolution
  • Heavy-duty aluminum construction for durability
  • Comfortable handle design for continuous hand placement
  • Easy bit depth adjustment
  • Soft start, just switch the button on or off

What I Like

This unit features a powerful motor rated at 2.25 horsepower, which supports remarkable speeds of 8000 and 25000 rpm.

It has electronic variable speed settings that allow you to control the motor revolution speed with respect to your application.

It allows for easy bit depth adjustment, which is great because setting up the bit depth is a breeze when you need to do so.

Unlike conventional units that come with a manual starting handle, this model features soft starting for convenience and ease of operation.

What I Didn’t Like

I had a few challenges adjusting the base. Also, I had to replace the starter switch more than once, which was quite frustrating.

Pros

  • Soft start with the on/off switch
  • Electronic variable speed allows for speed optimization
  • Durable aluminum construction that will not break
  • Comfortable handle design
  • Dust sealed for durability

Cons

  • Possible to get a defective starter switch
  • The base may be hard to adjust for some users

Conclusion

If consistent performance is what you are looking for, this is the router to buy. But the starter switch is not long-lasting.

Overall Rating – 4.4

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#6. Dewalt DW616 Fixed Base Router – Best Fixed Base

DEWALT Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit, Variable Speed, 1.25-HP Max Torque (DWP611PK)

The Dewalt DW616 has the power you need to cut smoothly through some of the toughest hardwoods you are working with.

Key Features

  • Powerful 11amp motor for cutting through hardwood
  • Fast and easy base and bit changes
  • Micro-fine depth adjustment ring for added precision
  • Comes with a sub-base concentricity gauge
  • Features rubber over-molded grips for comfort

This router comes equipped with an 11amp motor rated at 1-3/4 horsepower, which generates powerful speed for cutting through tough hardwoods.

It has a micro-fine depth adjustment ring, which allows you to make precise depth adjustments in increments of 1/64-inch.

It is fitted with quick-release motor latches, which is great because you can quickly and effectively do motor pack removal for base and bit changes.

Another great feature is the die-cast aluminum used to house the moor and the base, which is precision machined for low weight and durability.

What I Didn’t Like

I didn’t like the quality of the bit assembly, which tends to get loose sometimes. This can be a big problem if it get stripped.

Pros

  • Powerful motor for cutting through hardwood
  • Quick, easy, and effective bit and base changes
  • Rubber handles are very comfortable for extended use
  • The switch is dust sealed for durability
  • Aluminum housing is precision machined for durability

Cons

  • Bit assembly may get stripped
  • Doesn’t have variable speed functionality

Conclusion

This is one of the finest Dewalt go-to routers because it comes with all the necessary features you’re looking for, but you may have to overlook some minor design flaws.

Overall Rating – 4.3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz9R9qaldGY

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#7. Triton TRA001 Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router – Best with Dual Mode Precision

Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router

Introducing Triton’s 3-1/4 horsepower precision plunge router, which is specifically designed for table mounting. It has many great features, which makes it perfect for handheld use as well.

Key Features

  • Compact precision design
  • Soft start with variable speed control
  • Single-button switches for ease of operation
  • The automatic spindle lock enables single wrench bit change
  • Side air vents prevent dust intake

What I Like

This tool has a versatile oscillating action, which is great because it moves the drum up and down to ensure that there is no static friction.

It comes equipped with a high-performing micro winder, which makes fine depth adjustment a breeze through its full plunge mode.

It fits quickly into all Triton router tables for a smooth and powerful operation, which is great because it will take you only a few moments to fix, turn, and secure it onto the table.

Another great feature is the electronic variable speed motor, which maintains the ideal rpm regardless of the load you put across it.

What I Didn’t Like 

I had problems with the router lifting mechanism. It failed twice and I had to request for a repair. Also, I had a bad ran with customer support, too slow to respond.

Pros

  • Single-button switches for ease of use
  • Soft start for safe operation
  • Side air vents prevent dust entry
  • Quick-fit pins for fast fitment and removal
  • Fully enclosed guarding improves protection

Cons

  • Possible for the lift mechanism to fail
  • Slow customer support response

Conclusion

This is one of the finest Triton models in the market with all the features a professional would look for. But beware of some imperfections with the design.

Overall Rating – 4.3

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How to Choose a Good Quality Router

There are quite a few good brands out there that you can rely on when looking for a high-performing and durable router.

But you need to know exactly what you are looking for in the market. Here are a few factors that I urge you to take into consideration when looking for the best router for table mounting.

Fixed or Plunge Base

The much-loved design between the two is usually the fixed-base routers simply because they have a lower center of gravity with the handles located near the baseplate for easier control.

Contrariwise, the handles of a plunge router are fastened to the sleeve that grips the motor. The only problem is that the height of the handles and the motor changes when plunging.

This mechanism also changes the center of gravity of the router. As a result, using a plunge router may take some getting used to.

On the positive side, a plunge model is safer to use because its bit protrudes only when cutting. Also, this design typically produces more power.

Motor

Once you have decided on the design (fixed or plunge) that will work best for you. The next feature that defines the best router for router table use is the motor.

A bigger motor will most certainly handle bigger bits, which is great because you will be able to do larger shaping and deeper grooves.

But this doesn’t mean that your decision should be mainly based on the horsepower rating. This is so since these units use universal motors.

The rating on routers is based on the peak horsepower, which means a 1.25-hp unit will provide 1.25 horsepower for only a limited duration before it overheats.

I would prefer you base your selection of the best router for a router table on the amperage. The higher the amperage, the more current the unit draws and the greater the output power.

Don’t forget about efficiency. A conventional, cheap model will not have the power output efficiency of a professional router.

Motor Options

With routers, you are always paying for the motor. So, you have to choose a motor option that offers the best performance and convenience, especially during heavy use.

There are various motor options in today’s market. What differentiates them are the included features, such as electronic speed control, variable speed, and soft starting.

I would recommend a motor that comes with soft starting as one of the key features, along with other things, such as horsepower, amperage, and electronic variable speed.

Soft starting is an electronic functionality that delays the full rpm for a second in order to prevent the router from lurching as it promptly reaches full rpm at the press of a switch.

The one-second delay is very important because it brings the rpm of the motor up slowly, reducing the vibrating motion from the startup torque.

The electronic variable speed is another impressive functionality, which allows you to conveniently adjust the motor speed to match the bit diameter.

This feature gives you a greater degree of flexibility irrespective of the workload. Routers with electronic variable speed usually have a speed range of 9000 to 22000 rpm.

Final Thoughts

The overall best router for a router table in this roundup is Dewalt DWP611PK. It is a highly versatile tool, featuring both fixed and plunge base kit.

It has all the features I would prefer a quality router should have, including a soft start, a suitable amperage of 7-amps, a horsepower of 1.25, a suitable rpm range of 16000 to 27000, and LEDs.

With this unit, you will not have to choose between a plunge and a fixed base router because it can be used with either of the two bases.

Always consider motor features first followed by other design features when buying a router.

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