There is a lot you can do with a handheld router, but with a router table, you will have a level of accuracy, efficiency, ease, and safety. The things you can accomplish with a router table includes: slotting, grooving, dadoing, rabbeting, moulding, edge treatments, template and pattern work, raised panels, mortising, box joinery and dovetailing.
One of the major advantages of the router table is that you won’t be dealing with the weight and vibration that are very intrinsic of the handheld routers. Rather, your both hands are free to move the stock. Routing small, narrow stock free-hand can be quite difficult and also dangerous. But on a router table, with the use of a push stick, jig, or a feather board, it is considerably easier. You can undertake repetitive tasks with less time and with less effort. You can also use large diameter bits that are usually unsafe to use in handheld routers. For many routing tasks, you will find that it is easier to align the router bit to lines marked on the stock.
Three Main Styles
There are three styles of router tables, and they are, the bench-top, stationary, and mounted (this is usually between the front and rear rails of a table saw). A table-saw-mounted router is the best option for smaller shops because it takes less floor space. Benchtop models are also great when it comes to space saving, especially for those who won’t be doing a lot of routing, and they can be easily stored under a work bench. And benchtop models are quite portable. If you want to make increase your routing potential and not caring about floor space as it might not be an issue for you, then you should opt for the stationary router table.
If you would like to save yourself some money, and you also have the skill and time, the reasonable thing (again, this is if you can and want to) would be to build your own table. If not, you should consider buying a table, most especially if you’re new to woodworking. Doesn’t matter if you build your own table or you buy one, the table style that you choose will depend on a few factors that include the size of the shop, how much routing you will be doing, the exact type of routing you will be doing, and also, your budget.
Hi, I'm Aaron Cardwell. I did not think of myself as an auto enthusiast until I bought my first car and discover how much fun driving is. Also, using vehicles or any means of transportation is a way of life. I know how greatly it impacts our daily lives.