Type of Router Table
There are two types of router tables, and these are portable and stationary. If you need a router table that you can carry from your headquarters to a jobsite and vice versa, then a portable router table is ideal for you. Portable router tables have a standard tabletop, but the legs can be folded underneath, making them easier to transport.
But if you’re going to work mainly at home or in your workshop, then a stationary router table is a sensible choice. The legs of this type of table are fixed. Plus, it can be mounted to another workbench thanks to predrilled holes on the feet.
Table Top Surface
Most benchtop router table tops are usually made of medium-density fibreboard, or MDF, while some are made of aluminum.
MDF is a popular type of engineered wood that is composed of wood fibers. The wood fibers are bound together with synthetic adhesives and compressed into panels. Router tables with MDF tops are coated with high-pressure laminate or melamine to ensure that the surface is smooth and abrasion-resistant. MDF router tables can support a lot of weight and are durable, but keep in mind that poorly made MDF tables are susceptible to swelling or warping when exposed to excessive humidity.
Aluminum is another material commonly used to make router tables. These rugged router tables can hold a lot of weight, and they are veritably moisture-proof. They are fire-proof and lightweight but make sure to check if the surface is level as it can affect the precision of your cuts.
There’s nothing worse than a table that wobbles or vibrates while you’re routing a piece of wood. Whether you’re getting a portable or stationary router table, make sure that the legs are stable enough that they do not wobble during operation. If the table you’ve purchased does wobble, you can always drill the base onto a customized workbench.
Keeping a cut straight and can even be difficult if your router table doesn’t have a fence. Router table fences are available in one piece, while others are split into two. Some come with adjustable featherboards, while others do not. If you’re going to work on larger workpieces, then make sure to get a router table with a higher fence.