Central Machinery (HF) router table and router--any experience with it?

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Forum topic by rowdy posted 01-26-2010 03:29 AM 16751 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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375 posts in 3437 days

01-26-2010 03:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: router table router

I was in the local Harbor Freight store the other day and saw a Central Machinery “full sized” router table (27 in x 18 in) mounted on a steel stand that sells for $179. The deal includes a 1 hp router and a few accessories. The table is made of aluminum. Since there are 20% off coupons available here and there for HF purchases the cost of this unit could be reduced to less than $150.

So my question is, do any of you LJs own this unit and, if so, what do you think of it. Or do you know of any reviews? Or do you just want to put in your $.02 worth? I would like to hear from you folks, as I currently labor with an el cheapo portable Craftsman table and an old, underpowered B&D router that I would like to replace. Input will be valuable to me before I go spend any money on this.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

11 replies so far

View Madwood's profile


68 posts in 3046 days

#1 posted 01-26-2010 03:47 AM

Rowdy, I don’t know as I’d put my money down on that setup. The router table may be ok, but I wouldn’t give a hoot for their routers. I think I would, at the very least, get a router with a 1/2” collet for use in a table. You may also consider a variable spped one also. It’s going to cost you more in the short term, but is going to last better and be more versatile.

You now have what you asked for…$.02 worth, my friend. :)


-- In the shop making chaos out of order

View knotscott's profile


8008 posts in 3370 days

#2 posted 01-26-2010 03:49 AM

I’ve had some success with a few HF tools, but I always approach cautiously because there’s always higher risk of getting a lemon. My concern with this router & table is that you’d still be nursing along with a poor performing router and would be $150 lighter. Also, take a look at what else you’d be passing up for $150….Milwaukee, PC, Freud, Hitachi, Bosch….there are some pretty nice well proven routers available in that price range. Then I’d look to make my own router table…they’re really pretty simple to do for next to nothing.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View rowdy's profile


375 posts in 3437 days

#3 posted 01-26-2010 05:27 AM

Thanks for your comments, guys. I just went to their website and checked on it some more. It is a variable speed router and does come with 1/4 and 1/2 inch collets. That being said, I am still leery of HF power tools, and I am pretty sure I would prefer to put my $’s into a tried and true router and a home built table, as you have suggested. So unless someone comes forward with a glowing recommendation based on personal experience, I probably will give this one a pass.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3556 days

#4 posted 01-26-2010 06:59 AM

Aluminum Table – not good. My first table saw had a cast aluminum table top and it made black marks on the wood.

-- Joe

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3658 days

#5 posted 01-26-2010 09:31 PM

I saw a similar product in an HF store last month … IMHO, it would be a waste of money.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View nina's profile


1 post in 2565 days

#6 posted 05-13-2011 11:44 PM

router, full size table model 91130 from harbor freight, first thing it took all weekend for my friend to put it to gether, first thing, onehundred and thirty or more screws, (tiny tiny) table is hard to line up with the holes for the scews, after it was all set up, time to try it out, it started then stoped tryed again, nothing, took the router out, pluged it in,it tryed runing, but it was making a clunking sound when it started and stoped. couldint return the table after all that work. so I sent in the non working one 1 hp. with one that work’s still it seems like I need more power,thats what brings me here,

View dbhost's profile


5708 posts in 3227 days

#7 posted 05-14-2011 12:03 AM

FWIW, look at my shop. You will notice that I am NOT a Harbor Freight hater. I have looked at the HF routers, and the router tables (Item #91130) and thought it was incredibly poorly made. Lots of slop etc… Bad reviews etc…

You would be money WAY ahead buying a quality router like the Hitachi M12VC, KM12VC, or a similar model from Ridgid, Bosch, Porter Cable etc… Or even the Skil 1830 would be a huge step up on the router.

Then build your own table / fence. The experience is very rewarding once you put it all to use.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2627 days

#8 posted 05-14-2011 12:53 AM

For an entry level router table set-up, I bought the Craftsman 28180. I wasn’t sure how much benefit I’d realize from a router table, and didn’t want to invest a lot of time building, or a lot of money buying a higher end set-up. Its a 24×15 benchtop table coupled with a 1 3/4hp router. I haven’t used it enough to give it a full review, but it has served me well so far. I’m very pleased with the purchase. If I ever do move into a nicer rig, the craftsman will still serve a purpose. The router is good enough to become dedicated to a mortising or dovetial jig. And the router table would make a fantasic drill press table. The craftsman can be had routinely for under $100.
FTR: I’m definitely not putting this into the same league as a Kreg or Woodpeckers router table. I’m just saying that its a good, reliable set-up for short money.
Grizzly is also currently selling a nice looking table for about $140.

View Jim236's profile


1 post in 1923 days

#9 posted 02-13-2013 11:42 AM

The table is good quality and sturdy but the guy who picked the router needs a new job as he was obviously confused on proper motor size for this level of table.
The installed router system is a confused mess.
1st one cut 1 board then never restarted again….DOA.
The replacement is holding up,when it dies it will get Replaced by The Craftsman Router system.

View bondogaposis's profile


4722 posts in 2346 days

#10 posted 02-13-2013 01:45 PM

Save your money and buy a decent router with it and build your own router table.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View aaroncgi's profile


33 posts in 1971 days

#11 posted 02-13-2013 11:45 PM

I agree with Jim236. I bought this table from Lowe’s under the GMC brand when they were closing it out, for substantially less than HF is asking. The base is nice and sturdy, and the fence and top seem decent (if you don’t mind aluminum), but the included router stinks. It’s underpowered, difficult to adjust, and is by far the loudest power tool I’ve ever heard – maybe excepting a gas chainsaw. It screams like a banshee. I will also concur that assembling the table is no picnic, with way too many screws, and soft philips head ones at that. I waited too long to use it before taking it back to Lowes, so it’s been sitting as a storage shelf in my garage for years. I finally disassembled the base and tossed it out – which was unfortunately even more painful a process than assembling it!

I kept the top, fence, accessories, and switch (which is actually pretty nice), bypassing the speed control, since I plan to get a soft start/variable speed router. I’m going to put the top into the right side of my new table saw, as it’s a standard 27” wide. I’m sure it’s not ideal, but we’ll see how it goes. The fence and dust collection actually seem pretty well thought out, but I have to admit that I have no experience with any other router tables. Worst case, I could just build my own new table top and add that to the aluminum, for a super sturdy insert.

But were I looking for a router table now, I’d absolutely avoid this one, and either build my own or get one of the many commercial options. Then I’d select my own router for the table.

-- Aaron

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