Benchtop Router Table vs. Larger stand alone router tables?

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Forum topic by Micah Muzny posted 07-03-2014 05:08 AM 2595 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Micah Muzny

185 posts in 1156 days

07-03-2014 05:08 AM

What do the larger router tables that stand on there own versus the bench top router tables? I have a Triton 3 1/4 hp router and I am going to put it in a table. I was looking at the Bench Dog 40-001 ProTop Contractor Benchtop Router Table, it is 16×22. What would i be missing out on if I got this router table? I will be doing small projects such as cutting boards and such, making furniture and cabinets. I am looking for tables in the 300 dollar range and lower, max would be 350. Any suggestions would be great, needs to fit Triton 3 1/4 TRA001 Router.

10 replies so far

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

483 posts in 1104 days

#1 posted 07-03-2014 05:25 AM

You can do a lot with one of those bench top tables especially some of the better built ones but I can tell you after using a JessEm table for a time I would hate to go back. You can make a bench top model work but you will find yourself wishing you had gone with the larger floor stand table from time to time to. If you have the space the larger table is probably worth it.

$300 would build a pretty nice router table from plans. Even if you didn’t want to build the top I imagine you could buy a top and build a cabinet for it for that price. You won’t get a lift but still should be able to do a good plate.

View Andre's profile


993 posts in 1229 days

#2 posted 07-03-2014 06:03 AM

I have been working with a small LV router table for many years and have finally ordered a Grizzly 1.5 hp shaper.
Worked with shapers at some classes I took and was so impressed at the range of work and simplicity of the shaper that I knew there would be one in my shop! Got the notice yesterday that it is on its way. Just another option you may consider.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View bondogaposis's profile


3972 posts in 1774 days

#3 posted 07-03-2014 12:35 PM

There are several of advantages. One is size and mass, routers can generate a lot of vibration and the larger the table will absorb most of it. Two is storage, routers can accumulate a lot of accessories, jigs and bits. A nice router table cabinet can provide a lot of storage. Three, is convenience, not having to pull a small router table out from under a bench or having it tie up valuable bench space.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View ChefHDAN's profile


798 posts in 2273 days

#4 posted 07-03-2014 01:56 PM

Micahm, what’s your TS set up? For my garage’oshop, the wing in my saw works great for my purposes

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View Micah Muzny's profile

Micah Muzny

185 posts in 1156 days

#5 posted 07-03-2014 04:27 PM

I have the Jet JPS-10TS, 10 In. ProShop, 52 In. Fence. I was looking at the ones that attach to side of table saw but I am not sure I would like that. I am thinking about making my own but not sure if I would buy or build a top/fence. I will definitely build the base/cabinet if I did that, but I am wondering if I build on if I can get it to make the fence consistently square and everything else lined up perfectly.

View Loren's profile


8172 posts in 3071 days

#6 posted 07-03-2014 04:31 PM

It depends on how much you use a router table.

I don’t use one much, unless I’m doing a job where
I need to make mouldings.

Currently what I have is a beat-up router table top
sold by Rockler that I set up on sawhorses when I
need it, drop the router with a compatible plate
through the top and go. It’s beat up because
I bought it used with a bunch of other stuff.

I used a version of Gary Rogowski’s “bare bones”
router table for years. I still use the MDF fence
made from the same article. I put a t-track on top
to hold orange Bench Dog featherboards. Works

I’ve been doing this stuff for over 15 years and
I don’t generally see much point in making a fuss
about router tables. I just set something up and

View timbertailor's profile


1591 posts in 847 days

#7 posted 07-03-2014 05:31 PM

I recently redid my router table and I am so glad I did. It can handle large panels easily, provides a LOT of storage for fences, jigs, bits, plates, routers, measuring tools, hardware, etc., and can double as an assembly\clamping station if you incorporate a swapable top.

I would buy the best lift you can afford and build the rest OR
Buy a really good fence and use the Triton’s above table bit changing feature and build the rest.

-- Brad, Texas,

View ChefHDAN's profile


798 posts in 2273 days

#8 posted 07-03-2014 06:28 PM

Micham, I guess it all comes down to your plans are and what sort of budget you’ve got to work with. I had to fill the space to the right of my TS top because the rails ran off the ends to the right anyway, so I made a top and cut it to fit a Rouseau router plate, and use it as my router station. Since it’s on a mobile saw I can move it around however I want. I would say that over half if not more of the work I do at the router table is using a guide bearing and my router fence is really only in play because it brings the dust collection to the bit’s. I’ve got two plates so I can run my PC 690 or the VS PC 3hp monster. I put the Router Raizer into my 3hp and it works well. If I ever get my “Dream” shop of course I’d probably do many things differently but it seems that the greatest challenge is getting to find the time to go and play with my toys, er I mean tools. This hobby can suck up a lot of $$$ and I am completely in agreement with buying the best tools you can afford and only buying a tool once, but there will always be something else to spend the $$$ on TOO!

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View NiteWalker's profile


2735 posts in 2000 days

#9 posted 07-03-2014 06:32 PM

Even modest size router table can handle bigger panels.
My router table is 21”x 26” (shop made) and it handles everything I throw at it. If a panel or workpiece is too long for it, it gets hand routed.

I’d build your own table. You’ll spend less in the long run and have more experience as a woodworker.
Keep it simple.
Mine is a single sheet of 3/4” plywood with formica on the top and oak braces underneath to keep it flat. It’s within .004” completely flat.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View timbertailor's profile


1591 posts in 847 days

#10 posted 07-04-2014 01:54 AM

I am almost finished with mine but it will double as a Kreg assembly table using Automaxx system also.

The top will be swappable.

Now, this router table station did not just happen over night. I first got the fence, then the lift much later, then I built a larger table, and finally built this one recently. Still need to complete the drawers using all the Incra joints

The point is, get the best you can afford, even if you can not get everything you want at once.

-- Brad, Texas,

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