A router table in your shop can be a great investment. There are many things that you can do on a router table. Setting up to make very precise cuts is easy and the end results are amazing. Tables can be as simple as a flat top with 4 legs with a rectangular hole cut out to insert a plate with a router attached to it. Some are elaborate with a closed cabinet base that has a dust collection system.
Prices range from under a hundred dollars to hundreds of dollars. It is always a good idea to find one somewhere in the middle of that range. Cheap may get the job done but will the table hold up over time? So I choose to stay away from cheap.
I have talked to many router table owners and most wish they had spent a little more time researching to be more informed when purchasing their router table.
Things that I look for in a router table is a good solid table top with and a good fence. I like to have a dust port to attach a shop vac because routers create a lot of dust. A bit guard is a must because safety comes first in my shop. I want to go out of this world with all the same parts I came into it with. Is the miter track built well enough to stand up to years of use and abuse? Dose it have a pre-drilled router insert plate with mounting screws?
And is the cabinet sturdy enough.
After doing a lot of research I found that the Bosch RA1171 Cabinet Style Router Table fits all of my criteria and it is under 200 dollars. It is designed to fit a variety of wood routers and you can mount it on any workbench, this router table is a versatile piece of equipment that will serve you well and will be an indispensable addition to your woodworking shop. And with its cabinet-style construction, it offers better dust collection and noise reduction for a more efficient work environment.
You can always build one if you want. Router tables are not that hard to build and you can end up with a very functional router table for under a hundred dollars.