Editor's Review: Router Tables
review date: March 1, 2006
The author evaluated 13 router tables for the sturdiness of their tables and fences, for dust collection, and for ease of operation and setup. A good router table is flat and has a stout base and a fence able to support jigs and hold-downs. The fence on the Bosch is made of cast aluminum and accommodates dust collection, a guard, and a hold-down. It has MDF infeed and outfeed faces and no T-tracks. The top is 1-3/16-in. MDF with plastic laminate on both sides. This model has a convenient paddle switch, and its folding base affords mobility but lacks the rigidity of fixed bases.
by Strother Purdy
Model No. RA1200 router table from Bosch is a well-made product. The table is built for medium-duty work, but the construction is sound, so I expect that it will last many years.
The 1-in.-thick medium-density fiberboard (MDF) top is sturdy. At just under 24 in. by 44 in., it gives steady support to large workpieces. The fence is also sturdy, though the two sliding faces were not perfectly aligned. I trued them up by slipping a paper shim under a single bolt on one of the faces.
The insert for the router is leveled using six nylon bolts. The top also features a T-slot for a miter gauge.
The thin legs make the table look wobbly, but in heavy use it is surprisingly steady. The legs fold under the table for transportation or storage. To me, the table is too heavy to be called portable (it weighs around 65 lb. without the router). But, then again, some people consider a contractor’s saw to be portable.
The top of the table measures 36 in. from the floor, although all of my other stationary tools are closer to 34 in. high. Bosch describes its height as “optimal,” though I didn’t find the added height either better or worse.
I appreciate the easily reached switches, but the concept can be taken too far: If you lean against the edge of the table near the switch, the router shuts down. Relocating the switch a little farther under the table would probably solve the matter. A router and dust hose are not included in the price.
Editor Test Results: