Mistakes to Avoid When Buying your First Router Table

The router table is the centerpiece of a workshop, being indispensable due to the fact that it allows the user to perform accurate cuts and complex operations with ease. As a person who is passionate about creating woodworking projects in your spare time, you need to purchase a quality router table to enhance the quality of your projects and to gain versatility when working. Unfortunately, a lot of people make huge mistakes when buying their first routing tables, mistakes that could have easily been avoided if they were better informed on what is needed for the table to feature and look like. In this article, we will show you what are the mistakes that you must watch out for so that you won’t repeat them as well.

Mixing Brands

One of the most common mistakes that beginners do when buying routing tables is that they mix brands. What you must know from the start is the fact that most manufacturers are proprietary, meaning that the router inserts have different sizes. Thus, it highly likely that the routers won’t fit at all if you buy from different brands. This goes for all attachments and accessories, including fences. What you must do to avoid falling into this trap is to decide on a certain brand and buy all of the accessories, attachments, and the routing table itself from it.

Buying Small

First-time users of routing tables tend to make an awful error in judgment, more precisely the fact that they consider the smaller size as being the right one. The woodworking table isn’t cheap at all, especially if you buy all the needed attachments and accessories and if you don’t cheap out, investing in a more expensive model. Therefore, you wouldn’t want to end up in the situation where you are going to want to change it after a couple of months or even weeks because you can’t use it anymore as you’ve outgrown it. Instead of thinking small, go medium or big. Your woodworking skills will improve fast, meaning that the projects you’ll perform are going to be more complex and large, a small table not accommodating your needs.

Ignoring Dust Collection

Cheeping out on important accessories is the worst idea possible, the biggest mistake that a first-time routing table buyer being to skip on the dust collection because of its price. Let’s face the facts, you already plan on spending a few hundreds of dollars on the table, so is it really that bad if you a small sum of money on a dust collector? Obviously, the answer is no. Among all of the accessories that routing tables come with, the dust collector is one of the most important and essential additions. Without the collector, the table is going to look like a real-life war zone after each use, and you’ll have to waste a lot of time on cleaning up after yourself. On the other hand, if you buy this accessory, your life will be made a lot easier. The best part is that it’s very cheap, costing approximately $10, a sum of money that doesn’t really affect your budget when looking at the bigger picture.

Skipping the Instructions

Unfortunately, most people view themselves as flawless, not considering it to be necessary to get caught up on reading instructions when assembling products that they buy. In most cases where people are too stubborn to simply pick up the manual or the instructions sheet and follow the steps shown in it, they end up making mistakes. Even worse, some of them, instead of admitting their fault and rectifying the mistake by disassembling the table and putting it back together according to the instructions, they call operators who ultimately figure out the fact that the instructions haven’t been followed and that there isn’t an actual issue with the product itself. This is one of the easiest mistakes to avoid, all that you need to do being to read and follow the instructions step by step.

Overdoing It with Accessories and Attachments

If you’re a first-time router table buyer, you are most likely going to get paranoid when it comes to investing in attachments and accessories, being tempted to buy out the whole store. Don’t do this as not all of the additions are necessary, and you might end up storing them away and never actually using them. If you have never owned or used a routing table, buy the table and use it for a few projects. After getting the hang of using the table, you’ll have a clearer picture of what accessories could help make your life easier and what attachments are needed for more complex projects. The only accessory that we advise you to buy from the start is the dust collector, the reason why being explained in a previous section of the article.

Fixation on Pre-Drilled Holes

Another mistake that beginners do is that they fixate on pre-drilled holes too much. If you find a quality routing table that is reliable and that boasts the features you are looking for, don’t overlook it just because it doesn’t have pre-drilled holes. In fact, the fact that it lacks the hole can prove to be great as you will be able to drill the hole in concordance with the base plate of the router that you already own. This is a perk that you might not enjoy with a pre-drilled table, meaning that extra money will be spent on a router that is compatible with it.

Focusing Too Much On a Specific Brand

If this is your first time buying a routing table, you have probably already checked what the best brands to produce them are. The bad news is that this isn’t a shopping criterion that you must follow as even the biggest name on the market can make mistakes. The truth of the matter is that there are numerous brands that produce these woodworking tables, brands that aren’t necessarily the most recognizable ones on the market. Instead of falling in the “name” trap, what you should do is check what are the best sellers produced by all brands, compare them, and see what models suit your needs and preferences best. This way, you will actually invest in a quality product instead of buying a poor performing one produced by a renowned and expensive brand.