View Full Version : Rockler's New Benchtop Router Table
11-21-2001, 09:31 AM
Steve Krohmer, Rockler's VP of Merchandising, is doing some market research on their new Benchtop Router Table and is asking for feedback from the Women In Woodworking forum participants. If anyone would like to comment, please post to this forum or you can email Steve directly at email@example.com.
Here are Steve's questions:
Rockler recently introduced a new product, the Benchtop Router Table, that has all the features you'd expect in a larger router table for only $119.99. You can view it here:
What are your first impressions of this product?
Why do you think someone might choose a benchtop router table over a full size router table (or vice versa)?
Any feedback is much appreciated!
11-21-2001, 02:25 PM
LAST EDITED ON Nov-21-01 AT 03:27PM (CDT)
I have looked at this table ever since it was first announced. Like most things from Rockler, it makes a lot of sense for a lot of woodworkers. I, personally, like a larger table to handle larger routers and larger router tasks...making raised panels and the like. But that is just me.
There were many years when I couldnt afford the space, the router or the bits and I made do with what was then the "best" small router table - the PC unit. If that is all you can have, it is amazing how much you can do with it.
I like the Rockler table's insert that can be leveled and then fastened down. I like the adjustable fence.
And you can't beat the price. It should make an excellent starter table for many woodworkers.
11-21-2001, 04:07 PM
A very nice table for small projects. I prefer a much larger table, however, to handle larger items. I am considering building a rolling cabinet-style router table with a lift mechanism for myself.
11-21-2001, 05:38 PM
I like the design. In fact, I like the design so well I finished building my own about a month before this one was anounced! LOL
I built my own large (42 x 32) router table about 6 years ago and it gets constant use. I wanted a benchtop unit for the portability and ease of use. I do a lot of work around the yard and house and having a portable unit makes sense to me, as I suspect it will for a great many others, and with a $119.00 price tag, it should sell well to folks like me and those with smaller shops who haven't the room for a full sized table.
Hope this helps,
Alice in Michigan
11-21-2001, 08:19 PM
Good timing for the question. I went to Rockler yesterday to look at this table and its big sister. I'll be getting the full-size model as the benchtop is no bigger than the one I'm using (and cursing) now. Today's adventures in routing really convinced me that bigger is better. The smaller table has been fine for smaller projects like jewelry boxes but for the bigger things I'm getting into, the tabletop is just not big enough to accommodate the wood safely and smoothly.
The Rockler benchtop model is certainly the nicest product I've seen for the price. For $40 more, though, I'll go full-size.
11-29-2001, 11:16 AM
Thank you all for your feedback. It is very helpful to get a different perspective.
There is no deadline for input for feel free to keep posting your comments or suggestions.
Lance Granum (Guest)
12-23-2001, 01:25 AM
Steve, Kay and all readers I have actually had the opportunity to put this table through its paces. Then I sat down and wrote this review. Copied from http://www.thisoldworkshop.com
Woody Tool Workout:
Rockler Benchtop Router Table
One of the most common complaints of home workshop woodworkers is the reduced performance of the benchtop tools. When the folks at Rockler boasted their new benchtop router table had all the performance of a full-sized router table, we were quick to say, "Let us be the judge of that." The assembly of the table was a snap, as all of the parts fit perfectly. Then we pulled off the protective wrapping, set up the fence and mounted our router base. The entire process took all of fifteen minutes, even with us making mental notes of all the downfalls of our existing bench top router table. We hoped all of these potential pitfalls had been addressed as Rockler had promised, and this was another well thought out design as we have come to expect from Rockler. The first thing one notices when looking over this new offering is that it is taller: 14 1/2 inches to the 16"X21" table top. Rockler's new offering is over 5 inches taller than our old one. This allows for easier removal of the motor for those quick bit changes and keeps the router off the bench, where it could suck up debris.
Clearly, the heart of this tool is its 20 3/4" anodized aluminum fence with twin 10 3/8 " face boards mounted via T-bolts. This helps limit clearance around the bit, reducing risk of damaging stock. The front facing T-slot allows for the safety guard and feather board mounting without cumbersome or dangerous clamps. The entire fence rides in two slots and also mounts with T-bolts, allowing for accurate adjustment and easy removal if needed. Another big table feature is the full-sized miter gauge track. This came pre-mounted and ready to accommodate your favorite miter gauge. Many of the bench tops fall short in this category, forcing the woodworker to use a cheap, undersized, inadequate miter gauge. Topping off the tabletop is the M.D.F. insert plate. These are easy to reproduce or you can purchase extras from Rockler. The plates have a unique but simple leveling system to prevent catching an edge while passing stock across the bit.
Once the router was set-up and adjusted, I wanted to see how the table would accommodate large bits and how it would handle one of those angry router bits. Once again, I got a surprising result. Most of the benchtop tables vibrate excessively, but this was clearly not the case with this table. I was left pleasantly surprised. Although it only goes to show a tool is only as good as its foundation, this one sits upon a set of trestle-type hardwood legs. This design allows for easy clamping to secure your table to either your bench or workmate.
This tool is priced right at only $119.99. Be sure to add the accessory kit for $29.99 and you will be set to roll. Yes, yet another advantage of this table is it is mobile and easy to store. It isn't your typical bench top disappointment.
If you don't have the space for a full-sized table, this is an ideal alternative. It is the real deal in an affordable package. As promised, it performs just as well as many full-sized router tables and better than any benchtop table we have tried.
Rockler does it again with a great addition to your workshop $120 is a reasonable investment for a solid worksurface like this. A good Router table is an essential part of any home shop. We believe this is an excellent model, and will serve you well.