Woodworkers are always looking to add some excitement in their projects by trying many different types of designs and equipment all the time. In all your work, safety is going to play a very important role in the decision making process. You should always consider buying a high quality router table and the router table insert plates, also called as mounting plates. Interesting Read: Routers For Table Mounting
A router plate helps in maintaining better control and stability when you are working on a project. There are many different types of insert plates to consider. We’ve kept in mind all the factors responsible when choosing the router plate and have recommended you the top 10 router plates for 2022. All the research and data has come after talking to a lot of our woodworking friends, industry experts and our own experience.
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How to Select the Wood Router Table Insert Plate Table?
Buying your first router is a moment of pure joy because it finally gives you the tool you need to start the projects you have in your mind for a while now. However, choosing the router is not the only thing you need to start your work. For using it with utmost safety, you’ll need to buy a router plate, along with a router table.
Now, since the top ten products in the router plate category have already been discussed, it’s time now to assist you with the factors you need to check while selecting a router table insert plate table.
The Type of work
Both professionals and amateurs use the base plates for having more control over the work and maintaining higher safety levels during router use. There is no point in spending all your hard earned money on the lift for ensuring that the workpiece stays flush with your table. Let the insert plates slot in, and that will let you create the art that you have in your mind. There is a whole range of sizes available for insert plates, and these suit a number of work pieces.
The safety factor
The router plates should help in ensuring your safety at the time of routing. The insert table is not your safety concern, but the router certainly is. Here are a couple of safety advices that you need to keep in mind:
- Do not put the router on the workpiece before you turn it on
- Make sure that the router is working fine before you use it
- Make sure that the bits are in good condition and installed safely
- Your fingers must be kept away from the bit and your work piece
- Wear proper eye and ear protection at all times
- Do not have jewelry or loose clothes on at the time of working
- Do not leave the router unattended while it is on
- Make sure to unplug your router before changing the bits or doing any such modifications
Get to know all the mistakes to avoid when you are woodworking.
The efficiency factor
The right plate insert should make it easy for you to carry out your work by giving you greater ease, precision, and accuracy. It should not just make your work flush, but also eliminate your need for a high-end lifting device. The router plate has to make sure that it is easier for you to make the installations and remove the router. It will be difficult for you to use a handheld router and keep it steady without having a plate.
Features on offer
The features available vary from one router to another. There are inserts made of high-grade plastic, or good quality aluminum. The important thing to keep in mind here is that the router insert should be able to hold heavy routers, and the snap out rings should be accommodative to openings of different sizes.
It would be helpful to have a shoulder pin on the insert plate to make it easy for you to do the handwork, like molding, styles, and miters. The table inserts should also be flush with the table, such that the work pieces do not dip down. The insert should lock in its place using a simple Allen wrench.
The router plates should need minimum maintenance, and even then, the entire product should be in good condition. The following are the simple tips you should keep in mind:
- The table insert, table, and the router has to be free from grime, dirt, and dust
- Clean the sawdust using a good shop vacuum
- Move all obstacles around your table
- Make sure that the components are all in premium condition
- Replace all warped, broken, and chipped inserts
It is important to have an idea of the features that you will need before you try to set a budget for getting the router plate. For instance, say you bought the most expensive one from the market, but then you found out that it is made of a material that will not suit your heavy routing needs. Make sure to compare the prices with the features before you come to a decision.
1. Rousseau 3509 Router Base Plate : Router Plate Overall
This one from Rousseau tops the list because of the versatility that it comes with. You can easily use it for the heavy routers and as freehand tools. The 3509 comes with a removable insert ring that can hold bits of various sizes.
It comes with a separate set of rings that can be used with different bit diameters. On your table, these highly useful rings make a four inch opening that is just perfect for getting it fitted to the baseplate. The versatility of the router plate is further evident in the fact that it has three other opening sizes, i.e. 3-7/8 inches, 2-5/8 inches, and 1-1/4 inches.
When it comes to freehand routing, the product has a shoulder pin that is an inch taller for added safety. There are four snuggers at the corner for more support in case it does not match with the plate exactly. The snuggers would not be clamped down to your table. These will just clamp down enough to make sure that the plate stays in position.
2. Guide Bushing Router Plate : Budget Pick
Use this router plate for cutting the dovetail designs using a jig, reproducing the furniture parts, inlay work, and lettering. Mount it to the sub-base of the router using the tube that is protruding below. The straight router bits extend through a tube. The outer part of this tube goes against the template or edge guide, while maintaining a set distance from the template.
This bushing comes with a knurled, threaded collar that holds it in one place. The work is more precise this way, and you do not need to worry about safety. The brass bushing will not come with this one. You will just get the base plate.
However, the base plate is a sturdy, solid thing. It will give you a nice glide over the dovetail jigs and any other surfaces. It will hold all that together and make it easier to work. The product fits almost all routers in the market. You can customize it easily for the ones it does not fit instantly, like the Craftsman router.
3. Woodpeckers AITRITON Router Plate : Premium Pick
The AITRITON router plate is made of cast aluminum, and it is one of the sturdiest mounting plates you will find in the market. This pre drilled plate is remarkable for its durability because it will never end up flexing. The plate has enough thickness to support heavy torquing at the time of routing.
This low friction router plate has three different locking rings that fit perfectly with most of the router kits available in the market. The anodized coating keeps the surface smooth and plain. The locking rings have different levels of thickness to let you select the one that you think you will need. The rings even have different opening sizes to deliver a superior user experience.
Just like with all Woodpeckers router plates, in this case as well, you will get to have a spanner wrench, eight set screws, three twist locks, and a starting pin. There will also be a set of adaptable edge plungers that will help you in leveling the opening slops to make the plate adjust perfectly over the table. This product goes well with the woodpeckers phenolic router table.
Other Great Picks
4. KREG Molded Router Table
You will need a durable and sturdy insert plate when you are working with Bosch or Triton routers that have heavy torque. The KREG Router Table with its flat, sturdy mounting surface can be the just the product you need for situations like these.
It is basically a phenolic router plate, with a thickness of 3/8 inch, which is good enough to offer the right surface for all kinds of routers and deliver the accurate and precise cuts that you are looking for. The plate easily supports heavy torque that comes from the router kits.
The plate comes with three Lock reduction rings of 67 mm, 30 mm, and 25 mm. There is also one ring wrench in it that helps to lock it in place and the surface of the plate stays secure every time you work on it. You get to easily change that opening which surrounds the bit.
There are pre drilled holes for mounting this precision router plate. However, you have nothing to worry about if you use Trillion routers, as well. It is pre drilled and undrilled for different routers.
5. MLCS 9338 Router Plate Kit
This one has almost everything that you need for securely mounting the router to your table. The part of this router is that it has the ability to support all routers available in the market. But, that’s not where its features end.
It is made of phenolic plastic of 3/8 inch thickness, which makes it long lasting and durable. There are two removable rings on it that offer three bit openings to support all the common routers. A good thing is that it is able to produce a 1-3/16 inches opening that fits with bushings, such as Porter Cable.
The steel starting pin that it has helps you in easily carving the wood pieces. There are pre drilled mounting holes of 9-1/32 inches x 12-3/32 inches, along with adjustable screws and magnets. There are concentric rings at its bottom, which makes the router easy to install.
6. MLCS 9334 Router Plate
So, here’s another router plate from MLCS on the list, and this one is as good as the previous product reviewed by us. Not only is this plate adaptable to the most popular routers in the market, but also it supports the heaviest routers without sagging one bit.
There are three locking rings and one steel starter pin that comes with this route plate kit. Inserting the plate on the table becomes easier thanks to the magnets and the leveling screws. The inserting rings come with openings of various sizes.
The opening sizes being common allows the popular routers to fit in them. The sizes you will get here are 1-3/16 inches, 1-7/16 inches, and 3-1/4 inches. There is also a blank inserting ring given so that you can customize it according to your need.
The plate is secured to the table using the magnetic system. The wood pieces are curved using the steel starter pin. The mounting holes are pre-marked but not pre drilled.
7. Big Horn 18100
This is the insert plate that is able to hold heavy routers on its 9 inches x 12 inches x 3/8 inch surface. Big Horn did not resort to magnet like MLCS did, but that does not you cannot customize it at all.
There are spring rings to help with small cutters. Various sizes of the bit openings are provided by these rings. The opening is similar to what you expect in other router tables. You can call the bit sizes to be universal, and they are available in sizes of 1 – ¼ inches, 2 – 5/8 inches and 3 – 7/8 inches.
These sizes also follow the guidelines set by Porter-Cable routers. Thus, this user friendly router plate can be used for Porter Cables and other products in that same category. You will get a shoulder pin, so that you can use it with a freehand tool. The work surface of 18100 has a dimension of 17.9 inches x 10.4 inches x 0.2 inch, which is large enough to give space to the heavy duty routers easily.
8. POWERTEC 71022 Router Plate
The materials used for making this router plate are acrylic and metal. It is a decent product that will last you a long time without sagging or warping. The acrylic is of 5/16” in thickness, so you will have no issues with the visibility of your work. The ergonomic grip that comes with an extended base adds extra stability to the plate for good cutting.
There are pre drilled mounting holes, along with adjustable screws that comes with the product. The center hole measures 1-3/16 inches. There is a router centering pin that also comes with this one to help you center the collet of the router. The bit opening sizes also follow the guidelines set by Porter-Cable routers. Thus, this user friendly router plate can be used for Porter Cables and other products in that same category.
The fact that the router stays levelled on the table really helps with the work. You can use this one for grooving, shaping, edge routing, curved edges, straight edges, inlays, and the like.
9. DCT Universal Router Table
DCT router plates are helpful when you want to work on mobile surfaces. The thick 3/8 inch plate is made of high-grade phenolic, which gives it a good level of sturdiness. You can do all kinds of heavy duty routing work on this table.
You can call the bit sizes to be universal, and they are available in sizes of 1-¼ inches, 2-5/8 inches and 3-7/8 inches. These sizes also follow the guidelines set by Porter-Cable routers. Thus, this user friendly router plate can be used for Porter Cables and other products in that same category.
The plate is good to go for all routers with removable base plates. For further satisfaction and convenience, the plate is also able to accommodate a mobile surface on the table. There are pre drilled mounting holes, along with adjustable screws and magnets.
There is a marking below the plate, where you can drill for fixing the router right at the center. There is no warping and sagging, and the router is held tightly.
10. Bosch Adapter Plate
If you are looking for a strong and durable product that gets the job done, then this last product of the list will work just fine for you. Bosch is a name that needs no introduction to the woodworkers, and the brand has lived up to its reputation in this regard.
The high-grade material used for making this adapter plate ensures that it works perfectly well for heavy duty routing. It will not warp or sag due to continuous heavy duty work on it, as the professionals frequently need to do.
There are pre drilled mounting holes, along with adjustable screws that come with the product. There is also a mark for rotation that helps the amateurs, who are just learning the craft. It will fit all the Bosch parts that you have.
Bill Baum’s Tip: Download the free PDF on How to install a router plate here
There are a lot of router plates in the market but if you are serious about working on creative woodworking projects then we recommend you to go through our guide to choose the router table insert plate. We and Bill Baum himself have recommended some of the top insert plates that you can buy online. From what we realized, Woodpeckers AiTriTon router mounting plate is one of the options. If you are confused, you can comment below or send us an email and Bill Baum will personally help you choose the mounting plate.