A wood router is one of the most valuable tools you can have on hand in your workshop. However, the tool itself is only one component of your space. You also need a router table to do all of your work. So, the question becomes, what is the best router table height?
The answer depends on what kind of work you’re trying to do.
If you need precision and accuracy, setting the table about two to three inches below your bent elbow is ideal. However, if you need to apply more pressure on the wood, you want the table to be a few inches lower to get better leverage.
An alternative is to install a router table lift that allows you to adjust the height on the fly. While a table lift can be expensive, it’s worth it if you do a wide variety of woodworking projects.
Why Does Your Router Table Height Matter?
The primary reason the table height matters is that it can reduce fatigue. When working on wood for a long time, you need to consider how the job impacts your back and arms.
If you set the table too low, you’ll have to bend over more, which can cause upper and lower back strain. If the table is too high, you won’t be able to apply that much pressure, making it harder to work on some pieces.
Overall, you have to find the right balance based on the work you do the most.
How to Set Your Router Table Height Correctly
You can either buy a router table “off the shelf” from a woodworking store, or you can make your own table. If you’re making your own table, you can set the height to whatever is most comfortable.
Typically, standard router tables measure 36 inches (three feet) from the floor. This height is the same as most countertops, and it works well for many individuals. However, if you’re taller, you might want a router table that’s 39 or 41 inches tall.
So, what happens if you buy a router table that’s a little too short? In that case, you can add a base below the feet that increases the height as much as you like.
Overall, it’s better to buy a shorter table and make it higher than it is to buy one that’s too tall. Of course, you can always add more wood to the bottom, but it’s almost impossible to shorten the legs, especially on a metal table.
Sizing your router table is going to save you a lot of hassle and fatigue in the future. If possible, experiment with different table heights before making a final purchase decision. This way, you can figure out the best measurement for your needs and go from there. Happy routing!