Woodworking is a hobby that can be both fun and useful, but knowing what tools you need is as important as knowing how to use them. Case in point, a router is a specialized piece of electrical equipment that is used to carve the outside of pieces of wood into the desired shape and it can be used for many of the same purposes as a handheld router, albeit in a different way. If you plan on buying a tabletop router to add to your workshop, here are a few key factors to consider when browsing for one at a store.
The kind of router table you should buy depends on what you plan to do with it, so take into consideration the kinds of different router tables that are available and what features they boast. For example, if you are looking to get a lighter router table that you can carry around, a benchtop router might be more useful to you than a floor-standing table. On the other hand, if you are short on space an extension table might be a good choice for you. Whichever kind you choose, it is worth taking the time to go through the options at your disposal even if it is possible for you to make do with the choice that is less helpful.
You should make sure that the components of the router table meet your specifications as well, especially if you are partial to purchasing things second-hand; it's all well and good to get a benchtop table if that is what you need, but if it has a poor-quality fence or bit guard it won't be as useful or safe a tool. Other features of the router table that are less obvious like the no-volt release switch are also worth inspecting since you don't want your router to be running when it isn't needed, and while it might not peripherals like a push tool are helpful for when you really don't want to put your hand next to a rapidly spinning router bit.
Other parts of a router table that define its operation like the router bit are worth taking time to consider since woods of different hardnesses can affect the bit differently. In short, despite its simple appearance, a router table is a relatively complex piece of machinery and each of its parts should be inspected thoroughly.
You will want to make your work area is as stable and predictable as possible when using your router table, and there are a few ways to get this to happen. A router table can have different sizes and thicknesses, but it should be at least an inch thick and made of a sufficiently durable material like high-pressure laminate. Its base plate needs to be strong, too, so make sure it has as few holes as possible since the additional perforation makes for an overall weaker workspace.
Finally, consider the placement of your router table; you will be working with an electrically powered woodworking tool that can damage you far more easily than it can the wood it is designed to cut, so you should do everything in your power to ensure that it does not shift even slightly when in use.
Ultimately, the best router table is the one that you will find the most useful; if you plan on starting a business that specializes in woodworking you might consider getting a different kind of router table than the person who only occasionally uses one. In either case, so long as the router you buy can make accurate cuts through wood and if fulfills the goals you had in mind for it you should be on the right track toward your next woodworking project.