Horizontal Router Table: Why You Need One

In the horizontal router, as the name suggests, the router is mounted horizontally, so the bit’s axis is parallel to the table surface. It is well suited for operations that require balancing the workpiece on edge. The best horizontal router table models are reviewed in detail on Woodworkify.

Why do you need an HRT instead of the conventional vertical mounted router table?

  • It is useful for cutting tenons on long workpieces without having to stand them up on end for routing where they are less stable.
  • Some horizontal router tables offer the ability to plunge the bit into the workpiece by moving the table with the workpiece clamped to it hence easing the mortising process.
  • HRT will handle almost all types of raised arch as well as thumbnail corner boxes where a vertically mounted router would be almost impossible to use.
  • The horizontal router table is especially convenient for routing a piece that would be awkward on a conventional router, for instance, the end of something long and narrow.
  • With the tilting table option, anyone making chairs or other angled work will realize the horizontal router comes in handy.
  • The HRT also has increased mobility options for the user. Once clamped at the edge of a workbench, one can work easily from either side or the front.
  • The horizontally mounted router is suitable for tasks such as panel raising, joinery cutting and other jobs that one would rather have the work flat on a table
  • You need a horizontal router table if you intend to route on edge while preventing the wood from tipping over while routing.
  • The HRT is safer and more accurate than standing wide stock on edge with a conventional vertical router, and it makes tall auxiliary fences, multiple feather boards and jigs unnecessary.
  • The HRT is useful for anything you have to route with the narrow edge of the board flat on the table. It is great for running moldings as well as doing panels.
  • With an HRT, it is easy to machine the ends of boards which otherwise are difficult to handle on end over a conventional router table or would require many templates.
  • An HRT is useful when making a series of shallow cuts, especially for loose tenon joinery. With a conventional router table, you would have to increase the depth of cuts after each pass. In such instances, the HRT is easier to use.
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