Author Topic: Incra Router Table vs Kreg Router Table  (Read 1051 times)

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Offline Ajax

  • Posts: 199
Incra Router Table vs Kreg Router Table
« on: March 19, 2021, 01:03 AM »
I'm interested in hearing from folks about router tables.

I'm leaning towards one of the Incra router table combos.  I think they offer high performance and features, but they come at a higher cost and may have an overkill of features that I may not really need.

An alternative is the Kreg Precision Router Table.  It looks like a decent table with slightly less features and a lower cost.

I would add a lift to either system, so this would add another ~$300 to the cost.  I already have a Bosch router to mount to the table.

I currently have a Bosch portable router table.  It's okay, but I use it only occasionally because of its limitations.  Adjusting bit height is a PIA and the fence can be wonky.  I'm looking to go up a step in performance and improve dust collection.

Thoughts?   


NOTE: An OF 1400 is my future, but I'd never mount that beauty to a table.   [wink]
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Offline simonh

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  • Posts: 151
  • Hobbyist / Maker of the VCS-R
Re: Incra Router Table vs Kreg Router Table
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2021, 04:22 AM »
Be sure to checkout Jessem too.  That's my favourite router table manufacturer.
-Simon

Offline Steve1

  • Posts: 84
Re: Incra Router Table vs Kreg Router Table
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2021, 08:12 AM »
I made my own table from Jessem components.   Jessem has very well made units.

The router lift is great to have.  Great for making small adjustments in height.

I like the Incra fence that you show in your link.   Looks like it has lots of travel.   I have the more conventional type of fence with rails on either side of the table top.   I have found a number of instances where I wish my fence had more travel.   But that Incra fence is going to increase the effective footprint of your router table quite a bit, which might be a concern if you have a small shop. 

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 264
Re: Incra Router Table vs Kreg Router Table
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2021, 08:24 AM »
Someone will have to explain the logic behind buying these pricey tables.  For the same money you can get a ShopFox 1 hp full blown shaper, and for a little less, you can get the Grizzly 1 hp shaper.  Why does it make sense to buy the table which generally gets a lower powered router mated to it?

https://www.grizzly.com/shapers

Or go full blown and get this shaper for $845.00.


Online squall_line

  • Posts: 181
Re: Incra Router Table vs Kreg Router Table
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2021, 09:43 AM »
Someone will have to explain the logic behind buying these pricey tables.  For the same money you can get a ShopFox 1 hp full blown shaper, and for a little less, you can get the Grizzly 1 hp shaper.  Why does it make sense to buy the table which generally gets a lower powered router mated to it?

https://www.grizzly.com/shapers

Or go full blown and get this shaper for $845.00.



I just googled "shaper vs. router" since I wasn't sure what the difference was.  The first two results I found explained the differences pretty succinctly.  Knowing pros and cons for each, I don't know that I really question anyone that decides on either a shaper or a router.

I know that for me, personally, I don't have space for a dedicated unit like a shaper, and the increased cost of bits over a router would turn me away pretty quickly.

One example provided in one of the links I read was "you can move the same amount of dirt with a 1/2 ton pickup or a 2 ton full size, one will just take longer."  Not everyone has the space or regular need for a 2 ton pickup.  I'm better off with a small SUV and a utility trailer (usually rented), which is much more versatile for my regular daily needs.

Offline MikeGE

  • Posts: 219
Re: Incra Router Table vs Kreg Router Table
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2021, 11:06 AM »
I went through my own expensive journey of discovery and ended up with the Incra system.  However, instead of buying the kit all at once, I pieced it together because of the path I took.  My first solution was to use an existing plunge router and try to build a table around it.  In the end, I chose a dedicated router motor available in the UK that fits perfectly in the Incra Mast-R-Lift II. 

Here is a thread showing my router table build:

https://www.festoolownersgroup.com/member-projects/router-table-63522/

I intentionally did not consider a shaper instead of a router table.  As a hobbyist, I do not have the shop space to dedicate to a shaper and the shaper cutters in my area are much more expensive than router bits.  The cutters for the shaper can be used only in the shaper, while any cutter I buy for the router table can also be used in my OF 1010 or OF 2200 routers.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 264
Re: Incra Router Table vs Kreg Router Table
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2021, 11:24 AM »
My point was if you spend $550.00 on the table  and $400.00 for a router lift, you can get a professional shaper for that price.  And the shaper takes up no more room than the router table. 

So I just don't get it.  I have neither.  I use my router in a cutout on my table saw.  But I would get a real shaper before I spent on the table + lift. 

Offline jarbroen

  • Posts: 341
Re: Incra Router Table vs Kreg Router Table
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2021, 01:00 PM »
@MikeGE  Nice build!  I really like the Incra Wonderfence I'm using on my CMS and have thought about switching to an Incra based table.  You mentioned nearly dust free - have you routed using big bits like door profiles?  How about dados?
The CMS dust collection is good, but I constantly clog the small, lower hose with bigger cutting bits.  And dados just leaves all the dust in the cut.
Another question - how about routing ends of longer pieces like door rails?  I'm guessing with a good coping sled that's pretty easy.
The CMS has the sliding table, but it needs to be calibrated to keep it co-planer.  The coping sled in the t-track seems more fool proof.

@Ajax If the Incra setup is within your budget I'd say seriously consider it.  The fence alone is worth the price of entry.  Just so easy to use and adjustable.  And repeatable!  That's a huge feature that you appreciate after you have it.
I like the smaller Kreg tools and jigs - they make well though out products.  For something like a router table that you'll want to be a 'one time' purchase it would be worth getting the best quality you can reasonably afford.

Offline MikeGE

  • Posts: 219
Re: Incra Router Table vs Kreg Router Table
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2021, 03:28 PM »
@MikeGE  Nice build!  I really like the Incra Wonderfence I'm using on my CMS and have thought about switching to an Incra based table.  You mentioned nearly dust free - have you routed using big bits like door profiles?  How about dados?
The CMS dust collection is good, but I constantly clog the small, lower hose with bigger cutting bits.  And dados just leaves all the dust in the cut.
Another question - how about routing ends of longer pieces like door rails?  I'm guessing with a good coping sled that's pretty easy.
The CMS has the sliding table, but it needs to be calibrated to keep it co-planer.  The coping sled in the t-track seems more fool proof.

Thank you!  I haven't done any doors or panels yet, but will this year.  I've made hundreds of dados and rabbets with very little cleanup afterwards.  The initial dust from the dado is easily captured by the MagnaLOCK rings.

I used the coping sled on one small project, and it is easy to set up for consistent cuts.

Offline clark_fork

  • Posts: 291
Re: Incra Router Table vs Kreg Router Table
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2021, 03:32 PM »
 My router table days go back to an early edition of WoodSmith and later to the table by Norm Abrams when we had to build our our tables. Now, of course, practically no one would consider building their own table much less a router fence.

I can't seem to do away with my first WoodSmith table but last weekend I broke down the New Yanked Workshop version and trashed the cabinet. I replaced it with a metal top table, Bench Dog and Bench Dog fence. The router is the newest Triton.

Several discoveries and thoughts.

!. I did not anticipate how helpful the magnetic feather boards are when the width of a board exceeds the slot run on the table So I recommend a metal top.

2. I placed the off/on switch to the side of the table instead of the front to great advantage and convenience

3. The Triton router has its own lift capabilities eliminating the expense of a fancy lift. Secondly the router is enclosed in a plastic shield with a connection to my Festool Midi, eliminating a under sawdust box. Lastly. As a belt and suspender person, I still attach my shop vac to the fence dust connection.

4. The heavy metal table just has a reassuring "thunk" that just seems right for pushing stock though the bit.

« Last Edit: March 19, 2021, 03:41 PM by clark_fork »
Clark Fork

"A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths."  Stephen Wright

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Offline MikeGE

  • Posts: 219
Re: Incra Router Table vs Kreg Router Table
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2021, 03:36 PM »
My point was if you spend $550.00 on the table  and $400.00 for a router lift, you can get a professional shaper for that price.  And the shaper takes up no more room than the router table. 

So I just don't get it.  I have neither.  I use my router in a cutout on my table saw.  But I would get a real shaper before I spent on the table + lift.

To each his own.  If I wanted a shaper, I would have bought the SCM ST 3C saw instead of the SC2 Classic.  The ST 3C comes with a shaper built in, but I have never needed a shaper, so see no reason to buy one.  If I was in the business of making doors or large panels, I might invest in a shaper.  However, I'm a hobbyist with simple needs and a router table does everything I have needed.

Offline MikeGE

  • Posts: 219
Re: Incra Router Table vs Kreg Router Table
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2021, 03:53 PM »
3. The Triton router has its own lift capabilities eliminating the expense of a fancy lift. Secondly the router is enclosed in a plastic shield with a connection to my Festool Midi, eliminating a under sawdust box. Lastly. As a belt and suspender person, I still attach my shop back to the fence dust connection.

The first iterations of my router table included the Triton TRA001 router.  The first version was the TRA001 in the Triton Workcentre insert, but I could never get the insert to align properly between changes from the contractor saw insert to the router insert. 


The second version was the TRA001 mounted to an Incra router plate in the table I have now.  Before I could complete the build, I helped a friend build some kitchen cabinet doors using his TRA001 in a table he built.  That one day was enough to convince me to abandon the TRA001 and find another solution.


The TRA001 is a good handheld plunge router, but I would never consider it for a router table after using it for one day.  Changing cutters, which was frequent, required reaching under the table to turn the router off so the safety interlock built into the power switch would allow the router to be raised all the way to engage the spindle lock.  After setting the cutter height and locking the router, the plastic gears seemed to shift slightly.  This meant the router would drop a little as soon as the lock was released to make an incremental height change for the next pass.  Every change required using a height gauge.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 264
Re: Incra Router Table vs Kreg Router Table
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2021, 04:24 PM »


!. I did not anticipate how helpful the magnetic feather boards are when the width of a board exceeds the slot run on the table So I recommend a metal top.


That magnetic feather board is one of my most used table saw accessories. I use it about ten times more often than my miter-slot feather board.  I highly recommend it.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5132
Re: Incra Router Table vs Kreg Router Table
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2021, 05:43 PM »


!. I did not anticipate how helpful the magnetic feather boards are when the width of a board exceeds the slot run on the table So I recommend a metal top.


That magnetic feather board is one of my most used table saw accessories. I use it about ten times more often than my miter-slot feather board.  I highly recommend it.

On my old (old as me) Walker Turned tablesaw the miter slots are farther away from the blade than on everyone else’s tablesaws so readymade feather boards don’t help, except on wider stock. But the MagSwitch feather board works anywhere, so I use it on narrow stock. Like it a lot!
« Last Edit: March 19, 2021, 06:36 PM by Michael Kellough »