If you’re a woodworker that is looking to add excitement to your projects, you may want to try using different equipment and designs. As you work, remember that safety is always important, so you should look into using high-quality router table insert plates, which are also referred to as mounting or router plates.
When you use a router plate, you will be able to maintain better stability and control as you work on a project. With so many types of insert plates to choose from, you need to consider ease of use, durability, and flatness as you make your decision. Here are a few tips and reviews to help you find the best router table insert plates for your projects.
Top 9 Best Router Plates
MPOWERTEC 71022 Universal Router Plate – Best Overall Router Plate
The POWERTEC 71022 Universal Router Base Plate includes a centering pin to make this handy woodworking tool precise but still flexible. Able to accommodate a wide range of standard routers, this plate can be used for flattening, inlaying, grooving, shaping, template-routing, and curving-edged.
The POWERTEC Router Plate offers increased functionality thanks to its ability to keep the router level and allowing you to route around edges easier. It is made out of clear and durable acrylic, which allows you to have the best visibility. The handy centering pin ensures that the plate is attached securely as well as centered under the router.
Also included with the POWERTEC Router Plate are assorted screw sizes that will accommodate various template guides. This router plate base also features a 1 3/16-inch center hole and pre-drilled holes that make mounting easier.
- It comes with predrilled holes to make mounting easier
- This is a flexible router plate that works with a lot of routers
- It keeps the router level, so you can work on a lot of different projects
- The predrilled holes won’t necessarily fit your base
- You can’t use the screws provided
Rousseau Company Deluxe Router Base Plate – Most Adjustable Router Plate
Equipped with removable insert rings, the Rousseau Company Deluxe Router Base Plate also includes corner snuggers and a shoulder pin. Capable of accommodating heavy routers, this base plate has a 3/8-inch thickness and measures 9 by 12-inches. Two included rings will snap out to fit larger router bits with tops up to 3 ¾ inches.
The included shoulder pin can be used in five different locations making freehand work easy while the four corner snuggers allow you to remove excess play if you have an opening that doesn’t fit the base plate exactly. This Thermoset Phenolic plate is also molded with just a slight crown to guarantee that center is the highest point.
- It makes doing freehand work easier
- This plate can handle a heavy router
- You can adjust it if there is too much movement
- The instructions are too complicated
- It’s not flat, so you may have to flatten it yourself
BOSCH Adapter Plate – Best Bosch Replacement Part
Compatible with many Bosch models, the Bosch Adapter Plate is a replacement part that is O.E.M. authorized. This is a nicely machined plate that is solid and won’t sag. It includes holes that help with freehand routing and routing without using a fence.
- It works with a lot of Bosch models
- It’s authorized by O.E.M.
- This is a solid plate that you can use for freehand routing
- The predrilled holes won’t necessarily fit your base
- The plate isn’t very smooth, and you may have to sand it down
Kreg Tool Precision Router Table Insert Plate – Easiest Router Mounting
Featuring Level-Loc Rings, the Kreg Tool Precision Router Table Insert Plate is flat, solid, and completely level. This rugged mounting surface has a 3/8-inch thickness and is created to be a mounting surface for a router. This phenolic insert plate measures 9 ¼ by 11 ¾-inches and can accept pretty much any router no matter its weight or size.
Offering easy mounting, the Kreg Tool Precision Router Table Insert Plate doesn’t include a ton of predrilled mounting holes that you won’t use. It does, however, have mounting hardware and predrilled holes that will fit Triton TRA001 and M0F001 Routers. And, with some modification, these hole patterns will also work with the Porter-Cable 7500 Series.
The included Level-Loc Reducing Rings allow you to easily change the opening’s size around the router bit. With these rings, you can easily twist them in place with the included ring wrench locking them flush and level with the surface of the plate. Plus, you get alignment marks that make it easy to mount and center the router.
- This is an easy plate to mount a router on
- You can center routers easily on this plate
- The router plate doesn’t have a lot of holes that you won’t use
- The plate isn’t flat, and you will have to flatten it yourself
- It doesn’t come with instructions
MLCS All-In-one Router Plate Kit – Best All In One Router Table
This router plate has a 3/8-inch thickness and will support any kind of router. The MLCS All-In-One Router Plate comes with two removable rings that offer three different bit openings. Remember that the 1 3/16-inch opening was created to hold Porter-Cable type guide bushings, and it’s equipped with a steel starting guide pin that allows you to do curved work.
Secure and Level
The MLCS All-In-One Router Plate is approximately 9 by 12-inches and comes with pre-drilled mounting holes. It also includes adjusting screws and magnets to level and secure the plate. And, the included concentric rings on the plate’s bottom make alignment simple when you install your router.
- This is a strong and durable plastic that will hold any router
- The router plate comes with three-bit opening sizes
- It is very simple to install
- It will chip when you are drilling holes
- It doesn’t come with instructions
DCT Universal Router Table – Best Universal Router Table
The DCT Universal Router table is an easy to drill insert that has a center marking to help you align the workpiece. The material of the table makes it simple to drill the holes that you will need for a customized router fit if needed. This insert also includes pre-drilled mounting holes along with adjusting screws and magnets that allow you to secure and level the plate.
Easy to Align
The DCT Universal Router table also comes with rings that you can remove allowing for simple alignment when you install your router. This router plate will also support any router thanks to a removable baseplate as well as gives you a mobile surface. This plate will hold any type of router securely without warping or flexing when you store the router on your tabletop.
Safe to Operate
This router table allows you to safely build a table=mounted router so that you can easily raise the router out of the table for safe operation and bit changes. It also provides you with a movable machined surface and will fit most cutters. The steel starting guide pin lets you perform curved work and will work for both small as well as large to medium cutters.
Simple to Install
This is a simple to install router table thanks to its pre-drilled mounting holes. The DCT Universal Router table comes with two removable rings that let you align the insert easily when you install your router. This is a made to last insert made out of a plastic material that makes it easy to drill holes into it for a custom router fit.
- This is a sturdy and solid plate
- It can handle the weight of different routers
- This router plate is safe to use
- You have to do some modifications to make it work tight
- It doesn’t work with all tables
Big Horn 18100 – Best Router Table for Porter Cable Routers
Measuring 9 by 12-inches, the Big Horn Router Table is 3/8-inches thick and can handle heavy routers. It features Porter-Cable template guides and snap-out rings of 2 5/8, 3 1/8, and 1 ¼ inches for a small cutter. This is a simple to install table insert that also comes with a shoulder pin that allows you to do freehand work.
- The router plate is simple to install
- You can use it to do freehand work
- It comes with Porter Cable template guides
- It does not come with instructions
- The leveling magnets can be a bit difficult to use
MLCS 9334 Router Plate – Strongest Router Plate
This ¼-inch aluminum router plate insert allows you to support heavy routers without worrying about plate sag. Measuring nine by 12-inches, the MCLS 9334 Router Plate comes with magnets and leveling screws to ensure that the plate is secured to the table. It also comes with 3 different insert rings that include attaching screws that have opening sizes which provide several opening sizes for a template guide as well as a plain insert ring that allows you to construct your required size.
Sturdy and Strong
The MLCS 9334 Router Plate includes a steel starter pin that is ideal for routing a curved piece. It also includes pre-marked hole indentations for mounting that will accommodate most of the popular routers on the market today. Strong and sturdy, this router plate is 1/4-inches thick and made of aluminum.
- You can use it to route a curved piece
- The router plate comes with pre-marked hole indentations to make mounting easier
- It is sturdy and strong, so it can handle heavy routers
- The plates don’t arrive flat
- The lift is poorly built
Woodpeckers AITRITON Mounting Plate – Most Level Router Plate
Strong and stiff, the Woodpeckers AITRITON Mounting Plate is made out of precision machined, cast aluminum. It features an anodized finish that enhances its durability and gives you a smooth surface to work with. This is the perfect plat for Triton Routers and measures 9-1/4 by 11 3/4-inches and has a 3/8-inch thickness.
Level and Accessible
Exactly level, this plate is eight top-accessible and includes fine-pitch leveling set screws. The Woodpeckers AITRITON Mounting Plate is equipped with a pair of edge plungers that are adjustable, so you can eliminate any slope in between the plate opening and the plate.
This plate also comes with several pin locations that have a threaded steel starting pin that allows you to fix the pin in a range of threaded openings to help guide freehand shaping operations. The Woodpeckers AITRITION Mounting Plate also includes three TwistLOCK rings along with a locking wrench.
- This is a well-made and sturdy plate
- The router plate comes with adjustable edge plungers
- It allows for freehand shaping operations
- The instruction sheet is pretty worthless
- The supplied screws are too long when you are mounting the router
Considerations When Choosing the Best Router Plate – Buyer’s Guide
Type of Work
Both DIYers and professionals should use a base plate to give them more control over their work while also maintaining high levels of safety when using their router. You want to make sure that your workpiece will stay flush with the table, which is where insert plates can help. Router plates come in a wide range of sizes that can suit a variety of workpieces.
A router plate will help to ensure your safety when you are routing. While the router table isn’t a safety concern, the router will be. Here is some advice to keep in mind as you use a router and a router table:
- Don’t put a router onto the workpiece before it is turned on
- Ensure that your router work fine before you use it
- Ensure that all the bits are in good working condition and are also installed safely
- Keep your fingers away from the workpiece and the bit
- Make sure you wear the right ear and eye protection as you work
- Don’t wear loose clothing or jewelry when you work
- Don’t leave your router unattended when it’s on
- Ensure that you unplug the router before you change the bits or make any modifications
Remember to learn all the mistakes you can make when you are routing to make sure you avoid them as you work.
The right router plate will make it easier and more efficient to do your work by giving you more accuracy, ease, and precision. Not only should this plate make your workpiece flush, but it should also get rid of the need for a lifting device.
The plate will make sure the installation and removal of the router easier. It is actually hard for you to use a handheld router and keep it steady if you don’t have a plate.
Varying from one router to another, the material can be made of nice quality aluminum or high-grade plastic. It’s important to remember that your router should be able to hold a heavy router and include snap-out rings that will accommodate different-sized openings.
It can help to have a shoulder pin along with your router plate to make it easier to do handworks like miters, molding, and styles. Table routers need to be flush with the table so that the workpiece doesn’t dip down. Using a basic Allen wrench, the router table should lock easily into place.
Requiring minimal maintenance, it’s important that you keep the router plate in good condition. Here are a few tips to help you with your router plates maintenance:
- Keep your router, table, and router plate free from dust, grime, and dirt
- Use a shop vacuum to clean up the sawdust
- Remove any obstacle that is around your worktable
- Ensure that all the parts of the router plates are in good condition
- Replace any chipped, warped, and broken router plates
What is a Router Plate?
A very flat and smooth surface, a router plate is used with a table-mounted or hand-held router. This is the part that is in contact with your workpiece when the router bit is engaged. Typically, router plates are made out of a synthetic compound like phenolic or acrylic or metals like aluminum. A DIYer can also make a router plate on their own using phenolic, plywood, or acrylic.
An essential tool for woodworkers, a router can be found in most workshops. It’s vital that a router is properly equipped. A router plate is usually installed as an original piece of equipment on a router, but you may need to replace the plate with a clear acrylic plate that allows you to see the progress you are making as you work.
Some users also prefer having a larger plate, which will increase the surface area that will come in contact with your workpiece, which will help your work remain stable and accurate as well as safe. You can buy clear acrylic router plates commercially, but some woodworkers are able to create new clear router plates on their own.
When you are routing wood molding, you will need to have the router mounted upside down on the router table. And, depending on the type of work you are doing and the tabletop that you are using, typically it will have an opening for a rectangular router plate that is approximately 10 by 12-inches. The router plate also has a hole in the center between four and six inches, which has a hole that is sized to fit specific router bits. To allow for sawdust, airflow, and stock support, there needs to be a clearance between 0.125 and 0.25 inches.
The important qualities to look for in a router plate is that it is perfectly smooth, flat, and flush when installed. Anything like scratches, dents, or warping on the surface of the router plate will create errors and flaws in the work that is performed.
You’ll find a lot of router plates available on the market today, and, if you are a serious woodworker, it’s important that you find the best router table for the projects you have planned. Make sure the router table is completely flat, durable, and works with the router you have to ensure that you have the best results as you work.