The Kreg PRS1040 is a top quality freestanding router table with a number of innovative features that make it stand out from the competition. The most noticeable feature is the innovative table saw style T-square fence which keeps the fence permanently parallel to the miter slot, even while you are adjusting it. All you need to do is set your measurement on the scale using the magnified cursor, lock down the cam lock and you can be confident that the fence is parallel and true for its full length, exactly as you would with a table saw. The quality of the components is top notch and, as with all Kreg products, the thought and workmanship that has gone into this router table make it a joy to use.
The Kreg PRS1040 features a massive 32-inch long by 24-inch wide tabletop which is as big as anything on the market. The tabletop is made from MDF topped by Kreg’s unique micro-dot skin which makes the workpiece slide easily and predictably over the surface, and the smoother you can feed the workpiece onto the cutter, the better the finish.
For increased rigidity the table top has two steel reinforcing struts mounted on the underside. Once the table top is fixed to the heavy duty steel stand, these struts give an extra level of support and the whole setup is rock solid. Any concerns over the rigidity of MDF table tops are completely unfounded.
The Kreg PRS1040 uses an industry standard 9-1/4″ x 11-3/4″ x 3/8″ thick phenolic insert plate to mount the router. Kreg have taken the decision to supply the mounting plate undrilled and provide drilling templates for all popular routers for you to drill the mounting holes yourself. There are arguments for and against this approach – pre-drilled mounting plates take a little less setup and you’re guaranteed the router is perfectly centered, but you end up with a lot of redundant mounting holes and your table top has a ‘swiss cheese’ look about it. If you’re not happy doing it yourself, Kreg will drill the holes for you at a small additional cost.
Leveling is via 8 adjusters – two at each corner – and allow you to get the mounting plate absolutely flush with the table top. Combined with the lack of redundant mounting holes the end result is a very clean looking router table.
An obvious upgrade to the mounting plate is to invest in a router lift. Kreg’s own PRS3000 Router Lift as well as other makes like JessEm and Incra will drop right in.
The best part of the Kreg PRS1040 has to be the fence. Fences on the majority of router tables tend to be a similar design. They consist of an aluminum extrusion or casting with an adjustable two-piece facing made of wood, plywood or MDF (also called a split fence). On the Kreg PRS1040 the whole of the fence is made from aircraft grade aluminum, including the split face, which just screams quality.
But where the Kreg PRS1040 fence really comes into its own is the innovative T-square design of the fence. Just like on a table saw, the fence slides on a track parallel to the side of the tabletop – all you need to do is release the cam lock, set your measurement on the scale using the magnified cursor, lock down the cam lock again and you can be confident that the fence is parallel and true for its full length.
There is also an optional micro-adjuster available, the Kreg KMS7215 Micro-Adjuster which allows you to dial in precise adjustments one handed. It’s a simple design that works well and for $17 it’s worth investing in.
One of the benefits of using a router in a router table is the easy, efficient dust extraction. When using a router freehand, dust extraction isn’t always as good as it could be, the hose can get in the way, and so on. But when the router’s in a table, it’s the table that deals with the dust extraction, and in most router table setups, dust extraction is through the opening in the fence.
This is the second innovative feature of the Kreg PRS1040’s fence – it’s made from a fully-enclosed aluminum extrusion which creates a full length vacuum chamber for better dust collection.
Finally, there’s the stand. It’s a heavy-duty 12- & 16-gauge steel construction, adjustable in height from 29″ to 35″ and when the table top is screwed to it the whole setup is incredibly sturdy. You can make it even more rigid by screwing a plywood shelf to the bottom rails which also gives you a handy storage shelf.
Going one step further you can even build a completely enclosed router cabinet. In addition to increased rigidity and more storage space, you get the added benefits of better dust collection and less noise as the router sits inside the cabinet. You don’t even have to design it yourself as Kreg produce a set of downloadable plans, including a full cutting list. You can download them here.
Once it’s all put together the whole setup is fairly heavy, weighing over 90 lbs. Unless you have a large enough shop to leave it set up in one place the whole time, it makes sense to buy the Kreg PRS3090 3″ Dual Locking Caster-Set. They are heavy duty, swivel smoothly and the dual locking system prevents both roll and swivel movement.
What Else Should You Consider?
The Kreg PRS1040 retails at $499 and there aren’t a lot of other options if you want a floor standing router table of this quality in the PRS1040’s price bracket. You could consider the following tables:
If you want a top quality freestanding router table with a number of innovative features that make it stand out from the competition, the Kreg PRS1040 is one to consider. It’s got all the features you’d expect on a router table in this price bracket – large, quality table top, removable mounting plate, efficient dust extraction and an excellent stand – but it’s the innovative table saw style T-square fence which keeps the fence permanently parallel to the miter slot, even while you are adjusting it, that makes it stand out from the crowd. The quality of the components is top notch as you’d expect from Kreg and at sub-$500 it’s hard to beat.