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Wise Buys: Router Table Power Switches

Rousseau #3506
Why buy? With one of these accessories, you'll end the annoying under-the-table fumbling for your router's power switch. Simply plug your router into the outlet on the auxiliary switch, lock the router switch in the "on" position, and you're ready to go.

Rousseau #3506

Editor test-drive:
Although this one costs more than the others, it's worth it. The low-profile rocker switch prevents accidental start-ups, and the 6"-long yellow "crash bar" proves easy to locate without looking to shut down the router. I like its compact steel box with steel angle bracket for easy, sturdy mounting to the stand or the top. Either way, it's unobtrusive while still easy to reach. The 8-1/2'-long power cord--the longest in the test--features 14-gauge wire with insulation coating that stays flexible even in 40° conditions. And the outlet on the bottom of the box allows the router cord to hang straight down without getting in the way of my stance when I'm routing a workpiece.

To learn more:
800-635-3416; rousseauco.com

Rockler 20915

Editor test-drive:
This model's big stop-sign "off" switch proved the easiest to reach and find without taking my eyes off the spinning router bit. And nestled above the STOP switch, the recessed "start" switch prevents accidental startups, but is still easy to locate without looking. The Rockler switch has a 7' power cord (with 14-gauge wire) that exits the box from the bottom, and instead of an outlet, there's a handy 2' pigtail cord for plugging in the router. Mounting the switch to my 5-year-old Rockler router table required drilling one hole through the steel leg because the predrilled holes did not line up with the box. (Rockler tells us newer tables match up perfectly.)

To learn more:
800-279-4441; rockler.com

Rockler 20915

MLCS #9079

Editor test-drive:
At first, I didn't like this switch because it works best on the left-hand side of a router table, and I'm right-handed. Because the cord exits the box from the center of its left side, it kept getting in my way when I mounted it on the table's right side. After relocating it to the left side, to my surprise, it quickly felt natural to reach to my left to power down (just as on my tablesaw). I don't like the standard toggle switch as well as the others--there's no quick-find kill switch--but it does have a removable key to lock out power. Although the cord features lighter-weight 18-gauge wire, it never got hot or became an issue, no matter what size router or bit I used.

To learn more:
800-533-9298; mlcswoodworking.com

MLCS, #9079

Rousseau #3506
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