I want to build a cabinet with drawers but I don't have many tools. I have a drill, a square, a level, and some hand saws.

Most guides make use of a table saw and dado blades. I'm thinking about buying a Router and Router Table as a substitute to this. Does that make sense?

  • 2
    I think you need to re-phrase the question as you haven't actually asked something directly related to making a cabinet. Yes a router can be of help in makineg one but you don't need a router for many of the operations needed to construct cabinets. And also "a cabinet" is too broad, we need much more detail about the size/shape/style. A picture of the type you're hoping to make would be ideal.
    – Graphus
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 19:50

3 Answers 3


Properly speaking, you don't need any power tools to build a cabinet. (However, that would be tiresome to say the least.)

Yes to the router, no to the router table (unless you commit an entire 4x8 sheet to the table), and an additional "yes" to a circular saw with a home-made cutting guide. This picture from woodmagazine.com:

circular saw guide

They specify 1/2" stock for the guide; if you ever plan to cut down 1-3/4" exterior doors, then you might (depending on the design of your saw) find your cut depth too small. I used 1/4" for the bottom plate and it works well.

Additional tools that might improve your life, with my off-the-cuff rating scale of 1-10 in terms of bang for the buck: impact driver (7/10), biscuit joiner (3/10), chop saw (3/10) and pipe clamps (9/10).


For dados in larger boards, a router guided by a straight edge clamped square to the board can be easier than a router table. There are a number of good jig designs, depending on how often you're going to cut the same dado, how much alignment you want the jig to do automagically, and so on.


Yes, I don't have any dado blades, anything I would use them for I use a router for. While for long rabbets the dado can be better, good set up and technique the router can do just as good.

The router is also much smaller than a table saw (a good one) and has many other uses as well.

  • The way I like to do a rabbet is to do an edge cut (if the piece is narrow enough that I don't need a fence height extension), then a face cut. That doesn't require as much wood to be cut away, and gets the job done faster. Of course, if the piece is too wide for that it wouldn't work, but I haven't had that problem on the rabbets I've cut.
    – Steve
    Commented Nov 18, 2017 at 0:31

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