Any woodworker will understand the importance of having a router table. There are times you need to use the router to achieve some designs.
Having the router table is the best way to mount a router and handle multiple projects. It could be a professional woodworker or a DIYer, they will always find a use for a router table.
Today, we want to focus on Bosch RA1181 and Bosch RA1171 router tables. These two are good in terms of construction, ease of use, durability, and so much more. Let us see how they compare in the guide below.
Looking at the various features, the Bosch RA1181 unit is best suited for professionals who want a bigger and better router table.
This is because it is designed to offer more workspace and has more compatibility with routers in comparison to the RA1171.
The Bosch RA1171 router table is still good for a professional woodworker who might be on a budget. This is because it is affordable and still offers many features that the RA1181 table offers too.
Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table
With thousands of customers having positive reviews about this router table, it is intriguing to learn more about it. It is why we look at some of the top features of the router table and why you might want to get it.
The aluminum fence and adjustable MDF plates
The fence of any router table is important to provide a platform where you can make precise and accurate cuts. This one does come with an aluminum fence which will remain durable and reliable for years to come.
It can hold the tough wood with ease so that you can perform the cuts faster and more accurately. The adjustable MDF plates are important to provide the right support depending on the size of the workpiece.
The mounting plate can make it easy or hard to set up your router. Luckily, this one features a rigid mounting plate.
It is able to hold the router in position better so that you can work on different wood projects with better precision. Also, the rigid mounting plate means that it can hold even the heavy routers and keep them in one position.
It includes up to 6 variations for the mounting configuration. This means that it can be adapted to different types of routers including those with additional accessories.
Adjustable feather boards
Feather boards are good for applying enough and consistent pressure on the wood to hold it in place against the fence.
It is then good to have such adjustable feather boards so that they can hold the workpiece better depending on the size. Such versatility is what makes the router table good for achieving different designs by using a router.
The dust ports
The dust generated from working on a project can often be an issue. Luckily, this one comes with impressive dust ports for clearing this dust.
The dust ports can be connected to a vacuum and then they will remove up to 75% of the generated dust. The result is that you have less dust on the workpiece and in the workshop.
What We Like
- It offers great value for the money
- The baseplate is compatible with multiple routers in the market
- The large steel base offers more stability
What We Didn’t Like
- Does not have the best portability
The Solution: Because of its weight, it might not be easily portable. Nevertheless, you can set it up as a workshop table that does not need to be moved around so much.
Bosch RA1171 Cabinet Style Router Table
Before the RA1181, we had the RA1171 model. It is still a nice router table that should be great for multiple applications. Just because there is an upgrade, it does not mean we forget about this one. What do you get with the RA1171 model? Check it out below.
The table does come with a tall aluminum fence. The fence measures 4-7/8 inches by 25-1/8 inches. As such, it is good for handling tall workpieces with ease.
To make it even better, it also comes with adjustable MDF face plates. These plates help achieve a smoother operation as you can adjust them to accommodate the longer workpieces.
The unit does feature a rigid aluminum mounting plate for the router. The aim is to keep the router firm and flat. You will now end up with a precise router table that boosts accuracy regardless of the design you want to accomplish.
Also, the mounting plate is good to allow for attaching different types of routers. It might be why it is so popular because of such versatility.
Ease of use
The table also comes with two easy to use feather boards attached to the fence and router table. The feather boards are important for providing additional guidance and protection against cases of kickback. They are fully adjustable so that you can configure them depending on the size of a workpiece.
The table comes with the cabinet-style design. This means that you should have a clean look and storage space for your accessories.
To help maintain a clean look, it also has two dust collection ports. These two are crucial for removing the job site dust and debris and keeping the workpiece clean.
What We Like
- The aluminum fence offers the best support
- The mounting plate is rigid and easy to use
- It comes with two dust ports to remove dust and debris
What We Didn’t Like
- It is hard to assemble
The Solution: It might take some time to assemble, but eventually you will get it done. We recommend that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get it done right.
Which is Better?
Looking at similar features, these two both have large aluminum fences. This helps to work with the large workpieces that you might have.
Also, the two have adjustable feather boards. This means that guiding the workpieces to where the fingers are not supposed to be will be easy. Overall, these two are also well-built and durable.
We would like to point out that the Bosch RA1181 is a better option than the two. One is that it is the upgrade of the RA1171 model, so it would be better at most things.
Also, it is lighter so you might have an easy time moving it. Many found it easier to set up in comparison to RA1171 too.
Before the introduction of the RA1181 table, the RA1171 was the cool kid in this category. Right now, most people are upgrading to the RA1181 table because it is lighter, easy to set up, and have many other features that make it worth the money.
However, you can always opt for the Bosch RA1171 router table if you need to save some money and still get a great router table.