Bosch RA1171 vs RA1181: Which One’s Best?

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The Runner-up (#2)
Bosch Cabinet Style Router Table RA1171
The Winner (#1)
Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181
Model
Bosch Cabinet Style Router Table RA1171
Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181
User Rating
The Runner-up (#2)
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Bosch Cabinet Style Router Table RA1171
Model
Bosch Cabinet Style Router Table RA1171
User Rating
User Reviews
The Winner (#1)
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Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181
Model
Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181
User Rating
User Reviews

Well, every woodworker sometime or the other needs a wood router, that is why routers are praised by both professionals and DIY contractors for creating different amazing shapes and cuts on woods. But the main success lies within the router table because this provides the accuracy and consistency needed to actually create those designs.

With the availability of numerous router table in the market, it is hard to make up one’s mind on which device to go for, but in this article, we will be looking at these two Bosch router tables, the RA1171, and the RA1181. This is for woodworkers who can’t really make up their mind on which model to get.

Well, let’s first look into the light details of the two models. The bosh RA1181 is no doubt bigger than the RA1171 meaning larger work surface, and also it is ironically lighter than the RA1171 making it suitable for movement. This in light puts the RA1171 in favor when it comes to permanently mounting a router table.

The RA1171 is a cabinet router table, meaning you can store or hold things in the cabinet under it, also making it the best option to store precious tools and equipment to avoid misplacing anything. While the RA1181 is a benchtop router table, it’s just hollow underneath.

They were both created for compatibility, but surprisingly, the RA1181 has more compatibility options than the latter. This holds more routers and is recommended more for easy compatibility.

Bosch RA1171 router plate

What’s the difference between them?

Assembling the device

Assembling a router table can be a pain, and the RA1171 just gives you that. This unit comes with a lot of pieces, more than the later model, which can take you up to 25 minutes cross-checking the individual parts. Normally, it has been known that users can take up to 2¼ hours just to fully assemble the table. Also setting the mounting plate can be harder than you think.

For the RA1181, assembling is also pretty hard, but not like its ancestor. It comes with so many pieces too, that you have to check all through to ensure successful construction. The total time it can take for you to construct this particular model is about 90mins. It is long but not longer than the RA1171.

Aluminum work surface

The RA1171 model features a large work area made of aluminum. It has been complimented for having a large space capable of handling the majority of the woodworking projects at hand, but some people complained this is not large enough for a personal use at home. The surface area is measured at 25 x 15-1/2 inches and the work surface also has the problem of warping.

The new model RA1181 also features a large workspace, but it is larger than the previous. It measures about 27 x 18-inch, suitable to handle bigger work projects. The bigger the workspace, the more it can provide accurate cuts and measurement making the RA1181 better.

Bosch RA1171 face plates

Aluminum Fence

The fence of the cabinet router table is made up of a durable 4-7/8 x 25-1/8 inch aluminum casts. The maximum fence opening measures about 3-3/16 inches. This in terms is smaller than the later model.

The benchtop router table is also made up of aluminum fence, measuring about  4-7/8- x 25-1/8-inch. This is almost the same size with the previous model, but they also have a slight difference in the maximum fence opening which measures about 3-5/8-inch, making it perfect for working on stock woods which leaves behind a lot of sawdust.

Dust collectors

When routing, you don’t want to allow the sawdust to spread everywhere on the table as it can spoil measurements and ruin the accuracy.

The RA1171 comes with a dual 2.5-inch which woodworkers can insert standard vacuum hose. You would think having a dual dust collector is a huge advantage, but the reverse is the case. The disadvantage to this is that one of the ports is located close to the on/off switch exposing it to the possibility of air leaks.

The RA1181 comes with a single standard 2.5-inch dust collector. This can be connected to a shop vacuum and the 3-5/8-inch opening makes dust collecting more effective.

Aluminum mounting plate

The RA1171 comes with a predrilled aluminum mounting plate for mounting routers. This device also comes with 3 factory set mounting rings to choose from, but the assembly stage of this router table determines the balance and leveling of the mounting plate.

The RA1181 also features a mounting plate, smooth enough to work on and very rigid to support a ton of routers and their weight. This model also comes with three mounting plates. Bosch has learned from their past mistakes and complains to fix the mistake of tardiness on the mounting plate,  although the plates and rings still look the same, it is easier to fix and level the plate on the RA1171.

Quick Rundown of RA1171

Sale
Bosch Cabinet Style Router Table RA1171
2,020 Customer Reviews
Bosch Cabinet Style Router Table RA1171
  • SUPPORT: The tall aluminum fence measuring 4-7/8 in. x 25-1/8 in. can handle tall stock with ease....
  • PRECISION: The Bosch RA1171 features a rigid aluminum router mounting plate that stays flat and...
  • EASY TO USE: Two easy-to-use featherboards attach to fence and router table, providing additional...
Pros
  • It comes with two ports for dust collection system
  • It is suitable for where there is less space
  • It is suitable for a one-time permanent assembling
  • It is more effective in its noise reduction system
  • It has a very firm and sturdy design
  • It is versatile in use
Cons
  • It is heavier
  • It is hard to assemble
  • It supports fewer routers
  • It has a smaller work surface

Quick Rundown of RA1181

Sale
Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181
2,020 Customer Reviews
Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181
  • Benchtop router table; attaches to any workbench
  • 2 Adjustable featherboards; dust collection port; dual outlet switch; 6-Feet power cord
  • Aluminum fence with MDF face plates; aluminum router mounting plate
Pros
  • It is very firm and sturdy in design
  • It is lighter
  • It is versatile in use
  • Supports more routers
  • Very easy to assemble compared to its ancestor
  • Larger work area
  • Suitable for carrying around construction sites
  • Has more accurate measurements and précised cuts
Cons
  • It occupies more space
  • It is noisier compared to the later
  • It is costlier

Conclusion

It is safe to say that the Bosch RA1181 is clearly the winner between the two router tables. However, this is merely surprising because the RA1181 has just been the upgraded version of the RA1171. I bet Bosch did their research and saw all the comments, ratings and complains about the Bosch 1171 and decided to change that. Well, the only downside to the new model is that the base is made out of plastic but it is still very rigid and it actually helped cut cost for production, in turn helping customers save money upon purchase.

About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!