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Comparison Bosch RA1181 vs. RA1171 – What Router Table is better for you?

In woodworking, a good quality router table is a must-have handy machine that is efficient in cutting the desired mold. A router table is quick, uncomplicated and provides high precision as compared to using a router alone. In the market, there are many different types of router table available but all of them operate on the same basic principles. Bosch RA1181 ang RA1171 are renowned names for router tables.

Basic Overview of Bosch RA1181 and Bosch RA1171

Aluminum Fence

One of the most important features of a router table is an aluminum fence which ensures accurate cuts of long pieces of wood.

Bosch RA1181

The RA1181 is equipped with a 4-7/8- x 25-1/8-inch aluminum fence which provides maneuverability due to its sturdy and modifiable structure. For materials that generate copious amounts of sawdust the opening can be readjusted up to a length of 3.5/8 inches.

Bosch RA1171

Similarly, Aluminum is also used in this model with an exact same size of 4-7/8 x 25-1/8 inches. However, the fence opening of this model is comparatively smaller than RA1181, measuring 3-3/16 inches.

Application

RA1181 is mainly used in places where there is a large amount of sawdust to be accumulated. In both of the router table types the aluminum fence structure and usage is almost the same, however, RA1181 is ideal for materials which leave a lot of sawdust. 

Adjustable Featherboards

In order to assure stability, it is important that a workpiece is held steadily in its place. Featherboards are specifically designed to ensure a constant is applied on the workpiece a user is holding.

Bosch RA1181

This model is equipped with two feather boards and it can be utilized with table and fence to generate accurate cuts. Its use with table and fence helps minimize the risk of getting ones’ fingers injured.

Bosch RA1171

This model also uses an exact same replica of feather boards with adjustable feature attached with table and fence. The performance and usability of feather boards in both models are almost identical.

Application

In terms of usage, this feature is not a governing factor for choice since in both of the models the feather boards’ size and durability is completely the same.

Dust Collector

As the name suggests this feature is responsible for collecting wood shaving and other dust particles from a workpiece. Its placement and size are important in order to have a consistent operation on the router table.

Bosch RA1181

A single standard 2.5-inch dust collector is used with this model which is connected to a small vacuum. As mentioned earlier, the 3-5/8-inch wide opening on the fence, allows ample space to ensure a proper amount of dust is collected.

Bosch RA1171

This is a more efficient version of RA1181 model as it utilizes two 2.5-inch dust collecting ports fitted with vacuums. Although having one of the ports near the one/off switch poses a potential hazard of air leak, the system effectively pulls out more dust from a woodworking operation.

Application

Since RA1171 uses two vacuum ports to clean and remove off the dust from an operation, it is suitable for heavy woodworking operations that result in producing a lot of sawdust. However, RA1181 is usually preferred nevertheless for many applications since this model doesn’t pose an electric hazard for users.

Aluminum Mounting Plate

Mounting plate plays an important role in keeping the operation steady and consistent. Its flatness and robustness are essential for an efficient and precise cut.

Bosch RA1181

A smooth aluminum mounting plate is used which is capable of holding most of the weights applied on a router. In order to suit different applications, this model is equipped with three mounting plate rings.

Bosch RA1171

This model’s feature is almost similar to RA1181; however, it uses predrilled aluminum mounting plates so that the user can easily switch between routers. The only difference is experienced during assembly of the unit where comparatively it is difficult to maintain balance in this model.

Application

RA1181 is used in applications where a single router is excessively used since the remounting of the router is not possible. On the other hand, although RA1171’s assembly is difficult, it is convenient where a user frequently switches between routers due to the presence of pre-drilled mounting plates.

Work Surface

For any woodworking operation, consistent cuts are of utmost priority. Therefore, along with other features mentioned above, a work surface plays a pivotal role in the final shape of the product.

Bosch RA1181

A 27 x 18-inch die-cast aluminum surface is used in this model. The table is convenient to assemble and is portable for transferring to different locations. The only problem is that on heavier loads the table is prone to warping over time.

Bosch RA1171

The working surface is large enough for most of the applications but it is portable enough to move around comfortably. 25 x 15-1/2 inches are the dimensions of the Aluminum work surface which is decent enough to cater to most of the woodworking applications. RA1171 faces a similar problem as RA1181 with warping on heavier loads.

Application

The work surface of RA1171 on a comparative is small, however, the difference in size can be negligible for most of the cases. This isn’t the main decision-making aspect of choosing either of the router tables but judging it on a scale RA1181 is used for applications where large woodwork is used.

Comparison Bosch RA1181 vs. Bosch RA1171

Bosch RA1181

Advantages

  • The price is affordable keeping in mind the applications the table is providing.
  • Maneuverability is exceptional as the aluminum material glides and fence on the benchtop provides a consistent path to the workpiece.
  • Aluminum baseplates are compatible with most of the wood routers available in the market.
  • Workpieces can be additionally locked through T-knobs on the long fences made from aluminum.
  • Mounting base has bolting inserted to the floor preventing its vibration.
  • The table has an overload protection circuitry of 15 Amps reducing the electrical hazard.
  • Comparatively, the price of RA1181 is lower than RA1171 making it financially feasible for woodworkers.

Disadvantages

  • Contrary to RA1171 design, this router table is made up of plastic legs that make it susceptible to failure making it less durable.
  • It doesn’t have a cabinet to store handy tools.
  • It’s not equipped with a miter gauge.

Bosch RA1171

Advantages

  • Bosch RA1171 table has a handy storage cabinet to keep tools such as knobs, router bits, and feather boards.
  • It is made up of metal making it comparatively durable.
  • The cabinet’s design is very adaptable since it can be used to achieve different routing and woodworking tasks.
  • It has two dust ports to collect dust easily.
  • Disadvantages
  • Similar to RA1181, this model also does not come with a miter gauge.

Conclusion

  • From a price affordability’s perspective, RA1181 is a cheap buy for a budget. Another aspect that stands out is its size i.e. worksurface and aluminum fences that give this it an edge over RA1171. However, a larger working area comes at the expense of reducing a cabinet place for storing tools and other things.
  • RA1171 is an older version of Bosch’s router tables and hence it is more user-friendly. It can be used in various applications and has two dust ports to allow for smoother woodworking operations. Although it is heavier comparatively, the material of the router table makes it more durable and stable as compared to other tables of the same brand. Therefore, if you are a regular woodworker who uses router table regularly then Bosch’s RA1171 is the best option available in the market.