Bosch RA1171 vs RA1181 – Which One is The Best?

Last Updated on October 8, 2021

In creating wood-based designs, router tables are praised for their liberating movement, freedom, precision, and dependability.

But with multitudes of router tables to choose when thinking of buying one, the question that arises at heart is, “what will be the best buy?” Needless to say, this question becomes further complicated if one is to choose from two models of a trusted brand.

The very dilemma that no wonder is bothering countless woodwork enthusiasts at the moment. That is the choice between the new and superior models of the router tables, aka the Bosch RA1171 versus the Bosch RA1181.

So, if you are also curious to find out who wins this battle of the feats, then tag along!

Bosch RA1171

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Bosch Cabinet Style Router Table RA1171
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Bosch Cabinet Style Router Table RA1171
  • Support: The tall aluminum fence measuring 4 7/8 inch x 25 1/8 inch can handle tall stock with ease; The fence is complete with adjustable MDF face plates for smoother operation with taller work pieces and out feed can be offset for jointing
  • Precision: The Bosch RA1171 features a rigid aluminum router mounting plate that stays flat and precise for accuracy; For added versatility, it’s pre drilled to fit a variety of routers
  • Easy to use: Two easy to use feather boards attach to fence and router table, providing additional guidance and protection against kickback; They’re fully adjustable to fit a variety of work pieces; Accessory slot accepts additional feather boards and 3/4 inch optional accessories such as miter gauge

Both the Bosch RA1171 and the Bosch RA1181 are undoubtedly machineries of the finest makings. I mean manufactured by a German company established back in the year 1886 that much is to be expected!

Though don’t let the grand history of the enterprise overwhelm you! As to judge what makes a product worth the cents, it is always wise to explore the characteristics of the tools themselves.

In the spirit of this note, let’s take a look at the characteristics differences between the two models.

Bosch RA1181

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Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181
  • Benchtop router table design – Features a large aluminum top for extended work area, durability and precision
  • Rigid aluminum mounting plate – Pre-drilled for compatibility with a variety of routers and for above-table height adjustment
  • Extra tall aluminum fence – Has adjustable faceplates and feather boards to maximize precision and versatility

Bosch RA1171 vs RA1181 – What’s the difference?

Structural Design

One of the first changes between the two reflects that Bosch RA1171 is a cabinet style router table, whereas the Bosch RA1181 is a benchtop style table.

The differences between these two styles of designs are the weight, size, and storage space.

Hence being a cabinet router, the RA1171 weighing 35 pounds provides 15.9 x 25.5 x 18 inches of premium quality aluminum work surface to facilitate any kind of routing and woodwork activities.

Easy to set on all workbench types, the model with its accommodating design makes it convenient for a variety of routers to fit seamlessly.

And because it endorses a cabinet structure, therefore you can bet that it offers room for storage and improved dust collection mechanisms. To ensure an effective work environment, the model even takes the initiative to reduce the noise level during operations.

The Bosch RA1181, on the other hand, weighs 30 pounds and offers 22.8 x 18 x 14.5 inches of dimension. Sporting a large aluminum top and small footprint, the model is thereby spacious enough to handle large woodwork projects and easy to transport whenever and wherever required.

Once again, being a Bosch model, it again encourages a clean and quiet work environment by reducing the operational noise to a degree and including quality dust collecting ports.

Work Surface Precision

When it comes to precision and versatility, the models are more or less similar. Being able to work with a diverse range of materials, the stiff aluminum mount plate predrilled in the devices allows them to remain flat and steady; therefore, ensure accurate measurements with every cut.

So what is the difference you are wondering? Well, the modification lies in the adaptability of the three swappable mounting plate rings, and also the height dimensions of the aluminum fences installed in the devices.

To briefly elaborate, the interchangeable aluminum mount rings in RA1171 are cooperative with “quite a few” routers from other manufacturers.  See the use of the words quite a few? However, the same number of mount rings in a RA1181 has been modified to cooperate with every type of router available in the market.

Thereby, the need to purchase or alter the stock plates, as well as the resulting balance issues it creates in a RA1171, is completely made a non-factor in the later model altogether.

Furthermore, the two Bosch model reveals the same 4-7/8 x 25-1/8 inches of an aluminum fence with flexible MDF faceplates (laminated) and feather boards. Two attributes that contribute to achieving smooth, frictionless operation accurate to the scales.

However, when it goes to the maximum fence opening measurements, the cabinet model provides a decent 3-3/16 inches of height, whereas the benchtop allows a commendable 3-5/8-inches in height.

Thus, guaranteeing solid stability, the RA1181 not only increases the precision aspect but also offers a comfortable space to work out large and heavy woodblocks.

Base Support

The base support of a router table is important for two reasons. One, it adds stability and two, it enhances the strength of the device.

In this feature, the RA1171 is in favor. Because the cabinet style router has a broad, solid metal base is not very difficult to mount, assemble, and screw securely to a bench.Bosch RA1171 router table

The wide base plate also provides additional strength to the whole structure. Needless to say, in the long run, along with accurate precision, it helps to ensure durability against load-bearing wear-tears and prolonged usage.

Sitting on a four-point plastic base, the RA1181, although stable within its own rights, may not provide the same dependable overall strength when compared to the previous model.

Cleaning Regime

To woodworkers, one of the greatest nightmares that come with the job is the formation of the sawdust. Not only does sawdust obscures the visibility of the progressing work, but when left unattended, it also messes up the ambiance and mood of the said workplace.

Sawdust inhalation also poses serious health threats. So when purchasing router tables, it is always wise to look for a model that pays close attention to the dust removal techniques.

Once again in, this aspect, the RA1711, with its cabinet model feature, might have the upper hand.

For its spaciousness, it allows room to install two 2.5 inch dust ports within its surface, thereby providing double the efficiency in clearing the dust away when connected to standard vacuum hoses. But it doesn’t imply that the RA1181 is less capable in regards.

Final Words

The single 2.5-inch dust port is the bench-top model that will also get the job done competently, if only by talking a little more time to cover the same area in comparison.

Put simply, when it comes to features, both the models have their own merits and demerits. The RA1171 for pro has dual dust ports, a sturdy metal base, and improved stability. Then again on the con, it is heavyweight and, therefore, difficult to move.

Whereas RA1181, in its advantage, has a very portable lightweight structure and an extra tall fence, while room for improvements in areas like dust collection and the unpredictable grip of the plastic base plate.

But the good news is there is always a way to overcome the negatives in both these models, which ultimately leaves the final judgment on the unique requirements of the user themselves!

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