Any professional or recreational woodworker knows that a solid router table can’t be underestimated. As a person who just does woodworking projects on the weekends, I never thought I would need a router table. But once I started getting into other jobs that I wanted to complete, I realized I was missing out on something. That’s when I began my search for the perfect versatile router table. After reading hundreds of reviews and researching different brands and models for hours, I settled on what I believe is the best router table available, and I couldn’t wait to get online and share my experiences with you.
If you’ve done any sort of research on router tables, you’ve probably come across the Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table a time or two. When I did my research, I started comparing other models to this one, and realized that the benefits outweighed just about every negative aspect of it (and there aren’t that many). What I like about this router table is that it is perfect for people with very little experience with woodworking, but it has enough features to allow you to expand your experience as you go. I’ll tell you why I think this is the most versatile router table on the market to help you decide whether it’s the right product for your shop.
What to Expect from the Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table ?
Right when I opened the box, I was surprised at all of the different components that it came with. Not that the pieces looked difficult to put together, but it came with several different accessories to make woodworking projects easier.
In the box, you’ll receive the router table itself, mounting plate insert rings and hardware, 15-amp switch, adjustable clear guards and featherboards and two fence shims. It may seem a little overwhelming at first, but once you lay the pieces out, it doesn’t look as intimidating to put together.
The tabletop measures 27″ wide by 14 1/2″ high by 18″ deep. It’s not the biggest tabletop that I’ve seen before, but I haven’t ever felt like I needed something larger when I was working on a project.
Main Benefits of the Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table
What I really like about this router table is that you can use a wide variety of routers with it. But even if the router you have doesn’t fit on the table, it seems like it wouldn’t be too difficult to make your own modifications. You can find out beforehand whether your current router will fit by going to the Bosch website.
The tabletop is also made from a high-grade aluminum so it can handle quite a bit of abuse. The first thing I noticed when I put together the table was how sturdy it seemed to be. I was even more surprised at how light it was. At just about 30 lbs, it’s easy to lift this table by yourself if you have to move it at any time. It’s just large enough to accomplish the tasks that you need to, but it also won’t take up a lot of space in your shop or garage.
Correct Guide to Install this Bosch RA1181
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Bosch RA1181 Router Table Assembly – Part 1 from Michael Wittmer
Bosch RA1181 Router Table Assembly – Part 2 from Michael Wittmer
Comparison to Similar Router Tables
Despite the large workspace that the Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table provides, it still probably isn’t designed for professionals who do woodworking for a living. If you compare this router table to ones designed for professionals, then you really aren’t giving it a fair comparison. However, when compared to other benchtop router tables, there isn’t another one that matches up with this one.
Who is This Router Table For ?
This router table is designed for the amateur woodworker who needs a simple router table to complete simple tasks. It fits with most of the common routers that average people have, so you won’t have to go out and buy a fancy and expensive router to go with it. If you’re just starting out in woodworking, then it would be worth investing in the Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table as you get a feel for how the process works. Once you get the hang of it and want to expand the level of the projects that you work on, then you can always upgrade. But for the most part, this router table is built to last and will hold up under tough conditions for a very long time as long as it is taken care of properly.
Downfalls of the Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table
The one main thing that I read about regarding this router table was the difficulty in adjusting the fence. After using it a few times, I knew exactly what those reviewers were talking about. The fence is a nice size at 4 7/8” tall and 25 1/8” long, but it doesn’t do a lot of good if you can’t get it lined up precisely. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or an amateur; you always want to make a straight cut. I feel like I’m eyeballing the measurements a little bit with this router, which lowers my confidence slightly when using it. With a little time and practice, I’m sure it will get easier to adjust, but it would be nice if it were easy to work right out of the box.
My Unbiased Opinion
If you’re an amateur woodworker that wants to make your projects much easier, then there isn’t another router table that I’d recommend other than the Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table. It allows you to get comfortable with making cuts, but it also has enough features and is large enough so you can sharpen your skills with it. And when you look at the size and what it has to offer, the value is unmatched when compared to the prices of other router tables.
However, if you’re not interested in growing your skills and trying to tackle larger projects, then I might recommend that you check out the Bosch RA1171 Cabinet Style Router Table .