- The low price of the router table makes it very affordable, which leaves you with money to spend on accessories and equipment
- Wide work surface gives you plenty of work options, and it provides you with a large enough work area for most of your wood routing needs
- You will have no problems assembling this router table, it is quick and easy-slide
- There have been complaints that the surface of the table is warped and uneven
- Some users would prefer if the base wasn’t made out of plastic
One of the most important facts about the Bosch RA1181 is that it is one of the best router tables for under $200. It has a large work surface, which comes in handy no matter if you are a hobbyist or a pro. This router table is pretty sturdy, and we love the cast aluminum table which is always a plus because we appreciate stability and rigidity.
What do you get?
Straight out of the box the RA1181 comes with two adjustable feather boards, three mounting plate insert rings, an adjustable clear guard, starter pin and guard, two 1/16 inch out feed fence shims, and a heavy-duty 14 Amp switch with an overload protection.
Design and build
The first thing we have noticed about the RA1181 Benchtop router table is the large size of the working surface. The work surface on this router table is 27-inches by 18-inches which gives you plenty of space for most of the routing jobs. You can rest assured that you will be able to handle tall stock without a hitch thanks to the tall aluminum fence.
We like the design of the featherboards, but that’s not their only positive aspect. It is very easy to attach the featherboards to the table, and they are also adjustable so that they can fit a variety of workpieces.
While some woodworkers, and us too, like MDF tops, we also like it when a router table has an aluminum top, just like the RA1181 does. If you are using the portability of a routing table, then you sometimes might be using it outside.
The problem with using router tables with an MDF top is that rain can ruin them, which doesn’t happen with the Bosch RA1181. Even tho the table top is made out of aluminum, the whole router table weighs around 30 pounds. This makes it very portable.
Bosch RA1181 Awesome Features
The Bosch RA1181 comes with a dust collection port within the fence. This dust collection port accepts 2-1/2 inch hoses if you want to link a vacuum. Another awesome feature of the RA1181 is the accessory slot – it can be used for additional feather boards or other optional accessories like miter gauges.
The aluminum insert plate comes with insert rings for adjustment of differently sized bits. This is a much appreciated feature since the plate comes drilled, and it supports plenty of major router brands.
The fence is also aluminum, but it has wooden faces. Another great addition are the shims which can be used if you want to turn the Bosch RA1181 into an effective vertical jointer.
The Bosch RA1181 Benchtop router table comes with a dual switch outlet with a smart lock. This will prevent any unauthorized machine use, and is a great safety feature if you happen to have kids.The cabinet style of this routing table helps with reducing noise, which is always a plus in our book.
We would all prefer a metal base, but unfortunately, the RA1181 comes with a plastic base. It works fine, it is sturdy, and it doesn’t present a problem, but some people see it as a problem.Some of the users have noticed problems with their RA1181.
They have reported that their work surface is uneven and warped. While this is not the case with the majority of users, it is wise to check whether the work surface of your Bosch RA1181 Benchtop router table is flat.
Despite some negative reviews, we have enjoyed using the Bosch RA1181. It is one of the best, if not the best, router tables out there for under $200. Our tests have proven that the RA1181 is stable and sturdy enough for the majority of woodworking projects.Its large aluminum top is proven to be stable and tough, and more importantly it won’t rust or warp if it comes into contact with water.
The weight of the Bosch RA1181 makes it very portable, but it doesn’t make it any less rugged; even if you leave your router mounted won’t make the base sag or get deformed.If you buy this router table and properly maintain it, it can last you for a long time.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a professional woodworker, a hobbyist, or a complete newbie. The Bosch RA1181 is what you should be getting if you want a wide and safe work area, and if you want a high-quality router table without having to spends hundreds of dollars.