Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table Review

By James Scott | Reviews

Jun 27

First Look

If you don't want to break the bank, but intend to get your money's worth, the Bosch RA1181 benchtop router table should be your first consideration. It's designed to fit a wide variety of routers, and made not just with the recreational woodworker in mind, but also people who are looking for the best quality router table for money.

What do you get?

Bosch-RA1181-Router-Table-review

This model is shipped with a pair of adjustable plastic feather boards, a set of three mounting plate insert rings which help you adjust the bit size opening, an adjustable clear guard, and a dual outlet switch which includes a 6-foot power cord.

It has a sturdy aluminum fence featuring MDF face plates and an aluminum router mounting plate, as well as a dust collection port.

There's mounting hardware included for a variety of Bosch as well as many other competitive routers. On top of this, you get a work surface measuring in at cool 27 x 18”.

Electrical

If you have kids running around your shop, you'll be glad to learn that this router has a lockout feature on the power switch that comes with a removable key.

It's a convenient way to avoid accidentally turning on this machine, and doesn't force you to unplug the power cord each time you leave the router, but should not be used in place of unplugging when changing bits and the like, of course.

Also featured is a plastic two-outlet power strip connected to the main switch which lets you plug in a dust collector, for instance, and turn it on simultaneously with your router.

Adjustable Fence

Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table

The model has an adjustable aluminum fence that comes with a 2 & 1/2” diameter dust port placed on the rear end of the bit opening.

It features a handy guard plate that helps close of part of the fence's opening and directs airflow to better remove debris.

It doesn't have dust collection under the table so it will collect most of the debris, but some will inevitably find their way to the floor, which isn't unusual even for much more expensive units on the market.

Aside from this, you'll find two 12 & 1/2" by 3 & 3/4" tall MDF faces that can expand the center gap up to 3 & 1/2", while all adjustments are carried out with small knobs on the fence itself.

Versatility

An ability that stands out on the Bosch RA1181 fence is the feature to do jointing. With two 1/16" shims included, you can easily place them behind the outfeed fence face for joint work. Despite it's length, the outfeed face manages to joint edges of boards even up to 3 feet long with precision.

Bosch-RA1181-Review

Besides this, the included featherboards, which don't always come with products of this type, mount to the horizontal part of the table as well as the fence to offer you a guide and pressure for great control of your wood stock - once adjusted and tightened they are great to work with.

This product's size is sufficient for most if not nearly all routing jobs in a home wood shop. It can handle higher powered routers as well as the vibrations they bring. The aluminum router plate is pre-drilled so if you already have a router, chances are it will fit like a glove.

Conclusion

Whether you're looking to do a bit of DIY in your spare time or for a reliable tool that can offer help on a job-site, this model can cover a lot of territory at an affordable price. It's a great way to get into the world of woodworking, but it won't let you down either if you need it for bigger projects.

With careful use and care, the Bosch RA1181 benchtop router table can live up to amateur demands and more while lasting a long time.

Pros:

  • Package includes hardware for mounting a large number compatible routers
  • Big work surface made from aluminum that's both easy to maintain and sturdy
  • Versatile, tall and rigid Aluminum fence uses tool free adjustment with knobs
  • Sensitive off-switch and lockout feature with a removable key for child safety

Cons:

  • Assembly and initial setup can be difficult
  • Parts of the product and accessories are made from lightweight plastic
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