A router table is a machine used to perform a wide variety of woodworking operations. From a hole in the router table rises a cutter and its spinning action jars against the surface of the material that comes in contact with it.
This jarring action strikes off the wooden material in such a way as to form the desired shape out of it.
Bosch manufactures router tables of two types – RA1171 and RA1181.
RA1181 is an upgrade of the former. Bosch is synonymous with high-quality in manufacturing. The quality of the machine is thus, reliable.
The only basis for choosing either of the two depends on the user needs. Hence, there lies a clear need to understand the critical differences between the two products.
How are the Two Different from Each Other?
The basic difference between the two is that RA1171 is a laminated router table and RA1181 is a bench top router table.
RA1171 has a cabinet style function and focuses more on user comfort and material support. On the contrary, RA1181 is an improvement from RA1171 concerning accuracy and precision of the woodwork operations.
It also has the facility to house several accessories in addition to the ones granted space in RA1171.
The storage pockets hold the different router accessories. Another striking benefit of RA1181 is that it can be locked down after use, thus, protecting it from any unauthorised or unwanted use.
Bosch RA1181 in Detail
The benchtop router table is quite a popular choice in the woodworking industry owing to its quality and reliability.
It costs more than its older version RA1171, because of a few, yet remarkable differences in the functioning of the two router tables.
With a detailed study of both the machines, one can find out what is it that renders the RA1181 more expensive.
The dimensions of the benchtop are 27 inches by 18 inches. This means that it is spacious enough to hold wooden materials of considerable width.
Its benchtop has an aluminum surface, which makes it highly durable and maneuverable.
The precision of the woodworks is, therefore, highly appreciable. Its compatibility with all the wood routers also makes it very easy to manage in the long-term.
It does not need any maintenance from the user’s side as the manufacturers have made sufficient room to insert any wooden router. This makes it fit for a wide range of uses.
Bosch RA1171 in Detail
The most remarkable feature of this version is its cabinet style functioning. It makes the machine ideal for storing different kinds of tools that are used in the woodwork operations. It is neatly organized and highly stable. It also offers maximum support to the materials that are to be cut.
RA1171 is also versatile in its functionality as it is so designed to accommodate different kinds of wooden routers. Though not as precise, it also provides reasonably accurate results. RA117, the cheaper variety is, therefore, also popularly chosen. Some of the other highlights of RA1171 is its high efficiency, and dust collection capabilities make it a trendy choice among its users. It has two ports for dust collection, thus ensuring the users of a dust-free work environment.
Comparison between RA1171 and RA1181
The critical differences between the two router tables are its structure, weight, and dimension.
As already discussed, the cabinet style functioning is what distinguishes the older version prominently from its modern one.
The benchtop of RA1171 is less deep than that of RA1181, roughly around 3 inches. In addition, the maximum fence opening in RA1171 is 3-3/16″ while RA1181 has a value of 3-5/8″. RA1171 is heavier than RA1181.
While the former weighs 35 lbs, the latter weighs 30 pounds. Due to its special features like having an aluminum tabletop, RA1181 has the edge over its counterpart regarding durability and ease of function.
Its versatility, when compared with the older version, stands out. It barely needs modification as it has inbuilt storage spaces for a wide variety of wooden routers.
Its superior dust collection capabilities perhaps redeem the flaws and drawbacks of RA1171. It has two dust ports as opposed to the single one in its upgraded version.
This translates to a healthy, safe and clean atmosphere for the users to function. It also has – owing to its cabinet exterior – ample space for storage.
RA1181 cannot boast of similar storage space. In addition, it only has the support of two plastic legs when RA1171 stands on sturdy metal legs. On the other hand, the RA1171 variety falls back regarding the surface finish.
While RA1181 comes with a metal tabletop, RA1171 only has a laminated MDF tabletop. The reduced precision is the price you got to pay for a cheaper router table.
The RA1181 router table also boasts of a dual outlet switch and a lock-in front. The rigid fence and adjustable feather boards are some other user-satisfying features. The features similar to both the router tables include the overload protection circuitry and the dual output port.
While the specifics slightly vary, the one common thing between the two models is that they both do not compromise on the quality of the woodwork operations.
Before buying either of the products, the user should thoroughly go through all the specifications of the two devices.
After analyzing the same and comparing it with his/her needs, it is for the user to arrive at a final verdict. The differences between the two are not that prominent; hence, choose the product that best meets your needs. In the end, it entirely depends on our individual requirements that will help us choose between the two.
If affordability is of priority, RA1171 should be your preferred choice. If, on the other hand, as a user, you are more concerned about efficiency and precision, choose RA1181.
It is, after all, an upgrade of the former version. RA1181 is also worth the extra cash because of its superior performance.
Both the products are, anyway, two of the most reliable names in the woodworking business concerning feasibility and quality.