The Bosch benchtop router table (model RA1181) is one of the most popular of its kind. The reasons for this are plain to see. It is easy to use and remarkably accurate. This review puts the Bosch router table to the test. Is it all that it’s cut out to be?
Professional contractors and DIYers alike will appreciate the precision German engineering. Putting the finishing touches to a countertop edge, shelves, and moldings couldn’t be easier. The Bosch RA1181 benchtop router table really is a pleasure to use.
Once you have the machine set up, which takes a while, it’s pretty much plain sailing. You’ll be passing material through at a proficient pace and end up with perfect results for a truly professional woodworking project.
Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table | Complete Review
- Large precision aluminum top.
- Tall fence and easily adjusted feather boards.
- Rigid aluminum mounting plate is pre-drilled for a variety of routers with excellent above-table height adjustment.
- 2½” dust extraction port.
- Onboard accessory storage.
- 6 Ft. power cord with cord-wrap storage.
- Power-cord lock.
- Weight 30 LBS.
- Dimensions: 22.75” (L); 14.5” (H); 18” (D).
- Maximum fence opening: 3⁵⁄₈”
- Maximum throat opening: 3⁵⁄₈”
- 1-year warranty.
The Bosch benchtop router table is most certainly a professional-grade machine, ready to take on the rigors of an industrious jobsite. It also would not be out of place in a home or professional woodworking shop. This is a versatile, accurate, and durable portable router table.
Setting up the Bosch benchtop router table takes a bit of time. As you put all the pieces together, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various components and how everything works.
Fortunately, the owner’s manual is very helpful. It is incredibly detailed (all 100 pages) and written by someone who actually speaks English. There’s no need to try interpret Chinese Google Translate mumbo-jumbo. There are also plenty of descriptive diagrams to help you understand how everything works.
While setting up the Bosch RA1181 for the first time takes some effort, it is a very easy machine to use once you’ve got it up and running.
Using the Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table
In my opinion, there are two vitally important aspects to a good router table. It must be securely fastened to your bench, you can’t have it moving about whilst you’re working. Secondly, you must be able to mount your router with ease.
The Bosch RA1181 has all of this sorted and then some. Four bolt holes ensure that it is perfectly secure, and you can attach your router without any hassles. The Bosch benchtop router table accepts most types of routers.
It has an industrial power switch and circuit breaker to safely supply power to the router.
With everything in place, it’s simply a matter of adjusting the fence, which is easy enough using the plastic adjustment knobs. Two 4⁷⁄₈” X 25¹⁄₈” MDF feather boards are supplied with the machine, along with a bunch of useful accessories, like 3 X mounting plate insert rings to adjust the opening according to bit size, adjustable clear guard, starter pin and guard, and 2 X outfeed fence shims (¹⁄₁₆”). All the accessories are stored on the machine with extra space for additional stuff, like the feather boards and miter gauge.
Since sawdust is abundant when using a router, the dust port is a must-have. You can attach a 2½” hose to the Bosch router table and it does an incredible job of removing just about all the dust from the table.
Design and Durability
The base is made from thick rigid plastic, which appears to be incredibly strong. Ordinarily, I don’t much like to see plastic on products like this, but it does a lot for weight reduction. This makes the Bosch RA1181 wonderfully portable. It weighs only 30 pounds.
The die-cast aluminum table is incredibly durable and perfectly smooth, making it easy to slide your workpiece with complete accuracy. At 27” X 18”, the table is certainly large enough.
My general impression is that this is a very well-made product and should last many years, probably a lifetime.
I have a good deal of admiration for Bosch tools. They are designed with all that proverbial German OCD precision. With a product like the Bosch RA1181 benchtop router table, the attention to detail really shows, making it superbly accurate and easy to use.
It is tough enough to endure jobsite working conditions and Bosch service is up there with the best of them. This is definitely a high-quality product with a 1-year warranty.