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Tools & DIYPower Toolsbosch ra1181 benchtop router table with aluminum top
BOSCH RA1181 Benchtop Router Table with Aluminum Top
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BOSCH RA1181 Benchtop Router Table with Aluminum Top

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> Cherished by some, still a hidden treasure

Experience precision like never before with the BOSCH RA1181 Benchtop Router Table. This high-quality tool features a spacious 27 in. x 18 in. aluminum top, perfect for a variety of woodworking projects. The table also includes a 2-1/2 in. vacuum hose port, making cleanup a breeze. Whether you're a professional carpenter or a DIY enthusiast, the BOSCH RA1181 Benchtop Router Table is a must-have for any workshop.

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4305 Reviews
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4out of 5

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Dimensions: 27"W x 14.5"H

Brand: BOSCH

Material: MDF

Power Source: Corded Electric

Product Dimensions: 27"W x 14.5"H

Voltage: 120 Volts

theGiftDB score for this product was calculated from:

Only Amazon Reviews

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Product Review Details

4out of 5

4305 reviews

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Amazon's Top Reviews

June 27, 2023
5out of 5
This is my first router table, so take this with a grain of salt. It's definitely not cheap, and I can't really comment on whether it's worth the price. However, the table seems like quality to me. The top is made of cast aluminium and weight more than you'd expect. The legs, although made of plastic, are thick and appear durable. The table I got is level. I've seen a few low score reviews that clearly show a straight edge going across and leaving a 0.2 in gap one end. Mine doesn't have that. A few of the reviews claim to have gotten a replacement that still had the same problem. I don't see why anyone would lie, especially since those people provides video evidence, so I would say that there is an element on luck here. Buying this may be a bit of a gamble. Given the overwhelming number of high reviews, I would think you're more likely to get a table that is straight than warped. The fence is also very heavy duty. I wish there was a built-in way to move the fence as a whole in line with the table instead of having to adjust the two slots and line it up by eye using the two gauges or a straight edge, but that may just not be a thing with router tables I guess. The other thing I'd say is you probably want a router that's compatible with the above table height adjustment. I tried it at first with my Dewalt router and having to adjust it under the table with the twist mechanism was a chore. Made me dread using the table, to be honest. It's pretty smooth sailing with a Bosch router, though. Again - take that with a grain of salt since this is my first table, but this seems like the best table you're going to find for this price range.
November 02, 2014
5out of 5
Disclaimer: I'm a wannabe woodworker headed for retirement and a mechanic of 40 years experience. Assembly was a breeze really. I got it mounted and running in 90 minutes. Identifying and sorting all your parts first will help. Having a ratchet with an allen-head socket will speed things along too. Although I would have preferred a full sized router table with a cabinet, my limited space made it impossible. (If I told you how small my shop was, you probably wouldn't believe it.) Naturally, in the process of buying something I really didn't want to buy, I did lots of research. I buy with value in mind employing a computation of price, quality, quantity, reputation and life cycle. I have NO allegiance to any brands or where any product is made. I had a chance to see and touch some of the competing models of bench top tables including Bosch's other model 1171 and rejected them all for one reason or another. The numbers (including a great sale price from Amazon) landed me on the RA1181 with trepidation after reading many reviews and not being able to get my eyes and hands on one. As a mechanic/technician, I'm fairly picky about machine tolerances so, I was a bit put-off by some of the reviews I've seen complaining about warped tops. I fully expected to go into this with having to do my own machine work to the top in mind. As soon as I opened the package I went over the top with a 12 inch machinist's bar and a feeler gauge. I did it again after assembly. I found no high points and the lows did not exceed 0.004. I don't know about everyone else but, that's damned near perfect and less of a variant than I know I'll experience from the materials (wood) I'm working with. Wood, depending on how dense the species is, will expand and contract over time, humidity and temperature at least as much if not more than 0.004. If you want better than that, I would recommend prying out a few grand for a cast iron shaper. Testing by bridging the over the insert found it dead-on. That's good enough for me. I found the fence to be fine. The hardware is robust enough that they all stay put during operation and should last. I saw some complaints about the fence material. The metal extrusion is also dead on and the faces are what appears to be melamine. Good enough when you consider that they are sacrificial. Replacing them shouldn't cost much and they shouldn't really be replaced with anything other than what they are. I really like the dust extraction feature. Some bigger chips do fall underneath but, the flyable dust seems to be getting sucked up pretty well. I'll put the efficiency, conservatively, around 70%...'your mileage may vary'. The included shims to set up for edge jointing is a nice touch and I've used it twice already. Works great. Speaking of 'nice touch', there is an outlet to support your shop vac or whatever you're using as a dust extraction system, a real time saver. No Miter Fence? The track on the table is not for a Miter Fence, it's for the feather boards. Everything I've studied says that you shouldn't use a miter fence on a router table or any other tool that has a parallel, rip, oriented fence. I square up a piece of scrap and tack a guide on the end so it follows the edge of the table top. Works fine, quick and easy to do and provides a nice back-up to prevent tear out. Downers: Of all the dimensions I was able to find prior to purchase, there was no mention of the base. There is a dimensional diagram on the box but, still no mention of the base bottom. I incorrectly assumed the dimension would be the same as the top. Be warned that the base, at the mounting holes, is wider than the table top. It didn't fit the workbench I had to make in advance of receiving the tool. I wish the carriage bolts in the feather boards were a little beefier but, that's only a little annoying in initial set up of a project. Yes, the base of the table is plastic but, it's made with enough ribbing support that it's very strong. The unit doesn't rack at all. I just wish the same theme was followed with the switch fascia. It's sort of adequately supported on one side only and feels cheesy as it deflects when operating the switch. But, it does work and we'll see if it lasts. I'll just have to discipline myself to use my fingers rather than my knuckles like I do all the rest of my tools. Summary: Other than those couple of nit-picks, I'm pleasantly surprised by the convenience and functionality of this tool and would recommended it to the small-shop woodworker without much reservation. I've done a couple of projects with it, got no surprises and it has already paid for itself in saved time and aggravation. The days of having to whack together all sorts of elaborate jigs to compensate for not having a router table are over, thank goodness.
September 30, 2023
4out of 5
Sturdy with large work surface. The setup is not exactly user friendly at least insofar as changing bits or adjusting fence are concerned. Everything is stable and true once set, but getting there is time consuming.
4out of 5
I bought this table to run a bunch of moulding for several rooms in our house. I have run a couple hundred feet of stock through it now and have to say that it is a good little table for the price, with a couple of caveats. Assembly was a bit complex, but not to bad. The parts list was rather hopeless for identifying the various bolts but everything was specialized enough that it was pretty obvious what was supposed to fasten "where" when everything was all laid out and compared to the diagrams. (If the parts list had either had actual "real size" illustrations for the hardware, or had sorted the hardware into various plastic baggies with codes on them, it would have been much easier.) I like pictures better than words and the pictures were lavish and detailed. The step-by-step instructions were pretty straightforward as well, once I was able to identify which bolt was which. The lock nuts that were supposed to keep the bolts to the legs and the main table all failed. All the nuts jiggled out from router vibration and a couple got lost before I noticed the problem. In its favor, it has a total of 8 bolts to mount the table platform to the legs and remained stable during use with 4 of those bolts completely loose! But, it was a simple matter to replace the missing nuts and lock washers (common sizes) and add a little teflon tape wrapped around the all bolt shanks to secure them in place. The original hardware (that wasn't lost) now is holding fine with the addition of the teflon tape under the nuts. The mounting plate for the router is a nice solid plate with a total of 6 different mounting configurations for various routers. It will mount just about anything on the market, apparently. A big plus is that it also includes all the various sets of hardware required for each mounting configuration. (It's quite a hefty packet!) If your router is on the list, it's not only compatible, the necessary mounting hardware is included. Here is the list of compatible routers from the owner's manual - it would have been nice to have this when I was shopping: Bosch Models 1613 series, 1617 series (fixed base only), 1619EVS; Craftsman listed as "most Craftsman 1/2" collet routers"; DeWalt DW616, DW618 (Fixed base only); Hitachi M12VC; Makita RF1100, RF1101; Milwaukee 5615, 5616; Porter Cable 690 Series, 7529 plunge router and 892-895 series (fixed base only); Ryobi R161, R162, RE170, RE180 PL; Skil 1810, 1815, 1820, 1825. I used this table with my Craftsman and tried to use it with the Makita RF1101. The problem there lay with the Makita design, however, not this table. The router mounted beautifully to the table and bit replacement and cutting depth was a dream from the top, but the motor base would not stay locked in place in an undermount setup due to Makita's deficient lock lever design. (If you're curious about the particulars, please see my review of the Makita RF1101). This was a crying shame IMO, since the Makita is supposed to be a real workhorse, unlike my burned out Craftsman. I will be trying this table with the Milwaukee 5616 next, as soon as it arrives... This table has some nice features: * The off switch is very sensitive and the lightest touch will shut everything off instantly. Nice safety "panic" feature. *The on switch is under a flap which must be lifted to power the system on. If you accidentally bump this area, it defaults to the "off" switch, so no accidental "power-ons". * There is a "lockout" feature on the power switch with a removable key. I have children and it is a simple way to ensure there are no accidental power-ons without having to unplug the power cord every time I'm in and out fitting pieces into place on projects inside the house. The only drawback is that this is all plastic and will likely wear out with constant use. Also, it only comes with one key and there is no way to use the table power switch without it, so don't lose, break or misplace it! * The table has a two outlet power strip attached to the main switch so you can plug in a second tool (like a dust collector) to switch on and off with the router simultaneously with the push of the main "On" switch. Very nice. * The table top itself is a nice heavy metal and adds a nice weight to the piece, for stability against vibration. The legs are predrilled for bolt mount to a bench and also have indentations for a secure clamp mount option. * There are three removable collet plates with various interior diameters. With these out, bit changes with my Craftsman were a snap from the top! There is plenty of room to get a chuck wrench in there to loosen the collet AND my finger to hold the lock pin in place! The back of the table is wide open, however, so reaching around with a second wrench below shouldn't be too much of a problem, assuming the mount configuration allows convenient access to your particular router's chuck opening. (This would be the same for depth adjustment as well, depending on how your router handles that.) *Since it just rests in a slot on the table top, the mounting plate lifts off fairly easily for removal of the router and access to under-the-table if you need it without actually having to crawl under the table, or completely remove the router. *not shown in the picture, the featherboards also mount to the horizontal table to give you both top and sideways pressure for greater control of your stock. I only wish this thing came with two more featherboards as a standard! The funky washers for the featherborads fall out every time I remove one from the fence, however, so not a very good design there, but once mounted, they apply consistent pressure to the stock as it feeds. *the back side of the fence has a mount for a circular hose for a dust collector, although it is too large to accept the end on my shop vac. I will need to find some sort of adapter for that. Some of the drawbacks: *As mentioned above, the locknuts failed to keep the leg bolts secure until extra measures were taken. *The method to level the mounting plate on the table seemed a bit wonky. There are a series of bolts set in hex nuts. Turn the bolts until they are at the proper height to level the plate, which rests on the flat bolt heads. Good so far, except that the bolts and nuts rest loosely in special slots in the table. This is fine, if your table is permanently mounted in place, but the moment you pick it up to carry it somewhere, or turn it over (to check the loose bolts on the legs, maybe) they all fall out! The fix for this is to have the mounting plate in place with the fence screwed down tight and then they are secure. I guess Bosch didn't figure you'd ever pick the table up or turn it over for any reason without the mounting plate on it (as was the case when I had to fix the leg bolt issue) *the mounting plate is made of a brittle alloy metal and it somehow had about a 1/4" triangle piece somehow chip out of it during assembly. It doesn't affect the function any (thank goodness), but it's clearly not a high quality material. *the side pockets for the accessories and cord wrap only slide in with gravity to hold them in place. Moving or tilting the table risks these falling off (and spilling the contents while I have my hands full of view-obstructing table *sigh*). I would prefer if they had at least one bolt to secure them in place, since I'm always moving this in and out of my shop to setup for my runs. A little super glue or a shot of hot glue ought to fix that I guess, since it's a plastic-to-plastic mount already. *I'm not too wild about the fence design. It is really an "eyeball it" kind of grade, with big, fat, bulky hash marks for a gauge. Some sort of feature to keep the fence square & parallel would be nice. I have to fuss with it to get it set just right, and when I tighten the knobs down, the fence still shifts slightly. Not a table for precision demands from the fence! (That works fine for me, since I do the total run for each room at once to ensure all my stock matches, but it would be a deal-breaker for some folks.) And, I may as well ignore the hash marks completely for how useless they are (to be fair, the wide variety of routers it mounts makes the tolerances pretty variable to begin with). I measured and marked my own set directly on the plate and always measure each stock run directly anyways. *Most of the body is lightweight plastic and all the accessories are plastic. I have to be careful so I don't overtighten anything or I risk breaking knobs, specialized washers, etc. I am meticulous and careful with my tools, so I expect I will get many years use out of this table, but it will require a bit of careful handling to see it through with such lightweight materials. I am a "hobbyist" level of use and this table is good for that. I would not use this table if I were a professional shop or did freelance DIY work requiring its daily use. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 for the lightweight materials and the issues described above. Once I resolved those issues, however, this table is really convenient and easy to use. I have to admit that I love it! The fact that it mounts such a wide array of routers is a real plus, since I am finding that I'm rather going through a number of brands trying to find a router that will do what I need. I have not needed to replace the table as well, thank goodness. The only way it could be better would be all metal accessories and metal parts, which, of course, would drive up the price. So, in conclusion, it is an excellent value for its price.