You will agree with me that a router table is an invaluable addition to any workshop. But then, you have to get the best model to boost productivity at the job site and also, to get value for your money.
So, what’s the best model in today’s comparison review of Bosch RA1171 vs. RA1181 vs. Kreg PRS2100?
If you are scouting for a router table, but you don’t know which one to go for, these three are great options.
We have compared the most important features and aspects that come into buyers minds when looking for a good router table.
Also, this model has a benchtop design and is much lighter than Bosch models.
I like it because of its high precision and stability, especially on uneven terrain.
One of the highlights of Kreg is an MDF worktop that can offer a smooth surface for smooth sliding.
Kreg PRS2100 has a few shortcomings with plastic components, but then, its accuracy and efficiency is out of this world.
Bosch RA1171 vs. Bosch RA1181 vs. Kreg PRS2100 Comparison Review
Now, after looking at the overview of each model, it is time we get to the core business of the day; comparing the different features of the three models. There are a set of factors that you will use as a checklist when shopping for the best router table. Those factors are what we have based this comparison on.
Style: Benchtop vs. Cabinet Style Router Table
We have several types of router tables. We have cabinet-style, benchtop, among others.
So, that forms the first basis for our comparison today.
Is a cabinet style model, and as expected, there is a cabinet below. The advantage is that you can keep all other tools inside safely.
On the other hand, is a benchtop-style, and as you can see on the pictures, there is nothing under the worktop.
Is a benchtop too with a worktable and a stand. That’s pretty much what you get with a benchtop router table.
Here, I wouldn’t want to say there is a winner because each style has its use and also pros and cons. Also, style is not something that should bother you unless you have concrete reasons. As for Bosch RA1181 vs. Kreg PRS2100, they are both benchtop table saws, and in this review, we give the crown to Kreg. It has a stronger base and is more portable.
Worktop design and material
Among the most important factors to consider when buying these equipment is the design of the worktop.
If you want the best router table, you need to examine the size of the worktop, material, smoothness, among many other factors.
So, how does Kreg compare to Bosch?
Boasts a spacious die-cast aluminum table top laminated on the top. I really like its smooth laminate finish as it allows you to slide in the workpieces easily. But then, it makes it fragile.
Regarding size, it measures 25 In. X 15.5 In. and is spacious enough to accommodate a range of cutting needs.
Also comes with the same die-cast aluminum work top but this time, there is no lamination which ensures it it durable. When it comes to size, it is noticeably larger as it measures 25 In. X 18 In.
So if you want a professional grade router table, the RA1181 is your match.
When it comes to Kreg, there is an entirely new approach that features an MDF worktop. Even though an aluminum one is the most desirable because of durability, the advantage of MDF is that the vibrations are reduced.
The Kreg PRS2100 worktop measures 24 In. X 16 In. which is enough for the everyday woodshop needs.
The Bosch RA1181 is the winner here because of the larger working space. Even though your tasks may be light, you never know when you will be working on large projects. That said, you’d rather have a larger working area and not need it than need it when you don’t have it.
Stand and stability
You want a strong base and stability to reduce vibrations and most importantly, to ensure precise and accurate cuts.
For starters, a fence in woodworking is a rigid straight edge placed parallel to the blade. Its work is to determine the width of the cut by firmly holding the workpiece to the edge. The fence is a fundamental feature as it decides whether you will get accurate and consistent cuts or not.
To start, the Bosch RA1171 boasts an aluminum fence measuring 4-7/8- x 25-1/8-inch. It allows you to work easily, with a range of workpieces.
This fence has a maximum opening of 3-5/8 inches making it best for managing sawdust.
Bosch RA1181 also comes with the same aluminum fence, in just the same dimensions.
Perhaps the only difference is the maximum fence opening. It can stretch a little more to 3-3/16 which is very negligible, but in some instances, it may come in handy.
Lastly, Kreg PRS2100 brings on board an aluminum fence also. But the highlight here is the usability that has been made easy courtesy of the new quarter-turn locking levers.
With the PRS2100, adjusting the fence is much easier with firm locking.
Here, I will go for Kreg PRS2100 because what matters most is the accuracy of the fence. This model offers just that, and is also strong and durable, allowing much versatility in the wood pieces you are cutting.
Featherboards are unique features, and they help to keep the workpiece more firm for fast and accurate cuts. But the most important use is feeding the pieces across the table. But not all models come with this feature so if you find one with a featherboard, that’s an invaluable tool.
Bosch RA1171 comes with two adjustable featherboards that can work with a range of workpieces.
This is courtesy of the easy adjustability as well as the optional accessory options available.
The newer model, Bosch RA1181 also comes with two featherboards attached to the table and fence and can as well handle a range of workpieces.
There are also several accessory options available just like RA1171.
Kreg PRS2100 Kreg PRS2100 doesn’t come with any featherboard so if you want a router table with featherboard, check out Kreg PRS3010.
Fortunately, the PRS2100 is compatible with featherboards bought separately.
Here, the battle is between Bosch RA1171 vs. RA1181 as Kreg hugely misses out on this feature. For me, I would go for either of the two Bosch models, but preferably the RA1181 because of the complementary larger worktop.
If you are a daily woodworker, you understand the problem of dust. Daily, you will be producing loads of waste, so you need to know how to manage it. The good thing is that router tables come with features to help you tidy up the workstation with ease.
Bosch RA1171 comes with two dust ports that fit the standard hose, i.e., 2.5-inch.
On top of that, the cabinet style means that there will be no dust under the table top like in benchtops.
The newer model Bosch RA1181 also comes with dual dust ports compatible with 2.5-inch hoses.
Unfortunately, there will be dust under the tabletop, so you have to bend to clean the mess.
For Kreg PRS2100, there is only one standard 2.5-inch dust collection port.
It will also accumulate a lot of the dust under the table top because it is hollow like Bosch RA1181.
Here again, the battle is between Bosch RA1181 vs. RA1171, and it is the cabinet saw that carries the day because dirt doesn’t settle under the table top.
You will agree with me that priority number one when using a router table and cutting tools, in general, is safety.
There are so many risks associated with tools, and when it comes to woodworking, the injuries can end tragically.
A good router table should be kickback safe and should guard the operator from flying pieces and waste. But that doesn’t mean you should not put on your safety goggles.
Also, the startup should not be so straightforward now that kids can be a little cheeky.
So, how do Kreg and Bosch compare when it comes to features?
Kreg PRS2100 comes with a dual outlet switch which means there are two stages of putting the machine on. This prevents accidental startup or maybe when there is a risk of uninstructed use. There is also a clear guard panel for preventing flying objects from hitting you.
Bosch RA1171 also comes with the clear guard which is of course adjustable. There is also the locking mechanism which is a dual switch outlet just like the one in Kreg PRS2100. But here, the switch is not easily accessible, so the chance of hitting the button accidentally is eliminated.
The advanced RA1181 also has the same safety features; a clear guard and a dual switch outlet. The location of the switch is also hidden, so you don’t have to worry about accidental starting. And even if you accidentally hit it, the dual switch outlet feature has got you covered.
Winner: I wouldn’t say that there is a clear winner here because the three are all very safe.
But I would go for Bosch RA1171 cabinet table saw because none of the parts underneath are exposed. Children can go underneath a benchtop tables saw and start touching the components.
While the smaller woodworking tools may come assembled, a router table will require some assembly. When you order one, it will be shipped in parts which any average DIY enthusiast should be able to assemble. Regardless of your user level, an easy-to-assemble router table is desirable so that you may get to work soonest.
Kreg offers the easiest assemble as it comes with fewer parts. It comes with all the necessary assembly hardware and revolutionary insert plates with Level-Loc rings.
There is also an instructions manual that will come in handy in case you are stuck. In an hour or so, you should be done assembling the unit.
When it comes to Bosch RA1181, the process is a little bit more complex bearing in mind it comes with more parts than Kreg.
But I can’t complain much because once you figure out what part belongs where you can easily do it in say an hour and a half. It also comes with a straightforward user manual to help you out.
For the Bosch RA1171, the assembly is much more complicated than Bosch RA1181 and Kreg PRS2100. First, it has more parts and just figuring out the corresponding part might take you half an hour.
But the biggest pain is fixing the mounting plate. Woodworkers have complained, and Bosch fixed the issue in the RA1181.
Here, it’s evident that Kreg carries the day because it is easier to assemble.
But when it comes to Bosch RA1171 vs. RA1181, go with the later model because mounting the plate has been made easier.
What’s in the box?
When purchasing anything, it is essential to know exactly everything that comes with the package. When it comes to router tables, there is no exception, and in fact, it’s important to know what you will get and the accessories you might need to budget for.
So, what do the three models in this comparison review come with?
Here is what you will find in the Bosch RA1171 package
3 mounting plate insert rings
Adjustable clear guard
Starter pin and guard
2 – 1/16″ thick outfeed fence shims
Here is what you will find in the Bosch RA1181 package
3 mounting plate insert rings
Adjustable clear guard
Starter pin and guard
2 – 1/16″ thick outfeed fence shims
Here are the items you will find in the Kreg PRS2100 package
Insert plate with Level-Loc rings
Here, Bosch carries the day because of the extra parts, for example, featherboards. But then remember, the more parts you have, the harder the assembly.
Cost and value for money
Now, before coming to the end of the comparison segment of Bosch RA1171 vs. RA1181 vs. Kreg PRS2100, it’s time we look at them from the cost and value for money perspective.
What is the cheapest router table to buy? And besides the prices, what model offers the best value for money?
Bosch RA1171 will set you back around $150 which is not so bad considering it is a cabinet router table that sorts your storage concerns.
Regarding value for money, I would give it a score of 90%. It does its job quite well and offers excellent durability.
Bosch RA1181, on the other hand, is a little bit more expensive but just in the $200 region. This is a benchtop router but with improved performance than RA1171.
When it comes to value for money, it is a great choice but then, there are a few complaints regarding its plastic parts.
Kreg PRS2100 is the expensive model in this comparison review. It will dent your wallet some 300 bucks, but then, the high price tag is justifiable.
Winner: I wouldn’t say that there is a winner here because the three models are not direct competitors.
On the other hand, the Bosch RA1181 improves the old model, adds several new features and solves the flaws the RA1181 had. But then, you miss out on the excellent cabinet design.
When it comes to Kreg PRS2100, it is a little bit more expensive and has a few shortcomings with plastic components, but then, its accuracy and efficiency is out of this world.
In the long run, you won’t arrive at the best router table that has all the features you want. Each of the above three models above has advantages and disadvantages. It is all about compromising on one feature for another as long as the router table meets all your current needs, and future maybe.
But if you are on a budget, then definitely the Bosch RA1171 will be a great purchase when you look at it from the price to features ratio.
But for this review, I will front the Bosch RA1181 because of its great usability. In the Bosch RA1171 vs. RA1181 comparison, the latter is very easy to assemble compared to the former. The only thing you sacrifice is the cabinet, but still, you will love its solid base. When it comes to Bosch RA1181 vs. Kreg PRS2100, I would be willing to sacrifice the precision Kreg offers for the two featherboards the Bosch RA1181 comes with.
A router table is a more convenient and multi-functional option of a simple router tool. The system is used for cutting, screwing, polishing of various materials, including metal, wood, plastic, etc. Table routers offer the same performance as industrial units but fit home workshops, have more convenient position, and suit for unique tasks as well as mass production of the same products.
What is the best router table for home workshop and domestic use?
We would recommend Bosch RA1171 model as the optional option for beginners, semi-professional and DIY craftsmen as well as for home tasks. This table offers optimal combination of affordable price, excellent performance, safety measures, and durable materials.
What is the safest router table model?
Bosch offers the highest level of safety, that’s why we would recommend its RA1171 and RA1181 models. Both feature dual system with a clear guard that protects from flying particles during work and a dual switch outlet that makes turning on more complicated. Thus, no unauthorized use of accidental switching is possible.
Can I adjust table height on my router table?
The majority of models offer easy height adjustment, but it depends on your device. Bosch RA1181 and Kreg PRS2100 are one of the most convenient adjustable options.
There you have it folks, a Bosch RA1171 vs. RA1181 vs. Kreg PRS2100 comparison review.
These three are the best medium range router tables in the market that will offer great value for money.
Even though they may have several differences, they are all worthy products.
Buy the Bosch RA1171 if you want the best cabinet model and well as the best inexpensive router table.
For those looking for something that is easy to assemble, I recommend the upgraded model of the Bosch RA1171, the new Bosch RA1181. Even though it is slightly expensive, it offers excellent value for money.
Lastly, Kreg PRS2100 will be a great alternative to the two Bosch modelss. Though it is a little bit expensive, its versatility and precision are of great value to the professional woodworker.
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