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.
But just before we go deep into the comparison, let’s have a short overview of these three models and see what each has in store for us.
1. Bosch RA1171 Cabinet Style Router Table
This is a cabinet-style table saw that features a laminated table top with a reinforced aluminum router mounting plate for the best usability.
Here are several features that made this router table one of the best-selling in the market.
The unit offers a compact yet solid design with several safety elements integrated. We love a safety start lock that prevents unauthorized use, a plastic guard pin that covers and directs work pieces, and predrilled holes to fix the base.
When it comes to performance, this router table would fit the common light-duty to medium-duty routine tasks. There are adjustable MDF face plates and also two adjustable feather boards. Users can work with different work pieces, including even tall and awkward parts.
The accessory slot accepts extra feather boards and 3/4 inch optional accessories. The model is compatible with a variety of routers.
You can easily slide work pieces and remove all dirt, thanks to two dust collection ports.
Bosch RA1171 is perfect for the all-day woodworker. If you are on a budget, the Bosch RA1171 will definitely be a great purchase when you look at it from the price to features ratio.
2. Bosch RA1181 Benchtop Router Table
If you are looking for a lighter router table, this is an excellent option as it has a benchtop design. This means there are no extra wood panels that complete the cabinet style.
Bosch RA1181 improves the old model, adds several new features, and solves the flaws.
The worktop is made from aluminum. So we don’t only have a solid plate, but the whole working surface is aluminum.
The table is equally spacious to accommodate a range of routing needs. Integrated adjustable MDF face plates and feather boards allow for adjusting the working unit as you want and ensure improved support and control. That’s why Bosch RA1181 is suitable even for beginners.
You can traditionally apply many routers and accessories. Moreover, the model has a special accessory pocket for convenient storage.
All safety tips stay with us, luckily.
The unit will cost slightly more compared to the previous router table. Also, users get one dust port.
However, an improved design, more solid materials, and greater support and control during work are truly worth it.
3. Kreg PRS2100 Bench Top Router Table
Kreg PRS2100 also has a benchtop design and is much lighter than Bosch models. Users like it because of its high precision and stability, especially on uneven terrain.
By the way, the model may seem too simple, especially compared with Bosch router tables. But we found many similar functions that contribute to high performance.
One of the highlights of Kreg is an MDF worktop that can offer a smooth surface for smooth sliding. The table top is super-large and features an Easy-Slide surface. There are also plate levelers with the so-called Level-Loc rings. All these additions improve the accuracy of work and allow us to use any routers.
The table and stand have a rubber anti-vibration cover. It means no noise and disturbing movements of the table and your work piece. Dust and dirt particles will not disturb you either, thanks to a dust collection port.
Kreg PRS2100 has a few shortcomings with plastic components, but then, its accuracy and efficiency are out of this world.
Bosch RA1171, Bosch RA1181, Kreg PRS2100 Comparison Review
Style: Benchtop vs. Cabinet Style Router Table
We have several types of router tables. We highlight cabinet-style and benchtop, among others.
So, that forms the first basis for our comparison today.
Winner: 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
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?
also comes with the same die-cast aluminum work top but this time, there is no lamination which ensures its durability. When it comes to size, the table router 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.
Winner: 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
Router table also comes with a strong base but not as sturdy as that in the RA1171 cabinet router table. Equally, it is not ideal for uneven job sites.
If you have used other woodworking cutting tools, you have probably heard about the fence. Router tables also have this feature so it will be essential to know what it does and most importantly, what the Bosch RA1171, RA1181 and Kreg PSR2100 offer.
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.
Winner: Here, I will go for Kreg PRS2100 because the accuracy of the fence matters. This model offers just that and is also strong and durable, allowing much versatility in the wood pieces you are cutting.
- Bosch RA1171
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.
- Bosch RA1181
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.
Winner: 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.
The newer model Bosch RA1181 comes with one top dust port compatible with 2.5-inch hoses.
Unfortunately, since we miss the low port, there will be dust under the tabletop, so you have to bend to clean the mess.
Winner: Here again, the battle is between Bosch RA1181 vs. RA1171, and it is the cabinet saw that carries the day because of the dual system and the dirt never settling under the table top.
You will agree with me that safety is a priority number one when using a router table and cutting tools, in general.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Winner: Here, it’s evident that Kreg carries the day because it is easier to assemble.
What’s in the box?
So, what do the three models in this comparison review come with?
Here is what you will find in the Bosch RA1181 package
- Main unit
- 3 mounting plate insert rings
- 2 featherboards
- Aluminum fence
- Mounting hardware
- Adjustable clear guard
- Starter pin and guard
- 2 – 1/16″ thick outfeed fence shims
Winner: 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
What is the cheapest router table to buy? And besides the prices, what model offers the best value for money?
I wouldn’t say that there is a winner here because the three models are not direct competitors.
Bosch RA1171 is a cabinet-style while the rest of the two models are benchtops. Still,
Bosch RA1181 and Kreg PRS2100 are for two market segments.
Kreg is a high-end brand whereas Bosch RA1181 is probably an entry-level model.
Our Verdict: Bosch RA1171 vs. RA1181 vs. Kreg PRS2100
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
For what tasks do I need a router table?
What is the best router table for home workshop and domestic use?
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Can I adjust table height on my router table?
There you have it folks, a Bosch RA1171 vs. RA1181 vs. Kreg PRS2100 comparison review.
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.
Further reading and references:
30 of November 2020: Though some reviews state Bosch RA1181 has two dust collection ports, the manufacturer refutes this statement. Please pay attention that the model comes with one port set on the top.
1 of April 2021: The MenToolBox team confirms that all three models in the review – Bosch RA1171, Bosch RA1181, and Kreg PRS2100 – are still available on the main retailing platforms.
13 of April 2021: The average models’ rating reached 4.7 points on Amazon (according to the users’ vote and reviews).