Router tables are stationary units commonly used in woodworking applications that make it easier for craftsmen to create intricately designed moldings or trims.
In this comparison, we will be closely comparing the relevant features of the Bosch RA1181 and the SKIL RAS900 Router table against each other, so that you can make a better-informed decision as to which of the two would better suit your own particular needs.
The Bosch RA1181 has a wide surface area which makes it a perfect unit if you need space for your various woodworking activities. The base of the table is constructed from stiff-molded plastic while the mounting plate, as well as the bench top, consists of cast aluminum. The fence is made from veneered MDF and the turn dials are crafted from molded plastic.
The table comes with an on-off power switch and a circuit breaker to guard against any power surge damaging your equipment’s electronics. It is also provided with an onboard storage to keep your accessories save while a handy cord wrap also helps to keep these neatly tucked away. The table is very light and portable, making it a great option for both professionals or DIYers who frequently move to and from different sites.
Meanwhile, the SKIL RAS900 arrives as a pre-assembled router table. It comes with a hefty storage bag for accessories and a composite MDF top. The fence and router bits have more than adequate space by virtue of the self-contained structure of the SKIL RAS900’s design.
The quick-release router mount makes it super easy to attach and separate the router within seconds. The table is actually pre-assembled, so there is only very minimal additional work that needs to be done in setting up the equipment after purchasing it. Among the defining characteristics of the SKIL RAS900 is its highly improved routing accuracy, courtesy of the two feather-boards provided. This greatly helps in accurately guiding the workpieces in order to attain a very high degree of precision.
One distinct advantage of the RAS900 table is that it matches with a wide selection of different routers. The presence of a bit height gauge also aids in the set-up completion as well as to ensure that all cuts are created with a high degree of accuracy. It is very easy to route curved edges as the table is equipped with a pin and guard starter that provides excellent support to the workpieces in order to achieve the desired curved designs.
Below is a detailed look at the key defining features of each unit, compared side-by-side, for a proper evaluation:
Weight and Dimensions
The Bosch RA1181 benchtop router table measures 22.8 x 18 x 14.5 inches and weighs 33.6 pounds.
The SKIL RAS900 weighs 32 pounds. It’s 27.7 inches in length, 17.7 inches wide and 9.5 inches high.
The weight of each router table is actually very similar and their dimensions are also almost identical, except for the height where the Bosch RA1181 stands at almost ½ foot higher than the SKIL RAS900.
You have to allocate enough time to properly set up Bosch’s RAA1181 Router Table. We actually spent almost one hour assembling the entire set. But before that, we had to acquaint ourselves with its different features and functions to ensure that we would do the set-up right.
The manual was very self-explanatory, with easy-to-follow instructions and illustrations to explain various facets of the setup.
The table is remarkably easy to set up. It will not take you more than 30 minutes to set-up. After familiarizing yourself with how the different parts work, you can basically start working once you are able to mount the router.
Because the table is equipped with a cleverly-designed fast-clamping system and an advanced mounting bracket and clamp at the table’s base, attaching and removing the router is fairly rudimentary.
The SKIL router table is actually easier to assemble than Bosch’s. But when it comes to durability, we have to give the nod to the Bosch RA1181 as it is made of sturdier materials and is generally more stable once completely assembled. The folding table and legs that make the SKIL table easy to store and assemble, also makes it inherently weak.
If you are going to be working on some heavier workpieces, there is a possibility that the table might bend, which is counter-productive and basically unsafe. Hence, use the SKIL table only for lighter projects as much as possible.
Fence and Featherboard
With a high aluminum fence measuring 4-7/8” in height and 25-1/8” in length, the table can handle tall workpieces with ease. The fence includes retractable MDF plates for better support during operation.
The adjustable fences are provided with corresponding shims to offset the force from the opposite side. Another use of it would be as a surface planer or jointer.
Both products have two feather boards which provide more control to the user, and a fence which is very useful in aligning the workpieces. Both feather boards are also adjustable, making it easier to accommodate different types of workpieces.
Bosch RA1181 vs SKIL RAS900: Final Words
Bosch’s RA1181 is an excellent and versatile router table for most woodworking applications. Overall, we were extremely satisfied with the outstanding performance and capabilities of this product.
Bosch always maintains quality standards in all of their product releases, and that is evidently found in this particular unit as well. The only downside, at least initially, is that it takes up some valuable time to set-up this table although once it’s ready to go it can take on all comers, be it light or heavy projects.
Meanwhile, the SKIL RAS900 also does not fail to impress us with its wide range of features. It is very smartly-designed and even takes care of your accessories in the storage compartment. The table is composed of an integrated-power-chip which helps in managing the router, as well as to power the dust collector after use. It is very adept at performing various procedures, from making channel routes and simple edge molding.
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