Selecting the best router lift for woodworking allows you to make subtle height adjustments above your table.
With so many possibilities are available, how do you choose?
If you choose the improper router lift, your work becomes more difficult, and your cuts are less accurate.
As your carpentry skills improve, you start to enjoy tools that save you time and make things simpler. We’ve learned to search for these features in the equipment we purchase, and a router lift is one of them.
Therefore, we’ve put together a list of the best router lifts for any woodworker’s price range.
The Best Router Lifts on the Market
If you are searching for a router lift to add to your collection, you may want to consider the following options:
- Jessem Rout-R-Lift II Router Lift
- Router Lift FX
- Incra Master Lift II Router Lift
- Kreg PRS5000 Precision Router Lift
- Woodpeckers Precision PRL-V2-420 Router Lift
- Jessem Mast-R-Lift II 02120 Router Lift
Let’s take a further look at these products.
This JessEm router lift is one of the most affordable on the market, making it ideal for people looking for high quality without breaking the bank.
- With this JessEm router lift, altering the bit height is accurate and smooth
- It takes around 10 minutes or less to get it up and running, and the steel and aluminum structure makes it both durable and comfortable to use
- Only a single ring is included despite the price you pay
- Buyers wish there were more JessEm inserts provided because they are more pricey
- It is also tough to detect if the component is secure because the inserts do not perform as effectively as other brands
This JessEm router lift is one of the most affordable on the market, making it ideal for people looking for high quality without breaking the bank. Even though some users are disappointed with the way the inserts function and may prefer to spend the extra cash on something more premium, it performs well for its price. This lift, however, may be used by anyone because it is so simple to set up and use right away.
- It only weighs 8.8 pounds, making it simple to operate and modify
- Compatible with a variety of router tables
- Efficient operation is ensured by the use of double-sealed bearings
- All JessEm insert rings are designed to fit into this ring for simple removal and installation
- A built-in locking mechanism keeps the material from moving about
It is simple to adjust above the router table and is reasonably priced.
- The design is solid
- It has a versatile set-up that allows it to be used with several router tables
- When considering the price, the quality is excellent
- Since then, you may easily install and utilize it
- It has been stated that it performs equally as well as more expensive ones
- There is no method to secure the height
- Height is subject to change
- It does not work with router lifts that are 3.5 or 3.25 horsepower, but it works with something that is 2.25 horsepower
This router lift comes in handy for those of you who work on sporadic projects. It is simple to adjust above the router table and is reasonably priced. It is not recommended for serious woodworkers because it does not operate with specific wood routers and does not have a locking mechanism to keep your project stable. It is fine for general tasks, but not for much more.
- The plate is made of heavy-duty steel and provides you with sag-free support
- Its plate can be used on any of your router tables
- A diverse variety of small to medium-sized routers can fit in the lift housing
- Inserts with big openings are compatible
- From above the router table, you can instantly adjust the router bit height
It is a must-have for anyone who wants their adjustments to be as precise as possible; however, it may be too big for some people to handle.
- With a locking mechanism that keeps your object from moving as you are working, you can get accurate height precision on the horizontal and vertical axes
- This lift is simple to set up and use with a variety of routers
- Any router lift user can easily modify the bits
- Several people find this tool quite bulky
Anyone can profit from a router lift that is as long-lasting, sturdy, and smooth as this one. It is a must-have for anyone who wants their adjustments to be as precise as possible; however, it may be too big for some people to handle. The price is also greater than the normal lift, but given how well it performs, many people do not mind. When it comes to individuals who just perform occasional jobs, however, the cost makes it a less tempting lift.
- In your bit height, you can make modifications as fine as 0.001 inches
- Quick precision is provided by the integrated lift crank
- The cam lock and lift screw each have five sealed ball bearings for simple operation.
- Operating it requires very slight effort and strength
- Five steel reduction rings, all of which are magnetic, are included for quick ring replacements
It is very exact, yet it is not as pricey as other router lifts, which is why everyone enjoys using it, from pros to beginners.
- There's no need to fight with turning the entire router body to achieve the desired lift height
- It's incredibly simple to use
- It's simple to set up
- Fits a variety of router table styles
- The lift operation is precise and smooth
- With several twists of its crank, you can easily modify the height of your router bit
- Several individuals dislike the fact that once you lock the bit in place, you cannot move it back without counting the number of turns on the device's handle
- When you use bushings at your router table, it can be challenging to center the router
- To fit specific router tables, the plate may need to be shaved slightly
This product is ideal for anyone looking for a router lift that they can utilize for a variety of projects over time. It is very exact, yet it is not as pricey as other router lifts, which is why everyone enjoys using it, from pros to beginners. Keep in mind that it does not work for all tasks and that slight cutting of the plate may be required; however, it is extremely sturdy, meaning that anyone can use it effectively.
- To make exact height adjustments, a crank is used
- You can make bit changes atop the router table using the above-table collet access
- Made of anodized metal to prevent sagging and scratching
- Fits all Kreg router tables as well as various other brands
- There is a bearing guided carriage for smooth operation
This router lift is ideal for those of you who are only occasional woodworkers.
- A router lift of excellent quality
- Even a 3.25 horsepower router motor can be accommodated
- It fits snugly in the aperture of any router table while still allowing you to make the precise adjustments you need
- You can install it quickly and easily without having to spend a lot of money on anything more expensive
- It takes a while to get used to the manner in which this router lift works, according to some customers
- Even though the adjustment crank is smooth, some users find this thumbwheel a bit stiff to use
- It is also not as sturdy as other variants because it is not composed of aluminum
If you do a lot of routing, you might want a tool a little more robust than this. This router lift is ideal for those of you who are only occasional woodworkers. It is sturdy and enables simple changes, despite the fact that it is not as durable as steel or aluminum. You also never have to worry about the accuracy of the lift, even if it takes some time to get used to.
- This part is compatible with the Porter Cable 7518 router
- A spring-assisted wrench powers the fast quick-lift.
- The thumbwheel can be used to make precise adjustments
- To provide optimum stiffness, the product contains a one-piece motor carriage
- Three self-leveling twist lock rings are included
This router lift is suitable for almost anyone, but it is especially recommended for those who plan to do more intensive woodworking.
- JessEm's lift is well-made and simple to set up and utilize
- It fits most routers and allows you to make precise changes quickly
- This lift's built-in lock ensures that it remains steady
- Countless people have benefited from excellent customer service
- There is no dial indicator to assist you in determining the desired height
- Since the router plate is not magnetic, the additional dial indicators you attach may not be as reliable or steady
This router lift is suitable for almost anyone, but it is especially recommended for those who plan to do more intensive woodworking. We say this since the price is a little more than the average carpenter pays. This router lift, on the other hand, is precise and robust, so even if you merely dabble in your spare time, you may appreciate the ease of use and steadiness it gives.
- A cam locking system is included to keep everything in place
- The smooth operation is made possible by its double sealed bearing construction
- It is made of 3/8-inch solid aluminum, which makes it extremely durable
- It works with the majority of fixed-base routers currently on the market
- Permits all routers to alter bits above the router table
Let us first take a look at the features available on various router lifts:
Router lifts are made of strong metals such as brass, cast iron, stainless steel, and machined aluminum, rendering them exceptionally durable and capable of withstanding the high-power motors that drive them. It also allows them to last significantly longer than others.
Along with high-quality materials, the best router lifts should also include the following features:
The router lift ought to be able to be locked in place, allowing you to make accurate cuts. Your settings and changes must be locked in with a good router lift. This saves you time and effort by eliminating the need to fiddle with depth and height.
Locks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including bolt locks, cam locks, and lever locks. Look for one that has a bolt or cam lock, as these are the most stable.
Bearing System Design
Ball bearings provide seamless height adjustment. Bronze bearings are common, which is fantastic because they require minimal maintenance and produce the smoothest movements.
Many lifts may have several bearing mechanisms, but it is crucial to look at the design to determine if it is open or sealed, and the sort of material utilized. The best option, though, is sealed.
Built-in Plunge Router
The engine may be removed from the router lift and attached to a permanent stability lift thanks to a built-in plunge router. Several routers do not have a motor that can be removed. If you don’t have one, ensure sure the one you are purchasing is compatible with routers that don’t have a removable motor.
Compatibility with Various Manufacturer Models
Most router lifts are compatible with a variety of router models; however, not all of them. You want to be sure the new one is functional with the one you already have before making a purchase.
Trying to utilize two incompatible routers together not only results in poor performance, but it might also be extremely dangerous. Compatible models ought to be indicated on the package; however, you can also ask the manufacturer if they supply or recommend one. You may be able to locate adapters to use with yours as well.
Other Factors to Consider when Buying a Router Lift
Selecting a router lift can be challenging, especially when there are so many models that appear to be identical. What’s the best way to choose the perfect one for your task? When making your decision, there are a number of factors to consider, all of which assist you in selecting the router lift that is right for you.
Examine the structure of the lift you’re considering. It must not be built of cheap materials like plastic, as this breaks and forces you to acquire a new one. At the very least, you want one constructed of metal. Another good choice is cast iron. Steel is the greatest construction material available.
The entire point of a router lift is to make precise height adjustments, which can be accomplished in two ways: with a crank handle or with a thumbwheel.
Choose the option that feels most natural to you, and do not forget to verify how the lift adjusts the height. Try out a lift first if you can to get a sense for whatever type works best in your hands. Ball-bearing technology is ideal since it allows for easy height adjustment and requires very little maintenance.
When it comes to height adjustment, you want to ensure the lift adjusts gently, irrespective of whatever model you choose. This ensures that you always receive the perfect cut.
Fixed vs. Plunge Type
Fixed plunge routers benefit greatly from router lifts. In this instance, the router’s motor is not removable, yet it is still simple to attach the router to the lift and make the appropriate modifications. If you have a non-removable motor plunge router, double-check that the type fits before you buy it.
A fixed base router functions with the majority of routers in the marketplace. Rather, these have replaceable motors, which, based on the project, may function better when you are attempting to make adjustments.
When you’re adjusting the router pieces, be sure you can lock them in place so they don’t move about while you’re working. This is why a suitable locking mechanism is required.
Look for lever or bolt locks, which can aid with both variety and precision.
Significant characteristics on a router lift aren’t worth it if you can’t elevate the device properly. If you can’t move the router lift because it is too heavy, you should look for something easier to operate.
Plates and Insert Ring Sizes
You want a lift that comes with a variety of insert ring sizes. These rings allow you to change and use various diameter bits while working, allowing you to keep the wood steady. It is priceless to have a lift that works with a variety of rings.
The insert plate allows you to use your router in tabletop openings that are not conventional for specific or fixed openings. As a result, you should check the dimensions of the insert plate apertures before selecting a lift that fits your insert plate.
You might want to invest in a strong router lift; however, you might be hesitant to spend so much money just to discover that it doesn’t work with your smaller router.
If an adapter is included with the purchase, you do not have to worry about this issue. Router lifts are able to work with any purchase thanks to an adaptor.
Make sure the lift has the correct insert holes as well. These holes enable you to fit a new router to the lift without the need to drill holes in the insert plates.
The Bottom Line
There are numerous advantages to obtaining a router lift, as well as numerous factors to consider. With so many various brands and types to choose from, it is critical to conduct extensive research and read other customer reviews to determine the best model for you. Keep in mind that if you have a router, you want to make sure it is compatible with the lift you’re considering buying.
Because of its superb build quality, robust lock, and good customer service, we suggest the JessEm Mast-R-Lift II 02120 Router Lift. While it is designed primarily for skilled woodworkers, it is an excellent addition to any workshop.