In this age when craftsmen work smartly, precision tools like router lifts are important for woodwork projects. Router lifts can help you take accurate elevation measurements.
Like your building’s elevator, height adjustments of woodworking bits are seamless with functional router lifts. Instead of crawling under the router table to change, an above-table router lift does it with ease.
The leverage that router lifts give can’t be over-emphasized. While it’s important to buy the best router lift, you should check the designs of its mounting plate and carriage mechanisms.
Some regular bit sizes are 1/32 and 1/64 inches. When well-made router lifts with micro-adjustment dials complete a turn, they correlate with the router bit’s depth.
Most models of router lifts have detachable crank handle inserts. You will see these components on their mounting plates.
Depending on the direction, the handle makes faster turns to raises or lower the carriage of your lift. This mechanical operation is often done with unbelievable precision.
Before you shop for a favorite model of router lift, it’s important to know the size of your table.
This buying guide gives you relevant technical information about different models of router lifts. It will help you choose the right lift model that works intuitively.
Also, we shall guide you with other features that make a good precision router table system.
- Allows precise above-the-table setup changes for table-mounted routers
11 Best Router Lift
#1. JessEm Rout-R-Lift II For 3-1/2″ Diameter Motors
Do you need to build a suitable router table in your garage or workshop? This JessEm Rout-R-Lift model is available in five different styles for bits’ height adjustments. With this precision tool, you can replace or upgrade old base-mounted router lifts too.
Since this model of router lift comes with a 3.5-inch (diameter) motor, it’s compatible with some CRAFTSMAN, DEWALT, Porter-Cable, and Bosch router models.
Despite this JessEm Rout-R-Lift II model’s impressive features, it only comes with a few plates (1-3/8 inches, 2 inches, 2-1/2 inches) and corner brackets. With this 8.8 lbs lift’s shaft-mount hydraulic system, you don’t have to worry about changing the bits without bent wrenches.
#2. Kreg PRS5000 Precision Router Lift
The Kreg router lift offers high precise setups precision and its micro-adjusting (for thousandths of an inch) wheel works perfectly. It’s that type of table-mounted lift that boosts efficiency by fine-tuning the measurement of bits with ease.
You should join other avid craftsmen and people that prefer to install easy-to-use router lifts on router tables. Apart from the speed of bit changes, this model of Kreg comes with a hard-anodized aluminum plate.
While the mounting plate has a compact dimension of 3⁄8 x 91⁄4 x 113⁄4 inches, its sturdy design prevents any chances of sagging from loads or impact of abrasion.
Also, its ball-bearing works with a low frictional force and ensures a smooth operation. This table-mounted lift router has a space-saving designed, and it’s easy to uninstall.
#3. Rockler Pro Lift Router Lift With 8-1/4 by 11-3/4 Inches Mounting Plate
This Rockler Pro Lift Router Lift might be expensive, but it’s made for daily tasks that are demanding. Also, this multipurpose router lift model is ideal for your router table upgrades. You don’t need special tools or screws to release this router lift’s insert rings before changing your bits.
With its features, you can set up a customized router table too. There are two smart features in this Rockler Pro Lift model.
While you can make fast height adjustments with the ‘Quick-Gear,’ the ‘Snap-Lock’ supports a tool-free insert ring adjustments. You can release the insert ring by activating its push-button automatically. Before adjusting the bit with this Quick-Gear mechanism, Rockler recommends a simple procedure.
Simply install the bit, lower it, and activate the insert ring’s button. Then, preset the final height at 0.001 inches before you use the fine adjustment gear.
#4. MLCS 9562 U-Turn 2-Piece Router Lift for 3-1/4 HP Router Systems
Do you spend like to spend less time installing and routing? The MLCS 9562 router lift model has a height-adjusting handle arm with an 18-1/2-inch allowance.
After the installation, it extends from the center regular 36-inch (wide) router and small tables. You can attach the crankshaft with a 2-piece crank handle of 1/4 inches, a hex drive, and a set of screws easily. Also, the pore design is impressive and supports smooth height adjustments.
There’s no doubt that this U-Turn router lift model from MLCS is built to last, but it’s prone to alignment problems. It can ruin woodworking jobs if you have little experience with your routing procedures.
#5. Woodpeckers PRL-V2-414 Precision Router Lift
Router lifts with high-performance lets you adjust bits and work on work on router table conveniently. This Woodpeckers PRL-V2-414 Precision Router Lift works well with the Milwaukee 5625 router system.
As a reputable brand, Precision Woodworking Tools offers you a hassle-free performing router lift model. Also, this router lift model has durable aluminum material that has gone through a high-quality machining process.
It comes with a ‘Quick-Lift’ wrench and a micro-adjustment mechanism for accurate adjustments. If your project needs a router lift that offers fast precision control, the Woodpeckers PRL-V2-414 model is an ideal option.
#6. INCRA Mast-R-Lift-II Router Lift
Does your woodworking project require router lifts that make 0. 001-inch height adjustments? This model of INCRA Router Lift allows you to make micro-adjustments without using the dial indicator.
Also, it’s metal plate has more mounting holes than regular router lift models. However, you will need to buy extra sets of long screws expenses for the adapter plate.
As a precision tool that makes quick bit changes, it comes with a quarter-turn cam lock that prevents height drifts. With this Mast-R-Lift-II model, you can work with a few models of Kreg tables, and all INCRA router tables.
The price is was worth every impressive feature that comes with this model. Since this router lift’s cam lock comes with five sealed ball bearings, you will enjoy instant and smooth height adjustments. It’s one of the few routing accessories that supports woodworking standards.
#7. SawStop RT-LFT Four-Post Router Lift with Lock
The SawStop RT-LFT Four-Post Router Lift is an exclusive lifting system with complete accessories. Its adjustment mechanisms are ultra-responsive because of the built-in chain-synchronized design.
With the (9.25 by 11.75 inches) top plate’s thickness of 0.238 inches and leveling screws, this Saw Stop table component makes a seamless flush with other router table models. However, this router lift has a diameter of 3.5 that doesn’t fit the Triton TRA001 router model.
For a Porter Cable 7518 router model, you’ll need a reducer collar to adjust the clamp’s diameter before it fits.
Generally, the SawStop RT-LFT router lift comes with adaptive collars (3.25 and 3.5 inches) that fit a range of router sizes. It’s your ideal router lift model for height adjustments and elevation measurements.
#8. JET JRL-912 Router Lift
This 15.4-lbs Jet JRL-912 router lift is easy to install. Also, it comes with a clamp that holds the router lift securely. With this safety feature, there will be low-noise and vibration levels during your woodworking applications.
Unlike other router lift models, it comes with a precision-milled aluminum top plate. Usually, moisture and rain are common effects of weather that trigger corrosion. However, you can use your router table with this Jet JRL-912 lift in outdoor environments without considering the effects of weather.
The mounting plates have leveling screws and a locking dial that prevents mechanical drifts when you expect a smooth operation. As a woodworker, you can be productive with efficient lifting mechanisms.
The load’s weight on this tool doesn’t matter because the dials can make adjustments of about 2mm easily. All you need is to get set for an amazing routing experience with this JET router lift.
#9. Bosch RA1171 Cabinet Style Router Table
If you need a benchtop router table and lift for your workshop, it’s time to enjoy this German-engineered machine.
This RA1171 Cabinet-style router table by Bosch has a stable construction with a dust collection system.
While the system uses two ports, they are compatible with 2.5-inch vacuum hoses.
Also, its dual outlet switch comes with a 6-foot power cord that improves the convenience of working from different positions. With a rigid aluminum plate and pre-drilled holes, you can enjoy stability with a range of applications.
The flat mounting plate prevents mechanical drifts and optimizes precision. Also, it allows you to make accurate elevation measurements and height adjustments. Owning this machine is a surefire way of saving cost with a 2-in-1 design of router tables and lifts.
#10. Bench Dog 40-016 ProLift Max Fixed Base Router Lift With Top-Adjustment System
The Bench Dog 40-016 ProLift router lift is a blend of quality engineering and performance. As a precision tool for professionals, you can use this router lift model for heavy-duty woodwork projects.
Unlike other router lift models, the Bench Dog 40-016 ProLift Max has 6-inch carriage travel.
There’s an increasing demand for this Bench Dog 40-016 model because it’s designed for heavy fixed-base routers. It’s stressful to crawl under router tables for simple height adjustments of bits.
Instead, the top-adjustment system of this fixed-base router lift enhances comfort during work.
This router lift model comes with sturdy construction. While its insert plate is made from blanched ground steel, the surface is coated (electroless plating) with nickel.
You’ll notice the contrasting textures of both metals and the cast aluminum housing too.
#11. Goplus Aluminum Extra-Large Extension Router (Benchtop-style) Table With Electric Router Lift
This electric benchtop router table is finely coated Aluminum, steel, and other corrosion-proof elements. Goplus offers you and other professional woodworking craftsmen a cabinet-style router table with an easy-slide surface.
You don’t have to struggle with heavy workpieces because they can slide smoothly from the edges of this extension table. There’s a Miter gauge that’s attached to the table’s multifunctional fence.
It measures angles and gives accurate elevation measurements during straight cuts. Also, the jointing fence offers support for workpieces around the bit. With this multifunctional fence, you can explore the efficiency of a vertical jointer for any woodwork application.
Maintaining Tips For Router Lifts
Proper maintenance tips start from using the right router table and lift components. A routing system for woodworking applications must be compatible with the router lift.
Before you buy any router lift model, check the product’s specification sheet and ensure that it can handle your workpieces. With a minimum horsepower rating of 3.5 HP, you can make any adjustments with a simple lift.
The sizes of mounting plates must fit the router table if you want to enjoy stability. Generally, we have two common (universal) plates with dimensions 8.25 x 11.75 inches and 9.25 x 11.75 inches.
Buy router lifts with sawdust collection systems that are compatible with regular vacuum hoses. Without a guard that prevents wood-chips from adjustment screws, you might not enjoy the router system for a long period. Also, check and clean affected components before cranking your router lift.
Don’t forget to clean your bits too. Router bits are like saw blades, and they can wood chips affect their performance. To ensure smooth cuts, you need to route the end grains of woods before their edges.
Benefits of Using Router Lifts
Rugged Base Plate: Like all professional woodworkers, you need stability during routing operations. The component of a router lift that ensures stability is a solid base plate.
When the materials of base plates are rugged, they ensure low noise and vibration. Also, the insert plates of router tables should be firm for all cuts to come out finely.
Accuracy: Precision tools like router lifts provides accurate height adjustments. Without a low-friction ball bearing system, your elevation measurement and height adjustments will be erratic. Also, your router lift’s indexing ring and micro-adjust scale determine the accuracy of bit heights.
Standard Mount: Standard mounts ensure that your router insert plates are firm. These mounting plates often come with pre-drilled holes. However, you can ask a machinist to drill extra holes that fit perfectly.
Height Adjustment System: Router lifts might come with a thumbwheel mechanism or crank handles for height adjustment. You need the router lift to set the height of bits during woodworking projects.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why Is The Plunge Type of Router Lift Important?
The fixed plunge router is the most common design of router lift models. It’s the point where you can detach the router’s motor.
With this feature, you can attach the routing system to a compatible lift. However, there are non-removable motors and you need to understand the type that’s compatible with your system.
Can I retrofit My Old Router Table?
Many fixed-base routers offer performance after a retrofit. However, the router lift’s plate size must align with your table’s clamp.
Otherwise, you might need a reducer collar to make necessary adjustments. Also, router lift models like Jet, Powermatic, and Woodpecker can make the above-table bit changes with plunger-type routers.
Apart from making bit changes with ease, the ease of getting accurate micro-adjustments with a router lift model is amazing.
The performance and features vary with each of these 11 models. However, this router lift review ensures that woodworking amateurs and professionals can make good purchase decisions.
While we tested the performance of respective products, it’s expected that you’ll have a rewarding experience after using any of these router lifts.
- 11 Best Router Lift
- #1. JessEm Rout-R-Lift II For 3-1/2″ Diameter Motors
- #2. Kreg PRS5000 Precision Router Lift
- #3. Rockler Pro Lift Router Lift With 8-1/4 by 11-3/4 Inches Mounting Plate
- #4. MLCS 9562 U-Turn 2-Piece Router Lift for 3-1/4 HP Router Systems
- #5. Woodpeckers PRL-V2-414 Precision Router Lift
- #6. INCRA Mast-R-Lift-II Router Lift
- #7. SawStop RT-LFT Four-Post Router Lift with Lock
- #8. JET JRL-912 Router Lift
- #9. Bosch RA1171 Cabinet Style Router Table
- #10. Bench Dog 40-016 ProLift Max Fixed Base Router Lift With Top-Adjustment System
- #11. Goplus Aluminum Extra-Large Extension Router (Benchtop-style) Table With Electric Router Lift
- Maintaining Tips For Router Lifts
- Benefits of Using Router Lifts
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)