Woodworking projects are not easy to take up. No wonder many people opt for the MOST USEFUL WOODWORKING TOOLS and EQUIPMENT. Even if they’re not necessary for the undertaking! It just makes the process much more comfortable and fun to complete. Such as the best router lift!
Buying a product like this seems like a major investment. The gear helps in positioning your router at MORE EFFICIENT and CONVENIENT ANGLES. But that’s the final outcome. The first step involves buying the best router lift. So how about I guide you through the journey!
BEST ROUTER LIFT: TOP 10 REVIEWS
f you don’t have too much time on your hands, simply go through the comparison table created below. But if you do, then I don’t see why you shouldn’t want to read the detailed reviews further below.
I mean aren’t you here to buy the most suitable router lift for your woodworking requirements? So why not get to know what each model has to offer.
1. BOSCH BENCHTOP ROUTER TABLE RA1181 – EDITOR’S CHOICE
You’ll have a totally healthy relationship with this Bosch Benchtop Router Table. Cause it’s a heavy-duty Bosch product with a top-notch construction. So there’s no reason why I wouldn’t recommend it. For both professional and home applications!
This router lift consists of a large working surface for both routing and woodworking. It’s created to fit many types of routers. So it’s only common sense to assume that the current pick has quite a versatile nature.
The Bosch Benchtop Router Table comes with a 2.5 inches port for dust collection. So if a clean work area is your thing, you’ve hit the jackpot. What’s more is the large aluminum material table. That is both portable and durable.
Bosch also decided to add mounting hardware, mounting plate, and outfeed shims. Along with an aluminum constructed fence that offers adjustable plates.
The mounting plates make way for accurate cuts. The aluminum fence allows you to handle tall stock in the easiest manner. And the two adjustable featherboards (outfeed shims) fit most kinds of workpieces.
As a matter of fact, they also deliver additional control and support. So feeding stock becomes a more convenient experience. And isn’t that the whole point of spending those dollars!
The Bosch Benchtop Router Table has a completely adjustable fence. So it locks down pretty tight and remains that way. The result is that you can use your plunge router with nothing but absolute comfort.
I can swear by the performance of the Bosch Benchtop Router Table. Even though its adjustment knob tends to back out every time you run the router! That means making small changes in comparison to the last cut location is not possible. But you can make it so by tensioning the knob somehow.
- Assembly is easier with the spot-on instructions manual.
- Top is smooth and perfectly sized.
- Many safety features for protection.
- Screws involved are of cheap quality.
- Adjustment knob is prone to backing out during router operation.
2. JESSEMMAST-R-LIFT II 02120 – THE BEST LIGHTWEIGHT ROUTER LIFT
Time and again I’ve noticed that there’s always a product that’s full of surprises. It seems so ordinary. But when you put it to use, you realize how practically designed and high performing it is. One such example is the JessEm Mast-R-Lift II 02120 Router Lift.
It’s a lightweight unit packed with all the right intuitive features. Even the superior construction and comfortable height adjustability are factors responsible for success here. You’ll find the cam lock system simply outstanding. As it secures the router position easy and fast using the very crank that lifts the router.
The addition of 5 dual seal bearings means achieving whatever height adjustment you seem fit. The phenomenal thread system makes way for pressure increments. That eliminates backlash and vibrations. And accurate routing is a delightful pile on at such times.
Then comes effortless engineering in the form of minimal moving parts. This gives you greater accuracy. The hard anodized quality of aluminum makes the product even more rigid and stable.
So you’re looking at not months but years of applicability. Plus, the hydraulic pressure pressed shafts distribute the weight evenly. So your router can be the heaviest and it won’t matter.
Hard to believe that this router lift’s light in weight, isn’t it?
The fit and quality of the JessEm router lift gear is beyond comparison. Plus, you can expect a tank to run over it without causing any severe damages.
What you’re dealing with here is high-quality equipment for woodworking. The standard features and accessories are all in place. But only when it comes to additional accessories, you might face some disappointment.
For example, JessEm provides only a single insert. Whereas they sell an entire set separately!
- Clamping blocks ensure high compatibility.
- It can resist abrasions from heavy applications.
- Double seal ball bearing allows comfortable crank movements.
- A little bit of lateral movement is common.
- Only one insert is included.
3. BOSCH RA1165 – THE BEST UNDER-TABLE ROUTER LIFT
You can purchase the Bosch RA1165 Under-Table Router Base if you prefer the under-table style. Without any uncertainty, I can assure you that this router lift can withstand all levels of professional tasks. It doesn’t place the convenience factor into jeopardy. What you get here is the under-table luxury with the above-table wrench. So router attachments become easier.
The unit is crafted to fit both large and medium routers. The most comfortable experience is to use the lift over that table. The generous base opening makes room for large bits. And there’s a powerful motor that doesn’t spin at the time of depth adjustments. In simple words, no unexpected horizontal movements during adjustments.
Another feature that demands attention is the clamp system at the base. With such a component, the task of moving the motor turns into an effortless action.
The mounting flexibility is also something you might hold in high regard pretty soon. The company has made use of the strongest mounting screws. Such a design element is worth noting because it supports the router weight during operation.
You don’t have to be a pro to appreciate these kinds of features. Trust me!
Not many under-table router lifts offer as much convenience as their above-table counterparts. But, fortunately, I don’t hold the same opinion when talking about this Bosch RA1165 Under-Table Router Base. Its wrench access is right there on top. So you can make depth adjustments in the most convenient manner.
But I’m pretty sure you know what the problem is. That the current pick has an under-table structure. So the chances of finding the task of unlocking the router a tad bit tedious are not minuscule. But to be honest, this is only a matter of preference. Convenience is at its best in both cases.
- Fixed base offers a durable, solid foundation.
- Motor housing remains steady during adjustments.
- Assembly instructions and directions for use are excellent.
- For adjustments, you unlock router from under and not above.
4. INCRA MAST-R-LIFT-II – THE BEST ROUTER LIFT FOR PROFESSIONALS
For professional pieces, you’ll love using the INCRA Mast-R-Lift-II Router Lift. It is, not by any means, an entry-level option. That’s because this little monstrosity obtains great accuracy for raising router bits. It initiates quick height adjustments, which is the most useful function here. But there’s a lot more that screams efficiency. Let’s find out all of it below.
The INCRA router lift features 5 ball bearings to perform micro adjustments. This, when combined with thread tensioning system, makes modifications super smooth. Also beneficial, for fit this time, is the inclusion of 5 steel-equipped reducing rings. So you can work right where vibration is at the lowest.
There’s a cam lock feature for secure performance. So don’t anticipate setbacks such as unexpected height adjustment changes.
As for compatibility, the INCRA Mast-R-Lift-II Router Lift fits just as a glove. It hosts brands such as Makita, Hitachi, and the like. Plus, you require no adaptors for changing the router. Thanks to the addition of aluminum designed clamping blocks.
So if you’re a professional woodworker, you’ll appreciate every ounce and element of this model.
Smooth like silk, super easy to use, and large contrast markings are just a scratch on the surface. The INCRA router lift lowers and raises really fast. It also unlocks and locks. So if this is the first expensive router lift you plan to spend your dollars on, it might as well be the last.
It’s true that the INCRA Mast-R-Lift-II Router Lift has no major drawbacks. The only possible issue can be that it’s not created for newbies.
- Height adjustment precision is excellent.
- Magnetic rings feature incredibly strong magnets.
- It stays put in the locked position.
- Not suitable for beginners.
5. JESSEM ROUTER-R-LIFT II 02310 – BEST PORTABLE ROUTER LIFT
There’s no doubt about the fact that this JessEm router lift gear is the best portable option. The weight is 8.56 pounds. And that, by far, is the lowest on the list. So you can operate it from anywhere in the workshop. And even carry it around quite conveniently.
Another feature that I would like to highlight is the lock mechanism. The resolute cam lock system is not the only praiseworthy component here.
The JessEm Router-R-Lift II Router Lift has a unique lock mechanism that ensures height stability. There are two sealed bearings included to manage the spindle. And due to the presence of cam lock, the spindle doesn’t rotate as a result of vibrations.
If I had to state all of that in simple words, here’s what I would say. Precise routing is what you get every single time you decide to use this JessEm router lift.
Now, how about the construction? The JessEm Router-R-Lift II is a compact unit alright. But it has a pretty solid aluminum and steel lift mechanism. That can tolerate any kind of router pressure.
The tab-loc ring designed inserts ensure that extensive operations run smoothly. Without one, you don’t feel confident about completing your task. It eliminates the part where you have to keep fiddling with the equipment.
Since the lift doesn’t require too much space, you know that its moving parts demand minimal attention. Installation is also an easy and quick process. As the JessEm Router-R-Lift II Router Lift comes with holes that are pre-drilled. Along with all the mounting and leveling screws!
Overall, you’re looking at an excellent portable pick. Suitable for every budget conscious woodworker!
The JessEm Router-R-Lift II is a lightweight router lift. But there is absolutely nothing light about its performance. Even after months of heavy-duty use, you feel like it has just arrived. The plates don’t sag. The lifting mechanism remains smooth without any added lubrication. And you still get the opportunity to turn on the gear with a single finger.
Everybody requires a template in order to make a decent cut. But, unfortunately, the manufacturer doesn’t provide you with one here.
- Insert ring tends to lock securely.
- The two turn knobs lift and lock without any side or vertical play.
- Precise height adjustments are easy to make.
- There’s no template for cutting mounting hole.
6. INCRA MASTER LIFT II – BEST ROUTER LIFT FOR ROCKLER TABLE
Seeing that this Incra router lift allows raising and lowering in the most convenient manner, I decided to shortlist the model. It ranks among the best router lifts for Rockler tables anyway. So why not bank on that too!
Modifying precise height adjustments is a task that’s very convenient and simple. You can achieve desired results with the naked eye as well. All you have to do is lift up the crank. For getting accurate measurements!
The Incra Master Lift II is outfitted with invaluable ball bearings. These are installed on the unit’s lift screw and cam lock. What they do is hold down the equipment. So there’s no need to watch out for unwanted movements. Smooth maneuverability with minimal effort is what you obtain. (Woodworking tips for your router)
The addition of 5 magnetic steel rings offers another significant advantage. It makes room for easy and immediate ring changes. Now, this is something that not all router lifts give you the chance to enjoy.
So don’t be nervous about spending all that money on the Incra Master Lift II. The model is an ultimate game changer. Especially if what you desire is precision!
Now you already know that the Incra Master Lift II is designed for Rockler tables. But did you know that the tool is easy to lock and unlock? It even adjusts to precise settings. So I strongly recommend this pick to all types of router users.
But here’s something you might not like. The hole in which you hoist cover plates is too small. And I can’t say that this is not troublesome. Even though it’s not a major problem!
- Ball bearings prevent movements during operation.
- Magnetic lock rings install as well as adjust easily.
- Precise adjustments are a huge asset.
- You cannot zero its height gauge.
- The hole for prying up cover plates is not big enough.
7. ROCKLER ROUTER LIFT FX – THE BEST ROUTER LIFT FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM ROUTERS
Use the Rockler Router Lift FX and you’ll be able to adjust bit height easily and quickly. Without having to reach under your worktable! This Rockler lift is created to fit all types of small and medium routers. Including Bosch, DeWalt, Porter-Cable, and more.
Its compatibility is not a concern. At least it didn’t seem like it when I was testing the unit. I also found the 12.7-pound weight capacity to be extremely useful. The adjustment bit makes room for height adjustments instantly. And without having to go out of your way to do so!
The support built into the plate is sag-free. Plus, the plate has a heavy-duty construction. So as far as the build of this Rockler lift is concerned, you can get rid of all doubts.
But it’s the flexibility of the plate that you might use the most to your advantage. As it gives you the freedom to handle all kinds of small and medium routers!
The Rockler Router Lift FX is a well-made unit. And in the long run, you’ll appreciate this solid construction. As the tool doesn’t give rise to issues with imprecision or slippage!
You’ll find a nut located below the gear, which you have to tighten. In order to keep the depth adjustment the same! Otherwise, the vibration causes it to change. And that can be very frustrating.
- Flexible plate makes the lift more accommodating.
- Accuracy eliminates even the slightest hand adjustments.
- Support mechanism is sag-free.
- It takes some effort to maintain depth adjustment.
8. KREG PRS5000 PRECISION – THE BEST ROUTER LIFT FOR KREG TABLE
For a Kreg table-mounted router, nothing fits the bill better than the Kreg PRS5000 Precision Router Lift. This particular model opens the door to quick, accurate, repeatable, and reliable setups. And that’s what I think you might value the most.
The Kreg PRS5000 Precision Router Lift helps in elevating routing capacities like no other. Simply by delivering accurate control at the time of bit changes. Or during router setup alterations!
The equipment replaces any regular insert plate. At the same time, it accepts over 20 different popular router devices. All this without having to use adapters or make modifications! The carriage is high-performing. And it lowers and rises in the most convenient manner.
Making adjustments is not only simple but fast and accurate too. So you don’t take time whenever you decide to set up the router. Thanks to the inclusion of the integrated scale for micro-adjustments.
In fact, you can zero out this scale as well. This is very useful when you demand to achieve precise bit height alterations. That means readjusting to the same setting for repeated cuts is a possibility.
Conclusively, I highly recommend the Kreg PRS5000 Precision Router Lift. Doesn’t matter if you’re installing a new table or upgrading the existing one! This model is a perfect accessory for routing.
Installing the Kreg PRS5000 is easy. The design of the gear is such that you don’t have to drill holes or attach fittings. And to make things even better, the lifting action is incredibly accurate and smooth.
You set the desired bit height in the most convenient manner alright. But once you lock this height in position, you cannot back to that particular position. At least not without counting the handle turns. And when dealing with matching bit sets, this can get quite inconvenient.
- Precise setup changes are possible.
- Indexing ring with scale simplifies adjustments of bit height.
- Carriage has a bearing guide for smooth operation.
- Going back to the adjusted height position is troublesome.
9. WOODPECKERS PRECISION PRL-V2-420 – THE BEST BASIC ROUTER LIFT
This Woodpecker router lift has a lot going in terms of long-standing performance. It has the power to enhance basic router capabilities. And in my opinion, that’s the most appealing part about the pick. Not many standard lifts have the ability to deliver such high performance.
The lift device is bulletproof, I can assure you that. Its impressive features save time while also providing precision. The latter you can manage from above the plate quite easily.
Then there’s the thumbwheel equipped micro-adjuster. What it allows you to do is make quick and easy bit height adjustments. Along the same vein, the scale at the top is also convenient to read.
As long as we’re talking about integrated features, I cannot leave out the patented lift wrench. The quick tool makes way for raising the router without employing micro-adjustments.
So every time you wish to use that wrench, you don’t need to carry out micro-adjustments. Isn’t that convenient? And isn’t convenience the only reason why you wish to buy the best router lift in the first place?
The phenolic construction here is pretty rare to stumble upon. It is accurate and flat with impeccable mechanics.
It’s hard not to like everything about this Woodpecker router lift. Except for a single component! And that’s the hard and inflexible thumbwheel.
- Spring equipped wrench enables quick lift.
- Motor bearing design provides excellent rigidity/firmness.
- Also included are three twist-lock self-leveling rings.
- Not suitable for massive amounts of routing.
- Stiff thumbwheel for height adjustments.
10. JESSEM ROUT-R-LIFT II 02314 – THE BEST ROUTER LIFT FOR RIGID ROUTERS
This JessEm lift is an affordable option. Only after reviewing so many models did I realize that it’s an entry-level unit. But don’t let that create any doubts associated with performance. The company’s high standards in terms of manufacturing are evident throughout this lift as well. Much like the previous two JessEm products discussed in the article!
The bearings equipped lift spindle is what’s responsible for smooth operation. As for stability, the integrated locking mechanism offers all the confidence you need for your projects.
The type of construction you’re dealing with here is heavy-duty phenolic. Unlike the aluminum and steel kinds of the other two! But the common denominator is the convenient above-table access. Along with convenient bit changes and adjustment! Without the use of any bent wrenches!
The opening of the insert is crafted to receive Tab-Lock insert rings. The way I see it, this means easy removal and installation. And the best part is that JessEm includes all leveling and mounting hardware. So everything seems like a breeze.
Here are the two functions that stand out when using the JessEm Rout-R-Lift II 02314. The first is bit changes and the second is cut depth adjustments. You would despise yourself for not having bought this particular model when it first came out.
The fact that this JessEmrouter lifttool is created just for Rigid routers is a drawback in itself.
- Heavy-duty construction goes a long way.
- Locking mechanism prevents unwanted movements.
- Sealed bearings enable smooth operation.
- Only suitable for Rigid routers.
ROUTER LIFT: BUYER’S GUIDE
“Ingenious tools” is how I would like to describe these router lifts. They make the task of routing so much easier. When woodworking, such tools are very handy FOR ACHIEVING PRECISION.
But that’s not it. Router lifts offer more than you can imagine. So let’s find out what the advantages are. And also how to choose the best router lift!
BENEFITS OF ROUTER LIFT
- Easy Usability
Router lifts are units installed OVER THE TABLE. So you don’t have to struggle under it each time you wish to adjust the router bit height. They are outfitted with either T-wrench or thumbwheel strap. To facilitate adjustments!
The top-rated options currently available are built using the ball bearing mechanism. Such a system makes way for FLUID and PRECISE HEIGHT ADJUSTMENTS. Most of these models have the capacity to offer adjustments that are less than one-third inch. Isn’t that amazing!
- Stable Base Plate
When the base plate is solid, what is it that happens? The door to ADDITIONAL STABILITY and LESS VIBRATION blows wide open.
- Standard Mount
Good router lifts are equipped with standard mounts. And this is where you bolt the router plate.
FEATURES OF ROUTER LIFT
1. LOCKING MECHANISM
A locked router lift helps in gaining accuracy as well as versatility. The high-quality kind REDUCES PLAY as soon as the router comes on.
You should also know that some units are built as BOLT OR LEVER LOCKING MECHANISMS.
Every router lift, best or worst, is crafted to use with a particular fixed plunge. In simple words, it is the part where the router’s motor is removable. It’s also the part where the component attaches to that lift!
If the router you’re using features a motor that’s non-removable, here’s what you ought to do. Check if it fits the particular router lift.
3. DURABLE CONSTRUCTION
Materials such as plastic are not long-lasting. The better choice here is CAST-IRON, ALUMINUM, OR STEEL. So it’s important to take construction into account if you want your equipment to not give up anytime soon.
4. HEIGHT ADJUSTMENTS
In this area, you get two options to choose from. The first is CRANK HANDLE while the second is THUMBWHEEL. You can make PROPER HEIGHT ADJUSTMENTS with both the systems.
So there’s no correct answer here. It all depends on what you prefer using for your woodworking projects.
Don’t expect all router lifts to handle your router. Every product on the retail market features recommendations. These help you determine the most suitable lift for your specific needs and requirements.
When you try to use an incompatible router, it tends to result in excessive vibration. And let’s not forget, awkward usage as well.
6. BALL BEARING
The design of ball bearing is a crucial factor. If you want height adjustments to be smooth, then it’s important to look at the design of the ball bearing.
If the QUALITY IS LOW-MAINTENANCE, it keeps you focused. So you don’t have to worry about other insignificant aspects. You can just concentrate on completing the task.
7. LIFT ADAPTERS
Are you planning on using the best router lift for a very long time? If yes, I would suggest you buy a unit that offers insert holes and various adapters. If not, then these additional components are not worth the extra cost.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. HOW MUCH DO I SPEND ON ROUTER LIFT?
Most of us worry about price. And since that’s the case, allow me to make my point.
When using router lifts, everything takes place above the table. When you wish to make adjustments, you don’t need to lower or raise the gear. You can achieve accuracy without having to maneuver the unit at all. Doesn’t that sound like a convenient and comfortable experience!
For the majority of woodworking enthusiasts and professionals, this convenience matters the most. More than price even! So they don’t mind spending a few bucks on the best router lift. As long as they get to eliminate all the knuckle stress!
But the good news here is that not all high-quality and high performing router lifts are expensive. Only if the motor you’re currently using is more than three-and-half inches large, you might end up spending above $200. Cause that’s how much high-end models are worth!
2. WILL MY TABLE BE SUITABLE FOR ROUTER LIFT?
The two universal plate sizes are as follows:
- 9-1/4 BY 11-3/4 INCHES
8-1/4 BY 11-3/4 INCHES
Your table should be in sync with either one. So PLEASE CHECK BEFORE BUYING.
3. WILL MY ROUTER BE SUITABLE FOR ROUTER LIFT?
Does your router have a 3-1/4 HP motor? Or higher? In both cases, it might not be compatible. Most router lifts don’t support such routers. So don’t forget to keep that in mind at the time of buying.
WHAT’S THE FINAL DECISION?
MY CHOICE: BOSCH BENCHTOP ROUTER TABLE RA1181
So what is the best router lift? It can’t be all the 10 products discussed in here, can it? In that regard, I would strongly recommend the Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181. It offers a larger work area for routing and woodworking.
The best router lift should be a versatile and indispensable tool. And that’s exactly how I would like to describe the Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181. Its aluminum top is quite large and durable. Yet the gear is portable. You’ll find yourself using this router lift like an expert or professional woodworker soon enough.
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