The Best Router Lift for Your Router Table

Woodworking is a hobby which comes with a lot of tools and equipment, some of which you would really need in your workshop if you are serious about your craft. If you are interested in collecting tools and equipment or woodworking, you probably already own a router table so getting the best router lift for yourself would be very beneficial for you.

Having a router lift would allow you to adjust height from the top of your table instead of from under it and you'd also be able to change bits without having to remove the router from your table. Basically, a router lift is a mounting plate for your routing table which comes with a carriage which would hold your router.

Via: Amazon.com

Router lifts remove the 3 major inconveniences of router tables namely, to be able to adjust height from above the table, to be able to change bits from above the table without removing the router and to be able to make precise micro adjustments. We've tested a lot of router lifts and generally, a lot of them had performed very well, adding convenience to your whole router table system.

This article is all about the best router lifts which can serve as a guide for you to make a choice for your woodworking needs. First off, let's take a look at the product we believe is out there on the market and would give you the best woodworking experience.


Our Pick: JessEm Mast-R-Lift II 02120 Router Lift, 9-1/4-Inch by 11-3/4-Inch

If you'd like to own a model which comes with all the great features which would be expected of the best router lift in the market, then the JessEm Mast-R-Lift II 02120 Router Lift would be the best option for you. It is made by a reputable brand, it is durable and built well and is one of the most popular models in the woodworking industry.

This model comes with a superior locking mechanism which means that you would be able to secure this router lift easily just by using a wrench. One side of the mechanism remains unlocked while the other side is what locks it into place. It also comes with a double seal bearing so adjusting height is very simple. It can be easily moved up and down because of the double seal bearing mechanism and since it is sealed from the outside, any debris won't affect its performance. This also means that the lifespan of the height adjustment is extended as well.

Via: Amazon.com

Our Rating:

Sleek and stylish, the JessEm Mast-R-Lift II 02120 Router Lift has a genuine and top quality look which would add a lot of appeal to your router table or your workshop in general. With this model, you would be able to change bits above the table and it fits with a variety of bits which are the industry standard. Made with anodized aluminum, this model is both durable and versatile as it is compatible with the majority of routers available out there. Some of these include:

  • Porter Cables (7518 and 690/890)
  • Milwaukee (5626/5615/5616/5619)
  • Bosch (1617/1618)Rigid (R29302)
  • Craftsman (17543/17540/28190)
  • Makita (1101)
  • DeWalt (610/616/618)

If you're a woodworker who would appreciate a top-quality product which is durable, easy to use and very functional, this unit is for you. Though it's a bit pricey, the ease in which you'd be able to lock it securely into place on your router and adjust the height more than makes up for it. All these features along with the excellent ball bearing technology makes this unit the best in the market and since it's easy to use and easy to maintain, working with it is truly enjoyable.


Why Should You Trust Us

Woodworking can end up as a very expensive craft or hobby as it comes with a lot of tools and equipment needed to be able to accomplish tasks easier. Whether you're a beginner or a pro, you would always put a lot of thought and consideration into how much you would be willing to spend on quality items for your woodworking.

There are tons of products out there which claim to be the best and it can get extremely difficult to actually find the best product which would suit your needs as well as your budget. If you are a professional woodworker, finding the best product on the market is crucial especially if you are willing to spend more just to get the model with the best features. If you're a newbie, on the other hand, you may want to start with more basic units or models which are affordable as well then move on to more expensive equipment as you gain more experience.

We know the value and importance of finding the best products in the market so we put in a lot of time and effort in doing research regarding woodworking equipment, such as router lifts. We also put a lot of effort into making objective and honest reviews to help guide you in making your choice. Not only that, but we take a step further and give you information on why it is beneficial to find the best router lift as well as a guide on how to choose the best one to suit your needs.


How to Choose a Router Lift

When finding the best router lift for your woodworking needs, you'd have to consider a number of factors. These factors would help you make sure that you've picked the perfect product which you would be happy to use in your craft. Aside from being easy to use, your router lift must have certain elements and pass certain standards so that you are sure that you're getting your money's worth. Consider these factors when choosing your router lift:

Durable Construction

The materials used in making the router lift is probably the most important factor to consider as you would most likely want a router lift which won't break down after only being used a few times so you would be able to use it for years. It won't be a good idea to pick a router lift made from plastic or other cheap materials. Typically, the more durable kinds of router lifts are made with steel, cast iron or aluminum.

Compatibility with Routers

Especially if you already own a router, you'd have to make sure that your router lift will fit with what you have. Manufacturers always state which routers are compatible with their products so you would have to look into that. It would be best to find a router lift which is compatible with a lot or with the majority of available routers so that you won't have to worry about using it with different routers if the need arises.

The Plunge Type

Typically, router lifts are most ideal to work with a router with a fixed plunge, wherein the motor can be removed so that the lift can be placed easily. If you have a router with a motor plunge that cannot be removed, you'd have to check the specifications of the lift to see if it fits into your router.

The Locking Mechanism

Choosing a router lift with a locking mechanism - whether it's a simple lever lock or a bolt lock system would allow you to fix your lift on the router, which would give you better accuracy and versatility.

The Height Adjustment

Height adjustment can either be done above the table or underneath the table and it can be done using a thumbwheel system or a crank handle system. You would have to see which you are most comfortable with and check if the product you plan to choose gives you that option.

Small Height Adjustment Increments

A nifty feature you can look for when choosing the best router lift is that it would allow you to make even the smallest of increments when making adjustments. This would give you more control over the height adjustment and it would ensure that you will be able to make perfect cuts every time. This can be very useful especially when your work requires a lot of precision and the difference between cuts you need to make are very small. Without this feature, you might have a difficult time adjusting the height to what you actually need.

Ball Bearings and Lift Adapters

Ball bearings allow for easy maintenance of the unit as well as a smooth height adjustment process. You have to look into units which have this feature as it is more convenient. Also make sure that your lift has adapters and insert holes to be able to accommodate your router. This is so that you won't have to drill the holes in the insert plates yourself.


How We Made Our Choice

Having to choose the best router lift from the wide array of options available online and in shops can be a big chore. To make it easier for you, we've done enough reading and research in order to narrow down the options and find the best router lift in the market.

To be able to do this, we took into consideration all the factors you need to think about when choosing the best product. Keeping these factors in mind, we did research to find out which are the best products out there and made a list. From that list we compared the products according to features and specifications as well as actual customer reviews about the different products. The latter was extremely helpful as it clearly discussed the product based on experience from actual users.

In reality, some of the router lifts had minor flaws which were not declared in some reviews. By looking through different resources online as well as woodworking forums, we were able to learn about these flaws and add them in our objective reviews. We took all these necessary steps in order to give you a short list of the best products out there.


The Runner Up: INCRA Mast-R-Lift-II Router Lift

This particular model is a step above the more basic router lifts in the market. It's extremely versatile in terms of height adjustment and would give excellent precision for your router. This lightweight model won't add too much extra weight to your table and since it isn't too heavy, it's relatively portable. Its cam lock spontaneously and securely locks into place merely by turning it to the right.

The INCRA Mast-R-Lift-II Router Lift comes with a 5 sealed ball bearing and thread tensioning structure which allows the user to adjust height even to a minute scale, permitting better precision and control. It comes with a one year warranty from the manufacturer and is compatible with the following routers:

Via: Amazon.com

Our Rating:

  • Hitachi (M12VC/KM12VC)
  • Porter Cable (7518/690-699/890-899)
  • Ridgid (R29302)
  • Craftsman (17543/17540/28190)
  • Bosch (1617EVS/1618)
  • Milwaukee (5625/5615/5616/5619)
  • Makita (RF1101/RD1101)
  • DeWalt (DW610/DW618)

Though quite expensive, the accuracy of this model is one of its best features. It’s a professional router lift which is very easy to use, durable but still lightweight and portable.


What to Look Forward To

There are a lot of benefits to finding the best router lift and actually installing it into your router table. If you are new to woodworking, you may be excited by these benefits while if you are a woodworking pro, you may still learn something new from the benefits we've listed for you. Either way, it would be good for you to know these advantages so that you can apply them when you are already using your router lift.

A Solid Base Plate

Router lifts come with a sturdy and solid base plate which offers a lot more strength and stability that the insert plates of a typical router table. If you have a more stable base, you will be able to enjoy working with less vibration and a lot more steadiness. This is very important especially if you are planning to work on projects with finer details.

Ease of Use

Probably one of the major reasons why people get router lifts is the ease of use. It can get quite tricky and challenging to have to adjust the height of your router bit and throughout a project, you'd have to do this a number of times. With a router lift, height adjustment is made easier because of the mechanisms built into them.

Superior Precision

A router lift is an even device which typically comes with a ball bearing system. This allows you to adjust height smoothly and precisely. You can even adjust the height up to a fraction of an inch without difficulty without compromising the accuracy.

A Standard Mount

Usually, a router lift comes with standard mounts which would allow you to easily attach your router insert on. A majority of router inserts already have holes pre-drilled into them but if yours doesn't, all you'd have to do is drill the holes yourself.


The Competition

Still thinking of other options? These are other products available on the market which may catch your interest if you still want to learn more.

Via: Amazon.com

The Bosch RA1165 Under-Table Router Base with Above-Table Hex Key is possibly one of the simplest and more affordable router lifts available in the market. It's a basic model which is compatible with most router tables and is quite easy to mount and remove.

This model is quite easy to use and control. Its simple design may be enough for the majority of routing jobs however it may be a bit too simple for some users. It may not also be fit for jobs which require a lot of power as it's quite small and fragile.

Via: Amazon.com

The Bench Dog Tools 40-150 ProLift Router Adjustment System is one of the less popular models available on the market, probably because it's overlooked. It comes with nifty features and is quite affordable which makes it a good choice for newbie woodworkers or for those who already own a router table. Height adjustment is easily done with this model and vibration is prevented while you are using the router.

It's also easy to maintain as it comes with self-cleaning screws and is made from cast-iron, which is durable. It's compatible with a lot of routers but the plate hole options are limited. Also, unlike most router lifts, height adjustments need to be made from the bottom instead of the top.

Via: Amazon.com

The Kreg PRS3000 Precision Router Table Lift was designed for more heavy duty work. It comes with a heavy gauge aluminum plate and is very easy to assemble since it also comes with its own leveling screw wrench. Height adjustment is both easy and precise without having to use other tools or equipment. This model comes with a low vibration system as well as a cam lock located at the top of the unit. Easy to use, this unit is ideal for beginners though it might not be able to fit with router bits of a larger size.

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