A router lift is a woodworking tool that comes in handy when you want to promote the versatility and the ease of use of your router table. Hence, the tool is a necessity for woodworkers because it allows you to adjust the bit height with much ease and accuracy.
Hence, it offers you a great advantage as it boosts efficiency when routing material in the workshop. However, for high precision levels, quality and durability, you need to invest in the best router lift on the market.
If you are searching for an efficient and reliable router lift, here is an in-depth buying guide and 6 router lift reviews that will help you make an informed choice.
What To Check Before Buying Best Router Lift?
Following are these features that you need to look out for when making your choice.
This should be the first point of consideration when buying the best router lift on the market. Mainly, this is because you must make sure that the router lift you intend to buy is compatible with the router you have in your workshop.
While it is important to invest in a router lift that matches what you already have, it is more important to buy a router lift that comes with a wide range of router compatibility. This allows you to use it with different routers and work on different projects.
Additionally, it is important to ensure that your router lift is compatible with your router table as not every model works well with all tables. Some models will require conversion kits which come as an extra expense.
2. Material Construction
Material construction is another critical point of consideration when buying a router lift. The material used to construct that router lift determines its durability and efficiency. Therefore, tools made of poor and cheap materials will require you to replace the tool within months of purchase.
Cast iron or aluminum materials make great router lifts as they are long-lasting, result in heavy-duty designs and are rust-resistant.
Router lifts made of steel are the best, but they might cost you a little more.
Router lifts work with fixed plunge routers. This is in the sense that the router motor is detachable, making it simple to attach the router to the lift.
For router motors which are non-removable, ensure that the product fits the router by checking the specs sheet of the manufacturer.
4. Locking Mechanism
A locked lift gives you great accuracy and versatility. This is why you should ensure that the router list you intend to buy has a locking mechanism that will hinder any play once the router is retrofitted on.
The locking mechanism can be as simple as a bolt system or a lever locking mechanism, but it should be present.
6 Best Router Lifts of 2021 Reviewed
|1. JessEm 02310 (Best Budget)
|2. JessEm 02120 (Best Solidly-Built)
|3. Kreg PRS5000 (Top-Rated)
|4. Bosch RA1181 (Best for Keeping your Space Clean)
|5. JessEm 02310-JESSEM_K1 (Best with High Quality Parts)
|6. Rockler 7730365 (Best for Occasional Users/Hobbyists)
1. JessEm 02310 – Best Budget
- Material: Aluminum and Steel
- Compatible Router: Porter Cable 7518, 690 series and 890 series, Hitachi M12VC and KM12VC2, DeWalt DW610, DW616, and DW618, Makita RF1101 and RD1101, Milwaukee 5625, 5615, 5616 and 5619, Rigid R29302 and Craftsman 17543, 17540, and 28190
This is one of the cheapest router lifts that you find on the market today, making it ideal for any woodworker who is running on a budget. The product will, therefore, offer you great quality without spending a fortune on it.
JessEm 02310 weighs 8.8 pounds and this makes it easy to use and adjust as it does not require a lot of effort and strength to handle. Moreover, moving it from one place to another remains a breeze due to its lightweight.
You can use it with different router tables and this implies that it has wide compatibility, enhancing its versatility. As a matter of fact, you can use it with the following router motors; PC 690/890, DeWalt 610/618/616, Bosch 1617/1618, and Craftsman 1554/17540/28190.
The product comes with a unique carriage clamping system, which you can easily adjust by moving several screws to make it compatible with various popular routers available on the market.
You will love the double-sealed bearings to enhance smooth operation. To facilitate easy installation and removal, this router lift can receive all JessEm insert rings. It will only take you less than 10 minutes to have it up and running.
Nonetheless, the package only comes with a single insert ring and this implies that you might have to incur extra cost to buy additional rings.
- Accurate height adjustment
- Convenient and robust use – aluminum and steel construction
- Competitively price to promote affordability
- Lightweight to boost ease of use
- Comes with only one insert ring in the package
- Mainly for home-use as opposed to industrial use
2. JessEm 02120 – Best Solidly-Built
- Material: Aluminum
- Compatible Routers: Porter Cable 7518, Porter-Cable 690/890, DeWalt 610/616/618, Makita 1101, Bosch 1617/1618, Hitachi M12VC/KM12VC, Craftsman 17543/1750/28190, Rigid R29302, Milwaukee 5615/5616/5619/5626
The JessEm 02120 router lift is a solidly built product that will give you value for your hard-earned cash. The product is designed from 3/8 inch solid aluminum material which plays a great role in promoting its longevity. This material is hard anodized, giving it superior durability.
One of the things you will love about this product is its exclusive cam locking system that greatly helps to ensure that everything is stable as you work. Therefore, with this product, you will not have to deal with unnecessary movements and vibrations.
This is the best router lift because of the wide range of compatibility that it features, implying that it can work with routers from multiple brands and so in case you own multiple routers, you can simply switch them as you like when using this product.
Adjusting height using this router lift is a hassle-free process because the product is equipped with a double seal bearing. As a result, the product is comfortable as it effortlessly moves up and down and this can be attributed to the bearing mechanism incorporated in the product.
This router lift will give you great value for your money and that is why it makes a great purchase for any woodworker. Nonetheless, you need to be careful when handling it because it is a little heavier.
- Smooth height adjustment lifespan – double seal bearing
- Durable construction – anodized aluminum
- Wide range of router compatibility
- Easy to lock in place when working- excellent cam lock
- Weighs 13.69 pounds and so requires some effort to move around
- A little expensive but worth the investment
3. Kreg PRS5000 – Top-Rated
- Material: Aluminum
- Compatible Routers: Porter-Cable 7518, Milwaukee 5625, Bosch 1617/1618, DeWalt 618, Craftsman 17542/17540/28190 and Porter-Cable 690/890
Kreg PRS5000 is the top-rated router lift on the market as you can use it to handle multiple projects for a prolonged period. The product is also highly precise and fairly priced as well to give you perfect value for your money.
This router lift is made from anodized aluminum material to give sturdiness and balance when you are working. Additionally, its sturdy construction ensures that the plate will not scratch or sag. Furthermore, the aluminum material used is rust-resistant and this promotes longevity.
With the bearing guided carriage that comes with this Kreg product, you can be sure that you will get smooth operation.
You will love the wide range of compatibility that comes with this router lift. It works with numerous router brands without requiring you to undertake any modifications or adapters. Hence, swapping out routers for various projects is easier when using this product.
However, one caveat of this router lift is that you may have to take it off severally to make adjustments because you cannot level it from the top.
- Allows you to use multiple routers, lowering the cost of operation
- Easy installation and use
- Adjustable bit height with few crank twists
- Leveling can be a challenge as you cannot handle to from the top
- Might need slight plate shaving to fit specific tables
4. Bosch RA1181 – Best for Keeping your Space Clean
- Material: Aluminum
- Compatible Routers: Bosch 1617 series/1613/1619/MR Series, Craftsman 17508/17542/26520/17533/17528/17511/26834/28190/17541/2767/2768/27680, DeWalt DW616/DW618, Hitachi M12VC, Makita RF1100/RF1101, Milwaukee 5615/5616, Porter-Cable 690 Series/7529 plunge router, Ryobi R161/R162/R163, Skil 1810/1815
Here is a router lift that ensures that your working space is clean with the help of the dust collection port it features. The dust collection unit is compatible with standard 2-1/2 in vacuum hoses to facilitate debris-free operation, saving you a lot of cleaning time after work.
Additionally, this is the best router table lift that you will find on the market today because of its benchtop table design. The product has a large aluminum top where you can handle extensive work in a precise way for a prolonged period.
Bosch RA1181 comes with a unique design that incorporates a storage pocket for router accessories. Hence, you will not have to misplace your working accessories when using this product and this, therefore, helps to keep your tools organized.
To protect this tool when you are away, you can use the power cord lock to prevent any unauthorized use. This way, you can always have some peace of mind when you are away from the workshop.
Moving this router lift from one place to another is a bit of a task because it weighs 30 pounds. This implies that you need assistance in transporting it.
- Maximized versatility and precision –adjustable MDF feather boards and faceplates
- Keeps your workspace clean and tidy – dust collection unit
- Pre-drilled for multi-router compatibility
- Prevents unauthorized use – power cord lock
- Weighs 30 pounds implying that it is a heavy product
- Requires considerable space for storage
5. JessEm 02310-JESSEM_K1 – Best with High-Quality Parts
- Material: Metal
- Compatible Routers: Porter-Cable 690/890, Bosch 1617/1618 and DeWalt 610/616/618 among others with 3.5 inches diameter motor
JessEm 02310-JESSEM_K1 is a router lift with high-quality parts because it is a stripped-down version of Mast-R-Lift. Hence, the parts feature superior quality and craftsmanship which you get from high-end options on the market.
You will love the double-sealed ball bearing that the product comes with, to smoothly lower and raise the motor with much ease.
There are also lift shafts attached to this router lift at the top pate. These lift shafts are fastened in position by the use of more than a single screw. This spreads the lateral load and offers a durable and rigid mount to withstand the toughest routing projects.
This router lift comes with sturdy construction to ensure that it serves you for a prolonged period. Additionally, this heavy-duty construction boosts stability and balance as you work.
However, this product has a limited compatibility range and for this reason, it is only ideal for woodworkers who plan to use a single router.
- High-quality parts and craftsmanship at a fair price
- Great stability as it has a sturdy construction
- Raises and lowers the motor with much ease
- Fairly priced to offer you great value
- Limited range of compatibility
- Requires some effort when moving around
6. Rockler 7730365 – Best for Occasional Users/Hobbyists
- Material: Aluminum
- Compatible Routers: Porter-Cable 690/890 Series, DeWalt 610/616/618, Bosch 1617-16-18
The Rockler 7730365 router lift is ideal for hobbyists and occasional users who do not necessarily engage in professional woodworking projects. The product features a user-friendly design that does not require skills or special knowledge to use it.
This router lift features a heavy-duty design, which offers you sag-free support. Moreover, this sturdy construction ensures that you will not have to deal with unnecessary movements and vibrations when working.
Adjusting the bit height of this product is a breeze because you can do these adjustments easily right from the top of the router table. This means that you do not have to it to take it off every time you want to level the height.
Nonetheless, this product does not offer you any means of locking the height, hence the height may shift as you work.
- Great value for the money as it offers quality
- Amazing stability due to heavy-duty design and construction
- Ergonomic design for beginners, hobbyists, and occasional users
- The height is not lockable, hence could shift
- Unsuitable for routers that are 3.25 or 3.5 HP
Here is the ultimate buying guide and router lift reviews that will help you make an informed decision when investing in one. A router lift is a must-have tool for woodworkers because of the accuracy it has to offer for professional and recreational woodworking projects.
The router lifts reviewed above have high quality, durability, are easy to use and have high levels of precision. Moreover, there are high-end and affordable options to match your budget. Hence, pick the best that matches your needs, purpose, and taste; and make your order today.
In this post:
- What To Check Before Buying Best Router Lift?
- 6 Best Router Lifts of 2021 Reviewed