7 Best Router Lift (June 2019) – Reviews & Top Pick

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best lifts

How do you feel?

Each time you go under your router table, for adjusting the router height or changing the router bit.

Frustrating, right?

Here's the solution: you can grab a good router lift to end your under the table struggle.

Having said that, finding a router lift that is compatible with your top notch router or router table is not an easy task.

In this post:

We are featuring and reviewing the top router lifts. So, you can choose the best one.

First, here's the list of five best router lifts in 2019

  1. 1
    JessEm Mast-R-Lift II 02120 (TOP PICK)
  2. 2
    Kreg PRS5000
  3. 3
    Woodpeckers PRL V2-420 
  4. 4
    Bosch RA1165 (Best Budget)
  5. 5
    Incra Mast-R-Lift II.

7 Best Router Lift - Reviews

1. Jessem Mast-R-Lift II- Best Overall

JessEm Tool Company invented the router lift and other manufacturers followed in.

As if today, a great number of router lifts made available to the market that pretty much alike.

JessEm again leads the way by introducing JessEm Mast-R-Lift II with some unique features that makes it the best router lift of 2018

Its unique carriage clamping system makes it the top router lift in the market.

You only need to adjust the clamp by moving a couple of screws to fit in almost all the popular routers on the market.

Making you stop worrying about fitting and prevents you from choosing a lift that won’t work with your router. That’s a huge benefit.

You don’t need to dedicate a router for the lift either.

You can change bits, adjust heights, lock the lift all from above the table saving your precious time, and ease the work.

However, only fixed base routers are compatible with JessEm Mast-R-Lift, it’s the norm for router lifts.

It’s unique tab-loc insert rings provide a quick bit changing function but Jessem provides only one ring with this lift.

So, you may need to buy additional rings.

But it’s not a deal breaker, considering the unique clamping feature and brand of Jessem it’s one of the best router lift available on the market.

  • Unique carriage clamping system.
  • Fits in popular routers. Check below.
  • Precise height adjustment.
  • Compatible only with fixed base router.
  • You may need to buy additional insert rings.

Compatible Routers:

  • Porter Cable 7518, 690 series and 890 series
  • Rigid R29302
  • Makita RF1101
  • Hitachi M12VC and KM12VC2
  • Makita RF1101 and RD1101
  • Craftsman 17543, 17540 and 28190
  • DeWalt DW610, DW616 and DW618
  • Milwaukee 5625, 5615, 5616 and 5619

2. Kreg PRS5000 - Best Value For The Money







The JESSEM Mast-R-Lift Excel II is a router lift built into a large solid phenolic table top.

This gives you the advantage of having no table insert to deal with, either for installation or, more importantly, while routing.

The tab-lock insert rings are easily removed to change the bit from above.

Height adjustments are made with a wheel and there’s an optional digital readout for fine adjustments to 1/1000th of an inch. 

A cam lock prevents the setting from changing during routing, ensuring a neat and consistent job, from the first pass to the last.

A four inch shop-vac fitting will help you keep your workshop tidy and dust free, so you’re not breathing in sawdust.

The JESSEM Mast-R-Lift Excel II can be used with 18 of the most common fixed base routers.

The only drawback is that the phenolic has a tendency to scratch easily.

It will however turn your router use from awkward to delightful, with beautiful rabbets and finishes.

  • No table insert makes for a smoother working surface.
  • Easy above table bit changes.
  • Height is easy to adjust to 1/1000th inch.
  • Shop-vac fitting for a dust free atmosphere.
  • Phenolic scratches easily and visibly.
  • Instructions could be clearer, especially the diagrams.

The DIY Router Lift

Diy router lift

Here's the catch:

Router lift is not an imeprative kit for a router table.

And you being a hobbyist or DIY'er you may want to build your own lift. That's completly understandable.

Here's 15 FREE DIY Router lift plans to build a router lift by yourselves. 


Incra V/S Jessem Router Lift

Router Lift

INCRA Mast-R-Lift-II

JessEm Mast-R-Lift II 02120

Router Carriage 

Expensive but top of the range.

Cheaper quality alternative

Bit change 

Quick, easy and from above. 

Quick, easy and from above.

Height adjustment

Easy to adjust height quickly and then make fine adjustments to 1/1000th inch.

Easy to adjust height quickly and then make fine adjustments to 1/1000th inch.

Height Lock 

Yes.

Yes.

Ring Inserts 

5 metal rings with MagnaLock system.

Only one supplied, you may need to buy a ring set.


Kreg V/S Jessem Router lift

Router Lift

Kreg PRS3000 Precision Lift

JessEm Mast-R-Lift II 02120

Router Carriage 

It fits a Porter Cable 75 router, may need a mounting adapter for use with other routers. 

Unique and easy clamping system suits most fi

Bit change 

Quick, easy and from above. 

Quick, easy and from above.

Height adjustment

Coarse height adjustments are easy. Fine adjustments to 1-2/ 1000th inch can be tedious and tiring on your thumb

Easy to adjust height quickly and then make fine adjustments to 1/1000th inch.

Height Lock 

A manual brake prevents slippage during use.

Cam locking system prevents slippage during use.

Ring Inserts 

Three self-levelling twist lock insert rings.

Only one supplied, you may need to buy a ring set.

These router lifts  are made for easy above table bit changing and height adjustment.

The JessEm Mast-R-Lift II 02120 fits most fixed based routers, compared with the Kreg PRS3000 Precision Router Table Lift which fits routers like Porter Cable 75, but may require an adapter with other routers.

With the Kreg lift fine adjustments to depth of cut are made with a thumb wheel.

This can be tiring and fiddly and the JessEm is easier to adjust.

Both lifts have locking systems which prevent those annoying changes in the depth of cut during routing.

While the Kreg comes with three self-levelling twist lock rings the JessEm has just one ring, so you might want to buy additional rings with this lift.

Features Of A Good Router Lift

Choosing the best router lift can be challenging, as there’s a good number of lifts, which looks similar. You need to consider many things, to avail a good router lift for your wood-shop. Here’s what you need to look for to get the best router lift-

Routers that the lift will accept.

You must pay close attention to the list of routers that are compatible with the lift. A lift designed for smaller routers like 2-1/2 HP can’t house in or support the bigger and powerful routers of 3-1/2 HP.

Above the table bit changes and height adjustment.

Make sure the lift raise the router collet above the table so that quickly and easily you can change the bit above the table. The best router lifts provide this options. Crank handle does the job easy and in quick time.

Lifts that come with adapters.

If you’re planning to grab a powerful router in near future, look for a lift that comes with adapters so that you can also use it for your small router.

Insert ring on the mounting plate.

Go for a lift that provides various sizes of insert ring. These are important for changing and using different diameter bits. It’s essential you provide the maximum support possible to the wood piece passing by the bits. You can also buy insert rings as per your need.

Fixed or plunge base router.

Most of the router lifts on the market designed to work with fixed base router that has removable motor. On the other hand, plunge router has non-removable motor. Make sure what type of routers you are using before going ahead.

Lifts that can be locked.

Locking the lift guarantees you it will not drift up and down with the router vibration, which will help you to get a precise cut. Most commercial lifts comes with this feature and it’s good to have it. But, its usefulness mostly depends on the nature of your job. 

Lifts that provide smallest increments .

The best router lifts are those that gives the smallest increments in bit heights that will make sure you can make the finest adjustment you need to make the perfect cut.

 Insert plate that will fit into your router table top openings.

That will fit into your router table top openings. The insert plates have neither standard or fixed size nor the table top openings. You should check the dimension of insert plate openings and choose a lift whose insert plate will fit into it. 

Why You Should Have a Router Lift?

George Vondriska of Woodworkers Guild of America explains the necessity of having a router lift quite amazingly check the video.

Long gone the days when router lift considered a luxury in the list of router accessories.

Nowadays frequent router table users who crave for quality and quick work considers router lift near-necessity as it’s provide unmatchable convenient by giving you mainly two benefit

  • Precise bit height adjustment with ease and
  • Hassle free quick bit changes

Now, the best part:

You can do the both from above the table giving you respite from the awkward moments that you would have passed under the table.

Also, adjusting the bit to a precise height gives you the perfect cut you always wanted.

The more precise the bit height the more perfect cut you get.

So, which one to choose...

There are a wide range of router lifts on the market to suit different preferences, router models, tables and budgets.

Whichever you choose you will wonder why you didn’t buy one sooner!

So rather than grappling with the hassle of below table bit changes and height adjustments,or grumbling as slippage spoils yet another project, take action now.

Treat yourself by picking up one of the best router lifts from above list.

It will transform your routing, improve your productivity and give an accurate and beautiful finish to your work.

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