5 Best Router Lifts 2020 -What Brands Do We Recommend?
Professional and seasoned woodworkers find a router indispensable for completing a range of cabinetry and woodwork jobs.
Carpenters and woodworkers use both plunge-base and fixed-base routers for chipping out accurate ruts and grooves on hardwood and softwood surfaces. Nevertheless, most carpenters struggle to take good advantage of a router, especially when working without a template.
This is where a router lift can come to the aid of the woodworker, making the entire task considerably easier. A router lift is installed on the router table and helps in stably locking the router below the table, thereby minimizing the chances of error associated with freehand operation.
Experienced woodworkers are aware of the multiple benefits of working with a router when the woodworking tool is strapped to a router lift.
- 1 Why Buy a Router Lift?
- 2 Router Lift Buying Guide
- 3 Why Use a Router Lift in the First Place?
- 4 Considerations for Buying a Quality Router Lift
- 5 Reviewing the Best 5 Router Lifts 2020
- 5.1 JessEm 02310
- 5.2 Best Value
- 5.3 JessEm Mast-R-Lift II 021020
- 5.4 INCRA Mast-R-Lift
- 5.5 Best high-end router
- 5.6 Bench Dog 40-150 ProLift
- 5.7 Kreg PRS5000 Precision
- 5.8 1. JessEm 02310 Router Lift – Best Value
- 5.9 2. JessEm Mast-R-Lift II 021020 Router Lift – The Most Portable
- 5.10 3. INCRA Mast-R-Lift-II Router Lift – Best high-end router
- 5.11 4. Bench Dog Tools 40-150 ProLift Router Adjustment System – Most hardy router lift
- 5.12 5. Kreg PRS5000 Precision – Most versatile router lift
- 6 Conclusion
Why Buy a Router Lift?
A router lift relieves you from the hassle of having to make height adjustments from underneath the table. A router lift allows you to make adjustments in height above the workbench and frees you from the need to detach the router for changing bits. Router lifts are mounting plates that come equipped with a built-in movable component that attaches the router to the workbench.
The availability of various types of router lifts can make the task of finding an appropriate product remarkably difficult. We’ve put together this article to make it easier for you to shop for a router lift that will best serve your needs and preferences.
Router Lift Buying Guide
Regardless of whether you’re on your way to purchase a router lift for the first time or thinking of upgrading, this buying guide will help you to make a practical decision.
Before reviewing the aspects to keep in mind while making a purchase, let us explain how a router lift can help eliminate problems that woodworkers face while using a router.
Why Use a Router Lift in the First Place?
Router lifts come in perfectly handy for use with a wide range of routers as these tools help get rid of some major problems woodworkers face.
For a start, a router lift frees you up from the need to fumble beneath the table for adjusting the bit height. On the other hand, a lift spares you from the irritating task of having to detach the router every time you replace a bit.
To say the last but not the least, lifts are crucial when it comes to making very fine or micro-adjustments for achieving precision cuts.
Considerations for Buying a Quality Router Lift
Since the majority of router lift brands available in the market appear somewhat alike, choosing the right product can be quite challenging.
How will you figure out that a particular router lift will best fit your needs? Keep the following factors in mind while you’re out shopping for the product that will enable you to complete your woodwork projects effectively.
You surely don’t want to purchase a router lift that is not compatible with your existing router. Given that a router lift comes at a price, you’d want to ensure that the product you ultimately select works with your router.
Though the majority of the models are designed to work with different types and editions of routers, you should still go through the product literature.
Studying the product manual in detail will make it clear to you whether the router lift will match your router. When it comes to buying a top-quality router, you should always aim towards buying a product that will be companionable with a broader range of routers.
2. Height Modification
The chief purpose behind using a router lift is to have it easy to set the router at just the right height you are looking for.
Router lifts usually feature a thumbwheel or a crank handle for facilitating height adjustments. Visit a tool shop and check out five to six router lifts and choose one that you feel most comfortable with.
Better still, if you can take your router to the outlet so that you can see for yourself how the lifts help in height adjustment.
We recommend opting for a router lift featuring ball-bearing technology as such a product will facilitate near hassle-free height modifications. At the same time, a lift reinforced with ball bearing technology calls for minimal maintenance.
The user-friendliness of a high-end product is what makes it stand out from the cheaper models. Though almost all router lifts enable you to level them with the workbench, the more expensive ones make it remarkably simpler.
The best router lifts allow you to directly set them over the top of the table while others need you to buy additional components for the same.
Apart from checking how easily the lift can be leveled on the table, you should also test out how conveniently you can make the tool work in coordination with your router. A router lift that can be set up with your router within minutes leaves you with more time to focus on your projects.
4. Fixed vis-à-vis Plunge-Base
The majority of router lifts you’ll come across have been designed for use with plunge-base routers. You’ll not be required to detach the motor when you couple a plunge-base router with a lift. However, you’ll still have it easy in coupling the lift with the router as you’ll have to make very simple adjustments.
Before purchasing a router lift, ensure that the same is companionable with your plunge-base router model. Most router lift models can be attuned with a fixed-based router as well.
Routers with fixed bases usually come with a detachable motor, and the chances are that they will be more effective when used with a router lift.
Ensure that the router lift you’re thinking of purchasing has been constructed from high quality materials. Since you intend to use the product for as many years as possible, it does not bear emphasis that the same should be made from robust materials.
The best router bits are generally made from industrial-grade steel while many products are fashioned out of cast iron or aluminum.
You’d use a router lift to get the maximum out of your router. So it does not need to be emphasized that a router lift has to be flexible which in turn implies that the tool should not be heavy. An unusually hefty router lift would simply negate the very purpose of using the tool in the first place.
Though you will exercise great caution in choosing an appropriate router, there’s a very slim likelihood that you might end up buying the wrong one.
In case you’re using more than one router, it could happen that the lift may not match with all. To get around this problem, it is safer to for a model that comes with an adapter.
An adapter is a component that nearly ensures that the router lift will work with gel with multiple router models. It is also extremely crucial to ensure that the lift has adequate insert holes. Having such a lift spares you from the trouble of having to bore new holes for setting it up with a new router.
8. Insertion Ring Plates and Sizes
You’ll be better off selecting a router bit that comes with a wide range of insertion rings. The insert rings enable you to work with different types of router bits that, in turn, help you in completing a variety of woodwork projects.
9. Locking Mechanism
Before you make up your mind on the router bit you’ll finally buy, make sure its locking mechanism is perfect. In other words, the locking system of the product should enable you to tether it with the router.
A good locking system will lock the contraption in such a way that it will remain perfectly steady for the entire period you work.
Bear in mind that a good quality router lift comes at a price, and the best ones out there could cost more than your router. Buying a router lift makes sense only if you use the router heavily and experience difficulty in making the most of the tool.
In case you wish to continue using your existing router and intend to make it as handy as an upgraded router, then opting for a lift router makes good sense.
So, if you’re thinking of choosing a router lift that has the features, you’re looking for and yet within your budget, then stay optimistic.
Reviewing the Best 5 Router Lifts 2020