Nice product, with a few gripes

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Review by Vrtigo1 posted 11-02-2010 10:57 PM 4679 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Nice product, with a few gripes No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Ordered this from about three months ago. The lift is impressive upon first inspection. The heft and quality of the fit and finish gives you the impression that it’s well built. This was replacing a regular JessEm router plate, so it was brain-dead easy to install – just remove the old plate, install the lift and then level it. This is where I ran into issues with the first lift. There are threaded through holes all the way around the plate, and you thread the supplied leveling screws into these holes. Where they protrude out the back of the plate, they come into contact with the lip of the cutout in the table top and raise the lift. The problem with this is that the screws that came with my first lift were so tight, it felt like I was going to break something if I threaded them in far enough to actually raise the lift. After a lot of lubrication, I finally got it about 90% level, but I ended up breaking the supplied hex key off in one of the screws, and the corner at the back left of the lift was still about 1/32nd to 1/16th below the surface of the table, so workpieces tended to catch there.

I called JessEm and told them about the problem and they said they’d check to see if there were any solutions I could try. We eventually decided that the best option would be to send me a replacement lift. Here comes the worst part of my experience…it took about two months from the time I called JessEm until the replacement lift arrived. I was told multiple times that the replacement would be sent soon, or that it in fact had been shipped, but each time, requests for a tracking number went unanswered. I could understand the delay had the lift was backordered, but as best I can tell, this was just due to nobody at JessEm taking my problem seriously, and I find that unacceptable.

When I finally received the replacement, I found that the leveling problem was 100% solved. Apparently there was a manufacturing defect of some sort with the first one, because the leveling screws are easy to adjust in the second. Overall, I’m happy with the lift now that I have one that works. It’s 100% level (or so close that I can’t tell any different), and it doesn’t move around in the cutout at all. It raises and lowers easily from above the table and is easy to adjust. That’s the primary reason I purchased it, so it meets my needs. My only real gripe with the lift itself is that it could come with a few more insert rings. I often find that the bit I’m using is either too big to fit in the small ring, but the next largest ring is really too big to provide proper support to the workpiece (at least in my opinion). The handle that you use to raise and lower the lift also feels a bit fragile. If I could design it, I’d make the handle about an inch longer so it was easier to crank as well.

Overall, I’d give the lift 4 out of 5 stars. As far as JessEm’s customer service, I’ll just say that I probably won’t be purchasing anything else from them. I can get good lifts from other companies, so if I were doing it again, I’d buy from someone else in the hopes that I’d get a good lift AND good customer service.

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 3762 days

8 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8554 posts in 3568 days

#1 posted 11-04-2010 02:23 AM

I’ve had a Jess-Em for 6 years and its a great tool. That said, mine was good from the get go and I never had need to deal with customer service.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4863 days

#2 posted 11-04-2010 02:26 AM

I’ve had this for about 4 years along with their table and it has always worked like a charm. Sorry about your problems.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View lashing's profile


111 posts in 3591 days

#3 posted 11-10-2010 06:12 AM

I havent used any of the expensive lifts. While my Triton router is a little flakey, it has a working microadjustment and bit changes above the table. Mine is an older version with both 1/4” adn 1/2 collets 2.25 HP. Works great but with a little vibration I’d rather not have.

There are a few router motors I’d rather use but I cannot understand how these pricey lifts do more than the Triton already does on its own.

Am I missing something?

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3704 days

#4 posted 11-10-2010 08:21 AM

I had to wait 6 weeks for 2 missing screws for the router fence. I was also repeatedly told “it will go out tomorrow”.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View EEngineer's profile


1125 posts in 4384 days

#5 posted 11-10-2010 07:04 PM

I had a similar problem with the Woodpecker quicklift I installed. The leveling screws were just too damned tight!. I finally cleaned all the threads with a tap and everything worked great. I think they threaded the holes before anodizing and the anodizing made the screw threads too tight – just a guess.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View David's profile


7 posts in 4011 days

#6 posted 11-14-2010 03:38 AM

I too have had my unfortunate dealings with Jessem this past year. Due to economics Jessem decided to take their production to china and well thats what you get when you play with fire. I had no issue spending the 600 for the router table but i do have a problem spending 600 dollars for a paper weight. It has been almost a year now and the promises still keep coming and nothing gets done. The thing that gets me is that they think people are stupid , one lie after another. They are now back to producing their products in Cananda and the quality im sure will improve,,,,,the bad feelings that they left behind with many customers this past year will take a lot longer to cure…....

View TheHarr's profile


127 posts in 4309 days

#7 posted 12-17-2010 02:24 AM

Wow, oh wow! I’ve been researching the Jessem router lift to upgrade my router table. Now I don’t know what I’ll do. Thanks for your customer service advise. Now I have to think twice before I buy one. The big question is “do you feel lucky—punk?” I’ll continue my research. Thanks for all the great input.

-- Wood is good.

View TheHarr's profile


127 posts in 4309 days

#8 posted 05-23-2012 12:42 AM

I finally made my router table using the Jessem FX II. I like everything about it, especially the price. Here is a link to my blogs showing the construction of the router table (part 1) and the adjustable fence (part 2).

-- Wood is good.

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