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I have a Milwaukee 5625 in a Woodpecker's PRL ( the first one). The Woodpecker stuff is extremely good, and thier CS is as good as any you'll find. But you pay for it (through the nose) and if i was doing it over I'm not sure I'd buy a lift. The 5625 has table features built in, and I might be inclined to try it that way for awhile and see how it goes.
 

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I have the Woodpecker UniLift and a PC 7518. I have had both for quite a few years and never been disappointed. Woodpecker makes some very sturdy and very good lifts. The PC 7518 has been one of the routers used in many router tables.
 

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I have the Bosch 1617 EVS in conjunction w/ a Incra Masterlift II. I really love it. Prior to getting the lift I had a Freud 2000 router in the table w/o a lift. I wondered, why did I wait so long to get a lift? It so much easier an convenient.
 

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I decided to go whole hog a few years ago and purchased a Bench Dog cast iron table (with the extension wing) and Pro-lift with a variable speed 2hp Porter cable router… best thing is the lift carries the router through the top surface for changing bits…which allows fine adjustment as well, The fence is nice too. The the cast iron top is solid and heavy and feels safer for control. Love it and never regretted the investment. It is the third most used stationary power tool in my shop. (1st is bandsaw, 2nd is table saw).
Wood Wood stain Hardwood Gas Machine
 

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I did a lot of research to answer the same question.
The answer is…. Mastr-II form Jessem, but the Incra version with magnalock.
I also asked Neal at Incra which one was the best/most accurate between their version of the woodpeck and their version of the Jesem… his answer was "we sell 4 jessem for 1 Woodpeck….
i am ordering the Jessem from Incra.
 

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I too have the Incra Mast-R-Lift II and love it. It's a fantastic lift and allows for very precise adjustment. The Magnalock rings are great and the new Clean Sweep Magnalock rings even better for under the table DC. I have a Porter Cable 7518 in mine and it works fantastic.
 

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I have a Milwaukee 5625 in a Woodpecker s PRL ( the first one). The Woodpecker stuff is extremely good, and thier CS is as good as any you ll find. But you pay for it (through the nose) and if i was doing it over I m not sure I d buy a lift. The 5625 has table features built in, and I might be inclined to try it that way for awhile and see how it goes.

- Fred Hargis
Me too. I have mine matched with an Incra Wonder Fence System. Also doubles as an assembly table. See my projects for ideas.
 

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I did a lot of research to answer the same question.
The answer is…. Mastr-II form Jessem, but the Incra version with magnalock.
I also asked Neal at Incra which one was the best/most accurate between their version of the woodpeck and their version of the Jesem… his answer was "we sell 4 jessem for 1 Woodpeck….
i am ordering the Jessem from Incra.

- jacquesr
His response really did not answer your question. By that logic, McDonalds makes the best hamburgers.
 

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I have the rockler lift . It vibrates down so after setting it I use a wedge to keep the setting. I purchased a Triton router, so will see how it's built in lift works. I still need to make the cabinet but the table is done.
 

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I too have the Incra Mast-R-Lift II and love it. It s a fantastic lift and allows for very precise adjustment. The Magnalock rings are great and the new Clean Sweep Magnalock rings even better for under the table DC. I have a Porter Cable 7518 in mine and it works fantastic.

- Matt Przybylski
I have basically the same setup, mounted in my table saw and I can't say enough good things about it. The Incra Clean Sweep system with the Magnalock inserts is fantastic for DC.

Woodmaster, I tried the Triton in my table and got tired of having to go under the table to lock everything after every adjustment. It will move during the cut, if not locked.
 

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We use the first edition of the Woodpecker lift and it's provided flawless service for at least 4 years now. Other than an occasional squirt of lubricant on the moving parts the only maintenance has been to remove the occasional burr from the aluminum plate when someone nicks it with a router bit or wrench.
 

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I was looking at various router lift options about 1 1/2 years ago or so, and eventually bought the Jessem Mast-R-Lift Excel II: http://www.jessem.com/MAST-R-LIFT_EXCEL_II.html

One of my biggest complaints about my old router table was the router insert plate. It just never wanted to stay flat. The Mast-R-Lift Excel does only have insert rings, no insert plate at all, and that was the most compelling feature that made me buy it.

After having used it for a while, I only have two minor complaints:
1) I wish they had used a few more stainless steel or brass parts-I am not getting a lot of moisture in my basement shop, but I do get some, and a few screws and the crank-shaft now show some minor rust. This can certainly be prevented with some WD40 or similar, however these parts seem to be more "attracted" to rust than most of my other tools in the basement.
2) The dust port on the bottom is a nice idea, but certainly no replacement for an enclosed under-table solution. It will still let quite a bit of saw dust fall down.

Other than that, really a great lift, good quality top, and great miter slot too.
 

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Interesting, I just checked out the differences between the Mast-R lift from Incra and the Mast-R lift Excel from Jessem.

I think the magnetic insert rings are great, but I would definitely prefer the side-crank of the Excel version. I have several times cut mortises on my router table, and I usually set up a few stops and featherboards to keep everything well aligned. But since I don't rout the mortises in one pass, I need to lift the bit several times, while my setup stays the same. This is where I would not like the crank from over the top of the table… since I wouldn't be able to get to it easily. With the crank on the side of the Mast-R-Lift Excell however, it's really simple, the crank is never in the way.

Just something to think about…
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for all the responses, they are a big help and keep them coming. I have been looking at the Jessem Mast-R-Lift II with the Porter Cable 7518. Is there any disadvantage to going with this large of a router, I'm going to leave it mounted in the lift. I have one large raised panel bit but most of my work is with bits smaller than that. I thought the Incra and Jessem were the same now I will have to compare closer. Dr Tebi I like your reason for going with the Excel, I will have to look at that closer but mine may be too near a walk and I may find myself knocking it off. Again thanks for all the responses since this is a rather large investment and I don't want to make a mistake on it.
Mike
 

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I was at a wood expo and look at general international excalibur router lift. If I had the money I would have bought it. It has a lift mechanism that use a chain to drive the lift. It is similar to how planer works. If you have an extra 370.00 laying it would be a good buy.
 

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There isn't any disadvantage to having the large routers in the table as far as I can tell. Both the PC and 5625 come with 1/4" collets, and another one that is useful (IMHO) is the 3/8. The 1/4" shank bits aren't as good, but there are some bits that only come that way. 3/8" shank bits are uncommon, but I use several I've acquired over the years, and find them a nice compromise between the 1/4" and 1/2"...besides being a little cheaper in most profiles. As for keeping the motor in the lift, I sold the base to my 5625 since it will be in the lift I have forever, or until death do us part. Some place used to sell the motor from the 7518 (no base), though I can't remember who/where. BTW, if you get set up and want some of the odd size collets, here's a great place... high quality, and the less common sizes at what are normally cheaper prices than OEM.
 

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Incra sells the PC 7518 just as the motor. The only real difference between the Jessem and the Incra are the throat plate system. Both make main plates for standard and Rockler size table openings. Jessem makes the lift for Incra.
 
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