JessEm Pow-R-Tek or Porter Cable-75182 Router for Lift

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Forum topic by gmaffPappy posted 05-22-2019 03:10 PM 490 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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63 posts in 2420 days

05-22-2019 03:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question router router lift router table

After much deliberation, I’ve decided on getting the Woodpeckers - Model 420 V2 Router Lift for PC7518 Motor
in favor over the PowerLift Pro® Router Lift. Now, which Variable Speed 3 1/4 HP router should I use?

Research has me believing the best way to go would be one with Electronic Speed Control, which gives me “Soft Start”. This makes sense. Revving up to RPM will be better on the life of the motor. But, the ones I looked at have switches what change the speed between 4-5 preset speeds, and all the speed controls were on the side of the router, which would put them under the table. I wanted to be able to control everything from above the table.

So I found some variable speed controllers you can put inline of the power cord. I thought, “Hey, this could work for better control and be above the table.”

I was interested in the PC 75182 router motor, especially since the Woodpeckers lift was designed for it. My research had led me to believe it was the “Gold Standard” in table routers?

All decided, I was now waiting for Woodcraft to get them in. They router is sold out and on back order, because they’re on sale for $269.99. Great price!

The Manager gave me a call (I like that. The personal touch is appreciated.) He said I should also look at the JessEm - Pow-R-Tek Router Table Motor With Remote Switch.

The manager at Woodcraft told me he’d heard of issues with routers as a result of adding a variable speed controller inline with the power. He said it’s definitely better to get a router that’s designed to be dialed into the speed using the “Electronic Speed Contoller” built into the router, instead of controlling speed by varying the power to the router. This also makes sense, but it pushes the price up another $100. It does, however, add a digital readout of the router’s actual RPM setting, Start/Stop, and Speed Control above my shop-made table. I don’t know how useful an exact RPM readout will be, but I figure it’s got to be better than guessing with a power modulated speed controller?

I’ve started looking for reviews of the JessEm and haven’t found a lot. The manager at Woodcraft told me they were made by PC. That made me feel a little better. But in my search for reviews, I started reading about PC router’s loosing face and their status as the “Gold Standard” of routers? I’ve read a couple saying they’re now using sub-standard parts, and are beginning to be considered only good for home use. This really surprises and disappoints me…..thoughts? You know, it was on the internet, so it has to be true…..LOL.

I like the features of the JessEm, but if it’s a PC at the core, and PC is going down hill, this puts both options in question. Are there other similar/better solutions I’m not aware of? Ideas Please?

I want to buy the Router that will perfectly match my lift so the two can last a lifetime. Am I on the right track, or as usual, am I overthinking this whole thing?

It’s a lot of $$$, so a final check before pulling the trigger is just prudent.

-- If it's easy to do, you haven't spent enough time over engineering it.

7 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


5483 posts in 3632 days

#1 posted 05-23-2019 05:32 PM

Nothing today is made to last a lifetime. If it did, those companies would soon go out of business. Henry Ford realized that with his model T.

View gmaffPappy's profile


63 posts in 2420 days

#2 posted 05-23-2019 05:58 PM

All too true!

-- If it's easy to do, you haven't spent enough time over engineering it.

View Andybb's profile


1920 posts in 992 days

#3 posted 05-23-2019 06:24 PM

My experience is that the off the shelf variable speed controllers do a poor job and can’t be used with the soft start routers. I have a PC without variable speed and a Bosch vs with soft start. I used to keep the Bosch in the table but almost never used the vs so I swapped them as I like the feel of the Bosch in my hands better. All the one in the table has to do is spin. I got a cheap vsc from HF for those rare times I might want to slow down the PC in the table but have never used it.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Woodbum's profile


874 posts in 3454 days

#4 posted 05-24-2019 12:15 PM

Use the PC 7518. I have 2 mounted in Woodpeckers lifts. Bulletproof. Unless you abuse it, it will last a long time, at least mine have; but the newer versions might be different. I have used the Jessum table with their motor, and it rattles like it is about to fly apart. The Jessum is OK, but for my money I would buy the Woodpeckers PRL-V2 and the PC 7518

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View fly2low's profile


71 posts in 485 days

#5 posted 05-25-2019 05:30 AM

I have the Jessum Pow-R-Tec router. Works fine so far. Have only had it for a few months

-- Rich Gig Harbor, WA

View Robert's profile


3398 posts in 1869 days

#6 posted 05-25-2019 02:16 PM

I have the Jessum Pow-R-Tec router. Works fine so far. Have only had it for a few months

- fly2low

I love the remote speed control !!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View AndyJ1s's profile


42 posts in 144 days

#7 posted 05-25-2019 06:24 PM

Anyone with experience using a Milwaukee 5625 in a table?


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