Router lifts?

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Forum topic by jnovak posted 06-30-2020 06:24 PM 388 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 450 days

06-30-2020 06:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router lifts

Hey folks,

I’ve been doing a little more routing lately but find the more routing I do the more pain in the butt it is to make fine adjustments as well as changing bits. Therefore I started looking at router lifts for my router table. I realize they are a bit pricey….so I want to make sure I’m buying the best one.

With that said, does anybody have any input/suggestions on which one of the many router lifts would be a really good one to invest in? Any suggestions or recommendations would be helpful…since I don’t put a lot of weight on some of the online reviews. :)


14 replies so far

View Woodmaster1's profile


1473 posts in 3358 days

#1 posted 06-30-2020 06:47 PM

I have the kreg router lift. It’s just like the jessem only less expensive. Works great and you can lock it in position unlike the rockler I had. The rockler didn’t lock and would lower itself from vibration.

View splintergroup's profile


3777 posts in 1993 days

#2 posted 06-30-2020 07:29 PM

Plenty of fine options, Kreg, Jessem, Woodpeckers….

Also consider changing your router to traditional use and buying a router and table place that adjusts from above (my Milwaukee works well that way).

Either way, it is an investment so choose for the future!

View 987Ron's profile (online now)


45 posts in 87 days

#3 posted 06-30-2020 07:45 PM

I replaced a lift that kept “creeping” on some vibration prone cuts. Chose the Incra Master Lift II R by Jessem. Big fan of Incra tools. They are expensive but they are quality and they work. Have had it now for 6 months with no regrets.
Pluses are:
Magnetically held in insert rings with slots for dust extraction and with out holes. No screws.
Insert ring available to hold Porter Cable Insert guides.
Locking lift height. No more creeping. Peace of mind here.
It fit my router table and was easy to set up and install my Bosch router. .
Haven’t found any yet other than the price

-- It's not a mistake it's a design opportunity

View AndyJ1s's profile


324 posts in 526 days

#4 posted 06-30-2020 08:18 PM

+++ on the Incra Mast-R-Lift-II-R lift!

The -R suffix is sold by Rockler, to fit openings in Rockler’s (and some other) router tables. The Incra Mast-R-Lift-II (no -R suffix) fits wider openings in many other tables, and is otherwise identical.

Very smooth, solid feel. I especially like the no-tools-needed feature of the throat inserts.

The lift does not require extra-cost adapters to fit different routers. I have a Milwaukee 5616 installed in mine.

Rockler has it on sale for $50 off now.

Jessem’s own version has plastic throat inserts that require their included, special tool to remove and install. The Jessem’s are black and red anodized, whereas the Incra versions are black and gold.

-- Andy - Arlington TX

View gtrgeo's profile


134 posts in 1201 days

#5 posted 06-30-2020 08:53 PM

I will second the Incra Mast-R-Lift II by Jessem. I have had mine for ~2 years now. As 987Ron indicated the magnetic rings are great. I plan to purchase the Clean Sweep rings for better dust collection. Although I use the PC7518 router in mine it is adjustable to hold smaller router motors without the need for an adapter.

I have found having a router lift in my table just makes it more likely for me to use it. The ability to change router bits and make adjustments from the top make it quick to set up between operations.

The only thing I would change would be to make the dial around the height adjustment crank adjustable. It would be nice to be able to zero out the dial when set up to make easier tracking of fine tuning adjustments. Otherwise the Mast-R-lift is a well built precision piece of machinery


View Holbs's profile


2343 posts in 2800 days

#6 posted 06-30-2020 08:58 PM

+2 on the Incra Mast-R-Lift II by Jessem. I took a gander at all router lifts when I was looking to buy one. Built like a tank (and the purchase price reflects that). Bonus point for build quality and strength. But what set it apart from all others are the magnetic rings. Such a simple thing to praise but yet every time you use them, you have a subconscious sigh of relief.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View jnovak's profile


15 posts in 450 days

#7 posted 06-30-2020 09:06 PM

Thanks for all the input folks. I greatly appreciate it. Ironically…I’ve had my eye on both the Kreg and Incra lifts for quite some time now but now I’m leaning towards the Incra. Just need to go verify this unit will fit into my router table and that my Porter Cable router will fit into the lift.

View Blindhog's profile


157 posts in 1819 days

#8 posted 06-30-2020 09:55 PM

Can’t go wrong with anything Incra. I have the new lift/table/dust collection system and couldn’t be more pleased. I still have my Rousseau (Jessem clone) lift that has been working great for around 25 years.

-- Don't let perfection get in the way of plenty good enough

View moke's profile


1556 posts in 3547 days

#9 posted 07-02-2020 09:47 PM

Jnovak, +1 on the Jessem. I’ve had one for 10 years and never regretted owning it for a second. You will wonder how you lived without it. I actually have two Jessems—-one with a 1617 Bosch and one with the 3 1/2 HP Porter cable…the model number escapes me….the Bosch is a very nice router but lacks the power of the Porter cable, so it burns more and that is a pain to sand out… the lifts are really built for porter cable…no adapters required.

-- Mike

View bilyo's profile


1111 posts in 1873 days

#10 posted 07-04-2020 02:32 PM

First, my router table is open in the front. So, I can easily access the router to remove the motor for changing bits. My router is a Milwaukee that has a micro adjust knob on it. I know that there are other makes that have a similar feature. This adjustment works just as well upside down. So, I just use that for making fine height adjustments. Also, if you have a hole in the table top in the right place, you can access this adjuster from the top. I see no need for an expensive lift system.

View OldBull's profile


110 posts in 66 days

#11 posted 07-04-2020 02:44 PM

jnovak I hope you don’t mind me asking a similar question to add to yours;

Can someone tell me if I get a router lift does it take the place of my base, Do i remove the router from the base and put it in the lift or does the router lift need the base as well? it is a fixed base 1617. Are there router lifts that do not need the base?


-- Relative bearing grease # CV-61 and CV-66

View jnovak's profile


15 posts in 450 days

#12 posted 07-04-2020 02:52 PM

Good question OldBull. To be honest….I’m not sure. I ended up ordering the Incra Mast-R lift from Rockler yesterday but looks like it’s sold out until around July 7th. Once I get it and try it out I’ll update this thread and let you know.

View jnovak's profile


15 posts in 450 days

#13 posted 07-04-2020 02:58 PM

Bilyo….I understand what you’re saying…it is a pricey ‘want’ but I have an enclosure under my router table (for dust collection) and I have big hands so trying to adjust and/or remove my router is a major pain in my side and it’s keeping me from having fun with trying different things with my router. I’ve held off buying one of these for years with other shop tools taking priority over this but now I can have more fun building out this big list of projects I’ve been wanting to do. (OK…maybe I was using this as my excuse not to work on these projects because they all require some degree of router work…and I’m tired of trying to change out bits and make fine adjustments). I’m really hoping this will be a great addition to my wood shop.

View Madmark2's profile


1362 posts in 1359 days

#14 posted 07-04-2020 03:07 PM

I have a router lift. When I need to change bits I lift the router and plate out. One button and the plate & base are off giving total access to the router for bit changes.

Entire router is exposed with one button release.

I reach under the table and adjust the height knob until my DRO gives me the depth of cut I need.

DRO and plunge knob dial in precisely.

Simple, cheap, and works every time.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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