Router lift feedback

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Forum topic by Ben posted 10-12-2021 09:59 AM 392 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ben's profile


507 posts in 4149 days

10-12-2021 09:59 AM

I’m about to finally get a good router lift. I was debating between the Jessem Mast-r-lift II and the Woodpeckers PRL V2. But I’m intrigued by a unit made by Jessem that is a phenolic table with the integral lift and it has an outboard hand wheel for height adjustment, rather than the typical top mounted hand crank. It looks like that handwheel is it – no micro adjust. And each revolution is 1/8” compared to 1/16th of the top mounted crank style.

I also like the looks of the Incra branded Jessem with the magnetic insert rings.

I know there’s a ton of info on forums out there but I’m not finding much new info, and almost nothing on this Excell II lift/table combo by Jessem.

I really like the looks of Woodpeckers’ system to raise the router up in one motion, but I don’t like the idea of the thumb wheel for micro adjusting.

Thanks for any feedback.

12 replies so far

View EarlS's profile


4824 posts in 3640 days

#1 posted 10-12-2021 11:21 AM

Jess-Em makes really nice router lifts. I had a Mast-R-Lift a few year back and upgraded to the Ultimate Excel II table package. No complaints with either set up. I considered Woodpeckers when I bought the Excel II but I had a bunch of problems with ordering some other items from them plus their prices are on the high end. Ultimately, I went with JessEm since I knew their quality and customer service was very good. No regrets here.

I also wrote a review – JessEm Ultimate II

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View dbw's profile


635 posts in 2928 days

#2 posted 10-12-2021 12:11 PM

I’ve got an older version of this one. Works very well.

-- Woodworking is like a vicious cycle. The more tools you buy the more you find to buy.

View Robert's profile


4799 posts in 2772 days

#3 posted 10-12-2021 01:53 PM

Have that lift. Had to do over, I’d get the Incra, only b/c the plastic inserts are hard to get out once the hole is worn.

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

View Ben's profile


507 posts in 4149 days

#4 posted 10-12-2021 01:58 PM

Which one do you have Robert? The Excell II or the Rockler?

Maybe you want to sell me the excell II if that’s the one.

Yea I like the looks of the Incra with the downdraft accessories.

The Rockler lift looks really nice with the two gears – that’s smart.

View Axis39's profile


570 posts in 889 days

#5 posted 10-12-2021 01:59 PM

Have that lift. Had to do over, I d get the Incra, only b/c the plastic inserts are hard to get out once the hole is worn.

- Robert

I am kinda here…. I do love my Mast-r-Lift II. I honestly have no complaints. Although, I like the magnetic insert idea of the Incra version.

It would be a tough decision for me have to do over again.

I wavered for a while, back and forth about those inserts vs. price difference. Ultimately, price won out…. Depending on how financially comfortable I was, would really decide the future choice as well. But, for me it’s down to the JessM and the incra (and I’m a huge Incra fanboi).

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View jonah's profile


2260 posts in 4590 days

#6 posted 10-12-2021 02:06 PM

I also have an older Jessm router lift. I like it.

Because of my setup (in my table saw’s wing), I couldn’t use anything other than a top crank type of height adjustment.

View Mike_D_S's profile


808 posts in 3506 days

#7 posted 10-12-2021 04:14 PM

I had the first version of the Jessem lift/integral table setup with the side crank on a dedicated router table. It was a great table and one thing I liked was it had very good dust collection built into the setup. The side crank was nice and the old version had a small dial on the edge of the table for fine adjustment. The dial didn’t move the lift but you could rotate the dial on the belt to set a zero and work from there consistently. I used it happily for 4 or 5 years until I decided to move to a table saw router wing.

I now have the Jessem Mast-r-lift in a table with top adjustment. I thought I would miss the side crank more than I do, but after having used both there’s only been one or two setups when I really wished I had the side crank. On the other hand, I also don’t miss the occasional deep thigh bruise from accidentally walking into the stupid handle sticking out from the side of the table.

If Jessem made an integral router lift/table sized for a saw wing where the crank handle was in the front and recessed about 4 inches I’d pay good money for that setup.

I can’t say anything about the WP PRL lift, but I can say I don’t think you’ll regret buying either of the Jessem lifts.

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View Ken Masco's profile

Ken Masco

903 posts in 4142 days

#8 posted 10-12-2021 04:19 PM

I had the PRL V2 for several years, I never really liked it. The raising and lowering adjustments were coarse and somewhat hard to use. A friend bought the incra, I tried it and liked it so much I replaced the PRL V2. Been about two years now and I have no complaints with the incra lift.

-- Ken

View StevoWevo's profile


55 posts in 141 days

#9 posted 10-12-2021 04:38 PM

I will cast another vote for incra version of the mast-r-lift2. Going on three years and no major complaints. It’s light years ahead of the kreg table I was using previously.

View therealSteveN's profile


9274 posts in 1866 days

#10 posted 10-12-2021 06:10 PM

I have used a Triton router for years for my adjust through the top router table. I have had very good luck with it, and for most set ups it’s been fine.

Recently I got some extra $$$$ I wasn’t expecting, and I started thinking I would get my first ever lift, and I bought the Kreg. I know it’s not one listed among your choices, but in looking at “ALL” of em, it’s the one I saw the most positive reviews of, and I have spent some time looking them over.

I bought the Bora motor at WoodCraft, and got the Kreg table/fence at Ebay, and also the lift. Playing around with setting it all up, between Honey Do work. I might get finished before I croak. :-()XXX

-- Think safe, be safe

View DougC's profile


27 posts in 3926 days

#11 posted 10-13-2021 01:52 AM

I have had a WP lift for quite a few years (pre-thumb wheel model) and have no complaints at all – I really am pleased with it. Each turn of the crank is 1/32” so it is very easy to dial in on your setting. I would buy it again.

View gtrgeo's profile


198 posts in 1722 days

#12 posted 10-13-2021 02:42 AM

I have the Incra branded Jessem mast-r-lift 2 because I wanted the Incra metal inserts (clean sweep option is a plus) and did not like the thumb wheel on the other options. I have not regretted this decision for a second. It made my router table the most precise machine in the shop without adding any additional effort on my part. The only thing I would like to see changed in the lift is to have the ability to zero the dial around the crank handle. I feel this would allow me to shut up a bit to a reference point and be able to make accurate adjustments from there. They do give four tick marks around the dial to use as a reference point so I am usually able to make one of those work well enough.

The other thing I really like is the ability to mount different sizes of router motors without having to by a collar or other adapter.

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