Best Router Lift Reviews of 2020 [Read Before Buying]

Routers and router tables are probably some of the snazziest woodworking tools out there – but can we talk about how much of a pain it is to constantly need to be ducking under your router table to manually adjust your router to make the best cuts? Router lifts can solve that problem for you forever. Read on to learn more about the best router lifts.

Comparison Chart of the Best Router Lifts

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Jess-EM Mast-R-Lift II 02121

  • Manufactured with 3/8” solid aluminum, the unit is hard anodized to ensure durability
  • Does not require any bent wrenches and all bit changes can be conducted from above the table
  • Built-in locking mechanism enables users to lower and raise the router lift
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Kreg PRS 5000

  • Above-table collet access makes above-table bit changes extremely fast and easy
  • Hard-anodized aluminum plate makes the unit scratch-resistant
  • Bearing-guided carriage and precision indexing ring ensure a smooth operation
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Jess-EM Rout-R Lift II

  • Spindle is designed with double sealed bearing, allowing users to lower and raise the motor with just one finger
  • Manufactured with aluminum and a phenolic top plate, the lift ensures reliability and longevity
  • Shafts are pressed into the shaft mount using hydraulic pressure, ensuring a durable and rigid mount
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Incra Master Lift II

  • Height of the router bit can be adjusted without removing the router plate or reaching below the table
  • INCRA MagnaLOCK reducing ring system ensures a perfect ring fit and quick and easy ring changes
  • Capable of making precise height adjustments of 0.001” from above
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Woodpeckers Precision Woodworking Tools PRL-V2-420

  • Thumb wheel micro-adjuster allows users to make height adjustments quickly and easily
  • Quick-lift wrench enables users to lift the router collet and bypass the micro-adjustment mechanism
  • 1-piece motor carriage and three self-leveling Twist-Lock rings enhance rigidity
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How to Choose a Router Lift

There are a number of qualities to take into consideration when choosing a router lift. Below are some of the most important.

Accuracy

The best thing about a router lift (well, one of the best things at least) is that you no longer have to worry about constantly checking your measurements and making miniscule adjustments to your router in the hopes of ensuring it will make an accurate cut. You want a router lift that is going to raise your router to the most precise and accurate level possible to make the best cuts.

Ease of Operation

The whole point of getting a router lift is so that you do not have to crawl around under your router table any longer, right? With that in mind, make sure your router lift is simple and easy to operate. Your router lift should make your life easier, not more complicated.

Quality of Material

Once you start using your router lift, you are definitely never going to go back, so you want a router lift that will last you through the ages. Make sure your lift is made of high quality material that will not break down easily.

Quick Take: Best Router Lifts

Want to skip the review? Here is a quick look at the best router lifts:

1. Jess-EM Mast-R-Lift II 02121
2.
Kreg PRS 5000
3.
Jess-EM Rout-R Lift II

Review of the Best Router Lifts

Now that you have a bit of a better idea of what to look for in router lifts, let’s go check out some actual lift models:

JessEm Mast-R-Lift II 02121 Router Lift, 8-1/4-Inch by 11-3/4-Inch

PROS

  • Hard anodized finish
  • Produces very little vibration
  • Machine has a high tolerance
  • Well made of high quality material
  • Instructions are thorough and easy to understand

CONS

  • Knob on the crank handle loosens easily

The Jess-EM Mast-R-Lift 02121 is one of the premier router lifts on the market today. If you are looking for a machine that can provide the smoothest and most accurate lifts, look no further than the Jess-EM. You may think such an efficient machine would be difficult to operate, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The Jess-EM is easy to set up and to operate, from adjusting the router lift height to changing out the router bits. If you do find anything about operating this lift to not be particularly intuitive, it also comes with one of the best instruction guides you will ever find accompanying a woodworking tool, a guide that can answer any question you would ever have.

This lift is durable and stable, and so sturdy that you will experience very little vibration from using this lift. The Jess-EM is compatible with a wide range of different routers and will not leave you disappointed in the slightest.

Compatible With:

Bosch 1617/1618, Craftsman 17543/17540/28190, DeWalt 610/616/618, Hitachi M12VC/KM12VC, Makita 1101, Milwaukee 5615/5616/5619/5626, Porter Cable 690/890, Porter Cable 7518, Ridgid R29302

Bottom Line

The Jess-EM Mast-R-Lift 02121 is exactly what all woodworkers are looking for in a router lift. Beyond the crank handle knob’s tendency to loosen, this lift really has it all.

Kreg PRS5000 Precision Router Lift

PROS

  • Easy to install
  • Smooth to operate
  • Accurate in its measurements
  • Made of high quality material
  • Fits a wide range of different routers

CONS

  • Provided plastic wrench for insert changing does not seem to be particularly high quality

The Kreg PRS 5000 is an awesome router lift that probably has the widest range of compatibility with routers out of all of the other router lifts on this list. Basically, no matter what router and router table you are working with, odds are pretty high that it will work with the Kreg PRS 5000, even if it is not explicitly listed as being compatible.

This lift also provides smooth lifting and accurate measurements so you can rest easy and not worry about constantly having to make adjustments when you are cutting. You may think that such a handy router lift would be complicated to operate or at least to set up, but you would be wrong on both counts.

Best of all, Kreg is a reliable woodworking materials brand you know you will be able to count on for years to come. If you are buying from Kreg, you are buying an item of quality.

Compatible With: Hitachi M12VC, Bosch 1617EVSPK, Porter Cable 890, Craftsman 17543/117540/28190, DeWalt 610/616/618, Felisatti RF62, Makita 1101, Milwaukee 5615/5616/5619/5626, Porter Cable 690/890/7518, Ridgid R29302

Bottom Line

The Kreg PRS 5000 is a reliable router lift that you know you will be able to use with pretty much any router out there. You may encounter some issues with the included plastic wrench, though.

3. Jess-EM Rout-R Lift II

JessEm Rout-R-Lift II Router Lift For 3-1/2' Diameter Motors, JessEm# 02310

PROS

  • Instructions are very helpful
  • Has two separate turn knobs
  • Does not require any lubrication
  • Makes bit change process much more simple
  • Adjustments are easy to make, even super small adjustments

CONS

  • Jess-EM does not provide good customer serviceList Element

REPLACE TThe Jess-EM Rout-R Lift II is a more budget friendly version of the Jess-EM Mast-R-Lift II 02121 mentioned above, but there is certainly not a notable compromise on quality.

Users report that the Rout-R-Lift is one durable router lift, standing up to almost daily use and still working just as well three years after the purchase as it did on the day it was used for the first time. Even after extended use, this lift will not require any lubrication to continue to operate just as smoothly.

Beyond the high quality materials that went into this lift, there are also a number of convenience aspects that make it a wise buy. This lift features two separate turn knobs, one for the actual lifting, and one used for locking the lift into place once you have found the correct measurement. It is easy to make any adjustment with this lift, even super small adjustments. And the whole thing takes fewer than ten minutes to set up!

Compatible With: DeWalt 616/618/610, Bosch 1917EVS/1617/1618, Porter Cable 690, Ridgid 2 ¼, Craftsman 1754/17540/28190

Bottom Line


The Jess-EM Rout-R Lift II is a star among router lifts. This thing will last you through the ages. The only thing to consider is that if you do run into a problem with operating your lift, you are not likely to receive good support from Jess-EM.HIS TEXT

Incra Mast-R-Lift-II-R Designed for Rockler Tables

PROS

  • Easy to lock and unlock
  • Comes with good operating instructions
  • Only takes about twenty minutes to set up
  • Provides high precision on both the vertical and horizontal axis
  • Comes in two different sizes to fit differently sized router tables

CONS

  • The magnetic force field makes it difficult to move the plates

The Incra Master Lift II is a fantastic router lift with one defining feature that really sets it apart from the other router lifts listed in this article: the MagnaLOCK system. Incra has pioneered the concept of using magnets to hold the plates in place and provide the safest and most precise cuts possible.

This magnetic force field is extremely strong and some users have found the hard way that the plates can be pretty difficult to pry up with just your hands, or worse, a fingernail – like you can with some other router lifts. But this minor inconvenience is more than made up for when you consider the incredible precision cuts the Incra is able to make using this magnetic force field.

It also means that when this router lift is locked into place, it can’t be moved for the world. This lift is probably the safest model out of all the lifts reviewed here, and if you are looking to make highly precise cuts, you will not be able to find one that works better.

Compatible With: Milwaukee 5625/5615/5616/5619, Bosch 1617EVS/1618, Craftsman 17543/17540/28190, DeWalt DW610/DW618, Hitachi M12VC/KM12VC, Makita RF1101/RD1101, Porter Cable 7518/690/699/890/899, Ridgid R29302

Bottom Line

The Incra Master Lift II is a pioneer in the world of router lifts with its magnetic locking system. Just don’t try to lift up the plates using your fingernails – you might end up losing them!

Incra Mast-R-Lift-II-R Designed for Rockler Tables

PROS

  • Easy to install
  • Simple to set up and make cuts
  • Well made of high quality material
  • Process of attaching the router is simple

CONS

  • Requires some lubrication
  • Height adjusting thumb wheel can be a little stiff

The Woodpeckers Precision Woodworking Tools PRL-V2-420 is a great router lift with one fantastic defining feature: a quick lifting mechanism.

While many of the other router lifts have a crank operation for raising and lowering, the Woodpecker lift’s quick lifting mechanism eliminates the need to tediously turn a crank in order to raise the lift the several inches at a time that is necessary for bit changes. Forget using your fine tune mechanism for an activity that could be much more easily accomplished with coarse tuning – the quick lift mechanism fixes all that!

But do not think that the quick lift mechanism means there is any compromise when it comes to the precision of making cuts. The height adjusting thumb wheel on the Woodpecker router is still extremely precise, up to 0.001 inches of accuracy. There really is not much this router lift can’t do!

Compatible With: Porter Cable 75182/690/890/1617/1618, Bosch 1617/1618, Craftsman 17542/17540/28190, DeWalt 618, Milwaukee 5625/5620

Bottom Line

The Woodpeckers Precision Woodworking Tools PRL-V2-420 is a great router lift that really revolutionizes the world of router lifts with its quick lift mechanism. Say goodbye to tedious cranking to change out your bits! The only issue reported with this bad boy is that the height adjusting thumb wheel could use some lubrication to get over its initial stiffness.

Conclusion

Router lifts are a gamechanger when it comes to woodworking with routers and router tables. You will no longer need to scramble around on the floor like a demented monkey to adjust your router and make the best cuts possible. It is important to keep in mind the critical qualities of a router lift when making this substantial purchase, but we guarantee you will not be able to go wrong with any of the lifts described above. Happy woodworking!

People Also Ask

What is a Router Lift?

A router lift is a mechanism that is used when cutting wood with a router and a router table. For cutting different kinds of wood, and to cut wood with different levels of thickness, the router blade needs to be adjusted, but with the way the router blade sits on the router table, this process typically requires physically going underneath the table and pushing the router blade up through the table’s hole. A router lift changes all that by mechanizing the process and making it so that you are able to accurately adjust your router blade without any manual adjustment necessary.

Benefits of Investing in a Great Router Lift

Of course, when making a sizable purchase, people are always looking for ways to save money. And we do not fault you for that. However, when it comes to router lifts, it is definitely more worthwhile to spend more money on something of quality than a cheaper model. Router lifts are designed to make your life easier, meaning they should be the simplest machine possible. They also need to be safe, ensuring that you do not have to worry about any parts coming loose and backfiring on you. And obviously, you want them to be accurate, since their whole point is to enable you to make better cuts and shape your wood more effectively. All of these qualities can be found with high quality models and are aspects you miss out on with cheaper versions.

Categories Routers