Jessem Rout-R-Lift II and table, plus why does no-one sell a router table with a motor?

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Forum topic by jdh122 posted 02-25-2015 06:49 PM 4276 views 1 time favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1058 posts in 3056 days

02-25-2015 06:49 PM

I’ve decided to upgrade my router system by getting a lift. I’ve been looking at the Rout-R-Lift II along with the Jessem table and fence. FWW rated it as a best buy a couple years ago. I was just wondering if people who have one like it or regret not having sprung for the extra $150 for the Mastr-Lift (or any of the others that cost about the same).
My other question is why in the world does no-one offer a router table setup with the motor built in. I was looking at the General International premium router table with a steel top and their Excalibur lift and it struck me that this setup costs more than their entry-level tablesaw that comes with a motor! You can get a shaper for less than a good router setup (including motor, lift, table). What in the world?

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

16 replies so far

View copcarcollector's profile


256 posts in 2356 days

#1 posted 02-25-2015 07:00 PM

View johnstoneb's profile


3072 posts in 2411 days

#2 posted 02-25-2015 07:03 PM

You answered your own question . It’s called a shaper.
Many people buy the lift, build their own table and put a router in that they already own. I have the router lift II. I don’t know if the Master lift is worth the additional or not.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View bondogaposis's profile


5151 posts in 2590 days

#3 posted 02-25-2015 07:07 PM

The reason is that most people who want a router lift already own the router.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View jacquesr's profile


345 posts in 1662 days

#4 posted 02-25-2015 07:27 PM

I have the Rout-R-Lift II with Bosch 1617 + Incra LS17.
The main drawback is that when you order the Rout-R-Lift II, you order it for a specific router model.
The Mastr-lift is adjustable.
I am very pleased with my choice, but I am hobbyist, not a heavy duty user.

View jdh122's profile


1058 posts in 3056 days

#5 posted 02-25-2015 10:21 PM

Thanks for the advice. Copcar that looks like an interesting lift. Price is a bit more than I want to pay, though the touchscreen adjust is neat.
I think I’ll probably end up getting the RoutrLIft, it seems adequate for me (like Jacques, a hobbyist).
I have a junky, no-lift table already that works OK, but am ready to move up.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1663 days

#6 posted 02-26-2015 01:41 AM

I have no regrets because I was not willing to compromise.

The router table is now my favorite tool in the shop.

Notice the difference in build quality and the lack of a crank handle. Makes for a very stable platform for years to come.

-- Brad, Texas,

View runswithscissors's profile


2928 posts in 2264 days

#7 posted 02-26-2015 05:11 AM

Such tools exist—HF makes one, as does Porter Cable (or they used to). Both appear to be light duty set ups, though I have not tried them.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View ohtimberwolf's profile


882 posts in 2591 days

#8 posted 02-26-2015 03:35 PM

By far nothing to brag about but it works for me. larry

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3547 days

#9 posted 02-26-2015 04:19 PM

I have a Incra Router Lift and a Master Lift II… Tthe Master Lift II is much more convenient because of its ability to change routers if desired without having to purchase additional adapter brackets for each router model. It is also easier to raise and lower the bit quickly using just one finger and then easily lock it securely in place.

The only advantage of having a motorized lift for me personally would be the ability to plunge rout with the table at those times when the workpiece is covering the hole where the lift is inserted on most router lifts

View Woodbum's profile


846 posts in 3304 days

#10 posted 02-26-2015 08:48 PM

Doesn’t MLCS / Eagle America make a motorized lift? I can recommend the Woodpeckers lift that Timbertailor has a picture of above. I have 2 of them with PC 7518 motors. They work very well for me, since I never pull the motors from the lift. They are accurate and easily adjusted. Fine quality and American made from the Woodpeckers folks in Ohio.

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

View RT31's profile


54 posts in 1896 days

#11 posted 02-27-2015 04:12 AM

Delta used to make what you are looking for.

View EEngineer's profile


1119 posts in 3852 days

#12 posted 02-27-2015 10:51 PM

I have the older Woodpecker QuickLift 420. I have used it now for about 7 years and it has been 0 problems.

Oddly enough, when I finished my router table 7 years ago, I researched router lifts and had had pretty much decided on the Jessem Rout-R-Lift FX based purely on cost. When I went to the local Woodcraft they had both the Rout-R-Lift and the Woodpecker Quick-Lift in stock and were kind enough to let me open both and inspect them. There was no comparison; the Quick-Lift was better built and I loved the quick lift feature. I paid about $100 more for the Woodpecker unit but I have never regretted it.

Now I will admit that the newer Jessem Rout-R-Lift II looks more robust but there are still problems. The insert is phenolic, not aluminum. It will sag over time. Look closely at the pictures on the Jessem site – there is a reason for the two aluminum stiffeners underneath the plate. The Mast-R-Lift II is better built with a solid aluminum plate and probably worth the extra $100, but I don’t think it looks as well-built or as rugged as the Precision Lift V2 from Woodpecker.

And the Ready-2-Lift posted by copcarcollector? Surely that is a joke! If they were going to go to all that effort with the electronics, the least they could have done is provide a solid mechanical frame to bolt it to! And they still want top dollar! I would skip that unit completely.

Here’s an idea: why not build your own router table and fence rather than buying them from Jessem? Honestly, you can build a better table and fence for a lot less money than they are charging. There must be 100 how-to’s and videos out there to help you along, including my favorite, Norm Abrams. Then take the money you save and upgrade to the Woodpecker Precision V2. You won’t be sorry!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View jdh122's profile


1058 posts in 3056 days

#13 posted 02-28-2015 12:05 PM

Thanks to all for more input and ideas. EEngineer I’m hesitating between building my own table and buying one, and even possibly even building one into my tablesaw (probably not, though). Next weekend I’m going to a Lee Valley store (course on Welsh love spoon carving) so I have to decide by then…

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View bonesbr549's profile


1579 posts in 3306 days

#14 posted 02-28-2015 11:54 PM

Build your own. You have fun and it’s a heck of a cheaper deal.

I recommend the woodpecker and the PC7518. Had my setup over 10+ years

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View ohtimberwolf's profile


882 posts in 2591 days

#15 posted 03-01-2015 01:14 AM

Quite a nice table! Never know what is going to show up on this site. :)

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

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