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Hi, I'm researching router lifts and am curious about the pros and cons of the various lift mechanisms. There are chain-driven lifts, screw driven lifts, and, perhaps spring-driven lifts.

How does one really compare them?
Is one style more reliable than another?
Are there tradeoffs (durability vs. accuracy) when choosing?
Does it even matter?

I've watched plenty of review videos of the various lifts (SawStop, Woodpeckers, Rockler, JessEm, Incra) and while they all do roughly the same thing (lift, micro-adjust, and sometimes brake) I don't feel I have a clear understanding of why one mechanism is better than another.

Thoughts and/or advice? Thanks!
 

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I've had my router table lift for a few years now and it's had plenty of use without issue. I think the main consideration may be influenced by the performance of dust collection as well. I say this as the router will give off tons of sawdust and the method of lift movement could possibly be affected by the sawdust. In my case the lift is operated via a threaded rod to move up/down. If there's anything in play to "clean" the threaded rod before it gets to the male thread I don't really know but I can se in my mind where debris buildup overtime/use could be an issue if not addressed. That said I have excellent dust extraction on my system which limits the sawdust to a minimum.
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I can only speak to the one I use which is the Router Raizer. If you already have a router and if this brand works for you then I would get it. It's screw operated and bulletproof. There really isn't any reason to go with anything more complicated. Plus It's probably the least expensive one out there. If you don't already have a router then I would look for one with a built-in lift.
 

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I've had my router table lift for a few years now and it's had plenty of use without issue. I think the main consideration may be influenced by the performance of dust collection as well. I say this as the router will give off tons of sawdust and the method of lift movement could possibly be affected by the sawdust. In my case the lift is operated via a threaded rod to move up/down. If there's anything in play to "clean" the threaded rod before it gets to the male thread I don't really know but I can se in my mind where debris buildup overtime/use could be an issue if not addressed. That said I have excellent dust extraction on my system which limits the sawdust to a minimum.
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Hi, I'm researching router lifts and am curious about the pros and cons of the various lift mechanisms. There are chain-driven lifts, screw driven lifts, and, perhaps spring-driven lifts.

How does one really compare them?
Is one style more reliable than another?
Are there tradeoffs (durability vs. accuracy) when choosing?
Does it even matter?

I've watched plenty of review videos of the various lifts (SawStop, Woodpeckers, Rockler, JessEm, Incra) and while they all do roughly the same thing (lift, micro-adjust, and sometimes brake) I don't feel I have a clear understanding of why one mechanism is better than another.

Thoughts and/or advice? Thanks!
I made this simple but very effective router lift some years ago. In use the router is lifted slightly higher than required with the pedal then the foot pressure is released very slowly allowing the weight of the router to slowly descend until the bit is protruding as wanted at which point the lock lever is applied. Cost? next to nothing.
 

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I can only speak to the one I use which is the Router Raizer. If you already have a router and if this brand works for you then I would get it. It's screw operated and bulletproof. There really isn't any reason to go with anything more complicated. Plus It's probably the least expensive one out there. If you don't already have a router then I would look for one with a built-in lift.
Interesting indeed. Never heard of it before now but certainly worth looking at if it will work for your needs/router. Not so great a website and some links don't work but Rockler and a few others do sell it. There appear to be several models depending on your router and appears to need the router's plunge base. Is that correct?
 

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Interesting indeed. Never heard opf it before now but certainly worth looking at if it will work for your needs/router. Not so great a website and some links don't work but Rockler and a few others do sell it. There appear to be several models depending on your router and appears to need the routers plunge base. Is that correct?
Yes the router has to have the plunge base . The adjusting rod replaces the adjusting rod on the router. It's best to remove the springs on the router to make it easier to adjust. Another item they sell is an extender that remains in the router to make it easier to remove the bit. All you do is raise the bit above the table and use an allen wrench to remove the bit. This item will fit any 1/2 in router.

amazon.com/Router-Technologies-EX-2080-Professional/dp/B000EXQ2FA/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=router+raizer&qid=1613142036&sr=8-4
 

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The router lift is a game-changer for me. I did use a Triton in a Kreg table and wasn't crazy about it. Now I have two tables, each has a lift and I use them a lot. I was told that Jessem manufactures many lifts that are sold under another brand name. My Kreg lift and Incra lift appear to be identical (other than color). Both routers are in enclosed areas with pretty good 4" dust collection hoses attached. Sort of like with the miter saw, not 100% but better than nothing! MDF, however, is another story. It accumulated so much on the lead screws that the lifts seemed like they were freezing up. Easy enough to clean, but guess I've learned to not use MDF on my router table. The one I have not seen in person nor used is the Rockler lift. What interests me is the 2nd gear for fast raise/lower.
 

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I owned the Rockler lift for awhile, but it had an annoying habit of shifting height during use. There's a adjustment for that, but it just wouldn't hold for me. Sold it and the buyer never had the problem.

I replace it with a Triton TRA001, which is 3.24 hp, and has a built in lift. You remove a spring from the plunge base and it's ready to go. The cost for the router is about $270, so it's in the range of the high end lifts. You can then use your smaller router for freehand jobs. That's my preferred approach at any rate.

I've never heard anything bad about either the Razor or the Jessem lifts. Makes table routing a little easier.
 
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